Extrasystoles and the Heart: Symptoms, Causes and Remedies

Extrasystoles and the Heart: Symptoms, Causes and Remedies. I will start off by saying that the condition characterized by extrasystoles (premature heart beats) is not dangerous and is highly unlikely to pose any serious health problems. In simple words, an extrasystole is a premature or faster heart beat occurring in many absolutely healthy individuals. It is estimated that 1 in 2 people will experience the condition at one point in their lifetime. Extrasystoles improve and disappear completely with vitamin and mineral supplementation and lifestyle changes.

Extrasystoles may affect perfectly healthy children, adolescents, adults and older people without posing any health risks whatsoever. I first experienced extrasystoles about 15 years ago and, as you can see, I am still alive and happy today. I started noticing some irregularities in my heart beat when I was alone at home, laying in my bed. I also noticed that when I was in the company of other people, having a pleasant time, they disappeared like magic.


When you are laying in bed, just before falling asleep, and you feel like your heart is either skipping a beat or going a heartbeat too fast, it is natural to feel scared and think that maybe something is wrong. At first I was scared too and sought medical advice to calm my fears down. But the extrasystoles did not stop even after getting reassurance from my doctor that my heart was perfectly healthy. Eventually, I learnt how to manage them. Here is my personal experience about how I successfully dealt with extrasystoles.

What I learnt causes my extrasystoles: I noticed that hearing sudden, loud noises or being woken up unexpectedly from my sleep not only made me anxious, frightened or stressed, but also triggered my extrasystoles. When I would calm down, my heartbeat got back to normal. A scientific explanation for this is that the body, believing it is in imminent danger, reacts instinctively by increasing anxiety and stress levels, to prepare for an attack. Stress, anxiety, fear are emotions that may trigger extrasystoles by the negative impact they have on our body. But as soon as we calm down, extrasystoles stop too.

The causes for my extrasystoles were almost always stress and anxiety. For example, my favorite thing to do is go for a bike ride in the countryside where I live. Breathing fresh air and feeling the warm sun rays on my skin fully relaxes me. And although I sometimes rode my bike for miles, I never experienced extrasystoles. But when I started worrying about having to get up in the middle of the night to work, or stressing about how to pay my bills, the condition started bothering me again.

Since I had went to my doctor for a thorough checkup, including an EKG (electrocardiogram), and found out I was perfectly healthy, I knew there couldn’t be something physically wrong with me. Almost 95% of extrasystoles cases occur as a result of stress and anxiety and are not caused by a physical problem of the heart.


Another cause for extrasystoles is smoking. According to statistics, smoking is the number 1 cause of cardiovascular disease, especially in men. Smoking also causes extrasystoles so giving up cigarettes will certainly improve the quality of your life. An excessive intake of sugar, honey and other similar sweeteners can cause heart rhythm abnormalities as well. Coffee drinkers are also at risk of experiencing extrasystoles as a result of the caffeine in coffee.

For some people, eating too much dark chocolate or cocoa or drinking excessive amounts of tea also causes extrasystoles. Dark chocolate, black coffee and green and black tea are powerful stimulants and some people are simply much too sensitive to them. Everyday tea and coffee contain stimulants such as theine and caffeine which excite the cardiovascular system and cause extrasystoles so drastically reducing your intake of coffee and tea will help you immensely. Read more about the side effects of drinking coffee and which is better: coffee or tea in the morning.

You might find this funny, but sometimes, when I feel the urge to pee and still hold it in a little bit more, I get extrasystoles. Moreover, not getting enough sleep might put your body into overdrive and cause extrasystoles, or even low blood pressure. So make sure you are not sleep-deprived.

Because I went through the same thing some of you are going through now, I wholeheartedly recommend that you go see your doctor and ask for an ECG or EKG test (an electrocardiogram). What happens during an EKG or ECG? A family doctor or cardiologist will place some small metal discs called electrodes on your chest, arms and legs (usually wrists and ankles). You just have to lie still on a bed for several minutes (5-10) while the machine to which the electrodes are attached measures your heart’s electrical activity. An EKG will simply confirm that your extrasystoles, and possibly other symptoms, are no reason for concern.

How I take care of my extrasystoles: Because extrasystoles are not an indication of any heart problem, I am against taking any medication. After all, I have a healthy heart. But I do have some tips to make extrasystoles more manageable so the condition doesn’t interfere with daily life. In the evening, before going to sleep, I like to drink a cup of herbal tea. My favorites are hawthorn, sea buckthorn tea, lemon balm, chamomile, passionflower because they relax me and the warmth of the tea makes me sleepy. These herbal teas are also natural herbal remedies for anxiety.

Keeping stress levels low is also very important for managing extrasystoles so make sure you do something you enjoy every now and then. Some people like cleaning the house when they are alone, others would enjoy a good comedy movie or listening to their favorite music. I like riding my bike in solitary places, where I am surrounded by trees, maybe lie down by the bed of a river and watch ducks or seagulls. Always keep in mind that life is beautiful and that you deserve to enjoy it and you will have no more troubles with extrasystoles.

32 Replies to “Extrasystoles and the Heart: Symptoms, Causes and Remedies”

  1. Omg! This is the first time i ever comment on any of these posts i read! But you? I had to! Thanks a mil !!!! Ive been having these palpitations for over 2 years now and i felt like i was dying! U made me feel like m not alone! And its perfectly normal. Haha. Agreed on everything u said. Thx

    • You’re welcome. I’m very happy you found the anwers and peace of mind you’ve been looking for, Loucyneh! And yes, you are not alone! Extrasystoles are almost always harmless and I’m sure that if you watch your stimulant foods and beverages intake (dark chocolate, black coffee, soda, green and black tea especially) and just take some time to relax and shake off some stress you will notice great improvements in your condition. Also, congratulations on staying informed. I wish you lots of health!

  2. You’ve no idea how much this post has helped me. I endure significant anxiety disorder and lately this ‘heart thing’ has had me pretty freaked out. So, I did some internet researching! As I learned about extrasystoles, including this post, it diminished at least one significant aspect of my anxieties. MANY THANKS.

    • I am really happy to hear the article helped you this much. Stress and anxiety seem to make everything worse. But just by knowing that your anxiety is triggering your extrasystoles you have more control over the situation and this should give you the confidence you need to better manage the situation and the problems that may arise with it. As they say, ‘knowledge is power’ and having knowledge about your condition, its symptoms and causes will empower you to deal with things better. I wish you only the best.

  3. Hi i’m doing a presentation tomorrow and i would have to know the effects and symptoms of extrasystole that would be great for me right now

  4. Hi there, I’ve had the odd extra systoles all my life, but they’ve become much worse in the past couple of years (I’m 59). I tried cutting down tea but it made no difference. I did a 48-hour EKG last year and the cardiologists said not to worry, but when I get a strong wave of it I don’t feel comfortable. I’ve started to notice that they get really bad about 15 minutes after I eat carbs. I rarely eat sugary foods but just crackers with a savoury topping or a quiche can trigger a bad run. Then they come so thick and fast they scare me – every second or fourth beat for a little while that really make my chest jump, even though I’m not stressed at all. Have you ever heard of this? I’m a vegetarian so cutting out carbs altogether isn’t terribly practical.

    • Hi, Gwen. First of all, I want to tell you that it was smart of you to go to the doctor to rule out other possible heart conditions. Now, considering that these heart-related symptoms appear 15 minutes after you have had a meal (and this is only a presupposition because I am not aware of your medical history), have you considered that you might be suffering from acid reflux? Maybe light foods don’t bother you, but sugary foods, especially those that are processed or baked goods might upset your stomach and cause acid reflux. Or you might have an innate sensitivity to some foods such as garlic, onions, bell peppers, pineapple, etc. Acid reflux symptoms can cause heart problems, such as tachycardia, skipped heart beats or extrasytoles along with symptoms such as dizziness, the feeling of lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting or a burning sensation in your throat, etc. My advice is to talk to your doctor about this. Also, ask him if you might have a hiatal hernia that is causing you this much trouble. You can also try to make a food diary and keep track of what you eat to see which foods in particular bother you (it might be some baked goods or dairy products, if you are a lacto vegetarian).
      At the same time, if you have a high dietary fiber intake, you are at risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Your body will most likely show symptoms of iron, B vitamins, potassium and magnesium deficiencies first. For instance, heart problems such as extrasystoles, might be caused by or worsen as a result of potassium, magnesium and B vitamins deficiencies. At the same time, if you have malabsorption problems (or problems absorbing some nutrients from foods), you are at risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well.
      As you can see, everything is connected. I strongly recommend you continue to manage your extrasystoles (no coffee, dark teas, dark chocolate, no smoking, less sugar or sweeteners and rest well). In addition to this, talk to your doctor about the possibility of having either acid reflux, hiatal hernia or malabsorption problems and ask him or her to check for potential vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Last but not least, it might be a good idea to go see a dietician and have him or her devise a diet plan suited to your body’s needs. See how this works too.
      Please keep me updated. Lots of health.

  5. Extrasystoles in a structurally abnormal heart mean life threatening. Not my case, made two echocardiograms and I have anormalias in my heart. However as I have extrasystoles are almost followed by sinus tachycardia, and that makes me feel bad because the pressure drops. And I have episodes of hypertension, and when I’m with hypertension I notice that extrasystoles end up being stimulated. I’ve been eating too much sodium lately, I think I’m with excess sodium, as the result of the last examination of sodium that I found that was in 144, and starting from 145 is already considered sodium excess disorder. Excess sodium causes hypertension, which ultimately stimulates the heart to have extrasystoles, beyond the anxiety I have. I have a device to measure pressure detecting extrasystoles and whenever I get nervous I measure it and the warning appears, and when I get nervous measuring actually the warning appears. So it connotes that many of the extrasystoles are caused by anxiety, to feel the pulse I feel extrasystole so nervous I am.

    • Hello, Rodrigo. It is true that extraystoles can be caused and worsened by stress, anxiety and bad dietary habits such as eating too much sodium or drinking too much sodas, coffee or caffeinated drinks. When my extrasystoles started getting worse, I took magnesium, potassium and B vitamin supplements, ate right, slept more and sort of made time for myself and it really worked for me because I started seeing improvements soon. That´s how I got rid of my extrasystoles.

  6. Great post Marius!
    I have the extrasystoles since 2009, in my worst time a holter detected around 300-400 in a day. I got in a hospital where they treated me with Propafenone (150 mg / 3 times a day), I was there for 2 days, and got out…immediately went and visited a cardiologist and he tried to change medication to bisoprolol, but it was causing more strong extrasystoles, so we went back to Propafenone which I had been taking since, in good times I only take 1 pill of 150 mg per day, and worse cases 2 pills per day.
    I am a sports guy so I do a lot of gym, and recently (August 2015) I started running and have been participating in some races, sometimes when I run fast above 165 bpm I feel sporadic extrasystoles which causes me anxiety, I noticed since I started running my anxiety level increased at the point that I have had a couple of panic attacks…..however, I refuse quitting and continue running but at much slower pace.
    Recently, and this is new from the last 2 weeks, my extrasystoles keeps appearing even with the propafenone, not in great scale, probably in the 100-200 per day. And now I do not know what to do, I don’t want to increase my medication…..
    I have had all kind of tests: electrocardiogram, echocardiography, stress test, holters, cardiac enzymes, thyroids, and everything have been normal.
    The cardiologist has also recommended me to start taking alprazolam 0.5 mg per day, but I refuse to start taking anxiolytics pills.

    • Hello, Luis. It´s great you had all those tests to rule out any potential physical abnormality. What I feel also helped me a lot was taking some quality magnesium, potassium and B vitamins supplements. I started seeing good results from the first two weeks, but it took about six months until my extraystoles stopped altogether. I went through ups and downs, and the sudden episodes of extrasystoles after periods of calm were very discouraging for me, making me quite anxious but I knew I just had to have patience and give my body time to respond to the changes I had made. I no longer experience extrasystoles, but I continue to take my vitamins, make time to relax, eat right and avoid stimulant foods and beverages. I am confident it will work out for you too so don´t give up and don´t give into your fears. What I always told myself to get me through was: this is not the end and everything will be alright.

  7. Thanks Marius!
    I can not take my supplementation as magnesium levels are borderline. I have to increase the consumption of water and stop eating cookies. I ate every biscuits and began to have high blood pressure and increased pvc. Industrial food is heavily loaded with preservatives, trans oils, sodium, sugar and this interferes with the extrasystoles situation.

    • Glad I could help, Rodrigo. All processed food is loaded with unhealthy compounds, particularly sodium. If you have been eating a lot of processed foods, chances are your high blood pressure came from them. Potassium is great at regulating blood pressure and counteracting the side effects of too much sodium. It´s hard to stay away from processed foods because they are made to taste really good. What I do is avoid to keep unhealthy foods in the house so I don´t get tempted to eat them. I keep only healthy, unprocessed snacks such as fresh, unsalted walnuts, almonds, fresh yogurt, bananas, dried figs and other dried fruits or aloe vera juices for when I feel like eating something good. What also helps me is to cook meals from scratch. This way I know what I am eating, I choose the ingredients to best suit my body´s needs and manage to stay away from all the bad stuff.

  8. Hi. For me it started a few years ago just like that. When I first had it, I was thinking it was caused by asthma but then I realized that no. When I sleep and I think of something and my heart beats faster I experience extrasystoles, even when I watch a horror movie and my heart starts beating I feel them and I hate that feeling. I always cought as a reflex. I took a blood test once and the doctor told me that my potassium level was very low, since potassium help muscles, cramps etc. I started eating more bananas, tomatoes etc. and taking some supplement of potassium. I see a big improvement. When I don’t eat enough pottassium I see that my extrasystoles are more frequent. For me it really worked. But it´s still a pretty scary feeling. I remember at first when I had them (like all the nights) I was afraid to go to sleep, I was almost crying, didn’t want to go to bed because I knew I would have multiple extrasystoles, but now it’s really better with potassium. And I’m really anxious (like all the time) so I’m sure it doesn’t help :) Thank you for your post Marius. It’s good to know that we are not alone :)

    • Hi, Alexandra. It was very smart of you to go the doctor to measure your potassium levels because you found out about a deficency that appears to contribute to your extrasystoles greatly. It might also help to measure your magnesium levels as well because while potassium regulates heart activity, blood pressure, heart rate, magnesium helps maintain the health of the heart muscle itself and support its ability to contract well. For me, it didn´t help to take only potassium. I took both potassium and magnesium supplements and it took some time until my extrasystoles disappeared completely, but it worked. And once you start seeing improvements, you will slowly start to forget the fear of getting extrasystoles and this might lead to you feeling less anxious about them. It’s a vicious circle, really, because extrasystoles stress and make us anxious and the stress and anxiety contribute to extrasystoles as well. But eating well, sleeping enough, taking time to relax, ensuring we have a sufficient intake of potassium and magnesium and avoiding foods and beverages that aggitate help a lot. Also, remember that stress makes our body burn even more nutrients, potassium and magnesium included, so that´s why some people experience extrasystoles more frequently when they are stressed and anxious. So keep up the good work.

  9. Marius are you Romanian? Thank you for this post, I’ve been suffering from extrasystoles like crazy, they scare me so much sometimes. I went to the cardiologist and wanted to take meds as needed, but he couldnt find anything wrong with my heart. I do like dark chocolate like crazy, and love to drink tea, so I will try to cut back on those. I’m glad I found your post, I will def try chamomile tea, bless you!

    • Hi, Aneta. Yes, I am Romanian. I am very happy this post helped you. You did a wonderful thing by going to the cardiologist’s because now you know that your heart is physically fine and that you don’t need medication for your extrasystoles. Cuting back on dark chocolate and theine rich teas can help because they are both stimulants and may lead to extrasystoles. Switch to milder herbal infusions that relax instead of aggitate you and make time for yourself. As I said before, in my case, magnesium and potassium dietary supplements helped a great deal, but it might still take some time for the extrasystoles to completely disappear. It will get even better once you start getting over the fear of having them. Wishing you lots of health.

  10. Your post is very encouraging. I started feeling palpitations about 2 months ago, they appeared during times of stress once a week or so and then started appearing more often. It feels like you are aware of your heartbeats. When I started taking my pulse I noticed the heart kinda missing heartbeats.

    I went to the cardiologist, did ECG and Echocardiogram/Dopler. He said my heart looks just fine and the ‘missing a bit’ feeling is just extrasystoles, he told me it’s insignificant and I can go home.

    So I insisted I wanted a Holter test from him. He agreed to give me a 24 hours Holter test, which he didn’t think at first was needed.

    Guess what? The holter came back showing 6,400 extrasystoles in a 24h period!

    Doc changed his mind, said these are way too many extrasystoles and offered me to take a beta blocker which I don’t want to take. These have nasty side effects such as lowering blood pressure (my blood pressure is fine), lowering Metabolism by 4-8% (evidence shows slow weight gain), fatigue, depression. And I also have raynaud’s syndrome which it can aggravate. To summarize it’s a patch to mask a problem which creating others.

    I went to another doc he said wait another month and do another Holter no need to take meds if you don’t want but it wouldn’t hurt.

    Everybody’s saying extrasystoles are nothing to worry about but the first doc told me too many extrasystoles can stress the heart too much.

    I am very lean lean and in great physical shape and low body fat. I am already taking a lot of quality Magnesium supplement for a long time way before the extrasystoles issues. It doesn’t seem to affect it. I don’t take potassium supplement though.

    All foods are loaded with sodium, it would never hurt getting a potassium supplement to balance the sodium intake. What kind of potassium supplement are you taking?

    How many extrasystoles did you experience?


    • Hi, Ed. First of all, I think it might be best to share your concerns regarding the side effects of the beta blocker you have been prescribed and the health risks it may hold for you with your doctor. Your doctor needs to know about your choice and the reasons behind it so he or she can know how to advise you further on the matter. Secondly, I didn’t really want to know how many extrasystoles I had. What I can tell you is that I had good days, with occasional extrasystoles, and really bad days. At their worst, my extrasystoles were present night and day. I couldn’t eat or sleep and I had become extremely anxious, even a little depressed because I didn’t see any solution to my problem at the time. Because I couldn’t go on like that, I made serious changes in my diet and lifestyle. Coffee, alcoholic beverages, herbal teas rich in caffeine and theine, both stimulants (green tea, black tea, white tea, Oolong tea), dark chocolate, cocoa, caffeinated beverages, cigarette smoke, sleepless nights, fatigue, stress can all lead to extrasystoles. But making changes in my diet and lifestyle wasn’t enough to make my extrasystoles disappear completely. Only when I started taking a B complex, but most importantly potassium and magnesium dietary supplements did I see real improvements. Potassium is the one responsible for regulating heart contractions. I have been taking a Romanian brand called Aspacardin with potassium aspartate and magnesium aspartate, with 39 mg of potassium and 12 mg of magnesium per tablet. I take one first thing in the morning, another in the afternoon and a third before I sleep. Although I saw results in a week or two, it took several months for my extrasystoles to completely disappear. As you can see, my intake from dietary supplements isn’t extraordinary, but it’s the right amount for me. My advice is to talk to your doctor about you wanting to try an alternative solution (dietary supplements) before receiving a beta blocker. Ask your doctor if you can take magnesium, potassium and some B vitamins, but quality ones, for two weeks or a month. Check in with him or her regularly on your progress and see if you notice any improvements. Even when you are taking dietary supplements, remember to eat right, enjoy some peace and calm and make time to relax. Wishing you lots of health.

  11. Hello, first sorry for my English. I am facing extrasystoles for 5 years. Am so worried about it. I went to a doctor years ago and I did the echo and 24 hours holter test. He told me nothing there is nothing to worry about. Is there any other test I should do? I am not convinced and sometimes I feel my heart beat skipping every 2 seconds. And when I make effort I feel fast heart beat and hard respiration. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi, Ton. If you don’t feel satisfied with the tests, you can go to another doctor and redo them just to be sure. Usually, extrasystoles are not dangerous. However, they make you think something might be wrong with you and generate anxiety and stress which cause them to get even worse. I also suffered from extrasystoles and went through the same despair that you are going through now. I found it really helped to supplement with some quality magnesium and potassium every day and give up anything that had a stimulant effect (coffee or caffeinated beverages, sodas, cocoa, chocolate, green tea, white tea, black tea, oolong tea and so on). After taking magnesium and potassium for several weeks I started noticing some improvements: I did not experience as many extrasystoles as before and they were less intense. It took several months until they disappeared but I keep taking my minerals. As for the hard breathing, if your doctor tells you everything is fine, it might just be because you are not used to intense physical exercise (it takes time for the body to get used to effort). You should also get yourself a wrist blood pressure monitor to monitor your blood pressure. Again, potassium and magnesium work for basically any problem having to do with the cardiovascular system (but not physical defects) and your doctor should help you decide on some quality supplements suited for your needs. Just remember it will take time for changes to take place and the condition to improve. Wishing you lots of health.

  12. Hi Nice Post !
    My problem started 4-6 years ago. I was always healthy, sport guy. I was weight lifting from 16 year old, then stopped at 19. A few years back I took a trip to Holland. One night during that trip I tried several dangerous substances and after I woke up I had a panic attack. And from there things were history. I was panic sick for 3-4 years and treated with medication called Paroxetine, Clonazepam. I was worried, having extrasystole beats, skipped beats. Now the panic gone, no more medications for the last 2 years, but I’m still having extra beats. I’m muscular, never been fat, 180cm and 78-82 kg. Eating healthy, no dangerous medication, no cigarettes, nothing. I don’t even eat fast food, just chicken cooked in pan spray, fish, salads, low carb, low fat diet. So very balanced, I even calculate calories just as a bodybuilder. So I went to a private cardiologysts. I spent several hundreads for Ecg, Ultrasound and had every single test that was available! Came back no problem with my heart.
    What I learned is I have Athletic Heart syndrome. It means the heart muscle has grown because off all the training, same as the muscles all around the body, so I have a resting 115/60 bpm. Some have even lower. If you have low Bpm you might have athletic heart syndrome (grown heart). So I’m very upset. I don’t know what to do. I have had enough, I don’t wanna leave limited or scared when will I be dead. So tell me what to do mate. Thanks, sorry for English. I’m Hungarian.

    • Hi, Krisztian. From what you have told me, it appears you have developed Athletic Heart syndrome as a result of your intense weight lifting. Too much or too intense physical exercise can cause the heart to enlarge just like other muscles in the body become bigger as a result of exercise. Medical literature says that your condition is generally benign, so harmless. But there is a chance other heart conditions may imitate Athletic Heart syndrome (such as congenital heart defects). It’s great that you had all those tests done and have a diagnosis that clears out heart problems. My advice is to have some tests done regularly just to be sure that everything remains ok in the future. And if you haven’t told the cardiologist yet, my suggestion is to tell him or her about the substances you consumed in the past and about the medication you were prescribed for you anxiety and panic attacks. All of these can cause side effects such as heart fluttering, pounding heart, fast heartbeat and even extrasystoles. Moreover, medication for anxiety, panic attacks and depression can have a diuretic effect and cause you to lose electrolytes and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and others of crucial importance for cardiovascular health. It may be possible that your extrasystoles are caused by a magnesium deficiency for example.
      What helped me with my extrasystoles was taking magnesium and potassium dietary supplements every day. Over the course of a few months, my extrasystoles disappeared completely and now I take magnesium and potassium only every two or three days. Talk to a doctor about this and see if it helps you too.
      Also, ask your doctor how much physical exercise you can do. Since you have an enlarged heart, even though it is not caused by disease, it might be best to take it easy. It is possible for your doctor to tell you to refrain from intense physical activity and opt for moderate exercise such as walking to keep in shape. It’s also great that you are making good dietary choices. Fish, fruit and vegetable salads, chicken and an overall low-fat diet are important for cardiovascular health. I would also avoid salt because it works against magnesium and potassium, neutralizing their benefits. Lastly, research suggests your condition can be reversible, or at least partially reversible. It has been shown that the hearts of people with Athletic Heart syndrome can revert to their original size or at least reduce in size if the person stops exercising for a period of three months. Again, ask your doctor about this. Wishing you lots of health.

    • Also, it is possible your extrasystoles are caused by stomach acidity or acid reflux disease, even though you are eating healthy. You could have a hiatal hernia which would cause a part of the stomach to come up through an opening in the diaphragm and become situated in the chest cavity instead of the abdomen. This would lead to heartburn, acid reflux and even extrasystoles and shortness of breath. Your reflux can be asymptomatic so you might not even know you have it. You can have an edoscopy, a tube with a tiny camera on top that looks at your esophagus and stomach to see if you have a hiatal hernia.

  13. Thank you, very much. Very helpful article. 2 years ago i started having extrasystoles and i went to the doctor, they bring me through test and said i had nothing to worry about. But since couple days it started back and it’s really scary, i will try your advice and it’s a relief to hear from people living the same issue. Thanks for your time. You’re helping a lot of people.

    • Hello, Nacim. I am happy to hear you find the article useful. It’s great that you went to the doctor’s because it’s always best to have a professional see you and give you a professional opinion. I had been dealing with extrasystoles for very long until I could manage them, so, in my experience, it takes time for healthy habits to make a difference. So be patient and consistent and you’ll get to a point where it won’t be scary anymore. Wishing you lots of health and hope to hear good news from you.

  14. HI, I’ve been reading your website and am hoping that you might be able to give me some advice.

    I’m 71 years old, generally active and in good health, I eat sensibly and no longer smoke or drink alcohol. In February this year I had a medical, my first for seven years. Immediately after the ECG the doctor in charge of the clinic said he was concerned about the ECG print-out, and arranged for me to see a cardiologist a few days later.

    The cardiologist arranged a 24 hour Holter test and a stress test. As I used to be a smoker and my father died of heart problems he also arranged a cardiac scintigraphy. The results in general were excellent. The scintigraphy showed no damage to the heart or the surrounding blood vessels and in the stress test my performance was in the top 1 percentile for people of my age.

    However, the Holter test counted about 2000 isolated ventricular extrasystoles and a lot more super-ventricular extrasystoles. I have never felt any of these events, and the tests showed no pauses no arrhythmia or significant bradycardia. At every stage of the of the process I have been told that I can continue to live my life as normal.

    Nevertheless the cardiologist recommended treatment with 80 Mg of a beta-blocker twice a day, which he then lowered to 40 Mg once a day.

    I went on line to look at beta-blockers, and one of the first things I read is that they should not be subscribed to patients with low pulse rates. My rest pulse rate is at present 48, which I understand is very low for a person of my age, it appears to fluctuate somewhat, between 45-50.

    I’ve been taking the tablets for a month, during which the quality and quantity of my sleep has deteriorated seriously. I am sometimes so lethargic in the day that I can do almost nothing for an entire day, and I sometimes fall into deep sleep several times a day. I feel as if, on average I perhaps achieve half as much in a day as I used to, which is a major drop in the quality of my life. I feel I’m just not the person I was.

    I’ve been to see my GP, and he’s given me a letter to enable me to make an appointment with the cardiologist because he (the GP) quite understandably doesn’t feel he can take me off the medication himself. He also told me that it’s routine these days that anyone discharged from a cardiology department after a heart attack or a stroke is put on statins and a beta-blocker.

    In the meantime, having read your replies to other people, I’ve virtually stopped drinking coffee, I drank a lot of it, and I’ve started taking magnesium carbonate in the hope that I can thereby seriously reduce the number of extrasystoles, because I’m not sure that if, what I assume to be the side effects of the medication continue as they are, that I’m prepared to continue with the medication. (I won’t do this until I’ve talked face to face with the Cardiologist.)

    • Hello, Geoffrey. First of all, I am happy to hear your tests came out well. As for the extrasystoles, it appears they don’t indicate a heart pathology as long as the rest of your tests showed you enjoy good cardiovascular health. It is understandable the cardiologist prescribed medicines for you. My guess is it’s prophylactic, to prevent a potential cardiovascular event, considering your age and family history of heart disease. They can be prescribed for extrasystoles too because extrasystoles are regarded as a form of arrhythmia. Indeed, they have side effects such as causing sleeping problems or disturbed sleep. Just as worrisome, they can cause low heart rate and, considering yours is low (45-50 instead of 60), it may affect you. Since you feel this is not the right treatment approach for you, maybe you could talk to the cardiologist about an alternative approach. Of course, continue with the prescribed medication as recommended by the cardiologist until he tells you otherwise.

      As for the alternative approach, I can tell you some things about my experience with extrasystoles. I had had extrasystoles for years and some time ago they began bothering me a lot, although the doctor told me they were nothing to worry about. So I started taking potassium, magnesium and eventually a good B vitamin supplement and I think that in about 3 months or so they stopped completely. I continue to take my vitamins and minerals and have been feeling great, no extrasystoles. I am currently taking a dietary supplement with potassium aspartate and magnesium aspartate twice a day. You can talk to the cardiologist about trying to treat your extrasystoles with potassium and magnesium supplements. If the doctor agrees with the potassium and magnesium supplements but keeps you on beta-blockers as well, then ask him if the beta-blockers could interact with the supplements and how. Ask him if the medication can impact the absorption of the minerals and what would the best amount of potassium and magnesium be for you so you can still enjoy the benefits. Wishing you lots of health and hope to hear from you soon with news.

  15. Thank you Marius, that’s a very helpful response. I will let you know what happens after I’ve seen the cardiologist, and allowed the magnesium and caffeine-free regime time to do its work.
    Best wishes, Geoffrey.

    • If you haven’t seen a doctor by now, the best thing to do is make an appointment with a cardiologist and get a diagnosis. If it turns out to be extrasystoles, then the cardiologist will surely tell you to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. For example, give up coffee, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, sodas and quite smoking. Extrasystoles are also made worse by stress, so it is important to reduce your stress factors as well as get enough sleep at night. For me, taking vitamins and minerals helped treat my extrasystoles. I took potassium, magnesium and B vitamins supplements for more than 3 months. Talk to the doctor more about these aspects and see what he or she recommends to you. Wishing you lots of health.

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