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PAC, ventricular and supra ventricular ectopics
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PAC, ventricular and supra ventricular ectopics

I have been suffering from ectopics for 3 years now and they are gradually get worse and worse.  My cardiologist tells me that I have atrial ectopics, supra ventricular ectopics and ventricular ectopics.    some days they go on no stop and have now destroyed my life.   Cardiologist said that they are normal and not to worry about them, easier said then done when you heart is thumpingirregularly best part of the day or night.   Is there anything else I can do to help eleviate these, can they be caused by stress ( i am extremely stressed over them)  are they dangerous
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237039_tn?1264261657
Good morning.  Yes, they are quite unnerving.  Has your cardio discussed the possibility of putting you on any meds for this?  I know I suffered with SVTs a few years back that got so bad I felt as though I would pass out.  They caused my chest to feel heavy and I had a lot of dizziness.  They would take my breath away. I was put on Amiodorone for these.  The drug worked like a charm!  But, while on this drug I had to be monitored closely and the adverse side effects scared me.  I decided to stop taking the drug after 9 months of use.  I thought that once I stopped taking the drug I would have the SVTs return, but they haven't.  I might have 1 or 2 episodes (mild ones at that) a year.  I would ask your doctor if there isn't something that could be done.  Take care and keep me posted, Ally
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, thanks for your input.    As mine are all ectopics the consultant tells me that they are benign and any heart medciation could give me more problems.   I do understand this but not sure he understands that mine arrhytmias are daily, and sometimes last for ages.  As I am obviously petrified he puts all this down to anxiety, which although I am aware that anxiety exacerbates the problem it is not the actually cause.  I started off with only atrial ectopics and over 3 years now have ventricular and supra ventricular ectopics too.  This scares me that perhaps things are getting worse.   I have had EP studies where they put a wire into heart to see what was happening but that only showed very mild atrial ectopics and as that was over 2 years ago didnt show the ventricular and supra ventricular ones.  cardiologist is not keen to do another test.   I cannot tell you how desperate and scared I am.   It totally rules my life, which I know causes more ectopics, but I have no life at all, and I am signed off sick from work too.  My consultant said that if I want I could start Flecanide, which sometimes helps ectopics, but has told me that the side effects could be nasty when used for just ectopics.  So what am I to do. ??   I just want my life back I have been totally suicidal over them and am now seeing a therapist, but she has said that it must be awful having them so much and is struggling getting me to relax about them.  Oh dear such a struggle and no end in sight.
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237039_tn?1264261657
There is a poster in here by the name of Ireneo.  I am going to send her a note asking that she look at your post and reply.  She could better answer you than me.  I only had that brief encounter with the SVTs.  I am so sorry that you having to go through this.  Take care and keep me posted.  Hang in there!  Ally
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237039_tn?1264261657
I came across this in here.  Maybe you could take a look at this:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Heart-Rhythm/ectopics/show/579152

Take care!  Ally
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187666_tn?1331176945
Hi - sorry to take so long to get on the forum. I've spent the day with my Mom helping her. Talk about arrhythmia inducing activity. LOL

First of all let's reduce your worries by 1/3. Atrial ectopics and supraventricular ectopics are the same thing. Supra means above and ventricular refers to the lower chambers of the heart. So if something is supra-ventricular, that means it's above the ventricles. In other words, it's in the atria. So you only have 2 kinds of ectopics.

Second - you've been checked thoroughly by your cardiologist. Even to the point of having an EP study it sounds like. That's about as thorough as it gets with arrhythmias. If your heart is in good shape (no sign of heart failure or previous heart attacks) then the ectopics are just little electrical hiccups so to speak. Most everyone on the planet has them at some time in their life. That means they're very common.

For you they are something new and that's upsetting to you. I understand that part. It's not quite like an eyebrow twitch. But it  really is pretty harmless.

Do you have any idea how many ectopics you have each day? I average about 2,000 - 4,000 a day. That doesn't include the times my heart goes tachy at rates 150 - 198 beats per minute. The good news (great even) is that I've had these all my life and I'm 57 now. So you can see they haven't killed me yet. My heart is still in good condition. It just beats to a different drummer.

If the number of ectopics has increased significantly, then ask your cardio about wearing a monitor for a day or two. Then s/he can see how many you're having and whether some kind of medication would help decrease the frequency and sensation of them. It's not likely they'll disappear completely and forever. But in time you get used to the "heart hiccups" as I call them.

Keep in mind that any medication they give you will have side effects. It's up to you to decide whether the side effects are worth it. I've avoided meds all my life until recently because I didn't like the sluggish feelings they gave me. I only take Diltiazem now because it helps my chest pain and my Raynauds, both related to vasospasms.

Flecanaide is a powerful drug. Unless you're having tens of thousands of ectopics day after day, I would ask the doctor to start you on something a bit milder.

Even when I had a 5 month period of increased ectopics (15-25 a minute nonstop) my cardio just said, "You're having PAC's and PVC's" and sent me on my way. I knew what was going on but didn't enjoy the change in frequency and strength. But they faded away in time and I'm still here.

I hope you can attain some peace of mind. I'd hate to see you feeling trapped in your house doing nothing because you're heart is dancing. I've had 3 children and spent the past 19 years working with wildlife. So life doesn't have to stop because of your heart.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your helpful response.  I have never spoken to anyone who has had so many ectopics in one day.  I thought it was just me.  Your 5 month episode sounds like what Im going through at the moment.  It is awful and scary.   And 2000-4000 a  day, yes I have been told that I over 2,000 at one time.   I admire your attitude to them, that is obviously my biggest problem, I cannot control my extreme anxiety.  How do you relax when you heart is jumping about constantly for hours,?  I find it so hard to relax and ignore them.    I have had to give up my job and although I do try to go to the supermarket, I rarely get far on a bad day as Im so scared that im going to go into a bad arrhytmia.  
Have you got any tips on how you cope with them ? I would really appreciate any advice you can give me.  Im rock bottom at the moment and cant see a way out but realise that I have to cope with these as I have been told that they dont go away, you just have to get use to them.  Many thanks
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187666_tn?1331176945
I don't have any good answers for you. There are obvious triggers like fatigue, certain foods and medications (my asthma inhaler will kick things up a notch for 10-15 minutes). I don't drink wine. I avoid high salt foods because if I get bloated with fluid, then my heart works harder and louder it seems. :-)  Avoid being dehydrated because that will throw off your electrolytes. The magnesium and potassium need to stay balanced. Most of us don't have any trouble with that unless a person is taking diuretics.

And....(drum roll please).... try to avoid stress. Do you want to laugh or hit me right now? LOL  Avoiding stress means avoiding situations that drive you bonkers (or certain people). Take walks, sit and breathe deeply for a minute or two, do something relaxing each day. Me? My sanctuary is the bathroom. Yes, really! When I'm around icky people or having a rough time at work, I excuse myself and go hide in the bathroom for a few minutes. No one is going to argue with that. I can shut my eyes and just calm down.  You find things that help you. Taking medications should be the last choice.

I can tell you that a few thousand ectopics a day won't shorten your life span. But saying it and believing it are two different things. When your heart is being a brat, go do something. It will distract you and the thumps and bumps won't be so noticeable. You don't have to go running. Just do something you like that makes you move around. Heck, push the vacuum around if you have to.

How do I live with my arrhythmias? I guess I'm a cheater. I've had them all my life so to me they're normal. I feel them all day, every day. I can't imagine how it feels not to feel my heart. That would be spooky to have an empty feeling chest. But as I said earlier, I've lived this long, done plenty of interesting things and I'm still in good health. If something's going to get me, I don't think it will be my heart.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you! I'm so so so thankful for your relaxed and thorough response, I have had ventricular ectopics day in day out for the last two months.  I am also, like celeste1954 having trouble with anxiety about this.  My question is.... does anyone know why these things would start out of the blue like this?  
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Avatar_n_tn
hi ive just come across this post i to have been suffering from ectopics supa and ventriclaur they have taking over my life i dont go out anymore in fear of dropping dead i am also seeing a theripst but that doesnt seem to be helping ... i av had heart echos and 24 hr moniter and they say my heart is structully good and tha theres nothing to worry about they are common findings but like you im going out my mind i to am really stessed over these and constanly worry i am now so aware of my heart beat and feel everyone ...... im at the doctores all the time and av been to A&E quite alot to be told the same im fine and thy are normally .im glad that im not the only one out there because i feel so alone........
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Avatar_m_tn
I too suffer from ectopics, +/- SVT's.It is really annoying that the doctors seem to not be able to comprehend the anxiety and stress , and generally 'unwellness' that these 'harmless' arrthymias cause.

It IS disconcerting to feel your heart thumping and skipping, and the chest pain and other discomfort that accompanies these conditions.
It really does impact upon your quality of life.

regards and best wishes
Brian
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Avatar_m_tn
thank you for your spirits. You are a tonic. Amiodarone stoped my heart skips too but after 15 months knocked out my thyroid. I had a stent 18 months ago and a stress test this month looks good except for grade 2 diastolic disfucntion. But last night after all this time Ihad about 40 minutes of skips and all the old woozy feelings. So I needed your comment. I'll just hang one to see if they return. Bless you
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Avatar_f_tn
I realise this is an old message thread now but if anyone above is still following - thank you so much, especially Ireno. I also have a lot of ectopics and find them alarming so to say it's great to read someone coping so well is a big understatement! I've had ectopics for around 15 years but only started having them very frequently about 5 years ago - by very frequently I mean sometimes every 4th or 5th beat at times for hours on end, several times a day. I was investigated and found to have ventricular and supraventricular ectopics, and sinus tachycardia but due to being pregnant at the time (and having healthy heart according to scans) they decided against giving me any drugs. Then the sinus tachycardia went away after pregnancy. Ectopics continued though and I had the test where you exercise while having an ECG which came up as clear. More recently my monitor reports showed supra ventricular ectopics and occasional sinus brachycardia which my doctor isn't worried about. I know I should just stop worrying but as said above it's easier said than done. It's really a huge relief to read this thread and know both that there are others who are in similar position and also that it can be coped with so well. Thank you!
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have supra ventricular ectopic. Back in my early 20's I started having svt's it went away and now it's worse than ever. Some days it will last for four hours straight. It has caused me to have really bad anxiety like others had posted. Sometimes I sit in my car at the hospital parking lot. I'm really glad I found This forum. Just knowing your not alone helps a lot.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wonderful explanation. Thanks for taking your time and posting such a reassuring note. It really helps.Keep up the good work.

Unknown
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Avatar_m_tn
Everything on here rings a bell with me.  VT's and SVT's - every few beats at the moment.  Stays like this for months, then goes for months only to return.  No idea what triggers it.  Bisoprolol 7.5mg doesn't seem to do much to help. It is the most terrifying feeling to actually feel your heart misfiring and stumbling about in your chest, even when you tell yourself it's harmless.... I just want it to stop, I too feel my life is awful when I'm like this, scared to do anything or go anywhere.  It really spoils things. It's worse if I'm gassy, or lie on my left side in bed.  It's really got worse lately and I have an implantable monitor- they say I have "occasional" ectopics - if this is their idea of occasional, I'd hate to know what they think is continual.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have just been diagnosed with supraventricular ectopic beats as well! Was really very helpful to dind this discussion thread. I had first attack of seriously high heart rate in 2008 and was rushed into A & E. No diagnosis was made at this time and I think they all assumed it was a panic attack. I took myself off all caffeine and alcohol in case it was these causing the palps.I have not touched either since but back in August this year I suddenly got all these strange symptoms - like getting a shock all the time, struggling with my breathing and feeling like I had an adrenaline rush surging through my body so went back to the Doctors for proper investigation. I have had monitor fitted and had both electrocardiogram and echocardiogram done. All showing that mechanically my heart is sound. The cardiologist was brilliant and totally understood my symptoms - the first person to do this.He said it was understandable to get anxiety attacks "after" the symptoms started - no one else understood this - they assumed anxiety first then symptoms - so frustrating. My GP put me on slow release propranolol - beta blockers which made me feel worse. However the upside of that was that when I came off the pills after just 2 weeks the symptoms had virtually gone. Interestingly the specialist asked me if I had any changes in my lifestyle or fitness levels - which I had. My husband had retired 4 months earlier and I was eating more and exercising less as he was doing so much for me - sharing housework gardening etc (as I have back problems). So....his advice was to keep active, lose weight and see if that helps as the ectopics often start when your fitness levels drop. It is more noticeable when you are sitting around doing nothing or trying to sleep. I am doing my best but I think he is right - look at your diet and your fitness levels, these are easy to change and may be all you need to help.
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