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PVC's
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PVC's

I haven't posted here in a few years (1999), but I come to the site occasionally to read posts about PVC's, since I am a sufferer of these life altering beats.  I have been pretty well controlled until recently.  My beats are back with a vengence.  I can get a few in a row (at least that what it feels like) or get them every other or every few beats for a minute and then not get another one for 15 minutes.  I am estimating that I am getting about 1,000 per day (I once would get about 10,000).  I had my echo in February and the doc, who I've known for 20 years said he would call me if anything was abnormal. I do have MVP with minimal reguitation.  I called my cardio yesterday and he put me on Tenormin in hopes that will minimize these extra beats that make me crazy, just like they do a lot of others.  I hope it helps soon.  I am just writing for reassurance about the PVC's.  How is one to ride out these extra beats.  When I am in the middle of talking to someone and having about 10 PVC's a minute, I am just beside myself.  Any suggestions??? I've been through this for so long. I am 40 now.  How many PVC's are too many?  How many a minute and how many in a 24% time limit are too many?  Thanks once again for the great website.  It has help me out with these palps so much. I just wish they would go away.

Roxanne
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Dear Roxanne40,

Sorry to hear about your PVCs. People with structurally normal hearts who experience PVCs have no significant changes in their long term outcome.  Approximately 50% of people with MVP experience PVCs. Some reports suggest that people with MVP who experience palpitatios may be at some increased risk. Though risk is increased it is still quite low overall, as this condition usually has a bengin course.  The beta blocker atenolol is a good medication to be taking, it is usually the first line of therapy.  
If 20% of your overall heart beats consist of PVCs, you are at risk for weakening of the heart muscle. If this occurs you should consider seeing an electrophysiologist, which is a cardiologist specializing rhythm disturbances, to be considered for catheter based treatment of your PVCs.
You should also avoid caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and stimulants such as those found in decongestants.

Thanks for your question,


CCF-MD-KE
19 Comments
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Roxanne,
I know EXACTLY how you feel..I am female/41 and have had this for about 15 years-it comes an goes and is sometimes very severe.They say these are benign but they sure dont feel like it..Sometimes I feel like my life has been somewhat ruined by this. If you want to email me you can at ***@****
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Have a look at http://www.raptsoft.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl  for some support.

-=Bryan=-
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Bryan,

I've been everywhere!!!!!!!!!!! haha...  I have been active with the support sites since the internet started.  They have helped tremendously, but I was better for a few years and didn't really need them.  I have to kick this awful habit (the palps).  Thanks for the advice.
Rox
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Roxanne,   I totally know how you feel.  I had aN ablation done in 2000 for svt and although  the tackycardia is no where near what it was  i still feel those extra beats and flushing .  I go to a gym , lost weight, and still feel the beats.  I hate them as much as you do.  I wish you luck in finding an end to these that effect our lives so much.
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have had heart skips for years.  Since going from therapy to other hospitals, etc., I believe it's just something we have to learn to live with.  I recently have been diagnosed with bigeminy from a cardiophysiologist (I think that's what you call them).  I have worn a king of hearts monitor for 30 days.  I also take .50mg of atenolol twice a day.  They really don't help.  Believe me, I have had these for approximately 20 years, have done everything there is to do from quit smoking to watch everything I eat and they still come.  I also take synthroid which can be a culprit.  I tell the doctors it all comes from the stomach.  I have gastro-reflux going on.  This morning I had to go for blood work and couldn't eat for 12 hours.  With the hunger pains, my skips were twice as bad.  So make sure you always have something in your stomach.  Here's the kicker----my family calls me skippy.  Barbara
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Avatar_n_tn
Roxanne,

I recently saw a cardiologist. In reponse to my Holter results of 17,000+ PVCs/24 hours, she said "everyone gets PVCs, you have a bit more than the average".

a bit more than average? I also have very frequent runs of bigeminy (as noted by the Holter). She also noted that I have quite a low blood pressure, and that I should eat more salt to correct this. I'm not sure if the bp thing is from the bigeminy. I'm not taking any meds.

I guess she was trying to tell me not to worry about it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Roxanne:

Having suffered from PVCs (from MVP) for 25 years, I have tried numerous solutions. I have found that the only thing that really helped is frequent cardiovascular exercise (I do brisk walking several times a week). I've also been on Tenormin (Atenolol) for a long time, and that helps a bit, but never as much as physicians claim it will. Beta blockers simply won't stop PVCs completely. As for your statement that your PVCs have come back with a vengence, that's pretty typical. Every six months or so mine will come back with a vengence, last a couple of weeks, and then settle down a bit. That is quite common in people with PVCs. I would think that with Tenormin and some regular exercise, your PVCs should calm down soon. They will come back, of course, but you might start noticing a pattern, and have faith that they will once again calm down. Many people also experience elevated PVCs when they get sick, so I recommend those alcohol-based soapless antibacterial hand sanitizers (which the CDC is now advocating instead of antibacterial soap) to help avoid getting a cold or the flu. I also agree with Barbara that an empty stomach can cause problems. If I'm having a bad bout with PVCs, and I drink some wine or other alcohol on an empty stomach, my heart goes berserk. So try to avoid alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Roxanne,  I, like you, am a frequent pvcer and wanted to add my words of support.  I am 37 and have had all the tests which have shown possible MVP, definite pvcs (including recorded runs of bigeminy, couplets, triplets and even non-sustained vtach) and not much else (normal heart).  I am on tenormin/atenolol 25mg once a day but it doesn't do much.  I am also told by both my electrophysiologist and my cardiologist that it is benign (although pronounced) and until my echos start showing signs of any problems, there is not a problem (except living with them).  Here is what "works" for me:  1) therapy, to get overall stress lower and to help me deal with the effects of the pvcs on my life 2) cardio exercise (I am up to 2.5miles on an elevated treadmill, 40min every other day!!!) because it keeps me calmer and reminds me I am not a "heart patient" per se 3)avoiding alcohol (a glass occasionally is not a big deal) 4) plenty of SLEEP,  5) finding people with the same numbers of pvcs as I have, 6) faith.
Here is what might be helping a bit:  1)atenolol 2) reducing social output 3) four "slo-mag" magnesium tablets a day 4) bananas.  Here are my triggers:  STRESS, hormones (ovulation and pms are definite triggers), lack of sleep, large meals, and my mother-in-law (ha ha).  

And the flareups are very very normal and very very scary because it seems they will never fall back to acceptable levels, but then they do.  Although, as I age, I find that the stretches of flare-ups last longer (like, weeks of HIGH activity)  -- these past holidays were brutal.  I was seriously considering an ablation!  But it has been better since, very tolerable once again.  

You are not alone, we are out here, suffering just like you and perservering.  You will make it.  And don't let the dr's words about weakening of the heart muscle with over 20% pvcs scare you too much:  your cardiologist is monitoring your heart function and if you have annual echos, they would catch that.  Remember, in a flare up, that may be our percentage, but that is not the way our hearts beat all the year through and you would have to have those levels consistently for a LONG time to begin to weaken your heart.  I already have taken that next step of seeing an EP and he simply reiterated what my cardio is saying:  benign.  (But they would do an ablation if I wanted, and I may give one to myself for my 40th birthday!!!!)  Email if you need support:  ***@****  (FYI, I have had dozens of our little friends the pvcs while writing this, including couplets!!!!  I hope that comforts you in a strange way...)
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Roxanne,
Just read all the posts including yours about PVCs.  Please refer to mine M-Chi that I posted today.  I am so fed up and next week I am facing a flight.  I must travel and am terrified because of these pvcs.  I don't know what to do.  Anyone out there, what medications work best for the pvcs.  I read about atenolol and how it does not work well on pvcs, nor does propranolol...so anyone have suggestions.  
Roxanne, please don't worry as I am sure anxiety will make these things worse.  I have also been reading about silent acid reflux and how this can have an effect on pvcs.  Some people report having a lot of relief from the pvcs when they take zantac or antacids such as diovol.  Who knows?  
What other name is used for Tenormin?  I am 39 yrs. old and otherwise healthy, I have questioned hormones as a possible cause, being female and perhaps some hormone is too little or too high in my body.  I have been told by my Dr. to learn yoga and meditation.  This might work but it is a long term gain not an immediate one.  I know I get scared and need lots of reassurance when the pvcs happen.  I am tired today as I have been awake since 4:00 am with the pvcs.  I have not had a good night's sleep in a while as the pvcs wake me in the middle of the night...even the slightest movement lying in bed sets them off, sneezing or blowing my nose sets them off...so many things set my pvcs off.  email me if you wish at principessa_chi***@****   Good luck!!!
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Regarding PVCs: I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy 12 months ago. For the past nine months I have been participating in a UCLA study to determine if exercise can help heart failure patients improve their condition. I do walking excercises and very light weight lifting excercises as often as I can handle. Let me stress I am considered in very good condition considering my ejection fraction of 30-35%. I was told that the results of my last stress test were almost those of a normal heart (thanks to the drugs). I lead an almost normal life with the exception of frequent naps and avoiding strenous activity and of course the dozen pills I take each day.
I have discovered that regular excercise (primarily walking) reduces and usually eliminates PVCs in my case. Its almost as though the excercise helps regulate my heart beat. I walk either 45 minutes or 30 minutes almost every day depending on my scheduled activities for that day and my level of energy. I wear a Polar Heart Monitor and use a hand held recorder to record my heart beat every 3 minutes of the walk. I trasncribe all this information to worksheets which I furnish to UCLA.
As I said, when I am adhering to this excercise program I am virtually PVC free. When I stray from my excercise program, the PVCs return.
Let me stress my excercise program was determined after a thorough evaluation at the UCLA Cardiomyopath Heart Transplant Clinic. I urge anyone conisdering excercise to consult a cardioligist before starting an excercise program.
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Avatar_n_tn
First timer to this forum... dx w/v-tach, brady, MVP, DCM in '90, 1st ICD in '94, 2nd in '99 ... have numerous PVCs daily... in quickly reading over posts on this topic I did not notice anyone mentioning correlation between PVCs and female cycle... I found this to be so big time... also, watch triggers such as caffiene found in otc cough meds, soda, tea, coffee, & chocolate... and alcohol which I did see one person mention... eating also is a factor ... not eating or over eating both can produce PVCs... of course there's always stress ... and if there is any chance you may have MVP you might try keeping yourself hydrated... watch if you're suppose to be restricting fluid intake for any other med reason... and I agree w/moderate exercise... I find walking reduces my PVCs tremendously.
JES/been living w/PVCs most of my life... wouldn't know what to do w/out 'em :)
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just curious - why did u have an ICD implanted?  and why did u get vtach?  is it just idiopathic vtach for no reason?  thanks. take care.
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ICD 'cause I have inducible sustained v-tach and am prone to SCD ... v-tach probably from DCM (EF 42% at time of dx in '90, presently 51%) which is idopathic, initially thought to be caused by then believed to be active myocarditis, however, NIH couldn't/wouldn't agree w/that dx so idopathic it is, probably due to a viral infection which attacked my heart and body began the rejection process as a "cure" ... some cure :)
JES :)
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On Saturday morning, I awoke with a fever.  My heart was going crazy and was "skipping beats" all over the place.  My doctor wouldn't see me and sent me to the ER, where they went through the routine...said I had PVC.  Also, my heart rate was anywhere from 106-122 beats per minute.  They also diagnosed me with strep.

I went home and took something for my fever, and as soon as my fever went down, the palpitations stopped!  When my fever returned, so did the palpitations.  Has anyone ever experienced this?  

Sarahsue
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i haven't had time to read this but can anyone tell me in less than 20 words what the left atrium,left ventricle,tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve do, by the 3rd of april. i would be very greatful. please e-mail me!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I too notice when I am on my menstrual cycle, or sick which is often since I work for a school. We are more sensitive with so many things.
I find when the pvc's,pac's are in a low amount I am so thankful But when they return it is " Why Me" . I walk daily , eat healthy and lifestyle as suggested. Find these support boards helpful. Have a nice electrophysiologist : hope spelling is accurate.
Considering a beta as mentioned in earlier post. So frustrating when the heart is not beating steady and calm. I too have Mvp, Cardiogenic Syncope , Heart Murmurs since birth and increased my salt intake and many small meals, lots of water and none of the no-no's mentioned above.
Did you doctor tell you the symptoms would progress with time ?
Fear to when your engine acts up is normal if it was your car right ? I hope there are more clinical studies,
Any hormone effects on your body as well ?
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Hi everyone, I just wanted to say how valuable all this info is!!  I have a question, do any of you notice that yours increase with exertion?  I used to get them more when I was laying around or in bed, but now I kind of notice the reverse, that I'm better when I'm laying around, but get them when I exert myself or stimulate my heart in some way, like a hot shower or walking up steps or hills.  Do you think this would indicate a more serious problem?  I hadn't read much about that yet, and I was wondering if you guys mostly get yours when you're relaxing or what.  My cardiologist said to continue exercising if I get them, but that's pretty scary, I just want to go and sit down and get rid of them!  She is also assuming these are PVC's, I took a holter monitor on Friday, and haven't gotten the results yet, so we'll see.  I used to have lots of PVC's, and PAC's, and even had an episode of atrial fib once caught on a monitor, so I don't even really know what that means.  My doc just said to take an aspirin per day.  Well, thanks again, I was just wondering about the exercising thing,  Val
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I too seem to experience more PVC's when I get a fever or head cold.  Talked to my internist about it and he said he could see the plausible physiology behind it (fever resulting from/in stepped up metabolism, etc.).  Anyway, one of my first grabs when I get a bunch of palps now if for some ibuprofen.  Strangely, Benadryl seems to help sometimes, too - especially if I get palps after eating something with MSG in it
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A related discussion, PVC's and Indigestion? was started.
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