Extra Systole

Posted by ttibsen @ttibsen, Sun, Jan 27 9:00pm

I am 70 years old and in good shape except for what has been labelled by my GP as having an extra systole. He tells me that it’s a benign condition not requiring any treatment. The thing is that I don’t feel that the condition is all that benign. I can only describe it as feeling like a fish is swimming around in my chest and I get the occasional whack against the ribs with its tail. In other words, I am much more aware of my heart beat than I think I should be. This alone wouldn’t be so bad but it’s not just the physical thumping of the heart that’s the problem. There’s a vague sense of unease and anxiety that never seems to let up and I know that life would be so much nicer without this extra systole and the ensuing constant awareness of my heart beating. Is there any treatment for the condition?

See a cardiologist. A GP does not have the education to handle your case. You described your condition very well; a fish swimming around in your chest. It perfectly describes what it felt like when I suffered from atrial fibrillation…including the whack!
My cardiologist told me that 9 out of 10 arrhythmias do not require treatment. It is only when one feels light headed and/or weak that it needs treatment; in my case a beta blocker. This may be what you need to keep your heart steady at 80 beats per minute.
Definitely see a cardiologist, even if it is to set your mind at ease. Still and all, who would be happy with that sensation making you aware of your heart all day long. Very disturbing! Good luck!

REPLY

Did your physician confirm this with an ECG? I definitely agree with AFRobin. A cardiologist would evaluate the rthymes with a 24h Holter monitor.

REPLY

I would suggest a one month monitor. I had the 24 hour one 20 years ago and nothing showed up. Left the ER thinking what I felt was normal and nothing to worry about. Jump ahead 20 years went to a cardiologist for another issue, he had me wear a 1 month monitor and after 2 weeks sure enough the afib happened. 166beats a minute for 2 hours. I now have heart failure too probably because I was left to go 20 years with no Afib treatment.

REPLY

First of all, thanks for the helpful replies.A few questions I have in response to the above comments.
Does extra systole fall in the AFib category? Would a beta blocker solve my problem? Are there any issues with taking beta blockers?
I have had both an ECG and a 24 hour Holter in the past and in both cases my GP said that irregularities showed up but again,nothing to worry about.
And I do have to agree with him to the extent that I am not impaired in any way. Still, it's not much fun living with this constant level of apprehension and anxiety and awareness of heart beats. I live in northern Canada and there is no cardiologist in our town but I will definitely look at visiting one the next time that I am down south.

REPLY

I was able to CURE my arrhythmia where I was on a massive dose of beta blockers, through exercise….a 1/2 hour on a treadmill every day and that did it. And no more beta blockers.

REPLY

Not sure what to make of your letter AFR. When you were on the massive Beta blocker dose, did that cure the arrhythmia on its own? Then what happened?
It sounds like you tossed the Beta blockers, began to exercise and the excercise on its own cured the arrhythmia. Did I get that right?

REPLY
@ttibsen

First of all, thanks for the helpful replies.A few questions I have in response to the above comments.
Does extra systole fall in the AFib category? Would a beta blocker solve my problem? Are there any issues with taking beta blockers?
I have had both an ECG and a 24 hour Holter in the past and in both cases my GP said that irregularities showed up but again,nothing to worry about.
And I do have to agree with him to the extent that I am not impaired in any way. Still, it's not much fun living with this constant level of apprehension and anxiety and awareness of heart beats. I live in northern Canada and there is no cardiologist in our town but I will definitely look at visiting one the next time that I am down south.

Jump to this post

I ended up on a beta blocker because I was having a fast heartbeat occasionally and high blood pressure. Was put on a holter numerous and they found nothingj. Now, I'm on Toprol and I wish I never was on this drug. It slows down my heartbeat down to the 40s, and I'm finding it impossible to get off this drug. Once you are on it will most likely be for life. Now, I think I'm reacting to certain foods that are speeding up my heartbeat. For instance in my case hot peppers speed up my heartbeat.

REPLY
@afrobin

I was able to CURE my arrhythmia where I was on a massive dose of beta blockers, through exercise….a 1/2 hour on a treadmill every day and that did it. And no more beta blockers.

Jump to this post

I was told recently by a cardiologist specializing in arrhythmia (electrophysiologist) that, indeed, exercise lowers the risk and sometimes eliminates arrhythmia BUT , of course, one must ascertain one does not have a dangerous arrhythmia or a heart that is not structurally normal and one is ok'd for beginning a new exercise routine. Exercise helps in many ways including lowering stress hormones that can spark arrhythmias and helping balance the automonic nervous system ( i.e. the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system which, when out of balance, can cause skipped beats).

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.