Heart Disease Expert Forum
Heart skips a beat
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding heart issues such as: Angina, Angioplasty, Arrhythmia, Bypass Surgery, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery Disease, Defibrillator, Heart Attack, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Pacemaker, PAD, Stenosis, Stress Tests.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Heart skips a beat

I am male, 55 y.o male, non-smoker,  5
Tags: Heart, arrhythmia, books, pvc's
Related Discussions
74076_tn?1189759432
Hello,

There is probably no reason for concern.  They clearly bother you when the happen and if you have doubt about whether or not they represent any danger to you, you should see a doctor to confirm that you have a normal heart with PVCs or PACs. Once you know this, you should be able to worry less.

It is difficult to guess what it is and is easier to just have a holter monitor (non invasive heart monitor) to confirm the diagnosis.  It is proabably PVCs or PACs.

The extra beat sometimes will transiently increase pressures in your heart and cause people to cough.  This is a very common symptoms of PVCs.

Thansk for posting.
24 Comments
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
You need to go see a doctor/cardiologist to rule out any heart problem.  Most PVC's are benign.  I saw a Cardiologist who after giving me a throughly checkup on my heart told me if I still am worried about them even after he told me that they cannot kill me, I need to see a Therapist (my insurance wont cover it or only pays half which I still cannot afford) I then helped myself and searched the Internet for a Therapist who can help people who are scared and obsessed with PVC's.  I came across this book from this female shrink (I don't know if we are allowed to print the name of books and its authors) I read, re-read, re- read over and over what she says about "BENIGN" PVC's, as she calles them for everybody to understand "Missed Heartbeats", this is what she says and what I read over and over and over:

"A heart, stimulated by to much caffeine, alcohol or irretated by indigestion or simply nervous tension, may "miss" beats.  The beats are not really missed although if feels as if they are.  They are spaced irregularly and are called extrasystoles.  Once again, the timing of the beat is at fault.  The heart compensates for an unusual quick beat  by taking a resful pause, so that two unevenly spaced beats take the same time as two even beats.  The long pause gives the sensation of the "heart stopping" or "missing a beat".  It doesn't.  "Missed heartbeats" are NOT dangerous.  Most people over forty, and many HEALTHY young people have them but are unaware of them.  In the sensitzed person the forceful beat after a long pause may bring an unpleasent feeling - rather like a sudden decent in an elevator - and this can be very disconcerting especially if there is a long run of extrasystoles, especially if attacks occur frequently.  The sufferer may stand still thinking his heart is about to stop.  The heart will NOT stop because of "missed beats".  

Indigistion - wind around the heart - can aggravate this condition.  Exercise abolishes "nervous" extrasystoles, so do not let them intimidate you into lying on the couch.  Some sufferers describe their "missed beats" as fibrillation.  Fibrillation is quite different from extrasystoles.  Get your doctor's reassurance about this if you have any doubt."

These PVC's had ruined my life, and were the PVC's from hell for a short time (if you can call one year a short time) until I came across this book by this shrink.

Good luck!  I know how all of you feel, I've been in this hell hole and know what it feels like.  I would NOT wish this on my BIGGEST enemy.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Can you tell me the name of the book?  I am going to buy it.  Sounds like a really good one to read.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I would also love to know more about this book.  Please email me

***@****

I would get checked out just for peace of mind and reassurance.  It is more than likely benign pvc's.  I have these and i know how you feel. It is hard to accept you are "ok" when you heart is doing such weird things.  Just check back over all the other pvc's postings to see how people are dealing with this.  It is sad to see so many of us with this condition but also reassuring that we are not alone.

you take care

sharon
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Sounds like a book by Dr. Claire Weekes.  All of her books are very good - though they were written a while ago, they are still very relevant.  You can get them on Amazon.com.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Fear.  I will go to the book store tomorrow and get the book.  Sounds like it would be a good one at controlling anxiety!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
fearfactor is right.  I didn't know if we were allowed to print the names of books, and I did not feel like reading all the regs again.  Its about Dr. Claire Weeks.  She has died in the meantime, but you still can find her books on asmazon.com.  Also, some bookstores in the malls have her books or will order them for you.  She had out 3 books that I know of:

Peace From Nervous Suffering

More Help For Your Nerves

Hope And Help For Your Nerves

Agorophobia.

I also need to mention that I used to suffer from severe panic attacks and was afraid to leave the house.  I still left the house but hurried one once a panic attack hit me.  NO tranquelizers, beta blockers or doctor could help me until I got ahold of Dr. Weekes's books.  I'm now 95% free of panic attacks, she took the fear out of my attacks by telling me/and people like me that these attacks will NOT kill me.  I can drive my car again, go on airplanes again, go to the malls and most of all don't have to tell my co-workers at work that "I've diarrhea" every time I had to run to the bathroom because of a panic attack.  Dr. Weeks helped me overcome these attacks with her books something meds could NOT do.

Good luck!

P.S. Everytime either a panic attack comes or the PVC's start acting up get the book out and read the same stuff over and over and IT WILL HELP YOU AND YOUR MIND overcome most of it.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I forgot to mention that all of Dr. Weekes's books talk about "Missed Heartbeats" (PVC's) as well as other things concerning your heart which comes from nerves i.e. pain in and under the heart, shortness of breath etc.  She stresses in every one of her books to HAVE YOURSELF CHECKED OUT BY A DOCTOR TO MAKE SURE YOUR SYMPTOMS ARE FROM NERVES, and therefore "benign".  She then teaches you how to overcome them.  She is not anti meds, and says some people need them at the beginning to overcome these fears.  I just was not one of them.  I tried the meds (several different kinds) but they didn't do a thing for me, but left me tired with no energy, but the fear was still there.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have to say, PVCs still stick in the back of my head--most people have normal hearts, but some don't.

I went shopping with my family this weekend...alot of walking at an outdoor mall and I walked through a serious cloud of cigarette smoke...

This seemed to have triggered some angina (probably the long walk, & getting low on energy as I was nearing lunch).  I ignored the angina (as it's normal to get some with CAD) and had one nasty skip.  After that, I sat down and took a sublingual nitro which took away the angina.

I don't worry too much about these skips, but I still have some serious questions to talk about with my docs.  Without the meds like Atenolol, Cardizem, Plavix, ASA, there are issues for those with heart disease and these arrythymias.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am in my 30's and we do have heart problems in the family; however, I have the same problem.  I went into my gp, and it was doing this at the time of the observation, and she did not seem as concerned as I was.  I am on a new bp med, and haven't felt this as often.  I also had the heart skip a beat during my pregnancy, and was given a halter monitor- and they saw a few skipped beats, but didn't think anything of the situation.  Apparently,if it is on-going or to the point of fainting, they are extra concerned.

I do think the skipping of beats is due to caffeine or too many sugary products for me, and there are so many fillers in everything we eat.  I would go to your gp to see if they will refer you to a cardiologist just to be on the safe side.  I would assume they would just give you the halter monitor( a miniature little back pack thing worn on your chest for a day)attached to your chest by ekg stickies.

Don't worry, but do get to your dr just to be on the safe side:)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
They are Holter monitors, not 'halter'....;-)))) Take care and hope all is well with you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Designman,
OOPS- I guess I was thinking of halter- like halter top (kind of like that I suppose:)  Yes, it is a Holter monitor that will be given most likely, to see if anything abnormal appears.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have had pvc's since I was 18. I wore a holter monitor and they were confirmed.  I had accepted them because they only happened from time to time.  This past few months(since May) My husband was diagnosed with Lung cancer and we went through hell and back.  I know I was under alot of stress.  Now these pvc's seem to control my day.  I wore that holter monitor last week and pvc's and pac's showed up and my doctor put me on something for my nerves and of course Toprol XL 50mg that I have been taking.  It does help somewhat.  I know I am stressed and I am having panic attacks.  Even in the middle of the night I wake up not being able to breath and my heart is skipping beats(extra beats),,, it is so scary and I am very concerned here.  I am seeing my cardiologist next month but I am wondering if I should get in to see her sooner.  I think I will buy that book and read it, maybe it will help me get thru all this.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
You are entitled to panic attacks, and you are particularly entitled to them when there's a family health crisis.  

Waking up unable to breathe is definitely a symptom of panic, but it would probably reassure you to see your cardio earlier than your scheduled appointment.  The chances are that your heart will test out normal, and if that is the case, please take yourself to see a counselor or psychiatrist.  When your ankle is broken, you go to the orthopedist to get it fixed.   When your psyche is in trouble, you should take it to the right doctor.

Based on my own experiences with panic and pvcs, I can tell you that a good shrink plus a nice little dose of the correct SSRI (it may take a couple of trials) will bring panic attacks under control, and allow your psyche and your life to settle down once again.  I found that a side effect of using zoloft to treat panic was that first, my awareness of my pvcs diminished--and as that happened, the actual number of extrasysoles also diminished.

Plus, it's very nice to spend a whole night in deep, restful sleep.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for listening.  I did order that book by Claire Weekes to see if I can get some more info on anxiety and its side effects and how to deal with them.   I had a good day yesterday Sunday but I am scared lately to think of how this day will unfold.  If these PVC'S AND PAC'S comeback they seem to control my day and scare the hell out of me!!!  Whats scary is that I lived with them for almost 40 yrs. and I should say to myself that I am still here and they have to be benign..!  But like I said getting them lately for the past 4 months and moreso the last 2 months, they seem to create different side effects than before.  I get coughing, light headed and shaky.  And of course they seem to happen all day long off and on where as before they would pop up every so often and I would dismiss them.. I am going to see my cardiologist soon but in the meantime I did order this book to see if it can help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn


I did the Weekes books myself, and have often recommended them.  I have found them helpful for milder states of anxiety or panic, if you can imagine such a thing.  However, my dominant pattern is sudden, severe panic attacks at wide intervals, out of the blue, after years of calm, steady emotional life.  When this happens, the condition tends to last for many months to a couple of years.  In those situations, I see my shrink.  He explains that for some reason, my autonomic nervous system (the "alarm system," if you will), has become hypersensitized, and now needs time to quiet down.  Zoloft for about 2-4 months seems to do the job, and then I can taper off the stuff and go drug free for a number of years.

Don't be too surprised, btw, if your cardio seems not well-prepared to deal with your anxiety.  These days, docs truly tend to be specialists, and even the nicest cardiologist may not have the time or skills to give you really good ideas about dealing with panic.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Everybody is different.  I had severe panic attacks for 35 yrs, out of the blue attacks, which turned into agorophobia.  I was on Valium, Xanax, Elavil, Ativan, Praxil (I think this was the name of that drug, Beta Blockers, saw a shrink, saw several Psychologists, was in single Therapy, Group Therapy, Deep breathing therapy, Yoga all that while I was still young, had an excellent job with excellent Insurance.  NOTHING helped me, NOTHING, NO meds, nothing.  Until I came across Dr. Weeks's books.  I'm now 95% panic free.  Can go on airplanes, to the malls and most of all can drive my car again, and don't have to hurry home when a panic attack hits where my vision got dim to the point of passing out.  ALL medical tests including for the heart and brain over the yrs came out all NEGATIVE.  I was in physical and excellent health I was told by numerous doctors.

Everybody is different, and to say that Dr. Weeks's books only help people with "mild" anxiety is NOT true.  I had panic attacks so bad my BP shut up to 255/160 at times and I landed in the ER more than once.  Not to mention the constant skipping heart beats and Tachycardia which Dr. Weeks took the fear out of me, and caused me not to go in such panic about them anymore.  No doctor, Psychilogist, shrink or meds could get me out of that hell hole.

For some people only meds work, for some people only shrinks/Psychologists, for some people all combined, but for others like me Dr. Week's was a god sent.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
"...Everybody is different, and to say that Dr. Weeks's books only help people with "mild" anxiety is NOT true."

barbarella, if you look back at my post, you'll see that I referred only to my own experience.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Sorry about that.  My apology!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am a male, 57, 260 lbs, history of heart problems (3 angiolplasty, quad-bypass), bp rates in normal range.  I am on C-Pap therapy for apnea.  I have been in exercize re-hab since my quad-bypass in 2004.  Fairly vigorous exercize three times per week.  My normal pre-exercize heart rate has been 60-70 and post-exercize 90-100, up until about 3 weeks ago.  Pulse-ox meter readings were jumping around, going from 90 to 40 to 60 beats within a few seconds.  Used several pulse-ox meters with same results. Resting heart beat at 40 has been noted. Contacted my cardiologist and wore a 24 hour monitor which showed over 2400 PVC's.  EKG strips show missed beats as well.

Presently taking 50 mg metroprolol twice daily.  Yesterday Doctor ordered a stress test and has increased dose to 100 mg morning and 50 mg evening.  I have reservations about increasing the dosage with a low heart beat of 40 at rest.  What dangers may be present with lowering my heart rate through this medication?

Would appreciate any thoughts on this.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi all

Just thought i would thank the person who advised reading dr claire weake's book. I got one from ebay last week and it is making very interesting reading ...thanks so much. It is making sense now.

sharonx
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
lately I have been having these skipped beats.  I had been having chest pains but thankfully its gotten better.  I hope by me saying this it won't get worse.  I tend to have luck like that.  Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone knew about atrial fibrillation?  I recently was reading about it cause I got so scared about my increasing heart rate and missed beats.  I've had MANY EKGs and an echo, nuclear stress test, chest x ray, CT scan but would those be able to diagnose it?  I read somewhere that only an event monitor can.  Is this true?  I was just wondering if it were possible for a 26 year old to have it?  I'm sorry to hijack the thread and I'm sorry for everyone else's PVCs and heart problems.  I know mine are NOTHING compared to most but I was just looking for answers.  I know mine just may be anxiety that I am working to overcome for the sake of my baby but I wanted to make sure the docs weren't missing something.  Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
Thanks and God bless!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My heart has been skipping for along time now.It dont do it everyday just a few times a week.I had the heart mointer for 30 days that showed nothing.I also had an echo caridogram which showed my heart to be in good condition.It is very scary.Seldon drink caff.But sure love to eat it on daily bases.My cholestrol is ok and bp is great.I have a thyroid problem other than that im fine.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hi I suffer with a thyroid problem to, im convinced the thyroxine caused my heart problems,four weeks after I started the thyroxine my heart started racing, ectopics started and started having missed heart beats.

Can anybody tell me when they have a skipped beat what sort of symptoms they get, if any, i seem to go all hot and have very strange feeling, which maybe lasts a few mintues, then im ok again.

Sorry hope someone can help

Thank you
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank