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Avatar universal

What will stop me worrying???

Hi everyone

I've posted before - saying that i've had bouts of 'tachycardia' and I also get ectopic beats.....i'm currently on bisoprolol.

My doctor thinks that my symptoms are 'mainly psychological,' and the cardiologist I saw says his 'gut' tells him there's unlikely to be anything wrong....whenever i've worn a holter monitor very little has shown up on it....

Now that i'm on beta blockers i have quite signficant symptoms although the ectopics are better.....but now i struggle to climb stairs, old people overtake me!!  Also occasionally if I stand up suddenly and do something strenuous I can feel dizzy....not the same as postural hypotension because it can be up to ten mins after standing when it occurs....but it's as if my body is still inefficient......but if i go to a martial art class (which i hardly do now because of my worries) I find that i have no problems once i get into the exercises, it's only at the start of exercise when I think my heart is going really slow due to the beta blockers....

the biggest worry for me though is the ectopics....I hate them.  I can feel the odd ectopic if i turn a corner, bend down, get up and move about or just in my seat.....it's really unsettling....and I remember when i was more naive and didn't know these things could be dangerous I used to go to martial arts regularly and do really strenuous stuff and then afterwards, in between techniques or whatever I would be aware of my heart dancing all over the place....many many ectopics, sometimes like a cascade sensation or three in a row, etc.....and then normal beats.....it never worried me, I thought that was normal, I thought that was what hearts did during exercise....

I'm beginning to wonder how do the doctors know if something is serious or not....they don't.  They know what is serious but they cannot tell which ectopics will go on to be serious and which won't....there's no way or predicting unless they are already causing problems, like faints, etc.  In other words if something is obviously serious then they know, if it's not obviously serious, they know as much as the rest of us.

There have been recent deaths talked about in the news....of young people, sudden, no known problems with their hearts.....and the footballer Fabric Muamba passed all the heart tests before his cardiac arrest....

I'd like to be reassured....but I don't want false reassurance and the more I read the ore I think the docotrs are really just giving me false reassurance.  I've only had a stress test and ECG, a few ECG's on different occasions and a holter monitor and later an event monitor (but there were no real events to record).

I want my life back , I want to go to my sports classes but I don't feel i've had any medical support that offers any tangible reassurance.

Any thoughts/help woudl be appreciated - at the same time if you feel that there is no reassurance to be had then just say so - I want to know what's real.....how do I run around and do sport, etc, with a skippy heart when i don't know if it could go wrong?

thanks  :-)
10 Responses
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Avatar universal
I've recently been diagnosed with an arrhythmia that rears its ugly head only during exercise - had all the testing - holter, echo and nuclear stress test which definitely picked up the arrhythmia but structurally my heart is fine and my nuclear scan came back normal. When this happens while I exercise I have chest/throat discomfort, some dizziness and if I try to work through it SOB. I was placed on beta blocker which has helped somewhat with palpitations I would get at times and my resting heart rate and BP was slightly on the high side, I too get some dizziness and feel tired and in a fog with the beta blocker. I still get the arrhythmia with chest discomfort while exercising at times but my cardiologist reassures me that it's OK and I am working with my med to see what works best for me and decided I am just not going to allow my heart rate to get above 130 so I don't trigger the arrhythmia.Yes, there are more invasive testing but I trust my cardiologist. I actually work with her in the hospital because I work in a stress lab, so when this first all started I was convinced I had a blockage, and I have to admit there is a little part of me that is anxious because I see these pt's everyday with symptoms similar to mine as far as chest discomfort with exercise. Bottom line is like I said I trust my cardiologist and that is an important thing to have towards your physician. If you don't feel that way towards your physician then maybe you need to get another opinion from somebody you feel you could trust. Ask friends, family or neighbors if they know or have experience with a particular physician. Good luck
Helpful - 0
219704 tn?1338609105
I think all of us have had the same doubts at one point. The simple truth is though,  it doesn't benefit an doctor one bit to hold anything back from us if we do have something wrong or could go on to develop anything more dangerous.

I've had PVC's, NSVT, and IST since my 2nd year in Pre-Med 26 years ago.
Several years ago, I had over 10,000 PVC's in various patterns, everyday for over 13 months after a very stressful time in my life. They stopped as suddenly as they had begun. Today, I've had close to 20 and although they still cause me some anxiety when they go into little runs of NSVT, I've learned that they are nothing more then an irritated hot spot that will fire away until it resets itself, most likely caused by either stress, or my Vagus Nerve being irritated elsewhere along it's long path through my body. (Stomach, throat, lungs, heart, or brain)

If you really think something is wrong, you can always run the gambit of tests...Thallium Stress Test, MRI, Coronary Calcium Scan, CAT, and have a EPS during cardiac catheterization..
Unfortunately, sometimes that is the only way some can be reassured.

One thing to consider...most docs treat PVC patients with serious heart disease with things like beta-blockers...with the bisoprolol and your healthy heart, you should be just fine!

Hang in there...lots of us have had these things for years, and although they can trigger some anxiety...they do get easier to cope with over time.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Welcome to the funny heart crowd.I have had ectopics ans PCV's all my life(I'm 83) Many years ago, I gave up on Cardiologists and finally began to believe that maybe there really is nothing seriously wrong with my heart. Prescription meds are not the answer because of the side effects. Most problems of this sort are electrical, caused by your calcium, potassium, magnesium balance getting out of whack. Is it a real condition?. Absolutely.
Is it life-threatening?. Probably not.After a few Holter Monitors and stress tests, I have just learned to accept the condition. The Beta blockers will make you drowsy and tapped out. Research some natural prodcts ,such as   Hawthorn,
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I had similar issues, no problem when exercising but irregular resting, it seemed caffeine and alcohol triggered irregular pattern. I added Magnesium to my diet and no problem since. Dr wanted me to take beta blocker too, but Magnesium seems to have resolved issue. I add a little Magnesium Citrate (Calm) to breakfast.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Sorry for the typos! Typed this on an iPad.....
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I completely agree with everything that michelle said.

A 30 day event monitor is a great test for you.  This will allow you to capture events you are concerned about and the cardiologist will determine exactly what they are.  You said you have worn one before but had no events but if your events are more frequent now it might be time to repeat the test.  That said, based on your symptoms (what you feel, for how long, how often etc) your  EKG, echo, and holter tests your cardiologist who has years of formal training has determined that you do not have a heart condition that posses danger to your health.  It's possible you might have episodes of arrhythmia that may sometimes require treatment,  but if they are infrequent and non sustained then they may not pose a threat.  Again, the 3 day monitor would help sought this out.

Very rare and undiagonsed heart conditions are the cause of unexpected cardiac arrest in individuals such as athletes or teenagers/young adults.  An echo, EKG, and family history are able to detect these conditions.  The fact you have had these tests and the results were good should be very reassuring.

B-blockers do have side effects and you should discuss with your doctor whether  the benefits outweigh the risks.  Have you measured your BP during the episodes your dont feel right ? Be sure to drink plenty of water as getting dehydrated can cause BP to drop and may excasebate your symptoms.

Final thoughts.  If you are uncomfortable with your doctors advice you might consider seeking a second opinion.I would  also suggest asking for another 30 day event monitor. Finally, exercise is known to improve heart health, reduce anxiety, and minimize depression and anxiety and depression can cause or make ectopics worse!  Your in a catch 22 because you are concerned that exercise may lead to a cardiac event but not exercising can make anxiety/depression worse and cause more ectopics!  I would suggest excising unless you have been advised not too.



Helpful - 0
1807132 tn?1318743597
I completely get where you are coming from.  It is hard to believe that the ectopics, especially if we get a lot of them, are not dangerous.  Or better still aren't a sign of something more serious but everything I have read suggest they aren't a threat.  First off, I will say that most of the young people who die suddenly while playing sports generally have an underlying undiagnosed heart condition like cardiomyopathy that causes their sudden and unexpected death.  If you have had an echo to rule that out then your ectopics are likely not a threat to you.  They are a threat if your heart is diseased but otherwise the heart is able to adjust to them.  I have also read to some degree they can be some sort of safety net for the heart to ensure all the blood gets pumped properly.  I surmise there may be some sort of possible electrical issue that is going on that causes the heart to have a lot of ectopics but it is likely one of those things that can't be fixed so the heart just compensates with the ectopics.  I don't know that this is the case all the time but I did read that they can be a good thing.  Not necessarily reassuring when they make you feel poorly but maybe something to think of to turn the situation around a bit to a more positive angle.  

In any event, my cardiologist actually never recommend meds for me for my svt or ectopics.  He did say he would prescribe beta blockers for the ectopics if they were making me sick but I tend towards low bp and didn't want to make that worse and he really didn't think that it was really all that necessary so I chose to learn to live with the ectopics and at least for me, now that I am cured of my svt and my heart is healing the ectopics aren't as bothersome as they were.  I can still get a lot but they don't feel as intense as they did.  So I guess I would first ask how many ectopics are you having?  And how sick are they making you feel?  When you get the svt does it start and stop suddenly?  How fast is your beat?  How long does it last?  If you have only had a holter monitor it is not likely you will catch the svt.  They are really ellusive when trying to catch them in a specific 24 hour period.  But you can ask to get an event monitor.  It is a monitor that you keep for a month and you simply hit a record button when you have an episode.  This is how my svt was caught.  My thoughts being, if you have an svt that can be cured if you had it fixed it might also help bring some peace to your heart that will help your ectopic situation.  However, you would need to get the svt diagnosed definitively from simple anxiety first.  A really good indication is if the fast beat starts and stops suddenly then it is likely structural as opposed to a fast beat that starts slowly and is triggered by stress or fear.  

In any event, regardless if you have congenital svt or not, any stress and anxiety you hold onto will make everything you are feeling worse.  I have really tried to change my approach to life.  It is easy to get myself worked up about things but as I choose to stop and remain calm my heart has definitely responded favorably.  So while you work to get your physical issues tended to also try to tend to any fears you might be under.  It really will do you a world of good.  Take care, stay strong and feel better soon.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
do I believe I could get into med school?  what sort of a question is that?  are you expecting my answer to be 'no?'  because my answer is yes - I have the ability - many people have the ability to get into med school.  I just didn't that's all.

and I'm sorry but doctors do give false reassurance.  In the early days when I went to the doctor with extopics he would listen to my heart and then say 'there is nothing wrong with your heart.'  and he would say it in such a reassuring tone that the young me would believe him.

The fact is that listening to someone's heart does not give the doctor all the information that they need.

The fact is that the number of tests given to someone is influenced by economic factors....

and if they drop dead the doctor is covered and the patient can never argue their case.

There is no going back which is why I feel there should be much more extensive testing - and if not, the patient told why not.

I have had to drag this information out of doctors over numerous appointments and I wonder why they can't just tell me in the first one.....I still don't have all the information I need to make an informed decision about tests.

now I have a question for you.  What part of your response to me was aimed at being helpful as opposed to just reflexively debating with me - because I have no time for that - I'm looking for a reason why I should be reassured when my heart does really strange things and i've had no explanation for them.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
You say these things:

"I'd like to be reassured....but I don't want false reassurance and the more I read the ore I think the docotrs are really just giving me false reassurance. "

"I'm beginning to wonder how do the doctors know if something is serious or not....they don't."

(a) What would be the doctors' reasons for giving you false reassurance?  They get paid for treating the sick.  They don't get paid for NOT treating.

(b) Do you believe you could get into med school?

Think it through.
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Avatar universal
sorry for the typos my keys are sticking....

also wondering whether I should have more tests now that i'm on beta blockers....i have weird stuff like blurred vision and especially if i bend down and lift something, etc....

I don't get many ectopics on the beta blockers but i still get some.  I asked a friend if she ever got anything like this and she looked puzzled and said no....didn't understand at all....and yet they are supposed to be normal...
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