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Avatar universal

PVC's, rapid heart beat

I've posted here before, but I have some more questions. I'm a 23 y/o female, slightly overweight (by 10 pounds or so), non-smoker, occasional drinker.
A heart rate, while relaxing, between 70-85 is normal and does not need to be medicated?
The fact that my heart rate speeds up while breathing in is normal?
I have a very variable heart rate: it goes up 20bpm just when standing up or talking, etc. Should I be concerned? (My cardiologist said this could cause heart disease in the long run.)

I've heard that beta-blockers don't make PVC's less frequent, but just lessen the amount of PVC's the patient feels. True or false?
Also, I was on beta-blockers (propranolol) for a while (only 10-20mg a day) It barely lowered my heart rate (by 5-10bpm), but it multiplied the amount of PVC's I had enormously. Any ideas on why this happened?

I'm unfit, and slightly overweight. Will losing weight lower my resting heart rate? If I become very fit, by how much can I expect my resting heart rate to drop?

Is there a heart rate I should not exceed because it is unhealthy? (my doctor said 160 is the limit, even though my maximum heart rate is just over 200) Or can I just train without heart rate monitor, relying on if I feel good doing a certain intensity of workout? (I will add: other than some minor MVP, no regurgitation, and occasional PVC's, not while exercising, my heart is perfectly healthy)

Thank you for your time!
25 Responses
74076 tn?1189759432
Hi Leithchi,

A heart rate, while relaxing, between 70-85 is normal and does not need to be medicated?

correct

The fact that my heart rate speeds up while breathing in is normal?

This is normal.

I have a very variable heart rate: it goes up 20bpm just when standing up or talking, etc. Should I be concerned? (My cardiologist said this could cause heart disease in the long run.)
Sustained increased heart rates can cause problems.  Intermittent increases like this usually do not.


I've heard that beta-blockers don't make PVC's less frequent, but just lessen the amount of PVC's the patient feels. True or false?
Usually true unless you have a catecholamine dependent PVC focus.

Also, I was on beta-blockers (propranolol) for a while (only 10-20mg a day) It barely lowered my heart rate (by 5-10bpm), but it multiplied the amount of PVC's I had enormously. Any ideas on why this happened?

Not sure.

I'm unfit, and slightly overweight. Will losing weight lower my resting heart rate? If I become very fit, by how much can I expect my resting heart rate to drop?

Increased fitness levels will lower your resting heart rate, but the degree to which it lowers your rate is variable and depends on the individual case.

Is there a heart rate I should not exceed because it is unhealthy? (my doctor said 160 is the limit, even though my maximum heart rate is just over 200) Or can I just train without heart rate monitor, relying on if I feel good doing a certain intensity of workout? (

Heart rate monitors help some people.  I would encourage you to not focus too much on your heart rate.  Nothing you have mentioned to me above sounds out of the ordinary.  Start slow and increase your fitness level gradually.  The weekend warrior almost always burns out.

Good luck and thanks for posting.
Avatar universal
hi. i posted once before, but never really got a direct answer.

ive had palpitations and what i think are pvcs for a while now. i started atenolol 25gm to control the palpitations. after a while i started having these "flutters" like once or twoce (some times more).

the only way i can describe them is:

i get this weird "flop" feeling in my chest. it feels like my heart stops for a second. the feeling makes me suddenly breath in real quck ( for some reason, i react be taking a real big deep breath). its kinda like when you get hit in the stomache and get the air knocked outta ya feling.

every once in a while, i get them while trying to go to sleep, along with a weird tingeling feeling that shoots througout my body..kinda weird.

ive read how some of you have 1000 in an hour. i couldnt imagine haiving it that bad.

with the "symptoms" ive said, does that sound like a pvc? i always thought thats what i was having.  

i never had these "feelings" until i started the betablocker. i read on www.webmd.com that betablockers can cause you to have pcs as a side effect. maybe thats why i get these things?
Avatar universal
What you describe does sound like a PVC, or maybe PAC. Of course, you'd need to get it on an EKG to be sure.

As for my heart rate while exercising... I remember running on the treadmill for 10 minutes, at a speed of 8km/hour. I was pretty tired afterwards, it was pretty intense, but I didn't even stop because I was really very out of breath, I stopped running because the muscles in my legs hurt. (I wasn't very accustomed to running). A week later I decided to try using a heart rate monitor on the treadmill. But the treadmill is programmed to not let me train above a heart rate of 170. After 3 minutes of 8km/hour my heart rate was already that high and the treadmill slowed down! I can't imagine how high my heart rate went the other time after 10 minutes :-) And yet, I didn't feel bad at all. It is indeed very subjective.

You know, my problem is not that I'm afraid for my health, or that I feel bad. I couldn't care less about the PVC's, I feel fine about my high and variable heart rate, it has never made me feel bad. But it's my doctor who kept on insisting something was wrong, that I would develop heart failure etc. From my research, and my questions here, I've confirmed what I felt intuitively: that I'm perfectly healthy! Imagine that, a doctor making someone feel ill by saying they're ill, when they're healthy... This doctor is fired.
Avatar universal
what is catecholamine dependent focus?
Avatar universal
I agree that you should have your flutters evaluated to find out if they are an arrythmia, and if so, what type.

I have on average 1000 pvc/hr and I too have to say, that since I've had them 22 years (back then it used to be ONLY hee hee 450/hr), from all that I've read, researched, experienced, and been told by doctors (and read on this forum), these PVCs won't kill you. It just feels like it sometimes. And of course, other times, life is grand.

I have been told by my one and only cardiologist that beta-blockers won't lessen the PVCs, and might make them worse. This seems to be confirmed by the above answer from the CCF doctor here. BB may lessen the sensation of the PVC so you might not notice them, but probably won't lessen the frequency unless it is a "catecholamine dependent focus" causing the PVC. I would discuss with your doctor a different BB. Sometimes that helps. Because even lessening the sensation is enough relief to get you through a pretty tough time.

As for a doctor telling me I'm ill, when I'm not, I agree, can their xxx, good decision. The last thing we, who suffer from PVCs, need is more anxiety.
84483 tn?1289941537

catecholamine dependent focus is a focus that is dependent on epinephrine(adrenaline), norephinephrine(noradrenaline) for stimulation, usually they are released in stressful situations or even some physical disorders can trigger them in excess ( they are also usually repsonsible for fight or flight response in panic attacks or natural situations that prepare you to flee or fight.

Beta blockers usually blocks alot of the adrenalin response in your body, thus if a PVC or pac , tachycardia that is adrenaline driven it will usually have a significant impact on the frequency and intensity of these attacks.

Alot of performers take beta blockers about 45 minutes to an hour be a performance if they sufferer from performance anxiety to help them with the symptoms of an excessive adrenalin rush.

This is my understanding of what a catecholamine driven focus might mean, I am not an MD, confirm this with your doctor.
Avatar universal
You ought to check out a website called www.potsplace.com
It's interesting that you say your heart rate goes up that much when standing. If it tends to be up by 30bpm and even reaches 120 just by standing for 10 minutes, then you have a condition called POTS. I was diagnosed with it a few months ago and find that I have a rapid heartbeat most of the time that almost doubles when I go from lying down to standing up. It might be the answer to your problems as well. Good luck.
Avatar universal
It is a side effect of beta blockers to cause palpitations, thats true.  Have you have echo cardiogram done to rule out other problems?  There are many beta blockers and maybe you just need to try another if this one is causing you problems. One of the big problems with beta blockers is it causes the darn symptoms you were taking it for in the first place.  I am doing well on Inderal, but occasional pvc's are coming now, and I worry they are going to return with a gusto. A viscious cycle. Good Luck
Avatar universal
I have been on Inderol for almost a month, and now the pvc's are returning with chest pain , sob, etc........what do I do? I see cardiologist in a couple weeks for a follow up........it was working so well I am about to cry...............
Avatar universal
My heart rate does indeed go up when standing up (from around 80 to around 100bpm). However it does go down again when standing for a while, so I don't think I have POTS.

Some context on my "issues": before going to the doctor, I had been having extrasystoles for a few years. Nothing excessive, just a few  in a row, once every few days. I decided to get my heart checked out, just to be certain that they were just PVC's.
However, I get extremely nervous around doctors (more nervous than for my exams for university :) ). The doctor did an EKG/stress test and a resting EKG, and also an echo. The only thing he saw on the echo was a very mild MVP, but no "clicking" or regurgitation.
Due to my nerves my heart rate was "a bit" fast: 120 when STARTING the stress test. Afterwards it went down to 90. BP was 16 at a certain time, went down to 14. (I usually have around 11-12 when not stressed). He made a big fuss about my heart rate, saying I'd develop heart failure, that I HAD to take beta-blockers etc.

Basically, I never felt bad. I can feel the PVC's, but they don't bother me, and they're always while sitting/lying still. So I don't see why I should take any medication, when everything indicates that I'm healthy. I was very angry about him pushing the beta-blockers on me. The doc made me feel like I could have dropped dead at any time...
Avatar universal
I have pretty much the same problems as you, very mild mitral redundancy, no regurge, no click/murmur, heart rate variability and PACs/PVCs.  I do take 12.5 mg of Toprol a day, a very tiny dose that I'm not sure does a lot of good other than the "placebo" effect for me.  My doctor told me I definitely don't have to take BBs, but one thing they really do for me is to keep me from having a high HR all the time.  My HR runs in the 90s to 100s when I'm not on them, but that is due to the fact that I'm an extremely anxious and nervous person.  When I'm not actively having anxiety my HR is normal.  If I could just get my anxiety problems under control I'd drop the Toprol, not because I think it is harmful but just because I don't like the way it makes my HR go down to 40 when I'm sleeping!  That is kind of a scary thought for me.  My doctors have all been really reassuring, thankfully.  I'm scared of doctors, too - in fact I was at the doctor's for a sinus infection yesterday and nearly had to run out of the building with a panic attack.  Lots of us have white coat terror, I guess!
Avatar universal
Because anxiety can mimic so much of what we might experience as a heart related problem including elevated heart rate and blood pressure, I would suggest that you get a second opinion from another doctor--one who isn't so dramatic and tells you that you could drop dead if you don't take the beta-blockers.

I think the CCF doctor's answer to your questions was good, but you may still need "face-to-face" reassurance.

I've had PVCs for 22 years, ever increasing, and this year went through an EKG, 48hr holter, echo-stress test and everything still checks out "normal" except for the "benign" PVCs. But I still read this forum because it gives me the extra reassurance that I need to feel more comfortable.

I mean, my doctor tells me I'm ok, and all of you who seem to have similar stories, your doctor's tell you that you are ok (except maybe lietchi's)and the Clevland Clinic doctor seems to say the same thing. Well I guess my point is, keep asking questions, or reading until you feel comfortable with that knowledge.
Avatar universal
Well, my conclusion was that my doctor took my exceptional stress readings to be normal. Unless I start feeling bad, I'm steering clear of doctors, I don't need the agitation ;) Exercise will do me more good :)

Anyway, thanks for everybody's reactions! People without these concerns simply can't understand how it can worry us so much... Nice to know we're not alone :)
Avatar universal
Don't despair. Chin up. Some people will accommodate to the beta-blockers (sort of means they don't work as well). You didn't say what dose you were taking. Is it possible for you to call your doctor's office and ask about going to a higher amount? Sometimes that will help. Sometimes going to a different beta-blocker can be helpful, but you'd probably have to wait until you saw your doctor for that, and that might seem like a long time away, unless they are very familiar with you and he/she will call a different RX into the pharmacy. Those are about my only suggestions 1)dose, 2)different beta-blocker.

I take 12.5 mg of toperol on an as needed basis. I found that at 12.5mg it didn't really lower the PVC frequency it just made it so that I didn't notice them (well, who could ignore constant bigimeny??). Since I wasn't bothered as much I didn't want to take more of the toperol. But that's just me.

Could it be that you still had the PVCs while on Inderol and just didn't notice them as much until now?? The symptoms suck though. I hate to think you have those back. Do you think the symptoms are definitely PVC related or is there a slim chance it's anxiety over having the PVCs return. buggers.
Avatar universal
Hi again.  They are a little better today.  I am on 80mg time release. I don't know if he can raise it because I have b/p around 96/50 most days ......Im sure when I started getting chest pains it raised my anxiety level as well.  I tried to relax and maybe that helped.  I was on metroprolol first, and that didnt help at all. Almost instantly I got relief with Inderol.  I see cardiology on 21st, Im gonna try and hold out until then.  I seem to get worse when I do physical things ie walking......yet they said herat was healthy, that bugs me that on exertion I am getting symptoms. Well maybe it was just those 2 days and it will be ok.........I sure hope so....Yes I was getting some pvc's on Inderol but without the symptoms, so I didnt mind.  Thanks for the support.  They all think Im nuts around here haha which really helps loads.
Avatar universal
If you have had echo cardiogram and heart catheterization to rule out heart disease, then you may be having benign pvc's. Have them try a betablocker if this is the case, and maybe it will help. However, if you do not have symptoms I wouldn't take any meds. Maybe bio feed back would help to calm you. Best of luck. Keep looking for your answers, this feed back in here is alot of help.
Avatar universal
I have had what I guess are PVC's much like described above.  The feelling of tightness in my chest upon one beat then this "THUMP" feeling almost like my heart is going to jump right out of my chest or throat.  It can be mild or highly uncomfortable.  I have been awaken at night by them and the more I try to relax the more they happen.  

These started right after I had a mild stroke during an emergency c-section with my first child.  I had alot, I mean ALOT of blood during the birth and had pre-eclampsia just prior to it as well as gained 53 lbs eating virtually nothing.

They were most prevalent when I was younger after a night of staying up late partying or hanging out. Alcohol does not seem to affect them either way.  Sleep, or I should say lack thereof does with out a dooubt in my case.  

I have a resting HR of 65, I work out ocassionally, I am 5'10" and 158 lbs with a medium frame (slightly larger hips than upper torso).  When I work out my heart rate gets up to 180 (or can).I have been to a cardiologist and have gone through the stress test and ekg and also a ultrasound but they say it is nothing dangerous.  

My father said that his sister and his mother both had them earlier in their lives and they died of heart realted issues.  As I get older mine tend to increase in frequency and feeling.  I get dizzy from them and feel sick to my stomach when they happen and they are a big distraction.  The medicine they give me (Toprol) makes me tired and any sedative causes my HR & BP to drop (like 48 HR and 80 over 50 BP).  If I exercise, they all but go away but who can exercise 24 hours a day<grin>?

I am at a lost of what to do and I hate to go back to the Doc and spend the money to first see my general to get a referal AGAIN to see the cardiologist again for them to say it is nothing.  It is something and it is very disturbing and distracting and can be dibilitating.

My family it appears on both my father sides (his sister and mother) and my mother's side (herself and her father) have a history of strokes or mini-strokes.  Could this be related?

Any suggestions any one???

Avatar universal
I have to pay out of pocket for all of my visits too because my deductible is soooo high, so I agree that part sucks--seeing your general to get a referral to a specialist, but getting a second opinion might be your best option. It sounds like you have questions still unanswered.

Toperol made me a little sluggish too at only 12.5mg a day for three days, but it stopped a constant bigeminy and since that time I just take it as needed. I still get a tremendously high amount of PVCs, but it's good to know a BB or anti-anxiety drug might help during the really BAD days. Like you I find that activity, of almost any sort helps to lessen the PVCs, but you are right, only the energizer bunny can be active 24/7. If you are cleared for exercise though, that's about the best thing you can do for general fitness and to lessen the PVCs.

Family history might play a role but don't get too wrapped up in it, when it comes to your health, you take a very active role and can change a lot of things. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I am 40 years old and in good physical condition.  6ft 3in, 200lbs.  I lift weights 3 days/week and cardio 4 days/week.  I run about 30 minutes a day, 15 km/hr.

My question is that I went for a baseline stress test and on cool down started throwing PVCs.  Not alot, but more than my Dr. expected considering my physical condition. My Dr. said he was not concerned but suggested I see a caridologist to make sure.  I have never had any pain, discomfort, etc. while working out.  And I don't want a cardio to start prescribing a bunch of drugs to me.

To be prepared when I see this Dr.  what things should I be having consider.  WHat might I expect him to tell me?

84483 tn?1289941537

Did you have PVCs before the test and during or just after? I think recent studies have shown that very frequent or complex ventricular ectopy(PVCs, and runs of NSVT) in the cool down period of an exercise stress test might suggest an higher risk of having a cardiovascular event, I am not a doctor and these findings might have no significance regarding your PVCs, the PVCs in themselves as i understand does not pose a threat in themselves but might signal that other testing might need to be done, if everything else checks out fine then i wouldn't worry about them at all. Good luck.
84483 tn?1289941537

For Ref: go to http://www.aafp.org/afp/20031001/tips/3.html

Avatar universal
I'M GOING CRAZY!!  I too have a very variable heart rate.  My resting rate is anywhere from 55-80 and it constantly jumps around.  The slighest exertion and my heart rate jumps to 100+.  This variability began about two months ago.  I've had numerous tests including an echo and all came back normal.  I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder (currently taking Celexa) but have a hard time believing anxiety is the cause for my dynamic heart rate.  I understand panic attacks will cause your heart rate to increase, and I've learned to deal with these attacks.  It's like you mentioned above, when you move or talk your heart rate jumps up.  I feel like there's no rhythm to it, and of course whenever I have an EKG done it beats normally.  For some reason I calm down at the doctor's office.  It's become so debilitating.  I used to be extremely active and now I'm afraid to walk up a flight of stairs because my heart rate immediately jumps up.  Does anyone else have these symptoms?  Any advice on how to control it will be greatly appreciated.  


Avatar universal
For the past 3 weeks or so I have been experiencing fairly frequent heart flutters. Feels a bit like butterfly
Avatar universal
One more thing.....does anyone ever feel like they are completely out of their mind. One thing I do is feel like I need to be near the closest medical center at all times. I ride four-wheelers, jet skis and love to camp. Lately I have been afraid to go because I will be out of cell phone range. UGH!! I really feel like thats ridiculous but cant help it. Hopefully this forum will help get my life back to normal....THANKS!!!
Avatar universal
OH MY GOSH!!! Im so happy to have happened upon this site. I started having "wierd" and scary "floppy" ( I now call them whoopdydoos) heartbeats all the sudden sitting at work one day a couple months ago. Immediately after the third or fourth one in a row I had the worst sensations. Sweating, tingling, dizziness. I thought I was dying for sure. Went to the ER and the doctor treated me like I was stupid. He says hey no big deal its just PAC's. Okay great but what the heck is that and um big deal to me. The whoopdydos alone bothered me yes but the symptoms that followed were what really threw me into a tailspin. What were they? I got no answer until today.

I have been on BP meds for some time now so the Dr. said that should help blah blah and sent me on my way. Over the next week I had several incidents with the whoopdydoos followed by certain death. BP went up to 185 over 127 at one point. I kept bothering my Dr. at home and he assured me I was not having a heart attack or stroke, to lay down for 15 mins and relax...well it worked that time. The next week I went back to ER  because I couldnt take it anymore, I didnt know what was going on. A different Dr. told me again PAC's and added that I was having a panic attack. At least I had an answer. So, he prescribed tranq's and told me to follow up with my doc.

I could go on forever since I found people who know exactly what I am going through. My question is...Will I be able to get through these spells of anxiety without tranq's? I dont want to be dependant on Xanax forever. I am on 40ml of propanolol daily and xanax as needed. I feel like I think about this stuff contstantly and bring it on myself.
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