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Shawnmcc40, April 6,  2021  1:08pm EST

Ectopic beats during exercise

Hi everyone-

I know i have posted in here before and it seems like i have gotten some great feedback and positive reinforcement.  Short of the story is i started having mostly PVCs and a few PAC's about 4 years ago when i was at rest.  Didn't really amount to much but i did a full work up, multiple stress tests, holter monitors, EKGs, echocardiogram, etc and all was normal.  But about 9 months ago i notice that my palps would get worse when i was jogging.  I am very active and go to the gym often but this is definitely a new experience for me.  My PVCs and PACs seemed to have subsidded (not completely gone) during rest but it seems like the reverse is happening, they get intolerable when my BPM reaches about 140-150.  I also have had a few cases of atrial flutter after i exercise real hard, but those occurrences are rare.  I just feel like my body is telling me something.  That something is not right with the structure of my heart, which i know is probably not true but something just seems amiss with my heart's electrical system.  And my EKGs are always normal and don't change.  I'm wondering if i should see an electrophysicist instead of my regular cardiologist.  I'm an otherwise healthy 45 year old, good blood pressure, good pulse and have very low cholestoral.  Just interested to hear some thoughts or suggestions.  Just very frustrated and honestly a little scared.  I don't really want to push it hard at the gym anymore.  And i'm tired of cutting my jogging short because of my heart palps, my body wants to go but my heart is not letting me do that.  None of the palps come with chest pain but it does take my breath away, probably more anxiety than anything.

Be well!


3 Replies
  • AHAModerator
    AHAModerator, April 6,  2021  5:28pm EST

    Hello there, 

    Thank you for sharing your experience and posting again on the Support Network. I am glad you got some great feedback and positive reinforcement and we hope you continue to interact with others and get the support you need. I am so sorry to hear you are having a tough time and feeling nervous and frustrated. Unfortunately, I am not a medical professional but I do recommend that you talk to your doctor about next steps. I can also share some resources about Arrhythmia and Fitness Basics as you wait to hear from others.

    Please keep us updated on how you are feeling! 

    Best wishes, 

    AHA Moderator 

  • Raindrop32
    Raindrop32, April 9,  2021  1:31am EST

    Hi Shawn, 

    It sounds like exercise is the main trigger for your symptoms now. Is that possibly why your ECGs and things keep appearing normal, because they are done at rest? You could bring up the option of having a stress echo test again now that your symptoms have worsened. That might pick up something that doesn't appear otherwise. 

    When you experience ectopics during exercise, do you also get chest pressure, unusually short of breath, lightheaded, or have you ever fainted or nearly fainted? Or is it more just that really uncomfortable twitchy-fluttery-wiggly feeling that makes you want to stop moving? Either way, it might be helpful to emphasize to your doctor that your symptoms are hindering your ability to properly care for yourself by remaining physically active, and they are negatively affecting your quality of life and overall health. 

    By the way, have you had COVID? Because many many people who have had it (even those that had mild symptoms!) are being found to have myocarditis and other heart damage! Including micro-damage to the heart muscle cells and electrical conducting cells that doesn't appear on an ultrasound. If you had COVID, even if you tested positive with no symptoms, mention it to your doctor. 

    So many doctors say that palpitations are no big deal, but if you really feel like your condition is getting worse and something is not alright, they need to take that seriously. 

    I hope you get better, and can continue doing what you love. 

  • Shawnmcc40
    Shawnmcc40, April 9,  2021  8:49am EST

    Thanks Raindrop-

    I have not had COVID that i know about.  I definitely don't feel any chest pressure but i do feel a little bit lightheaded and out of breath but nothing monumental, honestly i think it's my anxiety about having the palpitations that makes me feel short of breath.  Just sucks that i have to alter what i love to do.  I called my cardiologist a few days ago and demanded at least an echocardiogram, so i have that on Monday.  Still waiting on my holter monitor results, i did a 48 hour one and i exercised a lot so i caught all of those funky palpitations on it.

    Thanks so much for your feedback, means a lot!



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