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heart skips
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heart skips

I have been plagued with heart skips many years, but lately they are coming in a series.  They come many at a time, lasting about 15 to 30 seconds.  Of course, it seems like an eternity and I totally panic.  I have had all sorts of tests, even going to another hospital for another opinion.  They all say they are benign.  This maybe so, but how long will this go on.  Mentally, its taking a toll.  What scares me is I think my heart will never go back to its normal rhythm.  I am on 50 mg. of atenolol in the A.M., 150 mg. of avapro in the afternoon, and I cut myself down to 25 mg of atenolol in the evening, instead of 50 mg.  My cardiologist thinks this is fine.  I have stopped smoking, and everthing else they recommend.  I know they claim is it not from the stomach, but I do have the gastro problem according to upper GI series.  I burp sour after these are done.  Any suggestion to get my life back to normal.  Thank you for your interest.
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Avatar_n_tn
Barbara,

Sorry to hear of your recent problems.

PVCs can be quite disruptive and concerning, although they have no known untoward effects in patients with otherwise normal hearts.

I like a two-pronged approach to treating them: identify any possible precipitators of the PVCs and develop coping mechanisms for dealing with them.

Possible precipitators can include changing diet, caffeine, alcohol, lack of sleep, slowing heart rate, change in medicines, etc.  The causes are different in different people -- you need to pay attention to your body and be open-minded to figure out any possible precipitators.  Sometimes keeping a diary of what you are doing when a wave hits you will help you to identify a pattern.

Coping mechanisms can include medicines (such as the atenolol), treatment for anxiety, bio-feedback, or exercise.  Sometimes getting other things in your life back on track makes these PVCs less troublesome.

Hope that helps.

57 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have been dealing with pac's for over a year now..I am 29 and have never smoked,drink no alcohol and have a decent diet and they do come generally any time...
this morning for instance I was just sitting there, had not had a bite to eat yet and boom there was a skip..
followed by belching and or gas/stomach rumbles..
when my skips are the worse I usually have gas/ and or belching.
I have had all the heart tests too and am told benign however they still scare me..I am not having panic attacks aftewards like I use to but sometimes I get one after I feel the beat..
a few weeks ago I had some and they felt so much stronger and I went into full blown panic..
oh well I just wanted to say I have the same issues..
I do not take any meds though.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have also just started to experience these....I thought my heart was going to stop all together then launches me into full blown panic. My doc tells me its nothing to worry about but its making me so scared of when it will happen again. Does anyone know if you are more likely to suffer if you have a slow resting pulse...mine is about 55 and always happens when resting or going to sleep. I'm 29 pretty fit non smoker male.
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Avatar_n_tn
Pvc's,Pac's are very scary and after knowing what they are from numerous holter monitors over 7 years still has this gal complexed. I keep a journal and at 27 when I had my first cardiology exam and learned of Mvp, pvc's and the way my heart functions.I enjoy this heart board for sharing.My last holter a month ago had 495 pvc's and I was really feeling bad. Increased my potassium, magnesium and given Propanolol to keep on hand. For years I walk daily , stay thin, lots of water and non of the no-nos which can cause heart palps. I find comfort in meditation too.
Hope for a skip free day for all.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi
Someone asked if they are more likely to occur when your resting pulse is slow.
I definitely think so.  Mine are much more likely to come on when I am just sitting relaxing or whilst lying down at night.
Postural changes also bring them on and this totally doesn't make sense but everytime I have tried to quit smoking (and therefore my heart rate slows down somewhat) I have been absolutely PLAGUED by them!!!!!
I also find that after hard exercise whilst heart rate is dropping down to its normal rate is a prime time for them to happen.  I haven't posted before but always read this forum.  I'd just like to say that I have had these things for 14 years now and I guess if they were going to hurt me then they would have by now - but I still panic somewhat when I get a bad run of them.
Just a hint - I have found that taking the tissue salt Mag. Phos 6x (magnesium phosphate biochemic tissue salt) sometimes will stop them in their tracks.  It's harmless to take and you just dissolve them under your tongue.
Best to everyone
Susan in South AUstralia
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Avatar_n_tn
Postural changes!!!
you know I notice mine when I get from a sitting to a standing position or like walking up the stairs...
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey all,
Do any of you experience palpitations as a "fluttery" feeling or a butterfly type sensation which you can even feel in your throat?
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Avatar_n_tn
It has been over a year since I have visited this site. It was very helpful for me to learn that I was not the only one with strange heartbeats. I think I have had irregular beats (PAC's) for the last 25 years. It wasn't until the last year or two that they started really bothering me. I went to the ER and also made several trips to various doctors to get checked out. My doctors were no longer interested in my condition after the results of my tests showed a normal heart. Their advice was that this happens to most people after 40. They told me to go out and live a normal life and not pay attention to it. This was not much comfort and did little to reduce my anxiety. I then went back and had them treat me for my anxiety and panic. They were kind enought to give me Valium. This was very helpful and allowed me to start researching the road to my own cure.

The best thing I did for my peace of mind was to buy these books..."Hope and Help for Your Nerves" and "Peace from Nervous Suffering". Both are by Dr. Claire Weekes and they both say about the same thing. But when you are looking for comfort and thinking your heart is about to turn against you it's nice to have them around.

I really feel for the people on this list with horror stories much worse than mine. If you're like me with simple PAC's, PVC's, anxiety and panic, then these books are for you.
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Avatar_n_tn

Hi all, I am 42 years old male and have been experiencing PVC's since one year. Really they are not so many but for sure I get scared when they occur. I was on atenol 25 mg with good result for PVC's but also with 35 beats per minute so the cardiologist stopped the betablocker. I mainly perceive them when sitting at lunch and dinner even if the stomach is not full. As far as I am anxious subject I am really convincing that PVC's are in otherwise healthy people a normal variant of the beat.
My wife experienced them when she was 20 and now she smiles over looking at me. I believe that hearing from other more or less same axperiences is the best med.
Be happy with life,
Egi
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Hi Steve,

Just to let you and everyone else know that it is soooo true that the books of Dr. Claire Weekes can help you when you are so lost in anxiety and other nerve problems!
I live in the Netherlands and the books are titled here: "Blijf Uw zenuwen de baas" and "Breng Uw zenuwen tot rust", but the English titles are as you wrote.
I bought the first one in I think 1971 or 1972, and the second book in 1979. These are the books I still ALWAYS take of the shelf when I am in stress, distress, anxiety, feeling heartbumps, palpitations and all the other **** that comes with a sensitive nervous system. I lend the first book to my daughter-in-law (just last month) who was in a little bit of anxiety, and told her that this book was like my bible for feeling good again
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She is so right this Dr. in describing what people feel when in anxiety!
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Your comment was recognizable so I immediately wanted to write back this letter...
Hope you feel ok now!
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Greetings from Holland - ***Ianna***

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Avatar_n_tn
Reading these posts makes me feel so much better, I ended up in ER last night due to what I think is a heart skip or flutter it freaked the hell out of me but when I was there they just said ECG and everything was fine so go home and get referred to a cardioligist. I am yet to be diagnosed with this condition but can someone please explain exactly what one feels like. Like I said it always happens when I'm resting and feels like my heart just stops for a second or two then I go really light headed and start to panic. I'm 29 and never had this untill 2 weeks ago.

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Avatar_n_tn
Light headed is normal as you are probably very anxious.  My suggestion is to get as much information from the cardiologist as possible, study up on the type of arrhythmia you are experiencing (sounds like either a simple PVC or PAC...premature beats which usually portend nada), and use the deeper understanding of the phenomenon to quell your anxiety.  If you don't do that, you will head into an abysmal cycle of fear which lends itself to increased heart skips, which of course worsens the anxiety...

Most of us experiencing the skips have gone through this cycle and most have overcome it by understanding derived from consulting with experts.  BTW...the pause your heart goes through is the normal consequence of a premature beat...it just reflects the extra filling time required since the premature beat was too early and inefficient.  It does feel queezy and that's normal too.  Just take the advice you get from a cardiologist you can trust and calm down...almost every arrhythmia is treatable.

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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I'm the one that sent the question.  Good to hear from you all, and know so many people have the problem.  My email is ***@****  Would love to hear from someone.  Seems like it helps to talk.  Thanks
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Thankyou so much for taking the time to post on here and try to help calm me down. I keep thinking the next skip it will stop, it seems that what you said about worrying and anxiety that you and others have gone through is what I'm going through at the moment and its so horrible. Then it adds to the problem and makes it worse. Also thanks to the person who posted the question, so I could get some advice on it. I think my next test is the 24 hour moniter, hopefully that will show the problem.
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I am very interested in the comments about diet and supplements,  I have developed these alarming skipping of beats, and rapid beats at the same time as I started new asthma medication (Serovent), and a homeopathic diet which cut out wheat, yeast products, dairy and sugar and addded acidophellus and grapefruit seed extract.  I stopped the Serovent in August since I thought it was the culprit.  And I've cut out coffee, even decaf.  But 2 months have passed and the heart stuff continues.  I can catch the variation of the beats by quickly checking my pulse on my neck when I get the "dread" sensation and the thump.  And yes they are most noticeable when resting but I wonder if that isn't just because it is easier to detect them then.  I have had a variety of tests and currentl await the results of an echo-stress but since I am fit I expect not much will show up.

Should I be looking at calcium and magnesium in the diet?  Any other suggestions?
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The books by Dr. Claire Weekes have been a god-send for me.  I also purchased two tapes from Amazon, recorded by Dr. Weekes which I find to be very effective at calming me down when I have had a bout of "skips".  She was truly an outstanding physician and psychiatrist, far ahead of her time.  I am glad to see that she is getting more recognition, which I think she certainly deserves. I recommend her works to anyone who suffers from symptoms caused by fear and anxiety.
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This is an unusual request - but hankstar were you in the video business in Great Scott stores in the '80's? I knew someone by the same name - who I considered him a great friend, but we lost contact thru the years.  Just wondering!~
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Hi everyone - I notice that most people complain about the skip, dreaded feeling, then the big THUMP to follow - I know this to be one pvc. Does anyone out there get like a zillion different feelings???????? I dont just have ONE type of pvc. I get the fluttery ones that are light and seem to run in 3 or 4 - but very minor and dont worry me - then I get the BIG THUMPS, which I attribute to pvc - then I get ones that are far more intense, deeper, sometimes hurt at the moment they are pushing the blood out - before being on toprol - I had ones that felt like someone hit me in the chest - all OK say the drs - as everyone is different - I just feel the aftermath of the pvc more than someone say that just has the thump...does anyone else out there have all kinds of different feeling pvcs/pacs??
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm up right now, scared to pieces yet again, due to irregular heartbeats. And, yes, I have all SORTS of DIFFERENT feelings with them.. sometimes the thump, the flutters, the "stopped" heart feeling. Tonight, I awoke feeling this was it -- the "big one".. felt slightly weak. Took my pulse.. skipped beats..regular beats for 20 beats or so and then skipping.. a few fast together.

I've had so many holters, a thallium stress test just a couple of months ago. This has been going on since the early 80s - it is better then worse. i'm so depressed about it, so scared. Actually got  up out of bed and came here to try to make it through the night. just terrified.  This is what my life has become. I have tried to read, research, do everything I know.. and yet, tonight, when they are this frequent, all I know and all I know about coping and how my heart is supposedly normal and how i've been told by wonderful cardiologists that my heart skips are not life threatening, i'm terrified. and miserable
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Avatar_n_tn
Do you have any information or carbohydrates and pac's/pvc's?
I have been trying to keep a food journel and I am noticing even the smallest amounts of carbs like mashed potatoes,pasta ect trigger an increase in my palps.
other foods that seem to send me over the edge are tomato based and even ketchup seem to produce an increase in heartrate..
I would just love to read any info you may have..
thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
The relationship between "normal" PACs/PVCs and dietary intake is fuzzy at best.  This is because no one has done a scientific study of specific dietary components and their effects on "skips"...this would require that a vast amount of variables be controlled, all of which could have effects (eg, time of day, your mental disposition, other health factors, your body position, your weight, pulse rate, and what else you ate that day, and so on...).  There are certainly a whole host of claims, some partially scientific, that certain agents can increase the production of skips, eg, caffeine or aspartame or MSG or chocolate or carbs... Some come from folks who think that a test consists of eating something and seeing what happens...wow...and some come from anecdotes scattered throughout the Web...and some come from doctors who should know better.

The bottom line:  Skips owe their origins to a complex set of events.  Depending on the individual, time, and place, some dietary components might well trigger skips at times, and at other times, be completely without effect.  The same goes for Web "cures" like magnesium, hawthorne, minerals and vitamins...

Just stop and take the time to study the problem, or speak with a cardiologist who knows something about the relationship between foci, the nervous system and skips.  The knowledge you gain will be the single most potent agent you can hope to digest.

-Arthur
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Avatar_n_tn
I have suffered from skipped heart beats for a couple of years. About a year ago my disorder went dormant for about 9 months. Recently a went back to some cardio exercise and the skipping started again, even as I started to catch my breath. I'm wondering whether heavy exercise can trigger this. Is anyone experiencing the same?

Mike.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just wanted to say thank you.
it is funny because any of the usual culprits other then having panic disorder..
I have never smoked, nor do I drink alcohol..never ingested aspartamine..do watch out for msg..no caffeine..occasional chocolate..I stopped drinking soda in 1987..
I have had anxiety for many years..this did not started or made its presence known during a trip and I over exherted myself and was deydrated.
I am 29 now..they really effect my lifestyle...well just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading the boards are your relies always stand out..
thanks again.
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Avatar_n_tn
It is calming reading all these comments.  I have come to a conclusion that the PVC's will not kill me.  I was sitting here today at work looking at what I would do to help my anxiety attacks.  the PVC's definitely trigger them.  they feel like a pause in my heart beat and then a big beat.  basically like a stubble in my heart rythem.  The other thing I notice is that with the big thump, I feel the blood rushing through my veins.  

I think most of the people here probably have some sort of stress related anxiety disorder.  I know I have it.  It was triggered by many things starting in college to the present day where I am stressed out by family illnesses.  My dad has cancer and I went through two operations with him.  I know that when he was travelling after his operation, I experience none of the PVCs.  "Out of site out of Mind" is the saying and I guess when my dad was not around, I didn't have to worry about him.  Therefore less stree.  During the last couple of months, I have had the worst cast of panic attacks that I have ever experienced.  I have been trying to controll it ever since.  Not too sucessful though.  I felt as though I was going nuts sometimes.  

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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your response. It's very interesting to see how far reaching those books have been. (The book covers always claim so many have been sold and translated all over the world, I guess they're right).

Every person, (that I've spoken with), that has read one of those books agrees they were a great help and comfort.

I read the posts to this group and see so many stories that come right from the pages of these books.

How many of you have gone out and bought one of them and read it? Did it help as much as I and others said it would?

If you have heart anxiety and didn't buy a book, why not?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Lynn!
I just read your post / sorry I am so slow to get to this forum! I need to read it more often - hey I had the same problem a few nights ago - all night long I was awake - it seemed every 10 mins or so there was a funky run of them - the real deep funky ones. And for the life of me - I cannot figure out why when I lay down to go to sleep, even when Im ready to die cuz Im so tired, they start right up - the instant my head hits the pillow - I have to prop myself up with 2 pillows and try to fall asleep sitting up - is this how my life is to go? LOL they say - forget about it, go to sleep / my husband says just ignore them and go to sleep. YEA RIGHT!!! LOL if they were the little flutters, yea - maybe no problem - but they are the deep big ones, I can only describe them as "hormonal" ones - very rushy, adrenaline filled etc - They take my breath away and sometiems get them in runs like you said. But I wanted to tell you - your not alone! Hang in there - email me at ***@**** if you would like - sounds like you and me go through the same thing! I was up til 6am the other night - just telling myself Im gonna make it through the nite. It used to be Id go to the ER years ago - but I just pace, watch TV, anything to just make the time go by - so I know how u feel -
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Avatar_n_tn
Thought I was the only one with postural skipping!  My heart rarely skips beats unless I bend over, then it goes into an irregular rhythm.  No other symptoms; I feel fine, just scared.  I have a definite heart neurosis!  If any of you have the same thing .. that is, heart skipping while bending over .. please contact me at ***@****. Thanks!
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I was sooooo glad to read this thread!  I felt like I had written half the posts!  It truly is comforting to know that I'm not "an island"...the only with these freaky things happening.  I thought I'd post my own "symptoms" in hopes that somebody else will feel less alone, too.

I have several symptoms.  I do get the pauses, then the hard beat following.  Sometimes it hurts, as if someone has punched me with their fist in the center of my chest.  Or that somebody hit me with a padded mallot on my chest.

Sometimes my heart will just race...really fast!  Of course, that makes me breathe hard and fast and feel light-headed.

I experience a fast and hard beat after eating carbs...usually refined carbs like pasta, cold cereal, cookies, and things like that.  So I try to avoid them when I can.  If I break down and have a donut or whatever, I usually pay dearly.  It usually takes 30-45 minutes for the racing to slow down to normal again.  HEAT makes my heart race really fast almost immediately.  Summer is a dreaded season.  I become a homebound hermit.

I had a terrifying experience at the gym a little over a year ago, and haven't gone back since.  I was walking the treadmill and I decided to do an entire mile.  I had just started to work out a couple of weeks before, so I wanted to work up slowly.  I hadn't gotten to a full mile yet.  But that day...and this is the weird part...I FELT GREEEEEEEAAAT!!!  I had so much energy, and I wasn't winded.  I was so excited to be able to keep walking and felt my endurance had increased.  I walked briskly, but not overly fast.  I did the usual "slow down" before getting off the treadmill.  When I got off, I was tingling all over - I didn't know why.  I went downstairs to lift some weights.  When I got downstairs, I felt really winded as if I had run for an hour straight.  My heart was racing.  I breathed deep, tried to relax, but the rate wouldn't slow down.  I held perfectly still, and noticed that even the **slightest** movement, like lifting only my hand, made the rate drastically increase.  I tried ice water on my face to slow the rate - no good.  I very slowly made my way to the stairs and I was terrified to try and climb them.  I took one stair and my heart went out of control racing.  I had to literally crawl up - and take a long break between each stair.  I truly thought I'd DIE!!  On the way home [my sister drove me] my heart also started doing "flip flops" along with racing.  I finally made it into my living room and laid on the couch motionless for about an hour.  Even lifting my hand would make my heart race even more, which I could not, and STILL do not understand.  My heart felt "sensitive" the rest of the day, so I took it very easy.  I felt like crud alllll day.
Has *anyone* ever had an experience like this, and does anyone have any clue what could have caused this?  I've noticed since, that once in awhile when I exert myself [once just by walking in a museum for a few hours looking at things] that I can get this same thing happening.  I hope someone has answers/help.

To help comfort the pregnant woman who had problems:  I had the same thing.  I am 42, and I had a baby [my third] 11 months ago.  Pregnancy was hell on earth as far as my heart was concerned.  Had all the symptoms you described.

If I bend over, it can bring on an arrhythmia - but it doesn't happen every time.  Nevertheless, I avoid  bending over.  I try to crouch with bended knees instead.  Laying on my tummy can bring them on, too.

Lastly, and this is the thing that scares me the very most:  I have "FLUTTERS" or "flip flops".  I can get them anytime, anywhere, under any circumstance [relaxing, exercising, sleep, whatever...]. It is so hard to describe how they feel...maybe like a fish flopping around in my chest really fast.  They scare [terrify] me because it feels like my heart is not beating normal at all, but instead it is "rolling" or something.  Ugh...it's so hard to explain.  It feels "airy" or "echoey"...see?? I can't describe it.  Anyway, I have noticed that they will come on no matter what if I have gotten cold enough to shiver.  Otherwise, they come whenever they feel like it, no matter how good/bad I feel.  I have felt my wrist pulse during the fluttering, and my heart does this:  It beats 2-3 times fast, then there's a pause, then it beats 2-3, sometimes 4 beats fast, then a pause.  So...it goes "boom boom"..............."boom boom boom"..................
I'm laughing at myself at how crazy we people who have heart arrhythmias can get...trying to explain things.  hahahhaa!!!!  So, what confuses me is WHY, when my heart feels like it is truly FLUTTERING...it's really doing the fast beats followed by a long pause, then the fast beats again?! It's not 'fluttering' at all.  What's horrifying is when these "flutters" last a long time at once because it feels as if your heart will never regain a normal beat and that you'll die for sure.  And yet, they don't hurt.  ARRRGGGHHH!  Does anyone else have these flutters?  How often?  Has anyone been told why it *feels* like a flutter, when it's really not?  

I've been diagnosed with PSVT, PAC, sinus Arrhythmia [I don't even know what that is].  I'm female, 42, three children aged 22, 10, and 11 months [infertile and got VERY blessed!!].  I don't smoke, don't drink, I have strong faith, and I am vegan.  I thank all you good people for sharing your stories.  What a comfort it is!  I feel like crying to know I'm not a weirdo.  Has anyone had an ablation?  Care to share about it?  Does ablation help PAC's or just PSVT, or what?  My hubby is REALLY pushing me to get one, but I'm so scared.  By the way, these arrhytmias make most people panic, including myself.  I notice that after I panic, I shiver really bad - to the point of having my teeth chatter.  Anyone else experience this?

Sorry I wrote a novella!  Love to all...
Kristy the flutterfreak
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Avatar_n_tn
What a great message board to share about our hearts health.
Do you see a cardiologist yearly and have tests done ?
So scary when the engine acts up , You ask why and if you have been a good patient and followed all the guidelines to keeping ones heart pvc free then how ?
My potassium levels are thought to be cause at this point , Still investigating ? Do you have heart murmurs and have you ever had a tilt table test ? What about b/p.
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Avatar_n_tn
Karie, I'm not sure if your question was addressed to me, but in case it was, I'll answer... <grin>

I had a cardiologist that I fired.  He was mean, insensitive, and he wouldn't answer my questions.  In fact, he would shrug his shoulders when I asked a question and say, "I dunno".  He also stood in the doorway with the door open, while I was bare chested and very pregnant, for anybody to walk by and see me.  It was like he could hardly wait to leave, even though I reserved an hour with him.  I got five minutes.  grrrrrrrrrr....

I am in the process of finding a new cardiologist.  In fact, I did find one just today and he has been highly recommended.  I haven't had a tilt table test or stress test.  The stress test terrifies me so I have not even been remotely interested.  That's cuz when I got on the treadmill at the gym, I had that awful experience.  It was toooooo scary.  

I am going to request either an external event monitor, and a "Reveal" monitor [under the skin type].  My event monitor I had before recorded PSVT and sinus arrhythmia [whatever that is].  When I went to the E.R. a few weeks back, they found PSVT and PAC.  That was the first time I had heard of PAC about myself.  I take magnesium every day, but was only taking 1/2 of the recommended daily allowance, so I increased it just today.  I also take a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.  I am so very much looking forward to getting to a good cardiologist.  I wonder if I'll get an ablation.  I am so scared.
Love, Kristy
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ooops, you also asked about BP and heart murmur.  I do not have heart murmur, and my blood pressure is 108/61.
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You sound like your life is really being turned upside down by all your cardiac problems. My advice to you is to not run and hide from your heart. All of us on this list have each had our own unique road to follow, but most would agree that good information and the right doctor(s) really helps. Every time I ran away in fear from my demons it just made them stronger. I know it's much easier said than done, but it can be done. Good luck.
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I saw something about a tilt table test - what is that exactly? I was at the dentists a few weeks ago and he tips my chair back so far that my head is actually lower than my feet.  My heart skipped like mad! Then I was dizzy when he got me back up - I had to take a few mins to acclimate - who gives this? A cardiologist? What does it show? Thanks!\
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I'm 32 years old and I have recently been diagnosed with MVP.  I have a murr murr do to this condition and many, many, strong PVC's.  I have been reading all your posts and I feel the same way you all do.  Kristy your symtoms (symptoms) sound a lot like mine.  I have many flutters, skips, rapid pounding, thumbs, and pauses.  They happen a lot when I'm eating, working or doing nothing so it's hard to tell exactly what triggers them.  I having PVC's right now while I'm typing.  I have been crying reading all of the posts about how these arrthymia's make us feel and how they appartenly seem to get worse.  I'm not taking any medication for them now, but my cardiologist wanted to put me on Norpace.  My regular physican advised me not to, because he didn't think I could handle it.  Those medications tend to lower BP and mine is already always very low.  Pulse is low too, about 60.  I don't drink or smoke.  I work hard everyday landscaping.  The heat seems to trigger PVC's and dehydration.  These arrthymia's make me irritable!  Everything seems to stress me out.  I just hate how present they are.  When you have them you can't help but feel anxiety and stress.  I take Xanax at night before going to sleep so I don't worry about my PVC's.  I'm wondering if you found anything that is making the arrthymia's go away.  This all started about 6 months ago and now I just can't get it better.  Do you ever feel like you have a lump in your throat?  If anyone who reads this knows of a medication or something natural that will help please post the information.  I don't want to dwell on this condition, I just want my life back without these arrthymia's!  I'll try anything at this point even for it to just get better would be appreciated.  I am a very positive, happy go lucky kind of person and I don't want this condition to get worse.  Sometimes my heart throws PVC's one after the other for up to 2 hours non stop!  I think it sucks!  Thank you for taking the time to post all your comments.  I feel better knowing that they are other people who suffer from the same symtoms (symptoms) I do.  I also feel like my cardiologist is not giving me enough feedback on things that I can do to help myself naturally.  Like taking mineral supplements, I learned that from reading your posts!  What should I take?!  I look forward to all your opinions and hearing what has seemed to help all of you.

Aloha, Christine
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HI Christine...your post was comforting to me, too.  Knowing that we're "not the only one" is comforting.  I take magnesium, 400 mg.  I also eat bananas and potatoes for the potassium.  As of yet, I am not sure what a safe level of potassium is, so I don't know what to take in pill form.  Anybody else know?

About a week ago, my doctor put me on "Inderal".  To my great JOY, it is actually working.  I am on the lowest dose - 10 mg twice daily.  I am going to increase it to 20 mg twice daily.  I usually have lots of arrhythmias every day.  I went for three days with only one "flutter" which lasted only a couple of seconds.  I've only had a few others, and all of them were very minor.  I am seeing a new cardiologist on the 5th of December, so he'll probably take me off of the Inderal [slowly] so he can hook me up to an event monitor that I will wear for several weeks.  [oh goody, I can hardly wait....arrrrrrrrrghhhh!!].  I have low blood pressure, too.  It is usually 110/55-60 - somewhere in that range.  Since being on the inderal, the lowest it has gotten is 103/51.  My doc said that as long as you don't FEEL cruddy with lower pressure, like light-headed, dizzy, weak, or seeing spots, etc., then even a lower pressure is "more normal" for you.  I haven't had side effects from the inderal, except for occasional *very* minor dizziness that is hardly noticable.  Maybe you can look into this, Christine.  I feel so sorry for you, I know EXACTLY how you feel with those stinkin' flutters!  They TERRIFY me.  

I did try an experiemnt, though.  Maybe you could give it a try.  It is HARD to do....  When I had lots of "flutters", I put my finger on my wrist and felt the pulse.  It was "fluttering" at all, it was beating 2-3 times really fast, then a pause, then a couple of fast beats again, etc.  That helped me feel more calm, knowing that my heart wasn't actually fluttering.  Then I practiced deep, sloooooow breathing and kept telling myself that these things were benign.  Much to my delight, they dissipated very quickly, and I was able to remain calm and felt reassured.  It was a victory for me!  Try it, because I know from experience that those horrible surges of Adrenaline that come when have a flutter do not do us any good!  They make things worse!  Hey, I'm one to talk!  I feel so scared every time they come on, but that's why I said it takes practice.  I intend on trying my best to practice.  Feel free to write me.  ***@****

Love, Kristy
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Hi Steve,

I read that you did have heart-anxiety.
Is it so that you are over it?(Yes, I know, with help of 'the books')
And if so, do you ever experience relapses?
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I have heart-anxiety(I suppose).
It can go on for weeks and than slowly I 'recover' and can be all-right for weeks and weeks, even months...
It mostly has to do with 'things' happening in my life.
Last week I lost a beloved niece.
The emotions the funeral brought on were too much.
It was enough to bring back my heart-palps and quiverings.
Now it can take weeks till I feel all-right again, providing nothing happens that brings on big emotions.
I really hate having a sensitive nervous system.
Just a little push and I am nowhere.
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What's your story?(if you don't mind me asking)
How do you feel now?
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Awaiting your answer...
Greetings - ***Ianna***





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Hi Ianna,
I am a 48-year-old male, 6'2", 240-lbs. and a non-smoker. Two years ago I had a blood clot in my leg and as a result of a special blood test they advised me to go on Coumadin for the rest of my life.  Just before all this happened I started feeling PAC's. Not enough to treat the heart, but enough to treat the anxiety they caused. I had a number of tests including EKG, Event Monitor, Echo and Stress EKG. All the results were normal and showed only PAC's, (as far as I know). I even went to a second Cardiac specialist. He made a brief review of some of my previous tests and gave me a cursory exam in his office. He also pronounced me fit and on the right track with my eliminating all stimulants, most alcohol, and reducing my stress. I bought "the books" and started on the road to mental recovery. My PAC's and anxiety got fewer and further between. I had minor setbacks along the way but tried to take them in stride since I knew from the books that they would happen. I tried to follow the advice of "letting time pass". I finally got to the point where I felt only 2 or 3 PAC's a day and took Valium only once or twice a month. I was 98 percent OK with my condition, but still had not come to grips with that last, (all important), 2 percent.

A couple of months ago my palpitations returned even greater in numbers than before, (1-5 per minute for up to an hour). I had never experienced anything like this ever before. I had gotten away from my meager exercise program of walking a few days a week and now it seemed that exertion brought on more palps. My heart books tell me that exercise is good for my heart and will reduce the palps. I decided to check these new beats out to make sure they were benign. I did a Stress EKG and am just finishing my two weeks of Event Monitor. The un-official result of the Stress EKG, (as pronounced by the attending nurse), was that I'm normal, with a normal amount of PVC's. The un-official result of the Event Monitor is that I have a normal amount of ordinary PVC's.

I have a treadmill at home and started working out when I got the Event Monitor. I started out fairly light. I use a five-minute warm-up, twenty minute workout and five-minute cool-down. I set the speed to 2.2mph and the incline between 5 and 13 degrees. When I started this program, (almost two weeks ago), at the lesser incline I felt only a small amount of PVC's (8-10), during the workouts. I had a couple workouts where I felt 25 PVC's during the half hour. My last workout was at 13 degrees incline and I had the most PVC's of all. I even stopped half way through to record them on the Event Monitor. I counted 40 during the workout and an additional 26 when I paused to record. During that recording there was even a small run of single PVC's each separated by four normal beats. When I phoned in the recording they didn't seem concerned and have not been concerned by anything I have phoned in for these last two weeks.

I have not had the chance to discuss the results of the Event Monitor and Stress EKG with my cardiologist yet. I have had a big mental setback in my recovery for two reasons. First, I am wondering if I am "getting worse" since I now have PVC's in addition to my PAC's. And second, I need to find out why exercise is causing an increase of palps since I thought it would make them go away or at least be reduced.

I would still prefer to not take a beta-blocker. I think that would make it harder for me to work through that last 2 percent of my fear of palps. Almost like giving up and admitting defeat. Most of my loved ones are unsympathetic since they all have heart palps and see them as normal. They are telling me to take a beta-blocker since I am spending too much time thinking about all this. They think I am making myself worse by trying to understand what is going on. I feel that if I fully understand palps they will loose their power over me. I am almost certain that my palps are caused by simple life stress and with reduced stress they will diminish on their own. Reducing stress is hard enough without adding more fuel to the fire by worrying about my heart. I won't know what my future will be until after the debriefing with my cardiologist. Thanks for your interest.
Steve
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Hello Steve,

Thank you for sharing your story with me(us).
Sound much like mine.
I do take a beta blocker-(Inderal ret. 80 mg.caps. one a day)- since a couple of months, and find it helpful.
Now on this forum look under 'Skipped Heartbeats' the date 11-23-02, the post from Mike B. if you like.
He is so right!! (my opinion)
It's a lengthy post but worth reading!
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Stay well and God bless -     ***Ianna***

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Just another person with many of the symptoms you all have.  I notice a significant correllation between worrying/dwelling on the problem and the frequency of skips.  My symptoms wax and wane.  Right now, they been increasing, probably worse then ever.  I'd also like to offer my email to anyone who'd like to contact me directly to talk or discuss as I know how much it helps: ***@****
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Hi my name is Julie and im 22 years old.I have been having problems with my heart for the last 4 years of my life.The skips and extra beats have only gotten worse..I have had two echocardiograms,countless ekgs, 2 holters and a event monitor.Im still waiting on the results of the event monitor..but considering my apt isnt for almost 2 months im taking it they dont think its too bad.Im on atenolol 100 milligrams a day..50 in the day time and 50 at night for my racing heart.The thing is the medication helps some with that but as far as my pvcs and pacs are concerned it doesnt do a thing for them!!!I have a electrothesiologist now instead of a cardiologist but to be honest its like talking to air.I know the doctors insist that the beats are benign but they make it hard to live a normal life.They have only become worse and worse.2years ago they maybe happend only at night and now they are my heart beat!I was diagnosed with slight mitral regurg and have no idea what that even is??I do know though i was told i DONT have mitral valve prolapse!!!How is that poss to have one and not the other.Im addicted to xanex now and take one every night before bed.I would love to hear from anyone who experiences life the way i have to...
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Hello Everyone,
I was quite happy to find this site. I've had PAC's for the last 5 yrs and like you all, I thought I was the only one having them.
I had been on different meds for High BP, Vasotec, Norvasc, Micardis and Acebutotol. Within 2 weeks of starting the Acebotol I started having PAC's.
I am not on any meds at this time.
Just like everyone else, panic set in because I could feel them real easy. They have been a real disturbance in my life. Caffeine, alcohol, stress or anything that is a stimulant causes mine to come to action. As all of you have found, DR's don't seem to take this as a serious problem. I'm not a DR but I do know that this isn't normal. I've been going to a Chinese DR. and to a Acupuncture and Wellnes Clinic in my area and they seem to be the only ones who have given me a good explanation.
They deal with the flow of energy in the body, and pursue a course to correct this imbalance of electrical energy call 'chi'. Since the heart works on an electrical charge/pulse it looked reasonable to find out if this would work.
Another one of the probable causes of mine could have come from a cell phone that I carried in my shirt pocket by my heart. The Chinese Dr said that the transmition charge that the phone emits could have interfered with the normal electric pulse of my heart. If you have a cell phone, call someone on the cell while you are sitting in front of your computer and see what happens. Beware of cell phones.
I have been going to this clinic and they can control my PAC's through acupuncture that calms me down and helps me cope with them. Calcium, potassium and magnesium are all important for the heart to function properly.
I would seek either a naturopathic DR, an acupuncturist, or a Chinese medical Dr who has been trained in China in Chinese medicine.
22 year old Julie, if you could find a Tai Chi Society and learn Tai Chi, or Qigong (pronounced Chi-Gong) that may help you to sleep at night. They might know of a Chinese practioner who could help you also.
I hope this might give some of you info to persue for your well being. You are your best Dr.
Midnight Rider.
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Hello MR,

Thanks for your post.
You are VERY MUCH right!!
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Stay well....    ***Ianna***
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Julie,  I have been experiencing these weird beats since being pregnant with my 3rd child, the doc said they would go away after the birth but they haven't.  I have recently had an echo and stress test and like you, I have slight/trivial mitral regurgitation - I also have a 'suggestion' of a slight floppy segment of one of the mitral valve leaflets.  My cardiologist said that this was not MVP and it is very common in that if he scanned 100 hearts randomly he would see a lot of people with this.  He told me I have a structually normal heart with no cause for the palpitations.  But, despite his reassurance,it doesn't stop me worrying.  I get so anxious that I am having to start on an anxiety med tomorrow and I wish I was strong enough not to! I have definately found that the more I dwell on it happening the worse it gets.  I have not heard of Xanex - is it an anxiety med?
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I first got heart skipped beats 25 yrs ago after a week of severe stress. They lasted a year.  None for 20 yrs that I felt. 5 years ago had a streeful weekend and drank some alcohol and they came back with a furey.  Holtor monitor showed 1100 in 24 hours.  Doc said not to worry he could give me some pills to slow down my heart.  It's in the 40's range so I dont know what he would slow it to so I just dropped it with him.
Any caffeine drinks, alcohol, chocolate, spices and stress cause havoc.  My heart also beats very pounding like at times.  Have had digestive problems over the years and feel there may be a correlation. The two worst culprits are whiskey, cokes and stress. Doc told me someone had 15000 on the holtor.
Any similar stories and what helped??
Thanks
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Hi Ritchie,

I think you would like to look under the thread just before this one:  'PALPITATIONS(PREMATURE BEATS) AND ULTRACET AND/OR VIOXX MEDICATION', the date 11-12-02; look for the comment by mikeb, the date 11-23-02 and you will find some answers about heart-skips and palps due to stomach and esophagus problems.
Worth reading!!! (And I think he's right)
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Live a wonderful life in 2003!!!
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***Ianna***
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Have suffered several year palps and skips, fainting, panic attacts, and after 3 thorought cardio workups was finally diagnosed with MVP. I thought for years this was all in my head, but it wasn't and just knowing that has really made a difference.
The tenormine, a beta blocker, really helps sometimes with some Zanex when I'm really stressed but between the life style changes I have made and the vitiman supliments which I swear by I do see a difference. Caffine, artifical sweetners and sugar are out and magnisuim and B 's are in.
My point is that I was told time and time again it was nothing, but it is something and that you can't just disregard a pounding skiping heart. There are ways to releive systoms and they should be monitered and checked.
Good luck to you all.
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I've read the posting by Mikeb and I do agree with him that my PAC's and panic attacks are associated with ongoing digestive problems.
I'm 40 yrs. old and have always noticed that my PACs and panic attacks begins with the onset of indigestion.  It usually starts out with a queezy feeling in my stomach (nausea and acid activity), then going to the bathroom feeling the anxiety coming on, then my heart starts racing so I get off of the toilet as fast as I can to head back to a chair, couch, or the bed, then I'm desperately trying to take deep breaths to calm myself down from the palps and skips (I'm always checking my pulse).  I've taken myself (or my wife takes me) to the ER on several occasions thinking that my racing, skipping heart may stop!...and yes, they all say that it's common,  not to worry, and I need to relax!
I've started on Zantac (150mg 2x) to control the high level of acid activity I have and it seems to minimize my indigestion.
I plan to take on Mikeb's "plan of attack" because I do believe my attacks and PACs are triggered by ongoing digestive problems (due to stress and following a big, greasy meal!).
Like all of you, I've gone through all the cardio tests with normal outcomes.
I've recently discovered this forum and I'm glad that I'm not alone. It's really comforting to read all of your experiences, thoughts, suggestions, and support.
Aloha from Hawaii!
808
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Hello everyone.  I am new to the forum. Last May I woke up one morning and my heart started skipping beats.  I ended up in ER and had an EKG but was told that I had occasional pvcs.  nothing to worry about.  go home.  the pvcs continued and at the end of may I had a 24 hr. holter monitor which revealed 2,085 pvcs in 24 hrs. and 51 bigeminal cycles (skip every other beat).  The diagnosis:  ventricular ectopy.  I then had a stress test done and it was negative.  I also had an echocardiogram done and was normal.  The only thing that was printed on the result was that i have trivial aortic, pulmonary insufficiency which is physiologic in nature.  I don't understand it.  The pvcs continued.  I started taking magnesium citrate and calcium and throughout the summer my heart beat relaxed some in that I was not having as many pvcs.  I even had pvc-free days.  

On Oct. 17, the pvcs returned.  Since then, I get them everyday until present.  They can last for hours and I get them after meals, in my sleep when I move or roll over, when I am walking on the treadmill, when i am doing housework, it doesn't matter what I do, I get them.   In october when it all started up again, I had 2 more 24 hour holter monitors and again it showed the pvcs and only 3 ventricular couplets.  My cardiologist told me that I should not worry and to accept the pvcs and learn to live with them.  I on the other hand just want my regular beating heart back.  

I had blood work done in June and my potassium level was low/normal.  thyroid normal, everything else appeared normal.  How can this be happening?  I am advised by a cardiologist to do meditation and yoga and he is very reticent about prescribing meds for pvcs.  

I am scared.  I keep thinking something is wrong here and I think of things like a floppy valve, mitral valve prolapse, insufficient oxygen to the heart or something...it is just driving me to distraction.  The fear and having to live with the pvcs are ruining my marriage and other relationships.  I quit working and now regret giving up a good job.   I am 39 years old, female and I don't smoke, don't consume alcohol, I don't ingest caffeine and I am very careful with sugar intake.  I eat healthy and take a multi vitamin which is very mild along with the calcium/magnesium which I think sometimes aggravates my symptoms.  Does anyone out there experience the same thing?  I welcome all your suggestions and comments.  I am at my wits end.  Thanks, M-chi.
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Hello again everyone, I just posted my first message regardiing pvcs and skipping heart beats.  I forgot to mention that my email address is:  principessa_chi***@**** if you wish to reach me.  Once again, I appreciate comments and suggestions.  I am new to this board and hope there is some help out there for people like me.
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I am new to this forum and find it very comforting to read through this thread.  My symptoms are such that I feel my heart skip. I feel a pause and then an big beat and then normal again. I also have been under quite a bit of stress.

I had all of the various tests performed. My holter monitor showed 911 extra atrial beats within a 24-hour period (it was an everage day -- some are worse). I also went to a cardiologist at a top hospital in Chicago and he told me that there is nothing I can do except take a beta blocker (Toprol). I have decided not to take it because, it only affects the symptom and not the cause.

Doctor said that in extreme cases, they could locate the renegade cells that are causing the extra beats and stop them from doing so. I told him that I would rather live with this than go through such a procedure that has many side effects and risks.

I have felt this condition most of my life to a very minimal extent, my problems started last year when I had one of the most stressful days of my life. From that day on, the fluttering has not stopped. While I have periods where it does not happen for week or two at a time, I experience it almost every day.

I notice that if I do not eat right, the condition is more prevalent..e.g. if I skip lunch. Also, caffeine makes the condition worse so I have stopped drinking coffee.

Finally, the condition is worse at night -- especially when I go to bed.

My friends laugh because I eat right, excercise regularly, don't smoke, etc. I guess managing stress is more important than living cleanly.

Mike
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Hey Mike,
Do you feel that fluttering or spasms in your stomach when your heart is skipping?  That's how I feel plus lots of indigestion.  I'm trying the Gaviscon treatment from today.  Two teaspoons after every meal and four teaspoons before bed.  I'll see how it goes.
Hope you'll feel better soon.
Aaron
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Aaron,

I do not feel the fluttering in connection with my stomach.  For me my stomach will feel completely fine while it occurs.

However, like alot of people on this site, I had my share of stomach problems.  I had a terrible heartburn problem until I started taking Nexium.  I have not taken an alka seltzer in months.  Used to take antacid every day.

Also, I did not mention that I am 39.

Mike
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Hi C43, I am new to the message boards.  After having read your thread, that is exactly what I am living with day in day out.  This started in May of 2002.  I cannot believe that these cardiologists are saying to learn to live with it, that is, in my case.  I really am scared and living a normal life has become quite a challenge.  email me if you wish and we can exchange information.  principessa_chi***@****
hope to hear from you.
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Note to Flutterfreak.

I very much sympathize with exactly what happened to you. This happened to me around a year ago. I also was exercising (in my case squash) and when I finished could not get my heart rate to slow down. It gradually did after I rested at the gym but then after I showered and was walking out of the gym it took off again back to over 200 bpm or so and I felt like my heart rate was fluttering and flip flopping all over the place. I had the health club call an ambulance but all tests and subsequent stress tests, echo tests etc. were clear. When I was having one subsequent stress test done however, I did find that a similar thing happened - that is, my heart rate came back down to normal after finishing the test and then suddenly went up again.

In my case I have fairly much decided to myself that all this is due to some interaction between nervous system (I have suffered from panic attacks in the past) and heart. I believe that the nervous system gets alarmed by the signs of fatigue or heart rate increase from exercise and then kicks off the heart into tachycardia mode.

As for suggestions, I tried short acting beta blockers (Lopressor) for a while taken around the time of exercise and this definitely helped although I found that as my heart rate did not increase as much during exercise the cardio benefits were lessened and I also felt a bit strange. The short acting beta blocker wore off after a few hours but then I sometimes needed to take another one as there seemed to be residual effects from the exercise for quite a while. The reason I took short acting beta blockers was that my doctor was concerned that actually my heart beat was quite slow when not exercising so he was worried that a longer acting one may be detrimental by slowing the heart rate down too much. This may not apply to you.

I stopped taking beta blockers and then went back on anti-depressant Effexor (which I had previously taken for panic attacks) and frankly this almost eliminated instances of exercise induced tachycardia and panic attacks. I also take some Xanax from time to time. The only problem with the Effexor is that I have really started to put on weight and also has some sexual side effects so I am now trying to figure out what to try next (of course under doctor supervision - don't try any of this without talking to your doctor).

Another thing I noticed is that I am more likely to have a post exericse heart rate run if I have over exerted myself during the exercise. So I bought myself a heart rate monitor and now try to avoid letting my heart rate go above 130-140 bpm during exericse (I am 44) and try to keep below 130.

My questions for anyone reading this are:

1. Does anyone suggest an anti-depressant that has the same benefits in terms of panic/exericse induced heart problems but does not put on weight or have sexual side effects?

2. Has anyone experienced pvcs/pacs while flying? I find that a few hours into a trip on a plane (usually a few hours after eating airline food) I often get heart arrythmias/tachicardia. This has lessened somehwat since being on Effexor but not entirely - I am not sure whether caused by stress of flying (unlikely as I am usually relaxing into a movie when it happens), the airplane air or food?

3. The comment that you felt very well before all this happened rings a bell. I often find I feel great with lots of energy before an episode and the episode tends to knock me out. Usually the turn around in condition seems to be associated with eating, particularly after eating carbohydrates. Anyone else relate to this or can explain this?

Anyway, the good thing about reading your story was that you have experienced exactly what I had. I hope the above is some comfort!!

Keep well.

TokyoJoe
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I've been having the "Heart-thumps, Goosebumps" for about 7 months now and my situation is much the same as everyone else has described. Just knowing that I'm not alone has helped to dramtically reduce my anxiety over the attacks - and even to reduce the attacks themselves. However, I have noticed that posture does seem to set them off, particularly bending over. I wanted to tell you that I have found a way that works for me in temporarily stopping the thumping and throat fluttering. I stand up straight and take a really deep breath, to the point of feeling my lungs straining. Then I give a strong hard cough. I find that this gives me relief for quite a few minutes. I tried it because I read somewhere that if you are by yourself and you are having a heart attack, you can save yourself by deliberately coughing hard. It acts a bit like CPR. I reckoned that it was worth a try. Perhaps the coughing somehow jolts or massages the heart muscle???? Can someone else try it and see if it works for them? Oh yes, and I usually try to keep doing some deep breathing for several minutes afterwards. Please give me some feedback. Thanks.
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I started experiencing PVCs soon after a traumatic experience in the gym.  I was 23 and lifting extremely heavy weights.  My heart was beating sooo fast, and i decided to finish and put the weights back on the rack, except I didn't breathe right and suddenly felt my heart beat very erratic and slow down for like 10 seconds.  I was very nervous and left the gym.  One week later I started to get PVCs, and big ones at that.  I don't get them every day, so when I get them they scare the heck out of me because I don't see them coming.  Most of the time they are very big, and I feel winded after them.  I get a feeling of dread a split second before they hit, a pause,and then "Boom." It feels like the left side of my heart is spasming and going to pop out of my chest.  I'd like to return to the gym, and my cardiologist after a normal EKG, echo, and holter, says its okay.  I've been sedentary for two years, afraid to get my heart rate up too high.  I know that alcohol, stress, electrolyte imbalances can precipitate PVCs.  But what about strenuous exercise?  Also, can heavy weightlifting damage heart tissue and cause PVCs?
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Im 16 years old, i basically eat whatever i want because im naturally skinny (6'3" 150 lbs), ive never touched a cigarette/beer, im in pretty good shape, i exercise fairly often, and ive had these weird heartbeats as well. They started less than a year ago, and i havent thought much of them, and it has never made me panic. When i stand up suddenly or quickly run up some stairs i get light headed for a second. My heart flutters fast for a second sometimes, and sometimes it beats one time much harder than normal. Based off of these comments, i guess i should just see a doctor and make sure i have a "normal" heart and theres nothing to worry about right?
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New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
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3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank