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palps and menopause
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palps and menopause

I have had palps since I was 20. I am now 49. The palps used to be every once in a great while but since entering perimenopause at age 43 they have been quite frequent and very scary. These things are affecting my life in a very negative way. I have read lots of books on menopause that say there is a correlation with increased palpitations and menopause. One thing I read even said that palps are a variant of a hot flash...a vasomotor reaction to fluctuating hormones. But I have read other things where drs. say there is no relationship whatsoever. I have been to the ER more times than I can count and the dr. always says they are benign PVC's and not to worry about them. Hard not to on the days where I am having several an hour day and night. So I guess I am wondering what to believe at this point. Can fluctuating hormones at menopause cause PVC's? Also I am wondering if I need more follow-up. I have had a holter done and they saw nothing concerning, just benign palps. I have never had an echo done...should this be done? I do have high blood pressure which has been sucessfully controlled with Maxide. I have been on this medication for over 10 years. I think the dr. thinks that anixety issues are my problem and he is right...palps make me very anxious indeed. Thanks for taking my question and I look forward to your reply...

Tina
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flip-flop

thanks for the post.

A lot of women note fluctuations in their palpitations associated with various points in thier hormonal cycles.  I think that we see enough of this to say that its more than a casual observation.

Generally, a holter looks at the rhythm. If you have frequent PVCs or continued symptoms then an echo would help rule out structural problems that are a cause. I would imagine that there isn't too much wrong if youve had your symptoms this long.

good luck
22 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I know what you mean about those palps......I am 53 and have had them for over 5 yr.  I have been to ER so many times, they now turn my bed down for me & put a piece of candy on the pillow.  I, too, was told by many physicians that it is perimenopausal related after having numerous EKG's & holter monitors.  The flip-flops & skipped beats have toned down, however, I have the actue awareness of the heart beat at night and when sitting still that can drive me crazy.  A good site to go to that has a bulletin board, where women write in with their experiences with palpitations & other perimenopausal concerns is:  http://www.power-surge.com/.  Some times these palps can really give you high anxiety, even after you have been thoroughly checked out. It can be comforting to read about how others deal with this.  I miss the times when my heart would just do its thing and I was totally unaware of it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have developed what I call a "chaotic pulse".  There is no pattern to the abnormal rhythm - 8 beats, one skipped, 8 beats, one skipped, 4 beats, 1 skipped....... funny, that during exercise, the rhythm is normal. No chest pain and no other symptoms.  I am petrified - how can I get the normal rhythm back?  Can anyone tell me what I am dealing with?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
It is very fustrating to have these irregular beats.Ive had them
for nine years now,I am going to be 42 this month. Ive had all
the test and all normal. They have caught the pvc,and pac on
test,but not all my different irregular beat episodes so it makes you think there missing something.Now I just try to relax
and breathe nice and slow and not let anxiety take hold or fear
fill my head.In the last two years of my world of palps. they seem to have changed to more pvcs where you get the feeling of
a skipped beat then just a extra beat.Does not feel good when
you get a cluster of these in a row. My ekg is even reading
abnormal T wave but they say ok its normal,then why does the
print out read abnormal? But I have to trust them. If they were
to give out wrong info. they would be in big trouble.They also
say everybody has them some just dont feel them. I truly dont get that but maybe true. I have six children ,started getting the palps. after fourth baby was born.So yes I have had two pregnancies with these darn things but so worth it.Dont let fear
stop you from living,press on .Beleive me I know how scary they
are. I too have been to ER many times last time they admitted me
to the cardiac floor.Dont ever want to do that again started pumping me full of stuff like blood thinners in the tummy and blood test after blood test and all other cardiac test.I thought for sure Id never get out kept me three days.I found out later it was a hospital that specializes in cardio.Then on the third day a nurse comes in and says pack your stuff your fine,No doc came in to go over my test had to wait for docs appt.Hang in there make sure you are checked out and then try not to let it control you.
God Bless All
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Avatar_n_tn
another comment - I'm 54; is there a possibility that the normal heart rhythm will one day return?
What does benign mean in relation to these irregular beats?
Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I think there is so many things that can increase palpitations,
its hard to put a finger on it. I do notice that if I eat a
large meal and get a full feeling it will cause any of my palps
to actually hurt when I get them.I assume its from the stomach
pressure.So now I try to only eat smaller meals.

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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you Dr. and everyone else for your replies. I have always believed that there was a connection between hormones and palpitations. It is just so hard to get drs. to agree on this. My own dr. says there is no connection. But I have read so many menopause books written by drs. that state otherwise. It is very comforting to be able to come here and read the boards. It reassures me and I need that right now. Take care everyone and I pray that we will all be free of these dreadful palps someday....

Tina
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago and have been on estrogen since.  The new belief is that synthetic estrogen is no longer good for you so my Dr. is backing me off of it.  Let me tell you - there is definately a CONNECTION because on the days I'm on the estrogen - the palps aren't as bad but on the days I don't take it - THEY ARE BAD!!  They are subsiding as I get used to no estrogen so I guess time will help.
Also Docs always told me there is no connection between palps and asthma.   But on the days my allergies are high and asthma is worse so are the palps!! How could it not affect the heart?! IF you can't breathe right - your heart isn't going to pump right. but they say there is no connection. HA!  Sometimes I think we need to look at the heart as being a symptom and not the cause.  I know of people who had stomach problems and once they got them fixed - the heart palps stopped.

Also - to make everyone feel better.  My grandmother started having palpitations and arrythmias in her late 30's and she lived to be 95!!!!   Just died last year. Good luck to everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
My grandmother also had palps her whole life...they started when she was in her teens and she is 84 years old now. They were worse after her hysterectomy when she was 35 but as she got older they became infrequent again. She rarely has them now. It is comforting to know that you can have them all your life and they don't hurt you. I still get very scared when they happen though...I am working on not getting so anxious about them but let me tell you, it is soooooo hard.

Tina
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
Now isn't that wierd my grandmother had a irregular beat also.
Every eighth beat her heart would skip.She lived to be in her
late 80s. She just ignored them!She also had 12 children. I
have six and am praying for more,I love my big family{I do have
people tease me and say with six kids Im not surprised you have paplps}.Oh well if it is its worth it to me.

Hope every one has a Great Day!

momof6
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Avatar_n_tn
Palps and perimenopause/menopause go hand in hand!  No MD will tell me otherwise - especially a male MD! I had rapid heart beat on an off since I can remember but it would only last an hour or so.  As I approached the age of "magic", they increased & at about 40 (after a year of weight loss via Metablolife I might add)I finally ended up in the ER & somehow ended up with afib.  I am now 45 and I can set a clock on when I will get my period. 10 days before I have them all day & night, the day prior to the bleed is afib hell & the last day my cycle is moderate.  The rest of the month is generally uneventful with the exception of a few flips here and there.  I have learned to live with it and humorously take it as a warning sign of what is just around the corner = mood swing city as hubby calls it!  LOL.  
Do not be anxious, altho I know that is easier said than done.  Been there, done that.  I recently had an ablation for my flutter but the fib continues.  Even the meds don't work around that time,.  I am only hoping that as I go thru and finish up these menopausal hell years, a normal heart rythym may return as my reward for making it through the tough years!  Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Very interesting? Im am considering a hysterectomy (cant spell)
because my mom went through menopause at 43, sister had hystrectomy at 42, and im 41. I have always had very heavy period, but now lots of headache cramps etc. well now coming sooner and sooner too, this time two weeks early and always very heavy. But.... like you all said im always for warned because of the heart . I have nsvt and let me tell you what!! Ya its terrible. So I have been talking to my regular doc about this thinking it would help if I had a hysterectomy done that maybe the vtach would just go away. Wow he said maybe and maybe it would be worse. The cardio told me to talk to gyno. Now im thinking twice about this. I certianly dont want it to be worse thats for sure. mmmmmmmmmm what is one to do?
wmac
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Bad night everyone. Went to sleep at 10:00PM...woke up at 1:00AM...I got up and went to the bathroom. When I came back to bed, I felt a skipped heartbeat. Tried to fall back to sleep but everytime I would get close to dozing off I would feel another skip. Does this happen to any of you ladies? I have many nights like this since being perimenopausal. All I can do is cry this morning. I get palps every single day, all day long sometimes. And some days I only have a few. But the ones at night for some reason are worse. It is more scary to be awake in the middle of the night, feeling all alone and frightened. Being scared that if you go to sleep you won't wake up. :( My husband is always right beside me but I don't wake him. No sense both of us losing sleep. I pray to God everyday to heal me of these awful things. :(

Tina
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I am so sorry to hear of your sleepless night.The night, I think brings on extra fears because the world is quite and we dont have as much to distract us from them.We live out in the boonies where it would take longer to get med. help and to top it off my husband works nights,so Im all alone with my six little ones.Last night my family went out to eat with grandparents,everybody is having a great time and Im sitting there with clusters of palps. the kind that make you a little neausous!I felt like I might go into afib.Then I told myself NOWAY!!! The what if mind set had to leave.I started focusing on my family and the great time everybody was having and the palps. seem to have settled down some but not gone.Nobody new I was feeling this way,Its my quiet battle within.I truly hate it too!!But the docs say my heart is ok,but it doesnt take the arrythmia away.Isnt it funny a heart attack symptom of chest pressure,shortness of breathe is life threatening but my heart can beat erratic and its ok?. That is what is hard to understand.The only way I can beat this is by a renewing of my mind that only God can give me,daily.I will say a prayer for you and that your day goes better and a good nights rest!Remember you are not alone.
Psalm 31:24
"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."
:)momof6











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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone
Just to say that my palpitations went into mad overdrive when the menopause hit me, my chest felt weird the whole time, a good dosage of HRT has helped enormously to calm things down.
I know there are worrying side effects associated with HRT and of course it worries me too but I try not to think too much about it and anyway I think I'd've chopped my head off to stop the palpitations.
Best wishes to all, Linda
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I'm 25 and recently diagnosed with benign PVC's and some SVT.  I've had palps for six years (coincidentally, they started the year I started nursing school)but for some reason lately they have been worse.  I cut out alcohol, caffiene, most meds and now exercise daily.  I do my best to try to monitor my stress levels.  But sometimes when all is great in my world and I'm smiling and relaxed *BAM* I'll have a "deep" painful PVC.  They have been caught on my heart monitors and I now know they are just PVC's.  I've cried over them.  I've been offered heart meds but I refuse because of my age.  I almost became suicidal!!  But you know what?  I'm a nurse and know a lot about the heart.  I know mine is very healthy.  And based on my interviews with other women and the way I feel inside I KNOW that most of my palps are COMPLETELY hormone related.  5 days before my period I start with day long palps.  3 days before the palps feel more like hard thumps then skipped beats.  1 day before I usually have painful ones.  Then the week of my peroid I feel flutters, nothing to bad, just annoying.  Finally they disappear altogether the week after, I could walk on my hands all day and not have one.  I don't care what ANY of these MALE Dr's tell you!!!!!!  I have an appt with an OB/GYN next month and plan to start a "palp journal", I'm going to have her test my hormone levels every week for a month ( I have good insurance!) then after I want to post my results.  I'm determined to get a woman Dr. to help me learn more about this!!!  And if she won't then I'll just have to go to med school!!!
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ALl of you are speaking on my life!! My pvc's started 6 months after my son was born almost 12 years ago. I have had times where I dont have any and times like recently where I have them every day. i find myself having to get used to the new"normal" because the old normal is no longer the case. I used to call the days I have right now my bad days.. now it is just my day. I pray all the time that they will go away as well. Many times I am in public and it hits me so hard I cant believe that no one else felt that!!!! I am hoping thatafter menopause they will decrease. Like many of you they are higher right before my period. alot of time I may feel them when I ovulate. I can and have tracked them with the calendar. Just reading the postings on here make me feel better. In fact theis week I have joked alot in my head when im walking or doing something and "all feels right in the world and *BAM". I think that is the funniest thing and this week i have found myself laughing out loud and talking to my heart."oh yeah, i wondered where that extra beat went, nice to hear from you." sounds silly, but it helps me take control of something that is seemingly uncontrollable
thanks
cam
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I am so glad I have found this board and read your comments.  I did not sleep last night for more than 20 minutes at a time without having been awakened by the pounding in my chest.  I have only been experiencing these for the last month or so.  I called my gyno who told me it was not perimenopausal related.  Somehow after speaking to some of my friends and reading your comments, I can't believe him.  
     The only reason I have not had my husband take me to the ER in the middle of the night is because it only happens at night, usually while I am trying to sleep, and I do not have any chest pain or shortness of breath.  I wake up, take a few deep, slow breaths and it calms right down.  It never happens during exercise.  I figure that if I had a heart condition, it wouldn't only bother me in the middle of the night!
     I was wondering if any one knows of any natural remedies for this.  I have breast masses that would exclude the use of HRT.
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Avatar_n_tn
you should still see a doctor or a cardiologist just to make sure everything is benign. Pvc's do occur more often at night, but most of us on the board I think have had our conditions tested and confirmed by medical professionals. I do know that magnesium and potassium have helped me, on hte natural tip.
good luck
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Thank you for the advice. I am definitely going to have this checked out to be safe.  I have an appt with my PCP in the next few days and had already planned on asking him to order a cardiac work-up (EKG,ECHO, and Stress Test)just to rule out anything cardiac.  I will start taking the magnesium and potassium to see if that works.  How much though?
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Boy oh boy am I glad I stumbled upon this site and forum!!!  I am 40 years old and have always been in good health.  I have been having the exact same problems you ladies are having.  Sometimes my heart feels as if it is doing somersaults inside my chest and it is really alarming.  Sometimes at night when I was trying to fall asleep, it would feel as if a surge of adrenalin was going thru my body; I mean it literally felt like all the valves opened up in my heart at once and blood just rushed out in force and I could feel it all the way down to my toes.  The bad thing is, is this would happen several times throughout the night, sometimes every 5 minutes or so, sometimes spaced out more.  And I agree with the ladies who said that it is hard to feel this at night; I, too, was afraid to fall asleep because I thought I was not going to wake up.  I have been to the ER twice with the palpitations and the last visit I was told that I had a little bit of a sinus arrhythmia and it was nothing to be concerned about.  Reading that it may be a symptom of perimenopause helps ease the anxiety.  I was asked about my caffeine consumption, which is very low as everything is decaf (have fibrocystic breasts).  The only bad thing I have been doing lately is that I have fallen into a little bit of a depression and lack motivation.  I started smoking again two years ago, (I know, big dummy) and do not exercise like I used to, so that does not help the anxiety.  But generally I am in good health; eat low-fat, low-sugar, try to walk but need to start exercising again.  (used to run 5 miles daily!)  Low blood pressure average 100/60, 5'3 1/2", about 140 lbs.  Let me tell you that I am soo relieved to see that I am not the only one experiencing this problem.  Feeling your heart flip-flopping or rolling around in your chest is very disconcerting.  I wish none of us had the problem, but at least we are not alone.  Best wishes to all and thanks for hearing my story.
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i am 30 and have been having palps since i was 23. has anyone had these before perimenopause?  i had an echo 7 yrs ago and stress test and was told my heart is fine but then got on birth control and they worsened.  After being off for three years i still have the palps.  maybe that was just coincidence.  My new gyno is a woman and she said hormones do play a part in irregular heart beats but some don't notice.  Its still scary though.
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