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Frequent PVC's
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Frequent PVC's

Hi~~
   I was just wondering about the danger of very frequent PVC's.  I've been having them for years, probably almost 20 years now, but usually I can deal with them pretty well, until I have very forceful, frequent ones as I've been having lately.  Do any of you ever feel like that, where suddenly you will go through periods for no apparant reason where they are so much worse?  
   When I feel my pulse, especially after I've been doing something physical, I have one about every 5-10 beats.  I don't really have any other symptoms, other than the anxiety that these cause.  I have been waking up lately with sleep starts, where it feels like I'm gasping for breath, so I think I might have some kind of sleep apnea going on.  I also get heartburn alot.  
    We're of course going on vacation soon, which is when these things seem to act up.  I'm getting increasingly anxious about the plane flight, and all the driving I have to do once we get there.  I want to be able to drive my kids around the mountains, and I'm nervous about the thought of doing that now.  
    I've had the usual tests over time, holters, echos, treadmill, and the doctors have all said that they are just PVC's, benign but very irritating.  I haven't been to my cardio in almost 2 years though, and so I guess I need to go back and get these checked, which I plan on doing.  I had an echo in October of 2006 that showed everything was fine, although I was a bit worried about my EF only being 52%, but the nurse kept reassuring me that the number was fine.  
     I worry that the frequency of my PVC's could be causing some type of heart failure.  As I mentioned, I don't really have any other symptoms.  I went walking today with my daughter, and felt PVC's as I was walking, but just kept going.  I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not.  I think I remember the doctors saying that it's fine to keep exercising with PVC's, in fact, it should help them.  I felt better today after I walked and swam, but then tonight they are getting bad again.  
    I was basically just wondering if anyone else has them this frequently.  I go through long periods where I feel fine, like I might be having them, but not really noticing them, and they don't take over my life, and then there's times like now, where each day, I seem to be having bad attacks of them.  
     The only thing I've been able to relate them to in the past is hormonal changes, but I'm kind of past that now, supposedely.  I'm a 48 year old female, and I do have anxiety issues, but I've been alot better with that in recent years.  Anyway, thanks so much for any help with this!  By the way, I've tried different meds, but I usually don't feel very good when I'm on medication, and so as long as they are not dangerous, I would rather stay off medication, as I've read that any medication out there right now has the potential to not only not help the PVC's, but actually increase the risks.  Are PVC's really assoicated with any significant risk?  Do you guys stop exercising if you feel them during your workout?  Thanks again!  Val
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255722_tn?1333378910
Yeah...I know where you are.  This is SOOOOO common among us.  I can tell you how it happens for me.  I'll go several months feeling one here and one there.  Sometimes I'll have a night when they seem more persistant, but I'm able to keep them in perspective and fairly well ignore them.  But then....something happens.  Nothing noticeable or trackable.  Nothing out of the ordinary, but for some reason (maybe just to remind me that they can) the PVC's get so persistant that it gets scary.  I find myself checking my pulse every few minutes to see how regular it is.  I get very tired, which is probably more a coping mechanism than a symptom, and my mood goes south quickly.  I become very introverted during these times because I am paying more attention to what is happening inside of me then around me.  And I try to be "normal" and ignore them, but they continue to escalate until I finally go to the cardiologist for a check in.  Magically, however, it seems that visiting the cardiologist triggers some "relax" mechanism in my brain and I almost always start recovery within a week or so after that.  I often wonder if it isn't the act of "giving the problem over to the doctor" that allows my system to get back into equilibrium.

It's weird...like something causes my adrenaline levels to spike causing the nearly constant PVC's.  I can NEVER identify what it is though.  I'm rarely stressed, anxious, upset, or overly excited.  It just HAPPENS.  And, just as quickly it seems to stop (so far thank GOD they stop eventually).  

Excercising is fine.  And, I find that when I exercise more than normal, especially after a long time of NOT exercising regularly, they are worse upon resting.  Usually it is because the added exercise requires MY body to need a bit more sleep, but I don't usually do that part and out of whack I go.

PVC's in a structurally normal heart do not pose any statistically increased risk of heart disease or heart failure.  You've had all the tests and they indicate that your heart is fine.  What has likely happened (as it does to us all) is that you've had a couple of bad days, which made you concerned, which increased your adrenaline levels, which increased your PVC's, which increased your concern and therefore fed the beast.  Until you find something that puts your MIND at ease, your PVC's will haunt you.  Doesn't matter that you KNOW they won't kill you....your body is reacting to their occurence and you really can't conciously control it.

I suggest you visit your cardiologist soon...not because I think you are in danger, but because it will allow you to put your mind at ease.  Once your mind is at ease, I'll bet your PVC's will be too.

Good luck....We've been there (many, many times).

April
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Avatar_n_tn
I can't thank you enough for this very reassuring, great post!  I was hoping I would have a response today, and this was just the best thing I could hope for.  
   You know how with the PVC's, it really helps to get reassurance.  The way you describe it is almost exactly how this latest occurance happened with me.  I can't believe that my mind could have that much to do with it, it's amazing to me that I could be doing this to myself.  It's weird, cause we had gone to Disneyworld in the middle of June, and it was right before the trip that these started.  I'm sure I was anxious about the trip, because my youngest daughter was dancing in a ballet show there, and I wanted everything to go ok, and so that's when my palpitations will get worse sometimes, when I'm worried about everything being ok.  Like, a self fullfilling prophecy, worrying about it being ok, and making it not ok.  
     Also, this sounds stupid, but I remember being upset that Tim Russert had died so suddenly, it kind of freaked me out.  It was so scary to me that he is only 10 years older than me, and one day,  he just didn't feel good, and that was it.  The ultimate thing that us with palpitations worry about.  Also, my Dad died suddenly, and we still don't really know why, so that's always on my mind.  He was 69, and having some symptoms of heart failure, but they weren't sure why, because every one of his tests was checking out ok.  He was only about a week away from going to Stanford Medical Center in Calif. to have a heart biopsy when he died suddenly at home with my Mom.  Otherwise, he was a runner and a healthy guy.  The specialist said that he suspected amyloidosis, I don't know if you know what that is, but it's a very rare blood disorder, in which proteins will attach themselves to any certain organ, and cause failure in that organ.  He said that in my Father's case, it probably wasn't familial.  
     Thanks so much for the reassurance that PVC's shouldn't hurt my heart, or cause heart failure.  I've found some things that seem to help, at least temporarily.  Last night, I had a really bad attack of them, and I laid down, on my left side, and made sure the house was cool, and then they slowly go away.  
   It makes me nervous sometimes when I google search these things, and some people act like they are going nuts because they have a few a day.  I rarely see people asking about having thousands per day.  I'm sure there are some days when I don't have that many, and of course, as you said, those are the days that I'm at the doctors office.  But, during these 'attacks', I'm sure I'm in the thousands per day if you add it up, cause it's usually once every 5-10 beats, maybe except for sleeping.  
    I'm so sorry to go on and on here and bore you to death, and here you were so nice to respond to me!  Again, I can't thank you enough!  You really have helped me even get through my day.  We're flying out on Friday the 11th to San Francisco, and I'm so nervous about the trip, and so all of this really helps.  Thanks!  Val
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255722_tn?1333378910
You certainly didn't "bore" me, and I'm very glad I could help.  Have FUN!!!  YEAH for your daughter!!!!  How cool is that???!!!!!

:-)
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Avatar_f_tn
It seems to be a common thought that PVC's will death. This is the one thing that I'am pretty sure, they are not going to cause. At times I have wished the PVC's would just get it over with, but my heart just keeps skipping along.PVC's will cause worry and anxiety, discomfort and a general feeling of hopelessness, but death... not so much.

Try to figure out a way to live with this benign but chronic heart condition, don't think about death. Eventually death will come to us all. A sudden death,or a long suffering one? I know which one I would choose. Sorry about your Dad,no one wants an untimely death, that is for sure. Stop thinking about death and live your life, and enjoy the moment, it's all we really have.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks to all of you for the responses!  They are very much appreciated, and so helpful!  Thanks for the congrats for my daughter, yea, she did have fun.  They didn't allow the parents to take the Disney buses to the 'backstage' area, or go behind the scenes at all, so it was an exciting experience for the kids to do this without their parents and feel so special.  They were told they had to keep the "Disney magic" secret, and so anything they saw backstage had to be kept secret.  Kind of fun for them!  And, we got to enjoy Disneyworld for a few days!  
    I am dissapointed tonight, cause I had a couple of days that I literally felt almost PVC-free, and then tonight I had another bad night.   No real reason that I could attribute to the lack of PVC's before tonight, other than the fact that I kept trying to exercise, with walking and swimming, but I've been doing that for a while.  But, tonight, as we were getting ready to go out and see the fireworks, I started feeling a few, and then the increased throughout the night in intensity and frequency.  I was fine when I was sitting there watching the show, but then when we had to walk to go and meet up with my husband, I was getting them really bad.  This is what makes me nervous, is when I'm fine sitting there, and then they come on with physical activity.  Isn't that a bad sign?  When I got into the car, turned on the air conditioning and relaxed, I felt better.  Also, though, as I'm walking, as I'm feeling the PVC's, I'm getting more and more anxious about it, so I'm sure that feeds into it, and then I get all anxious and breathless.  
     I have a cardio appt. on Tuesday, but we leave for our trip on Friday, so I don't know how much he'll be able to tell me.  There won't be enough time to do any real testing, I don't think.  
    This morning I walked 3 miles with my daughter, and felt pretty much fine the whole time.  That should be a good sign, right?  I mean, why would I feel fine walking this morning, and then have such a bad attack of them again tonight?  It's hard to believe they are benign.  I feel like I have heart failure when they come on like they did tonight, and make me so breathless.  
    But, thanks again so much for the responses, it's great to read them over and over, and feel so reassured.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get some rest tonight, and feel better!  I hope you are all well, and enjoying the fourth!!  Val
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255722_tn?1333378910
Honestly....I think you are fine, and no I don't think "it's a bad sign."  I think the heat was high, the excitement was over and you were winding down, and I think that all the pent up anxiety for your daughter along with the heat (which affect blood pressure) and the time to pay attention to your heart beat all added up to one bad night.  And, like you said, the more you noticed, the worse they got.  

I think that if you are not on a low dose beta blocker you may consider it.  I take metoprolol and have to cut it into FOUR pieces.  I take a quarter pill/day unless I don't need it, then I take none.  But on nights when they come on nasty like yours, I have permission to take a full 1/2 tablet.  Now....remember beta blockers make you very sleepy....so be aware that the first week is sort of lousy....but after that, a variable dose is nice.  It give YOU power over the PVC's!!!!  Wooo-hooo
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with dolfnlvr, a low dosage of beta blocker could help. I take can it when needed, but lately I need it every day. The beta blocker I take is not long acting so in about 4-6 hours it's out of my system. I also start with a 1/4 and if things aren't quiteing down in about an hour I take the other 1/2. Remember a beta blocker is not going to stop the PVC's it just makes them easier to live with, you don't feel them as much. It will make you tired especially at first, I've gotten used to it, so I can do everything (and sometime more) then I had been able to do before. I had PVC's for years before I started the beta blocker for me it was out of desperation that I started it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks guys so much for that info~~that's great to know cause I will ask my cardio that on Tuesday.  As far as the beta blocker's, are you guys taking them just to help you live with them, or because having too many can be dangerous?  My cardio did prescribe me something a while back, I tried two different meds, and for a short time they worked, but then seemed to make the problem worse for me as time went on.  I was on Tenormin, and then something else I can't remember the name.  
    But, I'm just wondering, do your doctors seem to think there is some importance in going on the medication as far as safety, or is it just strictly to live with them easier.  My doctor at the time seemed to think that I didn't need to go on the meds for any kind of safety issue, he just thought I was too symptomatic, and needed to try to live better.  I have to admit, the PVC's I've had in the past have been much easier to live with, like I can slightly feel them, and if I'm taking my pulse, I can feel the missed beat, but these latest bouts I've been having have been very hard to deal with.  I would be much more inclined to go on meds to help me with these than anything I've had in the past.  I will have a couple days with nothing, but then all of a sudden, BAM!  Does that ever happen with you guys?  Anyway, sorry to be such a pain, I really, really appreciate your help!!  Thanks, Val
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255722_tn?1333378910
No pain.  The meds are to help live with them.  As far as all my research, and discussion with several cardiologists, has shown benign PVC's are not dangerous, except to your quality of life.  So, the beta blockers make them easier to deal with. Kind of gives you a little bit of power over THEM for a change.  :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
All my Dr's tell me that the PVC's that I have are not dangerous and I don't need to take any meds. I take it to ease up the sensation of the PVC.
Tenormin is a beta blocker, I had to try a few till I found the one that worked for me. 1/2 of a tenormin knocked me out, and toprol made my heart race. It's an individual thing.
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