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Persistent Ectopic Heartbeats -- driving me to insanity

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Mtn biker, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. Mtn biker

    Mtn biker New Member

    Hi all,
    I posted about my TMS situation earlier this year, and this forum was extremely helpful and kind towards helping me heal. So I am posting again, asking for more help. My original post is here: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/can-tms-occur-without-emotional-or-psychological-issues.22418/ (Can TMS occur without emotional or psychological issues?), but here's a quick synopsis:

    I had unexplained back pain for about a year starting in March 2019, with no improvement after seeing every doctor one could possibly visit and having multiple tests, diagnoses, and treatments--until I found out about TMS. I read everything I could find about this syndrome, but without identifying anything in my life or past that I thought could be the cause. Eventually I found and visited a TMS doctor for treatment. The back pain gradually subsided, but at the same time, I had mysterious heart palpitations start up in February of this year. My TMS doctor referred me to a cardiologist to get my heart checked out. After several tests and exams (including a holter monitor and ultrasound), he declared my heart 100% healthy and the ectopic beats (he called them PVCs) to be totally benign. He said they would go away on their own, just with that reassurance.

    It's been eight months. They haven't gone away and happen constantly -- every few heartbeats, from the time I wake up until I go to bed. They are not painful per se, but they are totally random and highly distracting. It's like having the hiccups, but inside my chest, continuously for eight months. I would equate it to Chinese water torture. It is driving me to the brink of insanity.

    My TMS doctor suggested I move on to the next step: psychotherapy. So I've now been seeing a psychotherapist who specializes in treating TMS, weekly, for about three months. During that time I feel I have made no noticeable improvement in eliminating the ectopic beats--they continue to plague me to no end. The therapist does not accept medical insurance, and she is not cheap, so it's getting expensive.

    Therefore I am getting to the point that I need to consider alternate courses of action. I am considering returning to my cardiologist to see what other treatment options I might have. From the research I've done, that can be drugs (beta blocker), or a procedure called catheter ablation, where a small probe is inserted through a blood vessel to the heart and the rogue cell causing the out-of-sync impulses is scarred through radiofrequency or cryothermy. Basically, it physically stops the extra electrical impulses from ever happening in the first place.

    For what it's worth, I've tried all the conventional solutions for ectopic heartbeats: I completely cut out caffeine for a month. Same with alcohol. I tried magnesium supplementation. None of these things made any bit of difference. I eat a squeaky-clean diet (seriously). I am an endurance athlete, so I am physically healthy. (Interestingly, my ectopic beats go away, or at least are imperceptible, whenever my heart rate goes above about 128-130 BPM. My guess is that my heart is beating at a rate that makes it impossible for the rogue cells to squeeze in the extra beat between normal beats.)

    Many heart and medical specialists will say that the root cause of ectopic beats is fear. In my case, it's not. Honestly, I have no fear. I am not afraid of dying. I know the ectopic beats are benign. But that doesn't make them any less annoying.

    Has anyone experienced persistent ectopic heartbeats, and overcome them? If so, how did you do it? My back pain went away with TMS treatment, so I don't understand why my heart is not doing the same.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
  2. Xara

    Xara Peer Supporter

    I would like to reply, even though my answer might seem stupid. I had some arrhythmias and diagnosed with uterine valve's prolapse. It is something that many people have, but only a few notice it. It is not something really dangerous. Just happens. A year after the diagnosis, went to cardiologist to see the progress. I was much better!!! Why?
    Firsly, I had other tms symptoms so I think this symptom receded. Secondly, I walked and exercised more ( 2-3 hours per week, not something intense). And finally....
    I ate garlic. I like garlic anyway. But when I feel my heart is going bup bup, you know, it happens rarely, i eat some garlic. It really smells awful, but it makes me sooo calm. Besides I really like the taste and it is very healthy. You can try it.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  3. Mtn biker

    Mtn biker New Member

    Thanks Xara. Garlic might be worth a try (much to the dismay of my wife), but I doubt I have any dietary deficiencies that could cause this. I train on my bike or in the gym around 8-10 hours per week (less during the off-season), some of that high intensity but mostly moderate to low, so physical activity is likely not a cause either. Although, when I ratchet up the intensity, the palpitations go away, but I think that is just a function of my heart rate being fast enough to prevent the off-rhythm beats. They come back once I slow down, and are most prevalent when I am sedentary--i.e., sitting at a desk most of the workday.
  4. Xara

    Xara Peer Supporter

    You remind me quite myself... Anyway, I know it is a bit silly to give nutritional tips in a tms forum. Garlic just decreases blood pressure, it' s not about vitamins etc. It is like tranquilizer
    As far as these palpitations... Well I use quite the Weekes method: oh, welcome my palpitations... Observe for a while... Then I say, ok, my heart, you want to run quickly, it is ok, but I have to do some jobs to do and you have to do it alone. And then palpitations slow.
    I feel that sometimes it is not only the fear, it is what annoys us most.
    Good luck, patience and courage to our trip.

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