Arrhythmia Alliance
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Erratic heartbeat

My heart rate is all over the place. From 65 to 90 to 75 in a couple of minutes without moving a muscle. It seems faster and more irregular when I am resting. I am waiting for the 24 ECG. I can walk up hills, no problem then I sit down and it's everywhere. Also have bad reflux at momen. Just had half 12.5mg Atenolol and this drops my hr and BP low. Chest pain at moment as well. Wish I new what was going on. Never goes really high, like over 100. Anyone else hot same probs. Drs don't know but last year cardio perfusion stress test was normal.

6 Replies


sounds just like mine. have had incidents of sudden tiredness which doctors could not explain as all my tests showed normal. 2 years ago I nearly collapsed in the surgery and heart rate stayed low 30-37. went into ACU unit and whilst having an echocardiogram they found I had flutters - sudden rapid, erratic beats - 'going everywhere' followed by sudden drop to very slow. like you mine happen at rest rather than exertion. I was put on various medications but realised that they were aimed at slowing my heart rate when in fact the problem wasn't the fast, erratic rate but the slower one - which the medications just exasperated!

there is no trigger for my 'blips - they are totally random which has made treatment (ablations) difficult as the doctors can't replicate my symptoms in theatre in order to zapp the affected point. like you, my engine works fine - I have a strong heart but the electrics are faulty leading to the random events. most times I can feel them happening but I also know they occur unnoticed but leave me very tired and sometimes dizzy (presyncope). I also have chest pains at times and a lot of reflux.

unfortunately stress tests do not work on me as the heart copes well with stress and it does not trigger the events - it is completely random. for 20 years doctors have said they can't find anything wrong with me as all the tests kept showing normal by the time I actually got to the surgery or to a&e. it was only by chance that I had an event whilst having the echocardiogram. later 24 monitors have spotted the ectopic beats and doctors now have plenty of evidence but still they have had difficulty treating it. I do not take any medication at all - for the reason above - and am able to manage my symptoms. it is not life threatening for me but it is life disrupting as I still get exhausted and presyncope but I also can lead a normal life. I have also learnt that sudden fast rhythms can be prolonged by anxiety and try to react with calming techniques which reduces the length of the event.

my ablations have reduced the incidence of prolonged slow beats which I find the worst as they can last for days making me very tired and unsteady.

I have been able to travel all over the world without trouble but can be sitting having a pleasant coffee at a local cafe and it will suddenly hit me - that's the lifestyle I have got used to.

Chest pains, breathlessness, tiredness, presyncope, reflux slow me down but I still can do most things - sometimes with a lot of effort - so long as my heart is still strong and

it is just the electrics that occasionally affect me.

Sorry I have been so long-winded but there is a lot happening with this condition.

I wish you well - be persistent with doctors who might say there is nothing wrong when you know there is.

All the best



Thanks Walt, I think we've spoken before. It must be reassuring to know it's not life threatening but you but you will always be waiting for next time. I've got blood tests tomorrow and a gastro appointment due. I also get dreadful bile reflux, caused mainly (I think) by chronic constipation, caused by pain killers for spinal tarlov cysts, etc. Its an endless circle of causes and effects.

I am glad you are living a normal life and are able to travel, you sound much younger than me. Don't know if you are in UK but wheels grind slowly here and sometimes for 67 year old women, they say anxiety. I'll keep going though, until I can't.

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When you say very slow, how slow is that. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between slow and fast unless you measure them, you just know it feels wrong. The half an atenolol made me feel better last night. I walked up a steep hill a couple of days age, I think I was testing my heart. No palpitations, breathlessness, etc. Just more back pain which I have got used to. (Mail just came with heart monitor appt next Thursday).


Hello ,

I am new to this forum. I have nocturnal pauses and the last one was 3.7 seconds . I am very scared to go to sleep . I have some press cope episodes but I thought it was because my Blood pressure dropping . I am 54 And relatively active . Would love to hear from your d others. . Thanks

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Hi. I really feel for you as i also have pauses and my heart misbehaves much more at night time and overnight. My pauses are frequently 3 seconds. It is very scary. My electrophysiologist says that because i have AF amongst other arrythmias, i can cope with pauses of up to 5 seconds. I have often felt about to faint. I have improved since coming off all antiarryrhmic medication as they seemed to make me even worse. I also have very fearful times when i am too scared to go to sleep in case something happens to my heart in my sleep. It is such a scary way to live sometimes. I am 36 and have had this fotlr 2 years now. I hope you improve and get some answers.


you just said the magic words...Chest pain.... get to hospital,


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