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Having atrial ectopic beats or premature atrial contractions. EKG done. Feeling tired. Underlying cause?

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Practicing since : 1981
Answered : 922 Questions
Hi, I'm a 43 year old male having benign atrial ectopic beats or premature atrial contractions. I was on holter monitor 2 years ago. EKG showed no structural abnormality. I get these when I have the proverbial "butterflies in the tummy" feeling. It starts with the tummy churning and then the stomach muscles are tightened like you are pulling your tummy and then the ectopic beats. I'm really getting tired of this feeling.
I exercise on the stair stepper, swim, play squash with no issues. No PACs while exercising. Having alcohol also seems to relax my muscles and the symptoms go away. Sleeping in the night is peaceful.
But, sleeping in the afternoon brings on the beats and as we'll as sitting in front of the other words when I'm idle.
Posted Sat, 11 May 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
I am a qualified and certified cardiologist. I read your mail with interest. You have done an excellent job in describing your illness- even, an electrophysiologist could not have described it better. Now there are only two or three differential diagnoses of this BENIGN (you have rightly picked the appropriate adjective); these are:
1. Inappropriate sinus tachycardia
2. Paroxysmal Supra ventricular Tachycardia (PSVT)
2. Frequent multiple atrial ectopy (you become aware while ldle)
If these are troubling you a lot then take calcium channel blocker group of drugs with your doctor's advice otherwise no drug only relaxation is necessary. If you have any more question I will be happy to answer.Good Luck.
With Best Wishes

Dr Anil Grover
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having atrial ectopic beats or premature atrial contractions. EKG done. Feeling tired. Underlying cause? 5 hours later
Dear Doc,
Thank you for the prompt reply.
Is this something that can be life threatening or is it just a nuisance that I will have to put up for the rest of my life?
When I'm idle and my mind zooms around all over the place (sort of worrying over something) is when I can feel the tummy churn. I think this is the adrenaline kicking in for the "fight or flight" response. The next thing I know that is going to follow are the ectopic beats. At this moment, if I take in couple of shallow breaths rapidly, then there is no onset of the beats. Is there anything that can be done for adrenaline which I feel is the precipitating factor for the ectopic beats.
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 2 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
No, it is definitely not life threatening otherwise it would not be called 'benign'. Nuisance, yes surely it is. However, I have seen people grow out of it with passage of time. See, our heart beats for around 100,000 times a day (72 x 60 x 24) that translates to 2.3 billion times in an average life time! One percent of beats to be out of rhythm heart is entitled to have. So are these 'benign atrial ectopics'. Some of us more sensitive and some are less sensitive to their presence. Present they are in each one of us. If you take your line of thought in that direction that will put things in perspective. Or, best is just shut your brain from junk thoughts. No junk food, no junk thoughts and no junk entertainment is the key to calm, poised personality, which only some of us can acquire and they get to see cardiologists only as friends not as patients. Good luck.
With Best Wishes.

Dr Anil Grover
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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