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Onset of PVC's and Pre-mature Heartbeat
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Onset of PVC's and Pre-mature Heartbeat

Hello.

I'm a 35 y/o male, 185 lbs, recently quit smoking (1/4 pack a day), non-drinker and have totally given up coffee/soda/chocolate.  A month ago I had an ERCP done for a different problem, however ever since then I've been having a skipping beat, THUMPING in my chest and can feel it in my throat.  I haven't ever had this sensation before so I went to see my cardiologist.

They did an EKG which showed sinus arrythmia, but otherwise normal. Doctor and nurses aren't at all concerned, but have put me on Lopressor 25mg twice daily.  I've started up with headaches since taking the medicine which I see as one of the side effects.

Here's the problem.  Since starting up with the arrhythmia, there are periods where I can have 4-5 a minute, and other times I can go for hours without one.  During the bad times I can actually get light headed, feel nauseas and afraid to eat.  Just lastnight I was eating and had a terrible pain in my chest...the arrhythmia started back up bad and felt sick.  I have told the doctor this, and they said it's anxiety.

Four nights ago, the arrhythmia got so bad I ended up in the ER which they prescribed me nerve pills.  ????

I did have a full echo done a year ago which was perfect, an angiogram 6 years ago which was perfect also.  Blood pressure is 120/80 and Cholesterol is 125.

Could there be an underlying cause to these from the surgery?  Why would they just start out of the blue, and is there ANYTHING that I can do to get rid of them?  I have changed to a completely low fat diet and no more candy/sugars/coffee.

Thank you!
Shayne
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239757_tn?1213813182
TSG,

Thanks for the post.

The palpitations probably are not associated with your surgery.

The first thing to do is to document what rhythm you are having during your episodes.  This would be done with holter or event monitoring.

You've had more than an extensive cardiac workup for someone your age and I suspect your symptoms will probably be related to PVCs or PACs which have a benign prognosis in someone with a normal cardiac evaluation.

If this is the case, you probably should look into other ways of dealing with your symptoms including relaxation and anti-anxiety based therapies.

I have to applaud your smoking cessation....its a big step. Continue that, and work with your physician on a weight loss and fitness program. I can almost guarantee taking the latter steps will make you feel much better overall.

good luck
17 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a similar experience when I was about 38.  I would conclude with the doctor that much of what you are experiencing during the PAC's PVC's is anxiety.  This is what occurred in my situation.

My suggestion is to take the anxiety meds.  They will help you relax.  Second I would start to focus on the fact that you are OK. If you read through the posts on this site you will find many people who have had similar experiences and are living normal lives.

This whole experience can be extremely disconcerting.  But I can assure you will not die young from these.  I'm now nearly 50, and I'm living a normal life.
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Avatar_n_tn

  From this post here is almost exactly what I had been experiencing.I am not sure even what to do or think about my condition as well,and that personally I live in a constant state of apprehension of the next "episode" of pvcs or that next "skipped/added beat".On this past Thursday I had to go to the hospital again because of having pvcs,what happened was that for three days I was fine without them and it seemed that I may have been making headway,then they came back,though I wonder if maybe they came back because I had been only eating once a day with walking 4 miles a day,etc..however I cant find a pattern of what causes them,and at the hospital they thought I was having anxiety,Ive been to the cleveland clinic though I have one more appointment,Ive already had a holter/stress echo,ekg,etc..and I havent heard anything back,and when I do have these PVCs (or if that is them) they either come as that "extra strong beat" that absolutely scares you half to death,or they come as a "double beat" that even makes it worse.Some of my medical friends think that its because of my poor diet while others think its anxiety,to me...its like being prepared to have to be rushed to the hospital at anytime and my life is disrupted and Im especially afriad to do ANY EXERCISE at all.Its also very hard to eat because of being anxious about this ,thats been happening to me since early 1999.Anyways..im sorry to ramble on,coming to this message board really helps,and fellowship is really appreciated,id like to hear from anyone if they would like to keep in touch and tell me of their experiences,my email address is: ***@****,thanks!
- Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
From your description it sounds a bit like agoraphobia, which is often associated with anxiety and panic. Agoraphobia in the current sense means a fear of leaving "comfort zones" where one can be assured of being rescued in case of (perceived) danger. I would seek a good therapist to help uncover issues underlying the anxiety. It might take going through a few therapists until you find one you're compatible with and is effective for your situation. You're in a similar situation to many of us who have PVCs and PACs. But if you read through all the earlier threads on PVCs you'll see they are nothing to fear with a normal heart structure. I find avoiding all stimulants, refined carbs, and alcohol helps immensely, along with eating a healthy diet. Eating frequent small meals, with lots of fruit, vegetables, and some lean protein like fish helps. Learning to relax helps but it seems there is a time lag--it may not stop PVCs immediately, but as your body learns over time not to be constantly keyed up for the next "threat" the PVCs settle down at least a little. Also, the best way I've found to start exercise is to start very slowly and add effort gradually over days or weeks if you're anxious about PVCs. When you get to the point of exercising vigorously enough to start getting endorphins, it seems like that's the best anxiolytic there is! But with exercise, doing anything is better than doing nothing, even if it's very little to start out with. But of course make sure your doctor is aware of everything you plan to do. Good luck! Many of us can relate with the fear of the PVC thump sensation and I'm sure others will have their coping suggestions as well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 28 year old male who developed A-fib last year on my mothers birthday. For many years before and now after my a-fib I have had PVC's/PAC's etc.  For a while I found it debilitating and hopeless.  Some days I would have thousands of Pvc's other days hardly any at all.  I think that a heightened awareness of every thing your heart is doing can be destructive to your physical and mental well being.  I think most of us have been on the anti-anxiety meds, as well as the lopressor, tambocor and the like. I tried giving up everything in life that I loved like pop, sugar, hot sauce, you name it I tried it. Potassium, magnesium, vitamins with no effect.  I have gone back to living my life as best as I can and try to listen to the doctor when they say its more a nuisance than life threatening.  Life isn't worth living when consumed with worry and fear.  I recommend a good psychologist or someone you can talk to at your own pace and feel like you aren't being judged or ridiculed.  I know there have been many times my E.P. has been frustrated with all my questions and only later do I see why.  It's not fun to hear the doctor tell you that you have PVC's and there is really no cure outside of some medicine that may decrease the severity of the sensation.  Thats what my E.P. has told me, so I figure I may as well try to live my life to the fullest again.  No more restricting myself from exertion, or not leaving to have fun because I could have A-fib.  I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital being cardioverted but oh well..... Good luck fighting one of the toughest opponents in the known universe... The human mind. Keep in mind that none of this is meant to sound malicious, I really wish everyone the best of luck because we really fight a tough uphill battle.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all the words of encouragement.  I did go back for a follow-up with the cardiologist.  He said from the results of my monitor..my heart beat 96,000 times during the 24hr period and I had 629 PVC's with 2 runs during that time.  He stated that since it was so low, they wouldn't even consider putting people with these results on medication.  Needless to say I was relieved to hear that.  The nurse went over the results and told me her husband even has them, but a more severe case.

I guess I just needed some re-assurance from the doctor.  He did order another stress test on the 26th of this month just to be on the safe side, but doesn't expect to see any difference from a year ago.  He did take me off the Lopressor once the results from the monitor came in and just told me to keep busy.  If I have time to sit around and feel my heart beating, then I'm being lazy.  ha ha

I think it's worked.  For the past 2 days, I think I've only had 3-4 episodes, but they didn't bother me as much after getting the results.

It is a scary thing...probably the scariest thing I've every experienced, and yes you're right, the mind does play the devils advocate with you!

Thanks everyone!
Shayne
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi

I have to tell you guys, I have been taking Flecanide and toprol for 5 weeks now and all the same issues you are talking about and after 2 abations I finally have relief.  In the evening sometimes gets eratic but so much better. Had 1st abaltion is April last yr for Reentry loop (up to 300 bpm) out of the blue, fixed that. Still had lots of arrythmia types.
After my experience at Duke with second failed abation, I went to Ashville cardio and they seemed to think they could get thru ablation.  but was to scared after duke, just home and said I can handle this, after another really longs month of daily struggle with the tacky and rythem I called and said fine give what you think can't take it any more.  

So so far so good, hope don't jinx myself.  So there is hope
not sure how long drugs will last anyone on same meds or similar expierence?

Hang in there All.

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,I have had pvcs for nine years.Stress and anxiety will bring them on more,and even come in different rythmes which is even more scarery then just an extra thump or a skip.Had a whole year of really scarey ones and then in the last two months have decided to just blow them off!!When I do get them they dont make me sick to my stomach anymore.But I have to make it a concious effort to do this.I keep remembering oh ya I lived thu it the last time.I hope everyone can get to that point and live a better life.Be careful not to take on other peoples symptoms and or if you have same symptoms that its not that you have the same thing!Its so easy to do this,the mind is a strong mucsle!!I did get the results of my last 24hr monitor and it showed I had 52 pvcs,that was a really light day though and did not have any of the scarey ones I get that are like a run or just plain corky beats I do have to say that after reading some of you are getting 1,000s a day my heart just goes out to you and many prayers!!!My faith has  helped alot.Hope everyone gets better:)
~momof6
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21064_tn?1309312333
I took flecainide for about 3 months.  It worked great to suppress the pvcs!  I finally opted to try an ablation because I didn't like the side effects.  But for the side effects, the medicine worked great!

Good luck!!

connie
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been scoring the PVC on the board. There are alot of young people who are becoming too upset and overly concerned about PVC. I know at one time I was one of those young people. I am 67 years young. I had my first PVC when I was 27, on a deer stand on the back side of nowhere in the middle of South Arkansas woods. Well, by the time I made it back to one of my friends I was in complete panic.By the time they got me to the hospital I had gone into shock. As you can see I survived. After the cardio explanined to me what they were. I have learned to live with them. I went on to begin running and lifting weights. I stated this in my early forties and continue to do so, I have a resting heart rate of 52. The PVC never bothered me. I only had them occasionally.
I did not have them with the frequency that many of you have stated. That is until about two weeks ago. I had just completed a 8day fast and colon cleanse. I began having the PVC's on a continual basis. They would begin in the early afternoon and continue until I retired for the night. My general practitioner said I had probaboy depleted my electrolytes. I got a couple liters of plain pedialyte and that stopped them for about 2 days. They came back and have continued unabated since then. I have made an appointemnt With Little Rock Cardiologist. I guess it is best to be safe than sorry. I believe my main problem is stress. I am not too keen on taking medication.Usually the medications given are worse than the condition. I guess what I am trying to say is be concerned about the PVC but don't panic over them. I will post again after my appointment tomorrow
herbg
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84483_tn?1289941537
Thanks for sharing. Keep us posted Your story is very interesting. Goes to show one thing that PVCs rarely if ever have an affect on ones lifespan.

Good luck with the test.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've started having the PVC's return again, but after reviewing my monitor, my Cardiologist stated that a majority of the PVC's are happening at night.  So he is ordering a sleep study and stated that bad sleep habits can bring on the PVC's.  Once the body is caught up on the sleep and you are resting properly they should go away.

Has anyone heard of this before?  I do have problems sleeping, snoring and wake myself up gasping for air every once in awhile (typical huh), but didn't realize this could be related.  After him mentioning this, I started tracking the nights I don't sleep well and what happens the next day, and the PVC's are really bad on those days.   When I do get a good nights sleep, I don't notice them hardly at all.

HOPEFULLY something good could come of this....I'm hoping!

Shayne
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Avatar_n_tn
pvcs/pacs have been a long-standing problem with me as i first noticed them at age 12. The episode lasted only a few days and the pvcs/pacs were quite sparse but nevertheless prompted me to consult a cardiologist, wore a holter for a day and never got a followup (assumed benign)

The following years they happened on a monthly basis but were never a cause for worry. Which brings me to this day. I'm 23 years old,5'11"/195lbs and an avid weightlifter, i dont take drugs and eat rather healthy. For the past week i've had a severe bout of arrhytmia, for every 8 heartbeats i get a skip/thump in my chest, non-stop around the clock. Took an ekg and was told not to worry as my heart was perfectly healthy.
This is driving me extremely anxious and i feel disabled and unable to eat.

It is reassuring to see other people with the same condition who see it as benign.
God bless you all
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi. I'm 40 and started having what I call "flutters" about 6 weeks ago for the first time in my life.  I had a Holter monitor (24 hour), treadmill stress test & ECG.  Oddly, the PVCs went away during the treadmill test & the ECG showed nothing abnormal so they are benign.  (which does not make them less bothersome!)  I have been on 25 mg Toprol which has brought my BP down as well as calm the flutters down dramatically.  It makes me tired though (I try to take it before bed) and one of the side effects of it is weight gain (I am already 40 lbs overweight so I don't need that)I am also not crazy about having to be on this medication the rest of my life either.  My family doctor also gave me a prescription for Xanax to take as needed - luckily, I've only taken one in 6 weeks. She suggested I keep having my occasional glass of red wine too! I walk at least 5x per week & lift weights 2x per week not only to try to lose/contain my weight but also because it helps control the PVCs. I have noticed stress/anxiety is a big factor (I have 4 kids). I also noticed a website wherein someone posted that glutimate can cause PVCs & Slimfast products are loaded with them (I was on Slimfast for 6 weeks right before I developed my PVCs) I have enjoyed reading all the threads - it is nice to know there are others out there!  I have to keep telling myself that they are not harmful just bothersome!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone. I'm a 34 yr old female and I have had pvc's and pac's since 1998. I'm on corgard which don't help but slows my heart down. My cardiologist just gave me a script for Flecanide and i read the side effects and I'm affraid to take it but if I don't I'm affraid of the pvc's and pac's I get every day. If any one on here is taking this medication please write back to me and tell me how it effects you and how it works. Please tell me the side effects and how it makes you feel. My pac's and pvc's happen whenever it doesn't matter what I'm doing it's like my heart stops and then starts fluttering and then a thud and then just beats irregular and I can't catch my breath or in hale it feels cold all over my body my throat closes. Please write me back and help me with some answers!!I don't smoke or drink.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 31 year old female.  Married and have 2 children.  I teach 3rd grade and live in Los Angeles. I have had palpitations since I was in HIgh school on and off. With my second pregnancy they got worse then dissapeared for about 3 years.  Now since Nov/04 they came back with a vengance.  Since I have medical insurance now, several studies have been done wich at that time indicated only isolated pvc's.  But it has been a month now that I have had what you call runs, or bigemines or something like that. All I know that occasionally its just one big thump in my chest or a feeling like my heart is making sommersaults inside.  Phycically I do not get any other symptoms though. I get a big ruch of adrenaline and want to escape. Now I am seeing a psychologist who wants to refer me to a psychiatrist to get on an antidepressent because my pvc's have caused me an anxiety disorder. My email is:***@**** for those of you that want to start a support group based on emailing each other or even exchange phone numbers for bad days we have, we all need each other.
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Avatar_n_tn
For myself and alot of others I feel that gas is causing the palps.I'm not sure how,I just know that it does.When adrenaline is released so is stomach acid;the stomach acid causes gas which sometimes causes palps.I cannot think of one PVC where I didn't feel gas gurgling around my lower sternum.


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