15 yr old with somewhat-frequent PVC/PAC palpitations
I'm 15 year old male. I am overweight but not clinically obese. I have no history of heart/cardiovascular related illnesses or birth defects. I would like to believe that I am healthy except for my weight problem. I've been exercising daily (60 minutes, but increased to 90 minutes recently) by cycling and walking most of the year and I have lost some weight. I am also somewhat of a Hypochondriac. I visited a doctor twice in my life but for other health problems.
It all began on the last day of the school year. I began to experience a thump in my chest every so often during school. I thought it was nothing so I continued about my day. When I returned home from school and relaxed I felt the thumps more and more frequent. Then i realized that when i felt my chest, I felt my heart skip a beat! I got freaked out and jumped on the computer and typed "heart skipping a beat" and gave me a list on PVC's and PAC's. I read some of the articles and found out that one of the causes is too much caffeine intake. Then i thought back and realized that I drank coke and sweet tea all week! (My school has open campus where students can leave campus and eat at fast food restaurants, ext.) I remember one day going to Dunkin' Donuts and drinking a large sweet tea, then going to Burger King and drinking a LARGE Dr.Pepper! But I drank Dr.Pepper and sweet tea 5 days straight! Knowing this, I decided to cease caffeine intake all together.
3 days later, I didn't feel any palpitations anymore! I felt much better and continued on for the next week, however, I was still avoiding caffeine.
Then, a week later on Friday night THUMP!!!! I was having those thumps frequently when I woke up laying on the bed trying to go back to sleep. They scared the living daylights out of me, so I stayed awake for a while until finally falling asleep. That next week, I was scared and worried, the PVC's occuring at a frequent rate. I was always looking up my symptoms online checking for possible causes trying to calm myself down still scared.
Well, it's been a little more than 2 weeks as of now. If I can describe my PVC's it would be that there a are a couple of thumps (not consecutively), then no thumps for a short while, and then a couple of non consecutive thumps. When I exercise they seem to completely go away (except for once when I saw these group of guys that scared me I felt a thump) but exercise sometimes helps get rid of them for a while even after. I only feel these PVC's while I am sitting or laying down. I've been learning how to ignore them but they're annoying :(. I had a 12oz Dr.Pepper on Sunday but It didn't affect my PVC frequency at all. Sometimes at rest I used to feel fluttering, but not anymore for some reason.
Im sorry this is kinda long but It's just that I've never had this problem in my entire life. I used to feel these PVC thumps before this but VERY rarely. I haven't gone to the doctor yet, but I plan on doing so at least before school starts again. I haven't told my mom about this either. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS CAUSING THIS!
I just have a couple of questions. Is there any way I can reduce my symptoms in the meantime? Could my PVC's be benign? Is there anything I can do to calm myself down? Please, and thank you! I'm sort of new to this.
I think it's a great idea to visit a doctor. Certainly, they will be able to tell you wha't going on. They might have you wear a monitor to try to catch the bumps on tape. I've had heart issues for 20+ years. I don't think you need to worry, however. I know a lot of people who have these "bumps", including myself, and I've been told by all my cardiologists that they are benign.
The infrequent nature and your young age are in your favor that this is all a benign issue. You starting to push yourself physically may have set off some pacs/pvcs. They are really just extra beats within the heart there as a sort of safety precaution to make sure the heart keeps beating if things go wrong but for some reason when we start to exercise or sometimes for really no good reason at all they can flare up and once they flare up they always have the opportunity to flare up. Stressing about them will make them worse. Caffeine does tend to make them worse as do sugary and carbohydrate foods. Acid reflux or indigestion will also contribute. If you heart is healthy and you do not have a family history of heart disease then they are considered benign and completely harmless. A bit disconcerting and distracting but nothing to worry about but do go and get checked out properly though I suspect you will be told after evaluation not to worry. Keep up with the exercising but if you notice they are worse just ease up just a tad and see if it helps. Don't stop but maybe just ease up and work up to a higher intensity at a slower pace. Take care and keep us posted on how you are.
Right now my symptoms are still the same but haven't gotten any worse, and I'm learning how to deal with them. I haven't ran since this whole thing started but I went cycling (somewhat intensely) on the 1st week I began experiencing my symptoms, hoping it would make a difference. Of course it didn't but It didn't worsen the symptoms either.
I'm going to take your advice about the pacing even though. My mom called the doc and I'm going to see him sometime soon. Thanks for the advice and info again!
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