chmayer
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chmayer, December 14,  2019  5:32pm EST

new afib after stress test????

I am a newly diagnosed afib patient. 77 years old, non smoker for 15 years, no alcohol, and enjoy (past tense) moderate nonconcussive exercise. BMI is 23, height is 73". Have not had colds or headaches in 20+ years. Am now on Eliquis! Since Eliquis two, what I considered, bad headaches.

Two weeks before my stress test I was walking up a hill (many call it steep and high) and my heart rate was 105 with good sinus rythm. After my stress test I can't do anything strenuous without my heart going all different directions. Just put about a 15 lb.branch on a brush pile about 50 feet away. and there goes my sinus rythm.

Could the stress test have initiated the afib. Never had it before but I can definately feel it now since the stress test??? Before I could 3 mph walk almost level ground for 1.5 + miles with no problem. If I got tired I would stop and take my pulse then let it recover. Never felt afib before, now that I know what it feels like. Now I can almost get 300 feet to my mailbox before my heart goes crazy.

chmayer

5 Replies
  • bfboca
    bfboca, December 15,  2019  5:00am EST

    I've had plenty of stree test and they are heavily monitored by both computers, staff  and also the cardiologist observing closely.  And you're not pushed into exhaustion but rather when you feel you've had enough, you say so and that's the end of the stress test.  So I wouldn't think the stress test initiated your new Afib diagnosis.  So sorry about your new experience with Afib but the good news is there are plenty of great meds to control your rhythm or rate control.  Set up an appointment with your doctor to discuss taking some new meds to help you out.  Bob

  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, December 15,  2019  8:09am EST

    Chmayer, your experience of Afib is certainly disappointing.  I tend to agree with Bob -- your heart probably passed a threshhold that it would have anyway, regardless of the stress test.  (My Afib first started in my 70s, for no particular reason, when I was lying on the couch, relaxing in front of the TV.)  Bob's advice regardiing meds to control rate or rhythm is also true.  I would add two other bits of advice -- be sure to see an electrophysiologist (EP), not just a cardiologist.  The EP is a cardiologist whose specialty is the electrical system of the heart.  The other is to see whether you might  have sleep apnea,since it has a negative effect on AFib.  Welcome(!) to this forum, and please let us know how things are going.

    Thumper2 (Judy)

  • john1818
    john1818, December 15,  2019  10:21pm EST

    While I can't add to the previous replies, your history summary matches mine very closely. I never knew I had AFIB until it was caught at an out patient clinic for a totally unrelated problem. In fact the clinc wanted an ambulance to take me to the hospital. When I refused thay made me take a few asprin and sign a paper that I refused. My spouse ended up taking me to the hospital that the clinic set it up. I can't recall what they did if anything and I was home either that day or the next morning.

    I never knew I had AFIB and today while I have several episodes a month it is mostly detected by my Alive-Cor Kardia device. For the most part I can ignor the symptoms while in AFIB. Right now you are obsessed with the diagnosis and everything is amplified. Try to get back to normal routines and of course follow up with your doctor. 

  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, December 16,  2019  8:12am EST

    John1818, I hope you are regularly seeing an electrophysiologist and taking a blood-thinner.   I had no AFIb symptoms (was on coumadin, Lanoxin, and Toprol XL) during several years with a cardiologist.  In the meantime, my heart was remodeling itself in negative ways, to the point where it was thought I might need open-heart surgery.  I did not (the rest is a long story), but having AFib with no symptoms is not necessarily a good thing.  As you probably know, the greatest risk of death with AFib is a stroke, not the AFib itself (thus the need for a blood-thinner).

    All the best, Thumper2 (Judy)

  • DkinAA
    DkinAA, December 16,  2019  1:45pm EST

    My story is similar to John's - I didn't know I had afib until a routine check up 4 years ago when the tech wondered why my pulse was so fast, and called for an ECG -- my primary care doc looked at it and told me to get the ER and I couldn't drive myself there, so spouse came for me. I probably had been having episodes for awhile and thought I just was too high on caffeine or freaked out about something.  Came out of the blue, though I was reasonably healthy, and a stress test a few years previous looked fine.  Afib can pop up with otherwise ok heart, I guess.  A lot of us have "triggers" - like stress, dehydration, alcohol, etc, that seem to bring on an episode, but often one comes out of nowhere. An anti-coagulant (that term sounds better than blood thinner) is generally a very good idea, and there are lots of treatment options. Ditto Thumper's advice about trying to see an Electrophysiology cardiologist - they specialize in this sort of thing. Main downside is dealing with the worry about when another episode will start and how bad it will be - anxiety is a major side effect, as well as a possible trigger.

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