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Atrial Flutter - Symptoms

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Comment from: Kari, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I have unspecified atrial flutter. I have events about every 10 days or so. I have pain in my chest when I have the events. I sometimes feel a little short of breath after an hour or two. I think it's due to the anxiety of the event because when I take a few deep breaths and relax my shoulders it seems to get better. It also makes me have to urinate very often during these events. I wonder if this will ever go away or if I will have it forever. I'm pretty healthy except for this. My events last 1 to 4 hours.

Comment from: Clint, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 17

I have lived with arrhythmia (ventricular ectopic beats) and sinus bradycardia nearly all my life. I also have exercised keenly and continuously. I now realize (having been desensitized by the experience of life-long arrhythmia) I have been experiencing atrial flutter for many years, often merely triggered by innocuous things like the alarm clock in the morning, sudden unexpected exertion or changes in position, postprandial, and most lately, after strong exercise. Episodes may last 12 plus hours and heart rate at 130 plus and irregular. I take, nor have I ever taken any medication. In fact, I am reluctant to do so. I have recently acceded to an appointment with a cardiologist to determine the basis of the underlying putative conduction problem, chiefly because I am unable to exercise strongly if in atrial flutter and because of the sustained irregular tachycardia post-exercise. I continue to embrace life as fully and vigorously as I have always done.

Comment from: helen, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 09

Last week I fell backwards hard against a wall hitting an electrical multiple outlet on the left side of my back just below my rib cage causing pain and upon getting up, my heart was beating irregularly. I went to the emergency room, was diagnosed with atrial flutter (AF), given blood thinner and follow up appointments with cardiologist and sent home with monitor for 48 hours. I was told that the fall and blow to the back was not the cause of the AF (just a coincidence)! Atrial flutter stopped after 10 hours, and rate has been normal. I felt tired for a day and back is painful to touch and some movement, also a large bruise. I believe the fall and bow to my back precipitated the AF event.

Comment from: Jean, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 28

My atrial flutter was diagnosed in February 2016 while having an EKG before a D and C. I had been fatigued and short of breath, but thought it was my weight. I had to see a cardiologist before they would do the D and C. I was ok to have the D and C, no problems. That cardiologist also sent me to an electrocardiologist since a flutter is a disruption of the electrical part of the heart. You should know I am a 56 year old female, weighing 400 lb and 5 ft 6 inches tall. I was already on high blood pressure medicine, a water pill, and an aspirin a day when diagnosed. The cardiologist scheduled an atrial ablation and put me on Xarelto before the surgery. I have anxiety and am claustrophobic so my regular doctor also had me on Paxil. I had read about flutters online, and I even watched a video of the procedure. I read about what can happen afterwards; don't, mostly bad experiences. My procedure was on July 22 at 7:45 am and I was put under. I woke up in recovery 3 hours later. You have to stay in the bed and on your back at a 30 degree angle or less. I thought this was going to be awful because of my claustrophobia. It wasn't. The feel of the rapid heartbeat that was so constant in my chest is gone. I now realize what I had felt in my chest was the rapid heartbeat of a flutter. I'm not as tired now 4 days after. I can stay up all day. I had what I called 'hot pipes' the first 2 days; thirsty so I drank cold water and a lot of popsicles. Only issue is when I lay down at night. My chest hurts some and feels like I can't breathe normal, tight. As soon as I get up and wait 5 minutes to see if it continues, it goes away. I am on a CPAP machine so there is plenty of air. Just a little disconcerting. I am scheduled to see the cardiologist who did the ablation in 4 weeks.

Comment from: Francis, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 06

My atrial flutter was discovered by an EKG during a physical. I exercised regularly, my heart is strong and I had no real symptoms except occasional extreme tiredness after performing especially hard physical labor. I had a heart ablation on an outpatient basis at a hospital and went home the same day. After 2 weeks taking it easy, I was cleared for all activities. My blood pressure and pulse both dropped significantly after the procedure and my latest checkup and EKG were normal. I take a blood thinner Eliquis as a preventative. I would advise all seniors to take an annual physical and be sure it includes an EKG.

Comment from: ericaverill, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 27

Because of atrial flutter I have lethargy and I exercise intolerance.

Comment from: Papa, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 30

4 years ago I woke up with a rapid heart rate and chest pain. At the ER I was diagnosed with atrial flutter. After several changes of meds I was placed on Topral. Over time these spells of lightheadedness became worse but even a new cardiologist seemed stumped. EKG, ultrasound and stress tests were normal and finally 2 years ago. I was diagnosed with POTS and taken off of the Topral so that my B/P wouldn't drop so much. Needless to say after much frustration we have found a new Dr. who finally put me on an event monitor, bingo I have atrial flutter and I am now scheduled to see an electrophysiologist in 2 weeks for a probable ablation. I may still be having other vasovagel problems but at least I am thankful that my wife wouldn't give up and finally found a cardiologist who is not only listening but actually doing appropriate tests to find the problems. So our advice is if you aren't getting treatment find the very best Dr. at major medical teaching facility.

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