How to cope?: Hello All again... - Arrhythmia Alliance

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How to cope?

ronnie211097 profile image
ronnie211097

Hello All again!

Question to those suffering with ectopic beats - what do yours feel like? How do you cope with them? I’m finding myself to succumb to depression again caused by a vicious anxiety cycle from my supposed ectopics. I feel like I can’t walk around or clean the house or do anything because I’m scared of ectopics coming on again.

I’m going to ask my GP for a holter monitor next week but I’m so afraid of the whole diagnosis process in case something is terribly wrong. I have no idea what my triggers are, I stopped drinking all tea for a week and they haven’t gone away. Could it be hormonal as I usually get them a few days before my menstruation? I’m frightened of these even though I’ve had the odd ectopic for as long as I can remember. Since the start of this year, they seemed to have increased in number though :( they feel like a flutter and a swoosh in the centre of my chest which makes me catch my breath sometimes as they can cause a little pressure sensation in my throat. Is that a common experience?

Thank you!

21 Replies

I am sorry for what you are going through. I have been suffering from PACs, PVCs, and SVTs for a couple of years now and I can feel every ectopic, thud, and thump. They also made me exhausted and short of breath. I could feel them in my chest and in my throat/neck. I genuinely feel your pain. Mine showed up out of the blue for no reason. Was told that they could go away that fast too but didn’t. I had so many ( thousands in a day) that I could hardly function day to day and the depression was real. I seen a cardiologist who referred me to an amazing electrophysiologist. I had all the tests on my heart and everything says I have a healthy heart. I was first placed on an anti arrhythmic medication and it worked for awhile. When it stopped I was switched to a different kind that eventually stopped working too. I had an EP study with ablation 11 days ago. I am feeling better everyday. That is just my experience. I still have my worry days (almost every day lol) but this group helps me feel that I am not alone. If I were you I would have all the tests done and see what they say and how your doctor would like to treat you. I pray that you get the relief you need. Best of luck.

ronnie211097 profile image
ronnie211097 in reply to dh1120

Hello!

Thank you for replying to me. I am really sorry but also very empathetic to what you have been going through. It seems as though the more I browse through this forum, the less alone I feel - which gives me a fair amount of comfort that I need. For a long time, I thought I was alone with my condition, but after reading through a vast array of posts, ectopic beats are more of a nuisance than anything else!

I am really glad to know that all your tests are fine and that your recovery post-ablation is also making substantial progress. It does take a fair amount of trial and error to find the correct method of treatment, particularly for something so peculiar like ectopics. I take propranolol in very small amounts if I ever feel anxious - I have been prescribed it at the end of last year for health anxiety. I must say, my ectopics come in rather small amounts and I can go days or weeks without getting them. I do think that there may be a trend between my menstruation and ectopics but I will request a holter test tomorrow and check if my blood work was all fine. I know that there are people out here who have it far worse than me but have learnt to acknowledge it, seek treatment and eventually live with it.

Thank you for your prayers. I wish you the very best of luck also, and prayers are sent your way you get the peace and quiet you deserve. We will get through it! It is all a progress. :)

Niki_ profile image
Niki_ in reply to ronnie211097

I take taurine, L-arginine and magnesium.. this cocktail has reduced mine 80% most days and 100% some days! I take 1000 mg of taurine and 500 mg l-arginine 3 times a day. I also take 600 mg of magnesium split in 3 doses. I cut out all processed food and I eat meat vegetables and fruit most of the time.

ronnie211097 profile image
ronnie211097 in reply to Niki_

Hey there! That's quite a mix you consume and I am super glad to hear that it helps. I am currently taking multi-minerals 3x a day, cod liver oil with Fit. A & D, as well as Vit. B Complex. My diet is predominantly lean meats and vegetables with regular exercise mainly comprised of walks to and from work, therefore I am a healthy individual under this aspect.

I will definitely look into your recommendation and a lady in this post already recommended magnesium so this is definitely something to research. My ectopics seem to last a week, then go away after I get my period... so maybe this could be hormone related? It sort of began when I went off the mini pill... so many questions, so little answers! Haha!

Wishing you all the best, fellow heart buddy! :)

Jfelder profile image
Jfelder in reply to dh1120

Did the EP study and ablation work? I have thousands of PVC's/PAC's a day. I was told I have a structurally/normal heart. I have been getting runs of some kind ot Tachycardia while I am out working out (I am an endurance athlete)...I am tired of it all. I am thinking of getting an EP study done and ablation..Problem is we still have not totally figured out the Tachycardia yet. My EP told me to get a monitor go out, work out as hard as I can until my heart goes into Tachycardia and start getting read outs so we can figure that part out...Crappy way to live.

dh1120 profile image
dh1120 in reply to Jfelder

So far it seems to be helping. It is still pretty early in my recovery to tell exactly how much. I will take it as a success if I have them less and do not require medication. I had thousands a day and my quality of life was not that great. When you do not get any relief from them you can’t think about anything else but that. The last couple of days have been pretty good for me. I feel less of them. Am hopeful that I will have less and less as my recovery goes on. Hoping your monitor tests show what they need to in order for you to get the treatment you need. Good luck!

Please ask your GP for a holter monitor. Ectopics are awful and so anxiety provoking. Getting a proper diagnosis has to be better than being so concerned about the outcome as at least you will know exactly what is wrong if indeed there is anything wrong which isnt necessarily the case. Everyone has ectopics but in the main dont feel them.

I have them and loath them. They are so intense and its impossible to ignore them. Please see your GP for support and push for a monitor. Every time you are plagued with them think of your “ectopic buddies” here on the forum who are feeling the same, it may help you to know you are not on your own. Good luck.

Hello! :)

Thank you for your reply. I am going to phone my GP to check if my blood work results are available and simultaneously request a holter monitor to ensure all is fine. The video below posted kindly by Pigleywigley has given me some insight into anxiety and ectopics and the link between the two. I recommend you watch it too if anxiety prevails every time you get them.

It does pain me that we are in the small % of the population who feels them! They are definitely a nuisance but I am trying to live my life in the same way and not give in into the anxiety which indeed is challenging. I am also super pleased to know that there are ectopic buddies out there! Definitely feel like I am part of a giant family :) - and also remembering that ectopics 99% of the time do not signify that there is anything wrong with the heart! We are just more sensitive to these sensations. I wish we were not but here we are! Haha!

Wishing you the best of luck also! Thank you!

Hi Ronnie I too have lots of ectopic beats I even know how to see them on my ECG from Apple Watch. As a result of watching Dr Gupta on YouTube. I have copied a very helpful link for you that helped me cope. Mine get worse pre menstruation & I am convinced peri menopause caused my AF! I was born anxious! Hence my journey into being a therapist. I am a hypnotherapist, coach, mentor & stress management consultant. Believe me I have to work on myself daily! The head game is worse than AF itself. But the more you understand about your condition & the more tools you get to cope the better. Anxiety is of course not good for us AFibbers! If you need my help please reach out I am always happy to help fellow AFibbers. You are not alone. Rachel 🥰

m.youtube.com/watch?v=zEYlY...

mexyman profile image
mexyman in reply to Pigleywigley

I can relate to everything you are saying and feeling.I first noticed what I thought was a missed heartbeat after playing football at the age of 24 I am now 54, it felt like my heart had missed a beat a horrible flutter in the chest and weird sensation in the throat.

This then started the cycle of feeling every one of them so I saw my doctor who referred me for further tests and long story short, holter monitor etc I was told they are ectopic and completely harmless, then you start to question their diagnosis and convince yourself they have got it wrong , they have missed something, the worry then increases the fear and they become more apparent and more regularly occur.i carried on training and playing football, convinced that I was going to collapse with a heart attack at any time, so went back to the doctors had more tests and again my heart is fine but I still was getting them and again was convinced the diagnosis was wrong, now this is where it really gets in your head and becomes a mental thing, the slightest twinge or pain in your chest or arm etc is a heart attack about to happen, it drives you insane.

I was put on beta blockers which initially helped but still had the ectopics daily but learned to live with them...fast forward 30 years to last weekend I had noticed recently my resting heart rate was 37 in sleep and mid 50s relaxing watching TV, this concerned me and again convinced me yes they were wrong, I do have heart trouble, they were wrong im dying and its gone on too long and if they would have picked it up earlier when I first complained something could have been done but probably too late now.

Again the worry brings more ectopics, chest pain,feeling exhausted and a feeling of just waiting for the inevitable to happen.

I called 111 last Sunday was told to go straight to A&E, had numerous extensive test, ecgs, several blood tests and had to go back Monday for more tests, all came back fine apart from harmless ectopics.

I decided to try this week to accept there is nothing wrong with me apart from harmless ectopics and try not to get anxious about them or about anything in everyday life, I'm relaxing and not worrying about anything, easier said than done , I am excersing something I was scared to do recently.

My ectopics have noticeably reduced this week.

The ectopics are real but I believe they are made worse along with other symptoms by the way you think...if you can accept the diagnosis is correct and your healthy and somehow try to not over think things, have more of a relaxed attitude then they will Improve.

Always get yourself checked out though.

ronnie211097 profile image
ronnie211097 in reply to mexyman

Oh Gosh... and like you I can relate to everything you have said. I am 23, 24 this year and I have always had the odd ectopic here and there. I did not think much of it as when I was younger, I was not plagued by hypochondria, did not have any anxiety and in general, did not pay much attention to my health or any sensations as I knew I was fine. Overtime, my anxiety has gone up massively, with particular emphasis on hypochondria and cardiovascular health. I have convinced myself that I suffer from a serious heart condition which indeed led to palpitations, panic attacks, adrenaline rush and fearing death or a heart attack everywhere I went or did anything. I thought I was going to pass out and die. I was checking my pulse whenever I could, and often did it so well that others would not be able to tell. If my pulse was in the normal range, my anxiety would go away and I would resume whatever I was doing.

Unfortunately... the panic got so bad I ended up in A&E in November last year where I had 3 ECGs done and blood work and all came out fine, after which they let me go home. No ectopics then, my heart rhythm was fine but elevated. They gave me some electrolytes and allowed me to leave. As a result, I was prescribed propranolol for anxiety and CBT to cope with it. Like you, my mind will play tricks on me and doubt any positive feedback about my health. I will connive myself that something is wrong and will expect to hear bad news every time I make contact with a health professional. Any instance where my heart will feel a little 'abnormal' whether it be a little faster heart rate or ECTOPICS, I will convince myself that the ECGs at the hospital were all wrong and they are not telling me what is wrong.

I am slowly trying to get out of this mentality as it really does affect your life to the point you can not enjoy anything and you fear death all the time. CBT does help but I have not yet mentioned my ectopics to my therapist so on Tuesday he is getting the ectopic bomb thrown on him! My anxiety because of these is through the roof and I feel like I am missing out on my life because of it. I am scared to do anything because any movement might catalyse them to appear and the whole day would be classed as ruined. They cause me fear, anxiety and depression. Despite being reassured by fellow ectopic buddies and a friend who is a trainee cardiology physician that these are indeed harmless, the throat and chest sensations still freak me out.

I am going to request a holter monitor next week, and hopefully will receive some good answers to put my mind at ease. I wish you the very best of luck with your ectopic journey. We will all get there eventually! :)

Hi Rachel :)

Thank you for your reply and for the video. I have found it massively useful and did give me some inner peace which I was actively seeking out for. I will admit that I do not suffer from AFib and my ectopics rarely cause palpitations unless it gives me genuine anxiety and my adrenaline rushes through. Propranolol is only taken if times are really bad which slows down my heart beat but does not fully eliminate the ectopics, though it definitely makes them less intense. Like yourself, I do think I might have a link between my menstruation cycle and experiencing them as I normally get them even up to a week before my period, and closer to my due date, they seem to subside massively.

I am going to speak to my GP again and request to be seen by a cardiologist to give me an answer and reassure me that all is well as I do not seem to suffer from any other 'heart related' symptoms like dizziness or pain or fast and irregular heart rates.

I am so sorry to know that you suffer from AFib... I can only imagine what that feels like, but I would rather not as my health anxiety does like to play tricks on my mind! Haha! I attend CBT therapy and I have a session on Tuesday and will drop the ectopic bomb onto my therapist, as I have never mentioned it before to him!

Thank you for your lovely message! I will definitely hold you to that if times are rough or I just need a little mental hug. :) Wishing you all the best and have a lovely day ahead!

I’m not encouraging you to take magnesium but I do & they make a big difference. Another clip from Dr Gupta

m.youtube.com/watch?v=FvCLq...

I’ve been taking Holland & Barrett multi-minerals, which contain all 11 apart from potassium and they’ve been really good! Will find out if I’m low on any electrolytes when my blood test results come through!

Perhaps I should consume more magnesium rich foods? Anything that involves food I’m all in!

Thank you for the videos by the way. They are super useful! :)

Magnesium taurate are particularly good for ectopics. I am not low on magnesium however taking it makes a whole world of difference to me!

TracyAdmin profile image
TracyAdminAdministrator

Hello ronnie211097 , you may wish to contact our Patient Services Team at Arrhythmia Alliance if you would like any advice or information info@heartrhythmalliance.org or alternatively visit our website for information regarding ectopic heartbeats Arrhythmia Alliance UK (heartrhythmalliance.org)

I am another ectopic buddy. I’ve had the odd ectopic rushes all my life and then a run of about 2-3 weeks with ectopics 10 years ago. In November last year suddenly they came back and far, far worse than before. Soon I was having them almost all day and often at night as well, and on about 6-7 occasions they escalated into paroxysmal a fib: I had never had that before. It took a 14 day monitor to diagnose me properly. Although the occasions when I had a fib were scary and debilitating, these didn’t last long: it was the constant ectopics that were ruining my quality of life and making me feel lightheaded and as if I couldn’t do much. I’ve never been a worrier about my own health in the past but it’s just about impossible not to worry when your heart is going mad all the time! I was aware that ectopics are supposedly harmless but they don’t feel like that! So I empathise with you completely. In March I was put on amiodarone for the a fib and I’m pleased to say it has controlled nearly all the ectopics as well. I feel SO much better! I’m obviously wary of the horrible potential side effects and therefore am considering an ablation, but not rushing into it because I don’t want to disrupt my new quality of life which is improving all the time!

Hey there, ectopic buddy! :) It seems as though there are a lot of us... a lot more than I initially thought!

I completely agree with not being able to control your worrying in particular when it is your heart that is the real culprit here. I am also sorry that you also experience other annoying problems with your ectopics, like light-headedness... For me, it seems as though the only symptom I get is the occasional ectopic, however they seem to have subsided since I got my period today so I am definitely thinking they could be hormone related.

I am definitely more calm about them since I have joined this fantastic forum, having so many people share their personal experiences and giving me so much comfort that what we feel, is harmless but a major nuisance! I suffer with hypochondria, therefore any symptom that is heart related puts me into massive anxiety, however I am beginning to realise that we can not waste out lives away worrying about our heart, because in the end, it will do what it chooses to do. I seem to be thinking about death and the fear of dying that I forget to live, and that I am very much alive.

Also, fantastic news that you would consider an ablation! Much better than stuffing yourself with synthetic-based chemicals to ease symptoms. Please do keep me updated with how you get on. :) Wishing you all the best.

If you are getting ectopics just before your monthly then it could be due to you producing a higher level of progesterone...there are papers on this to be found via Dr. Google....you would certainly benefit from a magnesium supplement.As a woman you need at least 350 mg per day...and Magnesium Taurate is the one that seems to help the most with ectopics and Pvc's.Research the York cardiologist Sanjay Gupta (youtube) who talks about the benefit of adding taurate to combat arrhythmias...i use taurate and threonate...and have had excellent relief..Best wishes.

Please read two posts after yours headlined 'Arrhythmia' when the beneficial effect of Magnesium supplementation is discussed.

arutmikublogi.com/

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