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PVCs during and post exercise
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PVCs during and post exercise

Hi

I get regular bouts of chest pain and PVCs.  I have a had a full cardiac workup including a normal angiogram as well as gastro tests etc over the past 4 years.  I have a great GP (National Health in the UK) who is still trying to figure out why a fit 33 yr old male is suffering from these symptoms.  I am not anxious or depressed but the PVCs and chest pain do make me more anxious.

The questions I have are:

1)  I get PVCs regularly but not always post exercise (e.g after a 1 hour run)- the GP tells me to continue but I read on this site that post exercise pvcs can be dangerous.  In a otherwise structurally normal heart with normal angio - should I be concerned and look for yet further cardio tests?  My cardiologist said "whatever the pain is, it's not your heart".  So is this overkill?

2) In a regular pulse at the wrist and neck I still get flutterings by my heart - can the wrist pulse, neck pulse and heart be different or are they always in sync?

3) How does anxiety related chest pain present itself?  I am exploring this as an option even though I don't feel anxious or stressed.  I get pains with every heartbeat for about ten minutes at 3am.

4) Do you have any further advice about any further discussions/tests I can request from my doctor or do I accept this and get on with life.

Sorry for the ramble but any advice will help.

Regards

Alf

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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Alfred,

PVCs do not portend a poor outcome in the setting of a structurally normal heart.  However, PVCs post exercise have been associated with some increased risk.  Remember risk is a relative term. When looking at the population as whole you are in a low risk category.

You have a normal echocardiogram and a normal angiogram which suggests that the discomfort you are experiencing is not a result of blockages in the heart arteries. The fluttering you experience may be in the muscle of the chest wall and give the sensation of being in the heart. Also, anxiety can potentiate all of these symptoms. I think you should continue to exercise and lead a normal life without any restrictions. Your doctor may consider adding a beta blocker which is great for controlling PVCs.

Thanks for your question,


CCF-MD-KE
47 Comments
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I have posted several times about my post exercise condition.  I am now 53 but it started at about your age.  Absolutely everything normal but after a one hour run at moderate pace with no pain my pulse would stay in the 120's for hours. If I did a 5 or 6 hour hike the pulse would stay 125 for hours at rest and then gradually come down over 12 hours.  Normal rhythm just fast.  Don't know about PVC's.  I pretty much gave up my life in my late 30's due to this.  Hope you get your problem diagnosed properly.  My HMO docs never really cared.  Either told me to ignore the tachycardia or just stop the recreational aerobic exercise.  Some even announced to me that it was a mental problem not physical.  That's when they have no clue I guess.  Problem with that hypothesis is the times my wife checked a pulse monitor several hours after my exercise ended
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....while I SLEPT and my rate was 125.
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This board is so well informed on Heart Health.
I suffer with pvc's,pac's and have had a increase this past year, Posted here often for feedback. I am 34 and follow all my doctors heart health ideas. The skips and extra beats can be in the hundreds. Is it hard on our hearts to continue ignoring these symptoms ? Trying a beta-blocker is a option, But I too with my mvp, heart murmurs have low b/p and heart disease risk in the family. I want to do all I can to live a long healthy life and if our hearts change symptoms ? I too want to know where there beats are originating from ? The tilt table, echocardiogram, cardio-beeper said what occurred But not where and why ?
Want to learn more .
Thanks alot
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Hi, thanks guys for all the valuable info, I really don't know where I would be without this board.  I've been having a bad day today with the PVC's, and no reason that I can think of.  I've been doing everything right, tried new vitamins, drinking soy milk, just things that I've read are supposed to help.  I had a pretty good day yesterday, and was excited about that, and then right from the start this morning, I had a bad day.  I was in the grocery store early this morning, and just had them the whole time, and then they continued throughout the day, like my heart was really irritable.  The thing I notice, I was wondering if any of you could relate to, is that if I go home and lay down on my left side, I hardly get any at all, they go away.  But, if I'm up, even typing on here, or driving, and anything else, then they come on.  So, it's not that it's exactly 'exercise induced' because I'm not really doing anything to get my heart rate up, it's just a difference in position.  Laying down really helps.  I was thinking that could mean maybe extra weight in my abdomen might be bringing them on when I sit up, and things get more squished up (?) or maybe some kind of leaky valve or something, I've read about that.  But, I've had echos, although these were a while ago now, and recently had a holter moniter, and the doctor said I was having benign PVC's and PAC's.  Next week is the treadmill test, maybe I should request another echo??  Anyway, thanks again, I was just wondering if anyone experienced something like this.  Thanks, Val
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I would like to add my two cents and will probably confuse everyone. I have been a very heavy exerciser for 30 of my 54 years. I have been aware of PVC's for at least the last 7 or 8 years. Although I don't feel them, I would notice them as skipped beats when I would try to take my pulse during exercise. More recently when wearing a heartrate monitor, I have noticed them because the monitor does not update while I am having them (it can't figure out what the real rate is). They have also been documented on two treadmills and 24 hour holter monitor. The pattern is that they start at a pulserate of 100 or so and end at about 135. Cardio described phenomena as "overdriving the focus". I was sent to another cardiologist by my GP this February mainly because of his concern about the PVC's, even though the two previous cardiologists had determined them to be benign.

The third cardiologist wanted to see a cath because the treadmills could have missed a problem. Suprise! I had a 95% blockage in the LAD and another in the first bifurcation. This was bypassed surgically on Feb 14 (got my heart fixed on Valentine's Day). I recovered quite quickly and am now "back in the saddle" running 20 miles per week and riding about 100.

The irony is that I still had the PVC's after surgery as badly as before and they seemed worsen as I progressed from early walking back to biking. They no longer stopped at 135 pulserate and were at times dropping into bigeminy. The EKG monitors in my rehab class showed that I was in trigeminy most of the time when my pulse was above 120.

After reading a number of papers on exercise induced PVC's in various medical journals, I began dietary supplementation with magnesium. It seems to be working. I have been doing this for 3 weeks and during the last two, the PVC rate is 90% improved and continues to improve. I realize that my case may be purely anecdotal to this discussion, but it may prompt someone to look beyond solutions such as beta blockers. Beta blockers were no help to me.

At this point, I guess I have to be thankful for the PVC's in that even though apparently not related to the blockage, they did get me into the cath lab where the very dangerous blockage was found. Since I had no other symptoms even with very heavy exertion, my first sign of trouble may have been sudden cardiac death.
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OK, now that is really scary!  That's just what I'm afraid of, that my PVC's could mean some kind of blockage.  It's really the only symptom I get, and I've been getting them for about 10 years now, but they got really bad during menopause, and then really diminished after I went through that.  I thought they were gone, and now they're back again for no apparant reason.  I am through with menopause, even though I'm only 43, so it's not that anymore I guess, and so now I'm thinking that these new ones could be something more serious like a blockage.  I'm taking a treadmill next week, but I've read in a couple places where those can miss blockages.  I know my cholesterol is kind of high, as are my triglycerides.  My glucose level was also very high when I went into the ER with heart palps.  But, you don't think your PVC's were related to the blockage?  Wow, lots more things to discuss with my doctor!!  Thanks, Val
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so here's my ten cents...

PVCs and PACs are premature beats that are often caused by signals emanating from foci.  Foci are islands of electically-active cardiac tissue located in inappropriate areas of the heart and/or pulmonary veins (typically).  We all have them...it's just one of those things that evolution didn't squeeze out because they're just not significant enough to affect procreation.  So, premature beats occur at a rate determined by at least a couple of factors, namely, how close the foci are to the normal pacemaker pathways in the heart and how easily their signals can reach those pathways.  So some folks have a lot of "skips" and some just now and then.

Now there's not much one can do about where the foci are located, however, the ease with which their signalling reaches the pacemaker circuits can be modulated.  One major factor here is the state of the autonomic nervous system surrounding the heart..basically, when it's turned up, the signalling travels quite well (ergo lots of PACs/PVCs), and when it's turned down, the signalling is significantly inhibited.  So, if you are one of those individuals that has foci located at just the right distance, you may experience a significant reduction in "skips" by just lying down because your autonomic nervous system is turned down when you do that. I have experienced exactly this phenomenon.

There are no doubt other means to clobber the foci signalling (which include certain drugs).  But of course, if you are unlucky enough in that the foci are located very close to the pacemaker circuits, then you may not experience a nervous system attenuation at all.  

Note that foci fire all the time.  Every sleeping and waking moment, they are firing away at a pace that generally reaches 100s/min.  When you exercise or make a sudden move, these critters go into overdrive (much like your muscles would when exposed to a sudden rush of adrenaline)...during this period you may experience an increase in "skips" simply because the foci are firing more rapidly and at a higher amplitude.  Luckily this lasts only for 5-15 min, long enough for the adrenaline levels to drop down to normal.

These are my ten cents, which means these are notions of a single individual with years of research in the area.  I am not a doctor of medicine, but I am a doctor...and what I am reflecting in the above comments are opinions garnered from MDs, EPs and the scientific literature.  In the end, these are my notions, and you should definitely pursue your own research and discussion with your own MD/EP to reach conclusions about your own condition.

-Arthur
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Calm down! My post was not meant to scare you. As I wrote, my PVC's were apparently not associated with the blockage. On further reflection, I think the basis of my doctor's angst was the pvc's in addition to an abnormal EKG he had taken of me in a previous visit. This abnormality (ST elevation, it think) was not repeated in either of the last two cardiologist's offices. Also, the pattern of my pvc's were a bit more ominous than normal, in that the holter caught a number of couplets, triplets, and short runs during or immediately after vigorous exercise.
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Thanks for the comments guys and what a great service on this site.

I'm going to carry on and try to forget about these bothersome symptoms.

Cheers

Alf
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HI,

I so appreciate everybody's input on this site. I have PVC's and PAC's. Sometimes when I am resting I feel my heart beat fast for about 5 or 6 beats and then it goes back to normal. Anybody know what that could be? I have had holters before, but this was never recorded. I was kinda thinking it might be PAT.
One person mentioned to take 500MG of Magnesium twice daily. I have a bottle that has 250MG, which I take once a day. Do you think I can take it twice a day or is that too much?
I really need some help. I don't want to take a Betablocker because of the side effects. My husband is in the military and our life is very stressful with at times deployments, frequent moves ( which we are getting ready to right now). And when I get stressed my heart goes bananas and I get very anxious and can't function.  
Thank you!
Anja
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Avatar_n_tn
Unless you are experiencing your rapid heartbeat on a daily basis, the Holter is probably not the best instrument. An event or loop recorder is worn for longer periods and does not record until you activate it by pressing the button. Then it records the previous 20 seconds or so.

Some of the studies I read were dosing as much as 5 grams per day of magnesium, so 500 mg does not seem like a lot. The adult requirement is in the 350 mg range. My concern would be that by treating yourself with magnesium you may be wasting time in finding out what the rapid beats are. They might be something that should be treated.
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Hi,

thanks for your info. The fast heartbeat only happens once in a blue moon. I think it might be PAT, but I don't know. I guess trying to wear the long term holder would be hard, because three months might pass before I feel it again.
I did make another appointment with my doctor for next week and I will ask him about taking more magnesium.
If you have any more info, you can also email me
***@****
Thanks
Anja
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Hi, I just want to thank arthur and everyone for their comments, it's just so helpful!!  arthur, that makes me feel so much better that this could be a "normal" thing.  Anyway, I went to the doctor today, and told him that my palpitations were bad the last couple of days, and I had a treadmill scheduled for next week, but he decided that I should have a myocardial perfusion stress test, I think it's also called a thalium test and moved it up to tomorrow.  So, I can't wait to get it over with, but I'm very nervous about taking the test.  I'm worried that maybe he thinks I might have a blockage since he decided on this test instead of the treadmill.  He did explain he just likes this test better cause it has like a 90% rate of detecting blockages, as the treadmill has only about 70%.  Do you think this is kind of a common test to have?  I hope I do ok, I haven't exercised in quite some time, so I'm nervous that my heart won't take it.  Also, with the frequent PVC's I'm having, I am worried that they will go out of control on the test.  Wow, do you think all this anxiety could affect the test?  (ha ha)  Anyway, I was wondering if any of you knew anything about the test.  My husband was concerned as to why he would order this particular test, he thought it sounded serious.  Well, thanks again for all of your valuable advice, I really don't know where I'd be without you guys!!!  Thanks, Val
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Hi again -- I had the myoview stress treadmill test which is identical to what you will be having except the difference is the type of tagging agent injected.  Thallium is a common agent.  Mine was an isotope (which is radioactive) -- I think thallium is radioactive too. Keep your sense of humor!

They put an IV in your arm and set you up to accept the thallium.  Doesn't hurt.  I am ultra hypersensitive so I could actually "taste" the isotope once it was injected (kind of like the smell of a dry cleaning store).  That freaked me a bit but if they had told me ahead of time what to expect, I would not have been so nervous about what I tasted. Silly doctors!

Your doctor is doing the right thing.  I am very glad my doctor ordered the myoview instead of the regular treadmill stress test.  As long as your insurance is going to pay for it, you might as well get the cadillac of stress tests. It doesn't mean he saw something.  My cardiologist ordered it because he thought I said I got dizzy (I do but it's all from my sinuses clogging my ears).

Once injected, you wait awhile for the "dye" to circulate and "tag" areas of your heart.  You then go for pictures (don't forget to smile!) where they take images of your heart to see if it is functioning properly and at the right level, etc., etc. You must lie still or I guess the pictures are blurry (?).

Then you do the treadmill test.  The doctor and nurse will monitor you the entire time. Try to finish the test.  The more minutes you put in walking, the more tape they can read.  My heart rate got up to 180 bpm and I was so out of breath but I did it! And remember, once you get off the treadmill you will feel a little lightheaded or dizzy -- this is normal!  Right before you get off the treadmill, they will inject you again with the thallium.  You may have to wait awhile again too and then it's off for some more pictures!  They want to see how your heart recovers from exertion, to follow the blood flow, see any blockages, etc.

If at all during this process they see anything of life and death concern, you will be told to stop the test; otherwise, you will get a follow up call or visit to your doctor.  I was told over the phone I had PVCs and that they were benign.

These tests are to help you so please go in with an open mind.  They are done every day to all kinds of people with all kinds of worries and issues and others with no problems.  It's the unknown that scared me.  Knowing what I know now, if I had to take another one of those tests, I would not be as nervous.  I had myself on my death bed!

Good luck and let us know how you do.  Okay?  Be brave -- you'll be fine.

Beth
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It's ironic how many of our symptoms are similar yet different in this thread and previous threads on this topic.  We can each relate to a piece of the other persons experience.  In a post a while ago, a Dr. discounted the "positional" effect on PVC's, saying that they are just more noticible at rest.  But mine clearly kick IN when I lay down, and Val's go away!  No wonder they can't figure these things out!  I can't accept the "psychosomatic" explanation.  My chiropractor had an interesting question about whether the cause of PVCs is within the neurological path, that perhaps the nerve supply to the heart gets "pinched" so to speak in certain body positions.  The body is not static, so these things come and go in some cases.  Arthur's summary lends credence to that idea.  Has anyone asked a neurologist about their PVCs?  Does anyone know about any other studies on that angle of this problem?
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You know, I've been dealing with these suckers (PVC's) too. Actually for about 4 years now. I get them during exercise sometimes. I've been racking my brain like the rest of you to find causality. I believe position may be implicated, but from my personal experiences, I believe the GI contribution is more important. For instance, when I have heart burn, I notice more PVC's. When my stomach is upset, I notice more PVC's. Early todya I drank soup that was far too hot...it caused PVC's. Many times after a particularly strong PVC, I will burp. Almost as if the gas in my stomach was applying pressure in such a way as to cause a PVC. This perhaps is related to positional occurances mentioned by other people.

Now, I know that the vagal nerve innervates both the heart and the stomach. I'm wondering if this is somewhow the relationship that can somehow transmit stomach issues to my heart? Anyone got any insight on this?

SR (33 yo male)

Y'all keep on fighting!

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Hi, thanks so much for all the comments and help, I don't know what I would do without you guys!!  Anyway, I did go in yesterday for the nuclear test, and it was not easy, but I did get through it!  Jaz, thanks so much for the extremely helpful letter, I actually kept thinking of your words "be brave" as I was laying there taking pictures, having tons of PVC's, and it really helped!!  Thanks!  Anyway, I did the treadmill ok, I had PVC's during it, but when I had the most PVC's was the first set of pictures.  The second set, after the treadmill, seemed to calm them down a bit.  He injected me with that stuff while I was on the treadmill, and then when I was done, we went back to the table to lay down, and he waited a bit before taking the pictures again, does that sound right to you?  I thought the pictures were supposed to be done right after you got off the treadmill.  He kind of kept talking to me, and we didn't start the picutres for a while.  Anyway, they called today, which made me nervous at first, cause the guy said they wouldn't call unless someting was abnormal, but the nurse said my test was normal, and didn't show any signs of blockages or MI.  I was very happy about that, and you would think, if my PVC's are due to anxiety, that would have helped calm them down, but I've had a really bad day with them today, just nonstop.  I want to lay down all day again cause that's when I feel better.  The only thing that's really left to do is the blood tests, and beyond that, I don't know if I'll ever figure out what's causing these.  One question, do you guys know if there are any negative effects from the isotope (or thallium, whatever it is??)  I was wondering if that could have aggravated the palps, I'm just having such a bad day.  I'm sitting here typing, having tons of them.  Do you ever notice that some days they seem less hard, like today I feel like my heart is really irritable, and the PVC's seem more demanding, and harder, if that makes any sense.  Well, thanks again so much for helping me through the test!!  One more thing out of the way!!  Thanks, Val
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Val -- glad to hear you survived your test!  Told you!  And you were brave!

To answer your first question: after they inject you, you have you wait awhile before taking pictures.  This waiting period is for the tagging agent (thallium/isotope) to circulate and "tag" areas of your heart.  The imaging unit picks up on these areas. At my cardiologist's office, after the injection, I (and about 10 other people) were seated back in the waiting room for 30-45 minutes.  Then brought back in for pictures.  So what was done to you sounds accurate.

You were lucky you heard back so quickly for your results.  My test was done on a Thursday and I didn't hear back till Tuesday!  Pins and needles the whole weekend.

So you got the big B ("benign").  You now fall into that category like a lot of us including myself.  No reason for PVCs; just there.  We're all on the search for an answer.  Just keep reading everything and trying everything.  I do think you focus a lot on them and I know for me, that will trigger those little buggers!

Deep breaths.  You've been checked out.  Now you face the task of learning to cope.  Yoga, meditation and slow walks calm me down and dancing helps alleviate any extra adrenaline. Good luck! Let me know what works for you.

Beth
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Avatar_n_tn
The test you metioned in the last post , Was this ordered due to your pvc's on a ekg ?
Finding out the cause, location of these pvc's is so important and I too like to know what is going on within my heart and nervous system. When I first started noticing pvc's,pac's over 7 years ago, they were alot less in frequency , Since then other medical issues came into play.
Do you have low b/p, heart murmurs, mvp, cardiogenic syncope ?
At what age did you start seeing a cardiologist ?
Thanks,
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm not sure if you're directing your question to me or not, but here's my answer:

I first was seen for palpitations when I was 17.  Back then (I'm 44 now) they didn't say what kind they were and I was to young to know there were "kinds." Doctor's response: normal.

I saw a cardiologist again when I was in my early 30's due to palpitations.  Again, I didn't know what kind they were. Doctor's response: slight reguritation in right tricuspid valve, innocent murmur, irregular heartbeat -- normal.

Saw cardiologist last year for BAD episode of palpitations.  Many thorough tests. Doctor's response: same as previous doctor except I ASKED what type of irregular heartbeat -- PVCs -- diagnosis was normal.

Beth
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Sorry -- I forgot to mention:

I have low blood pressure.  Had a general doctor's visit due to sinus problems.  BP read 104/60.  The average is 120/70 which is actually "high" for me!

My myoview isotope test was ordered due to my cardiologist thinking I said I got dizzy -- I do, but from my sinuses clogging my ears.  Not all the time. PVCs showed up on EKG and echo, but all was benign.

I don't faint nor do I ever feel like I am.
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Avatar_n_tn
hello everyone:
I just found about this forum, and I was reading about PVCs. Actually I went to a cardiologist the first time in my life this year. I have been having many "skipped beat" feelings, and i wanted to see a doctor. I wore a heart monitor for a month, and they found out that it is nothing to worry about, just early heart beat. they also did blood tests. However, I decided to get ready for triathlons and adventure races I have been running much more than I do for the past 6 weeks. now I run 3ml/day for the past week and i have had the worst week ever. there are no triplets or even doubles. I just feel one skipped beat. but today it happened almost 10-15 times. my mom also had them all her life. she is now 55 very healthy. I am 29...
do you think I should call me doctor again? or just forget about it, get some more magnesium and continue with my runs and training? i get worried when it happens while I am running. I don't smoke for the past 5 years, I don't drink coffee, no tea, no meds. I might have some stress though.

thanks for all your support. it is at least comforting to hear that other people also have it.
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Thanks again for all of the help, and Beth, thanks so much for the encouragement, I really don't know how I would have done it without you!!  This board is literally a life saver!!  I am so glad I finished the test, because when I first laid down to get the first pics, I was having so many PVC's, I really thought I wouldn't make it through the whole thing, and then wonder forever if it would have shown something.  But, I kept thinking "be brave" and just tried to calm myself down.  It's weird, it's not like I have less PVC's when I try to calm down, it's just that if I don't let them bother me, they seem less demanding or something.  I really could feel them hard when I was laying there, though.  Do you ever have some times in the day when you get them, like a couple or a few a minute?  I get like that sometimes.  I am staying here in Reno right now with my Mom, cause my Dad passed away, and tonight I had to drive my older daughter over to Carson City (about an hour drive) and I was so worried about the drive, and then I just did it.  Afterwards, I felt so good that I had done it, so it seems like if I really try to not limit myself, and just do anything with these, then it's like you win over them or something like that.  I know that sounds stupid, like what's the big deal with a one hour drive, but that's a big anxiety thing for me when I'm going through a time with alot of these PVC's.  So, now that I've had the nuclear test, and a holter, does that rule out any serious thing with my heart?  From here, do I just try different things like vitamins, and maybe go to some other type doctors, like acupuncture or something?  I was thinking that I still have some blood tests to take, and beyond that, I could go get my hormone levels checked or something, and then I heard something (maybe it was on this post) about chiropractors, and the connection between your nerves in the back, and your heart.  I was just wondering if there's any other test you think I should have.  I guess it wouldn't hurt to do another echo, the one I had was years ago, and I suppose things could change.  Well, thanks again so much for all the help, I wish I could do the same!  I am such a hypochondriac, I actually thought the call from the heart doctor saying my test was normal was a crank or something.  I sat there thinking, something is not right....anyway, thanks again!!  Val
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I don't think there is any harm in calling your doctor for reassurance about your test results and your heart.  I once called my GP 3x in one day.  By the third call I could tell he was getting a bit irritated but what he said to me at that time eventually made sense: "You're doing it to yourself."  I had gotten myself so worked up about my irregular heartbeats that I was actually creating more irregular of them!  So, give the doc a call, believe what he has to say and then get on with your life.  Helps to make a list of questions before you call.  You can scribble the answers next to each question (good for future reference -- I save everything)! If what he says still doesn't sit right with you for some reason, there's always a second opinion available.

Beth
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry to hear about your dad.  It sounds like you're under quite a bit of stress these days, which of course, can contribute to the frequency, intensity and quantity of PVCs.  This may be difficult but try your best to relax.

I see a chiropractor but not for the reason of PVCs (it's for overall health).  I've heard others visit acupuncturists -- I haven't.  Whatever works for you is what you should do (or try).  Just remember: there's no miracle cure or we'd all be out there getting it!

The following may sound far fetched to you (I don't know your background) but it's something I learned in a 12-Step program.  It can be applied to anything in life:

Awareness
Acceptance
Action

We are aware of our PVC condition and have taken the necessary steps to learn more about them; we fully accept our condition of PVCs realizing they exist and are there; we take action to help ourselves whether to alleviate them medically (testing, medicines, supplements/vitamins) or spiritually (turning our condition over to "a higher authority" and keeping the faith) and even helping our bodies by exercise, meditation or other calming techniques.

It took me a long time to fully accept my PVCs. I had to accept that I didn't have 100% control over them. I fought it all the way -- my body can't possibly be doing this! But guess what?  It was.  So accept it and move on.  Easier said than done, but practice letting go and doing things in your life that you like to do.  Take your focus off of them -- get busy doing something else and they just might not have the impact they have on you now.

Hope this helps.  And thanks for the compliment.  Here to offer what I know to everyone; and I too receive it back.

Beth
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Hello...I can't begin to tell you all how glad I was to come across this site, I feel as though a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders now that I know that there are others of you out there who suffer along with me by having pvc's...this is my second go round with pvc's, in fact I turned in the my event monitor today. I'm looking forward to meeting with my doctor next week to discuss the results of my blood work and the event monitor and what I can do about them....My father died at the age of 42 with heart related problems (don't know whether he to experienced pvc's but I do know that he had WPW Wolff-Parkinson White) which if not treated with the proper meds can cause ones heart rate to take off 200-300bps.....I have been checked for WPW and I do not have that however I do have pvc's and because of my fathers early death, any disruption to my heart rhythm concerns me a great deal. I'm 40 years old, a father of 3 and married to the most caring and patient woman in the world who tries very hard to comfort me during my episodes of pvc's that usually always cause me to become very quiet and withdrawn when having them.

Though I wouldn't wish pvc's on anyone and from what I read there are many of you who experience them far worse than do I, I am so relieved to be able to talk with others who can relate to them...if I had a dollar for every time I was told that pvc's are harmless, forget about them and get on with your life, I'd be a rich man!! Real easy for a doctor who does not have them to say...or that family member who thinks because the doctors said they are harmless, you're now a hippocondriac every time you have an episode.

I'm currently on the Atkin's Diet (need to loose 15lbs) and have wondered if maybe that has anything to do with increase in the pvc's all of a sudden??  As I said this is my second bout with pvc's (to me that's about a dozen or so /day), up until about a month ago they hadn't been a problem for about a year and a half. Now I occasionally have a few during the day with most of them coming in the evening especially after my evening walk of 2 1/2 miles....they don't seem to last long and then they'll go away for a while and then return around bedtime and become worse when I lay down. I guess that's because your at rest and they are much more disturbing when you are relaxed and the pvc's change your relax state to an anxious state just like that.

During exercise I seem to be fine...maybe cause the hearts beating so fast that they aren't as noticeable.... but I must admit that I am very concerned after reading about post exercise pvc's and the increased risk associated with them...I am seriously considering stopping my evening walks, though I guess only my doctor can advise on that.

This web page will become my most visited now that I know you all are out there!!

Sorry for rambling on....I have so many questions and finally others to talk with about them!!

Thanks so much!!

Dean
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Welcome!

Glad to hear you got yourself checked out -- now it's just waiting for the results; try to keep an open mind.  As you have read, there are others out there with more severe issues and yet they still living life!  Most problems can be treated, so try not to worry, and that's even if there is a "problem."

In regards to your concern about exercise induced PVCs/PVCs after exercise I too have read of an increased risk HOWEVER I have also read a post in this forum from one of the doctors that this "at risk" statement means that there's a possiblity. If you take all the people who experience PVCs during exercise or after (and I am one of them) and do a study, the outcome would be that there is a possiblity of being at risk -- does not mean that will definately happen.  I wish I could quote the doc because he explained it so much better.

A suggestion as you await your results: maybe make a list of all your questions for when you speak with your doctor. When I first started having tests done I would often forget questions I had and/or not have a pen handy when the doctor answered them.  It was easier for me to write and review his responses later.  My mind tends to get overwhelmed with "did he mean this?"  If it's written, I can't run with it!

Let us know how everything turns out.  It is very comforting to know we all may be different but we are all similar in some way!

Beth
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Hi Beth and everyone, and thanks again for all the help!!  I took my blood tests today, so I'm anxious to see how those come out, and then go on to the next step.  I think I should probably have an echo, because the last one I had was years ago.  Then, beyond that, I think I'll have to start trying different types of things.  I've been going for walks each day, and it's weird, I feel good on my walks now, like the PVC's almost go away, maybe just one here or there (or maybe I'm just not feeling them), but they start in again about 10 minutes or so after I'm done.  The exercise seems to calm them down for a while.  But, I'm reading on here where post exercise PVC's can be dangerous, but it seems to me like it would be good if I'm not getting them during exercise.  Who knows.  I always worry cause of what happened to my Dad about cardiomyopathy, he passed away of that at 69 years old.  He was always in excellent health, too.  He was a runner.  So, I worry that PVC's could be a sign of heart failure.  But, then I come on here, and see how common they are, and maybe I should try to stop worrying about that, I'm sure it's anxiety about my Dad, especially since he was so healthy.  And, Beth, thanks for the kind words about my Dad, I'm sure that does add to the stress of this.  It seems like it gets worse with time, kind of like the numbness of it all wears off, and then it starts to sink in.  I have had palpitations for 10 years, though, so I think I'm definitely prone to them for whatever reason.  I keep thinking maybe it's menopause related, but I'm through all of that.  I am only 43, it's kind of early, but it is all done.  My doctor did say you could have symptoms for years, though.  It's werid, when I sit and type on here, I have really hard and frequent ones, it drives me crazy!  Thanks again for all of the help!!!!!!  Val
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ok  after reading all that  i dont  know if i should laugh or cry.   Can anyone tell me if these damn pvcs of fluttering or funny feeling in your chest  make you scared to leave your house.  It seems when i get them at home they arent so bad but when im out at a store or vacation or anywhere else but home  the bother me so much more.  It robbs me of my life and it pisses me off to no end.  I try to ignore but it scares me to think im going to throw a blood clot or something.  I have 2 beautiful girls ages  8 and 2  and i dont have time to think of dying.   Just wondeering if anyone else feels the same way.  By the way  had and ablation in 2000 for svt,echo and echo stress and they say wverything is ok.  I say they need to go into my brain and do an ablation on the part that remembers  the svt.  But still feel the damn pvc   I think maybe i would cut off my right arm  if they would go away.  Thanks for letting me vent
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I have been experiencing  constant PVCS  for the past three months now. It is  like out of the blue.  I had them in the past BUT very rarely.  Only fleeting moments where I would have these PVCS.  They would come and go.  I never worried because  they were so few and far between.  Now,  all of a sudden,  I am experiencing them very very frequently. All day sometimes!!  I suffer from very bad generalized anxiety and panic attacks  as of late as well.  I have been under an extraordinary amount of stress. I wonder, can anyone please tell me,  could anxiety and stress cause these terrible PVCS?  First,  I went to the emergency room.  I had  blood tests  done, and my heart enzymes were normal.  Then I had an EKG in the emergency room,and it showed  just sinus tachacardia, BUT ironically enough  no PVCS  showed up! (How  interesting heh?  )  LOL!!  Now,  it  just continued  so  I went to a good cardiologist  in  my area.He was a doctor that my mother suggested(she by the way,  had a bout  of PVCS  when she was under stress and pressure in Chiropratric  college  years ago.  She explained to me that they were  so bad  that they lasted her 9 months straight.  She has  experienced  them  every day  slightly  ever since.) I am 100 pounds overweight.  I gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time.  I gained 48 punds in one year which is  alot for me. Thankfully, I have joined Weight Watchers  and have lost about 9 pounds so far. I even had an Echocardiogram and the doctor said "Well dispite your obesity and the fact that the tests results were not as clear as I had hoped.  I do not see or suspect heart disease."  He said,  "  Your chambers are clear and your heart beat is normal and strong."  Again,  I did not experience ANY PVCS when the technician  was perfomring the test (Very interesting indeed!!) LOL! I was prescribed  propanol (inderol) but I do not see  that it is really working. I heard   stuff about Magnesium and Hawthorne.  Please some one help me.  I am scared  that I am going to die from these dreaded PVCS.  Please can someone  ease my  fears?  My email address is ***@****.  I would appreciate any commments  and suggestions. As I am typing  now,  I had about  25  or 30  PVCS.  It disturbs me and it is cutting down the quality of my daily life because  I am so scared.  Will I die from them?  Should I have a stress test and have a haltor monitor  put on  to see what is truly going on?  I also get them  when I excerise and that  disturbs me.  I was feeling a bit better last week, BUT  drank  too much alcohol on an empty stomach  on Memorial day weekend  and got very sick.  I have not been feeling better since.  I feel as though alcohol set me back.  Can alcohol  cause  irritation in the heart and cause  more PVCS?  Please someone help me. Thank for listening    Jenny
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Hi Jenny --

Alcohol caused me problems about 3 years ago.  I always indulged during holidays and on the weekends; mostly red wine.  I would wake up in the middle of the night with a pounding, racing heart that lasted anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.  I was never out of breath, but the pounding and fast beats scared me. My cardiologist told me alcohol can cause palipations.  So, I stopped drinking.  On a very rare occasion I will have one glass of red wine but it is with a meal only. I decided I just didn't want to feel like that anymore so it wasn't worth the drink(s). Plus without the extra calories, I dropped 10 lbs.

In regards to your PVCs: ask your doctor to issue you a Holter monitor.  This way they can see what is going on.  More than likely it is nothing but they can't tell until they see it.  When I wore mine (for 24 hours), I was told to do every activity I would normally do.  I was afraid to even bend over for fear of setting off a string of PVCs, but I followed the doctor's instructions.  When he reviewed my "tape", he said I had PVCs and a very unusual beat that happened once.  He said I had an episode of 2 extra heartbeats (the original one beat and 2 more).  I felt it when it happened.  Didn't hurt, just felt real bizarre. He said he'd never seen anything like that before but I probably had it all my life!  So, you see, being different doesn't mean you're dying.

PVCs in a structurally sound heart (according to the doctors out in the medical world) mean NOTHING.  They will not kill you; they will not provoke a heart attack.  If tests are normal (other than noting the irregular heartbeats), PVCs do not have any siginificance.  Of course, tell that to us... those who are annoyed and scared of them!

My suggestion is to get thoroughly checked out -- if nothing else, for peace of mind.  When you know all is well, learn relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation or even just a walk outside.  I love to walk!  It brings me closer to the outdoors, I get to see different birds and some good ideas on house remodeling! Losing some weight will help you physically and mentally and it appears you're on your way; congratulations!  Being internally balanced helps me too -- mind, body, spirit thing.  And I don't eat junk food or take any over the counter medicines.  And no caffeine (coffee and chocolate).

Hope this helps you.  Read all the posts and look at this site's archives in the Heart Forum for other PVC info. Take care.

Beth
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Hi again everyone, I want to thank you again for all of the help!  This board is better than going to the doctor!  I actually am not sure if I wrote about this already, but I did get my blood test results back, and are looking into why my sed rate test was high at 38.  Other than that, I don't know if there is much more I can do, except to loose weight, and hope that if my life becomes less stressful, it might help with the PVC's.  I've been walking, and it really seems to help during the walk, although they come on again after I'm done.  It does seem to calm them down a bit though.  Sometimes I just have such a hard time with them, if I'm hot (we live in a hot place) and am running around too much, they just get very frequent and hard, and I have to stop, and lay down, and put a wet towel on my head, which seems to help, along with drinking lots of water.  But, the sed rate test has me concerned, I don't have any obvious reason why it would be elevated, my ANA test, and my RH factor were both negative, and I don't really have any other symptoms other than the palpitations.  I'm tired alot also.  I wrote to the doctors on here, and a couple of them said that sed rate of 38 is not that high, and that it can be caused by lots of things.  Anyway, thanks again so much for all of the support, I wouldn't have been able to go through the stress test without you!!  Thanks, Val
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Where do I start. 1st, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one, althought I don't wish this on anyone.  I started having rapid heart beats when I was a teenager.  Dr.'s told me it was an eating issue.  I was very thin and active and passed out frequently when I didn't eat often.  Then in my 20's I was told I had MVP w/leaking.  I have yearly cardiac workups and am in good health.  I run about 20 mile per week and have to be premedicated for dental work/surgery etc. Since giving birth in my early 30's my rapid heart rate/irregualr heart rate symptoms became worse. Even bending over could provoke an "attack".  The real rapid beats episodes are usally always in the middle of the night and last anywhere from 2 min to 30 mins.  The last episode was Sunday morning.  I had consumed 3 glasses of red wine the night before.  It was the worst episode ever.  My heart was racing up to 180bpm (it woke me up from a sound sleep at 7am)then I started sweating and then passed out.  I was freaked out.  However, it went away within min's.  I went to the Dr. today and found out it was a PSVT.  Which now that I know, I know I've had several in the past year.  Mine are usually brought on by Caffeine and alcohol. (and now Red wine) I'm rambling on, but whew!  I can run, eat healthy and not croak! I just have to live with these sometimes untimly and irritating "attacks", (which I am also going to try to control with my abstinance from alcohol and caffeine) Thanks all for listening.
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I was amazed to see your post about the red wine!  I don't know anyone else who gets rapid heart beats from that.  If you don't drink wine or have caffeine, is your heart rate normal?  Also, what exactly is PSVT?  I believe it's some sort of ventricular tach?  thanks!

Beth (jaz5802)
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Hi.  My normal heart rate is 72.  It goes up to about 160-180 when I'm having an "attack".  PSVT is: Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia.  It is usually triggered by alcohol, caffiene, smoking, and certain drugs.  Luckily I don't smoke.  But I do like coffee and NO MORE WINE!!!  If I continue to have frequent attacks my Dr. wants to try me on Beta Blockers.  I really don't want to do the pill thing.  I'm a very active person.  I run every day and have a lot of skipped beats during and after a run, but my cardiac workups are always good.  So "the beat goes on".  I just really take one day at a time, and enjoy the heck out of my 5 yr old!  Thanks all.
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Re Red wine, Just adding my experinece: Yes certain red wines will increase my heart rate at night.  I find it is mostly related to cheaper wines (and definately cask wines) I've always assumed that it was the chemical additives that they put in these wines.
Any comments welcomed.
cheeers
Topp
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Hi again everyone, I was just wondering about the frequency of my PVC's.  When I sit and take my pulse, I rarely get up into the twenties without a PVC.  I try to see how long I can get, and today, it was like 24.  Do any of you have them that much?  I'm just getting used to the jumpy feeling that I have all the time from these.  I've been walking a couple of miles in the morning, and usually feel pretty good on my walk, but then they start in a few minutes after I stop again.  I don't really know if I'm having them during my walk, I don't feel them, but my cardiologist said maybe I'm having them, and not feeling them then.  I don't know what more I can do.  I've had the thallium stress test, numerous ekg's, blood tests, echos done a while back, and a holter, but during the holter time, I didn't have them as bad as I do now.  I am pretty sure these are related to hormonal changes, since I'm having really weird cycles, and going through menopause early.  Anyway, I was just wondering if you thought that the frequency of mine could be dangerous.  I read where some people say they have hundreds a day, and I'm thinking, I have hundreds an hour!!  Well, thanks a lot for any help!!  Val
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About two years ago I suffered an eposode of Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia which was associated with Paroxysmal A-fib.  That occured after drinking three large glasses of red wine.  I was put on a beta-blocker and have not had an occurance since.  I have since limited my red wine intake to no more than two regular glasses and only with dinner.   With respect to the number of PVC/PAC's being reported, my last 24 hr Holter moniter reported about 5400 PAC's in 23 hours down from over 10,000 the year before.  One in twenty beats is pretty calm for me.  Fortunately, I don't worry about them and they only bother me when I sleep on my left side.

Good luck
Ray
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Was it ever mentioned as to WHY red wine (or any alcohol) would induce this type of irregular heart beat?  I am trying to understand the works behind the symptom.

Thanks!

Beth
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Help! This site is great.

What if you have PVC's while you exercise vs. post exercise?

Are PVC's more dangerous with a HR of around 60 at rest.

The only test my doc. will give me (I've got an HMO) is an EKG and a holter.  Is a stress test that important?
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Since March '03 I have been having these weird sensations in my chest and then a sensation like my heart is beating hard in my throat near my carotid. I went to a caridologist and had a Holter monitor test and Stress Echo - both confrimed I have been having PVC's & PAC's. In putting on the leads for my stress Echo I was having several PVC's & PAC's ... the cardio tech said what we want to see is that with exercise these PAC's/PVC's decrese in frequency. Mine did decrease by about 60% so I felt better. In my anxiety about all this, I forgot to ask why we wanted to see a decrease - does anybody know?

Also, when I have a rash of PVC/PAC activitiy, I put on my sneakers and go for a 30 minute, 2mile brisk walk around my neighborhood. This forces me to look at beauiful mountains, trees and birds and have fun with my dog and I hardly notice the PACs/PVCs during the walk and afterwards they are greatly reduced or non-existent!

Now after reading some of the concerns above about post-excersie problems with PACs/PVCs I am a little hesitant to lace up and take off!!! YIKES!

Also, I seem to notice that my PACs/PVCs are worse between 5-8AM and 9-11PM no matter what the rest of my day has been like. My naturopath is working on a hormonal evaluation since I am 46...anyone else notice any time of day issues with the PACs/PVCs?
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I have some days where I have 2 normal heart beats and then a PVC/PAC, then 3 normal beats then a PVC/PAC, then maybe 10 normal beats before the next PVC/PAC. It varies for me...when it gets that bad, my whole body feels like it is beating and jumping and I feel a lump in my throat and it is difficult to function.

I do manage to have almost an entire day here and there without noticing them or maybe noticing a few but most days if I have 20 normal beats before a PVC/PAC, I feel fortunate.

I really hate these things as they do get in the way a bit, but I am determined somehow to "beat" them without drugs if possible!


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I used to notice my PVCs more so in the morning and in the evening while winding down.  I have heard this is because we are more aware of them at these times -- we are not involved in our everyday and sometimes hectic schedules -- which makes perfect sense to me. The busier I got, the less I noticed.

I have them starting on day 13 of my cycle and continuing through day 17.  Today is day 18 and they are completely gone -- not a trace.  I am 44 years old and have been experiencing PVCs since I was 17, however, more so since I turned 42.  I believe there is a connection with hormones (at least for women) and I have seen many posts on this board in regards to that.  So if it is mostly hormone related during this time of your life, welcome to the club!  (By the way, I don't experience hot flashes or insomnia.) It would be interesting to hear what your naturopath has to say.  I see an alternative nutritionist.  She's trying to balance my hormones with natural progesterone. If this is all that will happen during this "change", I am ok with it.  The challenge is when PVCs interfere with our quality of life.

Hope that helps!

Beth
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Thanks Beth - I will definitely pay attention to see if there is any correlation with my cycle - given that I am 46 I am sure there are many changes going on. My naturopath has me on a timed-release progesterone (plant-based) cream that I apply 3x/day - it has helped with insomnia. He also says that it will have an effect on my adrenals/cortisol levels as my adrenals are pretty burnt from 20 years at a hig-stress high-tech job which I just retired from. Funny I get the PVC/PAC activity after I retire and spend my days hiking, kayaking, skiing and having fun! My ND also gave me CoQ10 which has had some study regarding improving heart health and also gave me a supplement with calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. He says he believes it will help with the PACs/PVCs as well.
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About 10 years ago I started noticing my PVCs much more and they quickly got my attention. At the same time I started experiencing various levels of anxiety (including 2 major panic attacks). Prior to this, I had about 10 years worth of a high stress life (including a career) with 2 marriages that failed, etc.

I sought out a psychologist for the sudden onset of anxiety.  My issue was why would I be falling apart now (this was a relatively quiet time in my life) when I've been through so much more prior to this?  It was explained that when the body has enough, it will let you know.  Some forms are presented as anxiety, heart issues, neuro problems, etc. So basically, all those years of high stress depleted my adrenals (I became tired but wired) and by body was finally sick of it and trying to tell me something!!

My life is much more simple now.  I wish I could retire, but not yet -- lucky you! I am sure your ND has told you it takes time to re-balance your body whether these PVC outbursts are from years of stress or hormone related. I know I've always had PVCs, they were just dormant for so long.

Balance and acceptance, I believe, really is the key.

I too use a plant-based progesterone but just 2x day. I'm also a bit of a health nut; I don't take any meds -- not even a Tylenol -- and I don't drink alcohol anymore (gave me a rapid heartbeat).  I just started a weight training program in my home (Joyce Vedral) and continue to eat as healthy as I can. I feel better now (even with these darn PVCs) than I did when I was in my twenties!

Good luck and happy hiking!

Beth

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