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PVC's and Bigeminy
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PVC's and Bigeminy

I've been a long time member of these dreaded PVC's (20 years).  I am now 40.  However, this year I have begun to get bigem on and off for hours on end. They wake me up and then I find it hard to fall back to sleep.  I went to the cardiologist 2 months ago and he thought that he would try me on Tambacor as a last resort, since this palps were interfering with the quality of my life.  I don't want to take one of these class drugs.  At this time I do take 12.5 of Atenolol, which I think makes them worse. I've heard this before from someone here.  I take the Atenolol because of tachycardia due to Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic inflammation, which causes my heart rate (100bpm)to increase and that bothers me too, so I take the Atenolol to slow it down a bit.  Most recently, I called my cardiologist and told him that the bigem and popcorn in my chest was driving me insane.  He told me to either take the Tambacor or learn to live with this as I've done for 20 years. He told me that this bigem and popcorn will not hurt me.  I, like many, on this forum find this hard to believe.  Could you please tell me if there is anything else that could reduce these pvc's. Are there supplements?  I heard Magnesium is great, but I don't have the dosage.  Do you know of any other drug or supplement that would help. I am already in psychotherapy.  I plan to start Zoloft so that it can help me stop obsession.  It is very hard to ignore an irregular heart beat. It is impossible.  Any suggestions would help? Could you reassure us they they are benign!!! Whether single, or bigem, trigem..Thx, Roxanne
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Roxanne,

Thanks for the post.

So, in patients with structurally normal hearts, neither PVC, bigeminy, nor NSVT carry an adverse prognosis.  Some cohorts, such as from Framingham, have shown increased incidence of heart disease in their populations of PVC patients.  However, the key to interpreting these studies is to recognize that their populations were higher risk.  Studies that have examined younger people have found that nearly half of healthy young adults have PVCs, mostly asymptomatic.  So in someone like yourself, who has had long-term PVCs, the PVCs are extremely unlikely to be the harbinger of bad news to come.

My own work performed here at CCF found no increased incidence of mortality in patients with palpitations as compared to asymptomatic people.

Magnesium has not been shown in a decently performed study to have an effect on either the frequency or sensation of PVCs.  Some people claim that it helps them, however.  No other supplements have definitively been shown to be effective, although some of our readers have developed regimens that are effective on a case-by-case basis.

The bottom line is that you have to decide to live with them, which certainly can be hard to do, or to treat them.  The decision to pursue treatment is your decision.  If the PVCs are bothering you badly enough, then you'll seek treatment.  But if you decide not to seek treatment, you can at least be reassured to know that the PVC should not cause you any harm.

Hope that helps.

18 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I have heared about this supplement, Co-enzyme Q-10  , and for me it's been good. I remarked a difference after i take it.  I have had more 11 thousad PVCs daily
and I can feel the PVCs blare like an electric shock in my chest, which causes a pressure in my chest, makes me suddenly tired and anxious.I remarked a difference after i take it.  I have experienced NO side effects,
I hope you try it and I hope it does as well for you as it does for me.
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Avatar_n_tn
FastDream and Hank,
You would think after 20 years of skips, one would get used to them. I don't know if I ever will.  I feel each and every one of them.  I need reassurance occasionally. I think we all do. Thanks so much for the replys.  I've been a forum member since the beginning, so I read each posting.  The reassurance, feedback and support is what keeps us going..Thanks a bunch!! Roxanne
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I am very interested in talking to you.  I have a suspected collagen vascular disease - they cannot figure out which one though!  I have many weird and annoying symptoms including heart palpitations and an increased heart rate.  I am curious about your comment about having increased heart rate due to inflammation.  I show many signs of inflammation but the blood tests are negative.  My heart rate is greatly increased since becoming sick two years ago.

Please e-mail me at [***@****] as I would like to talk to you. I'll be out of town for a day or two but I WILL get back to you.  I promise.

Thanks so much....Mr. J.
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Avatar_n_tn
If they are keeping you awake I would suggest asking the doctor for something to relax you to fall asleep like Xanax.  This will help calm your nerves as well, which also aggravates the PVC's.
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Avatar_n_tn
hey buddy :)
  I know this is off the PVC discussion, but can sinus tach turn into V tach??
thanks for any info
Pan
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Roxanne!  I think I have talked to you before, but it's been a couple of years.  Do you live in Pennsyvania?  I too am still struggling with these darn PVC's and the occasional bouts of bigeminy and trigeminy. GRHHHHHHH
I am 44 now and am this all kinda started at 40.  I'm wondering if ours has to do with fluxuating hormones right now.
Do you get the bigeminy every day?

Carrie
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Roxanne:  I don't believe there is anything you can do for pvc's, bigeminys or anything else.  If there was, I certainly would have had it by now.  It's been over 25 years for me.  Many doctors, many hospitals, atenolol, yoga, counseling, staying off spicy food, quit smoking, valium, nexium, because I believed these are coming from the stomach.  I still do.  I even went on a religious retreat hoping for a miracle.   You name it, I've done it.  I have even written to Cleveland Clinic.  I won't go for an ablation, because after reading this forum, too many people get no help at all.  Right now I'm going to a cardiophysiologist.  I think that's how you spell it.  Same answers come from everyone.  Relax and learn to live with it.  I just wish some of these doctors know what they feel like just for one day.  Sorry, I cannot be of any help.  Sometimes just a glass of beer is comforting. Take care
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

New to this Forum, read these concerns from all of you.  I have had PVCs for 20 years myself, started after our first child (hmm...).  Anyhow, I would go into bigeminy quite a bit, very nerve racking, especially while you are driving a car.  It would last for a couple of minutes until I was so anxious that my heart would race from the anxiety it caused-at least this stopped the bigeminy.  I have had it at nights where I could not sleep and I was awaking by it.  It seems to wax and wane, until recently, it calmed down a bit.  It is more pronounced when stress levels are up, lack of sleep, or too much caffeine or alcohol.  I know how nerve racking these are, but from my 20 years of experience, along with 3 cardiologist, a sonogram, and stress sonogram, they are a nuisance more than anything.  Get the tests done to make sure there is no structural damage, if not, try your best not to get to overstressed-I know this is much easier said than done.  I've been trying to modify my lifestyle, diets etc-if anything works, I'll let you guys know...best of luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello

I am a 42 y/o female who has experienced PVCs since I was a teenager.  A couple of years ago I had a prolonged period of about 3 weeks where I experienced several PVCs per minute.  I went to see a Cardiologist who said that I would have to live with them.  He suggested I quit my 5 cigarette a day habit and reduce my stress.  But before I changed my lifestyle, the PVCs suddenly reduced back to the normal 1 or 2 a day...so over the next two years my career changes have increased my stress and I'm up to one pack of cigs a day.  

Once again, three nights ago I suddenly experienced an episode of PVCs that lasted for about 2-3 minutes straight. Not one single normal rythmn.  I did not experience shortness of breath, lightheadedness....I was just freaked out.... This happened two nights in a row....the strange thing is that it happened while I was doing the "exact" same thing.  Perhaps you may have noticed a pattern.  These two episodes occurred after very long days at work.  I was leaving my office with a long, cold walk to my car.  The moment I sat in my car...bam...it starts....I'm calm, I start my car and begin to drive.  The skipping continues, I'm not dizzy, so I drive and I drive...still skipping... I wonder if I pull over and stand up if this will help.  I have this feeling of fullness in my chest and abdomen.  I think that if I pound on my chest this will help or if I hold my breath.  But as quickly as it starts, it stops..but I'm exhausted and scared.  I am concerned that this prolonged arrythmia will increase the chance for a blood clot.

I've read so many horror stories about arrythmias, but I've also been comforted by emails like yours.  I can't help but think in the middle of one of these marathons that I'm going to convert to v-fib.  So now, I have committed to quit smoking, take my vitamins and eat better.  

After my PVC episode two years ago I trained for a fitness show.  I lowered my caffeine, smoked one/two cigs a day, ate very clean and took my vities including the Co Q10.  I was exercising 6 days a week and running 4 miles a day.  Although the PVCs did not completely stop, they certainly reduced in number.  Although, it sure is freaky when it happens while you are running...the kick that I would get from my heart would nearly knock me of balance....no kidding...it would be painful.

Do you experience the neck, chest and abdomen fullness?  Sometimes I feel or hear a pounding in my ears, do you?  Sometimes, although I'm in normal rythmn, I feel as though my heart is.......tired, shaky, vulnerable or perhaps it can be described as though my heart is too small for my chest and it's loose.....do this make sense? 90% of the time they occur when I'm sitting and the feeling of fullness is pushing from my abdomen through my chest and through my neck to my lower jaw.  It's even worse if I'm sitting and I reach down to pick something up off of the floor....causing more pressure on my abdomen that pushes up to my neck.  Sometimes I think that maybe there is a nerve that gets pushed or pinched which directly effects the conductivity of the SA and NA nodes in the heart that coordinate to stimulate the heart.  This can drive a woman nuts... I've also considered the pre-menopausal thing.  But the docs say..... well they say nothing...they just say..no caffeine, no smoking, reduce stress and then..maybe this will help.  They did say that they could put me on meds but it would make me "slow" or less energetic.  I may consider it if this continues.

Just as a side note.... I was speaking with a co-worker yesterday about my lastest episode and he was completely amazed.  He said that he has never experienced the sensation of an arrythmia in his life...he is 35.  Imagine.... a life without PVC's....I just can't believe that there is no cure for this horribly emotionally debilitating condition.  I don't know if I can live with episodes like this for an indefinite length of time.  Please let me know if you are successful in finding a treatment....

Thanks for allowing me to share my fear.  

Suzanne
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 46 year old male. I am married for the past 20 years, and have three children.  I am a retired military officer and started a new career in teaching.  I have always maintained myself in the top physical condition.  When I turned 36, life as I knew it changed and has never been the same.  I experienced a racing heart one day after a routine five mile run.  Shortly after that the PVCs and PACs started along with a mild depression and anxiety/panic attacks.  The depression has never returned, but the PVCs/PACs, and anxiety have come and gone.  I have gone many months with them (PVCs)and many months without them in the past ten years. There is no rhyme or reason as to when they come and go.  I initially was tested and retested by cardiologists who constantly told me to not worry. (Countless Holters, echos, tread mills, tilt table, king of hearts monitor, ultrasound, EKGs etc...  One cardiologist finally prescibed 25mg of Atenol, which neither helped or hindered to any degree.  I learned to live with them when they came although I live in fear every miss beat that occurrs.  I am literally worn out mentally and physically at the end of a bad day of attacks.
I did not go back to a cardiologisst for the past eight years until last week.  He told me to start slow mag 60mg (magneseum)  twice a day and then to go to 4 tabs a day after a week.  He said this may work.  After just a few days it seems to have slowed them/weaken them down (there were times when they would hit me and really hurt).  I have done a lot of research on Magneseum and all my research points to magneseum defiency as a major cause of PVCs and PACs.  Go to you cardiologist (and do yourself a favor and see a board certified electrophysiologist cardiologist).  Ask him about starting you on magneseum.  It can't hurt you but it may stop the torment I share with you all.
Keep in mind that 99% of common blood tests will show your magneseum levels as normal,  The only true test of mag levels is the intracellular mag blood test which shows mag defiency at the cellular level (inside the cell as opposed to outide).  Even if this test shows normal levels - no one really knows what "normal" is for each individual person, therefore incresed levels of mag may help.
Let me know what you all think.
Happy Holidays !
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 23 year old male and i have experienced many of these problems for the last 8-10 monthes. Heart problems run in my family, my mother has mitrovalve, my grandfather died at age 66 of a massive anurism of his aorta. I was put on Cardiozem for a rapid and irregular heart beat, and was given an event monitor. three days ago i was going to the rest room when all of a sudden i felt as if i was going to pass out so i sat down at which time i dont recall any thing else but my wife said she heard a bang and came in i was on the floor shaking as if i had a seasure, immedately after i came to i used the event monitor. I went to my cardio doc and he put me on a loop monitor, he said i had bigem and trigem within a few min. im new at all this but now i have had trouble sleeping and i cant go to the specialist until the 1st. i am just looking to learn as much about this as possible. i am young and scared as to the possible outcome. i was told i has an electrical problem in my heart and depending on whare it is i could neet a pasemaker and a defib? if anyone has any insight i would love to hear from you.
                                                 Thanks, Danny
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Avatar_n_tn
What is bigemy and trigemy??  I am sure have had it but just not familiar with these intricate terms.  I am becoming obsessed this stupid heart palps.  I am going through a really bad bout today and I am reading these posts to make me feel better.  Does anyone else read other people's problems and think they might have it?? Well today I read about Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome and now I am convinced I have it.  I am under the care of a EP doctor who says I have MVP and everything I experience, NSVT and Palps are associated with it.  I am taking Nadodol and am on the anxiety drug, Paxil.  It is so comforting to hear others in my positon.  I hate the mental destruction these things can do.   Does anyone get them real bad, like 5-10 minute all day?  I just feel like it's not right to walk around with your heart going nutty all the time.  I seem to go through a month or so with nothing, and then they come back with a vengence.  I joke with my husband and say that I would rather take his chronic back pain but he says he would rather take my retarded heart. I say I wouldn't want my worest enemy to have this....well maybe!
Prayers for everyone!
Ciao!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your reply.  I am just curious to know how you know so much about these heart problems? I notice you reply to alot of people's problems.  Do you experience these things yourself?

I know you aren't a doctor and all, but maybe you can tell me what a really long pause would be when you get the extra beat.  Once in while, I get a really long pause (sometimes I count the pause...as long as 2 seconds- counting one one thousand, two one thousand...etc.) it's as though my heart isn't going to contract or go back to normal. Actually back in August I almost passed out because I felt this really long pause but then the contraction came back really strong.  

Hopefully you know what I mean.  One doctor told me it was the NSVT but I don't believe him because I know what that feels like and it was not that.  Anyway I am probably just going to freak myself out even more by your answer...
Thanks "star"
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Avatar_n_tn
I have noticed that my PVC's are aggravated by a high sugar intake.  Has anyone else noticed this? Even a high-glycemic meal.

I have stayed off sweets for 5 days and my PVC's have dropped dramatically.  When I say that I'm off sweets, I mean I don't eat cookies all day without eating healthy meals anymore.  My diet is real bad sometimes.  I work very long hours, I hate to break for lunch, so most of the time I grab whatever is available and that is usually cookies or some kind of candy. And because I work late, I don't eat dinner.  Now I prepare my meals so I'm not grabbing anything in sight. I've gone from a few hundred PVCs a day down to a couple a day.  Maybe it's a fluke but I pray to God that I'm on to something.

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Avatar_n_tn
I do believe for some there is a link between sugar, and possibly excessive intake of high glycemic foods, and increased PVCs.  I've reduced my sugar intake the past few weeks, and it does seem to have helped a bit, but I also wonder if it's the stress I give myself for not eating healthy which also causes an increase in my PVCs.  What I have found which always provides relief, is excercise.  I race bicycles and run my heartrate up to near maximum during training and racing, and to me it's the golden immediate relief which is sustained usually for the rest of the day after a hard race or training ride, PVC awareness free.  At rest though, and usually at bedtime, the PVCs rear their ugly heads and make sleeping very tough, and especially on nights when I didn't exercise during the day.

I'd be curious to learn more about how reducing sugar for you helps, and if you do or increase your exercise, if that helps too.

Jeff
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been recently diagnosed with PVC's and Bigeminy.  It freaks me out. I have an appointment with a cardiologist on 1/30/04.  I spent an afternoon in the emergency room this past Saturday and they did an enzyme test and said no damage has been done to my heart.  I smoke about 1 pack per day. I tried to quit but the anxiety and stress it caused made the PVC's happen over and over again throughout the day. I caved and smoked and they subsided.  My question is, my DR., well he is actually a Physician's Assistant, said that consuming alcohol, caffiene, chocolate, tobacco or any other kind of stimuli could cause my heart to send an electrical shock to my heart and cause me to go into V-Tach.  Is this true? Have you ever heard of such a thing.  I cannot imagine living the rest of my life without any of these things.  Of course, if it is necessary I will do it. Also, the doctors and nurses at the emergency room asked me not to exercise until I go through all the tests at the cardiologists.  I am wondering if this is a valid mandate too.  Please post and let me know if there is any validity to these concerns.

Thank you so much.  ~~Cheryl~~
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 37 yr old male that has always been in good health.  I have always tried to run/jog three times a week.  About a year ago after unloading a delivery truck I began to notice palpitations.  I have had numerous test (echo, thalium stress scan,ECGS), including a cath because there was some concern on the Docs part since they seemed to be induced by activity,especially after a run on the treadmill. The cardiologist have seen them at their worst.  Bigemeny, trigemeny, etc.  I worry that maybe something is being missed.  I am on 2.5mg Zebeta and it has really helped with the exception that they still occur after and occasionally during exertion.  The med has calmed them during normal activities.  My question is two part.  Does anyone else seem to have them primarily due to exertion?  They have seemed to have gotten worse from just after exercise, to just when I walk around.  Has anyone else noticed a progession over time(several months) from occasional palps to very frequent paps?  They say that I have very mild prolapse and dysautonomia.  Both of my parents have MVP. Father had triple bypass at 50, nonsmoker. Concerned and will listen to any encouragement. Could I have the beginings of microscopic stenosis in arteries, undetectible to cath? Probably good question for any MD reading my question.
Thanks,
Ken
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