Extra systolic heartbeats,how to control them

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I have had extra systolic heartbeats for over 30 years and they are now becoming more frequent.Has anyone found a way to lessen the effect they have on daily living?Breathlessness and fatigue are the two worst side effects.I have tried beta blockers but they didn't help.Do these heartbeats increase with age?Any advice will be very welcome.

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19 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi everyone. Sorry you have problems with your heartbeat, but at the same time, it is reassuring to hear that you are not on your own.  I have had some ectopic in the past, but, after going of hospital last April for a 15 hours thrombolysis for an extensive DVT in the knee, and a completely blocked illiac vein, the became more severe.  I have now, (on a good day) 7000 ectopic per day!  I was put on some medicine, but, had to stop, as it was making a 100 times worse. the consultant said I have two options, or put up with it, or, try more medicine, which would not lengthen my life, but help with the horrible symtoms. Opted to putting up with them, better than having to put up with all the medicine side effects!!

    I also do a lot of exercise; walking 2h per day for 2 days, cycling 2h per day for 2 days, swimming 2h for 1 day, and the rest; gardening.  I was told that ectopic don't kill you, so, just going for it!   Marie-christine. x

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  • Posted

    Sorry about your heart complaint.

    I have has these things for about 4 years and they are getting worse the longer I have them.

    I used to feel that controlled breathing helped but the worse they are getting the less effect this has.

    I only wish I had a remedy for us all I assure you I would share it but like everyone else it seems we just have to put up with it.

    Good luck

    Gap

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  • Posted

    Are you stressed? Do you have anxiety?
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    • Posted

      Hi, I guess I do get stressed about this heart problem as I have had it for many years probably about 30 plus years and the older I have got,the more prolific they have become.Doctors just say it's nothing to worry about but that is easier said than done.It's such an uncomfortable sensation when it happens and can make me quite breathless at times.
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  • Posted

    Agree with all the above. Hate them. Does anyone notice that when you walk up hill, for instance, that the your heart rate increases but becomes more regular.
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    • Posted

      Dear stargazey

      Yes it is noticeable that when you get an increase in your heart rate they can feel more regular I presume because the ectopics have less room to kick in. However if they do their effect can feel much worse and it feels more like they won't stop.

      Some people have said exercise helps them but I have not found this.

      Good luck in your search for a solution to all our problem.

      Gap

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    • Posted

      Hi everyone

      Do any of you have the ectopic followed by short runs of fast heartbeat (SVT) ?   I sometimes have just the ectopics, but more often now I have the ectopic with the SVT's.   Probably 3 times in five minutes sometimes.   This can go on for several hours.  My heart is always in sinus rhythm inbetween.

      I am on a beta blocker, but am not sure how much it is helping me.  I would love to hear from someone who has the same problem.

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    • Posted

      Hi,yes the same thing happens to me.After the ectopic beat my heart races and takes quite a few seconds before it slows back to normal.One thing I have noticed is that I find it uncomfortable sleeping on my left side,I think others have mentioned this.
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    • Posted

      hi Denbreta, thanks for replying.   I always sleep on my back, so I don't know about the left side.  But I think stress definitely make mine worse, also with and after meals.  I have tried the deep breathing, which I think helps a little bit as it takes my mind off the arrhythmia.  The cardiologist put me on metoprolol which hasnt stopped the ectopics, but makes the fast heartbeats afterwards much slower.  Occasionally I get a day with only a few, but th

      e last few days I have had masses of them.   How often do you have the, ?

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    • Posted

      hi Stargazey, that is on average over 3 in a minute I think.  It must be very uncomfortable for you.   Are you always aware of them?  
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    • Posted

      Hi Jan,it's years since I had a monitor fitted and they never told me how many ectopics I was getting in one period of time.I guess I get around 10 in a five min period but it does vary. Because I have had this condition for over 30 years,gp's don't seem to be bothered about it.However,I am going to make an appointment next week to see my gp(he is new so may take a bit more interest).Do you find you are more breathless after an ectopic?Sometimes it can take my breath away and deep breathing does't really help.Deep breathing exercises don't really help.
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    • Posted

      Had a trip to a&e last night with these wretched things but told my ECG said sinus rhythm OK. Wish they would just listen to it instead of hooking up to machines. The doctor on duty said you could have loads of ectopic beats so long as you had normal ones inbetween. It's when you get 4 or more abnormal ones together that it's arrhythmia and that's when they may look at treating it.

      But having 3 normal ones then an ectopic is not nice to live with

      Gap

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    • Posted

      Hi Denbreta,  since I have been on this beta blocker it has dampened down my heartbeats.  But I do get a bit breathless and also a bit dizzy sometimes.  I went out shopping this morning and had to come home because I felt so dizzy.   I think that gp's dont seem interested because they know there is nothing they can do about it.   I think they have to switch themselves off from anything that they cant treat.   I wish they would just say "I am really sorry that I cant help you and I know that it is difficult to live with".  If they were a bit more sympathetic it would make such a difference.   Pigs might fly !!! Good luck with your new gp.  Let me know if he is any help to you.
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    • Posted

      I do sympathise with you.It is easy to say don't worry about it but it's not them having the ectopics.Years ago I was told if I worry about the ectopics it would make them worse but how do you stop worrying about it when it's happening all the time.Breathing exercises don't seem to help.I really don't think there is any help out there for us.
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    • Posted

      Hi Gap,  I get single ectopics sometimes, but also get ectopics followed by short runs of SVT, so I was put on a beta blocker.  I am now getting ectopics followed sometimes by irregular beats which is very uncomfortable, it goes on and off for hours.  Always worse with and after eating.  My cardiologist said it is definitely linked to inflammation in my body and as I have gastritis I am hoping that it will improve when that has settled down.   I am very fed up with it.  
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    • Posted

      Yes Jan, sometimes more aware than others. Worse after good or sitting quietly. Seen an electrophysiologist who said he could see nothing that alarmed him. Been to A/E three times in ten years and they ecg me a few times because at first they think their machine has broken. Been assured I'm in normal sinus rhythm. I think I would rather have these than side effects from drugs that may or may not help. Tried atenolo but heart went slower but just as irregular. Trying to be philosophical now and think "whatever happens happens".
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    • Posted

      That's nothing, I get 8000 per day!! but, I decided to ignore them completely, they have not killed so far, so I very much doubt that they will in the future! I have to take Rivaroxaban 20mg every day for life as, I had two stents in my Iliac vein, and for my ectopic beats, I hate this medicine, although I realise I Must take it. YES, exercice do help eventually, but, must say that in the beginning of exercising, your heart will try to retaliate.... But trust me. persevere, and you will show your heart the YOU are the boss!!! I f you think about it, it is not your heart which is the problem, but the electric system, so, if you make your heart muscle stronger by exercising, you will get a better chance! Personaly, I really don't take any notice anymore, although I can still feel every ectopic during the day, I decided that it is normal for me, and don't worry about it anymore!  Try it!
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