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arrhythmia and palpitations
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arrhythmia and palpitations

I have had heart palpitations since I was a teenager so I have had it for about 20 years.I have had two children and I am now 9 weeks pregnant.  About seven years ago I was having the heart palpitions quite bad after I took a prescription drug to try to lose weight.  I was sent for an ekg and I wore a holter monitor for a couple of days.  Both said that nothing was wrong.  The doctor thinks that my heart is "nervous"  I have had to deal with anxiety spells and depression after the birth of my second child.  I am no longer on any antidepressants and I feel that I am not bad enough to take them any longer. For the past couple of weeks I have noticed an increase in the palpitations and skipping.  It is now every day and it occurs alot during the day.  I was just wondering could it be the pregnancy or is something else going on now.  They have increased more over the years and my grandmother has a pacemaker.  My mother also has the palpitations bad and there has been a lot of heart attacks with death in the family.  I would appreciate any input.  Thank you.
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hi Belinny,

Congratulations on you're pregnancy.  PVCs can increase or decrease with changes in hormones (like pregnancy or menstrual cycles).  I would mention the PVCs to your doctor, but it is likely a direct result of your pregnancy.

There is not link or connection that I know of between PVCs as a teenager and young adults and heart attacks later in life.  The PVCs people often get after heart attacks or with cardiomyopathies can be different than normal heart PVCs.

I don't think you have anything to worry about but you should mention your concerns to you're doctor.

Good luck and thanks for posting.
25 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I would just say if you stopped taking your meds go right back on them if they won't harm your child. The reason you feel better is because the meds are working.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I have heard that palps can increase during pregnancy.  That is why I am afraid to have another child but probably will bite the bullet and do it one day!  I understand that some betas don't cause harm to the fetus - not sure which ones those are.  I've heard that you can be on Toprol while pregnant but I'm not for sure - I'm sure your doctor can advise about what meds are OK for pregnancy.  Hope you feel better soon!
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21064_tn?1309312333
Hi and Congrats on the pregnancy!!!  

I have three children, nearly all grown now, but I wanted to let you know that hormones (pregnancy, PMS, peri-menopause, etc) seem to trigger pvcs/pacs in some people, me included.  There are a number of people on the Forum that have noticed an increase in pvcs during pregnancy.  Although my pvcs were prevalent during pregnancy, they did not cause any problems with L&D.  

When you said that you have stopped your RX, I understood that to mean the antidepressants.  Is that correct?  I'm not sure what medications are considered baby-safe during pregancy so I wouldn't take anything until you check with your doctor(s).

Perhaps your doctor will suggest a follow up EKG and holter to see how/if the pregnancy is affecting your heart's rhythm.  

My dad also has a pacemaker, but for an entirely different problem.  Try not to worry.  Check with your doctor on what, if anything, you can do to get the extra beats to "calm down."  He/she may suggest you just "deal with it."  Or, he/she may suggest a baby-safe medication.  I remember taking Inderal (beta blocker) during part of my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies. It's kind of like a bad cold...that goes on and on and on....You can't really take much medicine for it when you are pregnant, so you kinda just shuffle through it.  Of course, this is once you know there is nothing more signicant going on...Unlikely, but some follow up tests might be helpful.

Best of luck!  I hope you have a peaceful and wonderful pregnancy!!

Connie

You mentioned that people in your family have had fatal heart attacks?  Was there ever any mention of a rhythm problem in connection with the death?  Maybe the heart attacks were related to CAD and not a rhythm disorder.

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Avatar_m_tn
Also any heart attack after the age of 55 should not be considered a strong family link as the vast majority of heart realted deaths occur in this age group.

The only time you should be concerned is if there is a strong family link of young death from heart disease when people are younger then the age of 50, and especially under the age of 40.
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88793_tn?1290230777
I might add in some comments also.  I'm a mother of 2. I was on medication since 15 yrs old.  I'd my first pacer put in at 24.  At 27, I'd a considerable successful ablation so I'm off medication from that age.  At 29, I'd my first pregnancy.  

The first pregnancy, I only had to deal with blood disorder - ITP (low platelets).  I think was the long term on medication caused my blood disorder.

Problems with the second pregnancy.  I had a chest infection.  Dr prescribed me amoxil.  (Now I was told that not allow to take this if pregnant.)  My cervic dilated 6cm at 18 weeks pregnant.  Had stitches put in (under GA) and caused infection.  3 kinds of antibiotic went in at the same time.  Ventolin 4mg 3 times a day. (not for asthma, it's for cervic not to dilate) Told to take this till full term. (If I can keep it) Can all these drugs given to a pregnant women?  They went ahead if needed.  They just bypass what shaw at the drug interactions or precautions.  I told them my heart went mad. (Palpitations BACK!) I was crying.  Told me stayed on bed. Palps were caused by ventolin.  (Anyway, only allowed to get down from bed once a day. Time to the toilet.  If can't make it, had to wait for tomorrow!) Eat, vee and wash all laid down on a upside down bed for few weeks.  It was much harder than after the ablation stayed few hours on bed.

Belinny, don't worry so much.  Tell the Dr what you feel that's the most important thing.  They'll do what's needed.  If need a drug, they'll find you a suitable one.  Sometimes, Drs like to scare the patients.  Aware of that too.  Take care and good luck.  Sorry for that long post.  Pika.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded to my question.  I did not expect a response this fast.  It was great.  This is the first time that I have been to this site and I would definitely recommend it to anyone that has any concerns about their health.  Thank you again.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Everyone,

THis is my first time on this site and I have to say I feel so much better now.  I have been dealing with heart palpitations for about 1 1/2 years now.  On toprol xl 100 mg.  I still get a few here and there and sometimes they are really hard pounding ones, so even though things are under control I was still getting worried.  I have read all these posts and it is EXACTLY what I have been going through.........

I agree with everyone that doctors need to take more time to help us understand that this is not a serious problem instead of just saying "don't worry about it".  The heart is the most serious part of your body, why should I not worry about it?  When it is not working right, I am going to be scared!!!!

We all know SOMEONE who has gotten bad advice from a doctor and hence, is not here any longer or is very ill from it.

My regular doctor and heart specialist both said not to worry, so I have really been trying hard not to.  I do believe it has to do anxiety and hormones.  I started to get my heart palps when life was a little crazy for me.  Actually, It all started with a weird tightness in my chest that would only go away when I would take a walk or do exercise or something time consuming.  As soon as I stopped exercising and started thinking about my problem, the tightness would come back.  It made me feel like I was short of breath..it is very hard to explain. Then the heart palp started coming on-10 / 20 a day.  Some were real long, most just tiny ones-nevertheless they were all scary.  I would freeze in the middle of talking, walking, reading...whatever I was doing.  I could not help think "is this it?"  And, of course, this made me go into a deeper depression.  All I knew is that when I was sleeping, I did not feel palpitations or that tightness of the chest, so that is exactly what I did-slept. When I would come home from work, I was so exhausted because all I did was worry the whole darn day with the thought that I was going to die before I hit 30 years old.  My nerves were rattled because no one was able to tell me exactly why I was having these palps, but I was to not "worry" about it. And that made me worry even more because I kept thinking that the doctor's were not listening well enough and I was going to die because of it.  

I try every 6 months to lower my dosage of toprol to 50mg because I really want to get off of the stuff someday, but it has not worked yet.  One doctor says I can eventually go off of it, but the heart specialist basically said to expect it to be in my medicine cabinet forever.

So, for all of you who are suffering from the same story, I hate to say "don't worry" about it, but don't.  Always go and get second, heck, even third opinions.  It is your life and your sanity!!!  I have tried letting things that bother me roll of my back these days and take time for myself. The caffeine is 95% gone from my life...a good thing to look up on the internet is to see what has caffeine in it, you'll be surprised.  I found out alot of these companies purposely add caffeine to get you addicted to their product. So be careful and read labels.

The toprol does seem to work 99% every day, but little palps do show up everyday. I do have some wicked spells at times and it seems to be when I have my menstraul cycle and/or sick.  And, the most frequent time I get them is the holidays. But, if you knew my routine I had to go through every holiday, you'd understand!!!!  Some advice--don't live by both sets of families 2 streets apart..... :)

So, "calm down and chill out or you WILL give yourself a heart attack and it won't be from the palpitations" as my doctor said....

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Avatar_n_tn
One question - anyone on toprol while pregnant?  I want to get pregnant however I am on toprol 100 mg.  I read it is not a good thing for the baby.  Just wondering, have not talked to the doctor yet about it...
Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn

I know exactly how you feel when it comes to all this heart skipping and and fluttering and so on.  It can be a very scary thing especially when it acts up so bad you wonder if it will ever beat right again or if it will start to beat again after it feels like it has stopped.  When mine acts up all I want to do is sleep also and just cut off the world because that is the only time that you can ever get away from it.  I figure that there has got to be a reason for it.  I didn't always have it right?  At least I wasn't aware of it anyway.  The doctors can tell you all they want that you are ok and you will be alright but when it is happening to you and you wonder if the next time will be the "last" one, it definitely doesn't make you believe them at the time.  I know that I let it control my life too much at times.  It makes it hard for me to enjoy certain things and it definitely does affect my mood which does make it hard on the husband because it seems like I am always in a bad mood.  I guess though from the looks of it that it will always be a part of me but it is nice that know that I am not the only one that has to deal with this.  Thanks again for your stories.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi

Yep count me in!  I am so sorry you are feeling this. I have been having these pvc's/pac's since I was 21 (now 34!) but they have not been all the time. I have a years when I don't get bothered by them and then I get them back after having my children.  I have 3 children and my hormones definately cause my PVC's to get bad.  I find that they bother me most when I am trying to fall asleep but once I am asleep I am ok.  My youngest is 10 months old and the pvc's came back  when I was 6 weeks Post Partum (right around the time when my period came back!)  I too am scared as my dad has had triple heart bypass surgery and now has a defrib/pace maker fitted but his heart disease was cause by excessive smoking since the age of 15 but still i get worried.  Have just been given an event monitor for 30 days and have managed to catch a couple of these beats but still my dr says i am fine.  I take 12.5mg of atenelol...twice a day...sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't.  Does anyone know if there is a better choice of beta blocker for the treatment of PVC's/pac's?

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to post on here.  I sometimes feel like I am addicted to the site as it gives me so much assurance.

happy holidays everyone

Sharonx
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84562_tn?1288307983
Congratulations on the pregnancy.  I am a 56 year old male.  I have had AFIB and espisodes of PVCs for the past 25 years.  Most days I am fine with an occasional PVC or two.  However, I often go into a cyle of several days or weeks of very high PVC activity.  Sometimes I can trace the onset to my stupidity, caffeine, cold medicine, alcohol.  Over the years I have learned to eliminate virtually every trigger from my daily routine but even then I still have real bad dads.  I have taken fish oil, magnesium, copper, vitamin b1, taurine and goldenseal.  Of course when I am symptom free I think...what a smart guy I am ...I feel great it is all thoese supplements.  But then inevitably I get a series of attacks.  Sometimes I wind up in the ER.  Sometimes I tough it out.   Very depressing worrisome time when they are bad.   I have taken a series of medicines over the years.  Corgard. Quinnidine. Sotalol and now Flecainide and Atenolol combination.  My control has been best on the Flecainide/Atenolol but I still have streaks of bad days and that is discouraging.  I have been told because my problems are mostly PVC related I am not a good ablation candidate.  The occasional AFIB I can live with.  It is the bigeminy, trigeminy, etc. rythym of PVCs that leaves me weak, out of breath and basically a drooling idiot.  If I could give you all a Christmas gift it would be a lifetime without these problems.  You gift to me is posting your experiences and I cannot tell you how assuring it is to hear about people who suffer the same way I do and are going about life despite it.  Thanks and Merry Christmas.
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Avatar_n_tn
Funny how I think that having A-Fib would definitely be worse than the 20,000+pvcs/day that I get. But you seem to think the a-fib isn't worse than the bigeminy, trigeminy that I get all day long!!

I guess everyone experiences these things very personally. With so many PVCs a day, I have experienced just about every sensation you could think of, but there seems to be something new every once in a while.

If your symptoms change, mention it to your doctor, and/or insist on getting it checked. Then try as best as you can, as you do *everyday* I'm sure when you have PVCs/PACs it's everyday to continue to live a full life.

And, healthy, happy holidays everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I am 42 now. I have 3 children, 16,13, and 7. When I had my 7 yr. old I took lopressor, about 75 to 100mg a day. She was ok and still is thank God. I breastfed her and she seem to want to sleep alot and I think that may have been the betablocker in my milk. But you know, newborns sleep alot anyway so who knows. Just to let you know and maybe help you to make a decision. God Bless and let me know how it goes. Joy:)(email address - ***@****)
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Avatar_n_tn
Above comment was to you too rdf. Thanks, Joy
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Avatar_f_tn
As others have said, it's good to know your not alone with these issues.  I have one 3 yr. old boy and wonder constantly if he will have these awful feelings we get with these palps., God, I sure hope not, I think it's part of the reason I don't have another child, too afraid to pass on my "illnesses".  
Contratulations to Belinny.  I think what got me through my pregnancy is ignorance.  I didn't have a name for my PAC's then, if I had I'm sure I would be going through the same things your are.  I heard meditation and yoga really do help.  I walk 30 min. a day and notice a difference from when I don't exercise.  I already go light on caffeine, sugar, etc. and all the other 'triggers' people describe and still get them.  I was shocked that my holter monitor test came back with 3,300 APC's under a 24-hour period, especially when I only FEEL about a dozen or so a day.  I, also, feel "is this it" and hope and pray that I'll get to see my son grow-up.  As a note to rdf6218, have you had your Thyroid tested?  I was recently diagnosed with Graves/Hyperthyroidism and you mentioned you just want to sleep,with all my extensive reading on this issue you could very well have Hypothyroidism, that also will produce palpitations.  I have the other problem, I'm exhausted because I'm afraid to go to sleep, which also gives palps.. It's a viscous circle!  Good luck to you all!! Thanks for sharing!
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, all I can say is thank god I'm not the only one going through all this thinking I'm going to die any minute. I've spent a few thousand dollars at my doctors office just to have my doctor tell me that I will be ok and that nothing that's happening to me is life threatning.
My problems heve been going on for about 6 months and now I see people have been living with this problem for multiple years. I guess the biggest thing it does to me is cause lots of stress, just wondering if your going to fall down dead. Other than that I can deal with the weird feelings pretty well. May GOD be with us all.
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Avatar_n_tn
You asked if anyone knew of a better beta blocker to use.  Both doctors I visited said Toprol is a safe one to use because you can eventually stop taking it.  I guess with many beta blockers, once you are on it, you're stuck. But, I am only going by what I have heard. Anyway, I would ask your doc about the toprol.  It made me dizzy the first couple of days, but that is because my blood pressure is pretty low to begin with and it needed time to adjust.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
And I thought I was the only one... On Christmas morning instead of playing with my two children ages 4 and 7, I was on the internet trying to find any information I could on these horrible heart palpitations.  I truly believe that I am going to die when these occur.  They only last about 3 seconds, but leave me absolutely exhausted and depressed.  Just this morning I began the 30 day heart monitor, but also called a psychiatrist- has anyone felt that these palps might be due to panic or anxiety?  I am 36 years old and have had a couple of stress tests and a stress echo which all came back normal.
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Avatar_n_tn
I spent an awful Christmas morning by having to get out of bed a couple of times because the palpitations were so bad and frequent that I couldn't sleep.  This is the worse that they have ever been since I started having them.  I keep telling myself that it is all to do with the pregnancy and maybe the hormones.  I just try to get through the day but sometimes it can be very hard to enjoy anything.  I had tried atenolol years ago but I stayed taking it because it dropped my heart rate too low even with half the dosage I was taking.  Maybe after this pregnancy I will be able to try something else again.  I have a lot of anxiety so I consider myself at times my own worst enemy.  I have actually prayed to God to please look after me and I pray that he does.  Thanks again to everyone for their comments.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well...I just found out I'm pregnant with our 2nd child.  I am terrified my PACs and PVCs are going to increase or that I will get postpartum cardiomyopathy, etc.  At least once I make it through this pregnancy I won't have to go thru it again as we are only going to have 2 children.  I am just SO afraid of not knowing really what to expect.
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh what a relief to hear from all of you. I have been getting palps since I was 20, am now 33. They got very bad about 6 months after my 2nd son was born. I wore the monitor and all that and was told I'm fine. I do have mild hypertension so they related it to that. I am now 17 weeks pregnant and of course they are back. They seem to be lasting longer, it feels like an eternity before my heart returns to normal, but its actually about 30 seconds. I called my OB and said mayber I should return to taking high blood pressure medicine, but he said 138/88 should not be causing the palps, so no meds. If I dont do something I am going to go crazy. I am a very active person and I feel like a prisoner in my home. I'm afraid to go anywhere.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Everyone! I am 15 years old! and i think i have been having Heart Palpitations. Is it possible at my age! My Chest really hurst when my heart starts to beat extremely fast randomly.Do you think its serious, should i contact my GP!.
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Avatar_n_tn
People of any age can have palpitations and most of the time they are not a sign of a serious heart problem. However, you do need to tell your parents are guardians that you are experiencing skipped beats -- especially if this is new and super especially if they are associated with exercise and/or sports. It would be a very good idea to talk to your doctor about this. Remember to tell him or her when these skipped beats or fast beats happen -- when you are resting? or exercising? Also remember than caffeine and certain drugs ( like cold medicines) can cause skipped or fast beats in lots of people. Have you been drinking a lot of colas lately? Cokes and Pepsis and other sodas have lots of caffeine. Please talk to your doctor and good luck!  You are most likely absolutely fine but you should always have heart symptoms checked out -- no matter what your age.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, I am so happy to find this forum!  I've had MVP with skipped beats & extra beats for 8 years.  Sometimes it's tame and I hardly notice it.  Other times, like recently, it's pretty bad- keeping me awake nights, giving me anxiety attacks, etc.  My comments about this thread are that during my last pregnancy (I have a 4 yr old) my symptoms DISAPPEARED.  Maybe all those pg hormones made me calmer or something.  Also, my 19 yr old daughter has had similar problems since she was 15.  So yes, it can happen to someone so young.  Absolutely, see a doctor.  My daughter saw a pediatric cardiologist and was very relieved afterwards since all the tests came back OK.  Personally, my symptoms seem worse this time of year.  Whether it's the stress of the holidays, the extra sugar consumption, the cold weather, seasonal affective disorder, or a combination of these that cause more flip-flops, I don't know.  I've been reading the threads and am cheered knowing I'm not alone with this.  Happy, Healthy New Year to all of You!
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