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Difficulty in breathing, weird heart rhythms after waking up from unconscious state. Taking nadolol for afib. Cause?

earlier tis year I passed out getting out of bed. I don t know for how long I was unconscious, but when I came around I couldn t breathe properly and my heart was doing weird rythm things. Pain was also in the startosphere. I have suffered atrial fibrilation most of my life (since tenager) and take nadolol and I know what atrial fibrilation is like and this was way out of that league. I managed to get to my husband but he did nothing, I couldn t talk cos of my breathing , so i just got back ito bed in terrible pain. This haunts me and I have felt exhausted since. Al I want to do is sleep. Hubby, being a philosopher just doesn t understand. I did medicine and I m worried.
Asked On : Fri, 8 Feb 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  62
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Cardiologist 's  Response
Definitely you need further investigation of this episode. People with long standing atrial fibrillation, particularly when the heart speeds up, can suffer weakening of the heart muscle (tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy) which can present with fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling, etc. Nadolol to be honest is not the best medication choice for controllling rates of atrial fibrillation nowadays. Thus, you would benefit from a heart ultrasound, or echocardiogram, to look at the pumping and relaxing function of the heart.
Also, the first thing that comes to my mind in someone with long-standing atrial fibrillation who passess out is sinus node dysfunction, a disorder in which the normal pacemaker of the heart fails to send impulses once you "shift gears" from atrial fibrillation into the normal rhythm of the heart. Would advise starting with a Holter monitor to see if you have abnormal pauses, leading to "passing out spells"

Hope this helps,

Dr Brenes-Salazar
Mayo Clinic Rochester
Answered: Tue, 23 Apr 2013
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