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anxiety and arrhythmia
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anxiety and arrhythmia

I suffer from severe anxiety from PVC's (which I have had for years and you would think that I would be getting used to them).  I have tried Buspar (which gave me headaches), and tried Paxil (which made my PVC's worse). I have also tried Beta Blockers and Calcium Channel blockers but they didn't seem to help much either.  Beta Blockers gave me terrible headaches as well. I think it is because I have naturally low blood pressure anyways.  Doctors here say don't worry about palpitations, but it is too late, I am terrified of them.  No amount of pacifying from EP doctors or my family physican will make me stop worrying.

I would like to know if you can recommend any anti-anxiety meds that a person could go which would not affect the heart in any way.  

Is it normal to have such severe anxiety that I actually avoid any situation that I have to be around people now (because my my fear of my heart skipping).  I also cannot sleep at night at all because I feel my heart skip sometimes every third beat or so and it sends me into panic.  I have constant butterflies in my stomach because I can't stand the feeling of the PVC's.  These darn things have taken complete control of my life.

My doctor is a a loss as to what to do with me.  Could you recommend anything.  I am hanging by a thread.

Thanks.
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Dear Trudi,
If I were seeing you here I would probably recommend a trial of flecanide (Tambocor).  We sometimes refer to this drug as a "PVC eraser" because it is so effective in stopping PVCs.  There are precautions that need to be taken with this drug and it is not for everybody.  Persons with any heart disease cannot take this drug.  However, in extreme situations such as yours it is a very useful drug.  I would discuss the possibility of a trial of this drug with your EP doctor.
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My mother sometimes also has a "heartbeat-skipping" problem as detected by her blood pressure measuring machine but nothing abnormal seemed to have happened to her otherwise until very recently.

She told me that for the last couple of weeks, in the middle of the night when she was asleep, she would hear a "woooooo" noise in her heart, like wind blowing a windpipe; it stops when she gets up to go to the bathroom but resumes when she goes back to sleep.  Have you had this problem?  Does anyone have any experience/knowledge about this situation?  

My mother has hypertension and diabetes but both are well under control by medicine (Micardis, a type of ARB which she recenly switched to from Cozaar, and Glibenclamide).  She was once detected to have some blockade in an ECG about a year and a half ago but was assured that was not serious.  Subsequent ECG did not reveal abnormality.

Can anyone help?
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The PVC's are physical, but the severe reaction you are having to them sounds more like it's psychological.  Many of us on this board experience PVC's and react differently to them ... from mild annoyance to outright fear.  After 3 years of them, my own reaction has gone from abject fear to seeing them as nothing more than a nuisance.  If your doctors are all certain your PVC's are benign, it might be prudent to discuss your anxieties with a psychologist.  These comments are just based on my own experiences...any course of action you decide on should, of course, be discussed with your physician first.
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Trudi - just to say I know where you are coming from and your letter could describe my life too absolutely.  Hope the cardio comes up with something.
Best Wishes
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Trudi

      I understand exactly how you feel. I am a female in my late 20s and have suffered with pacs pvcs for years and also had to suffer with having thousands a day and night. It is very debilitating. There have been plenty of nights were I would get no sleep the pacs pvcs would be every other beat or so. It is extremely scary and can take over your whole life. I very much understand what you are going through.Ive been to Dr. after Dr. test after test and no one takes you that seriously. A few months ago the pacs led to atrial fibrillation and led me to the Icu unit of the hospital. I was put on two different drugs atenolol and diltiazem which seem to help alot I also went off all caffenine I dont know if youve ever tried 2 drugs together it might help. But Im not quite sure if your blood pressure would go to low? Just finding this support group has helped so much. I hope you feel better.

                                 pw
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Trudi,

I also have suffered from PVC's and PSVT since I was about 13 and I'm now in my late 20's.  I completely understand your fear because I've been there.  When I was pregnant with my son they got really bad.  I got so afraid of them occurring that I would have a panic attack when ever they started.  The anxiety can make the skipping beats worse and it ends up being a downward spiral.  I ended up seeing a counselor to learn coping techniques. These are some of the things I've done and am doing that seem to help.

1) I did some counseling to work on my anxiety disorder
2) keeping hydrated, I drink about 80 ounces of water a day
3) yoga and awareness of the breath, often I have found the skipped beats get worse when my breathing gets irregular
4) consistent exercise has worked for me in the past
5) complete avoidance of caffeine, chocolate and alcohol. I have had no caffeine (or decaf) and chocolate for 7 years and it really makes a difference.

My counselor gave me some great advice, she said to find some kind of hobby to take my mind off of things and to avoid situations that cause anxiety.  For me it was getting rid of cable TV and starting to cross-stitch.  I found that working with my hands got my mind off of my heart.  I know there are also other situations that cause my heart to skip beats and knowing helps me.  I have found that a few days before my menstrual cycle I get more of them.  I know doctors say there is no correlation but my personal experience seems to say there is something about the hormones that trigger them.  I know that laying down may trigger them so I'm always prepared so I'm not surprised.  I have found them to be much worse on my left side so often I will start off sleeping on my right.

I still have some fear when they happen but I have found that hearing other peoples situations here on this board has greatly helped.  There was someone who said he thought of it as a heart hiccup and I thought that was great.  I know it's hard to pull out of that dark hole of anxiety but you will with help.  Perhaps you can find some kind of counseling or talk to a doctor who is willing to have a more holistic approach.  By holistic I mean treating the mind and the body.

I hope you find some peace soon.

Cheers,
Rachel
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Trudy, you are not alone. I too have all of the symptoms that you do. The doctors all tell me not to worry but at least once a year i end up in the ER. I am trying atenolol again but it makes my pvcs worse,i dont know if i can continue taking them.
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This sounds like a very serious situation. No, it is not normal to avoid situations with other people, nor is it normal to have such a degree of insomnia. I strongly recommend seeing a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment of possible anxiety disorder/depression. You should not use the PVCs to mask what sounds like a more serious mental health problem.
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Thanks CCF for your response.  I am actually on a waiting list of a physolgist (spelling?), but I have not seen one yet.

I guess I will just wait it out and see what happens.  

Thanks!

Trudi
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Trudi:
     I know exactly what your going through.PVC's,PAC's have severely crippled my day to day life.Before i started getting pvc's i went through about 5 years of panic attacks,some so severe my heart would race 160-180 beats per minute.Then out of the blue one day i felt my heart start to skip.Needless to say i totally became a basket case until i had a number of cardiac tests done.It's been about 10 years now that i've been dealing with pvc's pac's and no matter what doctors tell me i still am petrified of them.I am on prozac which helps my anxiety, and i always carry a couple of zanax in my pocket as my security blanket.Still these meds dont totally help.I am constantly in fear of my next skipped beat:how many i'm going to get,how long will they last,did the doctor miss something in her diagnosis etc,etc,etc.Well,i could go on for hours but i just wanted to let you know that you are by know means ALONE.Please feel free to e mail me.My address is ***@**** Take care and God bless.
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Trudi I have been going through the same thing for 5 years. ER dr's have told me my heart is fine. I have had all kinds of heart tests all came up normal. I get shortness of breath and chest pains. I can't sleep. The DR I saw last week told me it was Panic attacks but when I have these pains and shortness of breath it lasts most of the day. It goes away for a few hours then comes back when ever it wants. Sometime it goes away for weeks but allways comes back. Everything I have read about Panic attacks tells me you get these panic attacks then they go away. I can't figure out why mine lasts all day( and sometimes all night) My Dr put me on PAXIL last week and I have felt worse since taking it. I read that one of the side effects of Paxil is anxitey. I wonder how a drug that is supposed to fix anxitey gives you anxitey?........Mike
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Dear Trudi & others,

I've had the odd heart flutter for as long as I can remember.  I never thought anything of them...until they started to become more pronounced and frequent.  That was about a year ago.  I'd never had a panic attack before, but you can bet your booties I had them after that!  Several trips to the ER, ECGs all clear, 24 Holter monitor...all clear.  They why didn't I FEEL normal?

Depending on how often the arrythmia happens, it may not be "monitorable".  It's really frustrating to try to explain what's going on.  My doctor in Sydney originally prescribed Prothiaden...I had taken it successfully for Post Natal Depression a few years back.  This was to help with the anxiety.  It did, but only for a short period of time.  During this time I seemed to experience the "flip flops" more than ever, and when I least expected it.  So, Mike, I know what you mean about an anxiety medicine not being able to relieve the anxiety!

I moved to Hobart and started seeing a new doctor.  He took the approach that at my stage of life (39, relatively healthy) there was no real reason for me to be on an anti-depressant.  There are other methods of handling anxiety out there that are better suited for me.  I started seeing a psychologist a few months ago and the difference is remarkable.  I now know how to reign in that panic, how to keep my mind from exacerbating the situation...an over-active imagination is a dangerous thing.

I still have times when I "freak out"...but I know recognize them for what they are and don't let things escalate further.  I've been off the Prothiaden for about 1 1/2 months and feel better for it.  I have a script for Valium, which comes in handy when I really do need instant calm and my mind won't give it to me.

And Mike...regarding the panic attacks that last all day or longer...the effects of my panic attacks and milder anxiety attacks would mean that I would literally have to lie down for the rest of the day, go to bed early and try to get as much peace and quiet as I could (difficult with 2 small children, but made easier by an understanding husband).  If I didn't do this, it was guaranteed that I'd have a full-blown, major panic attack.  Listen to your body as well as your mind.

I suggest to everyone that they try some form of relaxation techniques...whether it's just sitting quietly for 5 minutes or a structured program developed in conjunction with a professional.  You may be sceptical...but what harm can it do?  None.  What good can it do?  It could make all the difference in the world.
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Very good post, Ann.
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Trudi

All I can say is I am right there with you.  PAC's PVC's whateever the choice of the day is they are always with me.  My anxiety level with them use to be a 9 out of 10.  Now I think 5 out of 10 is were I am.  Keeping busy is the only thing that works for me.  Also, as other have mentioned, stay away from cardiac stimulants like caff, nic, choc, ect.  Drink lots of water see if this helps.  



Steve
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My life has turned upside down.  One day I was sitting at the computer and my heart started skipping rapidly.  I felt like I was going to faint.  I gathered myself and ended up in the ER and he said I was fine.  I went to a cardiologist and he put me on a monitor and it came back fine.  Anyway, i get these stupid skips more and more now.  I can't help think that I have some disease.  I can't sleep and this scares the hell out of me.  I went from a happy person to a mental case.  All I think about now is my stupid heart rythm.  I am so afraid that the Dr. is missing something.  If anyone has advice my email is ***@****
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Hi

   I totally understand how everyone feels. This is a very awful thing to have to live with. The worst part about it is people around you that dont have this have no idea what we suffer through! Ive had thousands and thousands a day. For a long time I felt like the only one alive with this problem and I am only in my 20s. I as well have been on medications and now am on 2 One beta blocker and one calcium channel blocker it seems to be helping me alot. Another thing the Dr thought I might try is Tamboccor I know this is an anti arrythmic drug but it is suppose to do wonders for pvcs! I never wanted to have to take medication for my heart because I  am so young but let me tell you it helps and I am finally trying to live again! I wish everyone luck and I am so glad to have found this support group.
                                      Pw
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Taking magnesium supplements both calmed my PVC's and my anxiety, and allowed me to stop taking beta blockers.  It's such a simple thing, but can have a profound affect. Ask your doctor if you can try this, or you at least owe it to yourself to read up on the benefits of magnesium.
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Please read my comments (12/27 and 12/28) to Patricia's 12/18 question: "palpitations upon waking". I had good results with chiropractic and especially homeopathy. Hope it's helpful! John
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I am not alone w/this problem I see.  Recently diagnosed w/atrial fib/flutter.  The stress of moving from US to Australia was one reason.  I was also a "party girl".  Lots of occasions to have several drinks w/family and friends.  Champagne and beer were my beverage of choice.  Had the EKG's, 24 hr. holter, and was in A-fib the entire time.  I've started coumadin 2 1/2 weeks ago, and Tambocor.  Also haven't had a drink in about a month.  I feel great!  The palpitations have mostly stopped.  I will stay on the meds for a while.  If they stop working, I may try electro cardioversion. I am 41 years old.  The palpitations started about 4 years ago.  It took me a while to face the fact that something was wrong w/my heart.  I have 2 young children and decided I had to take this seriously.  I am sooo glad I found this forum and website.  Lots of information and folks with similar problems.
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PVC's are a real drag...I have had them for almost eight years.  I got rid of them by doing three things: 1.) Stopped drinking alcoholic beverages  2.) Take a good multivitamin every day 3.) Exerise at least 5 days a week doing aerobic types of exercise as well as strength conditioning.

Give it a try and see what happens.

Good Luck

Ken S.
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Trudi..Hun get some help.  I know what it's like to live with anxiety and fear over your heart.  About a year ago I was on prozac and ritalin and I was in a stressful relationship so I was drinking...a lot.  one morning out of the blue my heart began to race and would not slow down...I went to ER.  Once there they wheeled a corpse past me and I saw a woman die in front of my eyes on a trolley...the look on her face still haunts me.
For a while after I was depressed, couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, lost weight (over two stone) and cried a lot.  I also had heart race rushes and palpitations.  my doctor would not do any tests, fortunately one of his partners sent me for a 24 hour holter which came back clear apart from 2 periods of sinus tach (exercise).
I accept that I have palpitations and they have diminished but I do find that my resting heartrate is higher than I would like about 80 at rest...housework takes it up to 100.  I was running for most of last year which brought it down, but hurt my hip and so I have had 3 months off and so resting heartrate has increased again.
I try not to worry about things as it will not help me but I do notice that milk seems to make my heartrate increase..dunno why...anyone got any ideas?
Please hun for your own sake try to break the vicious circle that you are generating for yourself....life will be hard and the symptoms can be wearing, but you can make a difference and be a lot better than you are.

Take care hun.

Raymond
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I've just joined this group having seen the many people suffering from PVC's.

I was plagued by them and thought for a long time that they were the result of my two AVR surgeries in 1982 and 1993.

In 93-95 I had months when I would get 20,000 A DAY (bigeminy, trigeminy etc - sorry if that's the wrong spelling). Life was HELL. The best heart consultants, surgeons, could offer no explanation "They won't kill you" was the frequent reply.

To cut a long, long story short, I was finally properly diagnosed. I had noticed like many PVC letters to this forum, that "indigestion" and digestive discomforts seemed to be a factor. The cause was esophagitis, inflamation (inflammation) caused by acid reflux upsets the vagus nerve and makes the heart jumpy. I started on LOSEC but even that did not finally clear the acid damage enough. I researched may, many articles and began to see a pattern. There ARE a FEW doctors out there (gastro-enterologists AND cardiac consulants) who recognize the connection. Finally, I tried taking antacid mixtures (eg Maalox) VERY regularly. Within two weeks my symptoms practically disappeared. I still take LOSEC. I have LONG periods (months) with no problem. If I neglect my digestion problem (hiatus hernia) the PVC's can flare up. If I resort to Maalox and take care with my eating, I can generally eliminate them within 2-14 days depending upon how long I let them go untreated.
There is much misery from PVC's and I urge sufferers to try the Maalox and possibly LOSEC regime under a doctor's care. Generally take all the precautions recommended to patients with hiatus hernia, for example, raise the head of your bed to avoid reflux acid getting up into your esophagus. If you've been bad for a while, it could take 2-4 weeks for enough healing to take place to test this cause with you.

I wish you GOOD LUCK. If you want more of my story and copies of articles found on the net showing the role of the esophagus as it affects heart rhythm, feel free to e-mail me 70403.***@****.

Mike
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HI EVERYONE, I ALSO SUFFER FROM PVC'S I HAVE BEEN TO MY INTERNEST WHO SAYS, OH YOU ARE FINE. MY DAD HAS HEART DISEASE AND HAS HAD ALL KINDS OF WORK DONE, BY PASS, CARATOID ARTERIES HE IS ON 8 MEDS A DAY, SO NATURALLY I WORRY ALOT, WHICH I AM SURE MAKES ME HAVE MORE PVC'S, I AM NOW STARTING MENOPAUSE WHICH I HAVE HEARD INCREASES THE CHANCES OF HAVING THEM ALSO, I DO SOMETIMES TAKE A NATURAL REMDEY CALLED RESCUE REMEDY BY BACH, IT USES NATURAL HERBS AND IT REALLY DOES WORK, ONE TIME A HAD SUCH A BAD PANIC ATTACK, I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO PASS OUT, I TOOK IT AND WITHIN 5 MINUTES I WAS OK, SO ANYONE OUT THERE WHO ISN'T INTO PAXIL, OR VALIUM THIS ONE DOESN'T HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECTS, I HAVE A HARD TIME TAKING MEDICATIONS FOR STRESS OR ANXIETY, I WAS GLAD TO HEAR THAT DRINKING ALOT OF WATER HELPS, I KNOW I DON'T DRINK ENOUGH I WILL TRY IT, GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE OUT THERE!!!
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Mike RE: Anxiety and Antidepressants

Have been on and off Zoloft for 5 years now.  I am one of the most medication sensitive individuals one would ever like to meet.  A little trick to antidepressant therapy when you're feeling the side effects starting treatment is to start very very slowly.  I fired 50 Psychiatrists until I found one that understood that I knew my body better than anyone else could.  She started me on 12.5 mg of Zoloft for a week straight (baby dose).  Then we bumped me up to 25 mg and held there for a month.  Eventually I climbed to the maximum dose of 200 mg per day and held there for months.  She also gave me a script for .05 Xanax in very panicky times.  Which I eventually didn't need at all.  Generally antidepressants take about 3-4 weeks to see results; (with me within a week). You're anxiety will subside watch.  Another trick to minimize side effects is to take the meds right before bedtime she said and you sleep through some of the adjustments. Once your body has acclimated to the meds, the anxiety will be under control.  Caution, when you go off of them the same reaction can happen. TAPER the meds if you have to stop taking them. Antidepressants change the chemistry (SSRI) in your body so it's foreign at first, this is probably why you're having this very common (scary) feeling.  Need support you can always E-mail me (***@****)
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Dear Trudi and ALL

This may be of help or interest.

From: Mike Brewer  70403.***@****

19 January 2001

Dear All

PVC
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Hello Trudi, I am 26 and I have had PVC, tachycardia, and panic attacks. What I want to tell you in this message is how psychological or mind problems can affect your physical system.  Last year (2000) was an awful one and very stressing for me.  I change to a new job in the beginning of the year, I had many new responsibilities and worries, not to mention that my mother got another period of cancer that she was being struggling since 1987.  Every 3 or 4 years her cancer was needed to be treated by radio or chemotherapy.  Well last December she died as we expected.  This stressful situations, plus the view of a world of suffering and no or little joy, believe me, gave me all these symptoms, everytime I was worrying about the future, the suffering, the injustice, was followed by skip beats, arrythmia and panic attacks which are very debilitating, I thought I was in bad health and was doomed too!  Is not easy to see one's mother each week getting worse.  It is very sad and stressful, my faith in God for the whole year had almost vanished.  Well, let me tell you something I think no one has written you.  There is a God, and he heals, maybe you are passing a hard time now, but you will see how everything reaches its place again. You know what, I thought I was not able to speak of her at the funeral because I have imagined it since a long time before and I cried when I imagined the funeral.  I was imagined all the bad things, before they ever happenned, I was worrying about everything, I learned now to live a day each day.  Well before the funeral I pray to God to let me talk about the great mother he gave me and to my surprise at the time, I was able to talk of her very easy without nothing troubling my mind like if she was present there at my side.  Some familiars told me how well I managed to speak of her. I miss her a lot now but she is where she belongs. I thanked God to letting me do that.  My mother's death, had helped me to hang into God again and I have received the peace I needed. Before my mother's death I went to a psycologist for my panic attacks, one visit was what I needed in order to know that it would be better to buy a book about panic attacks to learn for myself.  You know what? The book only cost $14.00 and it helped me a lot.  To understand to break the anxiety cycle, it has some breathing exercises too.  It is titled "Panic Attack,..." something else after that, I do not have it with me, I gave it to a partner who is having anxiety problems. In cover it has a blue sky with a opened wooden door, its about 150 pages not too big. After that, I went to a cardiologist to check my heart condition, he performed an EKG, an echocardiogram, and a strength test.  I was diagnosed with MVP (Mitral Valve Prolapse) which I needed to do some research myself of what that mean, doctors in these days, do not worry about their patients anymore, they like everyone in these days, live in a constant rush about checking as much patients as they can in the less time possible. When I asked him, he only said, that that is a benign condition that I have to go and check again in 5 months, that MVP was causing me the symptoms I had.  After the research I found out that its true, 40% of MVP patients can experience symptoms such as that I mentioned before.  And symptoms may get worse if people do not exercise, drink coffee, alchohol etc. Symptoms may appear when stressful situations appear.  You can eliminate symptoms by having a mind clear of troubles and anxiety due to the inexpected future we all need to live.  I recommend you to go and take an echocardiogram, which is the standard for diagnosing MVP which is a common condition or syndrome in 15%-20% of the population. I also invite you to look into yourself, see what is troubling your mind (new job, marriage problems, health of a familiar, economic problems) I know you are worrying a lot about your own health which makes things worse, but what I mean is that you take some time to relax, and let go in your mind about these constant worry, if that is the case with you.  Take time to go to your own roots again, think of what made you happy in the past, take some time to play like a child. Take some time to feed your soul with joy, life give us hard times, but also great times. Enjoy the company of your family or friends.  Pray to God with faith, and beg him to feel his prescence and he will. Through something you do not know now, but he will, you as a human being as same as I, are part of God's dream.  And if you think life ends here, you are wrong, life keeps on...   hang to your creator.  Make treasures in heaven where no one can steal them.  They will be with you for ever...
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Thanks Mike for taking the time and sending this valuable information to us.

I am going to make copies as I have suffered enough with an uneducated and uncaring gastro Doc and perhaps the cardio doc also. (no one communicates with the other one)

Happy to hear you did not go thru with an uneeded surgery. It is "patient beware" . We all need to take charge of our health and learn as much as we can and ASK questions and more Questions.
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Two very interesting posts here. Too bad the doctors here at Cleveland Heart Clinic do not respond.

Mike, you did one heck of a job posting your experience and the article. Many thanks.
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Thanks Mike for your Most Informative Post on
Esophygeal vs Heart Problems.

I wonder if the 'today doc' reads with interest, articles
of the past that can help their patients understand what
may be happening and communicate with other necessary medical
specialists to help the patient with the right testing to avoid unecessary procedures and medication.  

Or is this too much to ask for, in today's society.  Peace of Mind is the RX for getting well and this is attained by a caring and knowledgeable physician.

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Trudi - your post certainly generated an awful lot of response and just goes to prove how many of us understand and have experienced your suffering.  I don't think you need to see any pysciatrist - or if you do - then so do we all!! but then I think any of us would accept ANY kind of help to help us to COPE.
Thanks Mike for the indigestion/pvc connection that I have always suspected - that was a great comfort to read.
Best Wishes
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To Russ

Thanks for your message on the Forum.

Sorry, but I did not understand your reference to 'today doc'.

Were you referring to my 9-pager? If so, and you would like a copy as e-mail or Word DOC attached to e-mail, please let me know.

Mike
70403.***@****
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Hi,

I'm happy to have found this site.  My husband had by-pass surgery a couple of months ago.  Since then I have suffered with chest pain, racing heart, skipped beats, had a heart cath, heart monitor, thyroid tests, event monitor - everything shows up normal.  No heart problems at all.  My doctor has diagnosed it as anxiety.  I also found that I  have have high blood pressure.  Have any of you noticed that with anxiety?

Thanks for the imput.

Angela
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Hi Mike,  When I used the term 'today doc', I was referring to the many of the medical docs who do not have the time or take the time to read abstracts/documents/manuals, on a patient's symptoms, who do not meet the 'classic text book diagnosis'.

Today's Doc is often trapped by Insurance Dictators thus limiting the ordering of tests, etc. etc. AND, many of the docs must see a certain amount of patients, per day, to keep up with expenses, that quality time is not there.

I was seeing one of these doctors.  He was an Internal Med doc.
He alloted 10 minutes to each patient.  One was fortunate if you got a return call from him with tests results. One was fortunate if a prescription was called to the Pharmacist, and with
proper instructions.  It goes on.

I feel I am no better off in 2001 than I was years ago in regards to better health care.  If I had my choice, I would take
"the yesteryear doc".  Communication was so much better.



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Trudi,

I completely understand your situation.  Please consider Mike's post because one of the main causes of my palpitations is acid reflux.  Other causes that I am absolutely sure affect palpitations are:

Stress
Hormone fluctuations
dehydration and in some cases over-hydration or drinking too fast
lack of sleep or restless sleep
lack of exercise
depression
bending over or stimulating your vagas nerve area
eating the wrong foods
eating too fast
many, many medications including ALL anti-depressants (yes, even SSRIs)

I wish you well.
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OK, this may seem weird to everyone, but my skippied beats have almost stopped and here is why.  I was having a skipped beat about 3 times every 10 seconds for about 2 days.  I had an EKG done and of course they said, "it's a premature hearbeat, you'll be OK".  Anyway, the skipping was worse by time I got home.  All the usual thought went through my head.  "I am going to die, I have heart blockages, etc."  Anyway, I grabbed my bible and put it up to my head and said to God, "God, if I felt good physically I would feel better spiritually and emotionally"  I am not joking, but I received a thought in my head that said, "If you felt good Spiritually you would feel better physically." And wham, the skipping stopped.  I have only had a few little skips since then.  I don't know what happened.  I am just surprised it went from several a minute to a few a day.  WOW.  Anyway, I am looking into breathing techniques and my diet as a way to cure myself.  Any thoughts out there?
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Amen to Javier!!!  Loved the message!!!  You are a very strong , insightful and courageous soul..thank you for your touching story!!
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For the person who thinks panic attacks come and go.  This might be true, but for most people with Panic, this anxiety is just as you discribe it.  Comes in waves which can build to the worst (an attack).  Don't kid yourself, you have panic not heart problems.  You did the tests, trust the doctors.  

Panic will find a symptom that frightens you and prey upon it.  When you get over that symptom, it will produce another that scares you.  See a theripist who understands panic and see your primary care doc for meds.

By the way, I still think something is wrong with me even though all the tests are fine.  I know it is mental, but this does not make it UNREAL.  It is very REAL, and you are not alone.  It will not kill you and you can beat it.  

Tom
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God is the ultimate healer and your faith in Him is what helped you.  I am going to a healing service tonight because my depression and PVCs are acting up.  I have trust in the Lord that He will help me deal with my condition.  God bless you for sharing your story.

Kim
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My husband suffers from Wolfe parkinsons white syndrome which causes severe palpatations.  It took the doctors so long to work out what he had, by the time they finally did he was having panic and anxiety attacks so severe he was scared to go more than 5km away from a hospital.  They prescribed Tambacor for the heart condition which worked like a miracle but the anxiety prevailed for about 6 years. We tried everything - counselling, chinese medicine, herbalists, homeopaths but he couldn't get control of it.  Then someone suggested a tablet called Aropax.  The doctor agreed this would be of benifit to try.  At first he was anxious to take it but after about two weeks of slowly weaning him on to it my old confident husband had returned.  He stayed on it for about 1 year and the incentive to come off was trying for a baby.  It was hard mental work to come off because he was so reliant on it but with support and slowly reducing the dose he did it.  I was extatic my husband was normal again.  BUT and there's always a but, he changed jobs while I was pregnant and mind you I was very sick throughout my whole pregnancy that the change and worry got to him and it returned.  He went back on the Aropax and I still look forward to the day where he can be the cofident person I once knew.  Goodluck everyone
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THANKS TO CALLAWAY
FOR YOUR REP ON HEART PROBLEM WILL TRY OUT OVER A FEW WEEKS
AND SEE HOW I GO
                          GA
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This reply is to Tom and everyone else who suffers from panic.  Tom, I had serious panic attacks on and off for several years.  My heart would race, I would feel dizzy, and actually felt like I was going to die.  This went on for quite a while, to the point that I felt like my life was being ruled by panic attacks.  I ended up having elevated blood pressure, palpitations on a regular basis, and had was put on a low dose of Atenolol.  I spent a night in the ER only to be told that my heart was fine and that I was having panic attacks.  Then, in so many words, "get a grip".  To anyone who has not experienced a panic attack, I suppose that might be good advice.  

The point in my reply to you, however, and what was the only thing that saved my sanity, is a paperback book entitled "Hope and Help for Your Nerves", by Dr. Claire Weekes.  This book truly saved my life, and got me back on the path.  For anyone who needs a simple, easy-to-read guide - this is it.  I promise, it is like someone personally speaking to you in unclinical plain English.  Get it, and let me know what you think.  Dr. Weekes covers every symptom that panic brings on, and then goes on to explain why it is happening, and how to stop it.  You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.  I bought mine about 3 years ago at Barnes and Noble.  If they don't have it, they can order it for you.  I've bought several copies and have given it to many people.  You would be surprised how many people out there actually suffer from panic.  If nothing else, I learned how to handle "those feelings", and that alone was a milestone! Good luck!
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I agree with you Mary Linda.  I carried that book around for years.  It sits in my closet now, but that is only thanks to Dr. Claire Weeks.  Although I do have legitimate PVC's and "pesty heart flutterss, including times when it likes to pause for too long, my anxiety made them much worse.  Her book taught me how to live again.
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Ever since I took things into my own hands and did some research, I've made remarkable progress when it comes to panic, anxiety and the rapid heartbeat that always accompanies it and sends me into a tailspin.

I have read three books that have saved my life and my sanity.  They are "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" by Dr. Claire Weekes (a true life-saver in easy-to-read, plain English), "Breathe In, Breath Out" by James E. Loehr and Jeffrey A. Migdow (which truly works), and "Six Seconds to True Calm" by Robert Simon Siegel.

I am sure your first reaction is probably that you don't have the time or the inclination to sit around reading books when you are this stressed and frightened.  Please believe me, there were times when I thought I'd never pull through, but if you do spend the time reading these books, you'll be glad you did.  They are paperbacks and simple to understand. Once you learn why all of these horrible things are happening physically, you can learn to control them mentally.  Good luck and God bless.  
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Hi, Im 19 years old and was diagnosed with Wolfe Parkinsons White last year.  Lately I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping at night due to my heart "skipping" every time I am just about asleep.  I have also been having the heart skipping and a tight feeling in my chest (like someone is pushing in on me) during the day more often.  I've talked to 2 different doctors about WPW, but neither mentioned the PCVs (what are these?) that i've read about on this page.  I've been to the ER once, I've been on two 24-hour heart monitors, and I've had one ultrasound of my heart done as well.  The doctors have told me that unless my heart rate goes upwards of 200/bpm that i should have nothing to worry about, unless i wanted to have an ablation done anyway.  Nobody ever even mentioned any kind of medicine that I could take and nothing ever showed up on my EKGs or heart monitors (besides the WPW).  I have also smoked for a little over a year (does anyone know if this affects palpitations any).
My first semester in college created so much stress and anxiety for me, that I ended up being put on Zoloft (I think I read above that anti-depressants can affect palpitations), but I dont take them any more.  Night time has become almost scary to me.  I know before the skipping even starts that its going to happen, and then I dwell on the fact that my heart is acting up so much that I get myself hyper and scared to go to sleep.  
I guess my question is this:  Does the fact that I have WPW have anything to do with this skipping of my heart (more common at night, but happens during the day too) or are they two separate sicknesses?  Any information would be much appreciated.
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