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Skipped Heartbeats
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Skipped Heartbeats

Doctor, A few months ago while checking my pulse, I first noticed my heart skipping beats. This now happens regularly throughout the day. I never had this problem before. Are these also referred to as PVC's? What caused this to happen? Will these skipped beats go away? I started taking Zestril for high blood pressure right before these skipped beats started to occur. Did the Zestril do this to me? Could a blockage cause these skipped beats? Thank You....for your time.
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Roland,

Thank you for your questions.

"Skipped beats" can be from many different things. Thankfully, the nature of skipped beats is easily determined from an EKG, provided you have the extra beats while having the EKG.

Two of the more common causes for skipped or extra beats are PACs (premature atrial contractions) and PVCs (premature ventricular contractions). Neither one of these "extra beats" are associated with an adverse prognosis.  Frequently, these start for unknown reasons, but precipitators can include change in sleep pattern, alcohol intake, large meals, exercise, hypertension, and some medicines.  I am not familiar with Zestril (lisinopril) causing PACs or PVCs.  Likewise, blockages are not normally associated with extra beats.

Other causes for skipped beats are arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation.  As most people are unable to differentiate between the two when they first start, it would be prudent to talk to your doctor about these skipped beats so that an EKG can be performed.

Hope that helps.


49 Comments
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I need help,

I am pregnant and have been experience skipped heart beats. Actually it feels like my heart either has hiccups or is rolling over.  It can happen at any time throughout the day, but tends to be worse at night just before bed, which will keep me up for hours due to fear of dying.  I have counted up to 30 skips in a minute, and this can last for hours.

I have notice if I change my position... i.e. I stand up or roll over to my right side... it backs off a little in severity, but doesn't completely go away.  However the bigger I get with the pregnancy the less relief I get by switching my position.

It started at about 2 months into my pregnancy and is progressively getting worse by the day.  I have been bugging my doctor about it but she seems to think its just anxiety.  The only testing I have had is when she put a stethoscope to my heart on one occasion, during a moment when my heart was quite.

She started me on Celexa for anxiety, and has recently added propranolol, but neither has helped and I am ready to scream.  I wonder how long my heart run like this before it gives out.

Any help or advice is appreciated.

Julie
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I am not a doctor...but your symptoms sound like either PVCs or PACs, which are premature beats.  They are accompanied by a compensatory pause which makes them noticable as the next beat carries a bit more blood volume.  These are often reported by women during pregnancy, and often they go away afterwards.  The relationship to pregnancy is obscure, however, it is known that postural changes, the extra abdominal volume/pressure, the nervous system alterations, may all have an effect producing "skips".  It sounds like you are descending into a state of anxiety, which only makes things worse.  My advice is to see a cardiologist and get checked out, and go with his/her advice.

-Arthur
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Hi Julie!

I too suffer from the boogers - and I was pregnant 3 years ago and they did get worse - the WORST thing you can do now is worry about them. They arent going away until the baby is born. And about 6 weeks after I had her, my hormones went through a major change (going back to the norm I guess) and I had bigenemy for 3 days - then it was ok - just try to relax and realize that its only cuz your prego and it WILL GO AWAY and it wont kill  you! You can have skipped beats quite frequently and be just fine. Your heart wont wear out - hang in there and try to relax - getting nervous does make it worse - you know laying down always affected me - I slept a lot during pregnancy with 2 pillows behind me propped up - and it helped considerably if you can sleep somewhat sitting up!   Good luck!
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Hey Thanks for the advice!  I guess I'll have to learn to toughen up and pray they go away.

It's strange... this is my fourth child, and the first time I have experienced this.

Cheers,

Julie
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I am curious..I have read comments that pac'sand ovc's are very common but I came across this comment.
CCF CARDIO MD - DLB on Sunday, December 12, 1999

First of all, there really are not that many people that truly suffer from PVCs and PACs. The internet distorts reality somewhat by its lack of ability to present balanced views of reality. Reading this forum, as well as other, may create the illusion that there is an epidemic of PVCs. While they are extremely common, for people to really be bothered by them is unusual.

Could someone clear this up for me..
are they common?
are pvc's more dnagerous then pac's vice versa?
I mean I understand coming to a forum that ius all about the heart will sensationalize it but I really have been under the impression that they really are a common thing just that most do not feel them.
I guess some days I get scared becuase I feel that because I have them that it is going to develop into some horrible arrthymia and I will never seek help because I am learning to cope with them and will blow it off to panic disorder.
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Help!  I've had a battery of heart tests and they've found nothing wrong, but whenever I bend over, my heart goes into an irregular beat upon inhaling.  Anybody else get this?  It scares me half to death, tho I get no other symptoms than the irregular beat.  Anybody have positional arrythmias?  You can email me at ***@****.
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I too am having "a positional arrhythmia" and I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to have it checked out. In the spring of 2001 I was diagnosed as having benign PVCs. Since then I've noticed that sometimes when I lean forward or bend over I'll get a PVC. Although my PVCs appear to be triggered occasionaly by position, the problem I'm going to the doctor about has to do with a "positional arrythmia" that has been occurring sporadically at night. Sometimes in bed at night my heart will go into an odd rhythm if I switch from my sleeping on my right side to either my back or stomach. This rhythm is a repeating sequence of 2-4 beats of my heart followed by a noticeable pause. My normal heart rhythm then returns when either I sit up or get out of bed. It scares me to death when it happens. So far this rhythm has never occurred while sleeping on my right side. I'd like to hear a doctor comment on this problem.
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First off, I would have to say whoever that was, in 1999 spoke without knowing facts. There would be no way for someone to say that and not be GOD. Secondly - I can only speak for myself and at least 10 friends I personally know who have this, but when they come, I can DEFINATELY say that its not in my mind or a sensationalism of the heart, like Im feeling just a slightly harder beat or something. NO WAY! Mine knock me on the floor! I feel ones that go on runs - I have painful ones. I know like I said 10 people right now who feel pvcs/pacs - It just seems that people who are phisiologically sensative are the ones who really do feel them. Its not just mental, its a physical thing. People who do not feel them probably really dont even have them that often - my husband says he has only felt maybe one or two in his life. But to those of us who do, they are sometimes a daily occurence and can come in spurts - or can not show up for weeks at a time. Its just soemthing I think we have to live with.  Again, just my opinion - but I do think a lot more people suffer from them than the Dr in 1999 said.  I would have to say it wouldnt be half of all people - but there is a good portion who do.  Try not to worry - if youve had all the tests - they are probably common and benign in a structurally normal heart - the more we stress, the more we get them. Good luck!

Oh ! about the postural ones - HOLY COW I get them too - but they seem to be worse around cycle time - or ovulation. other times it doesnt bother me - but I can just sit up in bed and get one. I bend over to pick someththing up and get one. Lately, I have noticed that when I just simply take in a deep breath one hits me - I wonder why those are coming now??? See? Its always something new to keep us on our toes! LOL
Sheila
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Opie - Please let me know whta you find - I have experienced this same exact thing in bed while Im dead asleep _ I can only explain it as a 'rhythmatic arrythmia' / it actually has a sequence to it and it does not stop until I get up and turn over or take a breath or something to disrupt it.  Wakes me out of a dead sleep.  Only happens once in a great while - but Id like to know if its just normal or what - Im at ***@**** if you want to email me personally! Thanks!
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As is required on this forum, I should state first off that I am not a medical doctor although I have a doctorate degree in bioorganic chemistry.  

Having stated that, I am now free to speculate and share observations.  I have suffered from PACs (0-6/min) for the past three years, during which time I have spent serious time reading medical texts, talking to cardiologists, EPs, and other medical professionals, and even perused the Web in order to understand what the PAC (premature atrial contraction) is and how it originates.  In most cases, assuming a "structurally normal" heart, the premature beat arises as a consequence of a signal (an ion pulse) originating from a chunk of cardiac tissue (a focus) reaching the SA node (the pacemaker).  What this means is that there are "islands" or foci of extra-active cardiac tissue located throughout the heart.  Most of these are of no consequence, they are just left-overs during the construction of the heart muscle.  However, some of these, because of where they are located (often near the atria, at the back side of the heart at the pulmonary vein entrance) are in such a position that their electrical activity (ion pulses) can occassionally reach the normal pacemaker system of the heart and cause a premature beat to occur.  Just how often these spurious signals make it through depends on a lot of factors, some of which are understood, like the state of your nervous system (which acts like a gate), the degree of physical stress you are under (adrenaline causes these critters to work even harder), the levels of a variety of minerals (like Na, K, Ca...all acting to help/hinder the movement of ions between cells), and even something like posture, where positional changes may cause the microenvironment surrounding the focus to be altered sufficiently to affect how easily those ion pulses can move.  The postural bit is actually a key symptom of a focus-driven depolarization that, in my experience at least, many cardiologists are unaware of.  

So there it is...the current state of the art in understanding of premature contractions (or depolarizations) and what makes them tick...according to me.  It's actually comforting to know that postural changes affect these premature contractions...because it reflects a rather benign and well-understood condition, and with this realization, should lead to a calming effect which in turn lessens the frequency of such PACs.

-Arthur
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The trip to the doctor today was very reassuring.  Basically he told me some of the same things that Arthur wrote above. Thanks Arthur you stated quite well what occurs with postural arrhythmias. The postural arrhythmias I mentioned having in my last posting are nothing more than PVCs. What bothered me was that they didn't feel like my other PVCs...variations on a theme I guess.
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Such great posts :
My last ekg picked up hundreds of pvc's,pac's,svt and I can have days with none and then others which can't stop a person from thinking : diet, exercise, work, etc : Cause so in fact we can prevent them from returning. How about a reward for a healthy lifestyle : ok
I was born with heart murmurs and told I have mvp. My cardiologist said the heart palps are seperate however. Have you found an increase with age ?
How much calcium, Magnesium, Potassium do you take ?
Do you have low b/p ?
Thanks,
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My heart has been skipping beats/irregular beats for about 5 months now. I have not gone to the dr. yet, because I thought that maybe it was a temperary thing. I was on Zoloft for 6 months..and now have been off for 2 months. I never felt anything wrong with my heart until I started taking Zoloft. I thought maybe after I stopped the meds that everything would go back to normal. Today my heart was beating irregular for a few seconds..hard irregular beats. It really scared me. My dr. never mentioned that Zoloft could cause heart problems. Could the 6 months of using this drug cause permanent heart problems? If so..why is the drug used? If this drug caused this problem..I was not aware that it could..and surely did not ask for this. I  never had problems until after taking Zoloft. I plan to see a dr. about my heart. I am just curious if other people have experienced this problem using this drug. The company that makes Zoloft and well as dr's who prescribe this drug should be liable for this if patients are being subject to problems like this.(?)
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Thanks Arthur!! You are a brilliant man! It definately calms me to know that postural pvcs are just plain nuisance and thats it. Thanks! Sheila
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Great to read your input! Would you further definte what you mean by the "postural" component to palps? I am, in fact, here because my palps are driving me nuts tonight.. came here for a little comfort -  misery loves company and all.
Here's the deal. I can have palps out of the blue -- I feel the pauses, thumps, runs of fast ( but extremely brief, usually) beats, feelings my heart " stops", etc. I've had holters, a thallium stress test in July, you name it ( except no EP test) for 20 years - verdict: structually normal heart with some inappropriate tachycardia, PVCs and PACs, sometimes in brief runs.
Now to the posture part: while I can have these palps any time, often they seem to occur with ARM movements - reaching up to take something off a shelf. Today, in the car, I was sitting at a stoplight , relaxed, calm. I reached over to pat my son on the shoulder. Whammo --- run of palps.. and these felt actually painful.. as though I could feel something "sticking" in my heart.

I'm so disgusted.. I just want to not be afraid..
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Postural arrythmias or skipping for Lynn...when I bend over, my heart goes into an irregular beat.  A lot of fast beats, followed by a skip and then normal beats, then back to fast beating and skipping again.  Strange...while I'm bending over this only happens when I INHALE...when I exhale the beat returns to normal.  It will stay like this until I straighten up.  It scares me, although I've had every heart test in the book and everything comes back normal (thank God!).  Am interested in hearing more about "postural arrythmias if anyone has them.
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Many folks who have a stucturally normal heart, but experience PACs/PVCs and other short runs of paranormal arrhythmia, also find that posture can affect how often these guys show up.  Some people also note that when the "skips" are particularly active, the skip appears to kick in at a specific point in the breathing cycle, notably at the top of the inhale.  You can read my earlier post re. the electromechanics of a focally-derived premature beat for details, and you will note that for certain folks the state of the nervous system (I believe, the sympathetic tone is the correct designation, however, calling it something doesn't explain it)actually can act as a gate...when the system is "turned up" (ie, excited) the focal signals travel through the cardiac tissue more easily.  

Some foci are located close enough to the normal pacemaker system so that the state of your nervous system doesn't make any difference, or the focal signals are particularly strong, again making the state of the nervous system a wash.  But, if those focal signals are just at the threshhold of making their way through, then things like posture and excitement can open and close the gate.  I don't know of any physician or EP that can explain the posture bit, except to say that it's likely that the microenvironment which makes up the pathway between the focus and the pacemaker is slightly altered, sometimes making it easier and sometime making more difficult for that spurious focal signal to make its way through.  This may be occurring in the case of the breathing cycle, with the pressure of the lungs up against the back of the heart peaking at the crest of the inhale.  But, you must realize that it's also easier to feel a skip once you've inflated your lungs.  My personal take is that the breathing effect is due to both a physical change and a slight nervous system effect, as I understand that the two halves of the breathing cycle actually do have a minor affect on the nervous system up and down.  Also, folks have noted that they can increase their skips by pressing down on their abdomens, thus underscoring the "pressure" effect.

These bits of wisdom are a result of many discussions with many EPs, and I am not a doctor of medicine, so take them as personal observations and see if they make sense to you.

BTW...the sudden movement of part of your body, like an arm, can induce an immediate affect in exciting the sympathetic nervous system sufficiently to open the gate for a short burst...just my theory.

-Arthur
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Arthur...your explanation of postural arrythmias and inhaling was VERY interesting, but I gotta ask you...are they dangerous?  I'm scared to death!  Please answer.
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Again, I am not a doctor of medicine, so this is strictly my opinion.  Based on everything I know and have experienced in the past three years (PAF now cured, and many PACs 0-6/min, on-going) if all tests regarding your heart (structure and arteries) have come out clean, and the cardio you are seeing has stated that your heart is otherwise structurally normal, then PACs that are likely to be focally-driven, are nothing but a nuisance...they are not dangerous.  They prey on your psyche, making you overly anxious, which is completely normal.  The thing to do is to get as much info as possible about your condition, attempt to understand it's root causes, appreciate what turns the little buggers on, and try and forget about them.  It's not easy to do that, since your anxiety will try to force you to pay attention to them, make you check your pulse frequently, and generally become more depressed about the whole thing.  

I am 54 and I get these critters at about a 0-6/min clip depending on a zillion factors.  I workout strenuously, play competitive soccer in two leagues (over 40 and over 50)...I have pushed myself to the limit and beyond with no consequences.  Sometimes I feel the critters flopping about, often I don't feel a thing...It's just the way it is.  Maybe they will disappear someday, and maybe not...I have decided not to wait.

First step is to ignore your pulse check (which I am sure that you perform regularly)...You'll find that without checking your pulse, you will be less sure that anything is occurring, and eventually, totally unsure.  At that point you will have achieved a reasonable cure for your problem.

Good luck.

-Arthur
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You're such a dear for answering me!  I feel MUCH better.  And you're right about everything...I'm a pulse-taker but trying to break that habit.  I'm also a very anxious person as I'm sure you could tell.  I've had all kinds of heart tests (I'm 57) and thank God they all came out fine.  I don't really get a lot of skipped beats; it only occurs when I bend over, but as soon as I straighten   up, my heart resumes a normal beating.  Thanks again for your important information; you've helped me tremendously!
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Regarding Arthurs comments on 14 Nov.
Whenever the upper airways of my lungs are congested the missed
heartbeats seem to occur.  The usual posture whilst sitting
and lying on my left side in bed.
When I had a bad cold last Christmas I took de-congestants
and was able to clear the upper airways - hey presto! the
missed beats went away for 5 months.
Then suddenly whilst sitting down and bending forward one night
they suddenly came back (that was 6 months ago)and I`ve been
having extra beats regularly ever since. My upper airways
have been congested for months but I can`t find a good
de-congestant that will clear them. Does anybody else have the
same problems connected to the lungs.
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November 23, 2002

About two years ago I posted details of my personal experience of excessive palpitations (PVC's - ectopic beats) - up to 20,000/day at worst - and how I got rid of them.

Since then, my wife began to suffer from 'acid idigestion' and  herself developed dreadful palpitations - sufficient to cause her shortness of breath on occasions - they would go on all day and all night. At first she refused to believe she was repeating my history (see below) and consulted a cardiologist who gave her all the usual tests and prescribed a beta blocker which did nothing.  At my suggestion (and some nagging!) she started on REGULAR Maalox and later switched to Gaviscon (Gaviscon Advanced in the UK). No surprise to me, the PVC's gradually disappeared over a three week period. She was later diagnosed with acid reflux from a hiatus hernia and put on 20mg Prilosec.

I'm prompted to re-post my history because I've just started to take Vioxx which in commom with Ibuprofen (for example) can leave the stomach and esophagus unprotected from stomach acid and bile. Even my low dose of Vioxx (12.5mg) has certainly reminded me of what acid reflux feels like although I still use 20mg Prilosec myself.

My strongly held belief is that provided no other cause is found by your doctors for PVCs then you've got little to lose by trying the effect of over-the-counter antacids and maybe something like Prilosec from your doctor.

Here, then, is my history which prompted many, many replies of thanks from PVC sufferers who found relief from my suggestions. In many cases, they had often suspected acid reflux and indigestion was linked to their problem but rarely, if ever, did their doctor agree.

Please pardon any irrelevancies in the following.

Good luck.

----------------------
From: Mike Brewer  ***@****

03 March 2001

Since posting this on 19 January 2001, I
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Hi Mike,

Thank you for your (lenghty) post!!
It was VERY, VERY helpful.
And so true!
Feels like mine, (pvc's and palps) have to do with the stomach and esophagus too. And the diaphragm quivering. Or is it the stomach vibrating? It feels like it is the heart vibrating but nothing could be seen in tests regarding this: my heart is structual normal.
And ooohh that vagus-nerve....isn't he something!!
I'm going to follow your advice a couple of weeks and see what it does.
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Thanks again and stay well!
-
***Ianna***

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One thing I neglected to tell...a stress test showed that I have two 60% blockages; not enough to do anything about at this time, and my cholesterol is now normal due to Lipitor, so hopefully there will be no more clogging!  However, when I bend over, as I've said, I get the arrythmia; could the blockages be causing that?  I get no symptoms, and the arrhthmia occurs ONLY when I inhale; when I exhale, even though I'm still bending over, the hearbeat goes back to normal.  I am SO scared; please be careful how you answer me; I have terrible panic attacks.  I only hope it's a NON-life-threatening arrythmia!
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Sitting here depressed again, obsessing about my skipped heartbeats.  Happened this morning; took tenormin and it stopped the skipped beats but I find myself just sitting around waiting for the next series of skipped beats!  Is anybody out there as obsessive about their heart as I am?  I hate myself right now because I'm so scared. I constantly take my pulse.  Since the "attack" early this morning I've only had about 4 or 5 skipped beats but I'm terrified.  No other symptoms; physically I feel great -- emtionally I'm a mess.  Can anxiety caused skipped beats?  Oh, by the way, I called my doctor and she said to ignore it (I've had every heart test in the book and everything comes out fine).  Ignore it -- easier said than done.  I trust my doctor, I just have NO confidence in myself.  Afraid I'm going to die any moment.  Help!
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Anybody with postural skipped beats/irregular beats, please email me at ***@****.  I am going CRAZY over these arrythmias and I cannot relax.  Just took a half mg of xanax to try to calm myself down.  When I bend over, I get the irregular beat, but as soon as I straighten up it resumes a normal beat.  I don't get many skipped beats in any other position, although a few mornings I have awakened with my heart skipping; I then take my tenormin and it stops the "attack".  I have panic disorder (can you tell?) and I worry about this constantly.  Arthur, I hope you in particular will email me with some comfort...I'm praying this is a benign condition.  I've had heart tests and they all came back normal.  But I'm living in fear.  Please help me, somebody!
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I would treat the panic disorder first.  In my opinion, it's the state of the nervous system, in particular, your autonomic nervous system, that needs to be calmed down.  This nervous system acts like a gate and lets the focal noise through.  Assuming you have a structurally normal heart (and your doctor keeps telling you this), then the attack plan would be to calm your nerves down.  Anxiety of this type feeds upon itself.  No one can calm you down, only you can to this, and it's going to be very difficult...and in my experience, can take years.  You need to divert your attention from the skips, which means a disciplined approach which includes not taking your pulse...you need to break out of the heightened self-awareness which allows you to notice your pusle pounding at night, and the occurrence of skips.  That self-awareness is a critical part of the cycle which heightens your nervous system activity...break it, and the nerves will begin to calm down, and you'll notice those skips a lot less, and they will actually occur a lot less.  You're the master of your fate... - Arthur
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Arthur, thanks so much...and I agree with you 100%...I need to treat the anxiety condition.  Have had panic problems for years and  when I get upset the skipping increases.  I'm going to make a huge effort NOT to take my pulse at all; I must break that habit.  I get so tired thinking about my heart, and it's served me well so far (I'm 57 years old).  I've had every heart test in the book and nothing major has shown up.  Lowered my cholesterol to normal, so the blockages I have shouldn't get worse, at least for a long time.    I thank you so much for your input.  Wishing you the best!
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I have had occasional (once in a blue moon)VPC's for 10 yrs. I have just now noticed that when I lay on my right side I can start them up... any suggestions?
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I have had occasional (once in a blue moon)VPC's for 10 yrs. I have just now noticed that when I lay on my right side I can start them up... any suggestions?
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Hi,-

Postural arrythmia's.
That is a very common thing here on this site about PVC's and Palps.
The only thing to do is to turn to your other side, and see if that goes well.
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Did you perhaps eat a large meal?
Were you more stressed than normal?
Do you suffer from anxiety, or hyperventilate?
Do you smoke or drink alcohol?
Get enough sleep? Excercise?
etc etc etc....
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and the beat goes on...
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Stay well    - *Ianna* -
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Good morning all...I want to tell you that I am so thankful for this web site!!!  I thought I was the only one going through his.  Little history about myself, At the age of 27, just after a 5 month deployment over seas (national gaurd) I decided to take up running.  The first 3 months I had no problems, then about month 4 during my run I would feel a "flutter" in my chest.  With the excpetion of an extra 15 pounds, I am a pretty healthy guy.  The "flutters" became more intense and I stated to think I was haveing a heart attack.  I decided to move the running indoors, as to not have a heart attack out on some country road.  Sound paranoid to you?  Let me tell you the "flutters" were nothing compared to the anxiety.  I did research (internet), cut out all caffine, I don't drink or smoke, but the problems persisted.  
  Been to the doctors, had ekg, ecg, holter, stress test and physicals.  I'm told my heart is healthy, but the PVC's happen 10-20 times per minute some hours and some some hours 5-10 times.  But they're always present.
  Two nights ago it was so bad I was scared to sleep, I didn't think I was going to wake up.
  Any advise?
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My suggestion: learn to relax!!!!!  I have been there too.  The cycle compounds itself; more anxiety = more PVCs... more PVCs = more anxiety.

Since you have been thoroughly checked out, you are okay.  As annoying and scary as they can be, you must basically "get over it." I don't mean to sound so black and white, but that is what you need to do if you don't want them to run your life.  They ran mine way too long! I've had many panic attacks and ER trips thinking I was going to die.

I'm 44 and I've had these things since I was 17, n and off all my life.  I still have them every day.  Sometimes I'm more aware of them.  When I'm busy, I don't notice them as much. I also get them during exercise (dance) but I work through them.  I just keep telling myself I'm okay.

Yoga, meditation, outdoor walks, weight training, dancing and complete acceptance of my condition has helped me tremendously.  When I am at peace, so is my body.

I have also found a nutrition connection to PVCs.  Some folks state a gastro connection (doesn't seem to apply to me). Read the other posts too.  And the archives in the Heart Forum (search for PVCs) have great insight.  Hope that helps you.

Beth
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Perhaps helpful for positional PVC. Mine are caused by stress that locks up my spine (subluxation) and pinches some nerves. Nerves (spinal nerves) are running through the spine to steer and feed a.o. the chest, heart and lungs.(in the T1-T6 area)
Chiropractic treatment might help (it helps me).

Check out:
http://www.drhargis.com/PINCHED_NERVES/pinched_nerves.html

http://jhhs.client.web-health.com/web-health/topics/GeneralHealth/generalhealthsub/generalhealth/neurological/WhatIsCentralNervousSystem.html

http://www.drgaryeversoledc.com/chiropractic.html
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Hello everyone,

Glad to have found this little section and to know that I'm not the only one suffering with PVCs. I have had them since last year and it seemed as if they progressed. I never had this problem until one day I decided not to eat(stupid me) and all I did was drink coffee and smoke cigarettes. By evening, I noticed my heart skipping and I stood up to shake it off. But all I felt was my heart racing faster and skipping. I thought I was having a heart attack and scared the living daylights out of me. I went to the ER and they told me it was anxiety.

I've done everything to prevent anxiety but I still get these horrible PVCs and they progressed to frequent ones which has scared me. So, I stopped smoking and drinking coffee. The cardiologist says my heart is perfectly normal. So I wonder, will I ever be able to recover and have normal heart beats. I also have heard malnutrition causes PVCs too and heard that it is possible to recover in a couple of years. So, I believe that the combination of anxiety and malnutrition were my key causes to my frequent PVCs. Does anybody know if this is true? Can it be possible to recover? Do any experts know about this?

Thanks,
Paul



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I'm in the same boat you are, with skipped beats.   It's hard to say if they will ever go away forever.  Mine went away in August 1997 for about 3 years, but then came back.  

The best news is that these are normal, and do not mess up the heart and have nothing to do with heart attacks or shortened longevity.  

As for a racing heart, a couple of yrs ago I was raking leaves and my heart all of a sudden started racing to around 150 bpm.  I got scared, but just rode out the storm.  I don't know, there isn't a whole lot to do but lie down.  

Sometimes exercise makes them go away, or a change in diet and more positive outlook, but I guess everybody is different.  

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I was just reading stuff on this thread about Maalox helping with skipped beats.  I didn't have any on hand, but I popped about 6 Tums, for what it was worth.   The skipped beats went away within 20 minutes.  Unbelievable.  

Placebo effect?   I can't say, but this gastro-intestinal angle is quite interesting regarding missed beats.  

I'm glad I found this website.
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This is weird.  Nobody has the same thing as me, similiar but not the same.  
When my PVC kickes in im on the floor.  But only for up to 45 seconds.  I had one that put me on the floor for 5 mins, that was the worst i had.  At rest my heart beat is 95-120, which is normal for me.  Then when the episodes hit my heart jumps to 300+.  I noticed that it happen alot when sitting, just standing up, middle of sitting down, hunched over, and Adrenline situations.  Im in the military, i find that when in Intence situations i get them too.  Stress seems to be my biggest "trigger".  Anybody else get this?
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I believe that irregular heart beats can be caused by a variety of things.  I get them regularly.  However, I am not bothered by them because I have no other symptoms with them.  I think that is just as important to note when having bursts of irregular heart beats if you are symptomatic in other ways while this occurs.
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Last night I had the worst attack of skipped beats and flutters ever. I'm 12 weeks pregnant and have suffered with skipped beats since I was about 16 years old. I'm 30 now. Last night though, I really thought I was going to keel over. I started crying as I have a 7month old daughter and a wonderful husband. He talked me through them and we went to the doctor for an ECG. But what do ya know - nothing showed as I was relaxed and they stopped. As soon as they took the machine off me, they started again. They put it on again, but then again - nothing!! The doctor said that I should probably not have come off the beta blockers so suddenly (because I fell pregnant) and that it may have made them worse. I'd just eaten a chinese meal and though perhaps I was allergic to something, or had eaten too much. It was skipping a beat practically every other beat and didn't stop for well over an hour. I got home and took a beta blocker (50mg) and sat on the sofa with my legs out flat. I relaxed and started to feel much better. This morning I found this website and feel even more at ease, realising that it is not life-threatening, could have been worsened due to over eating and the fact that I am pregnant. But i do hate them... I really wish I didn't get them. My father died of a heart attack last year and you always think the worst. Over the last 15 years, i have had test after test, checking everything and it all comes back as normal. I am going to start Yoga next week, three times a week and get some stress relief counselling as I feel this could also help. I would love to talk to other women who are pregnant and suffer from this as I feel this would be a great help to the stress relief and in turn help us all get through it.
Thanks again for this wonderful website!! Look forward to hearing from someone soon...
take care, Samantha (UK)
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I am 23 weeks pregnant and have abnormal heart beats, but only while laying down.  They can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.  If I roll over to my left side, it seems to relieve it.  I have chronic hypertension and have had for a number of years.  I usually take atenolol, which is a beta-blocker.  However, when I am pregnant, (this is my 4th pregnancy) I switch to a more acceptable med for pregnancy.  Atenolol has never been considered safe.  During my last pregnancy 4 years ago, the drug of choice was propanolol, aka Inderal.  This pregnancy, the drug of choice is labetalol, which is a combination alpha-beta blocker.  Talk to your Dr. about which med to use during your pregnancy, but never, ever abruptly stop beta blockers without consulting your physician.  Never, ever stop taking any prescribed meds without consulting your physician.  I think of it in this way, if I am taking a med which may not be safe during pregnancy, I ask my doc before stopping or switching.  If I don't, and I have a med problem because I am no longer taking my meds without doc approval, this outcome is no more safe for my pregnancy than taking the prescription med that I felt was unsafe.  Hope these opinions help.
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Like most here, I'm very grateful to have found this forum. I've been plagued with intense and prolongued episodes of these extra beats, often lasting 48 to 36 hours. Have gone through all the usual testing, and like a previous poster, the beats normalized only while they were being monitored by doctors or halter monitors.

It's interesting about the gastric association, and I'll see if there is any relief after attending to any problems there.

However, over my lifetime, I have noticed the main trigger has been a sudden drop in temperature. I go through hell in winter, as the temperature goes below 15 degrees celcius at night (I live in a semi-tropical climate where it's pretty warm). During the summer months I hardly have any problems. I would be interested to know if anyone else has experienced these temperature-related episodes.

Also, has anyone found a natural remedy which has been of any help? I've been reading hawthorn is supposed to help, but wondered if anyone has any experience. I'm taking high dosage magnesium each day, and found I had my worst attack ever when I missed taking the magnesium two days in a row.
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I am 32 years old and in relatively good health.  I have had no history of heart arrythmias until about six months ago when I was briefly in and out of A-Fib for about an hour at a time.  I was prescribed Cardizem and reccommended to stop caffeine (I was working 60-70 hours a week and travelling and constantly drank diet Cokes)  It appeared the a-fib was a direct result of the lack of sleep and the caffiene.  Ever since that time I have been having what the doctors have called compensatory pauses.  I can only get in about 3-6 regular beats at times.  I never notice the arrythmia unless I have recently had a meal.  Has anyone had a doctor confirm a relationship between digestive problems and cardiac rhythm?  Like most I read I have been to the emergency room and at times feel as if my heart is going to stop for good at any time, the doctors feel as if it is not dangerous but for my mental health I need it to stop.

Kevin
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I don't know if this would help you but I found this info that, although it is about a-fib:  http://www.vagalafibportal.fsnet.co.uk/vmpaf_faq.htm#2

if you go to the main page and search, there's info on eating and arrhythmia, etc.
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Basically there is no information on this which is sad because its pretty frightnening.

I don't really understand why but I get this when I get reflux or bloating.

This happens when I eat to quickly, especially starches or eat foods like peppers that for some reason I don't digest very well......and then ....drink water!!!!!!!

You will never digest things properly if you eat and drink at the same time!

Anyway bad digestion causes your heart to skip a beat. I don't know why but this could have something to do with erratic blood flow in you digestive path or sudden releases of sugars into your blood.....I don't know...


This problem can be fixed very quickly....around 4 hours. I've started a web site with a step by step guide. Let me know if it works for you.

http://marobe.freehomepage.com/







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Hello

Here are some potential causes and solutions for episodes of palpitations/ectopic beats, in my experience.

Cause: Dehydration
Solution: Drink more water

Cause: Caffeine
Solution: Don't drink Coffee/Tea/Coke/Dr Pepper/Mountain Dew etc

Cause: Alcohol
Solution: Don't drink alcohol

Cause: Tobacco
Solution: Don't smoke

Cause: Aspartame/Equal/Nutrasweet/Diet drinks
Solution: Don't use products containing these sweeteners (Palpitations is a symptom recognised by the FDA for users of Aspartame)

Cause: Magnesium deficiency
Solution: Use a supplement such as Solgar Magnesium/Calcium

Cause: Tiredness
Solution: Get more sleep :-)


Hope these help!
(I am not a doctor)
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What a great site, i have quite a history but these pvc's. what an annoyance. I have had them for years but just recently something changed i am having them more and more, all of a sudden i cant sleep on my left side as well. I am fine at work because i keeep myself very busy.I am on sectral 2oomg twice a day.I am looking into other remedies such as magnesium , My question is what type of magnesium would be the best one to try ? (calcium/ citrate/ oxide ?) I also have gerd and a hiates hernia so after reading some of the posts here i will try maalox.I have had an  ablation to cure svt and afib which actually worked but i am still dealing with these darn pvc's. Thanks
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FYI, I had heart palpitations, skipped beats, especially when bending over in the morning, would skip 1 in 4 beats.  Found that it was being caused by the Lipitor.  It took about 4 weeks from the time I was perscribed the Lipitor until my heart started skipping beats.  I skipped 20,000 beats the first day then it decreased until it was only in the mornings.  After 3 months I went on a trip and forgot to take my lipitor with me, the skipped beats stopped.  After returning I went back on the Lipitor and they came back the next morning.  I have been off Lipitor for over a month and not one skipped beat.
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