hello. I am a 36 year old female in Texas. In May of this year, I went to the ER with what I though was severe heartburn. The ER doctor told me he suspected mitral valve prolapse which makes gastric symptoms 20 times worse than what they really are. He told me to follow up with a cardiologist and I procrastinated and never made the appointment. About 6 weeks ago, I started feeling this weird flutter in my chest. It only happened about 2 or 3 times a day so I didn't think much of it. About 3 weeks ago, they started coming more frequently. I made an appointment with the doctor and she sent me for a chest xray, echo, EKG and bloodwork. She did say she suspected a Mitral Valve Prolapse as well. Of course I didn't have the flutters at all during any of these tests. I had a follow up appointment with her 4 days later. I am also Type 2 Diabetic so she had me keep truck of my sugar along with the flutters. There was no connection. I had them whether my sugar was normal, high or low. I had them all weekend long and I started feeling my pulse when I had them. It seemed as thought my heart was skipping a beat. That Monday I showed up at the doctor 30 minutes early because I was having PVC's and I wanted her to catch it. She put the stethoscope on my chest for a few seconds and then said I was going to the hospital for admission. I was put on a monitor for over 40 hours. When I asked what was going on, the doctor simply said my potassium levels were low. They put me on a potassium drip and sent me home. What is really weird about that though is I had just had bloodwork done 2 weeks prior and it said my potassium levels were above normal. To be on the safe side, I take a potassium supplement daily and I eat at least one banana a day. I try to stay hydrated as well. I am back on my diabetic diet and I quit caffeine. I am still having PVC's a lot. The other day, I had 75 pizzas to make at work. I got the first 47 made with no problem. In order to get the rest of them made, I needed to hurry. The last 10 pizzas, I thought I was going to pass out. I was moving fast and my PVCs were at their worst. As soon as I got the last pizza in the oven, I went and sat down. I also noticed lately that when I am moving around doing something (sweeping, wiping down counters, etc..) the PVC's get worse. I read in some other areas on the internet that PVC's with exercise indicate heart disease. I also read that it could be a sign of ventricular trachycardia (information on that scares the **** out of me) I have not seen a cardiologist yet; only my family doctor. I follow up with her this week. I am going to tell her that I am seeking a cardiologist. I have to know what is going on. These things are starting to scare me. Right now, as we speak I am having them so fiercely that I feel it in my throat. If anyone has information that could help me out, send it my way please. Oh and laying down relaxing doesn't make them go away either but they don't keep me awake at night.
There are many things that can provoke the onset of PVC's. Having read that your Potassium levels were on the low side can definitely cause you to experience these. Caffeine, nicotine, stress and anxiety are also things that should be avoided if you are being bothered by these. You are doing the right thing by asking for a referal to a cardiologist.
What you have learned, by reading, about PVC's and what can happen is something that is extremely rare. The risk from your PVC's causing V-Tach in a normal healthy heart is not something that typically occurs. Exercise induced PVC's does not always indicate heart disease. There are many people who notice an increase of these ectopic beats during exercise. Did you have an echocardiogram while you were in the hospital? This would surely have given the Dr a look at the structure of you heart (chambers and valves)
Since you had a disruption in your Potassium, you may have had a lower than normal Magnesium level as well. Many PVC sufferers have found a reduction of symptoms by taking Magnesium supplements. I would recommend that you inquire about this with your Dr before starting.
Good luck with your appt. and let us know how it turns out:)
Thanks for responding. I saw my family doctor again and I could not believe what I went through. She asked me what medicines I was taking. I told her the 3 she prescribed me 2 weeks ago, vitamins and I started taking potassium supplement. She tore me a new one because she said I didn't need to take any of that. I figured since my potassium was low, I needed all the help I could get....lol. Anyway, she asked what dosage the prescriptions were. I couldn't remember off hand and she griped at me for not bringing in my medicine bottles. SHE PRESCRIBED THEM TO ME. I have never had a doctor not know what they prescribed to me. It gets better. Since getting out of the hospital, I have been keeping a small diary of my diet, meds taken and a log of when I have the PVC's and what I am doing at the time. I put it all on a piece of paper and brought it to my doctor. She wouldn't even look at it. She said it was a waste of time and that I am only stressing myself out. She didn't say anything at all about the fact that I lost 9 lbs since getting out of the hospital. She told me I have benign PVC's and I just need to start working out. I told her if she had read the dang paper, she would see that exercise triggers it. I was so upset when I left her office that I cried. I came home and found a Heart Center not too far from my house. I called and got an appointment immediately. I met the cardiologist and was impressed with her right away. She said that yes, this could be a case of benign PVCs but she put me on a Holter monitor (something my other doctor never did) and she scheduled me to come in for a stress test in 2 weeks. I was so relieved to know that she actually cared about me wanting to know what is going on. Being born with a heart murmur, recently diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse and having these PVC's is really scary. The one thing that is really scaring me still is that for years, my blood pressure always ran normal. I mean, it was clockwork, 120/80 95% of the time. Now, my blood pressure runs 90/70. Very rarely is it higher than that. I worry about any doctor putting me on beta blockers because my pressure is low enough. I am diabetic and a former doctor put me on Altace for kidney protection. It gave me a really bad dry cough so the doctor gave me cough pills to help relieve it. I was falling asleep everywhere I went, so I stopped taking both.
I stop taking the potassium supplements and I plan on asking the doctor if I need to take magnesium. After the last doctor chewed me out, I am not doing anything else unless I am told. I will let you know how it goes when I get the results from the Holter.
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