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Diagnosed with occasional atrial fibrillation. Does weakness in heart muscle lead to hear attack?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1983
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I am 70 years old . I have occasional AFIBS. I was diagnosed 2 years ago. I have had about 7 episodes in 2 years. Most of them lasted about 12 hours. During the first few hours the hear rate was around 85-95 but my medicine, Cardizam and beta blockers reduced the HR to 65 for the remainder of the episodes. My last AFIB occurred 2 months ago along with a terrible stomach virus. The Afib only lasted 2 hours and occurred about 7 months after my previous AFIB. With this AFIB, my heart rate climbed as high as 108. Should I have gone to the emergency room in the hospital because it went above 100? Ever since this episode, I have experienced shortness of breadth following exertion (exercise) but not following exertion. My concern is that my heart muscle experienced a weakness which may lead to heart failure( I have no congestion, no wheezing, or cough). I will see my cardiologist on Monday. Should I ask him to prescribe medication which can reduce my heart rate faster than 2 hours. Do you think I can recover my endurance and if my heart muscle was weakened, is it possible it may recover it's strength.
Posted Mon, 30 Dec 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Heart is likely to improve when your AF controlled Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for using Healthcare Magic. Atrial fibrillation is one of the commonest heart problems particularly in people of your age. tI appears that you have paroxysmal AF. Rates of above 100 may be associated with symptoms and need treatment. However, when your rate was 108, if you had no symptoms of chest pain or shortness of breath you did not need to go to the ER immediately. You could wait to see your own doctor. If you are now experiencing shortness of breath with exertion then you do need to see a doctor for further investigation to decide the best treatment. The commonest problem with inadequately AF is the risk of stroke. Also, if the heart rate is particularly fast then heart failure may occur. Your cardiologist will be the best person to assess whether your medication needs to be adjusted to ensure your heart is working at its best. When your AF is treated optimally, you will feel better and your endurance will improve. I hope this is of help. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards, Dr K A Pottinger, MBChB FRCA
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