Irregular heartbeat

Hi, hoping for some incite here. couple of month ago I started having irregular heartbeats. It felt like my heart was skipping a beat. Id not been doing anything different thatn usual except that for the about 2 months prior had been talking Harvoni for Hep C (which is gone now yay!). A month before I finished the pills shortly after this started, my doctore told me to stop drinking coffee for the last month of the pills (I only drink decaf) but it didnt do any good. It started out as just occasionally and now a couple month later it happens almost all of the time, except for when im sleeping. I spent the last 4 days writing down my Heart rate and the # of times it skipped every few hours throughout the day. It fluctuated thru the day. it doesnt seem to get worse when I do my walk, possibly worse when i sit for long periods, but like clockwork it seems to just stop every night at 11:30pm. and sometimes I have it in the morning and sometimes not. Generally tho, my heart just feeels like its beating hard a lot. My HR is normal, ranging from 65-85. My BP is normal. Today it was 116/74 which actually is a little high for me. I was quite annoyed since i had to wait a long time to see the Dr. today. My doctor referred me to a cardiologist, who I saw today and frankly I thought that was a BIG waste of money. He took one look at my blood test and said my LDL cholesterol is too high I need to be on medication. I think it was 112. Then he mentioned something about a ratio. When I questioned him about going on medication and how serious it was, did i really need it, couldnt i just eat differently, etc, he left the room and brought back some peice of paper he had printed off the internet and read it to me word for word. I really cant believe my DR. who i love referred me to this idiot. Ive put 4 of my last cholesterol results into a cholesterol ratio calculator and they say my cholesterol is fine. Ive only been doing regular blood tests for the past 2 years but in that time the #'s have fluctuated a little but not much. On 2 of the tests the LDL was 96 (which is normal) I really dont want to take those cholesterol meds, I havent heard good things about them and have heard that cholesterol doesnt even cause heart disease, they are finding now. I guess I would like to hear your thoughts. Right now Im sitting here with a holter attached to me to see what that shows. Thank for reading.



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20 Replies

  • Perhaps go back to your regular doctor to talk about it all?

    Heart palpitations may or may not mean that anything is wrong. My husband had atrial fibrillation some years ago, which caused dizziness along with the palpitations, and that showed up on a heart monitor. Unfortunately stress and anxiety can also cause palpitations. Perhaps try some relaxation or meditation techniques to see if that helps?

  • Thank you. Ive been asked about stress (not by the cardiologist??) but Im not really under any stress. I dont think thats the issue. I dont have dizziness either.

  • It could well be and very often is, just ectopic beats which are harmless in themselves. Did your GP or hospital do at least an ecg. If nothing actually wrong with heart odd beats,pauses,thumping etc can be due to a lot of other my case they were due to a thyroid issue and stopped when treated for hopefully nothing serious going on but obviously go back to GP if you concerned still.

  • Thanks for your reply. I read about ectopic beats and its seems to be what i have. I havent had an ecg yet. My regular Dr. did an ekg and Im wearing a holter fro 24 hours and will get the results today when i go in at 2:30 to get it off. I honestly thought when i made the appt that I was getting an ecg but this turned out to just be a consult. Not what i wanted. But anyway. I think I might go ahead and try and get one to make sure. They did run a complete thyroid panel and all was normal.

  • What do you typically eat and do in a day, how long before 11:30pm, and what times do you sleep?

  • I think I eat pretty well. But Im sure there is always room for improvement. I typically eat breakfast around 9:30 and I have yogurt and a banana. For lunch I fix a large salad which has mixed dark green, red cabbage, black beans, liquid eggs (cooked), small amount of salad toppings, Mixed veggies and a small amount (3 tablespoons) of low fat dressing. For dinner I usually eat a Lean Cuisine (and a few other brands) TV dinner. Im not much of a cook and some of these are quite good. Plus I have another yogurt and banana. For my evening snack i usually eat a few crackers with some breakfast bars and a little low fat ice cream. Its like another meal in terms of calories, just not all that nutritious but very satisfying. Im usually done eating by 9pm at the latest and I go to bed around 12-1am. I also tend to eat a piece of fruit in between lunch and dinner. I dont like plain water but I drink some seltzer water. probably not enough but since Ive quit the decaf coffee for the most part, Ive tried to drink more water now. I cant say its made any difference.

    A few things i didnt mention if it helps is Im 59 and dont drink or smoke 5'6" and weigh about 122. At least a couple times a week I walk up 2 steep blocks, up and down 5 times. its very cardio and about a 30 min walk. I do sit a lot at my computer during the day, but try to get up and move around even when i dont have anywhere to go that day. And my TV time runs from 7-8 until about 11:30 so Im sitting a lot in the evening too. Agin, I do get up a few times during this period, so its not constant.

  • More natural fat to improve myelin sheathing/nerve insulation?

    Activity looks okay; Cooper recommends 20 minutes @ 140+ beats per minute, or 45 minutes @ 130+ bpm at least once every four days. The benefits of this should outweigh being sedentary.

    You could be chronically impairing your circadian rhythm by sleeping so late. Our bodies evolved by sleeping during hours of darkness, which usually centres around 12am or 1am, depending on the time of year. Even those that think they are night owls tend to suffer ill-health resulting from raised cortisol levels by straying too far from this daylight-controlled rhythm.

    The fruit yoghurt and TV dinners may be spiking your insulin.

  • Thank you. I think I will have to reevaluate my diet. sigh. I dont think I can do much about the hours i sleep. Getting up any earlier than about 8 is very hard for me. I dont sleep well anyway and seem to get the best sleep at the end of the sleeping cycle so about 6-8am. I wake up probably between 4-6 times a night, get up and go to the bathroom and then get another 1 1/2 to 3 hours sleep before im awake again. Its been like this for as long as I can remember.

  • I have had the same thing. Sometimes triggered by my allergies. Never when exercising. It is very common for post menopausal women. It is called pvc's. Preventrucular contractions. My cardiologist told me they are not dangerous. But that is what I had. Don't know if that's what you have. If I were you I would go see another cardiologist who listens to you. Doctors work for you. Fire them if they are not concerned or if they give you throwaway answers.

  • Thanks. This is really good to know. I will have to look into the PVC's. I read something about it last night. These just started out of the blue and Ive never had them before. its been quite desturbing. Strangely Ive started kind of getting used to the skipped beats, but its the hard pounding heart feeling that is awful still. I definitely need a different cardiologist, but unsure of how to find one that will have the same views I do and will listen to me. I went thru this with veterinarians for my cats. I finally found a good one. But these cardiologists are expensive and I dont have insurance. $200 just to see this guy yesterday plus the $350 for the holter. I have the money, but i dont want to waste it like i feel i did yesterday.

    I still cant pin down what is triggering this since it is basically happening all day, I dont notice it at night between around 11pm and 8 am when Im sleeping. I guess i will know for sure if its happeneing at night when i go back today to get the holter results.

    Are you on any meds for yours? How is your LDL cholesterol? Thus Dr thinks they are related, but Im not convinced.

  • I went back to the cardiologist today to have the holter taken off (that result wont be ready until tomorrow because they said it takes 5 hours) and he did another test. This time I was hooked up to an ekg and had to walk on a tread mill. He said there was irregular results and he thinks I have heart disease but that this test is only 70% accurate so he wants to wait for theholter results before I start meds (which i really dont want to take) I dont have it in front of me but the results stated something was off on the right side of the heart (which the Dr. said was better than it being on the left side) and some other results that arent supposed to be minus amounts went to -1.7 and -.5 from + #'s. Once i get a copy I can tell you this with more accuracy. I go back next Wed. and he just asked me to write down everything I eat for a few days and he will help me with my diet. He still thinks all this is being caused by the cholesterol. I asked if I could control it with diet and he said only 30% of cholesterol is from diet the other 70% comes from the liver. During this treadmill ekg test I had NO skipping beats. So he wants me to walk 30 mins 2x a day. And he said sitting is bad I should stand when Im on the computer and watching TV. Geez, now Im afraid to sit down. I dont hate this Dr. as much as I did yesterday, but Im so torn about taking medication. he did mention PCV's and ectopic beats and something else saying its all the same thing. And thats what I have.

    Since this is cholesterol site, What do all of you do to lower your LDL cholesterol? If it isnt taking stalins. Also he wants to put me on a beta blocker for the skipped beats. What do you guys think of that?

  • Beta blockers are used to slow down the heart and stop it beating too hard, they are useful in the right circumstances and may only be needed temporarily.

    Part of modern advice for sorting out cholesterol is to remove any 'free' sugars from your diet. Check the labels of everything you eat, low fat foods and other ready-made foods can often have high levels of added sugar. Things like breakfast bars and ice cream are also likely to have a lot of added sugar.

    Perhaps try some olive oil on your salad instead of the dressing. It's been shown to be good for the heart.

  • Thank you, The ice cream definitely has more sugar than anything im eating. It has 13g per 1/2 cup and I was eating 1 cup. hmm. Well the breakfast bars vary from 3g to 9g Maybe i should just go back to eating the 100 calorie popcorn bags, they have zero sugar, as do a few of the crackers i eat. I know i could eat fruit for snacks but to me they arent real snacks. I can only handle eating so much fruit. I already eat 2 bananas and 1 nectarine a day. I will figure this out hopefully. Good news is the last couple days seem to be a bit better. So more exercise and less sugar is a place to start.

  • I have something similar for many years. ECGs are fine. I suffer from blocked sinuses and it seems that I get these when my sinuses are bad. My sister has had the same problem and we agreed it was when our sinuses played up. It seems to be the sinuses dripping down the back of the throat cause bubbles when breathing. So it's the breathing that makes it feel like the heart. And after 40 years of these symptoms I have learnt to recognise it and not to panic. Sounds daft but it makes sense to my sister and me.

  • Thank you. I havent got the results of the Echo yet but i dont have any sinus problems so i dont think its that.

  • well i started the metopropol (beta blocker) on 9/2, so 1 week today. I started with 25mg once a day. it was slowing my heart rate down, but not completely getting rid of the skipping heart beats and they seemed to be worse in the evening. So a couple days ago my Dr told me to half the pill and take it 2x a day. I started yesterday. I felt ok yesterday but the skipping beats were still there, although with the slowed heart rate it doesnt feel quite so bad. But this morning i got up and took my 1/2 pill and an hour later my heart is skipping every few beats. i called the Dr. and she told m to take the other 1/2 and call her back at 2pm to see if I need to take another pill in the evening now. Strangely its seemed to be worse after standing rather than when i was sitting, but now its skipping like crazy and Im sitting. im getting so tired of not feeling right. Ive also been on low dose aspirin and Crestor (5mg) for the past week too. I havent really noticed any side effects from those. But Ive had a lot of strange muscle pain. Its really hard to describe. I get tinges of pain in different spots, and it feels like there is pressure on my chest and back. Very uncomfortable.

    When I go for a long walk it seems to help. My BP has remained normal.

  • I worry a bit about this trial and error. I hope it works but I found it was in my head a lot of it. Because I felt it was my heart skipping I then had panic attacks. It was self perpetuating. Now I just tell myself there is nothing physically wrong and it works. I am a healer and will send you done healing. Whether you believe or not it does not matter. I hope it helps.

  • Well its not working out so well. I took 2 more halves tonight and my heart rate has dropped a lot and the skips have escalated. If I walk up and down the stairs 5 times to raise my heart rate the skips stop until the heart rate lowers again. My Dr, thinks a lot of this is anxiety. I dont feel particularly anxious but Im really scared. Maybe im more anxious than I think, but I dont know how to fix that. I was watching TV just now for a couple of hours and wasnt thinking about it at all, but when i checked my heart was skipping and jumping like every other beat. I have no idea how I will get to sleep. All I can think about is that I wont wake up tomorrow and what will happen to my cats.

  • I know how you feel. I have been there mamy times and I am sure what you are actually having a problem with are panic attacks. I feel there is nothing wrong with your heart but as you are suffering abnormal sensations you are worrying about it and bringing on the panic. You are not going to die as I have had them for 40 odd years and am still here for my animals. The foctors seemed to have ruled out anything serious which is great. So what is left? The mind reacting to things. And the mind can play tricks. Good luck to you and your lovely cats.

  • Thanks for the encouragement. I hope you are right.

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