Arrhythmia Alliance
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Ectopics and palpitations

Hi I am 28 and I have been getting ectopics and palpitations for several years, recently they have become worse , I normally would get ectopics here and here but now I get runs of them 5-10 in a row , I am waiting for a loop recording implant to be fitted as my cardiologist thinks it might be AVNRT - AVRT , has anyone else had runs of ectopics in a row ?

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Hello,

Just to put your mind at rest, Sutty, because ectopic heartbeats and palpitations can be very worrying. I'm 76, and I've had ectopics and palpitations since I was in my thirties, and at times it hasn't so much been a case of 5-10 ectopics in a row, as a series of ectopics running for several minutes, several times a day, and often at night. Sometimes I've been wakened by the tug in the chest of ectopics going off in a series. Of course, it can be scary, and a few years' ago I had further tests at Bart's - that's to say, an ecg test, an echo cardiogram and 48hr tape monitoring. All was okay. I was told I had 1st Degree Trifascicular Block and that I may eventually need a pacemaker. But even though scary, ectopics are very common and nothing to worry about. So don't worry - your cardiologist has everything under control.

Best

Patrick

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Thank you for that 😊 do you mean you get in like this .0.0.0.000000000000000.0.0.0.0.0 or do you mean like this .0.0.00.0.00.0.00.00.0.0.00 sorry about the 0 it's the only way I could think of doing it

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Okay – here the zeros with dots following them represent my normal heartbeats, hyphens represent the ectopics – and these signs ~ represent the palpitations that in my case often accompany ectopics – so >>>> 0.0.0. – – 0.0.0.0. – 0.0.0. – – – 0.0.0. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 0. – 0. – 0. – 0. ~ ~ ~ ~ and so on. Please remember that although ectopics are often referred to as ‘missed beats’, that your heart never misses a beat. The bump you feel in your chest follows a very slight pause between heartbeats, when the heartbeat is stronger to compensate for the very slight pause. Bear in mind also that ‘ectopic’ means approximately ‘out of place’, the way an ectopic pregnancy implies a pregnancy where the foetus is not in the womb where it should be, but out of place. Hope this helps.

Best,

Patrick

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Thank you for sharing this with me , in a way it's good to know I'm not alone with these horrible things , they still scare me though. When you say palpitations what do you feel ?

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Hello Again Sutty,

Of course palpitations are scary, regardless of the fact that they are extremely common and nothing to worry about. What do I feel when my heart goes into palpitation mode? It's difficult to explain, but there's a kind of fluttering in my chest while the heart's normal rhythm is temporarily suspended - you might say there's a sight downwards tug to the experience, which is probably caused when my attention is suddenly drawn downwards to my chest at the onset of palpitations. You might also say there's a kind of floating sensation while it goes on. After all these years, when nothing has ever happened, and after I've been told many times palpitation are harmless, I still feel my mortality whenever palpitations begin. I usually try to think of something - a line from a poem, something a teacher once said to me, a few words from my favourite play - that kind of thing - anything, really, to take my mind off it. And then, always and always and always - the palpitation or ectopics are suddenly gone!

Best,

Patrick

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Patrick, I found this post very helpful and reassuring. I'm 33 and suffering from palpitations for 2 years. You have put into words exactly how I feel and although I'm sorry you experience I find comfort in knowing I'm not the only one who feels like this. Thanks,Claire

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Hello Claire, I'm very pleased it helped you. As you'll no doubt have read, I'm 76 years' old, and ectopics began when I was about thirty. These days I take very little notice of them, and sometimes they do go on for quite a while - but as I said, they always stop eventually. And I expect like you, I've often been told ectopics are nothing to be worried about. So please don't worry. Doctors are always happy to speak to you about them, so whenever you're worried, see your doc for some reassurance. And remember, ectopics are often referred to as missed heartbeats - your heart never misses a beat - what you feel in your chest is your heart making a stronger beat to compensate for a slightly longer pause than usual. Stay cool, don't worry :)

Best Wishes,

Patrick

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Hi there I've had a new symptom recently and I want to see what you think , it's been happening with I'm sleeping, well I think it has , I've been feeling the bursts of rapid beats when asleep but I don't know if it's real , it feels like I'm half in a dream and half awake at the same time and I feel the horrible feeling in my chest when it happens, but then when I wake in the morning I have full memory of it but I don't know if it really happened! In abit confused

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Hello Sutty,

I've very often had a string of ectopics during the night - they actually wake me up - well, I suppose that's the only way I know they're happening :) As I've said before, I'm 76 - I mention this only so you'll see that ectopics can come and go throughout your lifetime, and all will be well. So, although it's natural to worry about them, they are harmless - and needless to say, when you have them at night they are more scary, and they may keep you awake for a while - but eventually they'll stop. The 'horrible feeling' you have in your chest is probably when the ectopics go on for a while, when there can be a kind of fluttering - that's palpitations. Palpitations are very similar in nature to ectopics, but I'm not a doc so I can't explain that to you - one of my docs actually said they are the same thing. // I've just had a look at what the British Heart Foundation has to say on the matter - look them up - I'd paste the link here for you but I can't. They give a number, which is monitored by cardiac nurses and advisors Monday to Friday from 9-5. Give them a call if you need reassuring anytime >> 0300 330 3311

Best Wishes,

Patrick

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Can I ask are ectopic beats arrythmia? I had a 24hr ecg that said few ectopic beats, no arrythmia seen.

However lots of people say ectopics are arrythmia?

Confused!

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Ectopics are arrhythmia, but very often they are not pathologic (so called benign arrhythmias). The concern is when sombody has other rhythm problem (afib or blocks). For instance atrial ectopics (PACs) can drive (provocate and maintain) atrial fibrillation.

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