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I'm 49 years old and was recently diagnosed with A Fib. I've never had to take meds on a constant basis for anything. I have been placed on metoprolol which has made me so sick. My doctor reduced the dosage but did not work. I was switched to diltiazem 180mg. So far it has kept my blood pressure down and less side effects. I've only been on it a few weeks now. My cardiologist was out when I went to my last appointment. The nurse practitioner wanted me to start taking blood thinners. I haven't started yet because I was having a outpatient procedure done 3 days after she told me to start taking them. I also have another procedure scheduled at the end of the month. The question I have is I'm having tightness in my neck , shoulder ( arm) and discomfort in my right leg from time to time. Is this normal with A Fib or should I be concerned and go to the doctor?
DkinAA, July 30, 2020 7:59am EST
You say you were diagnosed with afib -- but this is a very individual condition-- is the irregular rhythm happening continuously, or do you have episodes every now and then, or have you had just one?
We aren't doctors so we can't give medical advice, just share experience. But I haven't seen anybody on this forum describing issues like yours as an afib symptom. If you are new to this, having lots of anxiety is really common - that could affect how you feel in a lot of ways. My first few months were horrible.
The major risk from afib is stroke risk, which a blood thinner (anticoagulant) takes care of but it comes with bleeding risk of it's own. There is a scoring system to assess the risk factors - for example if you are young and don't have certain other problems, then the risk of stroke is low enough that the blood thinner bleeding risk isn't worth it . Your doc should go through this with you.
We've all had to deal with this condition, and most of us have been doing OK with it and getting on with our lives. But it takes time and patience and a good doc to figure out what best works for you -- it is very individual! There is lots of good info on this site. Let us know how it goes!
BethClark, July 30, 2020 12:06pm EST
My opinion is that if you have symptoms that you haven't experienced before you should always get them checked out to make sure it's not a serious issue. I haven't read any postings on this forum describing what you mention as part of aFib; your doctor is the one who could figure that out. One thing that I think happens after we're diagnosed is that we tend to be hypervigilent watching for signs that aFib is happening. I can tell you that for years I have often had tightness in my neck and shoulders. Often I wake up this way. Some is probably a manifestation of stress. I know that poor posture sometimes is the trigger. When this is happening it is not unusual for me to end up with headaches and pains down my arms because different nerve bundles are being compressed. Same issues with pains down my legs sometimes as I have some degeneration of a couple of disks.
Things that help: a hot shower, laying down for a bit if a headache comes with it, regular stretching. Also, a physical therapist gave me a few exercises to do to work on bringing my head back into alignment and otherwise improving my posture.
Figuring out the right medications can be a process. Taking regular medications will become routine. I have set up reminders on my phone. Otherwise I don't think about it too much.
Myrna, July 30, 2020 3:17pm EST
I'd get those symptoms checked out by a dr if I were you, I have high blood pressure, CVI( chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins whose valves have failed), some other heart and spine, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc, etc problems. When my blood pressure is high, I get tightness in my neck. The arm and leg problems, you'd need a dr to sort it out, but please don't neglect your blood pressure, possible heart issues and if you're not on blood thinners right now and you go into Afib, there's always a possibility of a blood clot, as far as I know, that can cause a heart attack /stroke. I have no medical training, but I would check these out with a dr and as needed make sure your blood pressure stays under control esp when you have so many other things medically going on. I sometimes get pain in my leg from the CVI, muscle issues, fibromyalgia, but that's me. I'd get yours checked out. Good luck.
dsavoie1953, August 1, 2020 12:25pm EST
I reside in Dallas and it's taken me 2 years to find a cardiologist that understands Quality of Service. I went to the Dallas #1 Cardiology Medical Center and then another - well your benefits that you carry will determine the Quailty of Care and Quality of Service you get. You under 62 years of age.
Recommendation: FIND a NEW well respected cardiologist and not a PA - do not waste 2-years like I did with paroxyal AFIB until is goes Persistant AFIB because it just may.
Write me back after August 3rd - I am going through a Cardiac Ablation with Texas Cardiac Arrythma of Dallas/Austin Texas Dr. Sanchez. Dr. Natale Executive Director Austin is based in Austin and he is the pioneer that was my Plan B choice, but Dr. Sanchez is a Co-Founder with over 4,000 procedures.
Do not waste your time with a Cardiolgist that does not address your Quality of Service ... alway find the right one for you LIFE depends on it.
dsavoie1953, August 1, 2020 12:38pm EST
I recommend from personal experience with AFIB for 2 years the following: ECG, Static (Rest) and Dynamic (Treadmill) Stress ECHO test. You must test for Sleep Apnea and Chlosestral Testing to see where your LDL level are. IF your in ECHO Stress Test comes back as AFIB RVR then the test will be inconclusive. I recommend Lexiscan MPI Nuclear Test after that takes a 180 degree images of your heart and definitely a CT - Calcium Test and hopefully a Score =0 before the Lexiscan MPI.
Why? You want to see if you have soft blockage or calcium around and inside your heart. ECHOs will look at the upper chambers and lower chambers and mitral value integrity and wall thinkness and constraction ratio of the heart.
If you have a history or currently have High Blood pressure reduce your BMI and get on a DASH or a Paleolicit (Caveman) diet. Go Low Sodium - NO PROCESS FOODS. Get your BMI down to a NORMAL level with your height, and LDL < 100 the lower the better.
Low Sodium, Low Sugar, No caffiene ( Studies have not proven it causes AFIB) but I noticed it simulates my heart - I make my own shots.
Follow a diet that works for you but Excercise 30 minutes on a Ellipical everyday or walk .. now it is hard because you feel low energy but once you do just keep your rate low.
I taking 3x Rx blood thinner and Rx to reduce QRS rates and Blood pressure.