Ectopic Beats: I have had these ectopic... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Ectopic Beats

I have had these ectopic beats (early beat) on and off this year and I was taken to hospital with high blood pressure which is now being treated, but the last 6 weeks I have had the ectopics none stop almost, The only time they tend to go is when I am lying down, so when I had my ECG they did not show up again, it's is worse when I walk around or get to hot but the GP has said it is due to anxiety etc, I am meant to see a cardiologist but even though these ectopic beats are getting worse the GP has decided it is not urgent, I'm at a loose end as they have also now signed me off until the end of January, I'm not sure what to do now as my appointment for the cardiologist is in march

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Personally I think a resting ECG is of very limited value as it only shows major issues of certain types. A friend passed one and two days later woke up having a heart attack - he was never able to return to his original job. If it comes on when walking they need to carry out a stress ECG on a treadmill or exercise bike. Chase your GP for one of these!

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Was he also having ectopic beats? I have noticed I get them more often with stress and anxiety at times though

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Sorry no idea. Unfortunately I cannot ask him as he died a few years later after collapsing and being diagnosed with sepsis days later.

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Oh gosh, I'm sorry to hear that

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Generally speaking, ectopic beats in and of themselves are not considered an issue. The only time where doctors are bothered by them is if you’re getting them with extremely high frequency and having other symptoms, or if you have supraventricular tachycardia, as an attack is always precluded by an ectopic: it’s the ‘trigger’ mechanism, if you will, but you’d know if you were experiencing that. Stress, anxiety and ALL stimulants even in relatively small amounts can trigger or worsen ectopics e.g. tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, some medications (inc. OTC), Ginger, dark and white chocolate. We’re all individual, so some people may only have trouble with one, but cutting all of the above almost entirely out of my diet has made a big difference in the number I get, even if I still have palpitations on a regular basis.

The best advice I can give you is to sit tight. If you start getting any other symptoms then take yourself back to the GP, or present at A&E if you feel particularly unwell because it’s always better to be safe than sorry, but it may well be that unless there’s an underlying issue, you may have to learn to live with it. If you do need treatment for them, it tends to be beta blockers inthe first instance.

Edit: Forgot to say, the BHF Do have a factsheet on ectopics, but it says pretty much the same as above. But you could always give their nurses a call for a bit of advice/reassurance.

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Can you give me the number to ring for advice from the nurse please Charlie as I’m new here. Thanks Latco.

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The helpline number is:

‭0300 330 3311‬

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Many thanks!

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