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Atrial Fibrillation - 3 x as common in athletes.

(16 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by DaveC
  • Latest reply from chdot
  • This topic is sticky

  1. DaveC
    Member

    After a funny weekend I thought I would share this. I slipped down a stairwell on Sat eve and blacked out. My arm caught in the hand rails and stopped me falling further but hurt my elbo - just a slight swelling now). On returning to consciousness I went back to the flat I was in, but I blacked out again, so an ambulance was called. They looked me over and decided that after 2 periods of unconsciousness I should go to A&E. A&E did the usual checks and eventually found I was suffering from Atrial Fibrillation. Basically my heart was speeding up for a few beats then pausing for 1/2 a second while it tried to reset its self. I was kept in overnight in AU ward but later moved to the Cardiac Care Unit ward as the pauses were getting longer. After ~12 hours my heart returned to normal rhythm.

    They say 'Google is your friend' - right?

    According the the article below AF is 3 times as common in Endurance Athletes as non athletes. I didn't consider myself an endurance athlete but perhaps I'm wrong, and Audax is Endurance? There are two forms of AF, Paroxysmal AF (paroxysmal ~= sudden) and persistent AF. I hope I had the former and that is never returns. Anyway, either can impair your performance by as much as 15%. It made an interesting read, and although I don't like to self diagnose, what is in the following article did make sense following my recent experience.

    http://www.endurancecorner.com/Larry_Creswell/atrial_fibrillation

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. amir
    Member

    DaveC - best of luck and be careful. Hope it doesn't return.

    Have you been asked to drop caffeine? I was when I was in hospital with palpitations a few years back and the symptoms haven't returned. Decaff coffee isn't that bad.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. DaveC
    Member

    I don't drink coffee anyway, but they never asked me about it. I do drink tea but not more than about 3 cups a day, and then only at work. Also thinking about taking aspirin daily now.

    I was asked do I drink, NO, do I smoke, NO, am I allergic to anything, NO, Do I take drugs, NO. Epilepsy, NO. They looked puzzled, then I chipped in I take regular exercise, cycling ~40 miles a day, commuting. They then looked shocked and scratched their heads :D The consultant when given this asked what the heck I was doing in there?

    I get the feeling from looking and listening to other Cardiac Care Unit patients, that I don't fit their 'demographic' of ~60+ heavy smoker & drinker with chest pains.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. Nelly
    Member

    Dave, definitely avoid internet for this stuff - push the consultant for details.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. amir
    Member

    CCU isn't a a very relaxing place (especially for a kip!).

    +1 for Nelly's comment. It's not easy to validate Internet stuff and it's also easy to wind yourself up.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. DaveC
    Member

    Oh CCU was great, nearly empty, and a lot more relaxing than AU, which was a bit of an overnight holding ward for A&E.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. Dave
    Member

    Interesting, I noticed a few years ago that too much caffeine seems to give me an irregular beat - a moment's pregnant pause then it's thudding away as normal (always at rest, although I guess it would be hard to notice on the bike?)

    I just dealt with it by switching to decaf, but this makes me wonder if I should have seen someone about it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. DaveC
    Member

    AF is the most common heart complaint Dave. I was asked if it did it on the bike, but could only say I noticed arhythmic heart beats in bed, when as rest, but then only very occasionally.

    I'll see what come of the out patients appointment when it comes.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. Min
    Member

    Dave - your arrythmia sounds like mine only mine does not seem to be coffee related. It mostly happens at rest but it has happened on the bike a couple of times. Once at traffic lights on Clerk Street and once climbing up some hill I can't remember the name of. Almost fainted but luckily I didn't, particularly on the hill since I was in the middle of nowhere and on my own!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. DaveC
    Member

    You should speak to your GP about it min. They have machines which clip to your fore finger and show your heartrate and blood O2 percent. Should give you peice of mind. Just mention the strange heartbeat and not AF. Doc's don't like smart patients who self diagnose, they're likely to just ask you a set of hard doctor type questions and then tell you off when you don't know how to spell Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. Min
    Member

    Lol!

    Yep, been there, done that years ago. :-) I had one where they clipped a machine to almost everything, even my feet! It was worrying to start with but I am still not dead which has been the most reassuring. Mine is merely an ectopic beat and is supposedly quite common.

    I once had NHS direct (or whatever it is called) ring me an ambulance as it was so bad I could hardly breathe. The horror of having an ambulance turn out for me was so awful that my heart reset and by the time it arrived I was fine. I was mortified! They were very understanding though and seemed relieved I wasn't just another drunk. :-(

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. DaveC
    Member

    They .... seemed relieved I wasn't just another drunk.

    Funny you say that, as Josie mentioned that while one ambulance man assessed me the other was casing the room, which she said was him looking for an indication as to my state, drink, fags, drugs....

    I had one where they clipped a machine to almost everything.... This just sounds kinky wrong. :O)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. Min
    Member

    Yes, I get the impression that dealing with drunks is their main work. ::-(

    I hope your AF doesn't come back, it sounds pretty horrible.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. Tulyar
    Member

    I think I had a spell of this about 6 years ago - riding up the Kilmarnock Road in Glasgow I just had no 'power' and could not keep up with the rider in front. Got to the destination (shop) and struggled to recover. For next 2 days felt like **** and could not endure any exertion. Phoneed GP and he said get right over to A&E, so I went over at moderate walking pace, and settled down expecting to get something to ease the problem. Staff were genuinely shocked that I was walking around, as BP was way down both readings almost identical and sub 100, and HR effectively doubled, kept me in for the night, and gave me an HV reset which worked first time.

    It did dawn on me that the condition I had experienced would have killed someone who was not fit, but would be expereinced as a bit of a nuisance for a fit cyclist.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. Darkerside
    Member

    Definitely not providing medical advice via forum, however:

    Dave and min; Google 'ventricular ectopics' and see if that sounds familiar. Regular heartbeat, but every so often one comes slightly late and stronger (I tend to feel it at the back of my throat, weirdly). Tends to have no ill effects at all other than feeling mildly unpleasant, but if a few bunch up you can get lightheaded. GPs can suggest a range of exercises that tend to sort it out if the latter happens - vasovagal manoeuvers.

    As DaveC has found out, fibrillation is much less fun, and involves various specialists becoming very interested in you.

    The finger device is a pulse oximetre, and works by shining infra-red throught the blood and calculating the oxygen concentration. It can also make a decent guess as to pulse rate. For electrical stuff, you'll end up connected to leads on the hands, feet and often chest.

    And yup, most ambulance visits now seem to involve some form of drugs now...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    Not directly related -

    "
    Children today may be at greater risk of heart disease in later life because of their unhealthy lifestyles, according to an analysis of changes in pulse rates over 30 years.
    "

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/10447016/Childrens-heart-rates-on-the-rise.html

    Posted 5 years ago #

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