Pausing Pulse

Please could someone let me know if they have experience of a heart beat that seems to keep stopping after every few, sometimes after only two, beats. I am used to long episodes of atrial fibrillation where my heart feels as if it is scrambling about all over the place, but I don't like this feeling of my heart stopping! I recently lost some weight and was having far fewer ectopic beats, but three days ago I had a very anxious day with two long coach journeys and a visit to a sick relative, and my heart has gone berserk again. I am taking 100mg Flecainide daily and 2.5mg Bisoprolol. When my heart seems to pause there is a sort of tremor before it starts again. So far I have never felt ill with it, just scared, and I have experienced it before, but it seems to be the main feature of my latest heart incident. I think my heart is beginning to calm down a bit now, but the unpredictability of an irritable heart saps my confidence to get out and about.

5 Replies

  • These are ectopic beats and very common. All people get them but we AFers are far too aware of our hearts. Search Ectopics top right and you will find all you need to know about them.

  • I get that sort of feeling when my heart is trying to go into AF. Maybe it also works the other way? It is very scary but as long as the pauses are short you are OK. If longer than three seconds you should report.

  • Hello Bugswhiskers , this video by Dr Gupta explains ectopic beats...

  • When I was still training I used to get my heart stopping for about 5 seconds at a time, but not these days.

  • Hello and thank you BobD, Buffafly, doodle68 and ectopic1. I didn't know about Dr Gupta and watching some of his videos I was impressed by the way he explains things in such detail. I was surprised though that anxiety doesn't seem to be mentioned as one of the main causes of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. I've always had bad anxiety problems and AF has made it worse. Some years ago I had cognitive behavioural therapy for severe anxiety every two weeks, and without fail it was immediately followed by an episode of AF except for one time when I went to a session with it. The trouble is, I don't know what's normal for an abnormal heart, if you know what I mean. I'm scared when my heart is thumping hard, out of rhythm and really uncomfortable, and scared at other times when it keeps giving little flicks that don't amount to anything you could call a proper beat. Are these also ectopic beats? Basically I'm just really wimpy and rather ashamed because a lot of you are putting up with a lot of worse things than I am.

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