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Are PVCs hormone related?
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Are PVCs hormone related?

Hello:
I am a 27 year old female. I am currently taking .115 levothyroxine for hypothyroidism and 25 atenolol for the pvcs.
I am about 25 pounds over my recommended weight. I have never smoked or drank at all. I am very active. I drink one to two cans of diet coke, but thats my only caffiene intake.

My question is this: I seem to only get the pvcs during the week before my period and they go away afterwards. I have gotten them a few other times but pretty much like clock work at that time of the month. Is this something you have heard of before?

Also, my doctor did an ecg and a 24 hour holter monitor. They both picked up the pvcs but were called normal. I had 3000 pvcs in a 24 hour period of time. Should I have a echo done to rule out anything else? I used to get nervous about the beats but it has been going on for at least 6 years now and I am pretty used to them. I don't like them but they don't change my life or how I go about my day now.

Thanks for your time,
Alisa W
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Hello Alisa,

I have never read about an association of pvc's and menstrual cycles, but patients frequently mention it -- especially on this forum.  Some of the longest post strings on this forum are about PVCs and many patients correlate them with menstrual cycles.

Physicians will often order echo's with frequent VPCs to confirm a structurally normal heart.  PVCs and a structurally normal heart are considered benign.  If you are concerned, ask your doctor for an echo.  When you know you have normal heart function you can put this concern to rest.

I hope this answers your question.

Good luck.
27 Comments
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i also have had pvc for many years now. Recently my pvc's have became worse in frequency and strength, however, back to the cardiologist I went to hear I was normal yet again! That is the good news! I do have mine alot more around my cycles. both with ovulation and with right before my period. I did have a cardio spasm last summer, which may be why I have increased my pvc's. My cardio event was related to stress and showed no underlying heart ailments, although it was a very scary event. I am like many in that it does bohter my day to day living at times. i take 360mg of cardizem and 2-3 mg of ativan a day. I still have alot of pvcs so i question the reason to take the cardizem at such a high dose.I am open to ANY home remedies! I do find thta when i remmeber to take magnesium, i do some times feel better.this forum helps alot too, just to know there are others like me..
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I think PVC's are related to hormones, although I doubt there is any proof of it.  I know my PVCs are worse the week, and especially the day, before my period starts.  Also, I've had them worsen following pregnancies.
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I guess my biggest question, really, is do I need to have any further testing for the cause of the PVCs. I have not had the echo that I read so many here saying they had done. Just want to make sure it is okay that I am disregarding the pvcs as benign. I had really not been paying any attention to them and then read that its best to have an echo to rule out any structural cause for pvcs. I have had the ecg and holter like I mentioned above.
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Thanks for your answer. I guess the next time I am at the doctors office I will ask her if she thinks an echo is appropriate for me.
Thanks again,
Alisa
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Alisa, What you need to remember is that the Dr. was talking about very frequent PVC's.  Remember this person had 3,000 PVC's in a 24 hour period - that is very frequent PVC's (broken down that is - 125 PVC's an hour) and definitely should be followed by an echo to ensure there is no structural abnormality causing this high number of PVC's.  
However, the majority of us do not have PVC's that frequently, therefore they are almost always benign.  
If yours are in the very frequent range by all means get checked out!  Otherwise, unless you just need to put your mind to rest I wouldn't worry too much about it.  
Good Luck!
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Alisa, I am terribly sorry, I just realized after I posted my comment that you were the one that posted this question!!  I thought you were someone else other than the original poster!  By all means, have the echo - get checked out thoroughly!  I had an echo in March of 2004 and it gave me great relief to know that my heart was structurally normal (I had an echo due to tachycardia, SVT, PAC's).  
GOOD LUCK!
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Hi: I think perhaps you did not realize that I am the person who asked the original question. I am having the 3000 in a 24 hour period. Since I have had them off and on for so long I was not really paying attention to them but the last week has been so much more frequent. I think that the next time I visit my doctor I will ask about having a echo done simply to put my mind at rest once and for all. Thanks for your reply. :)
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lol, we keep cross posting. Yes, I think it will be nice to know that my heart is okay even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes. I hope your issues are resolving too.
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:) Thanks for your comments.  I was started on 50 mg. of Lopressor twice a day in Novemeber 2004 after being in the hospital for three days with Sinus Node Re-Entry Tachycardia.  (I also have PAC's and very infrequent PVC's).  The Lopressor has made a huge difference, I feel like I have my old life back!  Good luck to you and I hope you get checked out soon.
By the way, do you take Beta Blockers?  If not, that might be another thing to ask your Cardiologist when you get checked out.
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To the original poster:

When you say that you have 3,000 PVCs a day, how many of those do you feel? Are some PVCs/PACs unnoticeable?

Thanks
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I am going to have to agree with you on the hormone relationship and the "time of the month".  I experience PVC's, but also runs of A-tach, A-flutter, and sometimes A-fib when I eat (it occurs with swallowing and is vagus nerve related).  This tends to come and go, day to day, but is consistently present the week before my menstruation.  I have seen several EP's, had two unsuccessful ablation attempts, and finally discovered an EP in Philadelphia who recognizes the source of the problem and feels HE can fix it (by letting me eat on the cath table....a risky, yet practical approach to inducing the arrhythmia).  I have put that opportunity on hold right now, but I know that if I ever schedule it, you can bet it will be done the week before my period....I want to make sure it shows up on cue!!!

Good luck with those PVC's, and enjoy your ECHO!

Steph
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Hello:

In answer to your question:  I do feel a large number of the PVCs. I did not realize I was having quite that many though. I think some feel harder than others. My holter showed only PVCs and no PACs.  I get the hard beat feeling after a pause in my pulse rate and that seems text book for pvcs. I am not sure what pacs feel like. I have now had two days that I have not felt any pvcs. I really think mine do run with my cycle. I am just going to have that echo on the 11th of next month and then put this all to rest.  I do remember when I first got the pvcs and it terrified me at that time. Now I just feel like its my normal response to the hormone fluctuations. It may not be related but its not something I can change or worry about anymore. I think we all have to finally come to that conclusion once all the test have ruled out anything to cause our pvcs. I really do appreciate this forum and the support provided here. It helps just knowing I am not the only one who has these beats.
Hugs to all,
Alisa
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Hello everyone just had to put my story in. First of all let me say that I get so much releif in reading these. I am 25 and started having these skipped beats and extra beats when I was 23 about 6 mths after I had my daughter. My world was turned upside down. I could not function I thought my heart was just going to stop. Everyone kept telling me it was panick attaks and I am just like no, these are causing panick attacks!!! Anyway my husband and I ended uop separating and I moved to my Moms and everything I was just so scared. I was living in fear! I had a EKG done and a echo. Doc said everything was normal. I just couldn't belive that. I do notice they happen more on ovulation and monthly cycle. After reading your post. I feel so much better! I am still living with my Mom and it is so hard I had been on my own for so long. It is just comfort. I want my life back! I just need to keep coming back here and hear that it seems normal and hormone related! Anyways thanks for listening. Amber
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so sorry to hear of your experience with these PVCs.  I remember when I first began feeling them and how much they scared me at the time. I do think with time, and knowing that eveything checked out okay, that one has to somehow find a way to move on. It can be very difficult. I would be happy to exchange emails with you if you need someone to talk with. Please do find a way to enjoy your life again and don't let these hold you back from living life to the fullest.
hugs,
Alisa
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Thank you so much for your message.
That was so sweet!Yes,please feel
free to e-mail me anytime
***@****
Thanks again Amber
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Avatar_n_tn
My WORSE PVC's appear to happen on the day I am ovulating!!  Then they diminish and return again-although not as bad- a week before my period.  They NEVER occured on birth control, perhaps you should find a female Dr. (the guys just DO NOT get it, trust me, I'm a nurse) and discuss your options with her.  I'm trying to get pregnant, so obviuosly cannot take the birth control anymore.  Also, I notice, when I hit 25 they really got worse, around ovulation. My Dr. will admit that most females this age experience this, although there are no recorded studies.
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DEAR ALISA
HI
I HAVE A STRANGE FEELING IN MY HEART BUT I'M NOT SURE IS IT PVC OR NOT?CAN YOU EXPLAIN ME HOW DO U FEEL WHEN PVC OCCURS.
I'VE EXPLAINED MINE AS FOLLOW.IS IT SAME FOR U?

i feel dizzy but when i check my pulse it is normal as always for example it is 60 or little more or less.but sometimes it beats faster till 90-100 without any activity, at this period of beats i feel something happens in my chest, it is not pain or ? and after a short time (1 or 2 secs)i feel a heavy pulse and after that every thing goes ok but some anxiety.If casually through this event I check my pulse I feel an interrupt or skipping pulse.It makes me crazy.Also sometimes i feel pain in my chest bones dr.s siad they are due to ur anxiety.
I did echo which was ok and 24 hrs holter i had a period of 43 bpm during sleep at night and a 2.14 secs rest in hearts beat plus 2 rests less than 2 secs.
whats going on me? what are skips in my heart with odd feeling?
ARE THEY PVC's?


MANY THANKS
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Avatar_n_tn
I am in no way a doctor but I will tell you how my PVCs feel. I don't generally get all the dizzy. What I notice is a very short pause then a very strong beat that follows. Its a very hard thump. I don't usually get pain from it. It just feels almost like my heart turned over. Its kinda hard to put into words really.  

I would say that you have had all the tests done and it sounds like your symptoms are benign. Try to trust what your doctor has told you and relax and go with it. I know thats very hard to do when it feels so odd.  I think we tend to take it for granted our hearts will always beat exactly ontime and in the same manner we are used to. I am learning that a skipped beat or hard beat is not really that abnormal and as long as all the tests came back fine then you are good to go and live life to the fullest. It takes some adjusting time to get used to it, but don't let it get you down or stop living as you would normally. Take care and I hope you find some peace in dealing with this.
Hugs,
Alisa
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Hi!

I started having PVCs about a year and half ago, last July I had an EKG, which was normal. Then in, I believe September I had the 24 hour Holter monitor, in which they said everything was normal also. I still have the PVCs, sometimes more so than others. I have also found to, that they are more pronounced during my period. I also have acid reflux, and have found that when I have been off my Prilosec for a while they are worse. Has anyone else experinced their PVCs being worse form acid reflux or from certain foods they eat? Thanks for any and all responses, this forum is really great.

Best wishes to all,
-Roni
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DEAR RONI
I THINK MY FEELINGS WHICH WE CAN CALL THEM PVC STARTED WITH MY STOMACH PROBLEMS, MY DOC CALLED IT G.E.R.D WICH IS SAME AS REFLUX
SO IF U WANT LETS SHARE OUR EXPERINCE BY EMAIL:***@****
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DEAR ALIAS
IF U DONT MIND PLEASE LETS SHARE OUR EXPERIENCES VIA EMAIL
MINE IS:***@****
MANY THNX FOR UR COMMENT
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Hi!

I feel like food and acid reflux/G.E.R.D. play a big part of my PVCs. I've had stomach problems for years, but it seems as I've gotten older they have become a little worse, and with the PVCs added. I picked up some Prilosec yesterday, so hopefully the reflux and PVCs will start to get better. I take Inderal LA 80, and have been taking it for the past 20 years for tachycardia. The doctor told me that the Inderal wasn't causing any problems, he didn't say much about the food or G.E.R.D. - if it would cause PVCs or not. He said everything seemed to be normal, but it surely can be bothersome.. but I seem to be dealing with them alot better. Today they have been much better. :o) Thank you so much for your reply, I really appreciate it.

-Roni
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Hello, I just wanted to let everyone know that I have been reading this forum off and on since last November, and it has helped me TREMENDOUSLY in dealing with the PVC's I started having.  I have had anxiety/panic disorder for 10+ years and take medication for it (mine is due to a chemical imbalance mostly). I have always felt that occasional "flip-flop" or pause feeling, but it was so rare I didn't think much of it.  I mentioned it to the doctor who was treating me for my panic disorder, who happens to be a cardiologist, and during one of my yearly EKG's he told me that I have a sinus arrythmia, which is not dangerous, and that I had showed a skipped beat, or PVC, on the EKG.  He told me it was nothing to worry about. That was about 8 years ago.  Well, last October, I overdid it on chocolate candy and coffee for about 2 weeks right before Halloween.  I tend to stay away from chocolate and caffeine, as I know they aggravate my anxiety problem.  Well, I way overdid it.  I noticed towards the end of the 2nd week, that I was feelings more of the skipped beats, so I stopped eating chocolate everyday like I had been doing for the 2 weeks before.  I was concerned about it, as it kept doing it all that weekend, and then by monday I could feel them constantly.  I called my doctor and told him what was going on.  He felt that I was having a bad PVC episode brought upon by the overindulgence I did with the chocolate and caffeine, as he knows how sensitive my system is to that stimulant.  He told me to take an extra one of my anxiety medication that night, and if it was not better in the morning to come in.  It did not feel any better, so I went in to see him.  I was a nervous wreck by then, not knowing what was going on.  I had never felt that many in a day before and I was completely freaking out.  He did an EKG and it came back the same as all of my others.  He told me again that he felt it was triggered by the caffeine consumption, and he wanted me to take 25mg of Toprol XL to help slow my heartrate down (I was extremely upset and my pulse was staying up around 120, where my is normally resting in the 80's)  and to help the PVC's not be as noticeable.  He told me that I have probably always had these, it was just that this time I was feeling them constantly because of what I had eaten.  He put a halter monitor on me for 24 hours, so he could get an accurate reading of what was going on.  It showed that I had about 3300 PVC's in the 24 hours when I went back to see him, but he said mine were not dangerous, they were benign and I did not need to worry.  He said if I had any heart disease, or a damaged heart, he would not be telling me that and sending me home.  He wanted me to take the Toprol for a week (he gave me such a low dose, because my blood pressure stays on the low side, normally 110's/60's)  and he didn't want to drop it down below 90/50.  I had to monitor my bp for the days I was taking it, and the 4th day it was down to 88/50, though I didn't feel weak or different at all.  He told me it was fine to stop taking the Toprol.  I felt fine for a few weeks, then started getting stressed about the holidays and in the back of my mind I kept worrying that if I ate a certain food or did a certain activity that I would trigger the PVC's again.  Well, instead I trigged panic attacks, which I had not had a full blown panic attack in 6 years.  I had 5 or 6 in 3 weeks.  He ended up changing my Xanax medication to the new Xanax XR (extended release).  After a week or two, I could tell a difference with it.  I did notice that some days when I had more acid in my stomach, that it seemed like I felt PVC's more if I bent over or felt like I had to burp.  He said that could make you feel them, as the esophagus presses right against your heart.  In January, I started feeling the PVC's again, when my husband got off of straight days and went back on shift, and was working some nights again. It first came back New Years weekend, when he went back on nights for the first time.  I kept trying to remind myself not to worry, but I ended up calling my doctor, who happens to live across the street down a few houses from us.  He told me to take a 1/2 of the 25 mg Toprol.  It helped somewhat but I was still concerned as to why they came back. Since I had told him and our family doctor, who are at the same practice, about my concerns, they decided that I should see an electrophysiologist, so that I would feel 100% certain that my PVC's were benign and nothing for me to worry about.  I went and saw him at the end of January.  He read over the EKG's (2 of them, one from November and one from January) and they were the same, and he read over the halter monitor results.  He said that he did not see anything on the wave patterns to indicate to him that I had any type of dangerous arrythmia.  He said the only test he had left that he wanted me to do, to be 100% sure about them, was a stress test, to make sure they were not exclusively exercise induced.  I took the stress test, administered by my cardiologist, the next week, and passed with flying colors.  Not on PVC during the test or during rest.  I had a few later that evening, but I think it was because I was trying to relax after being so worried about taking it. I talked to the cardiologist and the electrophysiologist and my family doctor about the tests, and they all 3 agree that the PVC's I had in abundance those few days in November were completely benign and were caused by the overabundance of caffeine I had had, and coupled with me getting stressed out about it.  They wanted me to continue taking the Toprol XL, 1/2 of a tablet in the morning and a 1/4 of one at night.  I have been doing this since the first of February, and so far, I have not had any more occurrences of the continous runs of PVC's.  I still get the occassional skipped beat, sometimes a few in a day, and then I can go weeks without any.  It seems that it does get worse right before my cycle starts, or if I eat any foods that are very heavy that give me any acid or gas problems.  This last week is a prime example.  I haven't had any PVC's in quite awhile, but since last weekend, I have had at least one every day, if not a few more.  They are spaced out all during the day, so it's not like I'm having 2 or 3 a minute or hour even.  I notice them alot in the mornings before I eat breakfast, if I bend over to get something out of the cabinet in the bathroom.  My doctor said this is problem from acid buildup during the night.  When I eat, it feels better.  ????  I think hormones have alot to do with PVC's, as well as acid reflux.  If anyone would like to correspond about this, feel free to email me at ***@****.  Thanks for reading.
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Everything I've read strongly suggests that PVCs are definitely hormonal. I, myself started having palpatations and skipped beats about 2 years ago (I'm 43). These coincided with mood swings and PMS symptoms that I had never experienced. All blood work and EKGs have proved nearly normal (in other words, despite a very minor heart block that the doctor feels I've always had, nothing was awry). The doctors do not seem to recognise this, however much of the more recent research into perimenopausal symptoms have certainly indicated palpitations and PVCs among them. Many of my friends of my age experience the same. Obviously, all avenues should be explored, but relief for me came from an unexpected source.

A couple of months ago, I started seeing a herbalist who put together a tonic for me. I'm not entirely sure of the contents (I trust her, thankfully!), but know that it includes Hawthorne Berry and Agnus Castus extracts among other things. Whilst I still experience some palps around the middle of my cycle, they are much improved! I'm a bit of a sceptic, and can readily accept that there's a possibility this is a placebo, or even that my hormones have calmed down on their own, but alternatively, there is no harm in these herbal rememdies, so I'm happy to continue with them.

Other research have turned up articles mentioning "estrogen dominance", which, it's speculated, is a result of masses of synthetic estrogen in our environment. Petroleum products such as plastics, especially cling film (AKA Saran Wrap) are key culprits. Never let it touch your food as it is one of the worst for leaching synthetic hormones. Nice, huh? That white plastic in food cans is another nasty source. Water bottles, apparently, are not so bad.

Anyway, I hope this puts some minds at ease. Palps are nasty, though mostly benign, I understand. Do get them checked, but don't panic when traditional medicine finds nothing. It's amazingly common, I'm finding.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm another one who usually gets PVCs right before my period (just had a PVC, as a matter of fact, and the Crimson Tide starts on Friday) and during ovulation.  They're damn scary until you find out what they are.  My doctor originally prescribed atenolol, but it didn't seem to stop them, and since I only get them occasionally I stopped taking it.  These days, I do take extra potassium during menstruation and ovulation, and drink at least 64 oz. of water a day -- that, plus regular cardio and weightlifting, seems to help me.
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Avatar_n_tn
These are old posts, but the only ones I could find.  I'm 51, and I've been keeping track. My PVCs occur just before and during menstruation.  I think there's something to this.  I found out in one blood test I was potassium and magnesium deficient.  I wonder if I get depleted or if it's just hormonally connected, and I happened to be deficient that time.  I don't take anything except "Emergen C", and that seems to have helped, so maybe it is a deficiency, but I wonder why I get deficient during menstruation.
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A related discussion, PVC's and Menstruation was started.
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