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Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,912
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...

I'm fairly sure with what I've read and learned about women's heart attacks, but I really don't know or have heard much on how AF feels. Except I'm sure we'd know when either one of those happened. Has anyone been through the AF?

 

I'm not experiencing either one, so save that, but info on what it feels like if you've been through AF. I know I can google info but if someone has been through it and tells what they went through I'd appreciate it. My mom had it happen one time, but I don't remember much about it. She wasn't a complainer, and I wasn't with her when she did have it. I think it was just once.

 

Anyway, thanks, if you can share. If John or any male contributors want to share too, that's fine, I'm not leaving you guys out.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,244
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...

@qualitygal  if you are talking about AFib...my husband (75 years old) was diagnosed with this condition last summer....he had no idea, he was at the hospital for an outpatient procedure and they discovered it before he had his test.....which was promptly cancelled!

 

He ended up staying in the hospital all that day and spent the night, his heart rate was very high.  As he thinks back on it he remembers several times getting dizzy and having to sit down, but once it (dizziness) passed he was fine, this happned several times, but never mentioned to me...he is NOT one of those men that would not go to the doctor so that is not why he did not mention it to me, he just thought it was nothing serious...just a dizzy spell.  He never felt his heart racing.

 

His cardiologist has tried resetting his heart 3 times....it never worked long term so he is on blood thinners for life.  Now that he knows his symptoms he checks his pulse and can tell when his heart is beating to fast.  Hope this helps.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,798
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...

I have atrial fibrillation of which there are sevral types. Some people can tell when they have it; others can't. I felt perfectly normal when I went to an appoointment for another issue. I noticed they took my vitals twice, left and returned to do it again before I saw the physician's assistant. My heart rate was galloping along at 160 a minute for a period of time, and then stopped and then began again.

 

I was immedately put on aspirin and referred to a cardiologist who confirmed I had an irregular rhythm and rate of the type called paroxysmal. This is the type that comes and goes which makes it difficult to detect unless the person feels the symptoms, which can be things such as difficulty in breathing, pounding heart beat, etc.

 

I ended up being put on meds for it but after a couple of years, one of the meds no longer worked so I had a cardiac ablation. This is a process in which they send a catheter to the heart to find the cells that are misfiring and then destroy them. It sounds bad but it is one of the best things I ever had done.

**************** "A black cat crossing your path just means that it is going from one place to another." Proud owner of a black cat and a shopper of QVC since the merger with CVN.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,912
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...

Thank you ladies, you answered more for me than I think I'd have found under a Google search. Again, thank you!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...

Some patients with atrial fib have palpitations or are short of breath but MOST patients with it don't even know they have it.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,169
Registered: ‎05-22-2010

Re: Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...

Just after the death of Joan Rivers I was scheduled for an endoscopy at the doctor's facility, not the hospital.  At that time there were many negative articles about these places..  My prodecure was scheduled for 1 pm., doctor was running 90 minutes late so I sat.  Outside I could see an ambulance taking someone out.  So, needless to say my anxiety climbed.  By the time they bought me back and started an iv I felt very very anxious and heart rate was racing.  Doctor said I was in A-fib and was to be transported to the hospital.  Funny thing is that as soon as the emts put me in the ambulance I could feel things returning to normal and after the short ride to the er I was no longer in A-fib.

 

To answer your question, those were my symptoms - severe anxiety and rapid heart rate. (Never did get an endoscopy and if needed will get it done in the hospital, lesson learned)  My cardiologist after running many tests attributed it to extreme stress. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,913
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...

@qualitygal

 

Have had 2 heart attacks but no A-fib. Three of my male friends have been diagnosed with it/put in the hospital to find the right med and also dosage size. Two are on the same med, but the other is on a different one. Don't know the names of their meds.

 

All 3 of these play hockey, but never noticed any problems when playing. They described it to me as their heart rate really speeding up and they would get light headed at times. They said that depended on the duration of the fibrillation.

 

Most Athletes are probably more aware of differences in their heart rate than those that seldom reach close to their maximum heart rate. They knew something was not right and made appointments to see their doctors.

 

One person's description should not be what anyone should depend on for their body. When it comes to anything that seems very unusual for your body, it is better to find out it was/is nothing serious, than try to ignore it.

 

Many die of heart attacks because they wait too long to get help. Sure, you can have a heart attack and never even know it. There are lots that find out they have had a heart attack years later via a test procedure. They obviously were minor attacks or?

 

If in doubt, either gender, best to head to an ER if you deem it as something way out of the ordinary for your body.

 

 

hckynut(john)

hckynut(john)
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,798
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...

A true diagnosis of atrial fibrillation will not be made until a long term EKG reading is done. I wore a  monitor for 24 hours as I went through my routine day and night before the appointment with the cardiologist. I have also worn one for three weeks. Atrial fibrillation shows a specific pattern on the EKG, and since it can come and go, a long term reading is usually needed. Heart racing can be caused by a variety of things but AF with a fast rate will show a definite pattern on the EKG.

 

Atrial fibrillation creates a situation in which the blood may not pass properly from one chamber of the heart to another. As a result, it may pool in one of the upper chambers (atria) and lead to possible formation of clots. These clots may become dislodged by a strong beat and pass into the ventricles and then to the brain where it might cause a stroke. Those with AF have a 5x increase in the chance of a stroke. For this reason, blood thinners will be required  ranging from aspirin to the prescribed types.

 

 

**************** "A black cat crossing your path just means that it is going from one place to another." Proud owner of a black cat and a shopper of QVC since the merger with CVN.
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,470
Registered: ‎01-01-2015

Re: Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...


@qualitygal wrote:

I'm fairly sure with what I've read and learned about women's heart attacks, but I really don't know or have heard much on how AF feels. Except I'm sure we'd know when either one of those happened. Has anyone been through the AF?

 

I'm not experiencing either one, so save that, but info on what it feels like if you've been through AF. I know I can google info but if someone has been through it and tells what they went through I'd appreciate it. My mom had it happen one time, but I don't remember much about it. She wasn't a complainer, and I wasn't with her when she did have it. I think it was just once.

 

Anyway, thanks, if you can share. If John or any male contributors want to share too, that's fine, I'm not leaving you guys out.


I'm one of those patients who knew that they had it, but whose symptoms were difficult to catch on an EKG because it would happen sporadically.

 

They were eventually caught when I ended up in the ER because my heart went into an irregular rhythm and would not come out of it.

 

It was a very uncomfortable feeling, to have it keep beating like that. It felt like it kept "skipping or dropping a beat."

 

It showed up on the heart monitor too when it was doing this. 

 

I was already ill with an infection that my body was trying to fight off, and I was told that this probably stressed out my heart to cause it to do that.

 

Anyway, I was kept in the hospital for a few days and was put on heart medication.

 

 

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,912
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Difference between women's heart attacks and atrial fibulation...

Thank you all so much. That's the type of answers I was seeking. You just can't Google or WebMD everything. You all got to the nitty gritty of it and right to the point of experience. So much more info this way, and I can't thank you enough. Just what I hoped for.