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Arrhythmia Alliance
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Arrythmia?

1 yr ago I was diagnosed with an ASD. ( small hole) due to palpitations I was having. Had an echo done, internal sonogram of heart, holter monitor, etc. I also had some pvcs but not very many. I also have 1st degree heartblock. Despite all that, doc said heart was healthy. Fast forward to about a week ago. I noticed every time I was up during the day my heart would continueously skip. When I laid down I was ok. Spent 2 nights in hospital. Stress test done, another echo, bloodwork(including magnesium and thyroid), even had a monitor on at all times. All tests came back perfect besides what they already knew and no changes to what I have. When I would stand up and feel these beats missing over and over it would show a little on the monitor. Doctor reviewed them and said everything was perfect. How is this possible? I watched the lines change on the monitor when they would occur!! I was told the monitor was printed every hour so they had something to go off.. So my question is.. With all those tests coming back absolutely normal for me,, should I still be concerned? Went to work today and when I lay down I have maybe one or 2 but when I'm up walking around they are almost constant and it makes me feel short of breath! I'm 28! Yea I have anxiety and I just dont believe they are right.. They prescribed me Xanax.. My heart skips beats,, I can feel it in my pulse that it misses as well.. Can someone give me some insight??

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I am sorry that no one has replied to you.

Arrhythmias are quirks in the heart's electrical system and can occur in a heart that is in good working order.

What does your regular doctor have to say?

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Cardiologist says anxiety! Its skipping/fluttering nore than it ever has. Had a full work up at hospital.. Blood tests, urine, echo, stress test, ecg and was on a monitor the whole time. Nurse told me the monitor records the whole time but they only print off a sheet every hour for the doctor and I'm afraid they missed the skipping/fluttering as when I seen them happen on the monitor it would change, but doctor says he seen nothing. I'm gonna go back and ask for a 24hr monitor this week. Its happening most when I am up walking around. Just wondering if its still something major despite all the tests that came back normal?Again,, I do have a hole. 2-3mm which he said is very small and no cause for concern. 1st degree heartblock as well as some pvcs seen in 2017 on a monitor. He has tried to assure me but I'm not assured unfortunately.

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Why not look up the Kardia device which can be a useful aid, although it is easy to become obsessive about checking one's heartbeat. There are also pocket event monitors that a doctor can loan. However people - and often ladies - do find that doctors will diagnose anxiety when actually there is a heart condition. And of course one can feel anxious if one's heart can misbehave. The two go hand in hand.

Does anyone on the forum think it likely that something major is being missed with all the tests that have been carried out?

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your story is so similar to mine, especially on the beginning, when I've started to feel the skips in my twenties, doctors mostly were diagnosing anxiety, even before the actual check up. I have done many ECGs, two holters, something was caught but "nothing serious"... what do you feel exactly? I feel that my heart skips the beat, then it has a strong kick, an after the kick continues normally for minute, for hour... - depends on a day - then another one skip... it is frustrating, frightening...

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Hi Valoriediane,

I'm sorry to hear your frustrating story but I'm afraid it's quite common. I think the likely diagnosis is frequent ectopic beats. Some people have them all the time and don't notice them at all but if they suddenly start, or increase in frequency (which can often happen after a minor virus infection - and then they usually settle down over a few months) then people do notice them and they can be quite worrying. The problem is that the more you worry about them the more you notice them so it's a "vicious circle". It's not generally true that they "are caused by anxiety" but people who have some reason to be anxious about their heart (e.g. your small ASD) tend to notice the ectopic beats more.

From the doctor's point of view, because the ectopic beats are harmless (and they really are), they often say "nothing serious" or "nothing to worry about" rather than explaining what they are - so people DO worry about them.

As Rellim2 says, a good solution is to catch the symptoms on an ECG using a simple phone attachment (AliveCor made by Kardia, cost about £95) and you can then show the ECG to your doctor who can explain what's happening. Once you know for sure what the skipped beats are caused by, it is easier to learn to ignore them. There are drugs that can help suppress them but they may cause more side-effects than benefit, so ignoring them IS the best solution.

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Tamara.. Mine is the same.. It feels like a big beat and then continues on to be a normal beat and then just doe sit over and over.. Sometimes it will feel like a flutter or a pause.. A year ago I had the same symptoms.. When taking pulse and a missed beat or whatever happens I can feel it in my pulse as well.. Its like a pause and then continues on.. But yes.. Like a large beat.. Scares the crap out of me as its happening more frequent. I feel like my hearts just gonna stop. I have an appointment with a regular doctor this week.. Can your primary care order a holter monitor without a cardiologist and just gibe you results,,?

Jonathon.. I'm doing my best to not worry about them but its hard.. I was having them before all these tests and all tests were normal so apparently its not causing damage or it would have been caught is my best guess. I was prescribed Xanax but haven't started on it yet.. Was justvtold to see my primary care doctor for anxiety...I guess now I just need to know if regular doctor would be able to order a monitor and look at results herself and then if nothing is caught then talk about anxiety meds..

Thank you both for replying to me..

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Check out Dr Sanjay Gupta’s Facebook , York Cardiology , he also has videos on YouTube and a What’s App Group. He explains things incredibly well, I could wish that I had found his info years ago. I have been treated by same Cardiologist for many years, After 2 major episodes in early years, similar story, they could never track anything , finally got diagnosed with AFib post ablation for SVT , thankfully feeling better, but I am now on Rivaroxaban for life I guess. Used to do a lot of sport & a physically demanding job. Hope that you get your answers. Try and find a natural stress solution if you can. Check out The 4 Pillar plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, also on Facebook& TV. His latest book is Stress ( have not read it yet but 4 Pillar Plan is great, treat yourself to a copy! Good Luck x

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Another question.. What exactly are ectoptic beats? Is that the same as pvcs?? I do have pvcs per heart monitor a yr ago but he said they were vague.. Hmmm..

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Yes, pvcs (premature ventricular contractions) are one kind of ectopic beats. They are basically just extra heart beats which interrupt the regular rhythm. Often you don't actually feel the extra heart beat but just the gap before the next normal one, so it seems like a missed beat.

Almost everybody has a few each day and some people have quite a lot. As I said, you mostly notice them if they get more frequent. Provided the other investigations, especially the echocardiogram (ultrasonic scan) are normal there is no danger and no need for treatment.

If they come on suddenly, suggesting a mild virus attack, it would be best to avoid heavy exertion for a week or two and this may help them settle down more quickly

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Valoriediane, had two holter monitors, I paid for them in a private medical center, here it is possible, the price was around 80 usd per one - off course, cardiologist suggested... it caught 200-300 pvcs, which Jonathan explained, that is exactly what I am feeling... it is frightening, I also think that my heart will stop,that it will not continue after that scary pause... lost my dear husband 3 months ago, I am living alone with my five year old daughter and it is my biggest fear, because of her mostly... trying to ignore, but easier said than done...

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So pvcs cause a big boom in the heart sometimes and sometimes it can just feel like a flutter that causes a pause? Ughhh I wish it wouls just go away.. Is there anything you do that makes them worse? I ask because when I'm sitting they pretty much go away but when I'm active( up walking around doing normal activites) it is much much worse to were it almost seems constant.. So scared despite all tests. But I can say that I am under an extreme amount of stress right now. Have alot going on medically with my 5yr old son due to rupture of appendix in November and still fighting infection and having to takr him 2 hrs away to another town weekly to get a work up to see if infection is gone. All the hospital stays with my son has caused me to lose my place I am renting and trying to find another place and loss of job as well as trying to start school. Already enrolled but may have to quit due to all this. I believe it could be the stress but when it occurs with normal activity like standing and walking around i don't feel stressed.. Maybe alot of stress has caused them each time a year ago and until I was stress free for a period of time they went away and alot of stress has caused them this time and wont go away till I can get stress under control.. That's my best guess besides they missed something..Tamara I'm sorry to hear about your husband.. Since you had them do you think maybe it was cuz of his passing? Did you have alot of stress when they started? Like I said mine just occur most when standing and make me feel a little short of breath..

Johnathan... Is it possible for them (pvcs) to feel different sometimes? Like fluttering and sometimes a big beat and then also a pause.. Ughhh makes me terrified.. Have you dealt with all this? You seem very knowledgeable about them. Did a doctor have to reassure you as well or you did your own research.. Was wondering if I could hear your story if you have one and would like to share..

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I do not feel shortness of breath, not feeling dizzy - only this terrible feel of pause and big beat, frequently. I've noticed that while I was much more stressed, during the last three months of his life, as well during the first two months after his death - I did not feel this abnormal beats at all. Now that I am starting to put myself together- it is happening, maybe it is all due to accumulated stress, I don't know... but sure it is related, you have quite stressful situation to handle (sorry you have, hope you settle everything and you son will be ok), as I have known through the years in affect our hearts a lot... I am taking Xalol (same as Xanax), small doses, 0,25 mg x 2, it helps to cope better with these beats, but it does not make them go away, I only worry a little less.

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So, so sorry for you loss and all the stress that you are going through. Life can be so tough. After going through 10 years of worsening heart issues during my husband’s illness, finally had ablation a few months ago& got an unexpected diagnosis for AFib. I have found great info here recently by Dr Sanjay Gupta& York Cardiology site, he has a great video about arrthymias , amongst other things. Great communicator ( see my reply above) and The 4Pillar Plan by Rangan Chatterjee. Hope info might help . X

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It just makes me catch my breath.. Like I was winded..ughhh

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