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Heart races at night
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Heart races at night

I am a 43 year old active female. Last year went through non Hodgkin
Tags: Heart, Hope, years
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hello,

Have you tried an event monitor?  If it is happening that frequently, it should be relatively easily to capture.  Most night time SVTs that happen at bedtime are anxiety related, but it is worth proving on event monitor.  

I hope this helps.
26 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Does magnesium really help? I suffer from sinus tachycardia and PVCs with some PACs. My cardiologist said my heart is OK and it just periodically overreacts to any form of stress or stimulus like catecolamines. He said that although my blood tests are OK I should try to eat food with lots of magnesium and potassium, but didn't suggest I take supplements. Anyone here has had benefit from magnesium supplements? I now take Indeal daily. I know supplements cannot replace meds but maybe they might decrease bad tachy episodes?

Thanks

Fran
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Avatar_n_tn
Greetings:

I have the same problems as you (and others, too). I also take Inderal which seems to help.

My personal opinion on supplements is very mixed. Magnesium won't be a problem as long as you don't have pre-existing kidney disease. In some folks with sensitive digestion, it might cause diarrhea. I have tried 250 mg per day without problem, although I'm not convinced of the benefits.

Potassium in pill form can be brutal on your tummy. If you don't have a proven deficiency, I would not take it.

BTW...many folks discuss CoQ-10. I tried it twice, 9 years apart, and it put me in the E-R both times with a-fib like irregular heartbeat. Not good at all, and again, I would suggest staying away.

It has been my personal experience that PVC's are not terribly responsive to treatments like supplements or even beta blockers. Perhaps the doctors have said it best...if you have a structurally normal heart, learn to roll with the punches and carry on. They feel awful and can be very distressing, no doubt.

At least for me, my sinus tach responds nicely to Inderal. As a side note, a six month course of Toprol XL didn't help my tach and actually made my PVC's worse.

Standard disclaimer that I am not a doctor and every word here is just my personal opinion and experience. Your mileage may vary.

Take care and be well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm not a doctor, but magnesium supplements will only help if your blood magnesium is low. If it is normal, they won't do anything for you. I'd follow your doctor's advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
Some say even if your blood serum magnesium is normal it doesn't mean your cellular magensium levels are normal. I am not sure if this is a bunch of lies or not.

I have said it to other people a low dose beta blocker can be a great option and usually has very few side effects and can work wonders in some people.

I am not a doctor and you should discuss this with him.
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Avatar_n_tn
Does anyone ever feel like they are getting a wierd beat that feels nothing like PVC'S? Those are the ones that really freak me out, but i guess im still alive.
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Avatar_f_tn
Actually, magnesium supplements work well for my PACs/PVCs.  My mag level was low-normal in blood testing and I started taking 400 mg per day of magnesium glycinate (very absorbable form by KAL).  My PACs/ PVCs have decreased.  I ran out of the supplement a couple weeks ago and while I was waiting to get a new shipment I started having worse palps so I know it works for me.  I eat an orange a day for potassium and don't take that in supplement form.  I also take Toprol XL, 12.5 mg a day, which helps with fast heartbeat (I have anxiety issues and it prevents my heart from going out of control when I have a panic attack!).
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Avatar_n_tn
Mag supplementing does tend to help me a little as it soothes the entire nervous system. Another good supplement for me is Taurine, an amino acid byproduct, found in any GNC, which works pretty good for me. Its supposed to calm the nervous system. Also , vitamin E works pretty good.

I have noticed that for me personally, b vitamins and flax oil seem to aggravate PVC's and PAC's big time, as well as Niacin (a b vitamin) the niacin REALLY made them bad.

The truth is NOTHING is a panacea for these things, and modern medicine still doesnt appear to know too much about them. With my limited layman knowledge, I am convinced that different neural pathways must be activated to activate the right circuts. I think different things such as panic, anxiety, depression, and stress can activate the bad ones, and it may take a long time (even after the anxiety and depression are not present) years, even, to get the healthy ones firing again. My theory isnt based on any science, just an instinctive feeling I have, as i have studied these things and observed them in myself to the point where it has consumed me....because they, basically, already have.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I was so happy to find this sight, and read all the posts. I ended up in the er 3 weeks ago with atrial fib. my heart was staying at rate over 200, and my blood pressure was also in the 200's over 160's. i ended up being cardioverted. Then a week ago, i went to the er again after I lay down to sleep for the night, and all of a sudden by heart started racing  My blood pressure was up also., my face became flushed, I was shaking all over, and my mouth became totally dry. I had 2 more spisodes of the same thing in the er, but they don't do anything about it. I am on cardizem 180, for high bp, and to help my heart rate. I was on metoprolol before , which I think startd this whole problem to begin with. I was normal, and fine till starting bp meds. I again last night had 3 episodes of the racing heart, high bp, flushed face, shaking etc. It happened when I just lay down to sleep. It's driving me crazy. I'm worried about it all the time, I'm wearing an event monitor for 4 weeks, so I can catch the episodes, and send them. I'm having an echo cardiogram tomorrow, and seeing a cardiologist this week. I'm thinking of trying maganesium after hearing all the success with it. Thanks for all your posts!!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you to everyone who has replied to my questions on supplements. I guess we all react differently to them, as we do to any situation and meds. For instance, why do betablockers reduce PVCs in some people and do nothing or even make them worse in others? Does it mean perhaps that there are different mechanisms that activate these naughty cells that fire uncontrollably?
I usually have sinus tachy and PVCs simultaneously, so I guess my arrhythmia is basically related to catecolamines. Maybe that's why, for now, betablockers seem to work, not just for the tachy but also to some extent for the PVCs.

Have a nice day all

Fran
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84483_tn?1289941537

Funny , my symptoms are very similiar to yours , sinus tach and PVCs occuring simultaneously. I take atenolol 50-75 mg daily in divided doses depending. The atenolol works great for the sinus tach and does help to reduce the pvcs, even though I rarely have either one anymore. Funny thing is that I have always been very aware of my heartbeat from time I can remember whether fast or slow , regular or irregular, however for the about the last 2 weeks is the first time in my 41 years that I am hardly aware of myy heart beating, even if I exert myself or feel a bit anxious my heart is very quiet and I'm barely aware of it at all. I must say it's a good feeling but also strange, I wonder if these palpitations especially when afflicted with them from childhood get better in middle age, I must after all these years( don't know how long it will last)but it sure is a relief for now at least. Good luck to all.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi tickertock!
I loved your post!! I love to hear when someone is feeling better! And it also gives me some hope that my palps may not get worse...I guess the prognosis - I mean the frequency, not the fact they're benign - may depend on the characteristics of the PVCs. My cardio just told me last Friday that his general impression is that PVCs usually get better with age. Maybe since sinus tachy sometimes improves with time, PVCs may improve too when they're associated with sinus tachy.
OK, let me hope, at least!! Nobody can tell...Let's just enjoy the breaks our palps allow us LOL.

Since we both have sinus tachy along with PVCs and the BB kind of helps us with both symtoms (symptoms), I guess we're having the same kind of problem...Do you have thyroid disease? I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's, but my thyroid function is still OK so it's hard to say whether the thyroid is causing this.

Ps. 41 is not really middle age yet! LOL

Take care everyone
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Avatar_f_tn
At least in myself, I notice a definite hormonal link with my palpitations.  I have them worst at ovulation and menstruation, and in early pregnancy I had them pretty bad off and on (I'm 15 weeks pregnant right now).  Now that I am in the 2nd trimester, they are SO much better!  I have actually quit thinking about my heart and am living a normal life for the first time in a long time!  It is a blessing from God, truly!  I've had palps off and on since I was a little kid and they just started giving me huge anxiety about 2 years ago.  I hope this let-up in the palps continues and hope we all get a reprieve from them!  :)
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Avatar_n_tn
That's great, this is becoming a cheerful thread! :-)
Congratulations on your pregnancy! And yes, hope the break from PVCs continues....indefinitely!

Fran
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84483_tn?1289941537

Don't have thyroid disease  that I know I know of, but the side my neck/throat gets sore and tender to touch periodically, been told in might be an inflammation of the carotid artery or thyroid, no definite diagnosis, happens for a day or 2 , 3-4 times a year.

Thanks for the comment about middle age, have you heard the joke about the old drunk walking through a graveyard and stumbled upon a HeadStone that read NOT DEAD , JUST SLEEPING, the old drunk looks down and says "Buddy you ain't foolin anybody but yourself". It's just a joke , but what I'm really trying to say 41 is not old but one must realise that when you have reach 40 years of age , you have lived half your life according to the average lifespan. Take care and I didn't mean to put a damper on a somewhat cheerful thread, but it is good to realise the facts also.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same thought you do, since the doctors admittedly don't understand the underlying mechanism to onset, and triggers are different across the broad for everyone who suffers them.

Last year when I had a dramatic increase in my already high PVCs, it was also about the same time I decided to get healthy and was taking Co-Q10, fishoils, B12 and B6 and a cal/mag supplement. BAM. Of course several years of constant stress might have caught up too. So even though I don't take any of those supplements anymore, I think the neural/electric pathways have already been established because of a stress response. Will it get better without stress and supplements? I sure hope so, the body is a weird and wonderful thing, I don't see any reason it can't "go back", given enough time.
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Avatar_n_tn
Congratulations on the feeling good, I'm so glad to hear it. Your focus is required in so many other places, it's nice to hear you don't think about your funky heart rhythm so much right now. Hope it lasts and lasts and lasts.

Are you still taking toperol through the pregnancy?
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm turning 35, I have 5 more years to live in the first half! LOL

tickertock, do you sometimes have those days when your heart at rest is normal but whenever you do anything simple like walking up the stairs your HR starts racing and you also get PVCs? I'm going through such a phase right now. I'm now taking Inderal daily which makes me feel great at rest (hope it continues...), but whenever I walk around PVCs start again, and my HR increases. I guess increasing the dosage would help, but I don't want it to make me drowsy so for now I'll try sticking to my 20 mg.

Also, do you or anyone know if the body gradually gets used to betablockers so that they might lose their effect??

Thanks and take care!

Fran
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi!  Yes, I'm still taking the Toprol.  I take 12.5 mg once a day and the doctor said that is such a low dose and I think it's a pregnancy class B so it's OK.  I've had to get off my anxiety meds, so I'm glad I can at least hang onto that Toprol.  I hope the lessened PVCs lasts, too!  Thanks for the good wishes!
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84483_tn?1289941537
Yes I used to be exactly be that way, the least thing like walking up a single flight of stairs, stooping down, or bending, not to mention heavy lifting would start my heart racing and the PVCs would kick in, yet on an exercise stress test it was determined I had excellent exercise tolerance and my heartrate and B/P response to exercise was within the normal range , had excellent recovery also, though it was determined/documented that I had sinus tachycardia and PVC episodes, my biggest problem same to be heightened heart action awareness, with beta blockers(mainly inderal and now for the last 6-7 years atenolol) no tachycardia and only one bad prolonged episode(lasted 5 months in the 1000s daily) of PVCs nearly 5 years ago.I still get the odd PVC but absolutely nothing to speak of. I have found atenolol much more effective in controlling the tachycardia and PVCs than inderal, though I would say inderal had a more anti anxiety and central calming effect.My tachycardia and PVCs are definitely adrenaline and anxiety triggered in most instances.
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84483_tn?1289941537

Oh, about your body getting used to beta blockers , yes it definitely can but for me and I'm only speaking of what works for me to avoid this, that is if you start out on 50mg of atenolol daily and after 2 years you find yourself responding less to the 50mg , drop it down to 25mg daily for about 2 months( I know it doesn't seem to make much sense but then your body readjusts to the lower dosage then after 2-3 months you can gradually up the dosage again to 37.5mg daily for a few weeks then get back up to 50mg again daily, these doages are only an example but this way your body doesn't get use to a particular doasge if you alternate the dosages from time to time and therefore keeps you from having to increase the dosage for it to be effective.PLEASE NOTE: Always consult with your doctor before doing this , what works for some or one might not work for you or others. I used to take up to 100mg of atenolol daily, now I alternate between 50-75mg in divided and it's much more effective. AGAIN, ALWAYs consult with your doctor before changing , stopping or alternating the dose of your medications, especially beta blockers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Tickertock!
Since your symptoms sound so much like mine, I have some hope that mine will get better...I don't mind if tachy and PVCs come now and then, even for a few months...I just hope to have long breaks in between....!
What you say about the dosage makes lots of sense. So it means that even if the body adjust to the BB it will "forget" about it quickly if you decrease the dose :-). That is also good news.
You made my day! I know every situation is unique but it's nice to hear of success stories :-). For now, I have long breaks between my PVC crises. I'm currently in one such crisis, so that's why I'm so concerned with my quality of life. But last year I felt so well all the time...Let's hope for the best.

I too am convinced that my PVCs are caused by oversensitivity to adrenaline. I want to tell you a story which sounds weird but is true. I was at the dentist's a few years ago, long before my PVCs started bothering me. As soon as he injected anesthesia my heart started racing like crazy for about 10 seconds. I asked him what the hell he had given me, and he said the anesthesia contained adrenaline. I told him that I had felt it, because it had caused tachycardia. The dentist laughed and said I couldn't have felt it. But I had!! Otherwise, why should I ask him what the anesthesia contained??
I just told this story to my new cardio last Friday, and he told me that it isn't silly at all; on the contrary it is very significant.

Thanks for making my day!

Take care

Fran
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Avatar_n_tn
I've always believed that my panic disorder started at my dentist office when I was in my mid-to late teens for the very reason you just described!

Just following the numbing injection my heart was racing and then I got tipped back in the chair, seemed like the blood was rushing to my head. Well you can imagine I don't like going to the dentist anymore! But it also seems to have carried over to the salon, just sitting in a chair that you can't get out of quickly because the hairstylist is in the middle of a cut or color, it causes me extra anxiety. Strange.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Upbeat, did you really experience the same thing with adrenaline? The dentist laughed at me back then but I know what I felt: my heart started racing wild for just a few seconds and then was back to normal. And I felt like an electrical current all through me...as if I had been frightened by something. At first I thought I was just scared by the injection, but it was different because the heart accelerated so suddenly and suddnely it slowed down.
The cardiologist said it was a very significant experience. I guess it shows how sensitive to catecolamines my heart is...Bad for me! LOL

Fran
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Avatar_n_tn
Several times (not always), I've had the same experience with dental injections containing epinephrine--sudden pounding heart and feeling of doom.  My dentist said he probably hit a slightly larger vessel directly when that happened.  He preferred to work with the stuff, because it causes the anesthetic to remain longer in the area being worked on, but he did put a note in my chart that I should have anesthetic without epi.

The funny thing is that even without epi, my mouth stays numb well beyond the time needed for any dental work I've had!
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes it was the very first time I could identify that I had a panic attack. I am sure it was not coincidence. I squeezed the chair so hard that my hands hurt and I'm sure I left indentations.

Since that time, if I have to have any dental work done, I take a xanax as a preventive measure. I have fortunately not had to have any dental work for almost 6 years now.
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