ectopic beats are hard to live with

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I am so pleased to have found this site and read patients' experiences with this very tiresome, debilitating and frightening heart problem.  I am a 70 year old female and my heart problem developed during pregnancy 48 years ago!  It started with missed beats, gradually developing over the years into sudden runs of very fast beats and other weird "feelings" that my heart was doing.  I have seen countless specialists, worn 24 hour tapes, been rushed to hospital on three occasions when the whole thing developed into a full-blown panic attack, told it is my nerves etc. etc.  I take Bisoprolol but I don't think they do anything at all to alleviate the situation.  It all feels so hopeless.  I don't feel I can keep going back to pester my doctor.  I think my heart has "hiccups".  I do think it is digestive-related.  I don't like anything tight around my tummy area as I think this exacerbates it.  I try to take deep breaths when it is happening - it calms me a little and makes me concentrate on something else instead of my flippin heart!  I just think they are absolutely horrible things and I don't think it is "normal" at all despite what the specialists say. Over the years I have just been reduced to a wretched bag of nerves - it is no life!

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  • Posted

    I really feel for you and to have this condition for so long!! No wonder you are so fed up. I too have ectopics and 'funny' heart bets etc and it makes me very anxious even though I know this just compounds the problem. I would like someone to tell me how you can keep calm and not let it affect your life because its your heart so everything related to it feels serious! There has been a lot of discussion on this site regarding magnesium and something else that your Dr can do blood test to find out about. Perhaps that might be worth a try and good luck. Doesn't help I know but you are not alone.
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  • Posted

    Aaah thank you Raffa99.   I, too, would like someone to tell me what to do when the ectopics start as I end up a quivering mess - it is your heart after all, the very organ keeping you alive!!!!  I used to think that the experts are never going to find out what is wrong with my heart as it usually behaves itself in the consulting room!  I have been down the route of potassium/magnesium deficiencies, a thyroid problem and blood test.  I asked if I could have a pacemaker but the consultant told me it wasn't necessary for ectopic beats as they are so common, even amongst athletes.  Quite honestly I think they are dangerous - blood clots forming and all that, whilst blood not being properly pumped through the heart.  I suppose I should be thankful that I have reached 70 and had them for 48 years, but as I age they are getting worse.  Sometimes I think I will be glad when it is all over - what a life!!!!!!!
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  • Posted

    at least we all know we are not alone. i get 1000's a day. i have just had a 7 day monitor to investigete it and even though it picked up 1000's of "dropped beats" i had no "runs" while it was on. its these "runs that scare me more so than the single beats. but surely all the doctors cant be wrong as we are all still alive and kicking. i try to think of this fact when i am having an episode. i find it helps.
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  • Posted

    Oh Diana!

    You are one of us! Wow!  That is a darn long time and you are still with us, thank God.  I have had them for 3 years now and I do sometimes get so depressed and wonder is it all worth it.  But, yes it is, we have to all support each other for the cure.  There are success stories right on this forum. My biggest help is to see I am not alone but when they are controlling our lives day and night and keeping us up at night not to get any sleep and you are exhausted and ready to give up, come to this sight and pray. Please try to stay positve. I always try to think of what ailment could be worse.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply.  I am so glad I have come across this site as even having a little chat with someone with the same problem is of enormous benefit I feel.  People I have spoken to are all "normal" so have not experienced ectopic beats which just enhances my belief that something must be seriously wrong with my heart.  Like you, I think there are always people with something worse - at least I can see, hear and I am not in a wheelchair.  But goodness me these ectopics are awful and to be really terrified each or every other day is a strain.  My consultant told me on my last check-up "It's just something that your heart likes to do - think of it as when your eyelid twitches or bouts of hiccups".  I tell myself this over and over again but I usually run for the Rescue Remedy or a spell of deep breathing.  I can't keep calling the ambulance!  I would REALLY like to know how to deal with ectopics because after all these years with them, I am a nervous wreck!
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  • Posted

    I,m 68 and have had this for 40 years, like you i,ve had numerous tests and medication and it still continues, some days it gets me down other days i live with it, I am an anxious nervous person also but they seem to happen when i am relaxed, it is distressing I go out and fight it all the way, i do get depressed but think there are people much worse off than me.
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    • Posted

      Hi!

      Thanks for sharing and wonder if you found any meds that help you? Thanks. I feel our hearts are fine, but something is irritating our hearts...hernia, GERD, anxiety, mechanical defect,positional,....

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  • Posted

    Hi. I'm 40 years old and have had a misbehaving heart since I was 17. I suffered with svt's for years now I am troubled with ectopics beats all the time. It is taking over my life and I do nothing but worry...... I need reassuring over and over again.

    X

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    • Posted

      Hi I am also very wortied about ectopics beats. They come at times when Ivam relaxed and ussually lying down. They worry me alot. My doc said they are harmless since all my tests are normal. But every time I get one I freakout terribly!! I am 54 and the first tme i felt one was some 5 years ago. I have not been able to point out what may cause them or make them more frequent. Reading the posts the only thing I could be doing is excersise. I eat well, dont smoke, dont drink, low estress (except when I have an extra beat!) . After I have one, i feel depressed and anxious. It is too difficult to ignore them and just beleive they are harmless. My pulse and blood preassure remain normal after an extrabeat but I some times feel mild pressure abd fluttering in center of chest. What can I do to stop worrying? I really think I will die of heart problems !
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    • Posted

      Hi Maria.   I also have been told not to worry about them.   Mine are worse first thing in the morning and during and after meals.  Stress will also cause them.  If I have a stressful day, they will go on all day, with small runs of SVT. I am on Metoprolol to slow down my heartbeat, which I think does help a bit. I think it is something we just have to learn not to fear, which is very difficult. Breathing exercises do help as they calm you down amd take your mind off the beating of your heart.  Avoiding alcohol, caffeine and large meals also helps.   Are you on any medication for it ?
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    • Posted

      Hi Jan thank you for your reply. I am taking propanolol 10mg 2xday am & pm .without it my normal hrate is about 80/88 at rest.

      The idea that it is related to the vagus nerve make sime sense to me.

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  • Posted

    What I just wish we could make the specialists realise is that none of us believe them when they say that ectopics are benign. When it's your heart it affects your whole being and no amount of reassurance helps.
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  • Posted

    Three years ago I was diagnosed with Mutifocal Atrial Tachycardia and a Wandering Atrial Pacemaker. When I heard the irregularity of my pounding heart while they were doing a test in the hospital, I thought I was gonna croak from fear. They put me on metoprolol and that controlled things nicely until now, and although my heart rate and BP are still down, the irregular pounding heartbeat is coming back. I HATE that sensation. Going to get a holter monitor this afternoon. I can't imagine enduring this scary feeling for YEARS.
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  • Posted

    Hi Diana.   I dont know if you will get this reply, but I hope so.   I started to get what seems like an ectopic beat followed by a run of fast beats (svt) on Boxing Day.  They come as anything from a single one,  to one after the other lasting hours.  My present one started at 7 this morning.  It is now nearly 3 .00pm.   Sometimes there are a few other odd beats as well. Inbetween these episodes I am in sinus rhythm and my heart sounds perfectly normal.  

    I was diagnosed at first with one or two different things, but recently

    I have spent a few days in hospital having it investigated and am told that it is a condition which is not life threatening and there is nothing that can be done.  I am now on Metropolol which does not seem to be any help at all.  I am finding it very difficult to deal with.  The cardiologist and the electro-physiologist both told me that it is something I shall have to learn to cope with.  They have other patients with the same problem.  

    I have found that it either starts while I am asleep or it will start at the end of a meal.  I have also been told that it can be due to inflammation in my body, as i have Polymyalgia Rheumatica, it could be due to this.   Apparently my heart is very good, so there is not a procedure which will eradicate it.  I also am 70 years old.   At the moment it seems as though my life is on hold as I cannot do anything or go anywhere and am beginning to feel quite depressed and very anxious about it.  i do not know how you have coped all these years.  I would love to hear how you are as your post was 10 months ago.  

    I look forward to your reply, or anyone else who reads this.

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  • Posted

    Diana - you are not alone......I'm 66 and I've had this condition for many years on and off. Mainly on now, mainly after food, sometimes when I walk around after sitting for a while. It's a bit haphazard but definitely it's after food anyway. I've read so much about it, there are so many people suffering with ectopics. I also try to breathe into my stomach rather than shallow breaths, when I'm getting them, which does help. Getting anxious about does make them worse and that's been said so many times on this site. As long as you have been checked out and your heart is okay, (as I have done) then we need to accept that and try not to worry about them. Easier said than done of course. But there seems to definitely be a link between digestion and ectopics. I had a heart echo done, and the doctor then said in some people the top of our stomach is as high as the bottom of our hearts, when we eat - gas rises - it tickles our hearts resulting in an ectopic. But no matter what "they" tell me, I still get anxious when these things hit, and the best thing we can do it relax, breathe, and keep telling ourselves we are okay. And eventually, our silly old brains might believe us! lol.........regards Lizzie in Oz
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