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Details of atrial fibrillation

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Hello. I have a medical mystery that I have yet to find a doctor who can help in spite of their best efforts. I have Atrial Fib and take medication (warfarin and sotalol). I am generally fit and walk etc with confidence. However when I walk about two blocks I have significant chest pain around the heart. As soon as I stop; within 20 seconds the pain is gone completely. Start walking again - two blocks later same thing. Pause 20 seconds - pain gone. I have had extensive heart analysis and my heart is generally excellent and no angina. I have been assured (by my cardiologist) that although the pain mimics a heart attack - there is nothing wrong. I would like to to know if there is anyone else experiencing this strange phenomena. My doctors are as puzzled by this as am I.

thank you for your time.

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replied April 22nd, 2010
Chest Pain Answer A11429
Hi and welcome to the forum! I am glad that I can help you.

You want to know the cause of the symptoms that you experience.

Atrial fibrillation is condition when both of the atria contract in rhythm faster than one of the ventricles. This condition may be asymptomatic, but may be also presented with certain symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain (or angina pectoris-like symptoms), shortness of breath and edema. When individuals who experience atrial fibrillation exert themselves, the frequency of the contractions of the atria increases despite the medical treatment. This may cause shortness of blood supply in the heart muscle and may provoke ischemia of the heart tissue which is presented as chest pain. Ischemia doesn't mean a heart attack (in a heart attack the muscle cells are completely dead and fibrous tissue is formed in their place).

Given the data that you describe, you may be experiencing atrial fibrillation. You may consider walking slowly and avoiding any greater physical activity such as exercising to prevent increase of the heart frequency. See a cardiologist for further advice.

Please keep in mind that I provide medical information only. I am not able to diagnose medical conditions online. Please contact your doctor for further advice and information about diagnosis and treatment options of your current condition.

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