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PVC's and PAC's
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PVC's and PAC's

Is it honestly true that everyone has PVC's and PAC's every day?  I suffer needlessly I am sure with these horrible things.  I am a 51 year old female and had these flips and flops since I was in my 20's.  I have gone for so much testing on my heart I don't think they can do anything else.  I made my doctor send me to numerous cardiologists j just because I didn't believe the ones I was going to that nothing was wrong with me. They keep on telling me that I have a normal heart and everyone gets these and I am just sensitive to them.  I have no idea what-so-ever how everyone would get these and not feel them.  I get probably 10 to 20 times a day where my heart either does a double beat a couple of times or a huge pause and whamo.....a huge thump.  I will sometimes not any in a day but those days are few and far between.  There are also some days which are few and far between that I will get a skip every couple of minutes for a while and then they just disappear.

1.  Do all people get these and they just don't feel them??  Why do I feel each and every one?
2.  How many of these would be on the normal scale per day?
3.  Is it worse to have them one after another than just random ones throughout the day?
4.  Why are so many different sensations with them?  Sometimes I feel like an eletric zap, something a flutter and a pause and a huge bang.
5.  Shall I just actually believe all of the cardios I have been to that tell me not to worry and move on???  I have such a hard time with these!
Avatar_n_tn
Hi weakestlink.

It is always difficult to answer medical questions via the internet without seeing all your data, but I will give you some thoughts.  I'll go in the order of questions asked.  The answers are assuming that, as you said, there are no issues with your heart.

1.  PACs/PVCs are a very common occurrence in the general population.  In fact, many people do feel them just like you do, although some do not and it is picked up on EKGs, etc.  For some reason, women seem to be more aware of the symptoms associated with PVCs then men.  Once you are aware of them, they can also become increasingly troubling.  Anxiety associated with them can also make them that much worse.

2.  People can have thousands of these a day.  Usually, the majority of your heart beats would have to be PVCs before it caused problems with the function of your heart.  This is exceedingly rare.

3.  If you have a long run of PVCs in a row, it can cause symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, and passing out.  It also usually alerts us to potentially other problems with the heart that need to be evaluated.  The answer to that question would really be on a patient to patient basis.  

4.  We don't really know why patients have different responses and sensations related to PVCs.  I'm sure you have had a Holter monitor.  If you record your exact symptoms during these episodes, your cardiologist could tell you what is happening with the electrical system of the heart when you are having these symptoms.  

5.  If in fact all your cardiovascular testing has been unremarkable, then you are among those patients who, unfortunately, are very symptomatic from PVCs.  Current research suggests they are benign in healthy individuals.  If you are not on an exercise program, I would start one.  Exercise has been noted to help with these.  It will also help with the anxiety you are experiencing.  Speak to your cardiologist first before starting on an exercise program.  Stop drinking/eating things with caffeine.  That can sometimes help.  Many patients find that magnesium supplementation helps with their symptoms.  The research isn't strong on this, but you could discuss this with your cardiologist.  Lastly, if you have issues with anxiety and depression, getting a handle on these can often help with these sensations as well.  

Hope this helps!
CCFHeartMD20

2 Comments
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1701959_tn?1399378594
Sent this in the other forum as well:

.HI there! You sound JUST like me! I stareted with mine a few years ago (I am now 33 soon to be 34). Mine started out of the blue and have been with me ever since. Very rarely do I go a day without them, on average I have 20-50 per day but have some bad days between. I also get a fluttering feeling sometimes that I don't know what it is. Scary though! I have had lots of tests and just recently wore a 24 hour monitor. I asked my EP to do a Cardiac MRI just for my own peace of mind and I will be doing that soon.

My EP told me that he does lots of Holter Monitors etc and it is very rare to see the results not have ANY PVCs or PACs on it. He said it is very common. From what I understand some people are just more sensative to them then others. It can also be your position, if you lay on your left side or bending over, it can bring your heart closer to your chest wall. I feel every single one of mine so how someone could go and NOT feel these?  I have NO idea. They are lucky if you ask me.

I have heard that most docs feel under a few hundred a day are not of concern... that under 500 or so is still considered rather rare.

You may have times when you have a normal beat between your PVCs, many people get short clusters like that and it does not mean anything. Some even get couplets etc.

It can all depend on the timing of the PVC and how much blood has filled into the heart. The more blood, the harder the BAM of the beat reset. I get the same thing, different sensations, sometimes very forceful, other times, very gentle. Other times, a flutter.

Yes you should just move on. All of my cardios and EPs have said the same, have a nice life. My most recent EP said that I can come back yearly, just to talk and make sure nothing has changed. We will do a new echo every 3-4 years just to make sure things are moving alone nicely and nothing new has come about but other then that... They just say to take care of our hearts and bodies, work out when we can, watch what we eat but don't deprive our bodies and live life.

Its hard I know, I already had anxiety and this took me over the edge. I am still working on getting myself back, I have bad moments where I really struggle but I do try to just live and stop and smell the roses. Life is precious and if all I have is a benign funky beat, then I will take that. In a way we are very blessed.

Big hugz I really do understand your fear! .
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