Asymptomatic Atrial Fibrillation: How do you monitor?
I have a three year history of short episodes of paroxysmal asymptomatic atrial fibrillation, PACs, PVCs, tachycardia and bradycardia. The abnormal heart rhythms were diagnosed on Holter and Event Monitor tests from 7-30 days long.
I started seeing an Cardiac Electrophysiologist instead of general Cardiology and I follow the lifestyle changes in the AFib Cure book; I was hoping to stay off medications until I had a seven hour AFib episode after my VO2 Max exercise test at Mayo this year. My only symptom was a little fluttering feeling in my chest, which alerted me to check my Apple Watch ECG multiple times, and it kept flashing the yellow banner “atrial fibrillation”. I took the patient shuttle from the Gonda building to the St Mary’s Cardiology and an ECG confirmed that I was in AFib. I did not have any symptoms while my heart was racing at 120-154. After I met with my Mayo Cardiologist, I took my “pill in the pocket” meds Flecainide and Metoprolol prescribed by my EP doc at home to use as needed, and walked back to my hotel. The meds started working a few hours later and I was back in sinus rhythm. I am now taking Flecainide and Eliquis twice a day. I feel better overall and no AFib.
I was surprised to learn from my EP Cardiologist that many patients do not have symptoms with AFib, like chest pain and palpitations, but the abnormal rhythm damages the heart. I was advised to check my Apple Watch ECG a couple of times a day and take my meds. I also keep an eye on my Apple Watch heart rate.
Does anyone else have this problem? What do you do?