Arrhythmia Alliance

What do ectopics feel like?

Hi, I've had ectopics for 3 years. Initially they were just a 'boom' in the chest, and that was it. In the last few months they've changed and become more frequent. Now I'm getting a number of irregular beats (lasting several seconds) after which I feel dizzy and sort of bruised inside (back and chest). And the anxiety this causes.... well enough said. I had another 24 hour monitor yesterday but as per usual my heart behaved impeccably! Could what I'm feeling be just a different version of ectopics???

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Certainly could be. Maybe runs but they are not happening every day. You could go onto request a 7 day monitor or purchase an AliveCor and monitor yourself to try and capture what is happening.

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Thanks goldfish. I've looked at the Alivecor option, and will wait to see what maybe picked up by my monitor (if anything) and then decide what to do. Just worried the Alivecor option might not work to help me capture patterns that are so random (i.e. Happen at an point out of the blue and usually for a couple of seconds).

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I think they feel like a gear with a cog missing

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Good description lol

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Don't know what's worse bag of worms or missing cog lol

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If they are that brief then unlikely to represent anything worrying and most likely just ectopics which everyone gets at some times

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Or, you've put the leads on the wrong plugs. (Those were the days)

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Thanks for the ongoing replies. Very helpful. If we're doing car analogies my symptoms would be described as a car backfiring. Or one of those cars in cartoons that goes 'phut, phut, ....phut......phut, phut ' trying to get going!

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Awful. I HATE runs of ectopics. They are so so uncomfortable. I would rather have an established episode of AF for an hour or two than a lengthy episode of ectopics and the heart gulping and behaving in that uncertain way. Hope you get sorted. Some people find that breathing exercises or physical activity help stop the ectopics.

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Hi Elliott, for me, ectopic beats feel like 2 quick beats, a long pause and then a thud. What does AF feel like? I don't know yet if I have it.

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No idea what AF feels like. GP confirmed today that runs of several quick and random beats are ectopics only. She seemed to think I was overreacting.

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Anxiety makes it worse, so accept the advice that it is not serious and relax - or try to find ways of doing so. The breathing exercises will help to do just that, and are considered very effective. See Dr Sanjay Gupta . . . or research 'breathing exercises' on the AFAssociation community page.

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Thank you Polski.

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Hi, I found your post about using an Apple Watch to monitor ectopics, and wondered how it worked out? I’m thinking about taking the same route, would value comments. Cheers.

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Apple watches won’t work. You need a kardia device to detect anything more serious I think. I bought a kardia device and fixed it to my Apple Watch. When I had ectopic beats it just said my heart rate was normal so doesn’t actually tell you you’ve got ectopic beats, it just reassured you it’s nothing worse. I’ve stopped using my Apple Watch and kardia altogether now as I became obsessed with my heart rate which made my anxiety worse hence more ectopics!

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That is a *really* helpful reply, thanks so much. I totally get the perils of becoming obsessed: nothing more worrying/suspicious than a doctor saying ‘there’s something there, but it’s nothing to worry about’...

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