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Coping with arrythmia and not know what causes it
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Coping with arrythmia and not know what causes it


I am so glad I found this site and while I don't wish my malady on anyone it is comforting to know that I am not alone.
I am a 47 year old female that started experiencing palpitations and PAC's and PVC's about six months ago, although at the time I had no idea what was happening to me.
I went to my PCP and he took an ECG and refered me to a cardiologist. I did the stress test via adenosine and the stress test was abnormal as was the ECG so I was then scheduled for a heart catheter. The Dr found no blockages during the cath and said my heart looked fine outside of a congenial heart defect that I inherited from my dad but the Dr insited that this particular defect wasn't in itself harmful or related to the arrythmia's.
So after all of that I am back at square 1 with what is the cause of the arrythmia.
I have them everyday but somedays are worse as far as the severity, today is one of those "bad" days.
I have an appt. tomorrow with my OB/GYN and I plan on discussing the hormone options and having them checked as well as my thyroid.
I am currently taking a low dose of Verapamil but it doesn't seem to be making a difference at all and I am going to discuss not taking it anymore when I go back to see my cardiologist on the 20th this month since it doesn't seem to be **** anythig for me at all.
Any and all suggestions, conversations, advice, experiences are welcome.




Frustrated and scared in the South
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251395_tn?1395961265
Hello and welcome!:) I'm sorry to hear the conundrum you have found yourself in...There are many people who have found themselves in this situation...It can be very disheartening when you don't know what the cause is which then leaves you searching for solutions.

Many woman expereince these ectopics due to a shift in hormone levels. Some have found relief by taking the birth control pill. Inbalance in the thyroid hormone could also cause these. So it is great that oyu will be having this checked as well.

I hope that you benefit from other's experiences and that you will keep us posted with results of your appt with the GYN. Best of luck at your appt:)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi allaflutter,
I'm no doctor, but my guess is, with where you are age wise - these PVCs are hormonally related (pre menopause/menopause).  I've read it is very common for women to get arrhythmias during times of hormonal fluxes.

I just turned 34 and have PVCs and NSVTs.  They are the pits.  They got a LOT worse when I became pregnant and for several months after I miscarried.  So hormones definitely were triggering mine.  Now that things have 'balanced out' after that ordeal I only notice the NSVTs mid cycle (around the time I should be ovulating/preparing to ovulate).  I am heading down to the Mayo Clinic in MN tonight and will be seen at Women's Cardiology Center there tomorrow.  I am DEFINITELY going to be asking about the correlation between arrhythmia and hormones.   I'm hoping because they deal solely with women, they will have a good deal of info on this.  I will let you know what they say about it all when I return.
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637910_tn?1392713407
Dear allaflutter
welcome to this site! It is the best place to be for us "skippers"! It has helped me greatly just to know I'm not alone. Once post from another member (dolfnrv) has particularly made me laugh and cry. I am copying it for you below, maybe it helps you too on your journey of flutters! Here it is:


I knew (well, I had been told many times) that my ectopics wouldn't kill me.  But--what if?  And, how in this whole world are you supposed to just LIVE WITH IT?  I spent so many days getting up and going to work or play or whatever with fear.  Yes, I was afraid it would kill me, but more, I was just so darned uncomfortable.  How can you concentrate on a movie, or a football game, or your work, when your heart is jumping all over the place and you feel sort of weak or at least  you feel like you SHOULD be weak (your heart isn't beating right for God's sake!!!)  And so you sit...you feel your pulse--and you get pretty good at doing that without everyone around you knowing what your doing too :-)  

Sometimes NOTHING works.  The meds,the breathing, the resting, the running---who cares it does NOTHING.  And other times you go through weeks, months even with barely a whisper out of them.  You start to forget the frightening experiences and let loose a bit...having some coffee, maybe some wine...in your case maybe a big meal.  And everything is fine.  Then one day out of the blue you bend over or you lie in bed and simply feel the skips coming (love the tag by the way).  For me, a bad spell often starts with me bending over...I'll have a short spurt of what the Dr. tells me is PROBABLY SVT (never caught it on monitor) and BOOM....months of agony and fear.  Often I sleep way more than usual during those times as it seems the only way I can ignore the dumb things.

Momto3 has this list that she's posted a few times. Its SOOOOO perfect...check this out....
"Here are (in my experience), the phases you go through dealing with PVCs. From the responses on the forum, they seem to be a fairly commonCommon cold experience:

1) You are sure you are going to die, and every beat brings about other symptoms like light-headedness, breathlessness, high-blood pressure (all anxiety related).

2) You go to the ER a few times. They bring you in right away, then send you home telling you there's nothing wrong (they're right)

3) You go to a cardio, get a full workup (and pass with flying colors)

4) You don't believe the doctors, keep having anxiety attacks, read everything about PVCs on the internet everyday, become agoraphobic, and try to isolate every trigger (there is no one trigger except anxiety).

5) You try to will them away (you can't cause you're still thinking about them)

6) You become anxious thinking your PVCs are going to get worse (and they do, since anxiety is the one common denominator)

7) One day you get pissed off, and go about your life regardless of the PVCs, figuring who cares if they kill you since you're at your wit's end anyway (you live)

8) You start to realize nothing bad ever actually happens to you while having pvcs, start going about your normal life, and start ignoring them and forgetting about them (they don't go away yet)

9) You start really forgetting about them (they never go away completely, but occur much less often, and you don't care about them anyway)

10) You troll the forums to help other people :)

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177337_tn?1310063499
I'm 48 and going through the same things as you.  I'm almost certain now that it is pre menapause and hormones.  I have been dealing with these pvc's, pats, flutters etc for 20 years now.  For at least 10 of those years they really didn't bother me too much.  I would feel a skip or two during the day and maybe a few episodes of PAT (which did bother me) but nothing and I mean NOTHING like what has started up out of the blue about 3 months ago.  I feel them off and on most days.  Especially the week leading up to my period (or lack of considering if I had to, I could wear one tampon for 3 days...sorry guys, I know that is too much information)  
I'm looking into vitamins, and I've started eating a bananna every day.  Let me know what your doctors says.  My thyroid is or was fine based on my blood tests in June.  I can't have my hormones checked yet because I am on the pill.  I can't imagine how I would feel if I wasn't.
ughhhh..I think I'm going to buy that book "What's age got to do with it"
by Robin McGraw.  She talks alot about hormones and how to deal with the changes.  I know Suzanne Summers has one too.  
Frenchie
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730363_tn?1259612790
Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and for the support, it means alot to me. My friends and family try to be supportive of me but it's hard for someone to understand who isn't going through it themselves.
Heart disease runs in my family so it's especially scary to me to be having these, I can't help but think it's something related to that when I get a bad spell with them.
Last night wasn't a good night for me, the palps were very strong, so strong that when it's happening it feels as if my chest is "hollow" or like it takes my breath away.
I also have some chest soreness ( not angina) just a general soreness in the chest area like it's muscles or something.
Does anyone else experience this feeling?
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow, your list is right on.  I am stuck on #4.  Thanks for posting.  
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637910_tn?1392713407
it's a great list, isn't it! I loved it, it should be on top of the forum, forever, for all to see :)
I'm almost at #8, but falling back to # 6/7 at times... it's a working progress :) you will get there one day, good luck on your journey :)
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730363_tn?1259612790
I am still stuck on #6 but I only recently started noticing my PAC's ( about 6 months now) so I hope to be able to move on with my life.
I am just waiting to see if I ever experience the "lull" that people talk about where it will go dormant for awhile, so far mine only seem to be getting worse.
I sometimes have them every other beat but most times I just have them sporadically.
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Avatar_m_tn
just bumping this thread up.  the list provided by skippi a few posts above really helps me.  it should be read by everyone diagnosed with benign PAC/PVC.  
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Avatar_n_tn
This past Sunday was my second trip to the emergency room only to be sent home with the diagnosis of, "It's only PVC's."  How frustrating and scary at the same time.  I am a long time sufferer of panic disorder.  I can deal with panic attacks but this is new.  It's uncomfortable and scary, and I'm just trying to find something to help me get through this.  My first line of comfort is always God.  My first visit to the emergency room was in December.  I had them that one day and not again until this Sunday.  I am especially paying attention to the possibility of these symptoms dealing with my hormones.  I noticed last time was within the week before my period, and, this time is a week before my period.  The list really helped me calm down.  Thank you to all who posted.
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703870_tn?1273028242
I do have chest soreness too, and sometimes pain when lying down. I have a tendency to lay on my side with my hand balled up underneath my chest all night because I like the "bio-feedback" that comes from having my hand on my heat all night long. "so to speak"  This does give me a sore chest wall as I'm always applying pressure to the chest area.

I would tend to think maybe for women that their breasts would get in the way from doing this. :)

Also sometimes when I take a rapid breath in I can feal some muscle pain on the left side as well.  Sometimes my sternum cracks which releives pain too.  I'll get a hitch/catch in the center chest area bending over or moving side to side, and my sternum will crack, like cracking your knuckles type of sound.

Hope this helps.. Zach
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725975_tn?1240010702
bumping this thread up. everyone should read!
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267401_tn?1251856096
I love what the others have posted, especially Skippi's repost of Momto3's post about PVC's - I had a period where I was having 5,000-10,000 PVC's a day.  I had one small child and another on the way, and I'd go off to work wondering if today was the day I'd leave them without a father.

For what it's worth, I figured out some of my stress triggers and have been able to get them pretty much under control.  Once in awhile I'll have a few thousand in a day, while other times I'll go months without having (or at least without noticing) any.  

As to your pain or soreness - I don't think you've mentioned how many PVC's you have in a day - during those times when I'd have around 10,000 in a day, it did feel like my chest or maybe my heart was just worn out.  Tired.  Sore.  

You already are doing this, but do some additional research into things that can relax or calm you; you may find, as I did, that these can really help.  Lemon balm tea is something I drink pretty often to help quell nerves.  It's considered far more mild than something like Valerian root - you can usually buy the herb as seeds at your local Home Depot, or from a garden center, or you can buy it in tea bags from Amazon.  Personally, I think it's the placebo effect, but whatever - when they get bad, I'll make a double-cup of the stuff and they'll often just fade away in a few hours.

Here's wishing you success in finding your way through it.
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177337_tn?1310063499
Hi
Could you mind shooting me a note with the link to the exact tea to purchase on Amazon?  (I don't know if you can put the link on this forum but you can if you leave me a note)  I love tea and if this helps you I would love to try it.  There are alot to choose from and I would like to use the brand you buy.
Thanks!
Frenchie
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi:

   I am new to this forum and it it very helpful. I just turned 30 and diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse. As a result of the MVP I have episodes of PAC's and PVC's, they are the worst and for the past month I'va had them daily. Has anyone had them for this long? Thanks.

Marie E.
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267401_tn?1251856096
Do you mean has anyone had them daily?

Probably thousands of people on this site alone have had them daily for a month or more.  My record was somewhere between 6-10 months.  

They aren't fun, I know.  Can scare the living something out of you.  But almost always they don't result in anything more than a scare, and in time, they don't even do that very well.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your reply.

I didn't realize people would get them that often which is why they scare me big time.

Wow! You record is amazing. Do you still get them? Have you taken any meds for them? Do you have an underlying cause for them? I apologize for bombarding you with questions, I am curious to know how others cope. Thanks a bunch!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been getting mine for years but the last 3 weeks (work has been nuts) I am getting mine really bad.......normal and then one big thump ....then back to normal......another big thump ....sometimes 2 a minute ...sometimes 4 .....I'm going for a stress test soon.  Had a holter on and the doc said ....just irregular heart beats but its driving me crazy.  Never had it this bad before....is it really the stress from work?
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637910_tn?1392713407
oh yes, stress does it! I've had my pvc's for 13 years and can vouch for that. And then we think something is REALLY wrong with our heart, and we stress even more - and you are on the crazy cycle of stress/adrenalin/thump/stress/adrenalin/thumpedidump. You will need to de-stress, calm down, look after yourself in any possible way. It will get better, it always does... after a while. But first of course we get scare, we run to the doc, we have yet another test.... and always always, it's "benign pvc's", go home and don't worry. (can you tell, I've been there, done that :). hope you will feel better soon!
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Avatar_f_tn
I've had these for years.....but this time its really different, its been going on like this for over 3 weeks now.......the fact that the holter picked them up has given me some comfort but I feel dizzy with them and sometimes they run more than 4 a minute......I guess until I pass out ....they won't really do anything.  I have high blood pressure and is  54 ....thru menopause......and taking trandate......is there anything else that would help these??  Thanks for your response.....didn't realize that many people got this. :)
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637910_tn?1392713407
well, if you do feel dizzy, then it's good to have them checked out of course. I can only tell you from my experience: when stressed, and when I eat the wrong things (and sometimes when both of these are combined...), then it can take up to several weeks, until the thumps subside with me... But I don't have high blood pressure... I take fishoil (2 a day), magnesium (2 a day) and Vit B6 (1 a day) and eat lots of bananas for potassium :) careful with the Vit B6, taken over a long period of time, they can cause neuropathic problems I've read somewhere. It's mainly for anxiety, so I alternate a bit with them. Hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
My daughter (20 years old) has this problem and I was wondering.....

Do any of you get chest pains? Right now she is hospitalized because she has been having chest pains again (since Monady) and every test they have done shows nothing but her arrythmia, premature Atrial Complex and a slight murmur of which they keep telling us is not causing her to have chest pains1 I am at my wits end trying to get the docs to finally find out what is causing the pains!
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Avatar_f_tn


No....I don't get chest pains but.....I also have a condition called costocondritis, had it for years. If you lay me down and push on my ribs just above my breasts, it hurts like heck.  Sometimes they act up and do cause me to have chest pain.  Years ago I was having chest pain,  went to the hospital.  I was laying on a table and the dr put the stethescope down on my chest to hear.  Well, I jumped with the pain and ripped it out of her ears.....that's the first time I knew I had that!!!   As far as your daughter is concerned, she may not have the same but just thought I would mention it.  If I was you, I would get them to do more tests until they find out whats causing her pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
Have discovered after I return home from work, they are really bad all evening.  I go to bed, sleep well,  get up ....none ....the odd one.......go to work ....spend a couple of hours there answering phones and dealing with irrite customers and it comes back. I'm beginning to think I  need to give up my job......right now ....its morning....and they are gone. Or is it that they just simmer down overnight...I don't know. Right now,   I'm dreading going into work.....just because I know they will be back again.  
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363281_tn?1353103243
Yes, costochondritits can certainly mimic heart attack chest pains. I have it and sometimes it is really painful, and other times, I hardly notice it, depends on my level of stress.

I love your post Skippi, those 10 phases are sooo good, I am saving that.

I know when I am really anxious, like lately, mine will act up. I also am wondering if just thinking about them hoping they will not return, can bring them on. I swear I have to only think about having one and I will, ugh, that is the pits.

I, too, have run to the ER, gone to doctors only to come out of the office hearing I am fine. Even my echo was good.

As far as being hormone related, I can certainly verify that they are. Mine are more prevalent about a week and a half before my period, guess it is the fluctuation in body chemicals, who knows.

This is a good thread, and I wish it could be "stuck" at the top, it is so helpful when you read it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Anyone ever wonder if there's a connection between costochondritis and skipped beats, just a thought.  Also, guess what ???   skipped beats are gone again...had a good nights sleep....have been drinking orange juice last few nights and popping vitamin  pills......went to work....not a single one all day ....I'm almost scared to say anything.  And this has been after 4 weeks of everyday.......breatheeee again......lol.
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637910_tn?1392713407
oh, that's so good to hear that your skips have subsided :) Fact is, we skippers have to look after ourselves even more than others. Stress happens to everyone, but when we are stressed, we skip, and when we skip, we get even more stressed. So keep that adrenalin at bay, with whatever means (vitamins, no coffee!, etc). I have been on fish oil as well, since last October, and boy, can I see results. Usually, after a day of heavy gardening or something else strenuous, I dread the relax time, when the skips set in. But lately, that hasn't happened, and honestly, I think it's the fish oil. So far, so good, I'm loving it. Always on the lookout of course, as we all are, for those skips to return, and they haven't gone completley, but somehow, I seem to cope better and have them less. It's finding that balance, and getting to Number 9 on the scale :)
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Avatar_f_tn

Glad to report that I finally had my stress test done this morning......everything fine !!!!!   It took alot of nerve for me to go through with it as I was nervous as heck but sooo glad I did.  Least I'm not wondering now if something is wrong with me!!!!!    Thanks for this site and also want others to know that with all my palpatations if I don't have heart disease, then you probably don't either.  Mine lasted 3 weeks the last time and was getting 4 a minute.  I drank orange juice diluted with water, took vitamins and cut back on the tea abit and woke one morning to them gone !!!!  Not sure when they will come back again but at least now I know they are more bothersome than anything.
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788024_tn?1236779137
Hello, I am a 23 year old stay at home mom, who also works part time...I am struggling with my heart problems and I am slowly losing my mind! I had an ablation when my son was 4 months old, for Supraventricular Tachycardia. I was ok for 3 years. Then, My heart started again. I got another Ablation this past October, they say for an Arrythmia this time. This second surgery was more complicated, they had to poke through the tissue in the middle of my heart to get to the other side( i had extra pathways on each side this time). Since a month after my last surgery, I've been getting sudden sharp pains, and a fluttering feeling pretty much ALL the time...I also get tired abnormally fast, and by 9 o'clock, if im not relaxing, my heart tells me it's time to basically. so I was thinking it was just my heart healing.. or I was simply in denial.. lol. I am soo frustrated, but am in a way relieved I found this site with others that may have the same symptoms and feelings(emotionally and physically) as I do. I am currently using the Cardio Memo for two weeks, and I just got back from a bloodtest, my GP wants to check to see if I might have a Thyroid problem.... I dont know what I'm expecting from this post... but anything is better than what I'm working with! Thanks alot for reading, and please feel free to comment or give advice, it would be much appreciated!
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm a 47 year old female. I've had occasional missed beats for years but started noticing them more about 12 years ago. As there are heart problems on both sides of my parents families, I was concerned. Over ten years ago my mom had some procedure done for her heart arrhythmia. About a year ago I started getting very dizzy and very tired and started noticing a big increase in my own arrhythmia. My dad, who also has heart issues, advised me to take CoQ10 and magnesium. Adding those supplements to my daily diet helped a lot. Then this past week I had a severe "attack" of arrhythmia. It got so bad Friday night I wondered it I should go to the hospital. Thursday I'd called my mom, as she has had years of experience with arrhythmia and even had a surgery which only helped temporarily. Her advice was to increase the magnesium to twice a day and add in calcium. By Saturday the missed beats were all but gone, thankfully, however I also noticed I was about to begin my period. It was at this point I paid attention to a thought that had been pressing upon my mind which is recalling last cycle similar things were happening. But with my last cycle it wasn't so attention grabbing as this time. At this point I began to realize my experience must have something to do with female hormones. Hence my search this morning. Based upon what I've read today I will purchase more CoQ10 as I ran out months ago and thought perhaps it wasn't that needful. I will also add omega 3's to my daily diet. From experience I am confident the minerals are essential to my hearts health. And I'll be scheduling an appointment with a doctor in my area who looks at things from a more holistic point first. I'll be looking at what I can do to bring more balance to my hormones.
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks for all the post, it really help me understand what im feeling..
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