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ECTOPIC HEARTBEATS
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ECTOPIC HEARTBEATS

I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH BENIGN ECTOPIC HEARTBEATS, I HAVE AN EXTRA BEAT FOR EVERY SIX NORMAL BEATS, WHICH MEANS I HAVE THOUSANDS OF EXTRA BEATS A DAY.  TO SAY THESE ARE DISTRESSING IS AND UNDERSTATEMENT.  HAD ALL THE NECESSARY TESTS, A 24HR MONITOR,STRESS TEST AND ECHOCARDIOGRAM.  HEART DOC TOLD ME EVERYTHING WAS 'NORMAL' WITH MY HEART TO TRY NOT TO WORRY AND TO GET ON WITH MY LIFE AND TRY TO IGNOR THEM, ITS SOMETIMES VERY DIFFICULT.

I AM A 52 YR OLD FEMALE, ECTOPICS STARTED 3 YRS AGO AT SAME TIME WAS HAVING PERIOD PROBLEMS SO HAD A MIRENA COIL FITTED NOT LONG AFTER STARTED INTO THE MENOPAUSE AND ALSO MOVED HOUSE.

SO QUITE ALOT GOING ON AT THAT TIME JUST WONDERED IF ANY OF THESE THINGS COULD HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE START OF THE ECTOPICS.

WHEN ECTOPICS FIRST STARTED THEY WOULD LAST FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS THEN I WOULD HAVE A COUPLE OF WEEKS WITHOUT THEM, THIS WENT ON FOR THE FIRST TWO YRS BUT NOW I HAVE THEM ALL THE DAY LONG EVERY DAY.  I DONT THINK I HAVE THEM AT NIGHT THOUGH BECAUSE WHEN I WAKE DURING THE NIGHT I AM FREE OF THEM. DOES ANYONE ELSE SUFFER FROM THESE CONSTANT ECTOPICS AND IS THERE ANYTHING OTHER THAN BETA BLOCKERS THAT MIGHT HELP TO RELEIVE THEM.
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Avatar_n_tn
Do you actually feel a skip every six beats?  I get that every couple of months and it is very distressing for me as well.  I am in constant anxiety mode wondering when the next ones will hit.  I get PVC's and PAC's and SVT.  Just curious if you actually feel it stop and feel a skip every sixth beat or is it something they just picked up on an ECG and you couldn't feel it?
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Avatar_n_tn
I am basically your age (51) and just started these Ectopic beats 3 weeks ago.  I get about 3-7 PVCs a minute though, just like you, they appear to either go away or simply not be noticable, when I'm in a total state of relaxation (just before sleep) or during sleep because if I wake up gently (not with an alarm) I don't notice them first thing after waking up.  I also don't notice mine much if I'm up and moving around, only when I'm stop moving or am sitting, and even then they rarely get strong (pounding) like some peoples.  Mine is typically more of a flutter. And yeah, it is annoying when I'm aware of them.  I use distraction when I can.  Doing something I enjoy, because whether they are happening or not, I'm not really aware of them at that time.  For instance, I visited friends last night and I sat there for roughly 2 hours chatting and listening to stories and didn't FEEL a single PVC flutter.

I am also on Toprol XL (200 MG) for my blood pressure which was low in the past but in the last 7 or 8 years has steadily climbed to rather high levels.  Since the ectopic beats started long after taking this dose, that probably isn't "the culprit".  I was also taking lisinopril for months for BP but, again, my BP was not coming down to normal levels, so he doubled my dose about 5 days before the PVCs showed up in such large #s.  Prior to that, I'd get a 15 sec. flutter perhaps 3 or 4 times a year, if that.  I didn't even know what it was, thought it was stomach gurgles/gas.  So this dramatic change in the # of PVCs was quite sudden. Stress test 6 years ago was fine/normal.  Echo back 3 years ago was normal, echo during my recent ER visit was normal.  

I am seeing a cardiologist who I guess will review all this stuff and my meds.  Perhaps he will change my lisinopril dose back and try something else.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Carrie, thanks for your reply its good to hear from others who know how it feels.  
Yes I do actually feel my heart skip a beat every 6 beats then a thud as it starts again this is why it distresses me so.  
I forgot to mention prior to the start of these ectopics 3 yrs ago I was taking beta blockers for high blood pressure but one day whilst visiting the docs he took my pulse and was very concerned at how slow it was, so he immediately took me off the beta blockers and replaced them with 10mg Olmesartan Medoxomil which I thought could have also contributed to them starting.

Who knows thanks again for giving me your time.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Lady,
thanks for your reply, hopefully you will not be plagued by these ectopics for very long, my doc said they can go as quickly as they came.

Apparently everyone has an ectopic heartbeat now and again and this is quite 'normal' but to have them as regular as we do is I think not very normal.

If you have episodes where you dont notice them, then please try not to worry about them, honestly the only reason I am distressed is because I can feel my heart skip a beat them straight away theres a thud, its this feeling that distresses me, it feels like I could just die.  This was picked up on the ECG, my doc was surprised that I noticed this, he said most people dont!!.

Its odd you should mention the medication though, because I too am having treatment for this, I sometimes wonder if my medication currently Olmesartan Medoxomil could be contributing or if in fact coming off the beta so suddenly started them. (I was taken off beta blockers suddenly 3 yrs ago same time as these ectopics started because my pulse was down to 36 beats a minute)

Good luck with your visit to the cardiologist I hope you get your meds sorted and please God the ectopcis will go.

Keep me informed. is ur name Larna. mine is marian
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Marian,

I hear you.  I am having these feelings now.  Like I said, mine don't thump hard each time so much as flutter and mildly thump so it's more annoying than outright painful.  And I do notice my energy levels have dropped since these started but, thank God, no chest pain, associated with it.  Being as overweight as I am, I can't be as active as I'd like.  That's what I'm hoping this program will do for me.  Get me more active, maybe take me off the higher dose of lisinopril, and reassure me.  I am not terrified, but there is generally a low level of anxiety connected with it when I feel them a lot or when I'm planning on going for anything other than a short walk. So I am in a mildly axious state on and off for most days. I do understand that there is probably nothing wrong and that they will go away as quickly as they showed up, and I'm eagerly awaiting that day, let me tell you!!!  And yes, it does help to talk to someone in the 'same boat'.  

Lori
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Avatar_f_tn
sometimes i get them 30 or so times in a minute for a half hour at a time or longer. not very often . but it has happened.when this happenes it  makes me feel terrible.because i just wonder how a heart can even function correctly when every other beat is a extra one.
other times it is just on and off durning the day.
last month for 3 weeks i only had a couple i noticed in three whole weeks.that was a wonderful 3 weeks and was so nice!
a good diet does seem to help me.eat smaller portions and eating all healthy things. taking fish oil with omega 3's and tomato juice,grapefruit juice. ect.. just thigs that are healthy seems to make the extra beats less.
but even with a good diet still bad days will come... today for about a hour it was pretty much hell with one hitting every other beat.  I stated praying because it was frightening. after that  i got up and went outside walking they subsided. sometimes if you get moving around when the extra heart beats are coming real feequently,then the excercise seems to toss the heart back into a more regular rythm.
gosh its so hard living with these things when they go into every other beat or more than a handful a minute.
My best advice is just get checked out by your doctor real well and never underestimate the power of prayer and seeking GOd for peace. If you dont have someone to pray with find a good Christain church. sometimes the only way I can feel ok with these extra beats happening to me,is to really just trust God that he is there with me no matter how many extra beats may come my way.
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Avatar_m_tn
l was diagnosed with ectopics in 2007 aged 47 and have them all the time day and night
l also told the doctor that they are huge not mild or unnoticable l get one thump 6 fast hits then a space and another thump most of the day

l was on 240mgs of isoptin ( beta blocker ) and yesterday l went and saw the specialist and told him that for three years the meds have not made a difference, he told me to stop taking the meds and as of yesterday 28th of april l have stopped,  lm going to go positive and state that every time  l have one its just an annoyance and to move on

lm positive this isnt going to kill me  and thats where  lm going to stay
will let you all know how that works out

Geoff
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1318129_tn?1274222122
Hi my ectopics started during peri menopause and were quite mild initially.  I also had a merina coil fitted and the ectopis occured shortly after. Personally, I think that this is a coincidence. Now I experience a slight racing, a missed beat and the low hard thump in my chest accompanied by a sense of doom.  The anxiety I am sure is hormonal as is the ectopics that I have only experinced during menses and peri menopause.  I'm now on beta blockers which I'm sure 'dampen' the severity and Citalopram, the latter takes away the anxiety and helps enormously.  Although I've been reassured countless of times and have had my heart checked out (told it was fine) there is still the odd feeling of doom when they occur. When my periods stopped so did my ectopics but I recently started again and so did the ectopics. I hope and feel sure that all the people that have responded to this topic will eventually be free of their symptoms, the ectopics will lessen and finally stop.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi carrie , i was just reading your comment regarding the menopause and its something i have thought alot about recently.

i was diagnosed with venticular ectopics over a year ago.....all of a sudden one day they started, one after another, i thought i was going to have a heart attack....it was the scariest thing i have ever experienced. Because of my age the doctors wern't concerned at first but i repeatedly went back because they were getting worse. Eventually they put me on a 24hr monitor which showed the ectopics,but i was told my heart was healthy and there was nothing to worry about and put me on a beta blocker to ease the symptoms. I found that the beta blockers reduced the amount of extra beats i was having, but didn't stop them. But, after a while i have noticed that the ectopic beats are worse around my periods, and my ovulation days. I mentioned this to my doctor and he didn't think it was related. I too have had a merina coil fitted recently and since then my periods are irregular so it seems like i'm getting these things all the time. As for the menopause it has crossed my mind as i have started to get night sweats on some periods, but not every month. But i am only 35 years of age, its very unlikely but my mum started hers when she was 38 so it might be possible. So i'm going to go back to the doctors again, its just frustrating as they are not  really aware as to what causes them either, i've just been told that they might stop as quickly as the started.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, clarabelle74!
I'm grateful for your post!  I am also 35 and had sudden onset of PVCs after a particularly stressful couple months and a 3 day trial of Zoloft - which landed me in the ER with horrible new-onset PVCs and I was convinced I was very ill... I was sent home with atenolol and followed up with cardiology to have tests - an event recorder for 30 days, a Holter and an echo, all of which showed a normal heart with ectopic beats. I still have the extra beats, and the beta-blocker does help reduce the severity of the beats, but hasn't stopped them altogether.  For me, anxiety and the PVCs feed off each other, and many times, I'm not sure which comes first, but I suspect the PVCs. My doctors have all been telling me that I'm healthy and not to worry, but it's very hard to do because of that strange sensation that comes out of nowhere.  I find myself worrying that my heart will stop or i'll have a heart attack, but I keep going back to what my doctors said and how I'm feeling otherwise, which is fine.  I've also been told this could be a hormonal problem, but haven't yet journaled carefully enough to determine if that is related.  Anyway, I've found much comfort in reading message boards and postings from others who are going through the same sort of things, but are also doing fine.  It's a tough thing to go through - I'm glad to know I'm not alone in it!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 56, female, and in 2007 was diagnosed with non-life-threatening PAC'S & PVC's. I had my uterous out via laparoscopic surgery a couple years ago, so I do not get a period, but I think I am probably experiencing peri-menopause anyway.

I am 184lbs, in good shape and very active. Play racquetball, squash, and race paddle (boating), and have no chest pain or breathing problems. My palpatations seem to come and go, and also appear to elevate if I am anxious or stressed about something, even little bit.

I have a history of medium hypochondria, and I see a counselor when I start it up again. That has helped. My mom also has a history of palpatations since her fifties, and she is 96 now, living with congestive heart failure for at least ten years.

So, I try not to worry. Unless I start having pain, tightness, dizziness, I think the original diagnosis is correct...non-life-threatening.

Oh, and one more thing...when I have a more serious bout with the palps, I take 1 or 2 Alprazolam. That's for anxiety, and I might use one every couple of weeks, or sometimes months.

Thanks for sharing your story with the rest of us.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi everyone,

Nice to read these posts. Here's my story. I am now 57, and 8 years ago I noticed ectopic beats, about 2-3 every minute. Pulse regular, but missed beats. NO other symptoms and no real thumps in the chest. Doc sent me to a cardiologist, ECG, Holter monitor, full blood works, stress test and echo.

Cardiologist says on examining me ( frightening me to death !! ) that I had a moderately severe mitral valve leak ( I had a heart murmur since teen years, but it was never followed up,and I had no problems )

Anyway, all test come back and the cardiologist sees me and says 'what do you think is wrong with you ?'!!!!..I was dumbfounded. Anyway he says  that it was not what he thought, and that I was in the top 10% for fitness in my age range, and that he thought they were probably stress related and would settle ( they did ). He did not wish to see me again, and said lead a normal life, you are OK !.

I may add I am now fitter than 8 years ago, ie, I dance twice a week and go to the gym 2-3 times. I often run 2-3 miles. However now they have started up AGAIN, but as isolated ectopics ( 20-30 per day ) over the last week or so., and they only seem slight. Problem, do I ignore ( I have NO other symptoms, but am stressed to death ! ) and see if they settle, or go back to the doc and go through all that trauna again. Anyone else had this sort of problem ?

Malc
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2200097_tn?1338628049
hi Geoff,
Sounds very similar to my problem. I get these damned ectopics every few days. I worry myself sick also, its just horrible isnt it. I have had two 24hr halter monitor tests and blood work done also, according to a Melb Cardio everything is good, fine he says.. why dont i feel fine then? I am a bundle of nerves and worry like hell everytime my heart beats out of time..

i do get relief from reading these posts..
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2200097_tn?1338628049
i am 49 by the way and perimenapausal.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi im 23 I've been suffering with super ventricular ectopics I get them everyday a minimum of 40 a day I had several test done and showed everything was fine however they did find a t wave inversion but that has had nothing to do with it as I was born and have had this inversion sometimes I get soo much pressure in my chest I feel like im gonna collapse it's very scary u now suffer from severe anxiety I have 3 children and has effected me in a bad way I use to get ectopic beats when I was a teenager 1 every so often until last year. I find they play up more when I eat! But apparently their is no link I don't understand how they can tell us to live normal when it is soo scary.
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1727909_tn?1314848810
While I realize that your post is over a year old, The others are evn longer ago than that. I am amazed that we all have this upsetting problem- even though it's "benign"  I decided to post reply to yours, because you mentioned eating as a cculprit.  I have noticed that with me too.  Bread in particular seems to make it really bad- and I feel poorly and sleep a lot after an episode.  Like the rest of you- all my tests show normal, except for the fact that they do acknowledge the ectopic beats/PVC's are definitely occuring.  I think that cardiologists would figure out a way to help people with these conditions, even if they ARE benign..... just because they are sooooo unpleasant and make you feel poorly afterwards.  They just have no clue do they?
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