Afib: What causes an episode? What if I don't notice?

Posted by dfelix @dfelix, Jan 27, 2019

yesterday I had episodes of afib. I was just laying down when my heart started beating fast. Over 100 beats per min, What are possible casues of these occurances?

@carnes

I replied to a post on A fib and I don’t see it on here. Am I doing something wrong?

Jump to this post

Hi @carnes, I see your post here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/afib-2/?pg=2#comment-365091 Is this the one you mean?
You can see all the posts you've made in your profile. Simply click on your @username to see your profile.

REPLY

I suffered through awful Afib until I finally had an ablation and a pacemaker at age 66. My cardiologist kept asking me to get a sleep study. But I had none of the symptoms of sleep apnea. Finally did what he asked me to do and had the study. Sure enough. Severe sleep apnea which according to my cardiologist was consistent with what he found when he did the ablation. Good thing to get that checked when you are trying to figure out your AFib problem. I feel great now and love my pacemaker and tolerate my Sleep Apnea machine! On Eloquis and that is all. Can drink coffee and wine etc……just do nothing to excess! Hope this helps!

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @cadillac, welcome to Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to this discussion about atrial fibrillation episodes in the Heart Rhythm Conditions group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/heart-rhythm-conditions/). Here you'll find many people discussing aFib.

Cadillac, you ask about not being aware when you have an episode until you take your blood pressure and if there is a device you could wear to alert you. I'd like to bring others into the discussion to help answer your questions, like @jimana @predictable @sal70 @karenatmayo and @sandyabbey

Cadillac, are there times that you are aware of having an a-fib episode? How long have you been monitoring your blood pressure?

Jump to this post

The Apple Watch will monitor and alert you when you’re in a-fib. It would need to be Series 3 or 5.

REPLY
@lizzy102

The Apple Watch will monitor and alert you when you’re in a-fib. It would need to be Series 3 or 5.

Jump to this post

Needs to be a Series 4 or 5 Apple Watch (not a 3 for EKG). Also know the limitations-doesn’t check all the time for AFIb (& checks are test). Also check the settings for high & low heart rate…those only check when at rest & HR has to stay at/below the set levels for 10 minutes straight. Best is to run an EKG if things feel “off”. My BP monitor was showing irregular heart rates on multiple occasions on 3/10/19. Plus was getting very short of breath & couldn’t stay on my feet. Ran 9 EKGs & 7 came up AFIb. Only got 1 irregular heart rate warning from the Watch after I gave up for the day & decided to just stay in my recliner. Had appointment with my EP on 3/15 & showed him EKGs. Was put on meds for rhythm control & also Eliquis. Had ablation done on 7/29/19 & now feeling the best I have felt in years. Seeing him on 2/14/2020 & the plan is for a loop recorder to monitor so I can stop taking Eliquis.

REPLY

For all with A-Fib that is related to caffeine use, please note that a lot of cosmetic products, shampoos, etc. often have caffeine. I have a friend who avoided caffeine in her diet but if she had a little in a skin product it would set her off into an A-Fib episode. I did not know that these products have caffeine but some do so it's good to watch the labels.

REPLY
@lucy1002

Needs to be a Series 4 or 5 Apple Watch (not a 3 for EKG). Also know the limitations-doesn’t check all the time for AFIb (& checks are test). Also check the settings for high & low heart rate…those only check when at rest & HR has to stay at/below the set levels for 10 minutes straight. Best is to run an EKG if things feel “off”. My BP monitor was showing irregular heart rates on multiple occasions on 3/10/19. Plus was getting very short of breath & couldn’t stay on my feet. Ran 9 EKGs & 7 came up AFIb. Only got 1 irregular heart rate warning from the Watch after I gave up for the day & decided to just stay in my recliner. Had appointment with my EP on 3/15 & showed him EKGs. Was put on meds for rhythm control & also Eliquis. Had ablation done on 7/29/19 & now feeling the best I have felt in years. Seeing him on 2/14/2020 & the plan is for a loop recorder to monitor so I can stop taking Eliquis.

Jump to this post

@lucy1002 Good information, thank you!

REPLY
@hopeful33250

For all with A-Fib that is related to caffeine use, please note that a lot of cosmetic products, shampoos, etc. often have caffeine. I have a friend who avoided caffeine in her diet but if she had a little in a skin product it would set her off into an A-Fib episode. I did not know that these products have caffeine but some do so it's good to watch the labels.

Jump to this post

@hopeful 33250 and all, I have A-fib and I drink coffee, and I have no reason to say that the caffeine causes an A-fib incident. Some of us sneak by, apparently. My particular case may be virtually unique — 1) I have no conscious feelings of an irregular heart beat (although EKGs show it every time; 2) after a small stroke 20 months ago (attributable to A-fib), deficient brain performance (mainly muscular mobility) led to therapy for re-teaching my brain to function better and more reliably. Part of that is brain stimulation from a cluster of stimuli — one of which is caffeine. My consumption of coffee is limited to a cup in the morning and (sometimes) a cup in the evening, nothing like the gallon a day I used to consume at work. From my perspective, my advice to anybody with A-fib or Ventricular-tach should make caffeine consumption a major issue to discuss and regulate with a medical team that includes an electrophysiologist and a neurologist. A few of you — like me — might benefit from limited caffeine consumption. Martin

REPLY

I rarely notice when I am in A-Fib as well. Mine is naturally occuring so having had it my entire life it's a bit 'normal' for me not to notice. I am usually only aware when I have a new EKG or when my heart sort of seizes up for just a moment like it's pausing to hold it's breath and flops like a fish out of water. That one I notice. I was diagnosed with A-Fib and also Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. Mayo can do a tilt table test that will be able to record whether or not certain positions cause you to jump into A-Fib. I simply started taking the Metoprolol and was very lucky that the first med I tried works perfectly.

REPLY
@jimana

@dfelix, as you get more responses and do internet searches you will find there are many A-fib triggers but what causes the condition in the first place is still somewhat a mystery. In my case it seems to be caused or triggered by an excess of thyroid hormone. I have been hypothyroid (underactive thyroid, not producing enough hormone) to I have taken either Synthroid or a natural desiccated thyroid extract. If one's TSH gets too low, A-fib can result. Although this may not be your problem, it never hurts to have your PCP do a thyroid workup and at least eliminate that as a potential problem. God bless.

Jump to this post

I have low thyroid, and I have A-fib. I now take Dofetilide and have not had any real problems in about 5 years. I almost always awoke to an episode.I am very thankful for the Dofetilide.

REPLY
@blulilbaby

I rarely notice when I am in A-Fib as well. Mine is naturally occuring so having had it my entire life it's a bit 'normal' for me not to notice. I am usually only aware when I have a new EKG or when my heart sort of seizes up for just a moment like it's pausing to hold it's breath and flops like a fish out of water. That one I notice. I was diagnosed with A-Fib and also Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. Mayo can do a tilt table test that will be able to record whether or not certain positions cause you to jump into A-Fib. I simply started taking the Metoprolol and was very lucky that the first med I tried works perfectly.

Jump to this post

Hi, I too never had felt or noticed Afib. Had no symptoms at allOnly through medical exams it was discovered. Took all, metaprolol etc in the end what is working for last 1 year is Difetilide.

REPLY

I too am on Difitilide, but it puts me in the donut hole with my insurance far too early. Then Inhave to pay full price for al my my medication until the end of the year….

REPLY

Check with your doctor, they always have samples.. Drug companies also offer assistance programs. No harm asking.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.