Ectopic beats

Hi everyone. Since last night, I've noticed that I have been getting a lot more ectopic beats than I normally would. I was really tired last night, but they ectopics were keeping me awake and worried. I called 111 but they told me to go to A+E, without giving me any proper medical advice. My heart rate isn't particularly fast, but I am getting extra beats a fair amount, and its causing my anxiety levels to go sky high! Does anyone else experience this? What should I do if they persist? A+E?

10 Replies

  • Personally never been to A and E. Depends on how YOU feel are you breathless or have any pain? Is it very different to what you usually experience? Has any docs told you to go to A and E? All your decision at the end of the day. Sorry not much help maybe someone else may be

  • All the time micwal and it isn't dangerous. just unpleasant. Frankly I wouldn't bother with A and E unless you get chest pain of dizzyness but do see your doctor soon or try to get an appointment with your EP to discuss.

    The biggest problem is one's stress and anxiety level as I know too well so deep breaths and try to relax. It can be a downward spiral of you aren't careful.

  • Its so hard to relax, especially seeing as I haven't had an echo-cardiogram yet, so I don't know whether there is anything structurally wrong with my heart or not. I keep telling myself that it will subside and that they're not dangerous, and I try breathing exercises, but nothing ever works. I wish the health services took my case a little more seriously. I get the impression the doctors/nurses are shrugging me off because, if I am to quote my GP AND the cardiac nurse I have seen, I'm "too young to have serious problems". Surely this is unprofessional and irresponsible as thousands of people in their twenties have serious structural defects with their heart, and many young people die because of them. Just because it is rare doesn't mean it doesn't happen (and it isn't so rare as people think).

  • I get runs of ectopics too and have noticed a few things about them - apart from them being a nuisance.

    They breed on anxiety - once they start I try to do something involving a bit of exertion. If they wake me up I do slow, counting breathing - it works sometimes. When I feel a big one kick, I try to breathe steadily, rather than catching my breath and thinking 'what was that'?

    i showed Alicecor printouts of them to my GP and cardiologist and got the same response - hmmmm, yes those are ectopics! They do come and go but - easy to say - try to find a way not to worry as it makes them worse. Only you can decide if A&E is right for you but for me, the hassle of getting there would be more than I could bear - especially as they probably only observe and monitor.

    By the way, everyone get ectopics but having an arrhythmia makes us more aware of them.

  • Hi Micwal

    Had Afib since I was 23, am 45 now, had many episodes, some ectopics and others full afib. You can read more at

    Good news is that there is hope.

    Fight that anxiety with all you got.

    Just watched video from Dr Sanjay Gupta about heart palpitations (don't have link with me now) but there is a few things, he says, you can do during such an "attack"

    Breath - in through nose so that your tummy rises, hold for a bit, then out through mouth. Try and slow your breathing.

    Exercise - Not hectic, something moderate, it's also a stress buster and helps to get your mind of your heartbeat.

    Drink - More water, less coffee and alcohol.

    I have also gone through that awful anxiety periods, just hold on!!


  • I get them all the time. Worse when life is hectic. Had then since inyou 20'so and now 44.

    I post ablation for af but still have ectopics. They are 99% normal and nothing to worry about. I go to gym or take a beta blocker on bad days.

  • Update: I went into the A+E earlier, I've just got out. They detected afib on my ecg and gave me bisoprolol to lower my heart rate. First time I've ever taken the drug and it seems to have worked fairly well, but I'm still anxious about the echo...

    Thank you all for your replies, really helpful! There seems to be some contradicting evidence in studies saying that it's extremely rare for people in their twenties to have afib, yet I've met quite a few on here already! Hopefully within the month I can get to the bottom of this and move forward decisively and calmly after the echo results come back.

  • I get them a LOT and I know exactly where you are coming from. On occasion it was really bad, so I went to my GP as an "emergency" visit. He completely surprised me, by prescribing a small amount of anti-anxiety pills, but only to take if I had a bad time as they are addictive. Well I had a bad time soon afterwards, took a pill, low and behold the problem almost stopped after 20-30 minutes. Happened again a couple of week slater, took a pill, same result :-) .

    The funny bit is, that once I had proven to myself in a "scientific" manner that it was my anxiety making the ectopics really bad, then I took no more pills. I will still take one every now and again under certain circumstances, but never as a matter of course.

    I would also add, that I didn't actually feel anxious, I thought I was in control and staying calm. That taught me that what I thin I feel and what's happening are two different things.

    I tried every other route and to be honest they don't work (sufficiently) on me either. They do help though.

    Just a thought! Hope you get it sorted.


  • Thanks for your reply Koll, always posting insightful messages! Yes I think there is certainly plausibility in claiming that anxiety provokes bouts of atrial fibrillation. Earlier on, when I was hooked up to the machine, the sheer anxiety of the situation I was in caused me to go into an all-out afib attack. I think the correlation between these two is key to understanding the disorder in its entirety.

  • Some really wonderful advice on these last posts about ectopics. Thanks guys and good to know one is not alone on ones anxiety.


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