Visit this link, it's helped me and others understand the annoyances of premature beats. This article focuses on Premature Ventricular Contractions, or PVCs are they are commonly called. There are Premature Atrial Contractions as well, otherwise known as PACs.
Many people experience these premature beats, what may surprise you is most people don't feel them. Most of those that post here certainly are bothered by the feel, but the first some people find out they're having them is during routine physicals.
If you have ectopics (premature beats) that occur in patterns, over and over, that's referred to as a geminy pattern, bigeminy is one normal and one premature beat, trigeminy is two normal and one premature beat, quadrigeminy is three normal and one premature. These are fairly common in people that experience premature beats.
That thump you referred to occurs after a premature beat that has a compensatory pause, the heart beats normally, experiences a premature beat, this interfered with the next normal beat that should have occurred, and the pause is the wait for the next normal beat after that, from one normal beat through the premature beat, to the next normal is two beats long. These are very common and are discussed at the above link. The thump occurs since your heart filled with more blood than normal during the pause, and when the next normal beat occurs, it forces that additional volume out.
If you are uncomfortable with your rhythm, ask the doctor to request a Holter Monitor where it will record 24 hours (usually, but longer times can also be measured) of your heart rhythm, and you keep a diary of symptoms, avtivities, and times.
Once testing has been done (you've already had an EKG, the doctor can determine if more testing is needed) rest assured that these premature beats are quite common. Avoid stress (LOL) caffeine (coffee, chocolate, and soft drinks), some cold and nearly all diet medications, recreational drugs, energy drinks and more, these can make premature beats more frequent.
I've been told that some people feel them and some don't, but if you feel them they can feel really scary, even though in many cases they're benign. Based on what you described you seem to get a lot of them so you should probably see a cardiologist. A cardiologist may be able to run tests to identify the cause and determine whether your palpitations are dangerous or not. Have you had you electrolytes checked? Electrolyte imbalances (especially potassium, magnesium and calcium) can cause palpitations. Also, things like caffeine, stimulants, sleep deprivation, gastric problems, acid blockers/anti acids/PPIs and alcohol can make them worse or maybe even trigger them.
I can feel my palpitations too and I hate them so much! I get them whether I'm calm or stressed, it doesn't make a difference. One time they were so bad that I ended up going to the ER. I've had multiple echos, blood tests, lots of EKGs, a 24 hour holter monitor and a loop monitor and my doctors concluded the palpitations are benign PVCs/PACs. But they're still SO annoying!
I too am one of those that no matter how many times I have been told that my palpitations are benign - I still get very anxious, and certainly very uncomfortable. I think this is a NORMAL reaction to these darn rthythm disturbances. I take an anti anxiety agent, along with a beta blocker. I wish there were actual meetings like AA and other support programs where people could have meetings weekly or even daily for real interaction and discussion about their rthythm problems. I sure could use it at times. anyway, I wish you well.
In that link, I really like the part how the doc suspects inflamation as a suspect cause for benign idiopathic PVCs clusters. So much of my own personal research and personal experience points to this.
I can recall when in the throws of my worst PVC attack, that lasted months with a burden of about 6,000 per day, that I caught a cold. During the cold, my PVCs STOPPED. When the cold went away the PVCs came back. I so yearned for the cold to come back. That told me something related to immune response was going on, and what inflammation is related to that. During my years of CL on this board, I've seen other report a similar experience.
Beta blockers and CCBs made them worse and it just happens that these meds can make inflammation worse. I have heard other report this. This is why I think doctors prescribing these meds for idiopathic benign PVCs is BAD!
I wish this could get more study. People who experience high loads of idiopathic benign PVC truly suffer hard and there is absolutely no treatment protocol establish other than prescribing BBs or CCBs, which can actually make the issue worse.
I also have notice that with a bad cold or the flu--anything that causes fever, which increases the heart rate--my ectopics disappear or diminish greatly. Strangely, I have not had the same experience after surgery, though. This might be due to genuine derangement of blood and body chemistry, or perhaps, as you suggest, to inflammation.
Thanks for the posts. This was a very informative thread with wonderful input.
My palpitations got worse a few weeks ago when I had a cold.