I posted this question on the doctor's forum but didn't get any response. I'm hoping some of you guys can help me out here. My teenage daughter was diagnosed with PAC's and PVC's awhile back. We don't know which one's she gets more often and she can't tell the difference between the two. At the time she was getting them about once a month as she got close to her period. Usually within 2 to 3 days of her period she would have an episode a day where she would get several of them close together although not usually right in a row.
About 2 weeks ago she had an episode where she got another group of several of them and didn't think much about it. However, she's gotten them every day since then, getting way more in one day than she usually gets in several months time (around 40 or 50 a day). She's had several ekg's (normal), 2 holters (normal), one event monitor (mostly normal with isolated PAC's and PVC's, no ectopy), a CT scan with contrast of her heart/chest 2x (both normal). Her last round of testing was done only a few months ago, all normal. Some of these palpitations are coming either one right after another or with only a few normal beats in between.
She says that she usually gets them in clusters, where she'll get several clsoe to each other (some one right after another) and then will go 15-30 minutes before experiencing another one. She did have her period last week but it has since ended and the increase in palpitations continues. She stays away from caffeine, including chocolate, wasn't stressed until these palpitations didn't go away, was getting an average of 6 hours of sleep a night. I get pac's and pvc's as well but I don't have them this frequently.
My questions are:
1. Has anyone else out there with PVC's/PAC's experienced a sudden and significant increase in their symptoms like this? Did you find anything that helped ease them?
2. Does this sudden increase warrant another doctor's visit or is it just part and parcel of having palpitations some times?
Hello. I think the doctor will answer you, but they tend to answer questions in clusters. Just be patient and you will get an answer :)
Anyway, to your questions:
First, 40-50 PACs/PVCs a day is probably far less than average. If the heart is structurally normal (which I believe it is, based on all the tests) there is absolutely no need to worry. Worrying about premature beats (even if you are not completely aware of it) will make them increase. I have PACs too (and an occational PVC I think) and I recognize those symptoms completely.
They tend to appear in clusters, most likely because adrenaline levels / stress levels increase when you get one - which will trigger more. Before I learned to accept them, I could have them for hours - until a doctor reassured me they were benign.
The list of triggers for PACs and PVCs (somewhat different for PACs and PVCs) is probably a mile long. Most common are stress, slow heart rate (and sometimes high heart rate), caffeine, nicotine, alcohol (especially hangover), infections, dehydration (and salt imbalances), too much water, after meals, in some people exercise, anxiety, adrenaline in general, hyperventilation, deep breaths, bending over (the last three can especially trigger PACs), vagal reflexes, like I said, the list is long. Best cure for them is to simply ignore them and accept they are no danger to health.
It's easier said than done, of course, and no one are happy with arrhythmias, but some premature beats are really a part of normal heart activity. Everyone have them - but some people (especially if they are afraid of them) notice them more often.
I beleive that a lack of magnesium causes most skipped beats, you might try natural calm and see if that helps her. I've been reading about magnesium in other places and almost no one ever mentions it here, hope this helps
I've been taking 500mgs of magnesium once a day for the past two months at my cardio's suggestion. She said quit a few of her patients report good results. I haven't noticed any improvement yet, but I have other problems than just PVCs. I now have some Afib. I will keep taking this because it sure can't hurt.
Thank you all for your responses. We've decided to go ahead and call the doctor tomorrow to try to rule out any electrolyte imbalances or nutritional deficiencies that could be causing this sudden increase in pvcs/pacs. Hopefully they'll find something minor and easily fixable that will help this episode ease up somewhat. We will definately be asking about the magnesium. Thanks again for the advice.
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