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PVC's and Murmur


I am a 28 year old male. Last year, for the 1st time, I was diagnosed with PVC's during my physical. The MD told me I skipped 3 beats my EKG. I was sent to a cardiologist who found the same thing and gave me a stress test, which was normal. Both said that it was not a big deal at all. Just yesterday, I had another physical and the EKG showed 7 skipped beats. The doc also heard a heart murmur as well. He told me my blood proessure was fine and everything else checked out. He kept asking me if I drink a lot of coffee and I told him that I hadn't had any in more than 5 years, or alcohol, or tobacco. In fact, other than Ginger Ale, all I drink is water and milk. I have a VERY healthy diet in fact. I have never felt any symptoms of the skipped beats though, or at least I don't think I have. I do have a history of stress related illness like GERD and IBS, even though my diet and taking Prevacid 30mp once a day and made that very tolerable. I know I get stressed very easily and have gone to the psychiatrist and we tried everything but nothing worked and the side effects weren't worth it. My question is, is this something I need to worrk about (the 3, now 7 skipped beats and the murmur)? My doc wants me in from an ECHO and then the heart monitor. But to not feel symptoms and then be told about this is pretty stressful. How should I feel about this and should I be worried? I really do not want to go on another medicine which I have to take for life. The prevacid itself is enough for me in that manner.. Thank you.
28 Responses
Avatar universal

Thanks for the post.

Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) are a frequent topic of discussion on this site.  The key point about PVCs is that they are almost always benign in patients who have structurally normal hearts.  The easiest way to determine if you have a structurally normal heart is with an echocardiogram.

Most patients that I see in my clinic with PVCs do not require an echo.  I am guessing that your doctor has ordered the echo because of the relatively high frequency of PVCs on the ECG.  There is certainly no harm in pursuing this echo.  If the echo is normal, which would be the most likely finding, then you can be reassured that the likelihood of something bad happening to you is very small.

The decision to take any medicines should be discussed with your doctor.  It would be an infrequent patient in most cardiology clinics who would receive a medication to treat asymptomatic PVCs.

Good luck.

Avatar universal
Hi steve I am pretty new to this forum. I wanted to tell you I to have pvc in high rates per minute that I feel all the time. If you don't feel yours you are so lucky! Most of us in this forum speak of wanting to just die while pvc is in full force. They are just awful to feel. I have seen the cardiologist and lots of tests and dr's and everything comes up normal. So don't fear to much yet. These can be just what your electrical part of your heart does. I have a slight thyroid problem that dr is looking into right now so we will see.
I am an areobics instructor and work out 6 days per week. I think of my self as healthy so try not to worry to much. Hope all goes well and if you want you can email me.
talk to you soon

Debbie    ***@****
Avatar universal
I have been reading the comments by Steveo226 and spachic1, I also suffer from premature heartbeats and can confirm the bad feeling with such uccurances as spachic1 mentioned. I have been having them since 1987 and have now become accustumed. However, these last 4 days I have had a recurrance that is leaving me very worried, just imagine 4 whole days of continuous premature beats. I have had an ecg yesterday that clearly showed the premature beats. The doc says there is nothing to worry about...but I feel distracted and can hardly concentrate on anything for long enough because I get those extra beats that instantly remind me of the situation. It is worrying and I am glad that today I landed on this site...I hope I'll get some response from people who are also having such symptoms. Certainly spachic1 is one of them...Maybe we can communicate on this further....Thank you all :)
Avatar universal
I just want to share with you an observation re. benign PACS and PVCs. There's a lot of data showing a clear relationship between their production and an interplay between the state of your nervous system and the activity of the foci which send off abberent signals to the pacemaker system.  This sounds a bit complicated, however, the bottom line is that tiny portions of cardiac tissue (foci) send out inappropriate signals which get picked up by the normal pacemaker circuitry resulting in a premature beat.  The extent to which this happens is governed by a number of factors, one of which is the state of your nervous system (particularly the part surrounding the heart).  So, when one is excited, makes sudden moves, has had too much sugar or caffeine, has GERD, or has a case of anxiety, the foci signals move more easily and more premature beats result.  We all have these foci, the only difference between us is where they are located and how easy it is for their signals to interfere with our normal pacemaker system.

Having said all this, the state of one's awareness of premature beats contributes to their occurence.  It's a Catch 22...the more you are aware, the more your nervous system gets tuned up, the more they occur.  Sounds awful, however, the reverse is true, and this is where you can help yourself.  If you purposefully avoid checking your pulse, mentally block out the awareness of your heart beating (particularly at night), seek out methods of relaxation or distraction, you should be able to tune down that nervous system and get the buggers down to a mininum.  It took me two years to fully tune them out (I used to feel every skip..at times, 2-6 per minute all day long).  I now can claim to have "cured" myself, for I cannot tell when any occur (I have cheated upon occassion and checked my pulse and found little or no skips).  It's extremely difficult to do this, however, let me assure you it can be done.  Your mental attitude is very important...you simply have to convince yourself that they are not life-threatening, that they occur in everyone, and that you have mistakenly taken them too seriously, and now you have to proactively deny them the right to your life.  

It worked for me.

Avatar universal
Your comments are very comforting!  I, too, agree that pvc's/pac's can be connected with the state of one's nervous system -- the more I think about them or fear them, the more I get.  When I manage to get my mind off them, I don't get as many.  Do you think -- because I drink about a 12-pack of diet cola per day -- that the caffeine could also be causing the skipped beats?  Thanks Arthur, for all your comments here because you seem to really know what you're talking about and I find YOU a source of comfort!
Avatar universal
Thank you Arthur for your comments.  I experience PVC or PAC almost daily. Some days I get a lot of them within a few hours.  I'm sure your explanation will help me not to get so worried about these skips.
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