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How to handle PVC sensation?
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How to handle PVC sensation?

Does anyone have any advice on how to handle the horrible PVC flip-flop sensation? Sometimes the ones I have are barely noticible, which is great, but other times they are huge and nearly knock the breath out of me. I check my pulse, and it's usually steady as a clock and then...a big pause...and a big beat. Sometimes several in a row. Anyone have similar sensations? I know all the factual things about how they are supposed to generally be benign, but that's only of limited help at the moment when you have having lots of PVCs; I can't help but get ready to dial 911 just out of sheer frustration. I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about. The doctors say just ignore it, but how can you ignore a sensation so profoundly disturbing in your chest, especially when they come in runs or you get the really "big" ones? For you who have thousands of them per day, how have you learned to handle them? And does anyone know anything you can do to alleviate them when they start coming on? Thank you all for this forum and for your contributions. The one thing I do find comforting is talking to people who have experienced the same thing and staying positive.
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Avatar_n_tn
The sensation of PVCs and PACs can be quite disturbing.  I have found that you can "tune down" your awareness of them by ignoring them.  So what's that mean?  It's a Catch-22...it's a question of calming down your nervous system.  Anxiety does at least two things: increases PVC/PACs and increases your awareness of them by making your nervous system more sensitive to pulsations within your chest.  As an example, if you could take measures to avoid checking your pulse, with time, your nervous system will calm down to the point of noticing less skips.  On the flip side, if you make yourself more awar of such skips, you essentially train your nervous system to pick them up, resulting in a vicious cycle wherein you increase both skips and the awareness of them.

Try it out.  Be patient, it'll take a few weeks to work, because you need to untrain that super-sensitive nervous system.

-Arthur
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Avatar_n_tn
Arthur is correct you also might want to cut back on certain drinks and foods caffine intake does seem to increase them.  If you keep yourself busy and tune yourself out of your heart beats they dont seem to bother you.  They are annoying but wont kill you It does take time but you will be fine.  It is scary and most of us have been there Also watch the over the counter medications and they can trigger them
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61536_tn?1340701763
It's scary, I can't deny it.  When I feel the bottom drop out, so to speak, and that nasty follow-up THUD hits me...it spikes my adrenaline somewhere into orbit.  It sucks.  The best advice I can give you is prevention.  Do everything you can to minimize stress, limit stimulants, eat healthy and exercise.  During the actual event, frightening at best even when a thousand people have told you they're benign, some people recommend deep breathing.  That makes mine worse, personally.  I find that vagal maneuvers (bearing down as if to cough very hard) often breaks them cold.  Try that.  It also seems to calm the adrenaline rush too, for reasons I can't explain.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 71 year old male who had severe arrythmia a year ago. One night it was like elephants dancing on my chest. Needless to say I was quite concerned. Since it happened late at night, I wasn't sure whether I should got to emergency right away or wait until morning. In the morning I felt ok and decided to make some changes in my diet first. I already was getting lots of exercise and have always been lean. I made three changes in my diet and started keeping a log of the heart irregularities. I completely stopped coffee (I had cut down to one cup in the mornings), stopped eating chocolate (I used to eat a small amount of 70% cocoa at night, and stopped drinking any alcohol (I used to have a couple of drinks each night). I wanted to have more facts to go to the doctor with and suspected it was diet related. After these changes there was a 90% improvement for about a year. Then a few more sessions of skipped beats came back usually when I was resting and my heart rate was slowing. I finally saw a cardiologist who gave me a Holter monitor. I have had the monitor on twice now and am told I have PAC which is benign. That I am happy about but I don't like the sensation at all, and want to stop it if at all possible, so I am wondering if I have a mineral or vitamen deficiency. That is where I am now. I will be experimenting with foods and suppliments. Any advice would be appreciated.
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1438125_tn?1283987628
Hey there, I am pretty new to (tons of) PVCs as well. I am in my mid 30's and out of the complete BLUE one day I started having several of those buggers.  It was a familiar feeling as I have always experienced the OCCASIONAL PVC throughout my lifetime, but they kicked in very suddenly on a Tuesday in August.  At first they were big thumpers,allllll day long,  where I'd get a bmp-thmp...PAUUUSSE, THUD, and it would happen over and over again.  Almost like my heard got "stuck" for about 20 seconds.......then would kick back in to normal.  I was having a couple hundred a day, got on beta blockers, and slowly noticed over the next month I was up to having over 1,000  a day!!!! All tests.......ultrasound, EKG, stress test, showed I was "normal."  I did internet research and relied heavily on reading on this website and saw many other people had the same issues as me.  I immediately changed my diet - dropped caffeine, ate fresh fruits and magnesium/potassium rich veggies and nuts, and over the course of the last couple of months, I have noticed a steady decline in the frequency AND the intensity of my PVCs. Now I'm back down to about 5 a day or less, and I can barely notice them!! The MD wasn't worried about them at all to begin with.........I had 167 of them initially on my 24 hr holter, so he put me on a 25mg of Metroprolol, with 10 mg Propranolol every 8 hrs as needed.  I take the Propranolol if I notice I am getting a few too many, and now usually that calms them down compeltely.  But I have to say, I've experienced a STEADY improvement over the last 2 months with a very dedicated diet change.  I completely cut out caffeine, cut back my work schedule (I'm self employed and was pushing myself WAAAYYYY too hard!) and added very healty, nutrient rich fresh food to my diet. I eat 10 prunes in the morning with my decaf coffee and 1200 mg of fish oil, a large spinach, black bean, and cashew salad for luch (and add meat and other goodies!) and try to make sure I get my 8 hrs of rest, which I never did before.  It was an immediate but gradual difference for me so far.  I can't wait to tell me MD that I've been able to make improvements with the changes I've made, and am about to try and get off my beta blockers too.  I strongly feel like nutrition and rest play a big role in PVCs.  I was wearing myself out. I have to say if I get a few in a row, it still scares me, but I think I do very well with them now.  Good luck.  Yes, they are SOOOOOOOO annoying!!!
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1438125_tn?1283987628
haha! I just noticed this post was from 2006 - this navigation thing is NOT very user friendly!!!
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