Ectopic Beats Developing?: Sorry if I’m... - Arrhythmia Alliance

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Ectopic Beats Developing?

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Sorry if I’m reposting - never used forums before and it’s almost as confusing as the ectopics!!

I recently had an echo after having 1-2000 ectopic beats on a 24hour ECG. Doctor doesn’t think anything is wrong but I have stages where I feel three beats in a row for HOURS. It’s very unsettling. I don’t think I’m an overly anxious person (although this definitely worries me!) and can rule out alcohol coffee etc. I’ve started taking magnesium as have heard this can help but nothing yet. My doctor has prescribed propranolol for when I have a bad period but sometimes I’m taking it constantly and not sure if that is good for my long term health! I’m 31yo and pretty fit and healthy. I find that surfing and warm up/down on a bike really sets it off, as well as eating, going from standing to sitting, laying down and changing sides in bed.

Does anyone have any advice? Also, does anyone know if you can exercise properly with this or is it dangerous?

I don’t think ablation is an answer with an otherwise healthy heart, but the feeling is maddening!!

ECG watch reading for example.

Thanks for reading!

11 Replies

Forgot to say I also had a result of 6 for a troponin test - my doctor reassured me that this was only slightly above normal, but the internet advises me otherwise! Can anyone shed any light on this?


The way our heart works is very complicated, only specialist Docs can interpret the graph with any meaning. Ectopics are a sign your hear is irritated and many can do something about it. Personally I would not push yourself with any exercise until you improve the irritability of your heart.

You say you have started on magnesium supplements which could be a good start if your low on magnesium and if your not it wont help but it won't harm you either (maybe a few more trips to the loo). Don't take magnesium oxide and if your on PPIs as well the magnesium may not get absorbed. I would:

Take it easy

drink plenty of water

eat a banana a day and avocado at least weekly.

Don't have too much sugar or processed food

No alcohol or caffeine

Lift heavy weights

Try and leave 14 hours between your last meal of the day and first the next day

Sleep for 8 hrs or as long as you can

Don't expect an overnight fix, it will take days/weeks/months

I had this problem a couple of years ago, and I discovered I was taking too much calcium, which was leaching my body of magnesium. I stopped all calcium supplements and upped my magnesium supplementation, and the problem disappeared.

I totally sympathise with your plight. My holter test showed 1835 in 24 hr period which is 2.7% of the total and have been told my a few cardiologists that this to low a % to even consider an ablation. Apparently an ablation is considered when the ectopic beats surpass the 10% mark. Even though in my case it appears to be around 3% to be it seems they are much more as they seem to last for hours on and off. To be honest I cannot actually point to any particular trigger as it happens randomly. I can be walking, relaxing, watching tv, having a chat whatever they just come although eating a big meal especially late can worsen the symptoms. Which I knew what triggers them. I have been on atenolol (beta blocker ) for over 30 years to control my BP and I have to go for a stress test tomorrow. Echocardiogram showed a completely normal heart structure which is very reassuring although the electrophysiologist I am seeing now wants me to have an MRI which I am reluctant to have cos I suffer from claustrophobia. If I were you I wouldnt excercise for now guess a stress test under professional supervision would be your safest option. Check out the youtube videos by Dr Sanjay Gupta they will help you a lot. Wishing you well.

Thanks! Having a stress test booked in now :)

I’ve had an MRI (for different reasons) before - not too bad as long as you keep your eyes closed and ignore the clicking!!

When you say 3 beats in a row do you mean 3 quick beats? I’ve been battling ectopics for 3 months now every day I have good days and bad days, but I exercise I go for a light swim 3 days a week and play football once a week, don’t seem to make them any better I had a 7 day holter test which if you go on my page I posted the results from my doctor be interesting to see why others will tell you on here do not exercise as I thought light exercise can only help your ectopics

Yeah all doctors I have spoken to have definitely encouraged to keep exercising (and I like mtb and surfing skiing etc stuff that gets the heart rate up!). I’ll update when I’ve had a stress test.

Oh please do, and yes i told exactly the same with you in regards to exercise

Just an update on the stress test...

No ectopics during strenuous exercise and I was stopped (the technician said there was no point in going higher) when my heart rate was mid 180's. My heart rate then went back to 135 pretty quickly but got stuck there for the remainder of the session (apparently it's meant to go back to normal after 6 mins). My cardiologist said this was probably due to anxiety (in my opinion I didn't feel anxious but hey) and I don't need any further testing as there were only a couple of ectopics seen during the test, and to up the dose of Bisoprolol he had prescribed to help with the tachycardia.


I tried the Bisoprolol prescribed by my cardiologist but found these didn't help with the ectopics, whereas the propranolol prescribed by the GP definitely help (they don't eradicate the ectopics but make it much more manageable). I'm now taking 10mg propranolol when my ectopics start to feel a bit out of hand, or when I know I am going to have any adrenaline based activity (which in the past has brought them on). I don't want to take the beta blockers regularly in case I were to get pregnant as it is not advised to use in that situation.

My cardiologist assures me that everything is fine, but it is hard to accept when no one can tell you why the ectopics have suddenly become frequent and uncomfortable.

So in a nutshell, exercise is fine :D

First of all thank you for getting back to me and letting me know much appreciated, 180bpm that's pretty intense exercise, even more intense on the Beta Blockers, i hear that your heart can't get to your maximum exercise rate when you take Beta Blockers so 180bpm is good, does the ectopics bother you at rest also? i started taking coconut water and eat watermelon to replace electrolytes after exercise it helps with the ectopics a bit, try it

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