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potsiebarbie

Heart skips a beat...

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I get this really uncomfortable, indescribable feeling in my chest/ throat. I felt my pulse while this was happening and I could feel my heart skip a beat, and the rate seemed rather slow. I'm gonna bring it up to my doc today, but they rarely seem to take anything seriously so any thoughts, experiences, reassurance???

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How many times a day do you get this?

Im getting an absolute ton of them currently. They’re ectopic beats, either PACs (premature heart beats originating in the atrium of the heart) or PVCs (same but the ventricle) - basically the heart has backup systems that are designed to keep the heart beating if the hearts normal pacemaker isn’t doing it’s job for whatever reason. The problem is these backup systems like to kick in randomly in between normal beats at times. Often this is caused by some kind of irritation, so caffeine, anxiety, smoking etc all cause them.

A slow heartbeat can also cause them. The reason for this is if the heart slows down, these backup systems may feel the need to fire and try to compensate unessasarily. If you find they’re only happening at low heart rates, that’s actually a good and pretty normal thing.

The good news is that these ‘ectopic’ beats are pretty much always considered benign and won’t do you any harm. They’re only considered significant in people with very severe heart problems such as a previous heart attack, and even then the PACs / PVCs themselves are not dangerous, only indicative. So try to ignore them and don’t worry about them. Don’t fall into the trap I am currently in where you worry about them because anxiety propagates them and makes them worse. But they will do you zero harm. I promise that much.

The bad news? They’re really, really annoying and uncomfortable and can easily cause anxiety and panic. Try not to pay attention to them. Easier said than done.

its always worth mentioning to your cardiologist especially if they are very frequent just to get them defined and for reassurance but other than that try not to worry.

p.s. Even though they feel like missed beats, they’re ironically extra beats. The reason they feel like missed beats is because the heart hasn’t had time to fill with much blood so when the extra beat kicks in, there is a very insignificant pulse you likely won’t feel at all. There is then a pause while the heart resets and then you go back to your usual beat. 

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I get them all the time, that is how I know it is time to take my Propranolol, haha.  last night my rate was 42 because every other beat was ectopic. Ick.  But they are not harmful, from a doctor's point of view anyway.  They are very distracting though. I find them less with the Propranolol.

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2 hours ago, FileTrekker said:

How many times a day do you get this?

Im getting an absolute ton of them currently. They’re ectopic beats, either PACs (premature heart beats originating in the atrium of the heart) or PVCs (same but the ventricle) - basically the heart has backup systems that are designed to keep the heart beating if the hearts normal pacemaker isn’t doing it’s job for whatever reason. The problem is these backup systems like to kick in randomly in between normal beats at times. Often this is caused by some kind of irritation, so caffeine, anxiety, smoking etc all cause them.

A slow heartbeat can also cause them. The reason for this is if the heart slows down, these backup systems may feel the need to fire and try to compensate unessasarily. If you find they’re only happening at low heart rates, that’s actually a good and pretty normal thing.

The good news is that these ‘ectopic’ beats are pretty much always considered benign and won’t do you any harm. They’re only considered significant in people with very severe heart problems such as a previous heart attack, and even then the PACs / PVCs themselves are not dangerous, only indicative. So try to ignore them and don’t worry about them. Don’t fall into the trap I am currently in where you worry about them because anxiety propagates them and makes them worse. But they will do you zero harm. I promise that much.

The bad news? They’re really, really annoying and uncomfortable and can easily cause anxiety and panic. Try not to pay attention to them. Easier said than done.

its always worth mentioning to your cardiologist especially if they are very frequent just to get them defined and for reassurance but other than that try not to worry.

p.s. Even though they feel like missed beats, they’re ironically extra beats. The reason they feel like missed beats is because the heart hasn’t had time to fill with much blood so when the extra beat kicks in, there is a very insignificant pulse you likely won’t feel at all. There is then a pause while the heart resets and then you go back to your usual beat. 

I get them daily as of a few-ish months ago. It feels like my heartbeat is trying to regulate itself, and it kinda makes me want to cough for some reason. It honestly feels dreadful. I can't drink alcohol because that will absolutely bring them full force. But they happen without alcohol anyways. It definitely worries me, but all your info definitely comforts me a little. I saw my new PCP today and mentioned it. She listened to my heart, did an EKG, and referred me to cardio. 

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38 minutes ago, MeganMN said:

I get them all the time, that is how I know it is time to take my Propranolol, haha.  last night my rate was 42 because every other beat was ectopic. Ick.  But they are not harmful, from a doctor's point of view anyway.  They are very distracting though. I find them less with the Propranolol.

Is that a beta blocker? I've never taken them, because I fear it would drop my already sometimes low heartrate. It's weird my heartrate just kinda does whatever the heck it wants whenever the heck it wants. Lol But honestly that palpitations feeling scares me. 

 

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Yes, I do not like it at all either. I t is really hard because when my HR is low they are worse. Yes, Propranolol is a beta b!ocker. In a low dose, it seems to help me but if I take a bigger dose it is no good, my HR is too !ow.

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I had 22,000 PVC’s and PAC’s measured during a 24 hour heart halter monitoring.  My heart beat count during this time was 99,000.  Near normal.

But the ectopic beats were every 4th beat, it sucked.  I could feel them 24 hours a day.

Cardiologist had me try several arythmia drugs before finding Propafenone.  

I reciently had a 4 hour surgery and the anesthesiologist said there were insignificant number of ectopic beats.  Seems to be working for me.

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I take metoprolol. It is a beta blocker as well. There are different kinds and low dose beta blockers may not lower your HR a lot. But my metoperlol definitely helps the heart palpitations. I tried propranolol but I definitely like the metoprolol better. 

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17 hours ago, potsiebarbie said:

I get them daily as of a few-ish months ago. It feels like my heartbeat is trying to regulate itself, and it kinda makes me want to cough for some reason. It honestly feels dreadful. I can't drink alcohol because that will absolutely bring them full force. But they happen without alcohol anyways. It definitely worries me, but all your info definitely comforts me a little. I saw my new PCP today and mentioned it. She listened to my heart, did an EKG, and referred me to cardio. 

All perfectly normal, believe it or not.

If you're getting a handful a day, honestly, take my advice and celebrate, rejoyce, be bloomin' chuffed, cause I currently get around 2,500 of these a day and it's an absaloute nightmare.

But yes, alcohol is a very well known trigger that's pretty much guaranteed to bring them on. Unfortunate I know, but, worth knowing. But if you're happy with knowing that you'll get a few PVC's for drinking, then, that's up to you, there's no harm in it. But yes they'll happen regardless, just maybe less frequently.

The reason why they make you want to cough afterwards is due to the compensatory pause. So what happens is that the PVC / PAC kicks in and the heart beats early, with not much blood. Now there's a compensatory pause while the heart refils, however, as this takes longer there's more blood than usual filling into the heart. Then, when the heart pushes all this extra blood out due to the extra refill time, that's often why you feel the harder beat. However, it's also possible as a result of this mechanism for a little bit of fluid to then leak back into the lungs and that's why you need to cough, to get rid of the tiny amount of fluid. Then you almost immediately feel better.

So again it's all perfectly normal and unless you're blacking out or feeling really really unwell I'd not pay any attention to them.

However, one other thing I know, try eating more potassium and magnesium rich foods if you can. That will help in a vast majority of cases of mild ectopics. Maybe speak to your doctor about magnesium supplements, too.

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Thank you! Funny you mention fluid leaking back into the lungs, because my last echo showed trace pulmonic regurgitation. The doctor swore it was fine though. 

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Potsiebarbie,  I also get them .....skipped beats, extra beats....and I also get the need to cough when it happens....I wonder why that happens.....it also scares the crap out of me.....to add this with the sudden POTS coming on out of the blue 6 months ago......I don't know my own body anymore.....I am constantly scared which isn't good for anything......I am taking magnesium and also drink gatorade for potassium.....but it doesn't seem to help much.....It might help a little...I can't really tell......I don't get why this is connected to POTS but it seems to be.....

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Given the stresses our bodies are put through, especially the rapid speeding up and slowing down of heart rate, BP fluctuations and high levels of Adrenalin or noradrenalin it makes a lot of sense we are very prone to them really. 

If a cup of coffee is enough to trigger them in a healthy person then having PoTS especially on a bad day is certainly going to be a trigger lol.

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10 hours ago, FileTrekker said:

Given the stresses our bodies are put through, especially the rapid speeding up and slowing down of heart rate, BP fluctuations and high levels of Adrenalin or noradrenalin it makes a lot of sense we are very prone to them really. 

If a cup of coffee is enough to trigger them in a healthy person then having PoTS especially on a bad day is certainly going to be a trigger lol.

I guess I'm just having a hard time accepting that my heart's not just gonna stop and I'm gonna drop dead. I know it's stupid. Lol it just feels awful all day long. The rest of my body is just like *** get your s*** together heart. Lol

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7 minutes ago, potsiebarbie said:

I guess I'm just having a hard time accepting that my heart's not just gonna stop and I'm gonna drop dead. I know it's stupid. Lol it just feels awful all day long. The rest of my body is just like *** get your s*** together heart. Lol

I know, it’s really hard. I struggle with it myself and I’m the one saying not to worry about it lol.

If you want, check out some of these videos from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he’s a very good cardiologist from York here in the UK and he explains it very well and I find his videos very comforting and reassuring when I’m feeling worried.

 

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@potsiebarbie what did your doctor think? I have done some digging because I have had some recent episodes of dizziness with a slow rate and figured out that my 'normal' bigeminal (every other) Premature Atrial beats are non-conducted, which is making my intrinsic rate about 36-40! Eek! Wondering what ended up happening with you.

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28 minutes ago, MeganMN said:

@potsiebarbie what did your doctor think? I have done some digging because I have had some recent episodes of dizziness with a slow rate and figured out that my 'normal' bigeminal (every other) Premature Atrial beats are non-conducted, which is making my intrinsic rate about 36-40! Eek! Wondering what ended up happening with you.

What does all that mean? My doc just referred me to cardio. It hasn't gone thru yet. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 12:32 PM, FileTrekker said:

I know, it’s really hard. I struggle with it myself and I’m the one saying not to worry about it lol.

If you want, check out some of these videos from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he’s a very good cardiologist from York here in the UK and he explains it very well and I find his videos very comforting and reassuring when I’m feeling worried.

 

Knowledge is power. I liked this video and watched a couple others. I did get a little reassurance from this. I feel like if doctors took the time to thoroughly explain things and "educate" us instead of just saying "you're fine, it's 'normal', lots of people have this, etc.." then we would do alot better in general. 

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@potsiebarbie sorry- my medical brain at work again. I get early beats that cause a big Thump and breathless feeling. What happens is that the beat happens early and then there is a pause before the next beat. Mine have been getting weirder though. Instead of the top part of the heart contracting and then the bottom, I get these weird beats where the top contracts and the bottom doesn't so I feel icky.  Hope that you can get in to see the Cardiologist sooner than later!  

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3 hours ago, MeganMN said:

@potsiebarbie sorry- my medical brain at work again. I get early beats that cause a big Thump and breathless feeling. What happens is that the beat happens early and then there is a pause before the next beat. Mine have been getting weirder though. Instead of the top part of the heart contracting and then the bottom, I get these weird beats where the top contracts and the bottom doesn't so I feel icky.  Hope that you can get in to see the Cardiologist sooner than later!  

I have to take a decent breath when it happens. It feels weird. I get it alot with standing up and position changes. Sometimes it will happen while I'm doing nothing. I hate it. It feels like it's my heart's first day on the job and it doesn't know what it's doing. That's cool that you know what's actually going on with yours. Any treatment? Is it dangerous? 

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@potsiebarbie if they are originating from the top of the heart, then they are 'harmless' according to doctors, but annoying. Mine are worse when lacking sleep, stressed, if I drink caffeine, alcohol, exercise, etc, so pretty much all time- haha. We will see what they say after my event monitor, but in the past they have not been concerned. Drives me crazy though.

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