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What does "probable AF" mean - heart related

(36 Posts)
GiraffesCanRunA10k Tue 14-Jul-09 12:00:37

I am scared to google as it is likely to tell me I am about to have a heart attack or something. Have low BP and periods of very fast HR. Mentioned latest dizzy episode after exercise to GP today and am being reffered for ECG and on the form it says "probable AF"

Very prone to fainting (eg after standing/blood taken)

CountessDracula Tue 14-Jul-09 12:04:29

Atrial fibrillation i should imagine

CountessDracula Tue 14-Jul-09 12:05:36

(not generally life threatening btw!)

EccentricaGallumbits Tue 14-Jul-09 12:06:08

Atrial Fibrilation.

When the top chambers of the heart sort of flutter rather than giving a good squeeze in time with the bottom bits.

Can be sorted with drugs if your blood pressure is low enough for you to keep fainting.

blissa Tue 14-Jul-09 12:26:35

I was going to say Atrial Flutter, is that the same thing?

GiraffesCanRunA10k Tue 14-Jul-09 12:32:11

Ok thanks have braved google. [wimp] Is it not normal to have palpatations then?!! Have had frequent episodes before including being hospitalised for Tachy but they always said "oh its maybe just high because you have a virus" etc So now its more finding out that it is like this all the time. This paragraph makes a lot of sence. -

An abnormally fast heart rate (tachycardia) also can cause low blood pressure. The most common example of tachycardia causing low blood pressure is atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a disorder of the heart characterized by rapid and irregular electrical discharges from the muscle of the heart causing the ventricles to contract irregularly and (usually) rapidly. The rapidly contracting ventricles do not have enough time to fill maximally with blood before the each contraction, and the amount of blood that is pumped decreases in spite of the faster heart rate. Other abnormally rapid heart rhythms such as ventricular tachycardia also can produce low blood pressure, sometimes even life-threatening shock.

GiraffesCanRunA10k Tue 14-Jul-09 23:57:04

Should really go for ECG tomorrow, am trying to think of something wildly important I have to do tomorrow so I can avoid it!

GrimmaTheNome Wed 15-Jul-09 00:06:08

My DH has atrial fibrillation. So did Tony Blair.

There are various treatments possible.

You definitely need to get it properly diagnosed. You can't really function properly when your heart isn't beating correctly - DH is fit and active normally, climbs hills etc but if he's having an AF episode can hardly mount the stairs.

Good luck!

ohbabygivemeonemorechance Wed 15-Jul-09 00:13:53

don't see why he didn't do an ecg for you today really.
it's an abnormal rhythm of the heart,it needs to be assessed,and treated if it is symptomatic/fast. but is not one to panic about.
it causes the pulse to be irregularly irregular ie no regularity to it at all.
if it was the GP he should have been able to be sure,then confirmed with an ecg.
it can be caused by[one of the causes] an over active throid gland so you should have your thyroid function checked

tbh it has not been diagnosed yet so find out first with the ecg if you actually have it.

GiraffesCanRunA10k Wed 15-Jul-09 03:38:10

Don't think they do ECGs at GPs do they? Am fairly sure they don't have a machine. Got walk in appointment to local hospital, just take the form along. Thanks for the info all

noddyholder Wed 15-Jul-09 06:37:03

You need an echo to get a complete picture

LeonieSoSleepy Wed 15-Jul-09 08:12:10

Message withdrawn

liath Wed 15-Jul-09 08:37:14

You'll probably need a 24 hour ECG by the sounds of things, the standard ECG might be completely normal if you're not actually having palpitations at the time it's done.

ohbabygivemeonemorechance Wed 15-Jul-09 09:29:33

Gp surgeries do usually do ECGs but if they don't,then best to arrange one on the day

it's quite distinctive,feel it at the wrist on the thumb side,it has random runs then gaps and more random runs

GiraffesCanRunA10k Wed 15-Jul-09 09:35:16

I dont think our GP/area does ecgs as the form for refferal for it has the different local hospitals policies, and my closest is the only one that accepts drop ins, rest it gives a number to phone. Thanks all

ohbabygivemeonemorechance Wed 15-Jul-09 09:36:27

probably the machine isn't as good but will have them for emergencies

LeonieSoSleepy Wed 15-Jul-09 09:58:20

Message withdrawn

ohbabygivemeonemorechance Wed 15-Jul-09 10:55:50

Hope you get the ECG done today giraffes!

GiraffesCanRunA10k Wed 15-Jul-09 11:02:11

Thanks In some ways the symptoms don't actually sound that much like what happens with me. Its mroe when I faint/feel like I am going to faint my heart is very fast and my bp is very low. But I had never considered it to be an irregular beat - very fast but not dancing about if you know what I mean. Oh well suppose I shall see.

I hate the bit where they lift your boob up to put a sticky bit on. Im actually better with gynae things - probably cos I can't see what they are doing!!

ohbabygivemeonemorechance Wed 15-Jul-09 11:16:39

would it be better to wear a vest/camisole instead of a bra and say"Oh this is loose the stickers will fit easily"and roll it up ?

It's a bit confusing because when you feel faint,you get that rising heat and your heart pounds tho loud more than fast,bp falls and pulse is slowish

Also,the heart rate normally changes in rate with breathing in and out,can be quite marked if young and thin~this is normal but could feel irregular and be a red herring iyswim.

irregular rhythms are one cause of dizziness,but more often can be lowish bp[normal],standing up quickly and you feel faint,or increased tendency to faint in pregnancy,while ill,in hot room,etc because the veins in your arms and legs dilate a little and cause a slight drop in bp so faintness ~this is worse in anaemia obviously.
Even if it is AF,at a young age esp in a female,is very very unlikely to be due to ischaemic heart disease ~ could poss be thyroid

hope i haven't confused you too much

ohbabygivemeonemorechance Wed 15-Jul-09 11:19:51

so my summary is ,please don't worry,but get the ECG done to see what it shows,and as someone else said,ideally,a 24 hr ECG that is traceing while you have the dizziness

GiraffesCanRunA10k Wed 15-Jul-09 13:56:20

Cheers Well the vest top idea didn't work - was a "heres a gown, now strip" sort of affair. Never mind, lady was very nice so I was quite chilled.

Well it all means feck all to me hmm She just gave me it and said to take it in to my GP. Said HR was fast and the piece of paper says sinus tachycardia, but other wise normal. Popped pic up incase anyone else knows what on earth it all means.

Have had ecgs before and nothing major came back - just tachy. And been kept in over night for tachy before, on a monitor. So is my HR being too fast what makes my BP low? <confused>

LeonieSoSleepy Wed 15-Jul-09 14:13:59

Message withdrawn

GiraffesCanRunA10k Wed 15-Jul-09 15:04:16

Over active thyriod? I would be skinny if that was the case though surely.

ohbabygivemeonemorechance Wed 15-Jul-09 16:29:02

well that means it's sinus rhythm[normal rhythm] not AF,on this ECG
so unless you have distinct episodes of palpitations/dizziness that you didn't have today then is likely that you just have a sinus tachycardia.
But why do you have it?

have you got a fever,night sweats,are you unwell,lost weight?

You need FBC ,thyroid function and U&E andLFT if not had them.

Any symptoms anywhere?Do you drink red bull/huge amounts of coffee?

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