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Experiences with ectopic heart beats

(8 Posts)
Notcontent Sun 12-Jul-15 10:19:19

I wondered if anyone has had experiences of ectopic heart beats.

I am in good health, slim, early 40s, but about about 5 years ago I started getting ectopic heart beats. It's basically this feeling of a skipped heart beat, which gives me this sensation like I have to cough or need to catch my breath. I have been told it's actually an extra beat and quite common.

I don't have it all the time. Weeks can go by without it happening and then it may happen once or a few times. In the past I had an ECG and an echo and they said I am fine. Since Friday I have had lots suddenly out of the blue and saw a doctor yesterday and ECG was ok again.

I went through a very stressful time a few years ago, and so I wonder whether that could have had an impact and means that sometimes all the signals go wrong for no reason. I am not sure. It's just very scary when I get them.

Alibabsandthe40Musketeers Sun 12-Jul-15 10:22:20

I get them from time to time - they are scary, and happen more when you are stressed.

Just try to ignore them and they will hopefully go away.

reallybadidea Sun 12-Jul-15 10:41:45

They are definitely associated with stress and anxiety, although if the stress was a few years ago that doesn't really explain why you're getting more now.

They can be exacerbated by things like alcohol, smoking and caffeine so might be worth cutting down if you think any of those apply to you. Also try and name sure you're eating a heathy diet as it can also be associated with low levels of things like potassium - anecdotally eating bananas which are high in potassium can help.

If they continue to really bother you then go back to your doctor, there are treatments that you can try.

babyboomersrock Sun 12-Jul-15 10:46:57

If the doctor has said you're ok, just try not to pay attention to them. I've had ectopic beats half my (longish) life and although I have the occasional panic, I can mostly ignore them.

Oddly, I find they're worse when I have indigestion - if I go to bed too soon after eating for example - and if that happens I get up and walk around quickly for a while or do a few exercises.

Mine are only really noticeable when I'm sitting still or lying down, so perhaps I ought to keep moving! I knew someone who used to jump up and down on the spot when hers were bad - she swore that levelled out the heartbeats.

Obviously, if they become more frequent and you're finding them distressing, you could ask to be referred for further investigations but meantime, try to keep on the move and be reassured by your doctor.

LooksLikeImStuckHere Sun 12-Jul-15 10:48:09

Ventricular bigenemy (sp) is the term the doctors used for me. It can be genetic (my dad has it as well). Didn't appear until my teens. Completely harmless but can be unnerving when you get quite a few in one minute.

For me, it's worsened by stress and drinking alcohol (get it the day after drinking) although I find that a small amount of caffeine actually helps.

If they are doing stand alone ECGs, ask if you can have one of the monitors attached for several days. Then try to make those days as stressed as possible! At least they will then have it on your records that you have this condition. At a later stage you may need something to regulate the heart beat.

Make sure your diet is good and that you check your blood pressure regularly.

BBQsAreSooooOverrated Sun 12-Jul-15 10:56:33

I go through phases of having them. Sometimes its everyday for a week then I won't have it for a month or 2. I've never got it checked though.

Notcontent Sun 12-Jul-15 14:05:50

Thank you so much for your comments. I think everything you have said rings true for me. I also think think there is a link with indigestion for me, and more likely to happen when at rest than when walking or even running.

mrsmilkymoo Sun 12-Jul-15 14:38:14

I get this too. Definitely more noticeable when I'm stressed, and when I'm just sitting peacefully. I've also found a link with indigestion and even drinking a glass of cold water has set it off. I also found I had lots more ectopic beats when I was pregnant.

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