Avatar universal

Ongoing Palpitations

I have a few questions about ongoing palpitations and trying to understand the etiology of them. In particular, PAC's. I delevoped these PAC's this past fall. They come and go and can get quite frequent at times. I have seen a cardiologist (an EP doc) and had an event monitor, bloodwork, and an echo stress test. The PAC's were determined basically benign. But I feel anything but "benign" when they pop up. I'll admit that there is  some anxiety involved when they do occur but otherwise I do not have any issues with anxiety.
Could the palpitations be at all related to Epstein Barr virus?
I tested positive with "recent primary infection" after looking into a possible case of Mono and ongoing fatigue last May.
How and why are PAC's hormonally related to women? The EP doc indicated that he sees a lot of menopausal women with PAC's. I am not menopausal but I am 34 and just recently completely stopped breastfeeding. The PAC's seem to be related to my monthly cycle. But I have never experienced anything like this in the 20 years of having menstrual cycles so why now?
Also, I am told over and over that people have these all the time and I probably have too and I am just more aware of them now. There is NO WAY that I just "became aware" of these PAC's. I am not doubting that I ever have had them but I guarentee that I have never had them like now.
When I get the flare ups of PAC's, it is not just the "skipped beat" feeling that concerns me. I also feel very fatigued, dizzy, and discomfort in my chest area. I get sort of an "aura" and can tell they're coming. What is this?
39 Responses
Avatar universal
"How and why are PAC's hormonally related to women? The EP doc indicated that he sees a lot of menopausal women with PAC's. I am not menopausal but I am 34 and just recently completely stopped breastfeeding."

I also started having palps after ceasing nursing with my third child.  I had basically been pregnant or nursing for over 4 years.  I think the sudden change in hormones were definitely the cause of my PACs and PVCs.  I also had them just before my period would come.

Thankfully, I think my hormones have really evened out.  I am off a beta blocker and have had not noticeable palps for almost two months.  *knocks wood*

I am off caffeine, though I do indulge in chocolate sometimes.  I don't drink or smoke.  I started a regluar exercise program, which I think has also made a difference.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
It is difficult to know if it eliminated the AFIB completely.  It has greatly reduced the number of PAC's I used to have.  I used to get about 2 or 3 a minute, and at night when I woke up my heart would be very erratic from PAC's.  It made it very hard to sleep.  Now I don't have really any at night, and I have them from time to time during the day (2 or 3 an hour). I could have them more but really don't notice them much.

Since the ablation the first week I had 3 episodes of AFIB which were in short duration (1 a few seconds to 2 a few hours), the second week I had 2 episodes ( 1 seconds and 1 a few hours), and then a few episodes of seconds since then.  Compared this to half a day to day and half every 2 to 3 weeks that's definitely an improvement.  These episodes could be from a foci not ablated or from the irritation caused by the ablation.  If it's the latter then eventually it will dissipate.

I'm on 50mg of atenolol to basically keep the irritation of the heart down.  I use to be on an tikosyn and 25 mg of atenolol. I'm also on coumadin and small amount of klonopin (atenolol gives me insomnia and the klonopin helps with that).  They did want me to stay in the hospital a few more days to go on flecanide (sp?), but I needed to get back to work so they just increased the atenolol.  Besides if I was on an antiarrythmic I wouldn't know exactly if the procedure worked or the antiarrythmic was working.

But the jury is still out.  The real test is at about 8 to 12 weeks.  By then the nerves are healed.  If I am still having episodes of AFIB then I may need a 2nd ablation.

The wierd thing right now is that my normal heart rate has been elevated by about 15 beats per minute since the ablation.  Normally if I was on 50 mg of atenolol my resting rate would be in the low 50's.  Not it is about the mid 60's.  The lit. states that this may occur for several weeks after the ablation.  Not sure what "several" means.  I'm hoping this will end, because I am hoping to get off the atenolol as well.  My goal is to be med free in 3 to 6 months.

Thanks for asking.  
Avatar universal
Wow! A lot of awesome advice/comments as usual. Is it not funny how sometimes you can feel almost "silly" because of the symptoms you experience? But to hear others have the same exact thing is refreshing. I thought I must really be reaching if I am experiencing an "aura" before the PAC's start. Also to hear other women having the same problem with hormones/breastfeeding is comforting. I cannot imagine the complete train wreck I will be during menopause if I am having the problems I do now!!! You think they could figure out how to help women balance their hormones better. and to USAR....as I described I also get a chest discomfort and sometimes pain as well as a feeling of shortness of breath, very fatigued, and a sort of lump in my throat during flare ups. I also get tachycardic or my heart will "pound" and I can even feel it in my hands at times as well. So, like you, it is not just the PAC's. It is the entire group of symptoms that occur that is frightening and frustrating. The nurse practitioner that I saw at the cardiology office recommended a calcium channel blocker (30 mg) for flare ups. I have not yet tried it and am just hoping this craziness goes away on its own. Fortunately, it seems to have slowed down(knock on wood). I know that all of these heart meds come with side-effects and it is basically the lesser of two evils so I am hoping and praying that my body balances itself back out! I too try to get regular aerobic excercise but I always have. Even right before this all started I walked several miles per day and work with weights. And I don't do caffiene nor do I smoke. I do suffer a type of insomnia (frequent waking, sometimes trouble falling asleep)so that could be a part of it. Thanks to all for the great input!
Avatar universal
The "aura" sounds intriguing...it sounds like you are feeling the weak beat (the "skip") before the strong beat (the make up beat).  I feel this too, but never referred to it as an "aura".

The "skip" is simply the premature atrial beat, which most of us can't feel very well, since it occurs early and therefore is rather weak and unproductive (since the ventricles did not fire).  This is followed by a normal atrial beat, which now triggers the ventricle into action, and is felt a bit more strongly since now the atria were more full than normal.  Contrary to popular opinion, there is no extra beat.

Avatar universal
Hi my name is Pat and I am a 23 year old male, after reading your comments made me feel a little bit better. With me Like 7 years ago i had mono and thats when i started to smoke as well..But thats when I started to get the palpitations but after a month they pretty much went away besides when i did some activity then my heart would pace hard and fast for about 30 seconds then go back to normal..But now I feel my heart beat pretty much most of the time which is very very annoying on the verge of driving me crazy..Went to the Doctor few days ago and checked me out and said i was fine but still got the echocardiogram and the holter monitor and the tests results were normal..But in my head its not okay yet until i stop feeling my heart beat..My doc says it deals with my stress, anxiety and little bit of depression but can;t understand how that can affect me feeling my heart beat..I get a little bit of loss of breath but its no big deal..I am chlostaphobic and sometimes when i am in a normal place it feels like i need to go outside and catch my breath..Also i quit smoking like a week ago and going through that and all the anxiety i guess its too much for me right now...Just want all this to stop because i am getting really scared, i'm too young for this stuff to happen..Anyone out there have any pointers, should i go to a heart specialist??...thanks..Pat!!
Avatar universal
The "aura" I am referring to is not actually the "skipped or premature beat". I am actually referring to a real aura. Like hours before they start happening. I start feeling all of the previous listed symptoms. I can tell when they're coming. That is what I mean about the weird "aura". I think it is all the symptoms together

You are reading content posted in the Heart Disease Forum

Popular Resources
Is a low-fat diet really that heart healthy after all? James D. Nicolantonio, PharmD, urges us to reconsider decades-long dietary guidelines.
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Fish oil, folic acid, vitamin C. Find out if these supplements are heart-healthy or overhyped.
Learn what happens before, during and after a heart attack occurs.
What are the pros and cons of taking fish oil for heart health? Find out in this article from Missouri Medicine.
How to lower your heart attack risk.