Fighting with extra beats...: Hi, I am going... - AF Association

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Fighting with extra beats...


Hi, I am going to try to make this short as possible. I am 46 year old male.

So first skipped heartbeat I have felt in about 1997. in resting state. I was a professional athlete from 1985-2005. Gradually the extra beats would increase year by year. I went to numerous exams, and everything was ok. So up until about 2001., the heart skips were happening only in resting, and worst episodes were right after the training. In 2001, I began to feel extra beats during the training, and in 2002. during one game, I actually had an AF episode which required hospitalization, and electroconversion to normal rhythm. After that I would get more and more extra beats before and during the games, and had to stop altogether with the professional sports. I was given Concor 5mg to regulate, which kind of helped, but the extra beats kept happening on and off, but they were about 100-200 per day, and I could live with that.

This past weekend, after hiking for about 1.5 hours, the extra beats increased to about 5-6 per minute, and I went to more checkups, where nothing wrong was found, except they saw the extra beats, and said they were benign.

I was instructed to lower Concor to 2.5mb, and start Ritmonorm 150mg two times per day. So far it seems like this is helping a little, but it is early days still.

However, from my experience, my extra beats were happening mostly while resting, after exercise, after eating, during intestinal problem, during stomach problems, burping...I have long problem with heartburn and GERD, taking 10mg of Rabeprazole makes me feel like new though. All this points out to a sensitive Vagus nerve.

But my initial AF episode (it has never happened later) was induced by high adrenaline. Also, my dad has full blown AF, which I know matters.

Any advice how to proceed, and what to try?

12 Replies

Unfortunately as Ectopics are deemed to be benign there is little that will be even if it were possible to treat them which I doubt.

My Ectopics occur under virtually the same circumstances. I find with brisk walking they are not apparent whereas when I stop and rest they start up again. It is also very unpleasant whilst and after eating.

The only advice I can offer is slow deep breathing.


cryptod in reply to pottypete1

Thanks. I just am trying to keep them under about a 100 per day :) Somehow I think they are connected to my GERD and stomach issues.


If you search ectopic breathing exercise you will find some help. Slow deep diaphragmic breathing down to less than six breaths a minute for at least five minutes usually stops them .

cryptod in reply to BobD

Thank you, it seems to help!

Well it is good news you have Lone AF. The bad news is it sounds like you have a lot of homework do re AF and the Vagus Nerve in particular. Changes in lifestyle are very likely - the latter does not have to be negative contrary to most people's expectations.

I am sure all not relevant to you but to give you an idea using my journey; I started 4 years ago seeing an experienced Naturopath re AF and supplements, then I had a lot of dental treatment very relevant to heart issues (mercury out - must be correct protocol, caps on, root fillings & extraction) and improved daily oral hygiene procedures, then personal & business stress reduction, then gastro issues re diet etc with a Herbalist/Nutritionist (still burping though) and now working on the last, better sleep. All of this takes time but benefits your health in so many ways and so grateful to AF for that. Good luck, just keep persevering and QOL does get better.

cryptod in reply to secondtry

My teeth are in good condition, I check them regularly. This episode could have happened because prolonged exercise and the altitude. It seems to have slowed down a bit, but still more than before the hike. I need to get my stomach in good shape again, because I get them when trying to swallow things. Like today, everything was fine, then I took 2 pills and there was a feeling of them getting stuck in my esophagus, and immediately after that, I got many extra beats...

You are probably like millions of people and exactly the same as me. It can be extremely difficult and you have to find things that work for you. It really is trial/ error. Work with your dr and work things out yourself, listen to your body. I get thousands a day sometimes which is horrible. But, we are still here. It is about getting to a happier place and accept they are part of you.

Yeah, I think I should drop some weight, and get in better shape. After the hike, I calculated about 7000-8000 in those days, and it really is bad. I can deal with 100-200, no problem. I am used to it.

On that note, my coworker about 2 years ago, went to do 24-hr holter at the same time as me, and I had 4!, and she had 11000!. I felt all four, and she says she does not feel a single one. How is that even possible?

Update: So now I have cut the beta-blocker Concor from 5mg to 2.5, and started drinking magnesium citrate 200mg. I am reduced to like less than 20 yesterday, and none today so far. Weird. Maybe I did not need beta-blocker all these years. Just magnesium...

Let's hope I do not jinx it...

Other than being aware of the ectopic beats do you have any other symptons? Ectopics can be annoying but in and of themselves they are benign and you may be your own worst enemy by focusing on and treating them. Ritmonorm for example seems like overkill simply for ectopics. To put it in perspective I have had 8,000-10,000 ectopics a day and never felt the need to treat them.


cryptod in reply to mjames1

yes, I did not proceed to take ritmonorm. I just cut beta-blocker in half dosage, because my heart was going below 40 at night. Even before taking any beta-blockers, 24hr monitor revealed a beat of 36 during the night.

Other than the funny feeling in my chest, and bad thoughts in my head, I do not have any other symptoms when ectopics happen. Hopefully, this can keep them down to a minimum.

mjames1 in reply to cryptod

You might discuss with doctor eliminating the beta blocker altogether. From what I've read ectopics are very common in trained athetes. Assuming you have been checked out for underlying heart disease -- echo, stress test, etc. -- I would just accept them and go on with your life. The more you focus on them the more they will bother you. Getting another medical opinion might help as well.


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