Premature Atrial Contractions
Premature Atrial Contractions

Premature Atrial Contractions: Definition, 5 Causes, and Treatment

Sometimes, do you ever feel like your heart beats differently, or it feels like it misses a beat? If so, there will be a good chance that whatever you noticed was a heartbeat that came sooner than it commonly does. When that kind of thing happens, and if it follows up with a fluttery or skipped beat, chances are you are experiencing a premature atrial contractions (PAC).

This condition is often called as atrial ectopic beats or atrial premature beats as well. If this happens to you, you don’t need to worry yourself because it commonly happens and most of the time it doesn’t need treatment. To give you more insight in regards to the matter, you need to know several things about it. 

Read also:
Symptoms of Ectopic heart beats

What Are Premature Atrial Contractions? 

Atrial Premature Contractions (PAC) are premature heartbeats that commonly happen and it occurs in the upper chamber of the heart, essentially it is an area known as the atrial. Typically, this condition does not cause damage to the heart and can happen in healthy individuals without known heart disease. 

One of the most common symptoms of this condition is heart palpitations or an unusual awareness of your heartbeats. To put it simply heart palpitations are conditions where your heart beats beat usually fast, low, or irregularly timed. Atrial premature contractions happen when a beat of your heart occurs early in the heart cycle.

The symptoms commonly occur when you are relaxing or at night when you are resting, when your heart acts as a natural pacemaker and the sinus node slows down. Even though APCs is a common condition, in some cases it can indicate a serious heart condition such as arrhythmia.

What Causes Premature Atrial Contractions?

Generally, the cause of premature heartbeat is unknown. According to Cardiac Health most people who suffer APCs don’t have heart diseases. However, below are several things that can cause premature heartbeats to occur more frequently such as: 

  • Caffeine 
  • Alco**hol
  • Fatigue or poor sleep
  • Stress 
  • Medications that mention irregular heart beats as a side effect

Moreover, atrial premature contractions could mean many things, one of them is that it could mean you have some kind of extra connections in your heart’s electrical system. As a result, they may cause your heart to beat irregularly on some occasions.

Even though this condition could be terrifying, annoying and even nerve-wracking, you don’t have to worry because it’s commonly not dangerous unless you experience them frequently and they also impact your quality life.

If you ever experience them and you feel frightened by them, you can try to ease your worry by following a premature atrial  premature contractions diet or consult your doctor to make sure that your heart is fine. 

What Are the Treatments for Premature Atrial Contractions?

Actually, how many PACs are too many? According to some studies, atrial premature contractions we’re defined as excessive when they are ≥30 PAC per hour or a single run of ≥20.

Furthermore, it is also found that excessive PAC were associated with a >60% improvement in the risk of death or stroke, and a 2.7-fold increase in the development of AF. If you have APCs and before it gets worse, there are some treatments that you can do to make it better. 

First thing first, you ought to seek treatment any time you feel that there is something different in your heartbeat that hasn’t yet been talked with your primary physician. In most cases, APCs don’t need care beyond primary exam.

If your primary physician or doctor determines your APCs  are not life-threatening or dangerous, perhaps you will not need to see them again when you experience them again, unless you feel them more frequently, accompanied by other symptoms, or your doctor gives you different kinds of instructions. 

It will be a different situation if your doctor diagnoses your APCs are dangerous, the treatment that you will undergo usually addresses the underlying condition that triggers the premature beats of your heart. Later on, Your doctor will recommend a personalized plan according to the result of your exam.

However, in some cases harmless atrial premature contractions are so frequent that they can disturb your daily life. If this happens to you, your doctor may prescribe some kind of medicine for you such as beta blockers, or any other drugs that used to treat more serious cases of arrhythmia. These kinds of drugs commonly suppress contractions. 

Last Updated on November 3, 2020 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team