AF Association
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Premature atrial complexes

I have premature atrial complexes (age 67) and a decade and more ago I had two lone atrial fibrillations. Every doctor here says that without symptoms they are benign. EXCEPT, I am reading from cardia journals and they are no longer considered benign at my age and with frequent bouts and can lead to atrial fibs. Can I get ablations for PACs?

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I think at this stage the risks of ablation far outweigh any possible benefit. Ectopics are considered benign even if they are a pain in the a--e and few EPs would want to interfere as it could make things worse I fear. Everybody has up to 200 ectopics a day by the way. It is quite a natural cardiac thing and seldom if ever becomes AF as they are quite different.

Don't read so much lol

We all know here that Google is bad for your health. Trust your doctors on this. By the way your age is not really relevant young lady.

Bob

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Hard time trusting doctors. See below. My Dad died from a perfectly curable carcinoma on his ear which I thought should be taken off (as did a surgeon). Nope. Left it to grow (with delays in seeing specialist) until it became a large facial tumour. No one knows what it feels like to be talking to your Dad about a very pleasant memory and watch his ear lobe fall off. It is a terrible memory for me now. You keep asking, they start getting irritated. So now I try to read what I can and ask, regardless. I ask what they think about this possibility etc. rather than come off as if knowing more than they do...two way communication I believe and I did have this with my oncologist. Age is a risk factor...especially for death....lol. Oh this journey they call life! I don't know about anyone here but sometimes it dawns on me that I am not 25 anymore and that these things are part of having to accept the new normal....and you have to live with them.

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I agree with you! We have to be an advocate for ourself! I read as much as I can about health concerns so that I know the right questions to ask. I worked in a hospital for years and believe me when I say Doctors are human and ALL humans make mistakes! Unfortunately mistakes some humans make are life threatening and even deadly.

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Well, Mario de Andrade (a Brazilian writer) put it: “We all have two lives, and the second one begins when you realise you only have one.”

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I am sometimes plagued by atrial ectopics which I have caught on my Kardia and shown to both my EP and cardiologist. Both have said that they are benign and are unpleasant but nothing to worry about. I’m 74.

They can trigger AF and AFlutter in some people but not in others. If yours don’t, then take it as a good sign - mine sometimes start a short run of tachycardia but, interestingly, an ectopic usually stops the tach and returns me to NSR too.

The problem with reading cardiac articles is that the in-depth analysis often finds a dark side for someone. We are all different and not everything will apply to an individual. Believe your doctors and think positively. Best wishes.

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"Atrial premature beats (APB) are commonly encountered in clinical practice. They have traditionally been considered benign, but recent evidence indicates that frequent APBs are a strong predictor of atrial fibrillation development and may be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death in general population [1]. In addition, frequent APBs may cause cardiomyopathy [2]. " More and more studies are indicating this, and as a result, consideration is given to giving ablation for both premature atrial and ventricular beats BEFORE they become atrial fibrillations or ventricular problems. The burden of ectopic beats seems to be the problem. I have normal bp and heart rates from 60-73 bpm, so am not panicking yet but I am also losing weight and at a 6 pound loss feel less of them. Wouldn't this be nice if that is all it took. I am given advice only from my GP...haven't seen a specialist yet...and he admits he isn't a cardiologist so doesn't know about PACs and afibs. I sort have become my own advocate since I also had breast cancer twice, the first time seen on mammogram as architectural distortion. Everything I read said it indicated occult tumour but my doctor said not to worry. 5 years later, in exactly that same spot, breast cancer. Emergency sent my sister home with a pain killer because her back was severely sore and she had difficulty walking. I even told them I had breast cancer and please check for this. No, home she went and next day back into emergency, couldn't walk and flew to a large hospital centre which repaired two broken vertebrae from mets from breast cancer. So to trust completely in what doctors say against good medical sources on the internet is very difficult for me to do. I doubt very much I even had an afib the other day because it didn't feel like the other two I had a decade ago. They felt exactly like prolonged ectopic beats I got around menopause and after withdrawal from beta blockers. Emergency established that that is what they are and I was put on a NOAC by my GP and 30 days later got a big rectal bleed. I cannot find anywhere that NOACs are given to anyone with premature or ectopic beats. Anyways, as you can see, I haven't stopped reading....so I think if these things are going to affect my QOL, I am going to see a cardiologist...BUT.....as I am losing weight, they seem to be getting better!!! Thank you for responding. Wishing you the very best on this journey which is scary at times. (((HUGS))))

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All doctors are human and therefore fallible BUT they have more education and training and broader experience than us. I am so sorry you have had so many personal examples of fallibility.

Yesterday after a hectic week for an oldie I noticed more ectopics than I ever have. This was linked with a selection of vagally induced symptoms. They are horrid while they last but I console myself with the fact they don't last indefinitely.

As you say our advancing years lead us to reevaluate " health" and normality.

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Can you describe to me what an ectopic feels like I sometimes are aware of my heart beating in my body but I don’t feel ill is that what it feels like

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One quite good description is “heart hiccups”. One senses a slight “delay” in the beat and a sensation, not painful or particularly uncomfortable, which is like a hiccup. These beats are supposed to be separate from Afib, but I have found that the two tend to occur in proximity to each other.

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Suggest you type “Dr Sanjay Gupta ectopics” into YouTube and you will find several videos that will answer your question.

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What FlapJack said. I feel it as a flip/ flutter in my upper chest/ throat. It's fairly easy to ignore but when I geta few obvious ones I become more alert to them

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Try to take Magnesium. I use three times daily 500mg and control my Afib without pills. You can increase the dosage if you need it.

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I take two 150 mg magnesium (absorbable kind) two times/day and find it helps with ectopics too. Keep an eye on your kidney functions too ValeriuTitus! I have this water called ARTO LIFE WTR that has electrolytes in it, including potassium...wondering if it would affect my potassium sparing blood pressure med? Can't fin out how much is actually in there....probably not much....lol. Tastes good though. There is a way to make magnesium water using Milk of Magnesia on youtube too. A natural occurring spring in Australia has magnesium in it and the cattle are very healthy.

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