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Skipped Heart Beats (PVC's
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Skipped Heart Beats (PVC's

Hello Doctor, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for hosting this forum, I've posted once before and have found it very informative and helpful, thank you!
I have a few questions concerning PVC's & PAC's. I have been evaluted by two different cardiologists with a battery of tests and everthing is normal, noted 1/2 apical ejection (flow) murmur only (28 year old male, 5' 11", 190LBS, athletic).
1. From what I understand now, PVC's & PAC's are not harmful, is either worse than the other? ie. more PVC's
2. Is the sensation of a skipped beat the result of an extra beat or is the sensation from the extra flow of blood resulting from a longer pause in the heart rythm?
3. If an individual is experiencing for example 1,000 PAC's/PVC's on a daily basis, does that signify an extra 1,000 beats? Wouldn't these extra beats over a span of an average life "tire" the heart muscle?
4. I notice in my resting pulse only (around 48-52BPM) that  sometimes after relaxing from either a work-out or just normal activity that a few beats are longer apart then others, however this is pattern is repeatitive, meaning the longer pause are not totally random but will repeat after the same number of beats per minute. My question is what's considered and irregular to regular pulse?
5. From your experience with past and present patients, have you seen any individuals experiencing PVC's/PAC's every go away entirely?
6. Are they the cause of some part of SA/NA node's deteriating?
7. Lastly on average, individuals with normal healthy hearts with benign PVC's/PAC's develop other serious conditions?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear alex,
1. From what I understand now, PVC's & PAC's are not harmful, is either worse than the other? ie. more PVC's
A: You are correct that in general PVCs and PACs are not harmful.  If one could be considered more potentially dangerous I suppose it would have to be PVCs, which if present in persons with heart disease may indicate the need for treatment.

2. Is the sensation of a skipped beat the result of an extra beat or is the sensation from the extra flow of blood resulting from a longer pause in the heart rythm?
A: The sensation is from the beat following the premature beat.  This is because following the premature beat there is a pause during which time the heart fills with additional blood.  The extra blood results in a stronger contraction and the sensation that many people have.

3. If an individual is experiencing for example 1,000 PAC's/PVC's on a daily basis, does that signify an extra 1,000 beats? Wouldn't these extra beats over a span of an average life "tire" the heart muscle?
A: No, they are not really "extra" beats but only "early" or premature beats coming slightly before the regular beat would have come.  When you have a PVC or PAC the regular beat is sppressed so the number of heart beats over the day is the same.


4. I notice in my resting pulse only (around 48-52BPM) that sometimes after relaxing from either a work-out or just normal activity that a few beats are longer apart then others, however this is pattern is repeatitive, meaning the longer pause are not totally random but will repeat after the same number of beats per minute. My question is what's considered and irregular to regular pulse?
A: This is normal and is called heart rate variability.  It is linked to your breathing and autonomic nervous system and is a sign of good heart health.

5. From your experience with past and present patients, have you seen any individuals experiencing PVC's/PAC's every go away entirely?
A: Usually they do not go away but over time many individuals stop noticing them.

6. Are they the cause of some part of SA/NA node's deteriating?
A: No.

7. Lastly on average, what percentage of individuals with normal healthy hearts and benign PVC's/PAC's develop other serious conditions?
A: This would be no different from the public in general.  There is no data that individuals with PVCs or PACs are at higher risk for developing serious health problems.
52 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I can answer question #5 since I just received the results of a completed 24 hour holter monitor, an ECG, and annual exam after contracting both PVCs (292) and PACs (590)for a week.

They have all but subsided after nearly two weeks. I had a similar problem three years ago. They came and went.  

Even for two years after Aortic Valve replacement surgery in 4/2000 I had few if any beats that were unusual.

Mine, I attribute to 1)mitral valve leak in the +1-2 range and slight prolapse as the 'stage set' and then 2)'the player' my errant diet, with a confirmation by my cardiologist that MSG and very unusually high salt intake (made my own cured Salmon) in the days before onset acted as the precip event. Caffiene on top of it was likely an additional contributing factor.  Once I metaboized the salt and MSG and cut out salt and the caffeine back to 1/3 for a few days, things returned pretty much to normal, but they NEVER go away entirely.

Every once in a while, I get the heart hiccups.
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Thanks for the comment Gary, I had all those tests as well, I've been assured that my "valvetrain" and "structure" are all normal.  I'm glad to hear that your doing well after your surgery, hopefully my normal heart will stay that way, including all the valves for a lifetime... Thanks and take care, Alex.
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Hi there Fred, thanks for the info, you sound like a Cardiologist yourself. If PVC's/PAC's are a predictor for sudden death, then wouldn't every single person be on "death row". I've been told that every single human being in this world gets PVC's/PAC's occasionally?  I'm wondering if the stress due to mild weight trainning and moderate physical acitivity over the last 15 years or so is a possibe underlying factor? Anyways, It also appears to get worse with time... PS. How old are you and did you actually have a Heart attack? Wouldn't a Echo & EKG confirm that?

Thanks, Alex.
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Avatar_n_tn
What are considered worse?
premature atrial contractions or premature ventricular contractions?
is one considered more harmful then the other especially concerning exercise?
I tend to notice mine after excercise or say a heavy meal or when I have gas ect..I have found that eating very small meals has made a substantial difference.
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Avatar_m_tn
This is a very informaive exchange of comments and I wouldlike to aadd my own, After triple CABG and AVR (ST.Jude) in June 2000 I remained completely awareof every single heart beat. At first they were hard fast beats which the cardios said to ignore and that they would go away. They never did. About 6 months ago I started with missbeats and after an ER visit the diagnosis was - No arrhythmia but SINUS ARRHYTHMIA! Which according to Fred is nothing to wprry about. Echos revealed slight valve regugitation  - tricuspid and may be pulmonary. A 30 day monitor also revealed PACs/PVCs? but still the medical advice is to ignore these. But how can I when they awake me at 4am and its impossible to sleep after these episodes which have become quite frequent and are increasing in duration (1-3 hrs). The PACs/PVCs also seem to be highly related to what and when I eat particularly at dinner time. As a diabetic I monitor my blood glucose regularly and the missbeats also seem to be related to moderately low BG. I am on Coumadin and sleep tablets and sedatives also help but I cannot be on these forever. Would appreciate comments or advice from anyone with similar condition or can be contacted at ***@****
Thanks,
ChrisR
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Thanks for your prompt reply. I have had a loop monitor but not the Holter. That sounds like a better idea. Yes I have tried Atenolol which initially slowed my heart rate to the point that I could hardly hear it and I really thought that it had solved the hard fast beats. But then after about a week I started with the skips or PACs/PVCs and they persisted even with a fraction of the 25mg Atenolol tablet. I had to be weaned off it. Later tried Cardizem but with almost the same effects. I have been prescribed Verapimil on my last visit to the cardio but have not decided to try it as yet. Do you have any experience with Verapimil? Like yourself I have noticed the skips only when the HR slows down so I worry about the Beta blockers or anything that will have the same effect. Since I am in the USVI (St.Croix) I usually must go off island (usually PR) for most of my treatment. I am thinking about the Texas Arrhythmia Institute in Houston. Have you heard of TAI or would you recommend somewhere else? Thanks again.
ChrisR
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been reading about PVC & PACS, but don,t really understand what they mean. I am nearly 80, and have been having occasional extra heart beats, followed by a pause, for over a year. At times it is two normal beats, followed by a pause for what seems a long time very early in the mornings. towards morning It lengthens out to about nine normal beats and an extra one and a pause. I take medication at 6 am, Monopril, Metoprolol,  and a diuretic. By seven my heartbeat is normal, 65 per min. and regular. It comes back, at times, late afternoon. Medication again at 6 pm. Metoprolol,Lescol, Aspirin. Symptons go away before Nine PM. I have been worried about this, and called my Docs office. They said "Don,t worry about it" I need a second opinion on it. I am a pretty active  guy, walk, garden etc., have had high blood pressure, but it is under control.
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Hi! I just can't express the joy I am feeling at this very moment after learning that I am not alone! I have been bothered with PVCs and palps since the age of 13.  I am now 21 and still being annoyed daily by all the weird sensations.  Since I can't ever seem to post my question with the doc, I was wondering if someone might be able to PLEASE answer this question for me.  You see, not only do I get the funny feeling heart skips, but sometimes my heart feels like it completely stops for a brief second and I feel this wave of fear wash over my entire body.  I also feel this fluttering in my neck sometimes.  Has anyone else experienced the long pause followed by the wave or the fluttering in the neck??? I see my cardio doc once a year and everything looks normal. Also, God bless you all and keep your heads up!! I know it's tough, but we can get through this aggravating stuff if we all continue to help eachother.
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hi hank I have a questions for you.  Why is running decreasing the intensity and frequency of pvc?  If I don't run I know that is going to be a "terrible" day where I will be able to feel every forceable heart beat? do you a have a theory behind running and reduction of pvc? thanks, paola 37
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I'd like to offer my experiences with PVCs. After several years of occasional PVCs (one here and there), I had a lengthy out of bronchitis, followed by PVCs (many thousands per day). It was incredibly debilitating and depressing, so I sympathize completely with the many posts I've been reading here. During the first week I was in the ER receiving fluids and magnesium shots. After the initial exams, including a treadmill stress test that was completely normal, I was told the PVCs were benign and given Atenelol (beta blocker). It made things worse. I felt dizzy and sick, and I hated the feeling that my heartbeat was being artificially altered. That's when I intensified my search for alternative treatments. It has been about a month, and I still have the PVCs, but they are lighter, and no longer dominating my life and keeping me awake at night. Honestly, they are still at times uncomfortable, but the improvement has been significant. This is what I am doing:

1. No caffeine or alcohol
2. Daily Supplements: 600 mg Magnesium Glycinate, 800 mg Vitamin E, CoQ 10 (100 mg) for heart function, EmergenC (1 packet after exercising; it is a great electrolyte replacement)
3. Smaller meals, especially in the evening. I try not to eat after 8 PM
4. I run 3 miles a day on the treadmill. The immediate benefit of running (or any true aerobic exercise) is that it slightly elevates my heartbeat for a few hours after running. This all but eliminates the PVCs, and as they gradually return, they are lighter. My gut feeling is that daily aerobic exercise (at least 30 minutes) is the most important factor for controlling benign PVCs.
5. Yoga 3-4 times per week.
6. Meditation: I use a CD to help with the process. I'm not doing this as much as I should, but when I do, the effects are noticeable.
7. If I'm  feeling anxious, or experiencing stronger PVCs at night, I take Five Flower Formula, a homeopathic remedy that is a natural stress reliever.
8. Finally, I try not to take my pulse constantly, an exercise that only seems to contribute to my stress level.

Since doing all this, I've experienced the following positive changes:

1. Frequency of PVCs is greatly reduced.
2. I can fall asleep easily, even with light PVCs.
3. I can once again sleep on my left side.
4. Resting heart rate is lower, which reduces the intensity of the PVCs.

Sorry for the long post. I hope this is helpful.

Mark
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Mark,
   it's great to hear about someone who definately hasa a control on this.I would like to thank you for giving us great advice.I will surely put them to use.Thanks again.


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Avatar_n_tn
I have had skipped beats. It comes and goes. As for nutrition, I believe that taking fish oil (or eating salmon or fatty fish twice a week) daily will definitely reduce the risk of cardic death. Also, I find that magnesium, copper, selenium, and calcium are important for regulating heart beats.  

Be aware that taking too much zinc will cause copper deficiency. Copper deficiency causes irregular heartbeats. There is no copper supplement (only in multimineral supplement, not a standalone copper) as I know of but you can get some from cooking acidic food in copper pots or wearing copper bracelets (although copper bracelets don't give enough copper for a day).

Studies show that eating fatty fish twice a week significantly reduces heart deaths and irregular heartbeats by up to 50%. It is believed that the fatty acids in fish help regulate heartbeats.

Magnesium is effective at controlling heartbeats. I don't know if taking it in a supplement will help. From what I read, it's usually done through shots or prescribed medication.

And yes, be sure to exercise. Exercise help streghten heart muscles and saturate the blood with oxygen. Also, you'd feel more toned and more active.

-jeff
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Avatar_n_tn
I was diagnosed with PVCs several years ago. I went through several recurring episodes, and after investigation was told they could be due to a slight prolapse of my mitral valve. After understanding what was happening, I relaxed and the episodes were less frequent. I continued to monitor myself and found that any occurence was only during PMS (I'm female). I thought it was due to the emotional stress that I felt at those times. But now that I'm 49 and quite sure I'm in peri-menopause, I'm having very frequent occurences again. But there seems to be a pattern with my monthly cycles, and I'm sure my hormones are surging and fluctuating. Has anyone (female) experienced PVCs during their cycles? I would be very interested in finding out if they have any relation to hormone levels.  Dusty111
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I think the consensus that pacs/maybe pvcs must be benign in normal hearts is due to the fact that a few studies have shown that most healthy people have these everyday - although mainly isolated premature beats, this study is an eg.

Holter monitor findings in asymptomatic male military aviators without structural heart disease.

Folarin VA, Fitzsimmons PJ, Kruyer WB.

Aeromedical Consultation Service, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB, TX 78235-5117, USA.

PURPOSE: Our study was designed to determine the spectrum of Holter monitor findings in normal male military aviators to establish a reference for aircrew populations with cardiac related diagnoses. METHODS: We identified all individuals with normal cardiac catheterization in the United States Air
Force Aeromedical Consultation Service cardiac catheterization database from January 1984 to December 1998. Cases with valvular disease, left or right bundle branch block, and referral diagnoses of ectopy or arrhythmia were then excluded. Results of Holter monitor studies performed on the remaining aviators prior to cardiac catheterization were then collected and tabulated. Frequency of isolated ectopy was classified as a percentage of the total beats on the Holter monitor: rare (< or =0.1%), occasional (>0.1 to 1.0%), frequent (>1.0 to 10%) and very frequent (>10%). RESULTS: From 1575 consecutive cardiac catheterizations reviewed, 303 aviators met the above inclusion criteria. Only 36 of 303 (11.9%) had no ectopy at all. Rare, occasional, frequent and very frequent isolated atrial ectopy occurred in 72.9%, 2.6%, 2.3% and 0.3%, respectively. The same categories of isolated ventricular ectopy occurred in 40.9%, 7.9%, 3.3% and 0.0%. Atrial and ventricular pairs occurred in 14.5% and 4.3%, respectively. Nonsustained supraventricular and
ventricular tachycardia (duration 3 to 10 beats) occurred in 4.3% (13/303) and 0.7% (2/303), respectively. There were no sustained supraventricular or ventricular tachycardias. CONCLUSIONS: In this population, absence of ectopy is unusual while rare isolated ectopy is common. These findings may help define the aeromedical/clinical significance of Holter monitors performed on aircrew with underlying cardiac complaints or diagnoses.
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Everone acknowledges that occassional PACs/PVCs are common and benign.  Even Fred would agree with that.  

I think the problem is when there are tons of them showing up.  Most doctors are disinclined to suggest they may be of some concern, since the textbook response is to provide assurance to the patient...assuming all else is ok; this is a tactic devised to avoid undo anxiety which is known to exacerbate the arrhythmia...and "if they really bother you you can always take some meds."  Ablation technology is fast approaching the day when an overactive case of PACs/PVCs may be worth the risk to treat.

Fred and others are concerned that this tactic was developed as a result of ignorance of what it means to have a constant arrhythmic barrage (for example, 1-6 PACs or PVCs / min on average).  Is that just a pain in the a** or is it a situation that leads to the development of more serious concerns?

I agree with Fred that there is no definitive study which would identify the risks due to persistent ectopy, and furthermore, given that PVCs are generally considered to be somewhat more of a concern, what the risks are from persistent PVCs.

  

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Avatar_n_tn
I tend to agree with Arthur and Fred,

Why ? I too have seen no study that indicates let alone conclude that PVC's/PAC's are in fact a benign condition. I have seen many statements on web pages and had many assurance's from each GP I have seen (I'm based in the UK). I too have had numerous ECG/EKGs Treadmill Stress Test, Echo and Thalium tests. All revelaing a structurally normal heart. The big BUT is that I suffer from 'Painful' PVCS which currently as I write I'm now on my 3rd day of what I call a run where I get 2-4 a minute (yes a minute) every minute of every hour for a couple of hours a few minutes to an hours rest before the cycle begins again. Prior to this run I have had 5 days of relative calm with maybe only 10-20 thumpers in a day. I do not drink or smoke. I do not ingest aspartame or MSG. No caffiene. I eat plenty of oily fish mackerel/sardines drink only water eat fresh vegatables and plan to start excercising as soon as I get over my fear of dropping dead. I have had the holter monitor but that was on a good day and only a few PVC/PAC's were recorded. I don't consider this a benign condition and I am seriously looking to be ablated. My experience started in November of last year and I still haven't come to terms or got a grip on this condition. Hard evidence from a study would help to ease my mind. Until that day I will take my condition more seriously than my doctors do and will endevour to do my best to keep myself as healthy as I can.

Just to pour more hot water onto this topic - I get light headed and tired so easily with the frequency of these things and I get a hell of a lot of chest pain plus the elctrical pins and needles down the arm.I also experience the most sickening feeling in my stomach when  get a run of these. Once I experienced a 4 back to back beat skip beat skip which scared the **** out of me. BUT I'm still here. After seeing many GP's here and a cardiologist I still am and will be forever told that they are benign.

Yours absolutely baffled in the UK Richard.
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Avatar_n_tn
interesting thread.

I suspect I've also had PVCs for a long time. For me, there were 3 things that would always contribute to this (large amounts of coffee, severe lack of sleep, and severe levels of stress)

I'm wondering how these items really factor in, and if they physcially create irritations.  (39 yr old male, HS and College Athlete, never smoked, no drugs, Blood Pressure about 124/78, otherwise in excellent physical health)

I suspect mine is a unique case. Stress and anxiety was unprecedented for me last year: my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in March, my dad died in July, My office was in the World Trade Center & was there on sept 11th (made it out, thank god), and then spent the next few months stressing about my job and what the future would be for my company and my employment. Very bad times. Very emotional time, nightmares, waking up feeling my heart pounding and out-of-breath, you name it.

Related or concidence: Two weeks after 9/11 I blacked out during some heavy exercise (I was not exercising regularly at that point).  The last thing I remember, I felt a very strong sensation, like a PVC in my chest. A trip to the ER showed nothing. For the next 6-7 months I just seemed to notice PVCs more. Maybe singles, other times pairs. I started a reasonable exercise program and eventually lost 20 lbs. But I still felt irritable and had huge problems trying to sleep.  After a couple of sleepless nights a few months back I felt a very bad "run" on my way to work, even made me feel dizzy.  A trip to the ER documented a short run of V-tach along with the PVCs.

On for tests: A cardiac cath showed my arteries big and open, but an electro-physiology study found I was able to be induced , after much prodding, for V-tach (they hit me with the defib while I was still wide awake, no meds, boy that felt wonderful - I still have flashbacks and panic attacks from this alone).  I also had two very short runs of V-tach immediately after the EPS study.

At my request I was transferred to what is considered a leading heart hosp in the NY area. There they performed an MRI, which showed nothing unusual, but an echo showed a septal buldge. I also have mitro valve prolapse.  This, they concluded, may or may not be contributing. In the end there was enough evidence to give me an ICD, which was done the next day.

The conclusion was that a beta blocker was the treatment, and that the ICD was the insurance policy. What is mind boggling to me is that the Docs feel I will be absolutely fine! "Normal life"

So now I'm back at the Gym, getting plenty of rest (I'll sleep an hr or 2 extra in AM if I dont get enough rest at night), no coffee, no alcohol, period.

I still feel PVCs (which is why/how I found this site in the first place). I certainly feel them (or they occur more) when I think or obsess about it - thats for darn sure.

So now I'm still trying to understand how I went from not feeling anything to do with my heart for years and years (darn I used to run 12 miles a day, and I'd push myself to near exhaustion) to the point where I'm feeling these stupid PVCs and even had a short run of V-tach. Go figure.


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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 44 year old woman who has been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse at the age of 20 and I have had palpitations since that time. I was not having palpitations for over 6 months, but last November, they started up again more frequent than I've ever experienced. I went to a cardiologist and had many tests including an event recorder, stress test, EKG. Everything was found to be ok.The event recorder showed numerous PVC's, but I was told not to be concerned. When I have these palpitations, it is very annoying and sometimes scary. I have been doing some reading about peri-menopause and the fact that this can increase palpitations and I am going to have some bloodwork done to see if this is the case. I have also read that progesterone cream can sometimes help with the palpitations. My gynecologist said he was not aware of this. I feel it is worth a try as nothing else seems to help. I also know that when I am anxious, my palpitations are much worse.
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It's reassuring reading all the posts on this forum, yet I still have questions.  Everyone says PVCs are benign in a normal heart, but what about someone who has 3 leaky valves?  Is that considered a normal heart?  Also, how long is a stress test good for?  I've had some recent problems, and my doc just says "Oh, you had a good stress test a year ago, can't be your heart."  Thanks for any info.
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hi, john - I feel for you - I have experienced a serious period of stress during May 2001 and bang!!! the pvc showed up out of wood-work - I too used to be an avid runner - partially vegeterian, no alchool, no drug, no caffeine --- but I guess that is not so important - the pvc still appeared.  I am 37, female.

Do you notice a decrease in pvc after you run?  I do -  and I wonder if it is just me or if there is a logical explanation for it.  I have seen a total of 8 doctors - including 3 at John Hopkins and they all tell me the same story - they are benign - move on!!!! easy for them to say.

Hope all is well in n.y.
Italia64
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Avatar_n_tn
Italia,

I generally feel better after exercise, but I've taken a pulse and there are still some isolated PVCs. So I may not feel them, but they are sometimes there.

I know for everyone its tough to trust the DR advice, but even me, as bad as I felt (in all honesty while in the hosp I didn't think I was going to make it - I was that bad emotionally) , I'm back going to the gym, working out, and sure enough I'm still here.

What's also interesting is I wore a monitor a month before I ended up in the hosp.  I felt as though the monitor would show nothing since I felt fine for the 24 hr period I wore it, but the doc said he noted some extra beats.

I firmly suspect that while I may have been predisposed to such a thing (PVCs and even the v-tach), the extreme stress and anxiety brought all of this to the surface.

Now its a tough road to get my life back to normal. I do believe that when I feel calm, not anxious, not depressed, I do have fewer PVCs.  But on the other hand, the sensation of a PVC is not that different from the start of a run of V-tach, which I now know is very serious. Sure, I have an ICD to hopefully correct anything serious, but the mind is a very powerful thing.



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Avatar_n_tn
I too have had PVCs for at least 17 years off and on. They have caused me much anxiety and anguish as well as marital stife.

I am now 42, male, don't drink, don't smoke, no caffeine and no drugs. I regularly exercise (run about 10-15 miles per week) and lift weights a couple times per week.

My PVCs went away for a long time (about 5 years with nothing more than an occasional one once a month or so). About a year ago I started having a lot of stress at work and the darn things started happening again. I had lots of anxiety with them and started seeing a shrink. I even went on Paxil for a while for the anxiety, but the side affects from the drug was almost as bad as the anxiety itself. The PVCs eventually faded away and I was just about PVC for a year. Then I injured my back lifting weights and now they have come back in earnest.

After recent multiple trips to my family doctor, EKGs, Holter (didn't record any), an Echocardiagram, and a stress EKG my cardiologist says "don't let them freak you out.".

My question to the group is, how do you cope with things things ona daily basis? They cause me extreme anxiety when they are happening and whenthey are not, I am anxious of them starting!

Thanks.
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I have a very simple questions for the group.  I recently visited my 8th doctors and he suggested to get off Toprol for the treatment of pvc/pac and begin with Acebutolol -which is the generic name for - Sectral - .

Apparently Sectral is specifically designed to treat both Hypertension and PVC.  Does Sectral really works? What are the side effects? I am 37yrs old female and I like to exercise -  I ran approximately 4 miles a day, don't smoke, don't drink. I also wonder how come my previous 7 doc's never came up with this drug.  Is it because Toprol is right now the most "popular" beta blocker or is it because it works the best?  In the product insert for Toprol I have actually read that Toprol can cause palpitation - boy who needs that !!!! - The product insert for Sectral speaks to the therapeutics effect that this drug has on pvc - and there is no mention that Sectral causes palpitations.

So for the Sectral users out there - does it really suppress the frequency of pvc and the strenght with which they come on???

Another question that i have for the group is: I can understand the PVC are benign in a structurally healthy heart.. but what happens with aging??? Elderly people usually have weaker heart - will aging make PVC more dangerous than what they are now at 37?

Italia
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Hi, everybody! I have dealt with pvc's for more than 30 years and I am still going strong! They are a pain in the a** but everything I've read ana dll the docs I've talked with are convinced it is no big deal. I was given toprol by my doctor to take occasionally when the pvc's interfere with my sleep. Any comments about this? I am a little anxious about taking any medication. I would rather just be annoyed. What about ablation? Sounds like a great remedy, but I have heard that things can go wrong. Any comments or advice? Thanks
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I have had PVC's for about two years. They have been as bad as 1 skip out of every two almost daily. Nothing worked except amiodarone, which I feared would have long run bad side effects like liver problems. I did the following, don't know which did the trick but SOMETHING WORKED.
Lost about 7 lbs eating mostly veggies, since the byproducts they feed livestock can be the cause.
Since my cholesterol level was 255 the doc suggested I take flax seed and garlic. I bought flax seed oil at whole foods and use it with olive oil and seasonings to make my own dressing (NO MSG)
I mainly keep sweet potatoes handy; throw them in the microwave at work or home. The less hungry I am the less tempted I am to go to a fast food place. Now the skips which have plagued me for two years are practically gone and I live like a normal human being; no more dizzy spells or lethargy from zebeta, etc.
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hello everyone, i've been just filling up on all the advise you people have given. I also feel that i'm am not alone any longer.THERE REALLy ARE PEOPLE LIVING WITH THIS.WOW i just feel like a 200 lb load was lifted off my back.  I Have been to 3 different hospital er rooms within the last 2 weeks.  The first one said this is not uncommon and upped my toporal. I decided he did not know what he was talking about and went to another hospital about 30 miles away, they hooked me up to some monitors and the nurse did not ack really concurned, she says oh your just having pvc's. I was having them anywhere between 3 and 5 times a minute. It took the doctor a long time to come to my room. He looked at the monitor and said what can i help you with today? Iwas really upset thinking i was at the end of my time,and he was acting so unconcerned.  He did some blood work said that sometimes certain things arn't right in your blood and hopefully that will be an easy fix. all my blood work came back normal.   So he again upped my tororal and sent me home. After a few more days, I was feeling so anxious about this it was driving me crazy, i decided they all must be wrong and drove 100 miles to another er room.  Freidert medical college in milwaukee. just to hear all the same things i head before and once again have my toporal increased.  I have since had a ecko, isn't that the ultrasound of the heart, still have not heard anything from them.  One doctor started me on a antidepressant but that made me feel even worse,  They say give it time, but sorry i feel i don't have all that time.  I have had pvc's for the last couple of years. Never ever to this extent.  I do notice though that they do get worse it seems right after my period, i just turned 40 couple weeks ago.  thanks for listening and i am anxious to get started on some of your remidies. The first will be exercising, i have not exercised in years because it scared me. but i'm going to start.  one more last comment, i had a baby 2 years ago and did not have one pvc while i was pregnant and totally off all medication,  Make ya wonder!  I am so glad i found this site      thanks again                                                                             Maureen- ***@****
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I am 36yrs old, and have been diagnosed with PAC's just recently.  They come and go, are pretty frightening at times.  I was prescribed Xanax 10mg for slight anxiety, it does seem to help, I only take them when needed.  I to have had many trips to the ER, only to find that everything is fine.  I will experience a skip in beats occasionally I am totally aware it is happening because it makes me cough a little and my heart slows down somewhat, it is frightening is this normal?  Also about 2 yrs ago at the ER a physician stated she thought I may have a small right bundle branch block, I beleive this was a finding from an EKG?  I did have a cardiologist view that same EKG and he only found slight tachylcardia, how can this be with two different opinions?  I would really appreciate some advice, I am releived to know that I am not alone, my husband beleives this is all anxiety, he is not the greatest listener.

  Hope to hear from someone soon    Fuller
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I hate to do this but in my never ending search for an answer to further understand PVC's and possible relief from them I came across this today :-

Definition:  A PVC is an ectopic foci originating in the ventricles. This depolarization is premature. The two ventricles do not usually depolarize simultaneous. A widened QRS complex may result. Three or more PVCs in a row or PVCs lasting more than 30 seconds are considered a run of ventricular tachycardia (VT). PVCs may occur in an isolated complex, or in every other beat (bigeminy), or even in every third beat (trigeneminy). PVC can be isolated incidents without symptoms, which is no cause for alarm, or PVCs can be symptomatic. Possible causes are electolyte imbalances, hypoxia, ischemia, acute myocardial infarction and medical toxicity.  

its from :-

http://www.ce5.com/ekg500.htm

now if I have understood correctly going by this I have VT and when in a bad attack of PVC's say over a day I have sustained VT for around 10hrs. That can't be correct can it ?

Is this the correct definition of VT ?

I don't mean to alarm anyone and find it dubious becaue by the definition if I understand it correctly I have been in sustained VT for a good number of months now .... erm any comments ...

anyone.
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I will say again that after changing my diet my PVC's dropped dramatically. I was getting skips every third beat at times, it was so bad. By eating vegetables and salads with dressing I made out of lemon juice, honey, flax and olive oils and spices, and after taking garlic pills a couple of times a day to lower cholesterol levels in only about two or three weeks I can live like a normal human being. I drink mostly bottled water or orange juice. I can't emphasize enough that this diet is worth a try. I eat meat very rarely if at all and never visit fast food places. Whether it is what they are feeding the livestock I don't know. But it is working for me. Doubt it is for everyone, perhaps best for those who have taken all the tests and the doctors are still baffled as to the cause, like my case.
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Hello,I finally don't feel alone and like I'm going crazy. I have seen 2 Cardiologists and have been to the E.R. several times, a few by calling 911. I'm 29 and had these skipped beats in my early 20's and they went away, and now they are back with a vengence. They scare me sooooo bad. I am now on Inderal and Paxil and it seems to help though I am afraid to exercise or get my heart rate up. I heard that magnesium has been know to help, and I started taking it about a week ago and it really seems that it has helped. My husband and I are thinking about starting a family, and I am afraid that a pregnangy will put added strain on my heart, can anyone tell me if that is true? Again, I am sooo happy I found this board, now I know I'm not just a hypochondriac these horrible things are real, I just with they would go away!! :-(
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I am a 42 yr old white male......6'3 260 pounds. Severasl PVC's a day but mostly brought on by exercise. I do most of my work at night and 5 mins into my job I start having PVC's. I try to tell myself they are harmless. And they just get worse. They even hurt if that makes any sense. I am currently taking 50mg of Toprol-XL twice a day. And 150 mg of Rythmol twice a day. My Cardiologist just recntly took me off 50 mg of Tenormin twice a day in favor of the Toprol-XL. I've been taking this new med for 4 days. But I personally think that has increased my over all PVC's count. And more PAC's as well. I'm going to switch back to Tonormin in the morning. Sometimes not always but sometimes when I walk......half way through my route they overide and go away. Of course until I'm back home resting and my heartrate comes back down they return. Most times at resting my HR will drop as low as 51........at those times I have more PAC's than PVC's. And there are days when I can simply walk through the house to put up a book and I will have several. The more fatigued I am the more I seem to have these. But like I said they occur mostly when I begin work or exercise. They are very depressing. I have to plan my days around whether I feel I'm gonna have a "Good Heart Day" or a bad one. Does anyone feel I'm a good candidate for ablation? I don't smoke I don't drink and I avoid caffeine at all cost. Don't wanna give my heart an excuse to beat faster. Any help ANYONE can give me would be a great help.
Thankyou so much.......Wayne in Arkansas
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Hi
I found this site so interesting and somewhat reassuring too.
I have suffered from sinus tachycardia for the past five years, in addition, two years ago I also started getting the "skipping" beats, or premature beats mentioned on this site.
I too have run the tests, EKG's, Talium tests, stress tests, etc etc.  Have a "fleshy" mitral valve with turbulence and take meds when having dental work done.
My skips occur when my heart rate is elevated (excet when excercising) - I have quit smoking, cut back on caffeine,started to drink plenty of water and have found that it has made the problems less frequent.  My episodes always seem to run with
1.  Hormonal patterns
2.  After particularly stressful times.
3.  In conjunction with eating

Has anyone made any correlation between the skipped beat sensation and peri menopause, or acid reflux?
Thanks
Deb
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I am so happy to find that I am not totally crazy.  After hearing time and time again to just relax (right) and that my symptoms were not dangerous.  As far as I can tell by this website and other research, most of the people with pvc's and pac's are still with us.  Dont get me wrong, I have lots of problems with falling and staying asleep, and controlling fear and anxiety with my symptoms. I have had a bad response to the calcium channel blocker the doctor prescribed.  (Verelan-pm).  I think that they increased my symptoms by 5 times at least.  I have athsma so I guess I am not able to try a beta-blocker.  Is there any one else with athsma who has had any luck with any anti-arrythmic drug?  It sounds like most of the people here are thinking that they all make syptoms (symptoms) worse..  Also I notice an increase in syptoms (symptoms) pre-menstrual.  I hope we can all get the help we need to feel better.  I am going to start with some of the vitamin/oil, etc products and see.

Thanks for listening, and hope to get a response

Shellym
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I am 25 and I have asthma, but not real bad.  I take altenolol for my high blood pressure and it doesnt bother my asthma, but it makes me so tired I have to get myself motivated to do anything.  I also notice my beats get worse about that time of the month
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I know for a fact that my pvc's are much worse when I am premenstrual, even though my cardiologist doesn't think that is the case. I can honeslty say that taking magnesium has REALLY helped. I can relate to the feeling scared all the time, I missed so much work because as soon as I would open my eyes in the morning "bam" they would start, and they are sooooo scary. So, for the whole day I would sit on edge waiting for the next one to hit, it was horrible. I have gotten a little better with dealing with them, though I still will not get on my treadmill in fear I will drop dead if I get my heart rate too high. Again, I am so happy to have found this site and know I am not alone, and Hi Wayne in Arkansas I'm in Arkansas to!
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THANK you all SO MUCH for sharing your experiences (and advice---going to try the diet modifications ASAP!) I have suffered with these things for 11 years (following the birth of my first child). I was diagnosed with SVT and a "few" PVC's. I take Nadolol for the SVT--the only thing that controlled it. Had holter monitors, several E.R. trips, echo, stress test, of course "everything looks fine". I guess I am going to have to try to calm down and live with this. One question---does anyone experience episodes where your heart seems to "skip" then a regular beat or two, then some more skipping and fluttering (entire episode lasts for 5-10 mins)? I have had 2 of these episodes in the last 2 months and they are scaring me to death! The last was at the gyno's office--he felt my pulse and said "Yep, I can feel that. I'll write you a script for an EKG" (which showed a perfectly normal sinus rhythm- duh!) I can live with the occasional "skip", but this feels like what I have heard described as VT(aaahhhh!!!) I also DEFINITELY notice some correlation between these things and my menstrual cycle--wish someone would look into this. I am 35, non-smoker, work out approx. 3x/week, have 4 kids (actually had a "run" of these when I was 5mos preg. with the last). I appreciate ANY help (or reassurance) that what this is is annoying and not life-threatening. I'm driving everyone around me nuts (I'm scared to be alone with my kids for fear of dropping dead). Thanks again to anyone who can help!!! ~Tracey
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HI Tracey,

I have had the "bouts" that you are talking about, where it'll skip then normal and then I have a few in a row, and all I can do is take my pulse constantly and try to stay calm. My last trip to the E.R. they finally caught it all on the ekg and were just like, "yep, pvc's they won't hurt you, and sent me on my terrified way." My Menstrual cycle plays a BIG part in these things. I'm going to be 30 in December and have not had children yet, but my husband and I are talking about it and I am so scared of being pregnant with these things. I can say the inderal they put me on has helped a little, but I think the Magnesium has helped more. The fact of knowing I'm not alone with these things has alos helped ALOT! Hang in there, and know that they won't hurt you. :-)
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I just stumbled on this website and must say it is great.  I was diagnosed with PACS/PVCS in 99.  I am currently taking Covera-Hs, which helps more than the beta-blockers, but the side effects are a pain.  I am blessed to have a cardiologist that suffers from pacs/pvcs himself. Bottom line-if you have a healthy heart they are nothing more than a nuisense.  Stress is one of the biggest factor in aggrevating them, and of course when you have a run, you are even more stressed.  Exercise is great because it burns off the cortisol your body produces when your stressed and will slow the PVC's.  I love Iced tea and still drink it, just in moderation. Stopped eating red meat and noticed a huge! improvement.  For the Ladies-and this comes from my cardiologist-not only can being pre-menstral bring them on, but so can ovulation. Also lack of enough rest will do it everytime.
Your mind is your own worse enemy-get out-get moving if you can-you will notice the symptoms reducing, even going away completely for periods of time. Hope this helps!
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Thanks so much for taking the time to reassure me!!! Maybe I can help alleviate some of your fears of becoming pregnant---I was taking Atenolol during my first and second pregnancies and I was fine all through both of them. I started to have problems with my third, but they really were confined to the first trimester---I think it had a lot to do with the "hormonal surge" when you become pregnant. Other than that and the "run" I had when 5 months pregnant with my last (there is also a big hormone fluctuation at that point), it was nothing worse than what I usually experience--MAYBE even less. When I'd have the occassional bout with these, I'd try to focus on the pregnancy and the little one in there, and it did seem to help. If you have any questions about any of this, you can e-mail me at: ***@**** Good luck to you!!! ~Tracey
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Thanks for the tip on exercizing! It's great to know that all the trips to the gym might actually help the PVCs too! I am going to try the magnesium thing as well--how much is a good starting point? I'm not a big red meat eater, but I do notice something when I have red meat (always thought it was the red wine I had with it!!!) Ha ha! Speaking of... has anyone noticed more of these after having a glass or two of wine? That's when I seem to get the SVT followed by the PVCs. Someone mentioned something about the sulfites possibly aggravating the condition. Any word on that?
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I have had PVCs daily, for about two months, beginning after a lengthy  bout with bronchitis. They were so intense, I ended up in the ER where I received IV treatment including a gram of Magnesium and two bags of electrolytes. It turns out I was dehydrated from being sick. After going through the EKGs and Treadmill Stress test (all negative), I decided to focus on natural treatment. A short stint with Atenelol made me feel much worse, and I decided that beta blockers were not for me.

Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise(getting your heart rate up to the target zone is critical) each day, and supplements (Magnesium 400 mg, CO Q10 90 mg, Vitamin E 800 IU, and a Multi-Vitamin/Mineral), and daily meditation (very important) have allowed me to "function" without obsessing over the PVCs. At times I have them every three beats, but there are periods where I don't notice them at all. Of course, I'd prefer not having them at all, but I'm optimistic that they will eventually subside.

As for the wine, it's interesting that for the past year, I would have an allergic reaction to certain wines (white or red). After a couple sips, my face would turn red and itchy, to the point I would have to hold an icy washcloth to my face for relief. If I stopped drinking the wine, the symptoms would gradually subside in about an hour. Since having the PVCs, I've stopped drinking completely (not easy for a former wine importer). Now, I'm wondering if the first reaction was somehow related to the eventual onset of PVCs. It so happens that I had 3 or 4 glasses of wine the night before my PVCs really kicked in.

For an interesting take on alternative treatment, check out Dr. Walt Stoll's site (http://askwaltstollmd.com/relax.html) on Skilled Relaxation. This is not a dramatic, immediate cure, but I think it is worth the effort for anyone suffering from PVCs or similar heartbeat irregularities. Stress plays a major role in the effects and intensity of PVC episodes, and the time spent perfecting meditation techniques is certainly worthwhile.

Best of luck,

Mark
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Hi Mark! Thanks a million for the info---I am going to check that website out. I think the resounding message here seems to be that stress plays a significant role in the management of these things. It's interesting that you had the PVCs following a bout of bronchitis. My mom who is an E.R. (and flight) nurse, says that PVCs are very typical with "lungers". I tend to have a lot of respiritory stuff (chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, etc). As for the beta blockers---I didn't get any relief with the Atenolol, but I've had great results with the Nadolol. I think my case is a bit different in that the beta blocker prevents me from having the SVT (without it, my resting h.r. is around 130-- going up to around 200 during a run of SVT---not fun!)I was exhausted all the time. My h.r. is normal now-- 70's, and I feel a lot better. When I work out, my h.r. stays right around 135 or so (I'm guessing it's due to the beta blocker). When I broached the wine issue with my cardiologist, he said "Yeah, some people are just more sensitive to it (alcohol) than others"...THANKS! I noticed that the wine had a "delayed" effect in that I didn't have any problems until about 6 hrs. after my last drink. You could just about set your watch to it---Bizzare! Then I would actually wake up with a racing heart and PVCs that would last about an hour or so. The more I had to drink, the worse it was. Finally, I decided that it wasn't worth it, and now I limit it to an occassional drink (1 or 2 glasses a month). It would be interesting to know if others have had similar experiences. Thanks for all the info!!! Let me know how it goes! ~Tracey
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Hi jenilyn ....Batesville here. And yes I have those mornings too. Wake up feeling good and some days as soon as I sit up on the edge of the bed.....BAM. Aint much scares me but those things do. Also take Magnesium and Calcium and Zinc supplement. No change. For some I hear it works. May go to a speacialist in Memphis. If ever in yahoo chat look me up to talk about different docs in Ar. that might help......chat name and e- mail is  ***@****......
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Hi John,
I am new to this forum.  I have been reading it for about a month now because I to suffer from PVC's.  What a nightmare when I get them.  It was touching reading your comments.  You have really gone through a lot.  I feel for you. I can tell you that I have had this condition for over 20 years and I am still here!  If that is any help for you.  I get periods of Pvc's where I will not go out or go to the gym.  I even left work early because of them.  I have tried beta blockers but they seem to make them worse!  I also have SVT where my heart races all of a sudden up 180 bpm but only during the night.  It wakes me up and I am terrified.  I can take a beta blocker which works for this but it makes the pvc's worse during the day.  Not very good luck for me in this area.  Had all the tests. Just trying to deal with it all.  God BLess and Good Luck.
***@****
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I have had fluttering beats my whole life.. now I am 48 menopause
for 8 years.. the fluttering has gotten worse lately, especially after eating or laying on my left side at times. I have worn the halter monitor  and nothing really showed up. I am scheduled for an echostress test in July.. this feeling is quite bothersome and i can feel it in the center of my chest and sometimes in the abdominal area.. anyone experience this??
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I too, have appreciated all the comments. I just started getting PVCs over the past six months, and was also tested and reassured. (I am a 41 y/o F, in good general health, perfect weight, who typically gets a slightly under average amount of exercise.) I will have several days or weeks with almost constant activitiy (10-15/mn) and then I'll have days or weeks of "rest." It concerned me at first, but I was reassured by research and my physician, so now it is more annoying than anything.  My physician suggested moderate exercise on a regular basis would be good, as would avoiding any triggers (such as caffeine).

For me, the best way to deal with it is to not focus on it. When I wake up in the morning and feel the first flutters, I have two choices,  (1) to attend to the feeling, or (2) to put my mind on other things. I know my life is in God's hands, so I choose option 2. (This isn't always as easy as it may sound. The PVCs make me cough, and sometimes it feels like somebody is inside my chest poking me every couple seconds, making it physically hard to concentrate on other things.) Of course I also try to take care of myself and do the things I know are important (exercise, avoiding triggers, seeking medical advice), but as for wether or not they will shorten my life, or cause me more serious problems, since that is unknown medically, I decided to put that in God's hands and focus my energies on loving and serving others. The times I do that successfully (whether I have symptoms or not) are the times that I feel best.

As for the individual whose office was in the WTC, clearly you have been under an inordinate amount of stress in the past year. It is not surprising that you are having symptoms. Too often we believe that we are invincible in this country - that we can get hit with so much and still be okay. But that's not true. Be good to yourself and take the time you need to heal.



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does anyone know if you can get the skipped beats from taking a beta blocker.  I started taking about four months ago, and I never had a problem with the skipping until now.  Also, will they go away once my body is used to the drug.  One more thing I lost about 25 pounds, does losing weight make anyone have these things.  Thanks
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I am a 48 year old female who has suffered a heart attack on April 12 of this year..since then i have these **** pvc's daily...although not nearly as bad as i see some others have them...anyway.my heart attack was caused by a spasm and i have no blockage...very small amount of damage to the heart..and no heart disease...so does that mean i have a healthy heart? and am i going to drop over from these things? no one seems concerned and they scare the hell out of me...i thought they were from eating because it seems that's when i get them the most..but everyone tells me food has nothing to do with it..was on a holter monitor for 24 hours last weekend and was told it was normal..even though i had them for hours and they were pounding ones..i don't get it...i go to cardiac rehab three times a week and they don't seem to have a problem keeping me working out while i'm having a pvc..so..i want to believe they are harmless...i want to believe that more than anything...then maybe i could go on without being afraid every day.thanks for listening...
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I was having palpitations and skipped beats and was put on Inderal which is a beta blocker.  The beta blocker made the PVC's worse for me, so I weaned myself off of it and am now taking a magnesium supplement.  My doctor recommended a 2:1 magnesium/calcium supplement.  I take 600 mg. magnesium and 300 mg. of calcium combined.  It has helped some although has not alleviated them all together.  I also found out through blood work after doing a 48 hr. holter moniter and an echo stress test, that I am hyperthyroid.  Both the echo stress test and holter moniter showed sinus tachycardia and skipped beats. If anyone has undiagnosed palpitations and hasn't been tested have your Dr. run a T4,T3, and TSH test on you.

-Valerie
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Hi Babycakes,

Your comments made me feel a lot better, because i'm also 21 and thought I was the only one with this feeling.  The thought really depressed me, but i feel so much better now.

Bill,
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Hi Babycakes,

Your comments made me feel a lot better, because i'm also 21 and thought I was the only one with this feeling.  The thought really depressed me, but i feel so much better now.

Bill,
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