heart palpatations/irregular beats

hi all,anyone else suffer with episods of irregular heart beats? ive had these for many years before dx with lupus,doctor has said its anxiety to eptopic beats but im not sure now as when they happen I feel my pulse and it is irregular,it lasts for seconds until I move or cough,with having lupus ive had tests on my heart and all is ok but not whilst having a episode,they are horrible,feels like flutters/flipping in my chest then I try to keep calm and take my pulse it beats hard then pauses then 3 faint beats and back to the beat until I move to stop it as I start panicking,can go for weeks without them then today ive have one,ive read alsorts on the net,so scared,very selfish but I dnt want to have a heart condition on top of lupus :-( anyone else have these?

7 Replies

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  • Hiya, yes i get this exactly like you. It happened last week while i was sitting comfortable watching tv then all of a sudden i feel my heart jumping and when i feel my heart ryhthm its irregular. Very scarry indeed ive got this a few times since lupus diagnosis. Ive mentioned it to rheummy cos i also suffer from chest pain at times and i have yearly heart scans. So far heart ok but i definately worry when it happens it makes me panicked! Glad to know im not on my own with this:). I wonder what causes it?

  • Hi ive had this as well ive had ECG and 24hr ECG but got told there nothing to worry about , I get quite breathless after doing a bit of housework or walking but I got told I carnt have a blue badge or disability payment that was back in March when being treated for PMR but now im also being treated for Lupus , maybe I should of said my mobility ect is like it every day but I told the truth and said I have good and bad days (sorry for moaning ). Have you had a CT Scan if not request one , I asked for a Dexa Scan but got told I don't need one and they cost a lot of money! .


  • thank u both for your replys,ive had a ecg,24 hr holter and echo 2 years ago and although my heart was racing due to my anxiety(as I hate hospitals) everything was "normal" its just these odd episodes, my doctor said eptopic beats but reading on the net what other people describe them as doesn't sound like what my pulse felt like,i will go back to my gp and say ive had more,sometimes when it happens I just ignore it and dnt feel my pulse but because im curious to know what it is sometimes I feel my pulse in my neck/wrist which in turn makes me worry,go on the net then worry more at what ive read!!

  • Yes, I have this too. These ectopic beats are due to a misfiring of the electrical signal that makes the heart beat in a particular rhythm. If the heart itself is ok, then a cardiologist won't worry about it - it is more unpleasant than worrying from their point of view, because the heart will continue beating ok. It depends how long they last and how often they occur but there are people who have this all the time - check the AF Association community of Health Unlocked, many people there talk about these. Chest pain and breathlessness for few hours/days after each episode seem to be the norm.

    As I understand it, medication is only given if it affects the quality of life a lot because the side effects are bad for the heart. I read about ways to stop the flutters when they occur including yawning, keeping your breath for few seconds, cough strongly, etc but these depend on where the misfiring occurs (whether supra ventricular or at the AV node).

    I've had an ECG monitor for 7 days to discover these because mine were also haphazard. I'm having a heart MRI this week to check the heart health but my cardiologist is not unduly concerned.

    Mine started last year after having pericarditis - for some reason that seems to have triggered them and I'm hoping they remain haphazard and not too often (currently I have them several times a week for few seconds at a time but I did have a 20 minute episode one time that left me with chest pains for few days after).

    Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis are both known to cause arrhythmia, so we have lupus to thank for these...

    My two main concerns are (a) whether frequent episodes will somehow affect the heart wall; and (b) whether they could cause blood clotting (which in turn cause stroke and pulmonary embolism). I'm raising these with my cardiologist next week - I would rather ask about the worst case scenario now, so I can deal with it upfront!

  • hi purple top,my dr has told me the same thing,bloody lupus!!! thanks for your reply

  • Hi Poodlegal

    Your description is exactly what I get, I have been told too that it is ectopic beats that are anxiety related but they don't happen when I am anxious. Mine always happen when I am either lying on my back, my left side or sitting leaning backwards rather than with a straight back. I also have tachycardia which is unexplained and notice after these episodes my heart races for a while before it finds a rhythm again.

    I have peripheral nerve damage and get loads of jolting like feelings in my limbs often at the same time.

    I have recently had a 7 day tape and have been told nothing to worry about, but as I'm sure you know easier said than done.

    One thing I also notice is that my heart feels like it is thumping so hard and I have really strong prominent pulses too.

    Always good to know we are not alone, that's why this site is so good. I was beginning to feel like a freak that couldn't explain to any of my doctors what the feeling was like.

    Take care


  • hi jenny 14, your story sounds the exact same as I too have tachycardia,im on beta blockers after years of asking for them because my heart would race just when walking upstairs or doing the washing up,i started them in febuary and they have helped a little, you are right it is good to know that we are not alone,thanks for your reply,u take care too x

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