Help - Palpitations

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Around 18 months ago I started experiencing palpitations - the sensation of my heart flipping/skipping a beat. I saw my GP who referred me to a cardiologist who ran:

1. 24 hour Holter monitor

2. 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor

3. Transthoracic echocardiogram

All returned normal with the exception of 35 isolated benign supraventricular ectopic beats.

A good few months later, I had prolonged episode while watching TV - this was like a double or triple palpitation. So I went back to the Cardiologist who again performed another 24 hour Holter monitor - this came back with 5 isolated benign supraventricular ectopic beats this time and the Cardiologist reassured me that I have nothing to worry about.

However, I feel like my palpitations are getting worse and I'm extremely concerned. My palpitations seem to be becoming more frequent; whilst visiting friends a couple of weekends ago, (after a long day and two glasses of wine), the thumps were happening every 5-10 minutes or so until I drank some water. The following day, whilst on a short walk, they were again happening every 5-10 minutes or so and again while at the cinema - they sometimes calm down but then start again. Each episode didn’t appear to last more than an hour and appear to be single runs.

The other new symptom I have discovered; is that my pulse sometimes appears irregular; if I press with my index finger I can sometimes feel irregular beats(without thumps), however, this is not always the case, my pulse is regular, this appears very intermittent. I also sometimes experience the palpitation thumps when exercising (running) or walking fast but not always. For example, urgently requiring to pass a stool, running up a flight of stairs and immediately sitting down on the toilet, I sometimes get a run of strong skipped beats (not thumps) for 10 seconds or so - I have noticed this twice when needing to pass a stool and rushing for a toilet.

Do you think it's worth seeing my Cardiologist again? I know my Cardiologist told me that I have a healthy heart and do not need a cardiologist however, I feel that my symptoms are becoming more frequent and it's impacting my life as the anxiety is crippling.

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  • Posted

    I know how scary these things are. I have experience the palpatations too. Over the last year or so, they have become more frequent. I have told my cardiologist about them, but he says they are nothing to worry about bcause my EKG looks good, blood pressure is fine and heart sounds fine. Last December, I had a stress test. It also showed nothing to worry about. I told him that I was concerned over the palpatations and they caused me a lot of anxiety. He had me wear a holter monitor for one month. Oh and you know how much fun that was wearing that for a month - and during Christmas and New Years eve. I could take the thing off to take a shower, then put it back on. Even had to sleep with it on. Anytime I experienced the palpitations, or felt like I had an irregular heart beat, I could flag that point in time on the monitor. So after the one month, I went for the results. He again said all was fine - just extra beats here and there and nothing to be concerned about. He did tell me that many things could trigger them. Anxiety and stress can cause them. Also wine and or alcohol, (and I don't drink much or every day) too much sugar can also cause them. I did notice that sometimes after I drink a glass of wine or two, I would have the palpitations. When they occur, I try to think about what may have caused them - what I ate or drank, maybe some extra physical activity etc. My aunt has experienced the same thing - and her doctor told her it was nothing serious. He prescribed a low dose of Xanax for her. She told me that when she has an episodes, she will take one and and it helped her. So I tried one the next time I had an episode of palpitations. And to my surprise, it seems to work. I will take them again when I experience the palpitations. Maybe ask your doctor what he thinks. I have only taken the Xanax perhaps on 3 ocassions over the past couple of months and each time it has worked. It might be worth investigating because I know the longer the palitations stay with you, the more anxiety they cause. Good luck to you.

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  • Posted

    I just want to encourage you to go with your own gut feelings and keep pushing with the doctors until you are satisfied with the outcome. You know what feels right and what doesn't.

    I am on the same road as you but probably much older. Have the same episodes as you and you need support. It does cause anxiety and that seems harder to cope with than the erant beats.

    Find s medication that may help. I have found its linked in with digestion somehow but haven't found the answer yet. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    I also suffer with ectopics and even though I've suffered for years and take a beta blocker, they still really worry me. I go through periods of time where they are mild and easier to cope with but at other times they are all the time and in runs and thumps and I have to cough to try and get the rhythm going properly again! I really feel for you because it does affect everything you do but reading comments on here, it seems that lots of us suffer but they don't cause serious problems. However, I do wish there was more they could do to help and therefore relieving some anxieties which can snowball! I'm interested in your comment about rushing to the loo because I'm sure I first noticed mine after seeing an acupuncture therapist who treated my tummy with hot stones. I was desperate for a wee and left it too long so had to rush back home to go. The palpitations that followed were awful. My stomach problems are a definite link but wonder if this is too?

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  • Posted

    Hi Maka,

     I have been having more extra heartbeats myself, and bugging Cardio Dr. I get them when driving and am afraid they will continue and just stop the heart. Now, I have a pacemaker, got it in December for slow heart beat with pauses. I thought this may help the skipping but no, they have gotten worse. I just requested another echo have not gotten the results. I have been getting these darn things for maybe 40 years! Still here, but feel every one and they scare me too. If you google ( like I do) you will read they can lead to fibrilation ( you know what that is), but if that happens you would not know it , cuase you would be in heaven! This is very very rare they tell me , and mostly in people with other heart issues. I  think you may tell your doctor you need a longer holter moniter , say a month. I had one implanted called a LINQ from Medtronics. After 4 months they discovered that my heart was pausing... 3 secounds and one time 4 secounds. I did not have any symptoms, but they said I needed the Pacemaker so in case they got worse I would not pass out driving, ( accident not good) Or pass out just walking , ( hurt) not good. Then ... my nurse said, it could stop your heart! Well, I asked how soon could I get the pacemaker!!! I am not trying to scare you, but you may need a longer holter moniter or maybe just another echo. They still say mine are benign! But boy do I get scared sometimes! Hard to go out and be alone. When I lay down at night is when I get a couple or when I get up . I try to think " it is just my heart settling down, or waking up. Some I feel in my chest and they are painful, some just a funny feeling , or I can take my pulse and feel them. EVERYONE GETS THEM!  Most people get 50 a day, they just dont feel them! We are the lucky folks that feel them! I hope this helps, Please let me know how you are doing and I will be thinking of you. Yes It is very crippling the anxiety and the older I get the worse they get , which they say is normal ( Oh yippee!!_) Take care and try to ignore them and live your life! ( I know easier said than done!) Really, just anything can trigger them. Take Care, Ileen

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