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Dizziness in afib?

Posted by Nancy2 
Dizziness in afib?
January 03, 2019 06:45AM
I've had afib off/on since 2000. Usually pulse ranges from high 80s to 110s at highest. Occasionally can hit 130-140 for a second or two. But have never been dizzy while in afib until last night. During the night I woke to go to the bathroom & the room was spinning. And it didn't stop. Calmed down a bit after I sat up for a few minutes, but didn't go away. Woke up in NSR this morning and a little left over dizzy feeling, but no spinning rooms. Am fine now.

Anyone else have this? It kinda freaked me out and I don't know what caused it. I tend to low bp sometimes, but don't know if it was that. I had a nice vegetable soup for dinner, so no weirdness there. Can't figure it out.
Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 03, 2019 07:02AM
I have had this happen many times over the years while in afib. I have only hit the deck once though and that was in December of 2018 after my afib had returned full force after many years of sporatic afib following my ablation in 2009. There were a handful of times over that period, 2009-2018, that I almost went completely out but somehow recovered.

I have also suffered from Syncope since my late teens due to low blood pressure.
Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 03, 2019 09:27AM
I suspect it's quite common to be a bit dizzy upon rising from bed during the night, with or without afib. Upon going vertical, blood in your head flows down to your body and you get "light headed", especially when you get older. Being a bit dehydrated (lower blood volume) contributes. Plus, with afib, your heart isn't pumping as efficiently to your head, so that can contribute. I always sit on the side of the bed for 3-5 seconds before standing, and then a couple more before moving, just to be sure that my head has enough blood.

I did faint once in afib upon standing during a chapel service. I had over 300 episodes, so fainting was not really an issue, but being a little dizzy was not that uncommon.
Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 03, 2019 11:08AM
The spinning room you described sounds more like vertigo than dizziness caused by a heart issue. Vertigo is usually an inner ear problem.
Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 03, 2019 02:54PM
What Ken described, orthostatic hypotension, is certainly a possibility.
Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 03, 2019 03:38PM
Orthostatic hypotension resolves as soon as you sit or lie down but Nancy said it continued through the night.
Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 03, 2019 04:18PM
Nancy - your symptoms could be related to adrenal fatigue. If that's the case, then the body's blood vessels can't respond to bring up the Bp because of lack of cortisol and blood pressure can drop significantly in those with hypoadrenia. The dizziness can continue or just be on and off throughout the day in cases where the Bp remains very low.

If you have access to a practitioner of Functional Medicine, they can do the specific and appropriate adrenal stress profile testing to assess adrenal function Afib brings on it's own level of stress and for those who have high pressure jobs and just "life"... the adrenal dysfunction or insufficiency issue can certainly cause distressing symptoms and often it's not tracked back to that. It's treatable once the appropriate testing is done to target the problem.

Not long after I developed AF, I was found to have adrenal fatigue (it was called 'burnout' back then), and with supportive nutrients, I was able to reverse the defect; and, although it didn't reverse the Afib, I felt far less nervous or stressed when events did occur.

Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 09, 2019 07:19AM
I don't have any history of getting dizzy while standing up. And this continued while I was laying down trying to sleep. I'll ask doc about adrenal fatigue. Fortunately it hasn't happened since. Then again, I've been out of afib since.
Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 09, 2019 10:53AM
Since your dizziness continued even while lying down, I very much doubt it's hypotension by any cause, or even cardiac at all. What you've described sounds much more like vertigo.
Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 09, 2019 01:30PM
Maybe - "Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common form of vertigo and is characterized by the brief sensation of motion lasting 15 seconds to a few minutes. This may be described as a sudden attack of vertigo. It may be initiated by sudden head movements or moving the head in a certain direction, such as rolling over in bed. This type of vertigo is rarely serious and can be treated."

My wife has been dealing with this for a few years.
Re: Dizziness in afib?
January 09, 2019 04:43PM
Nancy - It would be good to assess adrenal function with a physician who is has experience managing that.
If yours is normal, then great, if not, then some of the symptoms include...

In primary adrenal insufficiency, a deficiency in aldosterone can lead to
hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, hypotension, dizziness

Aldosterone: Villain of the Peace?
By Hans R. Larsen, MSc ChE


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