11. “How can I tell when I’m in A-Fib or just having something like indigestion?”
Without medical help you may not be able to tell the difference. (It’s been reported that indigestion is sometimes a side effect of an A-Fib attack.) Only a doctor can determine if you have A-Fib.
To verify if you have A-Fib, a doctor will use an ECG test or have you wear a monitoring system such as a Holter or an event monitor. To read more about these monitors, see my report: A Primer: Ambulatory Heart Rhythm Monitors.
If you want to monitor yourself (which may not necessarily be a good idea), you can start by taking your own pulse.
VIDEO: “Know Your Pulse” Awareness Campaign A short video on why and how to take your pulse. From the Arrhythmia Alliance (A-A) and The Heart Rhythm Charity in the UK. (Our British friend Trudie Lobban is Founder and Trustee.) (1:56 min)
Or you can use an over-the-counter DIY heart monitoring device such as those used by runners and other athletes
It’s worn around your chest and transmits a signal to a wristwatch that beeps when your pulse goes too high. You can check the digital display on the watch to see how fast your pulse is. For an in-depth review of DIY/sports monitors, see my report: Consumer (DIY) Heart Rate Monitors and my Shopping Guide to DiY Monitors.
Warning: any over-the-counter device is no substitute for monitoring and treatment by a doctor. You should not use over-the-counter devices to diagnose yourself.