Plagued with Ectopics

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I am posting here as I find some comfort in talking about my problems / issues wink

I started getting ectopic heartbeats a lot during summer of 2013, I would have a missed beat and then a hard thud beat afterwards after which the heartbeat would return to normal.  At first this really freaked me out.  When it got really bad I would feel as though my heartbeat would get very irregular which apparently was 1-3 ectopics in a row.  I went to see a heart consultant who did every test possible which came back normal and I wore a 48 hour Holter monitor which showed a number of ectopics ("look at this lovely ectopic" she would say, not how I would put it!!!!) and bizarrly sometimes when I felt I was having one the machine didn't pick anything up.  I would also get a PVC when engaged in (ahem) sexual activity.

I was put on beta blockers and escitalopram (for my health anxiety) to try and keep them under control.  I would have no other symptoms except for a churning, weird feeling in my stomach before or around when they happen.  No chest pain, dizzyness or anything else.

I recently started exercising again and felt great and was able to deal with the daily 10-20 ectopics I would get.  But recently they have returned with avengence, happening multiple times a day especially when I am sitting or lying down.  Its very scary and at times is ruining my life!

The crazy thing is that I think I have always had them, I went to have an ECG when I was 16 when I felt this flutter in my chest, its amazing how much more aware of them you become when you initially notice them.

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  • Posted

    Hi Julian, I have the same thing. In fact I had the 48 hr monitor fitted yesterday and going back tomorrow to have it taken off. I was taken into hospital a month ago for chest pain and palpitations. I was there for 10 days having scans / tests. I was diagnosed when in the  hospital with Ectopic beats  I have had these Ectopic beats for years but never knew what they was until now. Although, I have been in and out of hospital with them. I am on Bisoprolol but they don't help much. The cardiologist did mention an op called an ablation, but she said it is quite drastic. I would try anything to get rid of them. 

    They are very uncomfortable at times. They keep me awake quite often at night. I also get a fluttering in my chest which is unpleasant and shortness of breath, which I find are worse than the palpitations. Do you get short of breath?  .    

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry

      My story is exactly like yours. 

      I had loads of ectopic beats and after wearing a holter monitor, it recorded 45,000 extra ectopic beats in one 24hr period. 

      I did tho have an ablation procedure three weeks ago. 

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    • Posted

      No not really.  The only symptom I get is a very bloated, full feeling in my stomach, almost as if my diagphram is very tight.  No chest pain, no dizziness, nothing else.  Actually when I have them really badly its impossible to tell its happening looking at me, so I can be sat in a meeting freaking out and no-one will know!  No shortness of breath. I was convinced I was dying so it caused really bad anxiety which is why I am on escitalopram.  I find it really hard to operate day to day when they happen, its tough to put out of your mind!

      I am also on Bisoprolol (10mg) which help me, maybe its more psychological than anything else!

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen, It must have been terrible having all those palpitations, how did you cope. Did you have shortness of breath as well? I get this most days and it feels as if I am suffocating. It lasts for a very short time  but quite frightening. I don't know if this is caused by the ectopic beats or something else. I am having a lung function test at my local surgery 2 weeks time, so hope they can get to the bottom of it.

      How are you now after the ablation? Wish I could have it done. 

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    • Posted

      What's the ablation procedure?  What does it do?

      Cardiologist said mine were caused by an electrical discharge from one chamber to another causing the heart to need to reset.

      Reading it does appear that there is some link between stomach and the ectopics.

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    • Posted

      The ablation is to get rid of tissue around the heart because this sends the heart beat to the wrong pathway hence the palpitations. I was also told by the cardiologist that mine was caused by the electrical discharge in the upper chambers of the heart. I hope they find something else on the heart monitor to put an end to all this. I am only on 5mg bisoprolol. I don't fancy going on a higher dose because of the side effects.

      I know mine is not psychological they are very real and a nuisance.  

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    • Posted

      Sounds similar to me.  My anxiety actually made them worse by increasing the amount of stress hormone that caused my heart to beat stronger and therefore any ectopics were more noticeable.  And because I noticed them more I got more worried which in turn caused more ectopics....you can see how the viscious cycle started!!
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    • Posted

      That was also the cause of my ectopics.. The ablation gets rid of the bad wiring in your heart. 

      It was a simple procedure, I was not even sedated, it took about 4 hours. 

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    • Posted

      I forgot to say that they burn the tissue when you are awake for the ablation but I think you are slightly sedated. Karen who replied earlier had the Ablation, so will know more. There is only 1% risk, so I read online.
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    • Posted

      I would insist..  It will make things better... Put it in writing to the hospital how having these is effecting your life. 
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    • Posted

      It is affecting my life you are right. I won't go anywhere on my own for fear of having a heart attack. They have been pretty bad today. The worse palpitations when I get them, are in the middle of my upper abdomen and severe short of breath and I have had a few ot them today. Not sure if the meds are making it worse. How did the Dr decide you should have the ablation?  
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    • Posted

      The link was recently discussed in another conversation on the forum that you might be able to search out. 
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