I have had PVCs, PATs,and Vtach leading to SVT since I was 20. I have been to several cardiologist with the same results. Benign. Lately, I had an attack of a few PVC's in a row followed by a tachy rate that I could not count. It lasted for about 5 minutes. It happened again right before a trip to DisneyWorld. It ruined my trip). Again, EKG showed nothing. I do try to eat pretty well, and take supplements. Now I started a new job that I love, but I am TOTALLY exhausted all the time. Plus my PVCs have started coming constantly, probably thousands a day, with couplets, FELT:(kick in chest, sharp pain, tightness for seconds, breathlessness at time of palp). No ignoring these. I had a holtor and an event monitor before the symptoms got too bad and of course only light PVCs showed on the test. My doctor told me everything is benign with a normal heart and that I don't have heart disease. How does he know? My chol. is 240, my LDLs are 138 and my HDL's are low. I have had no stress test or any other. My mother has extensive cardiac disease.
I take 50 mg of atenelol, and .25 of Xanax daily. It is like telling me to ignore a sharp pain. I have high anxiety. Who wouldn't? But I am really tired of being told that it is causing it. I had PVC's first. I wonder why money is spent fixing men who have problems with their sex lives, but I see no one trying to come up with any help for those of us who suffer with this. Any help would be appreciated.
Sorry to hear about your struggles. I think the obvious answer to your last rhetorical questions is the men with erectile dysfunction have a problem that can be fixed with a single pill taken when needed, there is no such magic bullet for people with PVCs because PVCs are a problem that we don't fully understand.
Without knowing what workup you have already had, it is difficult to suggest other directions. A standard work up for PVCs could include depending on clinic circumstances:
Holter monitor and if you don't exerpience your typical symptoms, try an event monitor where you will have to wear the monitor for a longer period of time and press a button when you have your typical symtpoms.
If there significant abnormalities on the above tests, if indicated, the work up may include
MRI to evaluate for structural heart disease and rule out less common conditions
EP study and possible ablation of monomorphic PVCs -- if there are too many shapes or morphologies the PVCs, an ablation will not help unless one of the morphologies is predominant.
Signal averaged EKG to evaluate for late potential suggestive of heart disease or scar
Again, these are not tests for everyone, only people that appear to need them. Just because they are not ordered does not mean that your doctor doesn't believe your symptoms.
If the symptoms are severe, there are medications like flecainide that can suppress PVCs, but success does vary by the case.
I hope this answer the questions. Good luck and thanks for posting.
You asked why do the doctors continually tell us that PVC's in a structurally normal heart are not life threatening when in the same breath they tell us they don't really understand them. The answer is STATISTICS. You don't need to fully understand something to be able to assess risk. By examining a large sample size of people who have "normal" hearts and then looking at mortality rates for those with and without PVC's are risk difference can be determined.
PVCs as a harmless symptom is disseminated because life experience shows that nothing bad happens with people who have them.
But I do get the feeling of frustration. The fear that they always going to turn into something worse. Fist they said my PACs were inoffensive until it turned into a SVT. Then into a AF. Then I was cured because I had an ablation, but PACs and PVCs continued. Now they turned into a STV AGAIN!! It is so frustrating. Now they are going to say it is benign and I won
Hey Rita. Just out of curiousity since you are a Cardiac Nurse can you tell me how many people you see with PVC's? Is it true that everyone gets them? Some days I get on a few and other days I get 100's. Doctor says everyone gets them? Do they really??
Ok if you say that pvcs are not fully understood, then why is it day after day you doctors tell each and everyone of us that they are not life threatening? If you dont understand them then you really dont know. I would say having these pvcs runs of nsvt and all the other palps that we all get are the absoulte worse thing anyone can have. They control our lives give us anxiety, make us live in fear on a daily basis and all we hear is dont worry. I have been going through this for many years now and yes im not dead yet, but sometimes I just think go ahead and kill me and get it over with.This nsvt has ruined my life in so many ways. Yes I have heard that there is no silver bullet but this just doesnt seem normal to have these nor to live like this forever. And yes if this somehow someway affected a mans sex life I would bet you that there would be a magic bullet soon. Living this way is not living.
I totally agree. I am a cardiac nurse. I have lived with these things for years. I have studied, studied, studied...maybe trying to do what no one else will...figure SOMETHING out. I know the feeling of, "Oh just kill me and get it over with." I have started a new job and fear I will lose it. How can I concentrate on what I'm being taught when I am getting "jolted" from inside a million times. I'm not a stupid person by any standards, nor am I a hypochondriac, yet I am treated like one. My cardiologist told me to "stop putting [yourself] on monitors. I was astonished. I am in the middle of feeling like dropping over and cannot get an appointment with a cardiologist. They all tell me to go to an ED, if it is that bad. There you mostly get treated like you're psycho. I am at wits end. And yes, if they are not fully understood, why aren't there new things being seen each day? People are certainly working on cancer, heart disease, MS, DM....the list goes on. There are a lot of us suffering and not able to live and it isn't because we're scared cowards. I used to be content with reading other people are going through this. That isn't enough anymore. I want to LIVE!
WOW! You guys definitely struggle with pvcs more than I ever did. Despite having thousands a day (all varieties) I was fortunate to not have them ruin my life. Oh, that's not to say they didn't cause me tons of anxiety b/c they did!!! But, I've been to enough doctors are read enough medical literature to believe that even though the medical community doesn't have a full grasp on the ins and outs of pvcs, they do know that in most cases, they do not progress to anything serious.
Now, if there were miracle cures for anxiety that would be great! For me, it was more the anxiety than the actual pvcs.
Having seen people deal with cancer, advanced heart disease and other more serious conditions, I'm very happy to see more money spent on researching life threatening conditions. More reserach into ectopics and potential treatments for debilitating symptoms would be great, but I'm much more afraid of the life threatening disorders.
I'm so sorry that you guys struggle so much with your ectopics. I really and truly hope that you are able to find peace in learning to accept them as just one of your body's quirks. I really do understand your anxiety...Hang in there and don't let these buggers get the best of you! We're here for you!
I agree!!!! I'm 36 and have experienced these for yrs. but recently after i was asked to do a treadmill test and jolted from the treadmill to the table for testing, no skippies happened.. of course not.. but later that night i had a bout with them which scared the living daylights out of me! i had pvc's for a solid fifteen minutes straight.. i was worried about croaking but didn't want to get up for an ambulance for fear i'd aggravate the situation.. i took and asprin and put my knees up, then 30 minutes later it happened again for the same length of time! i freaked and immediately removed all caffeine from my diet. i did a monitor and was told the are "benign" and given a patronizing grin when asking if they could be fatal and could my nutrition be altered to help.. "no"..
screw this, i am looking into it s much as i can. I myself have ASD and supposedly MVP which i wonder if are connected. my cardiologist mentioned the Amplatzer device to close the ASD and i asked if it would make the PVC's stop but he had no clue.. what the heck? who's got the answers? who's doing the research? what's the solid data?
i wonder, with such an increase in thses things,is it related to something outside of the body physics such as environment.. what with the advent of Microwave ovens and cell phones.. do these things affect the electril wiring in our bodies? someone needs to think outside the box!
I am so sorry for your distress and in one way glad to hear someone is as frustrated as I am for the lack of understanding of this problem. I have had heart palpitations of one kind or another for over 30 years. I have often hesitated to seek medical attention because they just look at me like I am crazy. I too was ( retired) a nurse and am not stupid. I try to keep going when the PVC's are happening but it sure is hard sometimes. The worse is when I get a run of something that feels like my heart is turning flip-flops for several seconds. Really leaves me weak. I can't connect these episodes to anything such as anxiety. In fact, when things have been really stressful, like losing a loved one or starting a new job etc., I don't seem to have the problem. It is usually when I am just sitting around watching t.v. or reading. What a mystery! I wish someone, like the doctor on CNN, would do a story about this problem and give it the attention it deserves. There are too many of us out here to ignore it any longer. I know that having this for so many years and am still here is why doctors tend to ignore the symptoms. One time I kept having severe sinus infections. All at once I got a large growth above my nose right between my eyes. One doctor said I needed surgery right away, one said it was just fat and the third did a biopsy, sent it to Mayo Clinic and as I suspected it was from the sinus infections and it eventually went away. Ever wonder why they call it Practicing medicine? The point being they don't know what causes PVC's and such in a structuraly normal heart. But is it really normal? I don't think so. Otherwise it wouldn't feel so bad.
Well, it is nice that everyone is posting of their experiences, but please understand that some of us feel them more than others. It isn't because we want to, or that we can't ignore them because we're weak, it is just the way our bodies are. I am 50 and have had this since I'm 20. That is 30 years. It has NOT killed me, but has caused me much distress. Although, when I am not having problems, it is amazingly easy to counsel others not to worry. I forget how bad it feels when the times are rough. Also, they change over time. I have experienced the gambit of sensations and the ones I get before falling asleep used to be quite comforting! Can you believe that? I have had bigeminy...well, the works. Remember, I work in a critical care cardiac unit of a major hospital. I have seen a lot. Maybe I've seen too much. I also think I get through the most stressful times with little palps. They seem to come when I am winding down. This time, however, they are with me for days and the accompanying feeling of exhaustion is what is scaring me. I am wondering if I'll ever feel like my old self again. I do understand the need for funding of terminal, serious diseases. I will never dispute that. But they do research for many things that are not terminal. How about this one? One more thing.....how about all the people who drop dead for no reason? Sometimes I wonder.
I understand everyone's frustration with the PVCs and believe me I had my share, in the 1000s daily for up to 6 months non stop luckily I rarely have them anymore(that's mystery also). I MUST agree with the FORUM MD and JEFF 67 though Statistics show that those with PVCs in normal heart have about the same risk as those that don't.The FACT is most people have PVCs but most don't feel them so they are not worried.Doctor's do understand what causes them to a certain extent irritable ectopic foci in the ventricle/s, what they don't understand is why some feel them and others don't, usually the irritable foci is irritated by stimulants, stress, hormones and other factors too numerous to mention.Why they wax and wane is also a mystery as this the pattern with the majority of sufferers, all I can say I feel for anyone who is tormented by them as the symptoms can be downright debilitating for some, others are able to get by.PVCs bother a minority persons, others have them in 1000s daily and don't know, I think the key is findings a way to completely numb the sensation and not necessarily abolish the PVCs, PVCs are a part of normal heart action to certain extent, such as other body functions like burping and passing gas.Hope everyone gets relief soon, but for the last 30 years this has been a phenomenon that has raised eyebrows and panic in the medical community before it was holtering monitoring and other sophisticated studies that have shown them to be "harmless" in the majority of persons, nowadays people are sent home from the ER feeling like they have been betrayed or brushed aside as if they are "neurotics".Hopefully in the very near future the feeling of PVCs will be a thing of the PAST. Best wishes to all.
There is nothing like a PVC post to stir things up.
We don't fully undertand what causes PVCs, but we do know that people with structurally normal hearts statistically do very well over the long term.
Believe it or not, everyone has premature beats, atrial and ventricular, at varying frequencies.
It suprises me that people think that doctors are withholding the big PVC secret. If you want to take a completely jaded approach to this -- if there was any proven risk to frequent PVCs in structurally normal hearts significantly increases risk of death, we would be putting defibrillators in everyone. Remember, the financial structure of the US health care system is still based on productivity. Procedures based treatments reimburse better than clinic visits. If there was any reason to do more procedures and be justified with data to support it, we would be more aggressive. The data is simply not there to warrant aggressive treatment of PVCs -- there is more risk to aggressive treatment. Reassurance is the standard of care. In some people the symptoms are severe and affect quality of life -- it is this group that we consider additional medications if beta blockers fail and possibly even ablation if appropriate.
I am not trying to minimize symptoms. If your symptoms are severe, additional treatment options may help. People may not like the following statement but I think it is true. If anxiety due to the fear of sudden death is main limiting factor and the PVCs stimulate that fear, the safer treatment is to treat the anxiety first with a medications like an SSRI. Medications like flecainide have risks, more risks than than PVCs alone. This is the reason we like to avoid them. Why I talk to people about treatment of PVCs, my impression is that they think I am trying to minimize the symptoms and indirectly tell them they are crazy at the same time. Fear/Anxiety is a major component of this condition and if it can be treated with a safe medication like an SSRI (prozac, zoleft, ect), it is worth a shot if it may improve your quality of life.
I truly believe everyone gets them. I watch monitors 8 hours a day/5 days a week. Some with the worst hearts have none that you catch by watching, but mostly everyone does have them when they come in. That includes people who are there for other reasons but are on watch. I have seen one discharged at the age of 42 with abrupt onset bigeminy (two days) and they told her it was benign. That was when I really believed I was okay. Some of these people with the WORST NSVT and even VTACH do NOT feel a thing. Can you believe it? So I totally agree with the person who said it should be a matter of making us not feel them. It is more the horrible sensation anymore for me than fear of dying. Heck, I'm almost resigned to that one day...hahaah. Unfortunately, I think it would be easier to figure out how to stop the PVCs than figure out how to numb US! But what a novel idea!
You have no idea how much better I felt reading your posts. I honestly can't believe that people don't feel these things. I feel every little skippy skip skip it does and HATE it. I have an excel spreadsheet I keep tabs on these things and I do get them everyday. I HATE the sensation.
I sometimes get them one after another for hours on end always figure it is the end of me. I only had two today but it still freaks me out. I did try the SSRI route but it didn't seem to take away my anxiety about these things.
I had to laugh at the comment from the doctor at the clinic though. He is probably totally right in saying they would be more aggressive and putting defib's in everyone if they were deadly.
I just don't get it that my friends don't feel these things but I can be sitting at my desk at work and it feels like my heart stops and then jiggles around and then starts again. It can do that every couple of beats and then go back to normal. I mean how normal is that???? I just hate them.
I have had every test because of I keep on going back to the doctor saying there is something wrong and they keep on telling me that nothing is wrong and I have a normal heart. I just don't get it. I wish there was a magic pill to take to stop me from feeling them.
RNRita do you get skips and drops and other weird sensations every day as well? I wish I could get it thru my head that I am not going to drop dead but I sure feel like it when these things are happening. I am terrified of my own heart! How crazy is that.
I have really appreciated your input, answers and advice over the past couple years. I find it truly amazing that you answer questions and often come back and repost to address the comments from us afterwards. It shows that you are really concerned about us and our continued fears about PVC's (and other issues).
I am wondering. Is there a chat where people like us can go to talk....tell things we have discovered...help each other through bad times? Maybe we should start one. I have read through the archives and there are tons of threads like this for years. I know it would help me a lot. If anyone is interested, you can email me at ***@****.
I'm not that familiar with computer stuff and I've never been to a "chat" room. But right here on medhelp is the patient to patient forum and there's tons of talk about PVC's and all the concerns about them. Maybe it's not fast and instant but there's plenty of talk going on over there.
I am so happy to see you checking this thread and posting. Makes me feel a little like someone cares..sniff sniff. Anyway, as far as chat, I am not thinking this isn't fast enough, although sometimes it might be nice for instant feedback, but I know these threads only allow a limited number of posts before they're closed. Am I correct?
Please, by all means establish a chat room for the palps sufferers. Many will choose to go there, and others like me ;-), will welcome the relief from not having to read all the posts feeding each other's anxiety! (And, YES I DO have them and do understand but I DO ignore them even though I have heart disease.) I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but, really, just read some of these posts!
Yes, I have periods where they come right on top of one another. PLUS they can feel differently each time. Sometimes a kick in the chest, sometimes I feel like I have to cough, my chest drops and rolls, I get lightheaded but never have passed out (scary when driving), sometimes they are positional. (One time driving home from work it got so bad I felt the need to take all my clothing off, beat THAT!) Sometimes I only get a few a day. Those days are a blessing. This week they are more than 3 a minute, maybe 10 or more all day long! Like I said, I've had them for 30 years and I've gotten used to some, but the ones right after another (sometimes I don't even feel a normal beat in between) make me a little woozy. Unfortunately, those (I think they're couplets) never showed up on a holter or event that I know of. Also, I have some periods in my life where I go without any that I feel. After a time like that where I am normal, going back to having them all the time makes them seem even worse. Like I said, I have to work. It is a new job. It is hard to concentrate. I am just hoping they give me a rest for a while. I wish there was a support group. Maybe we could all talk about them for so long we'd just get SICK of it...hahahah. And the THINGS WE DO! A spreadsheet? I found that funny, but I'll bet you would find this funny: I've considered buyiing my own EKG machine, holter, and/or defibrillator!
I forgot to mention one thing in my original post (We only have 1500 characters). I have always had normal EKG's which was a comfort. Well, I also have another job (lots of nurses have more than one) and they were testing the new EKG machine...on me. It showed a left fascicular posterior block. Now I KNOW I've seen that show up on an EKG in the ER when I went there for a terrible virus a few months ago, but no one even mentioned it there. It means that I have a possibility of underlying heart disease. Yes, my Dr's are telling me these mean nothing only because I have no heart disease. I think that is why I am questioning everything again.
Wow, well said. I agree with all that you've written. I understand when someone develops an arrythmia and they don't know what's happening. There's the fear of the unknown. But once it's checked out and it's a healthy heart just acting up occasionally, then it's best to adjust and go on. Since I've had arrhythmias all my life I've had plenty of time to adjust. I see it in the same realm as learning to live with an arthritic finger (sore, inconvenient and bugs you but not life threatening). PVC's at 3 a minute is not extreme. A couple winters ago my heart became a brat and was hiccuping at 15-25 per minute all day and night. I couldn't figure out why it changed. I wore a monitor, found out it was PAC's and PVC"s (duh, I knew that) but everything looked fine. So on I went with my life. Took 5 months but it all settled back to my normal routine of 1-6 per minute. Yes, they can hit hard, take your breath away for a moment, even make you feel woozy. But they're still benign. I just know they won't kill me and that's good enough for me. I like my life.
Wow what posts huh! I can't believe the people that suffer with these things. I really laughed at RNRita's post about buying her own defib and ekg machine. Well if it makes you feel any better I have purchsed a stethscope and like to lay there and start getting anxious over my heart and listen to it skip. I don't know why I want to do it beause it just scares me listening to it.
So everyone thinks 3 or so PVC's a minute are nothing huh. That gives me a bit of confort I guess. I don't really even get that many but sometimes it acts up and does start at three or so a minute. I have always read that if you have more than 6 a minute you should go to emergency. When it does act up and does one every second or third beat I always think this is the end I guess. I would give ANYTHING to get rid of these.
I don't believe the cardios when they say nothing is wrong. Why doesn't my cardio get them? He said he doesn't get PVC's so I think he doesn't get it. My friends don't get PVC's and I don't get it. I feel every one of these missed and dropped and extra beats. How do people not feel these if everyone has them??? I don't get that one!
Oh, I love you people. I am SOOOOO not alone here. Carrie, you like to listen to your heart with a stethoscope? I have two, but I'd rather feel my pulse...HAHAHAA To each his own. Everyone here has valid points. You guys, like me, have researched this material. No one wants these. When I have a few a day they are NOTHING. I am telling patients at work the same things some are saying here: "Just live your life." For about 10 years they have not bothered me much at all. I have been through stressful school, got married, started great jobs, moved to three new houses, and went on many fun-filled vacations. I've started my own very successful business and realized my dream of being a nurse. I guess you could say I didn't let them bother me. Why all of a sudden are they horrible now and I can't get past them, you might ask? Who knows? We all have different experiences. I am going to try to live one day at a time. I think my exhaustion is coming from worry which exacerbates these things. I don't know. I just don't like my cardiologist (who also doesn't get these, as he says) telling me they are nothing. I've been reading obituaries again. Three people under 55 were "stricken at home." All I can say is, it better have been by lightning!
Oh, thank you for the laugh. People being stricken at home, it better have been by lightning. Very good!
I do own a stethoscope but I use it for my asthma.
I expect/hope to live much longer (I'm 54 now) in spite of my arrhythmias since many women on my Mom's side have them and they've gone well into their 80's. I do work hard dealing with wildlife. Even with my wacky heart I manage to grab Bald Eagles, lift 45 lb beavers and wrestle with angry raccoons. And that's just a start. I don't know much about statistics, don't trust them that much but I know things are OK for me for the time being.
I was actually wondering if it is possible to acquire your won holter or event monitor. It would be so easy to just put the cables on yout heart - I already know the exactly spots, I'm expert in it ;) Then I would transfer the data to my computer and see what shows the electrocardiogram. Nice, huh? I didn't want to look like a paranoid person, but now I've read all these posts I feel a little bid more comfortable. :)
I wish I would stay on PACs/PVCs (I get more PACs). But now it is the second time they develop into something worse (SVT, as I said above). I don't know what to think anymore, I know I've said that one billion times, but damn I can't "live my life" convinced that they are always going to turn into something "bad" like AF or god knows what.
And yes, there should be a char or something. I kno it can be done in php forums, but I don't know about this one.
Sorry I had to censor one post because I thought it was more confrontational than informative and could cause unwarranted fear.
FRS87: you know that you have PAC/PVCs. It is possible that you had an SVT event caused by a PAC/PVC or simply anxiety causing sinus tachycardia. The only way to know is see the strip. The problem is if you have had PAC/PVCs for a long time and this is your first episode of sustained tachycardia, it is diffiuclt to tell when the next event might be. If an event monitor is not helpful, you may need an implantable loop monitor (Reveal) to record an event. This can take some time unless they are frequent.
I will ask the managers at medhelp if they can work on a chat forum if people are interested. Just so we know, is the forum not post fast enough to support a chat activity? What format are you looking for in a chat forum?
Ps.: Thanks for answering. Fortunately, I had the arrhythmia while wearing the holter. I am just waiting for the results to be sure. I am convicted it was not sinus tach, but I will wait before
The forum is fast enough, but the format is not 100% helpful (or at least practical) for some purposes. A chat allows more informal, direct, fast, transitory, personal communication between members, which is very useful for specifics or small subjects - or if you just want to talk directly and/or share experiences with a user who is online at the very moment. For me, the forum is extremely useful for deeper discussions about certain subjects in long term, and as a 'doubts explainer' and 'experiences sharing place'. But lacks the spontaneousness of a conversation, which is very nice when you are talking about a problem. Personally, I am really satisfied with the forum, but a chat would be great if it were possible. Thanks for your consideration. With or without chat the forum itself is such a improvement to our daily struggles. :)
Ps.: Thanks for answering my comment. Fortunately, I had the arrhythmia while wearing the holter. I am just waiting for the results to be sure. I am convicted it was not sinus tach, but I will wait before anything.
Stethoscopes? EKGs? Monitors? Checking your pulse?
Now a chat room?
Take a close look at yourselves.
Despite the good doctor's learned opinion, you appear to be compelled to monitor your pulse and talk about the results, incessantly... it sounds very unhealthy.
I can see popping into the forum to provide some advice once in awhile, but
coming back to the forum over and over again, seeking out reassurance? When does it end?
I am a UK sufferer of ectopics with missed beats which I can feel in my pulse and sometimes my chest. I was told they were benign, but at times I have been paralysed by anxiety, suffered panic attacks, almost agoraphobic, as I have struggled to accept they are harmless. I was always a 'pull yourself together' person who got on with things regardless. Until you have experienced these things it is difficult to understand the terror they bring - I certainly didn't until I had them. I used to think, "How can they be harmless when I feel so dreadful?". At times every third beat would miss - I calculated I was having thousands a day of these missed beats. After Christmas, I started feeling them more in my chest (which I hadn't previously), then strangely in April they seemed to stop. I have felt only a few since and no chest sensations. I wish I could work out what is different so I could pass it on and help everyone else. My advice to those with benign ectopics etc. would be to work on the anxiety and see if the ectopics take care of themselves. I found "Self Help for Your Nerves" by Claire Weekes to be very helpful. I took it everywhere for months. Best wishes to everyone.
Hey, good to see someone who has such a great handle on things! I don't have to explain that I have lived with these for 30 years and have said the same things to my patients. And why, when they are hardly bothering me, I cannot BEGIN to believe that I will ever feel like this again. Do you have any understanding of people who are overly sensitive to this? I just came from my MD and asked her how someone like me could become a basket case when I am almost 99% sure they are benign, since I haven't died yet. She explained that they feel HORRIBLE. It isn't the anxiety of whether I'm going to die from them, it is anticipating the horrible discomfort. I have fibromyalgia and am in pain 24/7, yet I lead a productive life where others take to their beds and never get out. There are times when the sensations get bad and it is nice to know someone else is feeling them too. I've had people like you tell me how "unhealthy" it is for me to be so concerned. Thank GOD I am. I've learned a great deal and have helped my daughters (who suffer as well), and hundreds of my patients (in my good times.) Maybe someone here will have encouraging words for me when I need them.
I have fibromyalgia secondary to ankylosing spondylitis, apparently persons with FM are very sensistive to what is going within their body and their symptoms are blown way out of proportion to the actual illness.I can surely sympathize with anyone that has these dreadful ectopics as I have suffered with them off and on for over 20 years myself, though in the last 5 years i have practically been symptom free as one can be that has suffered with PVCs in the 1000s daily.I have trained myself not to get anxious over them because I know as you said 99% of persons with them have nothing to fear but the horrible sensation.
I have also seen persons with 10 PVCs daily that are crippled by fear and seen persons with PVCs in the 10 of thousands daily that have no clue as to what is going within their own bodies, also seen a few that really copes well regardless of what they feel. I agree with Arthur though , being a anxious fellow sufferer that can conquer the pulse taking, the concentration of the heartbeat in the chest, the flip & flops is long road to recovery but one must take it if one wants to recover from this affliction and go on living, life is too short and it will soon past you by only to realised you have not lived for the fear of dying.Good luck.
I too suffer from PVC's - no PAC's, just PVC's. I had a successful ablation for Atrial Tach and Atypical AVNRT in October 2005. I am waiting until the time is right in terms of technology advancements to have a go (ablation) at the two sites I have which are causing my ectopics. I have one site in the left ventricle and the other site in the right side. Modern medicine is fantastic and we can all be glad that we live in this time and not 100 years ago when less was known about our condition and much less could be done about it. I feel every single one, just like most of you do. I get between 100-2000/day. I have learnt to get on with life and 'ignore' them, if one can truly ignore them, but I have to, otherwise I will go crazy. It can be very hard to ignore a really bad patch where for a few hours you get them constantly and I have wondered sometimes how much more my heart can actually cope with as it gets hammered by ectopics (including occasional couplets and triplets and 5 or 6 beat runs of NSVT) between just about every normal beat. But it always does until it stabilises again to intermittent ectopics. My quality of life is poorer for them. From being very active in sport, I am too afraid now to 'stress' my heart physically. It responds to emotional stress - good and bad. Any change from a calm state can trigger them. Excitement, anticipation, nervousness, fun, too much laughter, can trigger them, not to mention tears and worry which can also trigger a patch of them. So yes, maybe they are not going to physically kill me, but they have killed my ability to live my life freely, to relax and enjoy myself, do what I want to do sports and leisure wise. I've adjusted and am happy though, I do not easily get depressed fortunately. When ablation offers a possible permanent solution to these, for me, this is a definite option and one I hope to be pursuing when my EP can quote me similar success rates to that for AVNRT ablations instead of the 50/50 chance of success he quoted me a year ago. I am reluctant to live the rest of my life 'on hold' (I'm 44) and will not attempt medication again as this made them worse. For me, understanding my ectopics helps me to manage them emotionally. I am happier knowing where they are coming from, how many sites have shown up on holter, they are not a mystery to worry about anymore. Maybe this has helped me to get on with life (taking the limitations into account) in spite of their uncomfortable daily presence.
Great comment, great post, I understand exactly where you're coming from.This is why i too have avoided ablation, though mine are unifocal from the RVOT and this is the more ablatable kind.
But I'm one of lucky ones that mine has practically completely ceased , I get about 10-30 monthly that I feel.
Understanding them and knowing chances are you'll do fine despite the horrible feeling helps a great deal, but for ANYONE to say it totally erases the fear would be denial in my opinion, just like the old drunk walking through the graveyard that stumbled on a HEADSTONE that read , NOT DEAD, JUST SLEEPING , The old drunk looks down and said YOU"RE not FOOLING anybody but yourself.
That was uplifting! About 7 years ago I went to an EP doc and he told me that my PVCs were coming from the left side of my heart so he could not do an ablation. Since that time, I have heard many people getting ablations on the left side. I hope I can cope with them until this procedure is more effective. I also hope they will let me get one when that time comes. Sometimes I feel like I need to sleep for a week, because I am one of the lucky ones that do not get woken up by them, and can escape. I am exhausted, though. I hope this run gives me a break for a bit soon.
I just had aholter done. It said frequent PAC's and 1 PAC couplet. I am having and echo on monday. My concern is that even when i dont feel them i am still having them. Is this going to damage my heart? How lng can we keep having this and will I go into afib???
I would bet dollars to donuts that it IS connected to stress/anxiety/panic. I would bet anything that is our main problem, not our hearts if the Drs have checked us out. Remember, they dont just send us out on the street willy nilly, because, there is mucho malpractice out there and Drs are aware of it as they should be. Its hard to believe when they say we are fine, but all odds say, we ARE fine.
This is so cool. Reading comments that explain what we all feel is very self assuring. I have never posted before and have only read what you all say and after reading so many posts and opinions and experiences, I will say that the common thread for me and most of he rest of us is one word, ANXIETY. I have a feeling, if we could bolt this down, the common denominator is that we that suffer from "harmless" pvc's are way too in tune with whats going on in our bodies. Be that heart or anything else that might go bump in the night, we are just more prone to be " aware" and or "in tune". For one, I wish these crazy things would just vanish as they came, but my tack will be to try and breath deeper, and let my body just go, relax and resemble a wet noodle. :) Anyway, I appreciate all the input given here and wish us all acceptance and peace.
I am new to the Forum, I have been reading comments regarding PVC's. I have experienced these for about 3 years now. At first they were very alarming and out of control, really no particular time or reason when they would occur. I went to the ER and they did EKG and found multiple PVC's occurring. They then transferred me to a more equipped hospital given this was more of a Prompt Care environment. This concerned me. Upon arrival at the other hospital, they started an IV and basically just monitored my heart for several hours, gave me a prescription for atenelol and schedule me for an ECHO Stress for next day. My test came back normal with the exception of some PVC's that showed up. I had to stop taking the atenelol because I have low blood pressure 90/60 and it even it lowers it more to where I feel lifeless. So after being told by my physician and ER physicians that this is not life threatning, I learned to deal with it. Over the past year they have been stronger and more frequent, I have days where I feel like it takes everything I have to walk across the room, and I am a very active person on the go all the time. There has to be a reason, a pill or something to help with this, its getting to be very worrisome. I also suffer from severe panic disorder and take 10 mg of Lexapro a day, are the 2 related?
I am 40 yrs old and started having a consistently irregular heartbeat about 9 months ago. It started on the heels of a stressful event although I am not sure if that has anything to do with it.
My primary DR saw it on an EKG and referred me to a cardio DR. They gave me a monitor to wear for a couple of days but never followed up with anything more than an acknowledgement that I did indeed have palpitations. Being naive as I was I thought they would go away. Nine months later they had proven to be part of my everyday life. If I was lucky I would occasionally get a 2-3 day span of no symptoms. Finally I scheduled another cardio appt. because they seemed to be getting worse. The morning of the appt I woke up with a normal heartbeat and did not have an irregular heartbeat for over 13 days!
My husband accompanied me to the cardio appt. and disagrees with my feelings but I found the Dr to be condescending and very unhelpful. After shaking my hand and having talked with me for all of 30 seconds, he decided that I had PVCs and that there were no other problems with me. Just to be on the safe side he would have me wear a monitor for 30 days, do a tilt test and a stress test. He decided that any complaints I had about dizziness or lightheadedness had nothing to do with my irregular heartbeat although they always happened together. He told me to get compression tights. He said that the PVCs could be treated with a beta blocker or surgery to zap the area sending msgs for random beats. When I expressed nervousness about taking presc. meds for "however long" he dismissed it and told me that I will wear the monitor, begin the meds 2 weeks in, take the tests and come back for a follow up in 30 days. (They are the only cardio group in my insurance network.)
I passed the tilt test - did not pass out. On the stress test everything was great until the very end when under extreme stress the PVC's showed up but my heart rate recovered quickly.
My mom bet me that I would not make it through the weekend of my daughter's HS graduation as she thinks that it starts with stress. She was right. At the reception they started back up and have been going strong for the last 10 days.
I began toprol xl - 25 mg. about a week ago. A couple of days in and I was starting to drag - a few more days and I was sick to my stomach all day long. The heart beats became more normal but I was either 1/2 asleep or on the verge of throwing up all day long. Not a great condition to be in when trying to run a 7 person household.
The nurse just called - she wants me to stop toprol and start Cardizem - 180 mg. She said something about it being a calcium blocker? Does anyone have any knowledge of this drug? Should I be concerned about it?
Also - and very important to me - I love to exercise and usually try to raise my heart rate to about 85%. I have babied myself a little since my heart started acting up last year but now I am getting a little fed up. If this is going to be a normal part of my life from now on and my Dr's responses always be "if you're feeling ok" (I'd feel okay if my heart beat the way it used to!) should I just get back to normal and ignore these crazy beats?! Is it crazy to exercise and not medicate or am I being silly when I fear being on meds forever? I don't want to take pills that give me side effects worse than the original problem the are suppose to treat. I also don't want my med showing up on a news alert in 5 yrs!
I experience SVT (esp. upon standing) and PVC's (mostly constant). Cardiologist performed stress test, EKG, 24 hr. Holter Monitor and Sonogram of the heart. Results are normal undiseased heart. I have chosen not to take prescription medication.
I would like to know if there is anyone who experiences a strange sensation in the head, ears, neck and or stomach area (where the aorta runs) during PVC episodes? The best way I can explain this sensation would be a 'whomp-whomp' sensation in those areas, esp. in the ears.
I have read many of your posts and have gained relief in the knowledge that we're not alone. I am thankful to you all for sharing so much. I pray for all of us to find healthy relief from this problem in Jesus name.
Don't mean to sound like all the other posts, but I've been dealing with PVC's and PAC's for 10 years (I'm 44). I've been on beta blockers now for 6 years and have taken everything from metaprolol to Toprol to now using Acebutotol (800 mg daily). Symptoms have gotten worse and now my Dr. wants me to take Flecanide along with the Acebutotol. I've read about aniti-arrth. drugs and I'm scared to death to take them as I hear they should only be prescribed to patients with serious arrth's because they can cause "new" life threatening arrth's? Anyone want to comment? My other option recommended by my dr. is to have the ablation procedure but I'm scared to have that as well because my doc. said I'll have to stop ALL medication 4 days before the procedure. Does he think I'm crazy? I wouldn't be able to deal with no meds. My heart would be in constant tachycardia with PVCs, PACs, and parox. Yeah, that's just what I want to deal with.
One other comment. - I've been dealing for the past month with a "wooshing" sound in my right ear - It wooshes with my heart beat and I'd like to know if it's related to my heart.
Also, my dr. did say that reflux could be the cause of irreg. heart beats and recommended I give it a try. He is a well known heart dr. and had a female patient who's symptoms dissapeared (PACs, PVCs) when she started taking reflux meds. Thanks for reading.
I just joined this wonderful discussion board and have really enjoyed reading all of the posts which made me realize I am not alone with my fear of my PVC's. I have never had PVC's in my life until 6 months ago when the company I had worked for went out of business and we all lost our jobs.
I started to experience the PVC's and thought this is it, I am going to drop dead while I am shaving. My wife talked me into going to see a cardiologist shortly after my first episode of PVC's.
I wore the holter monitor and found out that I had frequent pvc's mostly in isolation with only 3 triplets and 39 ventricular couplets . The total isolated beats were 6093 which accounted for 6.5% of my total heartbeats. There was only 21 supraventricular ectopic beats presents. I also had an echo cardiogram which showed a very strong heart and only showed a lower chamber not fully relaxing.
My cardio indicated I was in pretty good shape, I am 55 and like an idiot smoked 2 1/2 packs a day but have since dropped down to around 13 to 15 cigs a day instead of 40 to 50 a day with my eye on quitting in the very near future.
I am on Toporal XL 50 mg which had GREATLY reduced my almost daily pvc's. However, I just had an pvc episode where I felt my heart was going to pound its way through my chest and felt like it was beating extremely fast. My heart rate was in reality 81 bpm.
Does anyone have any tips on how to convince yourself you will not drop dead with these darm things. Sometimes they keep me awake all night so I head downstairs so as not to disturb my wife and watch BBC America all night.
I have been on hormone replacement therapy for over 10 years off and on. I wonder if my PAc's are so bad now because of this. I cant stand much more of this. I have had palps for years and years and it seems to be worse now. Or is it in my head that its worse. I dont know. How long does it take for caffiene to get out of your system? Also I notice when I take my prevacid the palps are not felt nearly as much....Intersting
I was just wondering - do you get the skipped heart beats or just the fast feeling? I don't worry about the fast feelng it is the skipping and stopping that I freak out at. I know that when you are anxious or scared your heart go faster but I get the dropping, skipping sensation and I am scared.
I get the skipped, stopped and fluttering. Sometimes even a thud. I cant stand this, I am trying to remain calm. I also have anxiety issues. if anyone wants to chat as friends off the board my address is ***@****
i hope everyone has a peaceful heart tonight
RNRita your symptoms are like mine. I f I work an 11p-7a shify i notice i get them. When my hormones are readjusted i get them. Not taking prevacid same thing. After I eat I get it too. And of course I have them all the time. there has to be a solution. I go for a stress echo on monday to make sure my PAC's are not due to dz. i am still worried my holter was on last wed and it said frequent PAC's with 1 Pac couplet. doc said that it is not dangerous. I hope not!!!
I have also looked at people and thought how are they feeling, it seems like everyone else is happy go lucky and here i am palps non stop. I have found ways to check my pulse inconspicuously as well. I wish i could be happy go lucky and not worry with his "benign" yet bothersome ailment!!
Wow. It's really moving to read these comments - I spent over a year thinking I was about to drop dead from these ectopics. They (or rather the anxiety over them) ruined my life for a long period. I am lucky in that I do not seem to be having them at the moment - I can only recommend that sufferers work on the anxiety they cause and maybe they will subside. Although I believe an operation/general anaesthetic caused mine, I think there is a cycle of ectopics-anxiety-ectopics. I cut out all caffeine and started eating lighter meals too. I have read that many palpitations are related to digestion and vagus nerve activity - which is why some people get them more after eating or lying on their side. There is a forum I look at where a neurologist answers questions and he says that he has never known benign ectopics to lead to a cardiac event (I guess he means heart attack etc) when the heart is structurally sound and not diseased. It's hard to accept but if you've had all the tests you are very probably okay, horrible as these things are. Also, many people here have realted that they are worse at times of stress - if your heart has a major defect it is going to be there all the time, not just symptomatic when you are stressed. Best wishes to all those struggling to overcome these things.
I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments. It was reassuring to know others out there are like me. I never told my own mother I had this problem because I was afraid she would worry and somehow it embarrassed me. Here I was in my 20s and diagnosed with PVCs. Sitting in the waiting room at the cardiologist and being the only one with non-silver hair made me wonder what was wrong with me. However, my dr did reassure me that it is very common among people in my age group.
So now I am 40 and I wanted to share some things I have learned about what triggers my PVCs. Sorry if I missed a post where this was listed, but I see a pattern now with mine:
Definitely stress related, but more than that, I find it is hormone related. I had them really bad when I was pregnant. I think it was due to the hormones (high levels of progesterone?) and all the extra blood my heart had to pump in the third trimester. After I gave birth, they pretty went away or I couldn't feel them anymore.
So mostly it is triggered by intense cardio exercise (prolonged running at anaerobic levels of 170+ bpm) and hormones (PMS). Mine have been horrible lately and yesterday my cycle started and they dropped to tolerable levels where I think I can stop the Toprol again.
I also lay off caffeine and alcohol during these times.
Any other women notice an increase right before their periods?
I am new and wish everyone much peace, comfort and respect. Thank you for our sharing together.
Yes, I also experience worsening of PVCs and Tachycardia episodes the week leading up to my period esp. the 3-4 days prior to onset, after eating or drinking, and during times when I feel rushed or hurried (stressing situations).
I am 43 yrs. old and have been recently diagnosed with this (3 mths ago). I've had intermittant episodes for years; but, the last year or two they increased to daily and constant 24/7.
In my case, I feel they are mostly due to hormonal changes. My gyno. said my hormones including thyroid tests and FSH are all within "normal" range; but, said that does not mean they are within "my" normal range because everyone is an individual. My mother's periods naturally ended when she was around 44-45 yrs of age, during which she had a run with PVCs and Tachy. Therefore, it is possible I may be going through perimenopause earlier as well.
The cardio suggested I take Atenolol. I decided to work with a natural approach in mind; such as diet, exercise, supplements since I am healthy and active all my life and the tests confirmed that my heart was not diseased and was strong, healthy and normal. So, I asked the doctor about taking CoQ10 he told me he was more concerned about my heart than CoQ10.
I begain taking CoQ10 and a high quality natural progesterone cream (3 months now). It has helped my case significantly. They have not gone away but the episodes are further apart with relief / breaks in between and not as severe / constant as they were.
I'm glad I found this message board.
I've been experiencing Pvc's since I"ve been about 20yrs.old. I'm currently 46yo. Been well controlled on inderal 120mgLA until march of 2006. Then they became totally out of control. Had the whole cardiac workup.... Holter,ECHO,
cardiolite stress test. Everything was normal . All labwork ie: thyroid,BMP,mag., Ca etc were normal. Went to my gyn...all hormone studies normal. I'm having thousands of them a day, like most of the writers here. They seem to be much worse at night, and also the week before my period and the week of it. I'm now off the Inderal and on Zebeta (another beta blocker) which isn't really any better but not worse than the Inderal. My gyn suggested low dose premarin for 5-6wks to see if it provides any relief. Even though hormone levels are normal, she said the fluctuations in them could be causing the pvc's.The premarin might help stabalize them out. Any body out there have any experience with this? I am an ICU nurse(NICU) so i've tried to do alot of research on this. Not anxious to try the hormone therapy as I've had 2 breast biopsies already, both OK.Nohistory of breast cancer.
I have to say I have read this "post-opera" :-) since the beginning. It has made me laugh, nod my head as I read and feel relief and wonder if some people who wrote was me! It is great to know I am not alone in suffering this and feel so thankful to have found this forum and the regulars on it who provide so much insight and support. I have suffered with PVC's since age 16 after a stressful event (death of a parent). I have had them ever since and noticed them after I (over) ate dinner, lay on my side and I do notice them a week before my menses. I have anxiety due to the PVC's and I have a defibrillator also. The main reason for my anxiety is fear. Fear of my heart going out of control and dying and the defibrillator of course. Bigeminy is my normal rhythm and when my heart beats normal I get nervous because I can't tell if it is beating too fast or regular. I had a stethescope and listened to the crazy rhythms and that made me anxious and sometimes not but I threw it away and the only habit I cannot break is checking my pulse, several times a day. I wake up doing it, go to bed, drive, shop, chat on the phone and watch TV doing it and sometimes I wake up with my hand at the center of my chest doing it in my sleep I guess. I for the past 2 years have taken a half of .5 xanax to calm myself especially in the middle of the night when I wake up with nightmares. It has helped me live life again because at 1 point I was housebound with anxiety and a frequent flier to the hospital from overnight panic attacks!! I am in an anxiety program that helps, seeing my therapist and the meds after suffering for 4 years with panic and anxiety. I will tell you guys something my electrophysiologist told me about worrying about the PVC's: "They are life annoying not life threatening." I tell myself that when I feel anxious and I have to give it to God because my kids are missing out on fun because I want to be stuck in the house! Some days reading this forum helps and some days it makes me anxious but the key to the anxiety is retraining your negative thoughts and sometimes having to ride that fear and when you realize you won't die, you may get better.
RNRita, Kudos to you for being a cardiac nurse and the other nurse who posted that works in NICU. Due to my anxiety and all I gave up studying to be a nurse because at one point I became a hypochondriac (when the anxiety was off the charts) To have heart issues and work in the cardiac dept. takes major strength!!!!!! I worked in an oncology dept and that helped me count my blessings and learn to not let the anxiety fester. There are many people older and younger who have had or have worse heart issues than bigeminy and continue to travel and live life to the fullest if not for their families for themselves. It is hard to keep a positive attitude especially when you are feeling PVC's and they change up on you but you have to remain calm because getting anxious speeds up the heart rhythm which in turn makes for more adrnaline rushes (flight or fight symptoms) and it can become a horrible cycle. I wish everyone the best in maintaining thier strength and keeping calm during those PVC times and try to live life to the fullest. I know it is hard to do at times, it is still a process for me but I am MUCH better than I used to be.
Hi everyone. I had my echo today and am currently on a holter. I think the holter is definitely a medication for PVC's! I will look like an idiot again, I am sure. I had about 2 good days this week. Here are some things I think I've come up with after reading all your posts and putting my own experiences together.
I do get them worse the week leading to my period and the week of.
I am exceptionally tired during this time, and when I am tired, I get them more.
I haven't gotten them badly in several years which is why they feel so horrible now. I thought I was finished with them. So, what has changed? Well, I was under a TON (and I mean it) of stress lately, and now have a new job. I went off my GERD medication. I started eating MUCH more sugar. So, I went off caffiene, cut my sugar, and after being told to take MORE atenelol, I decided to cut the dose in half. I noticed that if my heart beats slower, I feel more PVCs as the irritable pacemaker(s) in my ventricles have more opportunity to get through. Well, now my HR is in the 80's and I feel less PVCs. Coincidence? Perhaps. Who cares? I'll take what I can get. I NEED this new job and I am so exhausted I cannot learn it nor do I feel like I can do it. I want to sleep for days. I have lost interest in everything I used to love. I know I have anxiety, but I'm pretty sure where it came from! lol
I truly believe together we can figure things out. No one else is researching. There are some intelligent people here, not to mention desperate. Let's do it!
I get the pause, skip, a "burp" sensation and sometimes I cal it a drum beat. I notice that when it is trying to go into a normal rhythm that I may get three or four beats then the normal beat and sometimes when it goes from normal to bigeminy I feel it. It aggravates me when I feel it in my neck. Sometimes if I sit in the sitting position and lean forward a little I can feel it like a wriggle in my chest. I have had nightmares where I woke up and I my heart was racing and I assumed something was going on but I just woke up in a panic and thank God I have let myself take anti anxiety meds because it has kept me out of the E.R.
I thank the Docs at the forum to let this thread stay open but I don't know how long they will keep the thread open. My e-mail is ***@****.
Yes, I get them more when I am leaning foward at the computer, or have to sit for long periods. Sometimes when I lean back they start. When I lie down at night, I get them more on my right side. I believe this is due to certain parts of your insides hitting the irritable cells in the ventricles. I know the vagus nerve has a great deal to do with them, hence the PVCs after a nice dinner. I went to a business dinner last night and got them after my first three sips of alcohol. Need I say I lost my appetite? Just because I am so sick of feeling different than everyone around me. They are all so normal and there I sit....skipping, thumping, vibrating. Does anyone get the vibrating? My question is: Why so MANY different sensations. Each time you think you get used to one, another pops up. Then you have to rethink it all. I know we sound like basket cases and maybe we are, to an extent, but I am actually quite educated, and the one everyone comes to when they need something. Hmmmmmmm are you guys all Type A perfectionists?
I am a perfectionist, semi control freak! :-( I hate that you could not enjoy yourself last night but at least you went. You know what? There were times when I would be out at the mall or sitting in the passenger seat while my husband is driving and I look at people and wonder who has anxiety or is on the verge of a panicattack or who has heart problems and a couple of weeks ago I saw a man with his finger on his pulse on his neck checking while driving. I thought oh my gosh, there are others who check thier pulse in public. I have come up with so many sly ways to check my pulse that people don't notice and he was doing it the way I do.
One thing I forgot to mention (for the ladies), the thought of menopause scares me. I believe PVC's are co-related to hormone changes and unfortunately my mother's side of the family starts early. Even women with no PVC's get PVC's or different arrythmias during peri and post menopause. I am hoping my ticker will be calm while I go through the change. The hot flashes make me panic already!
About three weeks ago, I was scouring the internet, yet again, for a solution to heart palpitations that were (yet again) rearing their irritating head. With heart leaping about in my chest, I came upon an old thread in this forum and read until I didn't feel alone anymore.
Many people had mentioned that they had attained some relief from their PVC's with magnesium supplements. I thought, "What a crock!" b/c I take CalMag every day. Heck, I'd just bought a new bottle a week or so before and I was taking them faithfully.
That night, when taking my CalMag (calcium citrate & magnesium citrate), I truly took interest in the new bottle I'd purchased. These pills were capsules, a change I took little notice of and figured it was yet another product change. Then, just for kicks, I REALLY looked at the bottle. The pills were Calcium Citrate alright... but minus the magnesium. Duh.
Next morning I bought a bottle of the 'old' (right) stuff and vowed to post the results here in hopes that it might help someone else.
It's been about 10 days since starting back on the CalMag and my heart palpitations are all but gone. It took about one full week before really noticing the difference. I mean it's like night and day. I could barely count to twenty before another missed beat occurred and beware if they get out of control as it can take 30+ minutes to get back to normal. These runs start suddenly and end suddenly as well. No difficulty breathing, no abnormal ECG's, and my physician isn't worried so I try not to... but it's tough.
Anyway, I just wanted to share what seems to be helping me. I still get PVC's when taking magnesium but definitely not as frequently. It really does help me a lot. Also, I have noticed a correlation between mental/emotional stress and worry and the palpitations. Stay cool folks :)
Just found this forum today! Now I'm not afraid I won't make it through the night! I've had PVC's and a few PAC's off and on over the years. Went to my Dr. with them several years ago, but was never told anything that would help me. Now I at least understand why. I am 6'4", weigh 185 and run 15 miles per week.
Anyway, since December of 06 they have come back with a vengence. They never occur when my heart is under a full load (working hard or running) only when I'm resting or trying to sleep. I'm getting two normal beats then a PVC when I lay down at night. I really makes you wonder if you will see tomorrow! This usually slows to one in five or so before too long.
Question one - I am sleeping for 8 - 9 hours a night and still feel tired when I wake up. Is that caused by the PVC's?
Question two - I remember taking a medication for head congestion containing phenylpropanolamine HCL in it before it was banned - it really made my heart cut up but didn't associate the med with the activity at the time. I now use Vicks inhalers (since December actually) Knowing that is one of the ingredients in methamphedimene (sp) I was wondering if that could be a contributing factor. Yeah, I'm still looking for a reason why I have them bad sometimes then go long periods without any.
Okay, I had a holter monitor on all day at work. Actually, I felt about 80% normal today. Not as tired, not as many PVC's (probably d/t the fact that I WANTED to get them.) The most runs I got was when I sat at the computer for about 25 minutes typing away. I love to type. What the heck was THAT all about? Anyway, I've tried mag. but I am actually not sure which to take. The day I started getting these bad runs was the day I started taking a Cal/Mag supplement. So I stopped, of course. I read somewhere that you should take magnesium oxide, not citrate. I cannot find which are the ones that help. Anyone know????
Ok, I hesitate to ask this because people will then freak out, but why exactly do you have a defibrillator? Please say it's not because of frequent PVC's or the bigeminy! Surely there was another really good reason? I am just plain nosy, I know, ;-) but I hope that some EP didn't overreact and place it due to anxiety? It sounds like you have developed a lot of coping mechanisms, so I applaud you for that.
Wow! Torsades de Pointe is very rare and it sound like your doctors did the right thing. When it comes to something like that and/or documented prolonged Q-T, then they have to err on the side of caution. It's a good thing they took that drug off the market! Keep on truckin'!
Well my Dr's were being quite aggressive back then. I had a cardiac arrest due to 2 medications. Those two combined caused me to have Torsades de Points (a kind of arrythmia) and I was 20 yrs. old. The Dr's did not know about the drug interaction issues and they took the medication off the market several months later after my issue. So I was on a trial of different beta blockers and they decided to err on the cautious side and put the defib in because I was young and they did not know why a healthy 20 yr. old had a cardiac arrest plus I had Long QT syndrome which is the leading cause of sudden death in young people. Long QT is either congenital (born with it) or acquired (medication caused). Those factors led me to have the defibrillator put in. I have had it for 15 years and only used it once and it was for AV node re-entry 2 years ago. My initial EP doc said that maybe I did not need it and that made me feel bad only because I have had 2 malfunctions with that thing, a simple replacement surgery that was bothched that left me on a ventilator and I am more scared of it( the defib.) than the PVC's.
I cannot remember the count of PVC's when I had my last holter about 4 years ago. The bigeminy I get seems like my normal rhythm and it seems to calm overnight but it is chronic. Like I stated earlier I feel strange when I have the normal rhythm because I am used to the bigeminy bit.
I don't have any other suggestions to provide abot not thinking about them. Personally, I take the xanax when I am anxious and I clean or do things to keep my mind busy. I call and talk to friends or family and sometimes when the PVC's are funny I go up and down the stairs and it makes it stop. I never tried the vagus moves. Maybe some books about anxiety will help. I have a book called Don't panic by Wilson and From panic to Power by Lucinda Basset. I have some affirmations I tell myself like what my cardiologist said and reassurance wuotes to help me through stressful times and yoga.
I can't believe you had Toursades. That is very rare. I've only seen one case on my unit and it was a much older person. I am so sorry to hear about your troubles. They make mine seem small.
As for the question about how many. I'll let you know what they say after they read my holter (on a good day). On a bad day, I've easily had 35 a minute (bigeminy). I don't think there is any way to stop feeling them. Keep yourself busy and try not to fear them. They are a NUISANCE, aren't they? I'll tell you someone could really get rich if they figured this one out. The worst part for me is that when I start getting them a lot, I get too tired and don't want to do anything. That includes all the fun stuff I used to do. I realize it is the fatigue that is taking away my life. I also know that this fatigue may very well be from the anxiety. I'm trying different things and if anything works, I'll be sure to let you all know.
Today I will go back on my GERD meds to see if that makes a difference...ya know, vagus nerve and all.
You mentioned GERD. I have a lot of heartburn especially at night. Also a lot of gas in the upper abd. Last night after supper I started having a lot of gurgling and so on and with it my heart started to jump around. I got very nervous a few times but managed to shake it off. Finally got real tired and fell asleep in the chair. Anyway, I have these episodes a lot. I am a nurse(retired) and my husband is a pharmacist but I avoid medication and doctors like the pleague. We know too much about the medical care in this area and some of it isn't that great. When I really watch my diet the palpitations seem to be less. But I can't skip meals or eat too much at a time. Abdomimal distress seem to play a part in all this (at least for me) but not always. Sometimes the PVCs just come out of the blue, but several times I have linked it to this. Thanks to everyone for their imput. This has been one of the most helpful threads I have read.
Wow, that is something. Like I said before, if I didn't feel them, I wouldn't care either! Today was a pretty good day. I hope it stays like this. I am still on the half dose of the atenelol (25 mg), and although my HR is in the 80's most of the time, I am getting less PVCs. Could be a coincidence, but I tried to see if I could lessen the fatigue. I almost fell asleep in a meeting yesterday. I fall asleep so darned easy. I also have esophageal "soreness" a lot. I've had it for about a year now. AND fibromyalgia. Possibly I will find more links.
For anyone who is interested:I already posted this on the forums but though people on this thread might find it helpful too.
There is a new study published recently in which they put a 24 holter monitor on approximately 625 normal people. They did echos, stress tests etc. on all of them to ensure they had a normal heart and measured the incidence of pvc's, bigeminy, couplets and vtach in this healthy population.
The article is
Cardiac Arrhythmias and Atrioventricular Block in a Cohort of Asymptomatic
Individuals without Heart Disease
In "Cardiology" 2007;108:111
So yesterday was a great day. Not too many PVCs. Was able to work, have fun, take a walk, etc. Today I have off. Today the PVCs are back with a vengeance. Did nothing different than yesterday except sleep an extra hour. Lucky me.
Hi everyone - I am so glad that I have come across this forum... especially one that is currently active. I get these annoying skipped beats as well, and they always cause me alot of anxiety. I am an already anxious person, who tends to worry alot about things, I am pretty much my own worst enemy, even at the best of times. I am 29 years old, and I am overweight. I have been experiencing these skipped beats for almost 5 years now. I have had an ultrasound of my heart a few years ago, which indicated all was well, I have a healthy heart. I have had 2 holter monitors on and both times, they didn't catch any skipped beats(I think because I don't get them very frequently). When I do get them, they come in episodes, I'll get atleast 1 or 2 everyday for a good few days, and then I could go a couple of weeks without getting any. I have been told by my primary care doctor, that I am her best cardiac patient that she has(?). So on the medical standpoint, my heart is fine, but it doesn't feel fine when I get these skips. I also worry that the symptoms I have are symptoms that nobody else has ever felt, even though when I read everyone elses symptoms on here, I find myself nodding in agreement.
I am hoping that one day these will completely disappear... I am currently considering asking my doctor to refer me to a cardiologist, just so that I can have these buggers addressed, and see if there is any particular reason that I am getting these. Most days I am fine, stress and worry free, but as soon as I get a skipped beat, my anxiety level goes way up, and I start thinking the worst. I know that my doctor has told me that I am fine, and if I started experiencing chest pain, trouble breathing, or dizziness, then to get to a doctor, but I have never experienced any of that... there have been a few times, when I got woozy after one, and I also get a hot flush with them as well, does anybody else get this? I also feel a surge go through my body, almost like a rush or something, right after my heart skips.
I am so glad to have found all you people, and I will certainly be keeping up to date with whats going on here. Thank you for reading my post.
I have followed this forum since its inception, made a few posts and I am always amazed at the number of responses pvc posts elicit. The EP doctor who perfects an ablation technique for this will be one very rich man.
I have suffered from pvc's & nsvt for several years. I have had 3000 a day and 0 per day. Bigeminy, trigeminy, unifocal, multi focal, junction beats, doubles, triples, I have become a pvc expert as I feel each and every strange beat so I can sympathize with all who suffer from this malady.
I have had all the tests, MRI, ct angiogram, thallium stress, signal average ekg, echo stress, cath and ultimately an ablation with a report of success.
Not! I am still a sufferer. I have tried beta blockers, supplements, omacor etc.
The good thing is it has not killed me although as you all know and understand it becomes hard to concentrate with all the flip flops going on. My comment for the doctors who are quick to label us as anxious would be to remember that for some it is the arrhythmias causing the anxiety and not the other way around!
Down the road for me is another ablation or device implantation, I try not to think about it. I wish I had some sage advice for you all but I do not. Try to stay calm in the face of the storm, stay away from alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and all the other stuff we hear about all the time. I wish you all a pvc free day, for me they are rare but when I have one I truely enjoy life as a normal person.
Dear itsmegirl, Sorry to hear you are worried about your PVC's. I know they are really unpleasant and can be terrifying. I have had thousands per day, feeling each one but thankfully am only having a few dozen per day at the moment, which is well within the normal range and has improved my Quality of life dramatically. You say you get at least 1 or 2 per day...this is less than an average member of the population. So I suppose the answer to your question as to 'whether there is any partuclar reason that you get these' is that you are human and this is what the human heart does. I think the rush you feel going through your body is probably a surge of adrenalin. I'm not sure of the adrenalin is from the fright/shock or whether it is a physiological thing. I get this too. You'd think I'd be used to it by now after thousands of them for months. Still each one is make slightl anxious and annoyed but only for a split second. I just remind myself of the facts that most of the people around me (friends, family work colleagues) have them and that some of these people wil have more than me but just not notice it.....this helps to prevent any ongoing anxiety for me. Otherwise it can take over your life.
All I can say is WOW! I came across this forum today while doing a search for treatments used to prevent hormone related PVCs. I am a surgical tech and it amazes me to see the number of people suffering with these episodes. Mine started about five and a half years ago with my not wanting to start a period on vacation so I started another pack of birth control pills instead of taking the typical week off. I did this on my GYN's advice. My heart went nuts! I was in to see my general doc and was referred to a cardiologist. They ran the gammut of tests on my heart; EKG, echo, you name it, but no stress test. He told me that they were benign and that my heart is healthy and that most everyone has these PVCs but most people do not feel them. I've spent years worring and looking for help. I noticed during my first pregnancy that they were worse and during my second pregnancy with twins they were almost unbearable. I would have horrible chest pain with them. I gave birth to my twins in December of 2006 and since then the PVCs have returned to just a few a day with a few more during the week to ten days before my period. I am a semi-intelligent person and it certainly doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the mine seem to be mostly hormone related. I have done some research on them and I had wondered if the rise in the progesterone and decline in estrogen before a period could be "controlled" with Rx hormones. Although it seems that at least one of you have tried that and found no relief. It is terrible that there are so many people out there suffering with these things but it was so reassuring to know that I'm not the only one and I'm not crazy or just a plain hypochondriac. I almost feel silly now having worried so much when I read how many some of you are having. Mine are few in comparison. Thanks to all of you and I hope we can all find some help someday.
hi deedle1976 - thank you very much for your reply, I appeciate your comforting advice. I guess I should be glad I don't get thousands of these a day, however, my heart goes out to you and others that do. I don't know if I could live with having these more frequently then I do. I would definitely feel like admitting myself to the hospital for sure. Sometimes when I just get 1 or 2 a day, that makes me very anxious... and I always think "this is it, I'm going to have a heart attack or my heart is going to stop".... it's crazy. I wish there was a way to fix these things... anyways, thanks again for your reply. Take care, and have a great evening.
Mine also came on during pregnancy. I've always had a few here and there, mostly related to caffiene and alcohol, since I was a teenager and this never bothered me. When I reached the third trimester of pregnancy my heart suddenly went crazy. I weas admitted to hospital for 5 days as I had diffuse ECG changes aswell as the PVCs so they were concerned about peripartum cardiomyopathy. Luckily all my tests came back fine. The holter showed 1786 PVCs in 24 hours. Unfortunately I was very symptomatic as I don't just feel a pause then a strong afterbeat like many people do. In fact the afterbeat isn't a problem at all for me. The problem is the flipflopping in my chest and throat at the time of the ectopic. I literally could not ignore these so spent the whole pregnancy counting the days until I'd get rid of them. Unfortunately they didn't decrease after pregnancy as much as I'd hoped for. They went down to 200 to 500 per day with runs of bigeminy (which I hadn't had in pregnancy) and alot of variation from day to day. I'm now four months postpartum and have just started a beta blocker called acebutolol 5 days ago. I tried propranolol before this and it did nothing, in fact it seemed to make them slightly worse. Anyway since being on acebutolol (very low dose) I have had only about 6 to 30 PVC's per day. I still feel them strongly but it's ok now as most people get more than this. Hopefully it's the drug and I'm not just having a very good week.
I have decided that I will not embark on a second pregnancy as I couldn't deal with this again.
you know, that was one of the things that concerns me so much about having these heart skips, is getting pregnant, and wondering what would happen to these skips. I am wanting to have a baby in the future, in the next year or 2 anyways - do these heart skips get alot worse then? and what kind of danger would I be putting myself and an unborn baby in. I feel kind of cheated out of the things that I want in my life, like having children, and enjoying lots of things, because I am so terrified of having a heartskip and I'm always checking my pulse rate after I get one. Tonight I had one after dinner, and it was a bit different then the usual ones, because I didn't feel a big thump, I just felt like a sinking (as usual) but it was a big sink, and then my heart skipped. It makes me so frightened, and I can't seem to get a grip on them. Does anyone else feel like their doctors haven't done enough testing at all? I mean, my last holter monitor came back good, nothing wrong at all, does this mean that the heart skip I get are the harmless kind? I am still debating whether or not to go and see a cardiologist about all of this.... I just don't know what to do, I just want these to stop ruining my life.
How do you all cope with these? What are your strategies, how do you just ignore them, and what do you do when you get one? Do you stop and check your pulse?
I can honestly say that even though my PVCs were substantially worse during my pregnancy, they were apparently nothing like yours. I am almost seven months post-partum and mine have decreased to just a few a day. I wish I could give you some encouraging news like just give them a few more months and they will get better after your hormones return back to their "normal" state, but everyone is so different that I can't say for sure what happend with me would happen with anyone else. I know your frustration and I wish there was some wonderful advice I could give you. Hang in there.
I have been where you are. During my first pregnancy mine were so much worse than normal. My husband and I weren't planning on my second pregnancy and I was so concerned when I first learned I was pregnant. Carrying twins made the PVCs almost debilitating. My heart would "kick" after the skipped beats and I would almost feel that I would go to my knees. The PVCs were accompanied by pain that would shoot through the center of my chest. My GYN had a very similar thing happen and she was very reassuring. My GYN put me on "house arrest" and sent me to the hospital every week for NSTs and monitoring from 21 weeks until my guys came. I had ultrasounds every week as well. My boys came five weeks early but they are so healthy. They are not quite seven months old now and they are both right at 20 pounds. I wouldn't trade my pregnancy or my boys for anything. I was worried but it was all worth it. I have lived in fear and worry for so long it seems now and I quite often think about what would happen if I weren't here for my children. It's something I've had to try to push away from my thoughts. I try very hard to just enjoy life; go hiking, go boating, fly or drive to take vacations. My husband loves to go repelling and was planning on teaching me when we found out I was pregnant and I'm itching to go now that I'm "me" again. I feel that if I sit around waiting for something bad to happen, it will and then what will my life stand for? I want to play with my boys and have fun and be the kind of mom they love to spend time with and I want them to be able to respect my life. I know how hard it is to ignore your heart seemingly declaring mutiny on your body, but I just couldn't let myself be consumed anymore. If you do get pregnant in the future, be aware that your PVCs may get worse, you may be terrified. But, so far I haven't come across anyone that has not made it through a pregnancy because of these nor have I found anyone who had an unhealthy child because of them. I am certain that you are a wonderful person with so much to offer but only you can make the decision if being pregnant and having children is the right decision for you. I can tell you that is has certainly been worth it for me. I can also tell you that I had a tubal during my C-section. I am 34 with three beautiful boys, I do not need to be pregnant again, the twins put a huge strain on my whole body, heart included. But once again, I wouldn't change the past; my boys are worth it.
I hope everyone here can find some sort of peace. I know how very hard it is to ignore this problem. It is something that I deal with daily and taking back your life can be hard, but it can be done. Good luck and my thoughts are with everyone here.
Well, my echo came back normal and I am sure my holter will show several PVC's but nothing else (it was a good day, of course.) So I am on my own. I had them so bad at work yesterday that I though I would keep over in the morning. I thought to myself, "Good, let them make me faint, then they'll have to do something." But I didn't. I got through my day and even started to feel like I was better off at work. Today hasn't been too bad. I really don't think they will kill me. I am afraid they WILL make me pass out or lose my breath and be EMBARASSED! I think most of us are afraid of that. Oh well, so what? I will try this approach. I know I've had them all my life. The last few years have been pretty good and I remember thinking to myself that I knew they would come back one day and when they did, I would have to get used to them all over again. I am starting to.
I have heard more people have better luck on acebutolol than most other beta blockers. Anyone care to comment?
It was the following article that made me ask for acebutolol. They found that most people had a 70% reduction in PVC's. There are a few other like this looking at the numebr of PVCs and all reported a similar decline with acebutolol in most patients. However it works either really well (majority of people) or not at all.
I wish I'd asked for it sooner. I'm only taking 200 mgs per day.
Comparison of acebutolol and propranolol therapy for ventricular arrhythmias
EV Platia, R Berdoff, G Stone, and PR Reid
The effects of acebutolol, a new investigational cardioselective beta blocker, and propranolol on ventricular arrhythmias were compared in 14 patients with more than 30 premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) per hour. Each patient served as their own control, receiving both drugs and placebo in random sequence and in double-blind fashion, with an intervening one-week, drug-free period. Each drug was given for a two-month period, the maximum acebutolol dosage reaching 600 mg tid and the maximum propranolol dosage 80 mg tid. Seventy-two-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring assessed arrhythmia frequency for each study period. Mean PVC counts did not significantly differ during the two control periods. Acebutolol decreased mean PVC count by 65% (P less than .02), with eight patients exhibiting a 70% or greater decrease. Only three patients exhibited a similar decline with propranolol. The incidence of PVCs was not significantly decreased by propranolol. Acebutolol reduced the number of couplets by 70% (P less than .04), whereas propranolol did not significantly affect couplets. At the dosage of 600 mg tid, acebutolol was well tolerated, effectively suppressed total PVCs and couplets, and appeared to be more effective than propranolol administered at 80 mg tid.
I'm 38 and I have lived with PVC or other irregular beats for 18 years. There have been times when was in good physical condition that I wouldn't have them for months. Other times I would have them many times a day. At times I have them regularly every few seconds for hours at a time.
Sometimes they are not painful. I just feel my heart mis-beating. I can feel it every time. Sometimes it feels like a strong man is punching me from inside my chest and it is very painful, a feeling like bending your fingernail backwards only several times worse. Often a chill or tingling runs down my arms immediately afterward. Of all the things in the world I've experienced, I hate these the most.
I am not a doctor, but based on my experience, this is what I believe:
1. Irregular beats are related to my allergies (mold, trees, grass). Allergies cause histamine, histamine causes all kinds of terrible things to happen in my body: extreme tiredness, muscle tension, constipation, PVCs. The relationships between these may be direct or indirect. I don't know.
2. Irregular beats are related to sleep. Sleep deprivation causes them to happen more often.
3. They are related to the condition of my digestive system (directly or indirectly). PVCs are more likely when I have stomach pain because of something I've eaten. Certain foods for me have triggered them: beef, chocolate. Of course caffeine and sugar, which I rarely use, can trigger them.
4. I think taking Carlson's chelated magnesium (no other type did help) helps, but it is hard to be sure.
5. Regular exercise helps.
6. I don't believe PVCs are necessarily caused by the heart itself. My heart is normal. I believe there is some other condition in the body which results in your body or your brain sending confusing or overloading signals to your heart, like adrenaline or possibly the presence of histamine. I know that in an anaphylactic allergic (shock) reaction, your heart is effected.
7. The PVCs cause stress, anxiety and depression. It may work the other way also, but PVCs are a cause of these things. If I didn't have PVCs or oppressive allergies, I wouldn't have anxiety or depression.
8. Doctors don't know what to do about it. The research that might find the answers is not being done.
9. Jesus is often my only comfort. Some of you may not believe in God. But, I'm going to be dead some day and I might as well reach for whatever comfort I can find, whether the existence of God is provable or not. It helps me to believe. Although the Pope says I'm not a real Christian because I'm not Catholic. What a compassionate and understand man he is to those of us that can't accept in good conscience every one of the endless rules, regulations and decrees the Church has added to Christ's teachings.
My heart and my love are with every one of you who suffer with irregular heart beats every day. I know how you feel. I pray that you find comfort and peace.
I was just diagnosed with PVCs in the emergency room yesterday. I was taking my pulse and discovered my heart was skipping beats. I'm skipping a couple of beats every three or four minutes. Does this continue for the rest of my life -- the PVCs?I have had a-fib before because of low potassium/magnesuim levels, but we have that all sorted out. Now this! I am a nervous wreck! My heart doctor will see me in August (obviously not terribly concerned like me); my regular doctor -- today, but that doesn't help my anxiety and I'm nervous anyway. It reallly helps reading what all of you have to say. I'd just like to be able to stop the feeling that at any minute my heart is just going to stop altogther!
When I first got PVC's over 30 years ago, I did think my heart would stop one day. Well, it is 30 years later and I have had some horrible sensations with them, but my heart keeps on beating.
Also, to the person who was kind enough to post his thoughts two threads back ( forgot the name, sorry), I think you have hit a lot of the causes on the head. I don't even care anymore what causes them. I don't want to feel them. I can't have an alcoholic drink anymore because it causes them, I can't take cold medications nor allergies meds, because they cause them. I will tolerate almost anything else. What can we do? Wait until someone really wants to get rich and FINDS US SOME RELIEF!
Until then, I take my good days and run with them. I am at least having a few good ones now and then. My job is going much better, too. I am fairly happy again.
I am curious about this statement that you made...
"because I am one of the lucky ones that do not get woken up by them, and can escape.
For about a year now, I am awaken by my heart pounding, racing and like I need to catch my breath. What do you know about symptons of people being woken up by them and is there anyone in here that experiences that. What is it like? It doesn't happen every night or even every week but when it does happen, I panic and am afraid to try and go back to sleep, sometimes staying up till I'm so exhausted I have no choice but sleep. I have had PAC's for about 13 years but I never knew that they could cause a person to suddenly wake from sleep like that until I started experiencing it. I still question if this is what it is or if there is something else going on.
Thanks in advance to anyone who can give me some info on this.
Hello. I'm new to this forum, but wanted to say how interested I am to read the experiences of others, and how much I appreciate all the effort that's gone into this thread.
I'm interested to know how symptoms have progressed for others over time, and also any ideas others have found to reduce symptoms.
I first experienced PVC in my twenties after long strenuous bike rides. They were isolated events, but extremely frightening... and almost always after winding down for the day, mostly after dinner. I went to a family practice doctor and got diagnosis of benign Wenckebach AV block. I was told not to worry about it. Then in mid thirties I started getting episodes that would last for 20-30min at a time. Very scary. 24hr holter study from a doctor I know and trust shows multiple PVCs, again benign. More recently, within the last 2-3yrs I've gotten these events almost continually throughout the day, sometimes to the point of causing headache from all the erratic pounding. Repeat holter again shows many PVC events, but again not to worry. Today I am forty and get these all day, every day. Symptoms seem to wax and wane as the months go by, but never really go away. Mostly just constant fluttering feelings, accentuated by the big ones every hour or so. I am the engineering type, so I've done nearly everything one could imagine to understand what triggers this. I've even read EKG books, and have learned a few things about how the heart works. But I have found no silver bullet. I'm not overly anxious about it, just concerned about the long term trajectory of this as I get older.
Here are some of my observations: (1) caffeine and stress certainly do not help, but do not cure either, at least not in the short term (2) after meals is usually the worst time (3) symptoms somewhat depend on how I am positioned (4) green tea and coffee (both caf/decaf) are a definite problem for me (5) cal/mag supplements don't seem to help, but believe it or not, following mag citrate prep for colonoscopy (sorry!) I had greatly reduced frequency of PVC that day and next, I know magnesium may play a role (6) exercise seems to lessen symptoms, but maybe just makes me feel less aware (7) atenolol helps push them into the background a bit, but is no sure fix.
Anyway, best luck to all. And again, reading your posts makes me that much more comfortable to know I have plenty of company. Very much looking forward to your response, especially some pointers to reduce symptoms, hopefully drug free. And how others tend to progress over the years, either for better or worse. Thanks!
First, PennyGirl, there are people that get woken up by PVC's. I don't. As for getting woken up by racing heart? Well, that is another story. I don't know ANYONE who has never had that experience. Even my hubby, who is only 35 and extremely healthy, does that once in a while. I don't know what sets that off. Sometimes it seems like a nightmare, but I'd be willing to bet the racing heart CAUSES the nightmare. Usually, this does not bother me, as I know it will settle down and I just try to go back to sleep.
AnthonEE, you seem just like me. Wanting an answer that the medical profession just cannot give. Telling us the things are benign and not to worry doesn't do a whole lot of good. They feel terrible. I am a person who is no stranger to pain. I've had 9 surgeries and I have tons of those painful, NON-TERMINAL (so don't worry) problems. I have worked all my life, and have rarely missed work. I have a college degree, and rarely missed that, so I do NOT want to be patrinized. Unfortunately, that is all they have to give us. Maybe one day, someone will think of something. It is the way they make me feel. Nauseous, tired....I just don't feel like doing anything when they are going crazy. I'm all out of fear. I just get tired of them. When I have good days, I feel like my old self and do as much as I can.
I agree about caffeine, etc. I gave up caffeine, chocolate, smoking, and every other thing they have told me. I took every supplement, and went on an exercise program. Nothing really changed. I truly believe if I lose some weight they will lessen. I recently gained about 10 pounds and my body does NOT like it. Well, I see an "aging healthy" doc on Tuesday. Maybe HE has something. I'll let you guys know.
I cannot believe the number of people who go through what I do and this is only a small sampling. I believe mine started with the use of IVF medications a couple of years ago. If that didn't cause it, that certainly triggered a new and elevated phase of palpitations in my life. It's been horrible and like most of you, I went to the doctor, explained my flutters and chest pain and upper back pain and coughing and sense of doom and extreme fatigue and was put through the typical tests of echo and holter. Holter came back with one episode of SVT which I could have predicted because as one poster so aptly put it, holters are like heart medication; Once you wear one, you seem to feel better! Well, at the time of my testing, I was getting them mostly around my cycle time which of course was not at the time of testing, but now...I get them all month long. Yes, it's worse during and just before the cycle but they are present all month long. I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure although still having cycles which means, I am guessing, peri-menopause? If anyone has information on what hormone causes the palps or lack of something? I always imagined it was too much of something...not thinking it could be a lack of it. Anyway, I now have the anxiety and do have to take xanax. Just a half, once in a while. Now my struggle is; did the doctor see what's really going on in there or because the holter was done during a calm time, did he not really see and what I have and could it still be a dangerous kind? Ugh! Those who know me think I should get a re-check because it's true, the doctor didn't get a clear idea of what I'm going through. I honestly hate doctors (no offense!) and have a fear of going but the fear of dropping dead is a little bigger. lol Does anyone else agonize over what I do? I would love to hear from you. By the way, if someone does close this thread, I will start a palpitations group over at yahoo groups entitled, "Heart Palpitations Forum" that way we can lean on each other rather than the just the xanax! Ciao for now....
Heart_and_soul, if it makes you feel any better I have these PVCs all throughout the day, on most days. Sometimes I even get them in the early AM before I'm even out of bed. Of course it's unsettling, and it can surely cause any reasonable person to have anxiety. So I had a second holter done for the exact same concerns you have, and it showed the same PVCs, just a bit of a higher count with occasional bigeminy and trigeminy. Again, all benign. Of course we are all different, with different symptoms and underlying causes perhaps. But at least in my case, my mind is at ease about this for two reasons (1) there doesn't appear to be anything I can do to change it other than live a clean life and eat well, exercise, all that... and (2) My girlfriend is an RN/NP working in a cardiology unit at a top cardiology hospital. If she doesn't love me I don't know who does. She has looked through my reports too and she is absolutely certain that I will be fine. So I don't know if that helps you, but at least you can rest easy knowing there are many other people like you that get scared about this, but as far as --anybody-- knows it is in fact benign.
One thing is for sure: BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE XANAX. Addiction to that, however minor or unintended, can be absolutely **HORRIFYING**. Never mind about the PVCs, go look at http://www.benzo.org.uk and read the Ashton report. Talk about it to your doctor and do as much independent research as you can about pros and cons of benzodiazapines, and only then make a fully informed decision about what is best for you and the anxiety that is understandably caused by the PVCs. Hopefully you can take comfort in the experiences of others as posted here (and maybe an online support group is just the thing). Like I said, I have PVCs all the time, and I'm otherwise completely fine (just wondering if they will ever go away, or maybe even get worse over time??). But no xanax required :) Best of luck to you!
Thank you for your response. I am hoping to hear from others here who actually feel as I do about these crazy palpitations and how they can ruin a day or worse, and how they deal with it, etc. I am very well aware of the possibility of addiction but still having 24 pills left from my 30 count bottle that was filled a year ago, in July of 2006, I am pretty sure that isn't happening at this point. Unfortunately, there are times when I do need it and I am very grateful for it. I don't take anything without researching the living daylights out of it first. :) I am glad you seem to have a good handle on your condition. It is more than comforting to know there are people out there (still alive) and going through what I am. Take care...
I got to read my holter monitor report. They said that during the time when I marked I was having pvcs (I ony bothered doing this once or twice because it was a "good" day), they said that I was having NO pvcs, nor pacs at the time....that I was in NSR. HAHAHAHAH Like I'm an imbecile. Like after 30 years with these, I am clueless. Maybe I missed the time a bit, but shouldn't they have looked at the REST of the 24 hours? I am SURE they would have found a little something interesting.
I'm so disgusted. I am seeing an "age well" doc right now and hoping once he gets my hormones straightened out, these palps will stop.
Yes, I know they can ruin a day. I'm not afraid of them, per se, anymore. But I feel so funny all the time now. It just doesn't feel right. I do fear that I will have bad days where they will come all day and I will feel disgusting, but that is happening mostly all the time now, anyway. I am trying to lead a normal life and the people I work with don't even know I am standing there, skipping away, but I am not really living. It is not fear of dying, trust me. It is fear that I have to feel exhausted and sometimes nauseous forever. Maybe they will never go away again. Sorry, but it is so frustrating. I am trying to lose about 15 pounds to see if that works. I'll let you know.
I don't usually post to these sites, but this thread is very good! Bill has hit the nail on the head. I have HORRIBLE allergies. I get shots, take 4 medications, etc. I have been telling my doctor for years that I think my PVC's are related to allergies. When I feel bad from allergy related symptoms, I get PVC's.
I also have the same problem with my stomach. If my stomach feels empty I get PVC's. If I eat too much or the wrong thing I get them.
I have had them for about 20 years. They have gotten worst as I grow older. My doctor had me on BP medication and beta blockers which worked for about 1 year. I went on a low carb diet and they came back and are still going strong even though I stopped the diet.
I have had every test known to man, monitors, etc. Everything is normal. My PVC's also get better with exercise.
My doctor has given me relief and made them easier to live with. Especially keeping me out of the ER!
One thing I would like to see is maybe a forum or yahoogroup that will focus on things that help. Many people have tried different things that helps. I think we are going to have focus on what makes us feel better and all our little tricks to make them go away.
One thing I do know... Doctors are not spending any time working on it. It is very low priority for them!
A very fascinating read. I have far less PVCs than many here. I am in the uk and aged 69. I first had Missed Beats occur following a cold affecting the chest, which took 5 weeks to clear. The MBs began at the end and over the next 2 years there were a number of days with MBs, 39 in my diary. The comment by Bill Chatfield about digestion is born out here as I found that at that time 2000/2001 after a day out on the local hills if I ate fish and chips then on 5 days out of 11 I had MBs for 1 to 3 days following. I am now taking the beta blocker, atenolol, and this no longer happens. I have also had at least 4 long sessions of tachycardio over the last 8 years. I also think like Bill that it is not the heart itself which is the cause. I have wondered if it is inflamation of the pipes around the gullet or bronchia or perhaps scarring. I also agree with AnthonEE and TomPi that food seems to cause problems but I find that drinking tea after a meal often calms the heart again, possibly by easing upper wind. I have often noticed that upper wind seems to be implicated and burping reduces the frequency. Usually exercise makes MBs stop although this year has been an exception in that I had non stop missed beats all day when out working in the countryside on one day and starting when in the garden on another.
Over the years the most likely time to start having MBs is when sitting calmly especially if leaning forward although they may not be quite so frequent then. The most puzzling thing is the constant variation in frequency. In the 7th year from the start I only had about 13 days of MBs but at the end of the year just before christmas I ate a mince pie late in the evening and had double beats start which happened every day for a while in the evening and increased until I seemed to get into an anxiety state. I blamed the winter blues due to the very dark days we were having but it took months to feel normal again. By the time I saw the hospital consultant there was no problem. Although all tests done so far have missed any events I have recordings made myself using an electronic device I made over 30 years ago to detect brain waves. It enabled me to take the electrical signal and convert it to a sound recording which I could display in the computer. I have printed out both the tachycardio, 148bpm, and PVCs (missed beats) appearing as double pulses with a gap following.
I am surprized to note that on these posts no one seems to refer to using atenolol at the dose that I need which is 50+50 mgs. My doctor wanted to reduce my BP and I wanted to reduce the MBs but while adjusting to the dose I had worse symptoms. Initially when on 25mg after 3 weeks I started having MBs the moment I layed down at night. On 50mg after 3 weeks I had MBs on waking each morning until the tachycardio which I recorded to take to the surgery after the weekend. Since then I have used 50+50mg. I do not seem to get so much of the horrible sinking feeling using atenolol. After a long tachycardio of several hours, the pulse seems to calm completely. Since using the higher dose the number of MB days has been 2003 = 31days, 2004 = 8days, 2005 =7days, 2006 = 13days, 2007(6months) = 75days July = calm(almost). Also 4 longish tachycardio events, usually in bed. They always continue until after I get up but do not stop if I stay up late.
Hoping this gives some ideas to those thinking what to try next.
I agree with many above comments that suggest PVCs are not some condition of an abnormal heart. I'd like to suggest or propose that they are more related to general irritability of the heart muscle, and see what people think. If the muscle is irritable then it seems it would be more likely to spasm and/or depolarize prematurely. Supposing this is correct, then the question would be what causes the muscle tissue to become irritable (and how to eliminate or reduce those things)? Triggers that people have mentioned above include allergies, certain foods, stress, caffeine, menstrual cycles, illness, infection, etc.
I have observed that several of these things, especially in combination, can greatly increase PVCs for me. For example, after I remove stress and caffeine, the PVCs often settle down --but it takes time-- as if the irritability must gradually go away over a period of several days or weeks (certainly not hours). Maybe this is why it is so difficult to pinpoint direct cause and effect? The results of eating chocolate, having stress, or whatever, are averaged or smeared out over time. So perhaps it is hard to identify exact cause for this reason, and it's too easy to pick out other things (like what you ate that afternoon) that might not be directly related. And certainly everybody has different triggers, with certain common things like stress or caffeine.
So at least for me, this is how I have started to think about it. Very interested to hear what others might think. Is this plausible? If so does it offer any help toward some solution or helpful understanding? I'd really like to figure this out with help from others, maybe symptoms could be reduced. Medical community only offers beta blocker, but no real understanding about this problem that so many people suffer with.
For me the triggers do seem to be stress, coffee (caf/decaf), certain teas, adrenaline. I do notice more PVCs in the spring allergy season to bill_chatfield's comments, but I've never suffered from other allergy symptoms that I know of(?). And as I mentioned, backing off those triggers does seem to help but only after several weeks of saint-like behavior. Even then it's not a definite.
Thought you guys might be interested in this study of the effects of caffeine, alcohol, smoking and excercise on PVCs. (Published in the journal 'circulation' in 1979).
They found that total abstinence from caffeine, smoking, reduction of alcohol and engaging in a physical reconditioning program for 6 weeks had no significant effect on the number of PVCs.
Ventricular premature contractions: a randomized non-drug intervention trial in normal men.
The influence of a 6-week intervention on factors thought to be related to ectopic cardiac rhythms was tested in normal men with frequent ventricular premature contractions (VPCs), using a randomized, controlled and partial crossover design. The VPC intervention trial experimental regimen included total abstinence from caffeine and smoking, reduction of alcohol intake, and a physical conditioning program. Effects were studied in detail among 81 healthy men with persistent VPCs. VPCs were measured during standard states of rest, dynamic and isometric exercise and other stresses, and 24-hour ambulatory monitoring. Adherence to the treatment was excellent. The experimental group achieved more than 80% of activities asked of them, and little "contamination" occurred in the control group. VPCs were analyzed according to VPC/min, VPC/man and VPC/total number of heart beats. Moderate changes in VPC rates occurred in both experimental and control groups but no significant group differences were found at rest or during any induction test. This 6-week, multiple-factor "hygienic" intervention program had no significant influence on the frequency or occurrence of VPCs in apparently normal men with persistent and frequent VPCs.
I am a 25 year old female that was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in January of this year. There is nothing "normal" about the way I feel anymore and my constant PVC's started in March. I've had most of the tests you all have had (Echo, EKG, Holter...) Of course, mine are also benign PVC's, but like most of you part of me wishes there was something really wrong so we could try to fix it (not mask it.) I know how crazy that sounds, but everytime I have a skipped beat my chest hurts and my stomach drops like I'm on the highest roller coaster ever built. It is a disgusting feeling and impossible to ignore. For a while, it was all I could think about. I was just waiting for my heart to give out. I guess I'm as used to them now as a person can be. I am noticing now that they worsen about 10 days before my period and stay bad for about 10 days after. So, if you do the math I get about 2-3 days a month where they are not so constant--woohoo!
I don't really have anything new to add, I just wanted to throw the thyroid problem out there for anyone else going through this and to let you all know that there is yet another person out there you can relate to. PVC's suck, but life is good. I guess the best we can do at this point is to take the best care possible of ourselves and trust that God's got this under control, just like everything else in this crazy world. Rest peacefully tonight and just know that you will wake up tomorrow:)
The study mentioned by deedle1976 is very interesting and discouraging at the same time. I wonder if there are more studies like this, possibly more recent. I think I can get access to PubMed papers online so I'll try to do some research and see what I can find. If I do find something interesting I will post it here. I very much respect the results cited by a well run clinical study. But I do have to say there are several things I am absolutely certain of, all studies aside. Stress increases PVC frequency and intensity for me, and the effects seem to gradually accumulate and dissipate as the stressful situation changes. Several years ago I changed jobs and it was a very stressful experience. I had the worst PVCs ever during those months, so bad I actually got headaches and could feel them throbbing with each PVC. Coffee also has a real influence on me as well. But the onset of PVC when I have lots of coffee is not so gradual, it happens that day. Other than those things which are definite contributors, everything else is questionable.
Crazyheart25, about the thyroid, I thought something similar might have been a problem for me too and I actually went to an endocrinologist last year. I had a panel of tests done that probably funded the lab for an entire month. So the results came up completely normal across the board. Of course it makes me very relieved to have these result. But it gave me no information about the PVCs.
P.S. I also wanted to say I enjoyed reading all the posts on here and they gave me some comfort & support I longed for!!!
Also, does anyone else w/ PVCs suffer from heartburn & extreme fatigue after you have a lot of pvcs in a day??? My doc never mentioned anything about being tired w/ them, but I am. Is that a bad sign?? I have never had heartburn before, ever! So to get this the same week as the PVCs has made me wonder what is up!? I hate the exhaustion... I hope that gets better. I am too young for this. God bless you all:)
I am a 35 y/o mother of two little boys.... I've been having PVCs for about 2 wks now. I woke up one morning 2 wks ago & there they were. I went to my doctor & he said he could see nothing wrong w/ me so he had me go get the holter monitor. They said I was having palps, but that they were benign and they called them PVCs. I went back today for an EKG & Thyroid test. Both were normal and I am "said" to be fine. My hubby thinks these are brought on by stress as we have a very stressful life and that if I would slow down a bit I might be able to control them. Also, I had not slept well for months and had not drank water like I normally did. I am a health nut, but I have been taking care of an ill family member for years now, and this has taken it's toll on me. So, anyways, I am wondering how much of PVCs are in the "mind"??? I probably have about 25 or more a day and I notice they are when I am more active and always when I eat... that one is strange. I am gonna try & keep my stress to a minimal.
Are there any wholistic remedies for PVCs????? Would love to hear any/all comments on that. Thanks!
I have been getting PVCs off and on for almost 20 years now, but only during the last 4-5 years have they been enough to really bother me. To answer your question about fatigue, I do not generally get any feeling of fatigue or of being tired as a result. But when I'm getting a series of palpitations I do feel a little drained at that very moment I suppose. I think light headed is maybe too strong a description, but sort of gives the idea. Almost as if the cardiac output is not as efficient during these times. But I do not get any heart burn or symptoms of indigestion. Never have. Very interesting you mention the connection with eating. I almost always get these PVCs after I've eaten, but sometimes in the morning before getting out of bed. There is a very strange connection between PVCs and eating (for me). Other contributors to this forum have also mentioned a connection. And stress and coffee as I've mentioned before. I've heard people also suggest spasms of the esophagus that may feel like heart palpitations. I guess some people do get that, especially after eating. But at least in my case they are not from that, they are PVCs of the heart. The EKG will determine.
I have not really heard of a holistic approach to managing these, but would be very interested if you came across something. I don't think they are completely in the mind because there are many PVC events all through the night (when my conscious mind is not active) and they show up on my holter reports. It is something very physical, like how the heart (ventricular) muscle can occasionally depolarize in a funny or premature way on certain beats. As if the heart muscle is irritable, or if there are some overly excitable areas of the ventricular muscle that fire off before their time, and the rest of the surrounding heart muscle will then depolarize in response to this rogue "command". It is good in the sense that your heart muscle is working (depolarizing) just as it should, only the various parts have gotten their signal to "beat" in a way that is unusual and a little out of order. So what you feel is this heartbeat that has not progressed at the right time or in the usual orderly way. The fact that the ventricles can and will eventually depolarize on their own without the usual command from the atrial sinus node can be a life saving mechanism in the heart. It's a really beautiful and amazing thing. But it seems like this mechanism can get out of hand, or alternate pathways or blocks can develop to alter the normal propagation of the heart beat. In the case of PVCs this is said to be benign. Anyway, I believe this is all very physical and not only in the mind.
What may be in the mind is whether we're tuned in to it, or anxious about the effects that we feel from it. Plus stress and the mind/body response to it does release lots of cortisol, adrenaline, and other things that may cause the heart to become more apt to behave this way. That's just my layperson theory. But if stress is a trigger, which it seems to be in my case, then I'd say in that sense it is definitely in the mind. Stress can do tremendously bad things to our bodies and overall well being. It can also save our lives.
So with the possible connection to stress, maybe you are very correct in looking for a more holistic approach to managing this. I'm very interested in this idea too and hope to hear back from you. Best wishes.
I too am in my 30s and I have a lot of palpitations in a day. I don't know how they are related to eating with me but I do notice they are definitely related to my cycle. It may help you to keep a chart for a couple of months and see if they increase at certain times in your cycle. I am in the process of doing that myself. I don't know of any holistic approaches to dealing with these awful things but I am always on the look-out and will share anything I find out...with the rest of this thread too. If the palpitations are showing up on the holter monitor, they are not in your mind. Find whatever it takes to help yourself relax a bit more. Hopefully, these things will go away as quickly as they came on for you. Good luck!
Please don't be offended because that's not my intention. Why are you torturing yourselves? I understand your anxiety but using stethoscopes and wanting personal holter or event monitors to monitor your heart arrhythmias would only add to your suffering. This is becoming your whole world and I can't imagine the life's you are enduring. How are using these instruments going to help you, except make you more obsessive in tracking every single PVC etc. Get rid of them and start treatment for anxiety, this will truly help you, I know, because I've been through it.
I've had them for 40 years. Still breathing, still biking and still doing tricks. But they are hard to ignore and get me down occasionally. Just gotta keep keeping on! Yeah, 'benign' says the cardio but it doesn't feel too benign when the pump jumps and bumps all night. You all have my sympathy but at least we're all still on the right side of the earth1
I too am a sufferer from pvcs. I was diagnosed with them about 5 months ago. My holter showed around 3,400 single ectopic beats over a 24 hr period. Amazingly, almost 70% of them came in just a 7 hours period (2PM - 9PM). I remember sitting down with my wifes stethoscope listening to my heart beats as I counted them. I was only trying to figure out what my resting beats per minute was. This is when I first heard the odd beats. I wanted to try and encourage everyone who deals with this beats. Trust your doctors and live your life. If it causes you to fear you are going to die any minute, (which you probably won't), then live your life to the fullest. What better way to live than to think that this may be your last day. Nobody is promised tomorrow.
I have all the symptoms mentioned on this forum. They started at sixteen. My dad had these also. I was going to the emergency room sometimes three times a week to have Calen (sic) injected into my vein to stop these episodes of heart running away. After my heart beat retuned to normal......whatever that is......I would pass hugh volumes of urine. On my last trip......12 years ago.....a doc in the EM asked me if I had ever taken Klonopin. I had not, but I had been on everything else. He gave me a scrip for it and I have not been back to the EM. I spend lots of time on the puter, looking for the reason for all of this. Seems we have something called Gaba receptors in our brains, that control our anxiety and heartbeats and other things. When Gaba is low or whatever we experience these episodes of our heats taking on a life of their own. Now I am not an expert by any means of the word. I have little skips and flutters now and again, but I have not had anything I could not deal with. Seems Klonopin is a benzo and it fits right into the receptor just like the gaba. Even progesterone works like gaba. My dad and I both always thought the brain was involved in some way. Anyway it gives us something to think about. numbercruncher
Forgive me for straying off topic, but this seems relevant to the anxiety so commonly connected with PVCs. One thing they may not have mentioned to you about influence of benzo (Klonopin) on the GABA receptors is that after taking these meds regularly for a while (even just a very short while, like two weeks) the body somehow begins to reduce the responsiveness of the GABA receptors to the body's own naturally produced GABA. At first when you take the medication the anxiety is greatly reduced or eliminated. It feels wonderful. But then the receptors begin to rebalance (or reduce) themselves to the presence of this medication, and the anxiety returns just as before. But now you need the medication just to get back to where you started in the first place. For many people this can happen in as little as two weeks even at minimum dose. Then when you stop or try to taper down from this medication, BEWARE. I tell you this from my own direct experience with 14days on 0.5mg Klonopin. Worst nightmare in my life, and it took me probably a full year to recover. Please see my posting to heartandsoul on 7/18/07 (in this thread) about Xanax, a similar benzo medication. I know anxiety and stress are tightly interwoven with PVCs, either directly or indirectly, and it should be respected and treated. But PLEASE, for your sake, heed my advice about Klonopin, or any benzo, and get fully informed about the pros/cons and potential risks. Once in a while it's ok. But any regular usage can really spell trouble. I'm not an expert either, but all I'm saying is do your research and get informed because if your experience turns out to be anything like mine, the PVCs and their associated anxiety will absolutely pale in comparison with the horror that cessation from Klonopin can cause, even after as little time as two weeks. And I'm not the only one that responds this way, there are hundreds or even thousands like me. I hope you're fine with the medication, and I only post this because I am concerned. But if I can save just one person from the nightmare that I lived through, my time on this forum will be very well spent. Best luck to you. And now, back to PVCs...
I am a 17 year sufferer of PVC. It drives me nuts. Nobody understands our problem and they don't want to keep hearing about it (non-sufferers that is). I, too, agree with several people on this forum that we need to address the causes and not the symtoms and stories. We have them. We have to deal with them. Nobody in the medical field is going out of their way to help us. We have to help ourselves. The comments from readers on what they think, or know, causes pvc's is what we need to focus on. We need to put our heads together, pool our resources and information and work as a team. I sound like a football coach.
Let's do a test. Go for a week or two. Take a suggestion/opinion from one of our readers or panelists. (ie: take magneium and potassium, eliminate stimulants, exercise, stay hydrated, relaxation techniques, diet, etc....) and see if you have improvement. Post your results when you are finished. The following week or two, try another test and so on. After a while, we may see a pattern. I know everyone is different and respondes to different stimuli, but if we could help just one person feel better, we've succeded.
I also agree it's a great idea. I propose an experiment with stress. My PVCs have been relatively mild for the past few months. But I injured my leg and I cannot exercise. Walking is difficult. And I'm moving to a new house this weekend. My stress level will be elevated to a very high level over the next few weeks. I propose to report back if the PVCs increase in frequency and/or intensity as a result. I'd be happy to keep all other aspects of my life (like diet, caffeine, etc) as much the same as possible. Is this like the idea proposed by Furry Murray?
AnthonEE, you are right on. I'm glad you and Awake agree. It can't hurt.
Let me tell you my progress. By the way, this is great forum I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. I have learned quite a bit from you guys, and it has helped understand some things. We are not alone, which in itself, is reassuring. I also believe that PVC's are related to other simuli in our bodies, rather than a 'heart condition.' I think our hearts are just fine, they are simply 'victims of circustance' if you will.
Over the past ten days, I have drank a lot of water to stay hydrated, especially in this heat. I'm in Atlanta. I have also been taking vitamins to include; multi's, magnesium, calcium, and potassium (the electrolytes). I have noticed a decent decrease in PVC's, at least ones I could feel. I tend to get PVC's when I'm hungry. I then eat, and they go away. There is a blood sugar thing there, I think. However, if I eat junk or heavy food, I tend to get them for a while after I eat, but they eventually go away. I used to take Klonopin for Restless Legs and Anxiety, but quit about a year ago. Thinking back, since I have quit Klonopin, I have noticed more episodes of PVC's for longer periods of time. Maybe something there. I may go back on Klonopin and see. I drink several beers a day and smoke a half pack of cigarettes a day (bad furry). I have noticed no correlation between drinking and smoking and PVC's. I think with drinking alcohol, though, it is key to stay hydrated. Dehydration, I believe, can cause PVC's. I do notice a stress/anxiety connection as well. I get them when in a stressful/anxious situation. Job interview, crazy drivers/traffic, etc..... I have not noticed that exercise directly eliminates PVC's, but I believe that exercise relieves stress, which can cause PVC's.
I will keep track of my progress and will try some new things and then report back. If others want to participate, great. If not, whoever wants to add their results/comments, wonderful.
Good luck and have a PVC free day.
Thank you for your comment. I started Klonopin 12 years ago at a dose of 0.5. I still take 0.5 at bedtime. I have weaned myself off Klonopin many times during these years. I have not needed to increase my dosage in all this time. I only know that after I have been off the benzo for awhile.......my heart goes back to having it's own life again. I don't have answers for others.....I only know what works for me. My doc told me I was not addicted because I have not had to increase the dosage for Klonopin to continue to work for me. I have read everything I can find on this disorder, but I do not have the proper education to understand what I am reading most of the time. Laughing......I just "get the drift." (Texas saying.) Usually I find people with a greater understanding....such as yourself...and learn from them. numberc
Thought you'd be interested in another study, this time on effect of fatigue and stress.
I'm not sure whether they looked at the same interns under different conditions or two different sets of interns, which would be less convincing. I noticed that the maximum pvc's is 23 per hour. This is quite high and one intern with frequent pvcs like this could have skewed the results quite a bit if he/she happened to be in the 'stressed and fatigued' group. Would need to see the whole paper though (You'd be amazed at the poor quality of statistics that sometimes get published in the biological sciences).
The effect of stress and fatigue on cardiac rhythm in medical interns
Stamler et al. Jelectrocardiol 1992 Oct;25(4):333-8.
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.
Twenty-four-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring was used to determine the incidence of arrhythmia while on-call and its relationship to stress and fatigue in 20 healthy medical interns. Mitral valve prolapse was present in 8 of 19 interns (42%). Heart rates ranged from a maximum of 103-167 beats/min (135 +/- 16) to a minimum of 38-61 beats/min (47 +/- 5). Interns had at least one episode of sinus tachycardia/h during 57% +/- 21% (range, 8-88%) of their hours on-call. Atrial premature beats (APB) were present in 19 of 20 (95%) and ventricular premature beats (VPB) in 12 of 20 (60%) subjects. APB/h ranged from 0 to 1.2 (0.4 +/- 0.3) and VPB/h from 0 to 23 (2 +/- 6). Three interns had multiform VPB and two had ventricular couplets. More APB/h occurred in interns under greater stress (0.5 +/- 0.4/h vs 0.3 +/- 0.1/h, p < 0.05) and combined stress and fatigue (0.6 +/- 0.4/h vs 0.2 +/- 0.2/h, p < 0.01). More VPB/h (5 +/- 9/h vs 0.5 +/- 0.6/h, p < 0.05) and higher (Lown) grade ventricular ectopy (2.3 +/- 1.6 vs 0.8 +/- 1.1; p < 0.05) occurred in interns under greater combined stress and fatigue. Mitral valve prolapse, sleep deprivation and caffeine intake were not associated with increased arrhythmia. The authors conclude that (1) rapid sinus tachycardia is frequent in interns while on-call and (2) interns experiencing greater stress and fatigue have more APB/h, VPB/h, and higher grade ventricular ectopy. These data support the notion that stress and fatigue may contribute to arrhythmia in healthy normal subjects.
I totally believe that stress and fatigue can cause increased frequency of PVC's. I noticed I get them when I am fatigued or stressed out. Caffiene doesn't seem to increase my PVC's BUT my PVC's happen more often when caffeine wears off likely due to the "crash effect" (I feel tired once it wears off).
I am extremely grateful to have found this site. Although I do not get them all the time when I do I am on a ride to the emergency room as quickly as I can get there. My insurance company hates me I am sure, but my trips there have slowed down because I am learning more and more about what may be the causes of them. But you see, I have never known what caused them so now I understand why I might be having them. I dip snuff (tobacco) , I have stress (pvc's , loss of breath), I drink diet coke (caffeine), and I am tired quite a bit from staying up and worrying about this all of the time. Plus I should sleep with my cpap every night but I cheat myself and do not. Honestly I think I am trying to end it myself without doing it outright. But I do not want too. I want to live a happy healthy life but I just cannot seem to get started. I know I need to exercize but I am afraid because I do not want to start these things up for nothing. So I am stuck there. It is truly sad that I put myself through it but I do not know how not too. It is like telling someone take a pencil and put it in their hand and then tell them to "try and drop it ". Well a person cannot try to drop a pencil. A person either drops it or holds on to it. The same for telling someone to try to stop thinking about it. The more I try the more I think about it and the more it gets me uptight until I end up having a full anxiety attack. I have to watch a movie to go to bed to keep my mind on something else. That is very sad to me. Sympathy is not what I seek. Freedom of fear and anxiety is my ultimate goal. I truly sympathize with each and every one of you who have these and are worried as I am. I currently take a 5 milligram dose diazepam when I feel the anxiety coming on. Believe it or not that does help me from going into a full panic attack.
Okay, so... I realize I'm probably just high-strung (self-proclaimed hypo when it comes to anything that deals with the heart or brain) but I have a few questions.
First... some personal information.
I'm a 20 year old white female with no known history of heart disease in my family. My BP is almost always 105/60; normal resting HR 65-75. I don't lead an extremely active lifestyle, but I am active. I'm 5'7" and 130 pounds. I do have some anxiety issues that have diminished over time.
I don't drink soda, either diet or regular and my diet consists of a good amount of fruits and vegetables... I am not taking any medication, nor have I ever (aside from sinus infection meds... etc).
My first noticeable 'episode' happened when I was about 13. I was in the shower (super hot) and I bent over to grab the shampoo off the bottom shelf when... bam. My heart was all skippy and a little fast (I'd peg it at about 130). I instantly became terrified. I jumped out of the shower and called my mom who told me to calm down... I was otherwise non-symptomatic. After I sat down and took a few deep breaths, I felt a tiny kick and it went back to normal.
This all happened just a year or so after my grandfather dropped dead from a heart attack... but his was NOT hereditary (he drank like a fish, smoked since he was 12 and was obese). He died at 64.
Okay... well, from that day on, I was heart-conscious. I experienced a few little split second episodes of the 'wiggly' heart, but I had no other 'major' instances for a year or two. The next really noteable one came when I had taken a couple years off from the whole active scene (ran a lot, played basketball... always super active) and started becoming a bit more sedentary. Well... it was the first day of gym, and I think I pushed myself too hard. Needless to say, when I stopped and went to put my hands on my knees to relax, it kicked into one of those crazy, wiggly episodes. Well... I got really nervous and the anxiety fueled it. I kept trying to calm down, but I couldn't (kept having flashbacks to the shower). I was otherwise non-symptomatic.
It lasted for about five-ten minutes. I walked all the way from the gym to my next class upstairs on the other side of the school. When I sat down and took a deep breath, it went back to normal.
The third major incident occured when I was under a lot of stress -and- ill. I woke up in the middle of the night extremely hot and achy. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to lie down on the floor because it was colder. Well... I knelt down and went to lie down when my heart kicked up and felt pretty fast (140-150). I freaked. I woke up my girlfriend... it lasted for about five minutes. I was insanely nervous the whole time.
There again... kicked back to normal. Completely non-symptomatic otherwise.
Ever since then (I became more active... I eat better, get out more... etc) my 'episodes' seem to occur about a week before my cycle but are otherwise non-existent. To give you an idea... I might feel a brief series of wiggles anywhere from less than a second to 5 seconds at the MOST twice a day... usually once a week or less.
Am I ******* insane to think I have a problem, or does this sound very much within the normal range? Does it mean anything that mine started earlier in life? I would also like to excuse my hypo-ness before anyone responds with, "WTF I HAVE LIKE A MILLION A DAY".... etc.
What you describe could be a type of PVC and they can most definitely occur just before your cycle and then not show up again until the next month. They can also occur just before, during ovulation. I don't think it means anything that yours started so young. Have you been checked by a doctor because if this is what they are and your heart is otherwise normal then they are not life threatening, just a little scary. I have read posts from people who are seventy something years old and have lived with them all their lives starting at a young age. However, you should have yourself checked out by a cardio just to be sure nothing else is going on and then when they occur you will have the information you need to reassure yourself that although they are scary, you will be fine. Hope this helps.
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