Hi I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post this but here goes. I'm 68 and have had spells of irregular heartbeats from my 30s. Sometimes I go years without problems and then back they come. I've had lots of heart tests and everything has come back normal. These are my symptoms as I honestly don't know what my condition is called or if anyone else has what I have. All of a sudden my heart will thump in my chest and then there is a pause DURING WHICH MY HEAD REELS. If I'm quick - often i'm not quick enough - I take a really deep breath and by holding it the normal beats return. But it's HORRIBLE if I'm not quick enough as I then get pounding thumps in my neck or abdomen for sometimes 10 minutes. Those ten minutes feel like hours. It's so wonderful when the beats return to normal. What on earth is this called? And does anyone else get this head reeling during the pause as I've looked on the internet and can't find a single soul who gets this. Not that I want anyone to experience this but it would be a relief to know I'm not alone. Today at church my heart started like this - "miss a beat, thump thump, miss a beat, thump". Fortunately today the pause wasn't long enough to make me lightheaded but yesterday in the supermarket it did and I had to bend over and put my head down. My GP told me years ago to cough or push my stomach out hard but it doesn't always work Thank you for reading all this. Sorry for going on such a lot but I've had a year's break from them and I am so disheartened to find they've come back again. x
I am sorry you are experiencing these symptoms. It is difficult to say what is causing these symptoms but further testing such as a Holter monitor (if they happen on a daily basis) or a 30-day event monitor (if they are only a few times a week or month) may be helpful in deciding if it is a cardiac conduction problem.
From the way you are describing it... it sounds like an extra beat even though it feels like a skipped beat. Its scary and very uncomfortable but could be PVCs or PACs.I have a bunch of these daily. What helps for me is not having any caffeine, keeping myself well hydrated and trying to keep my stress levels down (easier said then done lol). Also making sure your eating a well balanced diet helps too ... if your electrolytes are out of whack this can exaggerate your symptoms.
Sometimes I feel the thump in my chest and sometimes I feel it in my throat. I had a holter monitor on for 48hrs so they could see what was happening. I was told by my cardiologist they are completely benign and I was given the same advice as you to cough and it sometimes helps. Have you ever taken your pulse after the skipped beat sensation, while this thumping sensation in your throat is happening?
Thank you for that and my cardiologist also said mine were benign BUT i honestly get so lightheaded/swimmyheaded as if I'm going to pass out when waiting for that first "thump" after the long pause - it feels like a long pause - during which i have to put my head down as it feels like I'm going to faint. Then when the beats come they are very very strong/violent and rapid. Once this went on for ten minutes. It was horrible as I was in the middle of a shopping centre. It's SUCH a relief when they suddenly stop and the beats go back to normal. (although my pulse is still faster than it was before this episode).
I tried to explain to my family physician as well that I got dizzy with these heart beats... he told me they should not cause dizziness. The fact of the matter is is that they do make me dizzy and cause unpleasant symptoms. My Dr. also explained that everyone has these extra beats some are just more sensitive to them than others and notice them more. Which kind of frustrated me because I want to be one of those people who does not feel them!!! And if you do a little research on PVCs and PACs that happens to be one of the symptoms that comes along with them.
* Now you mentioned you are having episodes of them that last up to 10min. Are you meaning they are repeated one after the other? Or a skipped beat a few normal beats and another skipped beat?*
My doctor has me on Atenolol to treat my dysautonomia. But it has helped SOOO much with the extra beats. I wonder if you could mention trying a low dose beta blocker? They do help with PVCs and PACs for some, and if they are interfering with your daily activities I wonder if they may be worth a try. I also wonder if you worry alot about these skipped beat sensation which may be further aggravating it? I do not mean to say you have anxiety (because that is the last thing I wanted to hear when I was trying to explain these sensations to my doctor) but it may be something to think about or even if you are dealing with an increased amount of stress when you have these episodes.
No I mean that the thumping goes on for ten minutes sometimes. What happens if Im not "quick enough" to stop the ensuing thumping beats is this: I get the sensation that my heart misses a beat and by the way it misses the beat I know that I have to take a mighty big breath and hold it which works SOMETIMES. Then the normal beats follow on from the pause. But if I'm not quick enough, the pause is sooooo long during which time I feel lightheaded, my head reels like I'm going to faint and I have to lower my head right down. Then my heart goes into violent boom boom boom boom pattern in my throat or abdomen which can last up to ten minutes. During this time it's sort of impossible to walk around as the palpitations are about 160 a minute. It's absolutely horrible. I have to push my abdomen out hard or bear down hard to try and get the beats to slow down. I've spent many many times in the past doing this. Sometimes they go back to a more acceptable pattern but often I can't do it and keep taking deep breaths and holding them hoping like mad that will do the trick. My heart today has been skipping beats a lot but thank God the pause hasn't been long like that.
I also have an arrhythmia along with dysautonomia. I have paroxysmal atrial tachycardia or PAT. I get can get up to 180bpm as well. I think you should have a holter monitor of if the arrhythmis is infrequent a event or loop recorder. My arrhythmia is more uncomfortable than it is dangerous and happens very infrequently but with having dysautonomia as well I faint alot and have heart rates up to 150 with just standing or sitting up They label this as Inappropriate sinus tachycardia.. which is a perfectly normal but fast heart rate. I will admit being on the beta blocker has helped very very much...Although I do faint and have alot of break through episodes of fast heart rate (I am guessing because its such a low dose) I am alot more comfortable. There is some side effects that come with taking these medications, being tired is my biggest problem. The pros far outweigh the cons! Anyways, I hope you get this all sorted out but if you are experiencing symptoms that effect your day to day activities I strongly suggest you speak with your doctor or find one who will listen. I went through 8 years of trying to get my family physician to listen to me that something just was not right...Finally they caught the rhythm on an ekg and stopped calling it "anxiety" they did autonomic testing after I was fainting repeatedly and found I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome a form of dysautonomia. Please keep me updated as to your progress! And if I can help in any way let me know!
Thank you for all that info. 30 years ago all this started with me during a period of great stress and my GP said it was something called paroximal supraventricular tachicardia. Have you heard of this?? I'm not sure if it's the same now though as that was a long time ago. I've been a whole year symptom-free and thought "wow, amazing, at last I'm free!". A whole year! But two weeks ago, during a prayer meeting at my church of all places, I got it again and thought i'd faint as the pause was so long. During prayer the banging in my neck/throat must have been 160 a minute. I kept taking deep breaths and holding them -- and thank God they subsided as quickly as they started. Phew! I was soooo dismayed though to realize I hadn't got rid of this thing after all. I got another one the next day in a supermarket but since then not had one - lots of ectopics and "chest flutterings" but no big pauses and faintness.
I sure have heard of PSVT before. That means any arrhythmia that originates within the atria above the ventricular tissue :) Which is what I also have as well. The breath holding you are doing sometimes does help with the fast heart rate. They are called vagal maneuvers are used to try to slow an episode of fast heart rate. These simple maneuvers stimulate the vagus nerve, sometimes resulting in slowed conduction of electrical impulses through the atrioventricular (AV) node of the heart. That is horrible you were symptom free for so long and now its back again. I am glad to hear that you are not having the extra beats as frequently, I know how uncomfortable they are! Definitely not pleasant at all. Who knows maybe they will go away for another year!!!!
it could be hormones that are causing this. Its hard to say if its the same you experienced a year ago or not. But a sure way to tell would be a holter monitor or event recorder. It would probably set your mind at ease to know whats happening too. I know sometimes that was all I needed to hear. Its reassuring to know whats going on and not have to wonder :)
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