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PVCs are out of control...PLEASE HELP/RELATE!
Hi Everyone,

Long time viewer of this site, have never posted. Brief history - I am 33y/o female, generally healthy, Registered Nurse in Ontario. 12 years ago, I gave birth to my daughter and I ended up developing preeclampsia in my 37th week, was induced, and was given BP meds (beta blockers). A couple weeks after delivery, I started noticing the PVCs, they were not very frequent - I was already being followed by a cardiologist and nephrologist, so I had all the tests done, ECG, blood work, Echo, etc (all normal). PVCs always remained but rarely came more than a couple times per day. Flash forward to two years ago, I started getting PVCs CONSTANTLY, probably 10/minute, coming in runs of 4-6, makes me feel horrible. This goes on for a period of 2-3 months at a time, and then will disappear for a few months, only to return. The quality of the PVCs are so different, and just horribly uncomfortable where I feel like I will die.

I have now been with an Electrophys. for the past two years, had even more tests, just had cardiac MRI in August (everything completely normal). The weird thing is triggers, I find I will throw myself into the crazy PVCs for months, after I start getting back into a workout regime where I am doing sit-ups, or heavy weights, or if I start drinking carbonated drinks - I also have GERD. These connections are always dismissed - I have also gone to the ER several times. I am an RN so I understand physiology, but this is nuts. Electrophys. says I have idiopathic PVCs and PACS suggested I go on BB, however I already have extremely low BP, and then offered an anti-arrhythmic (a bit nervous about this), and an ablation if I feel like I can't live with the symptoms. He doesn't seem concerned at all.

What is driving me nuts now is the constant skips, and the runs of 5-6 which happen pretty often - can anyone relate??

Sorry - just would love to hear other peoples' insights on my story.

Thanks so much for reading.
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1807132 tn?1318747197
Sounds like you are having around 14,000 to 15,000 a day for months at a time.  That is quite a lot and would likely make anyone feel sick.  Regardless if they do not make the connection I do see an increase in my ectopic beats after working out and especially from gerd.  The theory is that the vagus nerve gets irritated by the acid reflux and it sends signals to the heart causing it to flare off premature/extra beats.  I would say first and foremost try and protect yourself from acid reflux even if that means taking a daily antacid.  Maybe even have your stomach checked out for the Helicobacter pylori bacteria that causes ulcers.  When you work out try to do a longer warm up and cool down and maybe try to not push quite as hard.  Irritation of the heart muscle is another reason some consider for triggering ectopic activity.  Dehydration is another trigger so make sure you are drinking plenty of water while you work out especially since you tend to low bp.   If you find yourself in a pattern of them try and cough and see if it breaks them up.  In general ectopic beats are not consider a threat in an otherwise healthy heart but you are having a pretty high load.  The fact they come and go does bode well for your heart having time to recover but if you are unable to make lifestyle changes that help alleviate the symptoms to a more manageable amount you may want to consider trying an ablation.  They can be a bit tricky when it comes to fixing ectopic beats and success is generally better if they are monomorphic but it may be worth a shot if your quality of life is compromised. It is a tough decision and one you do have to make for yourself but just weigh your quality of life with the risks and decide from there.   If you do it, do it when you are very active for best results.  I would not suggest an antiarrhythmic personally.  They carry a risk of causing dangerous rhythms and I think the jury is out whether or not they would help ectopic activity.  Beta blockers is generally the first line of defense.   Take care and I hope you can get a handle on things.
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Thank you so much Michelle3811...these things really cause me such distress!
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1807132 tn?1318747197
I only had that high amount for one week and remember feeling very sick, it was hard to breath, eat and sleep so I can relate but try to do your best to breath through it and not resist what is going on.  The more we resist and try to fight off what we are feeling the worse we actually feel.  it is natural to want to try and get away from them but relaxing and deep breathing and reminding yourself that you can get through this may help wonders for the distress.  Hugs.
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12492606 tn?1459877633
Hi Raven,  Sorry to hear of your bad PVC symptoms.  Idiopathic PVCs are common.  I believe the vast majority of PVC ablations in younger patients are idiopathic.  The bad news for Canadian residents is that there is a long wait for getting ablations at centers that have the right skills. For AF patients posting to the LAF forum, the wait is around 2 years.  The top centers that handle a high volume of AF are also the ones that have done the most VT/PVC experience.  In Ontario,  Sunnybrook would be a top choice and I am sure there is a long wait there as well. I agree that you don't want to be on calcium channel blockers over the long term at your young age.
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995271 tn?1463927859
I tried BBs and CCBc for my PVCs and swore they made them worse.   When it comes to this type of ectopy I think it's a shot in the dark to give people something that has a low potential to do more harm.  Won't help, but it probably won't hurt too much.  I went through a really rough patch with my PVCs too, back in 2009.  Had tons of tests and couldn't find anything wrong.   Funny thing is, finding nothing wrong felt bad too, I wanted to fix this crap.  There really is nothing they can do for this classification of PVCs.  I saw an EP and he didn't want to touch it because it could end up worse.  I took some solace in that the condition kept changing.    I tell my ice this for her ailments.   It'll either get better or it'll get worse.   If it gets worse we will find a way to fix it.   Best of luck, I hope it keeps changing for you, and for the better.  

Another weird note, I too found a relationship with carbonated drinks.   I drink nothing but water now.  Smoke decaf coffee too.  
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