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DROPPED HEARTBEAT?
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DROPPED HEARTBEAT?

I am a 35 year old female.  I have a problem what I can only describe as "dropped heartbeat".  I have been for EKG's, echos, etc. and they cannot find anything structurally wrong with my heart.  Somedays I only feel one or two thumps but other days I feel it a thump sometimes twenty times a day.  These dropped beats really bother me and cause me alot of grief.  I do not want to go on beta blockers or any long term medication so what are my other options?  My question is are twenty thumps a lot to be getting during one day?  Can my thinking about these bumps bring them on?  Why do my hands go kind of tingley when I get these thumps and I feel my head go kinda fuzzy for a second or two?  Thanks!!!!

Nina Nitachek
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If you have had a thorough cardiac evaluation and the skipped or dropped beats have no underlying structural cause, medications would be used only to decrease symptoms. Beta blcokers are a reasonable option. You could try lifestyle measures first, such as eliminating all intake of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol and stress reduction techniques as well.
20 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I have them too premature ventricular contractions....the doc is right, avoid caffein, alcohol(especially)....basically anything that is a stimulant. mine seem to go away or slack off if i increase sleep, exercise, and if i dont overeat...and yes, thinking about them will make you "feel" them more...docs say that they are benign. but if they are interfearing with your life in any way, i just dont see it....p.s. my experience with beta blockers has been dissappointing as far as controlling these.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have them too, but even more frequently- about twelve dropped heartbeats an hour, palpitations most of the day. It's driving me crazy! My doctor recently started me on a low dose of Inderal- I haven't noticed a difference yet, but hopefully soon! I hate to take drugs, but these have gotten so bad, I don't see that I have a choice. Ditto for the advice on reducing caffeine and alcohol intake- eliminate if possible. Also, avoid over-the-counter decongestants and weight loss products, anything that contains stimulants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, etc.)
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Avatar_f_tn
ive had the skipped beats for 23 years ive learned to live with them most of the time, but at times they do scare me, i have taken timolol for long time and it dose help mine, if i walk 3 times a week it seems to depress them to . try and not let them control your life because they can and will if you let them. good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
I have these too.  I wore a holter moniter recently and it showed I was having about 102 PVCs per hour, 62 of them came in pairs.  My heart rate also goes as slow as 32 beats per minute, so I can't take medication for mine.  I am schedules to see a pacemaker specialist to see what other options I have.
About 2 years ago, I had an EP study and they ablated an extra pathway to my Av node.  This did not work for me, but I guess it works for some.  Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Yep, I have them to.
Have had for along time, they scare me to. I take Xanax on occassion when i get really frightened.
But my Doc gave me a beta blocker (tenormin-25 mg a day) and i am not sure that i like it. It does make the things go away-BUT my heart rate does not increase when i do things. (excercise type stuff) and that is somewhat strange. So-I have to decide which is worse, the PVC's or taking meds. Try both for yourself.
I don't like taking medications either-but sometimes it helps your sanity.
Good Luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I 36 male I really feel for you people especially for the lady who gets down to 30 beats (Be assured that if you were hooked on a monitor you are probably doing much better that  taking your own pulse can be misleading) I went to the ER the other day and was having a PVC beat every other heartbeat it is very bothersome About my pulse was staying around 80) I went not because i felt that I might die I have been told many times that im not going to  but I was hopeing for a new treatment they gave me a beta blocker (woopie! been there!) I went because i'm so sick and tired of having these episodes Had them pretty much under control for about 3 years but they have flared up in the last 2 weeks when i went on a Diet of sorts this diet is just a change in behavior it only involves eating less and only when you are hungry its seems to me that the blood sugar level swings are what aggrevate them this is very fustrating because i am actually losing weight but I am so damn miserble some times  Im at my witts end I think I will try some excercize. sorry about my spelling Im on a lot of Xanax and do not feel much like proof reading any Ideas are will be appreciated one bit of advice that i have for you people is to find a place for Jesus in your heart Go to a church and join it and you will find something along the line  that will convince you eventially and you will become a believer  at least it takes away some fear of dying and praying does bring some comfort.And also you will find Christains very supportive and caring about you.
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Avatar_n_tn
My heart skips or flutters on occasion. It's been going on for about 20 years.  It happens maybe three times a week and when I'm exhausted.  With my flutters I have a shortness of breath.  This scares me.  At one point about 10 years ago I put on a Holter monitor and recorded every time I felt the flutter and the dr. said nothing registered when I wrote down the time.  Again, my heart typically does this when I lay down at night after a long day.  It use to happen all the time regardless of whether or not I was standing or sitting.  I guess the worst part for me is that when it happens I have difficulty breathing.  I also have allergy related asthma so sometimes I think it may be related.  Today I think it's fluttering so much because I've drank a lot of caffeine.  I haven't seen or told a doctor about this for a long time.  I'm not sure they can do anything.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too am suffering with this.  I have had treadmill test, Thalium Stress tests, Echo Cardio etc.. Halter Monitor.. They see the missed beats but say nothing.   They put me on a beta blocker.  Yesterday was my daughters wedding and I had to give a speech.  I experienceced your normal stage fright for the speech, but after that I had the symptoms all night, I really couldn't enjoy anything until I got home and laid down.   If so many people get these why hasn't the medical community researched more and come up with the reason these things happen and a treatment for them.

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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with Kevin-and also wonder- why hasn't the medical community done more research-so we at least know WHY this happens???
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Avatar_n_tn
Jill,

I have a chest sensation that sounds so much like yours, although mine can quickly crescendo into dizziness too. Like you, 2 holters haven't revealed anything, kinda makes me feel silly. However, there are valve problems that can cause these sensations, not that I seem to have any on my Echo, but lots of people complain of the same thing.

Do you have them worse if you lie flat, bend over, or lay on your left? Those are my trouble positions. I find them worse when I exercise and then lay down.
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Avatar_n_tn
Mine are wors when I lay on my side. In fact my heart won't start beating normally again until I get off my side. Scary.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was just came home from a short hospital stay. I was having some heart palpatations,fluttering in my chest, a headache, nausea, indigestion and was told I was experiencing angina pain. My blood pressure was running high. It was recorded as high as 180/110. My pulse is running low.  It was around 40 to 50 and as low as 32 beats per minute while on the heart monitor.  My blood pressure slowly came back down, but my pulse is still 45 to 50.  I had every test you can think of. I still have to complete a cardiac test next week.  I was found to have gallstones and need to have my gallbladder removed. I have always had a lower pulse. I still am concerned about this. I lost 20 pounds over the past year and exercise at least 3 days a week. My weight is in normal range for my age and height. I am 40 years old.   I know how anxious the rest of you feel. I am now taking Xanax as well.  I do suggest that you find a doctor that you can really relate to and keep asking questions. What we don't know can hurt us. If not physically, then mentally.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have these PVC's also--I have had an angioplasty and I am under the care of as cardiologist.  He had me on the holter monitor twice--some people don't even feel them--others do--he has assured me that everyone has them we just feel them more than others.  Reduce your intact of caffaine, (that's in soda also)--and cigarettes-----when it happens I get really scared, mostly when I sit down to read the paper---just get up from whatever and go do something else it allows you to forget the skip and it goes away ----trust me--God Bless
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Avatar_n_tn
I to have had the heartskips as I call them.  I went and saw a cardiologist and had all the tests done and they came up negative.  He said that my holter monitor showed one pac.  I usually get them when I am running and when I get seriously stressed out. I have pretty much avoided caffenine but still have one cup of coffee a morning.  I have suffered from anxiety for several years and wonder if this is a side effect of this condition.  I to would like to have this end because although they have told me that these so called skips are nothing, I still fear that they may be more serious everytime.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
Boy do I know how you all feel.  I have since the age of 15, (I am now 38), been suffering from "skipped beats".  I have been to several cardiologists, been on 28 different cardiac meds.  Have tried holistic and natural remedies, and currently can not get medical clearance for a desperately needed operation.  I have had in excess of 9 echos, 50+ ekgs, 12+ holter monitors....
Attempted to have a cardiac MRI, but was unable to.  My rate dropped to the teens and twenties, and bigeminal(every other beat is a PVC), they had the doctor and the crash cart in the room during the test because they were afraid of my heart rate.
The all knowing doctors have decided that I am depressed and having panic attacks.  They have medicated me to the point that I am so tired that I sleep in excess of 16 hours a day, which is difficult when you have a family and a profession.
I am so frustrated at this time that I could cuss. If any one comes up with any answers what so ever, please keep posting them. I am willing to listen to anything at this time.
Thanks for letting me vent.  It is difficult sometimes,  I feel as if maybe I am nuts or something.  And I am very tired of being in pain, and just being tired.
Thanks again.
mel
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Avatar_n_tn
I have PVC's that the doctor has attributed to a heart murmer.  I first had them I was pregnant with my last child. Then I didn't have them for at least a year before they came back. I can go weeks now with nothing and I think I can start cutting back on my meds.  Then I'll have a terrible week.  I know it's worse when I am stressed or overtired.  Most of the time I can shrug the PVC's off, but sometimes I panic and dive for the xanax.  I'm taking Toprol (beta blocker)and up to 200 mg of CoQ10.  I think the CoQ10 has made a big difference.  I have a dr appt this week and I think we're going to have to discuss other possibilities.  I feel like I'm dragging all the time and would sleep all day if it were possible.  I take my meds before I go to bed.  If I take them in the morning I'm exhausted all day.  It's totally aggravating -- especially when the doctor pats you on the shoulder and tells you it will, be okay.  Intellectually, I'm sure he's right.  But when your heart starts feeling like it's flopping around in your chest, it's difficult to be intellectual about it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Jon
My symptoms are EXACTLY the same.....exactly!
I can actually make my pvcs happen sometimes by lying on my side - then it feels like my heart gets stuck in this rhythm and won't stop until I either roll on to my back or sit up.
It's scarey to know you can stop and start it.
Have you been offered any explanation as to why this happens???
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 44 and also get these "dropped beats" since I was about 20.  In the beginning it only happened about once a year, but  it got worse gradually.  Sometimes long periods (months) pass when I am fine, but then all of a sudden it will start again and it is very upsetting.  I am on Inderal and take 20mg three times a day, which seems to keep it under control, but whenever it gets worse, I take an extra dose for a few days which also helps.  I also don't like taking medication, but I rather take the medication than get another anxiety attack.  When my heart starts "fluttering" and "jumping" I get so scared and think that my heart will stop beating although the doctor told me that it is not serious and I must just live with it.  Easier said than done!  It also make me very depressed when it continues for a long period.  For the last 2 months I got it a lot and were even too scared to go to the shop without my pills in my handbag.  I am also very depressed, because I feel that every time when it is going well, I start getting these dropped beats. The doctor told me that it is all stress related and I also take Prosac now once a day as well as a very small dose of Serax when neccessary.  I was fine for about a full year before this started again after first my father and then my mother died suddenly.  I was always calm and in control, but sometimes I feel that I now just need something to calm me down before it gets worse.  Hopefully I will get over this again like before.
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Avatar_n_tn
I started "experiencing" missed beats earlier this year. They vary from nothing for several weeks, to on and off all day. I must say they are worse when resting, either in bed or say on the sofa at the end of the day. On the positive side I feel considerably better when doing exercis, especially going out for a vigorous walk, swimming is also another good one.

My cardiologist and general practicioner don't seem too worried and I have been given the go ahead to scuba dive (brilliant !!). I would strongly recommend however abstaining from alcohol which brought on severe palpitations awhile ago.
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Avatar_n_tn
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