Ectopic heartbeat is one of the heart rhythm problems. It is one of the serious problems that have been arising either everyday or occasionally. These are strong, forceful, extra heart beats that occurs occasionally for a short time interval between normal regular heart beats. A vibrated or shaken feeling occurs in the chest and refers to both extra heartbeats and skipped heartbeats. These ectopic heartbeats are commonly felt when a person lying in bed. The most common reason of arising ectopic heartbeat is the consciousness of the heart means not functioning properly or else due to certain disease without creating any harm. If it continues then seek medical treatment. A doctor can try to resolve the cause that may also occur due to imbalance of electrolyte in the blood, heart disease or injury. Some other factors of the daily routine can also affect ectopic heart beat like alcohol, caffeine, smoking, stimulants, and exercise. Most individuals with ectopic heartbeats do not cause any symptoms but sometimes the irregularity of heartbeat may produce a sensation of palpitations, missed beats or bumps in the chest. This condition may lead to shortness of breath.
The heart works as an electrical system that regulates the speed and rhythm of the heartbeat. Ectopic heartbeat is created randomly making the heart abnormal without knowing the interruption of extra or irregular heartbeat and heart is unable to predict the cause of its interference. These extra heartbeats are not life-threatening. Rarely, these become more serious during anxiety or might due to the problem of the heart. It is necessary to overcome the effect of ectopic heartbeats because this may lead to improper functioning of the heart.
Ectopic heartbeats may also occur during pregnancy. Women experience many physiological changes that occur in the body and ectopic heartbeats are seen commonly in pregnant women. It is also quite common for the fetus to experience extra beats. In most case, extra beats or even faster-than-normal beats are not a cause of undue concern for doctors. Typically, a doctor will discover the ectopic beats in a fetus and decide if any treatment is needed.
There are two types of ectopic heartbeat:
- Premature atrial contractions (PAC), which originate in the upper chambers, or atria.
- Premature ventricular contractions (PVC), which originate in the lower chambers, or ventricles.
Diagnostic tests of ectopic heartbeat:
- electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures the heart's rhythm and electrical signals
- echocardiogram, or heart ultrasound
- coronary angiography, or heart X-ray
- Physical examinations of the patient by reviewing the medical history and medications taken if these would be the actual cause of ectopic heartbeats by a doctor. The doctor may also diagnose by listening the heart beats.
- MRI or CT scans
- Holter monitor test to record the heartbeat for 24-48 hours.
- Exercise test to monitor the heart rate while the patient exercises on the treadmill.
Medical treatment for ectopic heartbeat:
- Beta-blockers may be prescribed to treat the cause of ectopic heartbeats.
- A pacemaker is responsible for sending electrical impulses to stimulate heartbeat at a steady rate.
- Coronary bypass surgery
As far as health is concerned, it is often required to commit prevention as we always use to say “prevention is better than cure”. The daily activities that we usually adopt in our life may lead to reaching us at a risk. It would be better to avoid these bad activities. This would also helpful to reduce or end up ectopic heartbeats. These are:
- Avoid the use of tobacco
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol
- Eating healthy food
- Avoid junk food
- Prevent stress by doing yoga
- Exercising regularly
- Maintains body weight