Talking to Your Doctor About Atrial Fibrillation
What to expect?
Your doctor will want to know if you have any underlying conditions or if you are taking any medications that may interact with what they plan to prescribe. Inform your doctor of any medications that you take and be sure to bring these medications to your appointment with the doctor (even an empty medication box).
The diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AF) is usually through examination so you may need to undergo a physical check to confirm or deny certain complications which may be linked to AF. The following may be performed:1,2
- CHA2DS2-VASc score assessment
- Blood test
- Chest X-ray
- Stress test – an exercise electrocardiogram (ECG) test to see how your heart responds to stress
What questions to ask?
If you have any queries, questions or concerns it is best to share them with your doctor. You may want to ask some of the following questions:3
- Are there any foods or drinks that may trigger AF?
- Are there any medications that can cause symptoms of AF?
- Is AF common?
- What can I do to manage my AF?
- Is AF hereditary?
How you might feel?
If you experience AF-like symptoms or have recently had a diagnosis of AF, it is understandable for you to feel anxious, nervous or apprehensive about the condition. A diagnosis of AF impacts on both you the individual and on your family/carers. Those close to you will naturally be worried about your health and well-being. The risks of AF on your long-term health are serious; it's important you work with your doctor to optimally manage the condition, this includes taking medicines as prescribed and making the necessary lifestyle changes, to reduce the likelihood of AF-related complications/stroke.
Talking to your doctor about AF
- NHS Choices. AF diagnosis [Internet]. [cited 2020 Oct 20]. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Atrial-fibrillation/Pages/Diagnosis.aspx NHS Choices. AF diagnosis [Internet]. [cited 2020 Oct 20]. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Atrial-fibrillation/Pages/Diagnosis.aspx Return to content
- AF Association. Risks of AF [Internet]. [cited 2020 Oct 20]. Available from: http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/risks-of-af AF Association. Risks of AF [Internet]. [cited 2020 Oct 20]. Available from: http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/risks-of-af Return to content
- AF Association. Living with AF [Internet]. [cited 2020 Oct 20]. Available from: http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/key-questions-to-ask-your-clinicians AF Association. Living with AF [Internet]. [cited 2020 Oct 20]. Available from: http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/key-questions-to-ask-your-clinicians Return to content