I have had PVCs, PATs,and Vtach leading to SVT since I was 20. I have been to several cardiologist with the same results. Benign. Lately, I had an attack of a few PVC's in a row followed by a tachy rate that I could not count. It lasted for about 5 minutes. It happened again right before a trip to DisneyWorld. It ruined my trip). Again, EKG showed nothing. I do try to eat pretty well, and take supplements. Now I started a new job that I love, but I am TOTALLY exhausted all the time. Plus my PVCs have started coming constantly, probably thousands a day, with couplets, FELT:(kick in chest, sharp pain, tightness for seconds, breathlessness at time of palp). No ignoring these. I had a holtor and an event monitor before the symptoms got too bad and of course only light PVCs showed on the test. My doctor told me everything is benign with a normal heart and that I don't have heart disease. How does he know? My chol. is 240, my LDLs are 138 and my HDL's are low. I have had no stress test or any other. My mother has extensive cardiac disease.
I take 50 mg of atenelol, and .25 of Xanax daily. It is like telling me to ignore a sharp pain. I have high anxiety. Who wouldn't? But I am really tired of being told that it is causing it. I had PVC's first. I wonder why money is spent fixing men who have problems with their sex lives, but I see no one trying to come up with any help for those of us who suffer with this. Any help would be appreciated.
So yesterday was a great day. Not too many PVCs. Was able to work, have fun, take a walk, etc. Today I have off. Today the PVCs are back with a vengeance. Did nothing different than yesterday except sleep an extra hour. Lucky me.
Hi everyone - I am so glad that I have come across this forum... especially one that is currently active. I get these annoying skipped beats as well, and they always cause me alot of anxiety. I am an already anxious person, who tends to worry alot about things, I am pretty much my own worst enemy, even at the best of times. I am 29 years old, and I am overweight. I have been experiencing these skipped beats for almost 5 years now. I have had an ultrasound of my heart a few years ago, which indicated all was well, I have a healthy heart. I have had 2 holter monitors on and both times, they didn't catch any skipped beats(I think because I don't get them very frequently). When I do get them, they come in episodes, I'll get atleast 1 or 2 everyday for a good few days, and then I could go a couple of weeks without getting any. I have been told by my primary care doctor, that I am her best cardiac patient that she has(?). So on the medical standpoint, my heart is fine, but it doesn't feel fine when I get these skips. I also worry that the symptoms I have are symptoms that nobody else has ever felt, even though when I read everyone elses symptoms on here, I find myself nodding in agreement.
I am hoping that one day these will completely disappear... I am currently considering asking my doctor to refer me to a cardiologist, just so that I can have these buggers addressed, and see if there is any particular reason that I am getting these. Most days I am fine, stress and worry free, but as soon as I get a skipped beat, my anxiety level goes way up, and I start thinking the worst. I know that my doctor has told me that I am fine, and if I started experiencing chest pain, trouble breathing, or dizziness, then to get to a doctor, but I have never experienced any of that... there have been a few times, when I got woozy after one, and I also get a hot flush with them as well, does anybody else get this? I also feel a surge go through my body, almost like a rush or something, right after my heart skips.
I am so glad to have found all you people, and I will certainly be keeping up to date with whats going on here. Thank you for reading my post.
I have followed this forum since its inception, made a few posts and I am always amazed at the number of responses pvc posts elicit. The EP doctor who perfects an ablation technique for this will be one very rich man.
I have suffered from pvc's & nsvt for several years. I have had 3000 a day and 0 per day. Bigeminy, trigeminy, unifocal, multi focal, junction beats, doubles, triples, I have become a pvc expert as I feel each and every strange beat so I can sympathize with all who suffer from this malady.
I have had all the tests, MRI, ct angiogram, thallium stress, signal average ekg, echo stress, cath and ultimately an ablation with a report of success.
Not! I am still a sufferer. I have tried beta blockers, supplements, omacor etc.
The good thing is it has not killed me although as you all know and understand it becomes hard to concentrate with all the flip flops going on. My comment for the doctors who are quick to label us as anxious would be to remember that for some it is the arrhythmias causing the anxiety and not the other way around!
Down the road for me is another ablation or device implantation, I try not to think about it. I wish I had some sage advice for you all but I do not. Try to stay calm in the face of the storm, stay away from alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and all the other stuff we hear about all the time. I wish you all a pvc free day, for me they are rare but when I have one I truely enjoy life as a normal person.
Dear itsmegirl, Sorry to hear you are worried about your PVC's. I know they are really unpleasant and can be terrifying. I have had thousands per day, feeling each one but thankfully am only having a few dozen per day at the moment, which is well within the normal range and has improved my Quality of life dramatically. You say you get at least 1 or 2 per day...this is less than an average member of the population. So I suppose the answer to your question as to 'whether there is any partuclar reason that you get these' is that you are human and this is what the human heart does. I think the rush you feel going through your body is probably a surge of adrenalin. I'm not sure of the adrenalin is from the fright/shock or whether it is a physiological thing. I get this too. You'd think I'd be used to it by now after thousands of them for months. Still each one is make slightl anxious and annoyed but only for a split second. I just remind myself of the facts that most of the people around me (friends, family work colleagues) have them and that some of these people wil have more than me but just not notice it.....this helps to prevent any ongoing anxiety for me. Otherwise it can take over your life.
All I can say is WOW! I came across this forum today while doing a search for treatments used to prevent hormone related PVCs. I am a surgical tech and it amazes me to see the number of people suffering with these episodes. Mine started about five and a half years ago with my not wanting to start a period on vacation so I started another pack of birth control pills instead of taking the typical week off. I did this on my GYN's advice. My heart went nuts! I was in to see my general doc and was referred to a cardiologist. They ran the gammut of tests on my heart; EKG, echo, you name it, but no stress test. He told me that they were benign and that my heart is healthy and that most everyone has these PVCs but most people do not feel them. I've spent years worring and looking for help. I noticed during my first pregnancy that they were worse and during my second pregnancy with twins they were almost unbearable. I would have horrible chest pain with them. I gave birth to my twins in December of 2006 and since then the PVCs have returned to just a few a day with a few more during the week to ten days before my period. I am a semi-intelligent person and it certainly doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the mine seem to be mostly hormone related. I have done some research on them and I had wondered if the rise in the progesterone and decline in estrogen before a period could be "controlled" with Rx hormones. Although it seems that at least one of you have tried that and found no relief. It is terrible that there are so many people out there suffering with these things but it was so reassuring to know that I'm not the only one and I'm not crazy or just a plain hypochondriac. I almost feel silly now having worried so much when I read how many some of you are having. Mine are few in comparison. Thanks to all of you and I hope we can all find some help someday.
hi deedle1976 - thank you very much for your reply, I appeciate your comforting advice. I guess I should be glad I don't get thousands of these a day, however, my heart goes out to you and others that do. I don't know if I could live with having these more frequently then I do. I would definitely feel like admitting myself to the hospital for sure. Sometimes when I just get 1 or 2 a day, that makes me very anxious... and I always think "this is it, I'm going to have a heart attack or my heart is going to stop".... it's crazy. I wish there was a way to fix these things... anyways, thanks again for your reply. Take care, and have a great evening.
Mine also came on during pregnancy. I've always had a few here and there, mostly related to caffiene and alcohol, since I was a teenager and this never bothered me. When I reached the third trimester of pregnancy my heart suddenly went crazy. I weas admitted to hospital for 5 days as I had diffuse ECG changes aswell as the PVCs so they were concerned about peripartum cardiomyopathy. Luckily all my tests came back fine. The holter showed 1786 PVCs in 24 hours. Unfortunately I was very symptomatic as I don't just feel a pause then a strong afterbeat like many people do. In fact the afterbeat isn't a problem at all for me. The problem is the flipflopping in my chest and throat at the time of the ectopic. I literally could not ignore these so spent the whole pregnancy counting the days until I'd get rid of them. Unfortunately they didn't decrease after pregnancy as much as I'd hoped for. They went down to 200 to 500 per day with runs of bigeminy (which I hadn't had in pregnancy) and alot of variation from day to day. I'm now four months postpartum and have just started a beta blocker called acebutolol 5 days ago. I tried propranolol before this and it did nothing, in fact it seemed to make them slightly worse. Anyway since being on acebutolol (very low dose) I have had only about 6 to 30 PVC's per day. I still feel them strongly but it's ok now as most people get more than this. Hopefully it's the drug and I'm not just having a very good week.
I have decided that I will not embark on a second pregnancy as I couldn't deal with this again.
you know, that was one of the things that concerns me so much about having these heart skips, is getting pregnant, and wondering what would happen to these skips. I am wanting to have a baby in the future, in the next year or 2 anyways - do these heart skips get alot worse then? and what kind of danger would I be putting myself and an unborn baby in. I feel kind of cheated out of the things that I want in my life, like having children, and enjoying lots of things, because I am so terrified of having a heartskip and I'm always checking my pulse rate after I get one. Tonight I had one after dinner, and it was a bit different then the usual ones, because I didn't feel a big thump, I just felt like a sinking (as usual) but it was a big sink, and then my heart skipped. It makes me so frightened, and I can't seem to get a grip on them. Does anyone else feel like their doctors haven't done enough testing at all? I mean, my last holter monitor came back good, nothing wrong at all, does this mean that the heart skip I get are the harmless kind? I am still debating whether or not to go and see a cardiologist about all of this.... I just don't know what to do, I just want these to stop ruining my life.
How do you all cope with these? What are your strategies, how do you just ignore them, and what do you do when you get one? Do you stop and check your pulse?
I can honestly say that even though my PVCs were substantially worse during my pregnancy, they were apparently nothing like yours. I am almost seven months post-partum and mine have decreased to just a few a day. I wish I could give you some encouraging news like just give them a few more months and they will get better after your hormones return back to their "normal" state, but everyone is so different that I can't say for sure what happend with me would happen with anyone else. I know your frustration and I wish there was some wonderful advice I could give you. Hang in there.
I have been where you are. During my first pregnancy mine were so much worse than normal. My husband and I weren't planning on my second pregnancy and I was so concerned when I first learned I was pregnant. Carrying twins made the PVCs almost debilitating. My heart would "kick" after the skipped beats and I would almost feel that I would go to my knees. The PVCs were accompanied by pain that would shoot through the center of my chest. My GYN had a very similar thing happen and she was very reassuring. My GYN put me on "house arrest" and sent me to the hospital every week for NSTs and monitoring from 21 weeks until my guys came. I had ultrasounds every week as well. My boys came five weeks early but they are so healthy. They are not quite seven months old now and they are both right at 20 pounds. I wouldn't trade my pregnancy or my boys for anything. I was worried but it was all worth it. I have lived in fear and worry for so long it seems now and I quite often think about what would happen if I weren't here for my children. It's something I've had to try to push away from my thoughts. I try very hard to just enjoy life; go hiking, go boating, fly or drive to take vacations. My husband loves to go repelling and was planning on teaching me when we found out I was pregnant and I'm itching to go now that I'm "me" again. I feel that if I sit around waiting for something bad to happen, it will and then what will my life stand for? I want to play with my boys and have fun and be the kind of mom they love to spend time with and I want them to be able to respect my life. I know how hard it is to ignore your heart seemingly declaring mutiny on your body, but I just couldn't let myself be consumed anymore. If you do get pregnant in the future, be aware that your PVCs may get worse, you may be terrified. But, so far I haven't come across anyone that has not made it through a pregnancy because of these nor have I found anyone who had an unhealthy child because of them. I am certain that you are a wonderful person with so much to offer but only you can make the decision if being pregnant and having children is the right decision for you. I can tell you that is has certainly been worth it for me. I can also tell you that I had a tubal during my C-section. I am 34 with three beautiful boys, I do not need to be pregnant again, the twins put a huge strain on my whole body, heart included. But once again, I wouldn't change the past; my boys are worth it.
I hope everyone here can find some sort of peace. I know how very hard it is to ignore this problem. It is something that I deal with daily and taking back your life can be hard, but it can be done. Good luck and my thoughts are with everyone here.
Well, my echo came back normal and I am sure my holter will show several PVC's but nothing else (it was a good day, of course.) So I am on my own. I had them so bad at work yesterday that I though I would keep over in the morning. I thought to myself, "Good, let them make me faint, then they'll have to do something." But I didn't. I got through my day and even started to feel like I was better off at work. Today hasn't been too bad. I really don't think they will kill me. I am afraid they WILL make me pass out or lose my breath and be EMBARASSED! I think most of us are afraid of that. Oh well, so what? I will try this approach. I know I've had them all my life. The last few years have been pretty good and I remember thinking to myself that I knew they would come back one day and when they did, I would have to get used to them all over again. I am starting to.
I have heard more people have better luck on acebutolol than most other beta blockers. Anyone care to comment?
It was the following article that made me ask for acebutolol. They found that most people had a 70% reduction in PVC's. There are a few other like this looking at the numebr of PVCs and all reported a similar decline with acebutolol in most patients. However it works either really well (majority of people) or not at all.
I wish I'd asked for it sooner. I'm only taking 200 mgs per day.
Comparison of acebutolol and propranolol therapy for ventricular arrhythmias
EV Platia, R Berdoff, G Stone, and PR Reid
The effects of acebutolol, a new investigational cardioselective beta blocker, and propranolol on ventricular arrhythmias were compared in 14 patients with more than 30 premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) per hour. Each patient served as their own control, receiving both drugs and placebo in random sequence and in double-blind fashion, with an intervening one-week, drug-free period. Each drug was given for a two-month period, the maximum acebutolol dosage reaching 600 mg tid and the maximum propranolol dosage 80 mg tid. Seventy-two-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring assessed arrhythmia frequency for each study period. Mean PVC counts did not significantly differ during the two control periods. Acebutolol decreased mean PVC count by 65% (P less than .02), with eight patients exhibiting a 70% or greater decrease. Only three patients exhibited a similar decline with propranolol. The incidence of PVCs was not significantly decreased by propranolol. Acebutolol reduced the number of couplets by 70% (P less than .04), whereas propranolol did not significantly affect couplets. At the dosage of 600 mg tid, acebutolol was well tolerated, effectively suppressed total PVCs and couplets, and appeared to be more effective than propranolol administered at 80 mg tid.
I'm 38 and I have lived with PVC or other irregular beats for 18 years. There have been times when was in good physical condition that I wouldn't have them for months. Other times I would have them many times a day. At times I have them regularly every few seconds for hours at a time.
Sometimes they are not painful. I just feel my heart mis-beating. I can feel it every time. Sometimes it feels like a strong man is punching me from inside my chest and it is very painful, a feeling like bending your fingernail backwards only several times worse. Often a chill or tingling runs down my arms immediately afterward. Of all the things in the world I've experienced, I hate these the most.
I am not a doctor, but based on my experience, this is what I believe:
1. Irregular beats are related to my allergies (mold, trees, grass). Allergies cause histamine, histamine causes all kinds of terrible things to happen in my body: extreme tiredness, muscle tension, constipation, PVCs. The relationships between these may be direct or indirect. I don't know.
2. Irregular beats are related to sleep. Sleep deprivation causes them to happen more often.
3. They are related to the condition of my digestive system (directly or indirectly). PVCs are more likely when I have stomach pain because of something I've eaten. Certain foods for me have triggered them: beef, chocolate. Of course caffeine and sugar, which I rarely use, can trigger them.
4. I think taking Carlson's chelated magnesium (no other type did help) helps, but it is hard to be sure.
5. Regular exercise helps.
6. I don't believe PVCs are necessarily caused by the heart itself. My heart is normal. I believe there is some other condition in the body which results in your body or your brain sending confusing or overloading signals to your heart, like adrenaline or possibly the presence of histamine. I know that in an anaphylactic allergic (shock) reaction, your heart is effected.
7. The PVCs cause stress, anxiety and depression. It may work the other way also, but PVCs are a cause of these things. If I didn't have PVCs or oppressive allergies, I wouldn't have anxiety or depression.
8. Doctors don't know what to do about it. The research that might find the answers is not being done.
9. Jesus is often my only comfort. Some of you may not believe in God. But, I'm going to be dead some day and I might as well reach for whatever comfort I can find, whether the existence of God is provable or not. It helps me to believe. Although the Pope says I'm not a real Christian because I'm not Catholic. What a compassionate and understand man he is to those of us that can't accept in good conscience every one of the endless rules, regulations and decrees the Church has added to Christ's teachings.
My heart and my love are with every one of you who suffer with irregular heart beats every day. I know how you feel. I pray that you find comfort and peace.
I was just diagnosed with PVCs in the emergency room yesterday. I was taking my pulse and discovered my heart was skipping beats. I'm skipping a couple of beats every three or four minutes. Does this continue for the rest of my life -- the PVCs?I have had a-fib before because of low potassium/magnesuim levels, but we have that all sorted out. Now this! I am a nervous wreck! My heart doctor will see me in August (obviously not terribly concerned like me); my regular doctor -- today, but that doesn't help my anxiety and I'm nervous anyway. It reallly helps reading what all of you have to say. I'd just like to be able to stop the feeling that at any minute my heart is just going to stop altogther!
When I first got PVC's over 30 years ago, I did think my heart would stop one day. Well, it is 30 years later and I have had some horrible sensations with them, but my heart keeps on beating.
Also, to the person who was kind enough to post his thoughts two threads back ( forgot the name, sorry), I think you have hit a lot of the causes on the head. I don't even care anymore what causes them. I don't want to feel them. I can't have an alcoholic drink anymore because it causes them, I can't take cold medications nor allergies meds, because they cause them. I will tolerate almost anything else. What can we do? Wait until someone really wants to get rich and FINDS US SOME RELIEF!
Until then, I take my good days and run with them. I am at least having a few good ones now and then. My job is going much better, too. I am fairly happy again.
I am curious about this statement that you made...
"because I am one of the lucky ones that do not get woken up by them, and can escape.
For about a year now, I am awaken by my heart pounding, racing and like I need to catch my breath. What do you know about symptons of people being woken up by them and is there anyone in here that experiences that. What is it like? It doesn't happen every night or even every week but when it does happen, I panic and am afraid to try and go back to sleep, sometimes staying up till I'm so exhausted I have no choice but sleep. I have had PAC's for about 13 years but I never knew that they could cause a person to suddenly wake from sleep like that until I started experiencing it. I still question if this is what it is or if there is something else going on.
Thanks in advance to anyone who can give me some info on this.
Hello. I'm new to this forum, but wanted to say how interested I am to read the experiences of others, and how much I appreciate all the effort that's gone into this thread.
I'm interested to know how symptoms have progressed for others over time, and also any ideas others have found to reduce symptoms.
I first experienced PVC in my twenties after long strenuous bike rides. They were isolated events, but extremely frightening... and almost always after winding down for the day, mostly after dinner. I went to a family practice doctor and got diagnosis of benign Wenckebach AV block. I was told not to worry about it. Then in mid thirties I started getting episodes that would last for 20-30min at a time. Very scary. 24hr holter study from a doctor I know and trust shows multiple PVCs, again benign. More recently, within the last 2-3yrs I've gotten these events almost continually throughout the day, sometimes to the point of causing headache from all the erratic pounding. Repeat holter again shows many PVC events, but again not to worry. Today I am forty and get these all day, every day. Symptoms seem to wax and wane as the months go by, but never really go away. Mostly just constant fluttering feelings, accentuated by the big ones every hour or so. I am the engineering type, so I've done nearly everything one could imagine to understand what triggers this. I've even read EKG books, and have learned a few things about how the heart works. But I have found no silver bullet. I'm not overly anxious about it, just concerned about the long term trajectory of this as I get older.
Here are some of my observations: (1) caffeine and stress certainly do not help, but do not cure either, at least not in the short term (2) after meals is usually the worst time (3) symptoms somewhat depend on how I am positioned (4) green tea and coffee (both caf/decaf) are a definite problem for me (5) cal/mag supplements don't seem to help, but believe it or not, following mag citrate prep for colonoscopy (sorry!) I had greatly reduced frequency of PVC that day and next, I know magnesium may play a role (6) exercise seems to lessen symptoms, but maybe just makes me feel less aware (7) atenolol helps push them into the background a bit, but is no sure fix.
Anyway, best luck to all. And again, reading your posts makes me that much more comfortable to know I have plenty of company. Very much looking forward to your response, especially some pointers to reduce symptoms, hopefully drug free. And how others tend to progress over the years, either for better or worse. Thanks!
First, PennyGirl, there are people that get woken up by PVC's. I don't. As for getting woken up by racing heart? Well, that is another story. I don't know ANYONE who has never had that experience. Even my hubby, who is only 35 and extremely healthy, does that once in a while. I don't know what sets that off. Sometimes it seems like a nightmare, but I'd be willing to bet the racing heart CAUSES the nightmare. Usually, this does not bother me, as I know it will settle down and I just try to go back to sleep.
AnthonEE, you seem just like me. Wanting an answer that the medical profession just cannot give. Telling us the things are benign and not to worry doesn't do a whole lot of good. They feel terrible. I am a person who is no stranger to pain. I've had 9 surgeries and I have tons of those painful, NON-TERMINAL (so don't worry) problems. I have worked all my life, and have rarely missed work. I have a college degree, and rarely missed that, so I do NOT want to be patrinized. Unfortunately, that is all they have to give us. Maybe one day, someone will think of something. It is the way they make me feel. Nauseous, tired....I just don't feel like doing anything when they are going crazy. I'm all out of fear. I just get tired of them. When I have good days, I feel like my old self and do as much as I can.
I agree about caffeine, etc. I gave up caffeine, chocolate, smoking, and every other thing they have told me. I took every supplement, and went on an exercise program. Nothing really changed. I truly believe if I lose some weight they will lessen. I recently gained about 10 pounds and my body does NOT like it. Well, I see an "aging healthy" doc on Tuesday. Maybe HE has something. I'll let you guys know.
I cannot believe the number of people who go through what I do and this is only a small sampling. I believe mine started with the use of IVF medications a couple of years ago. If that didn't cause it, that certainly triggered a new and elevated phase of palpitations in my life. It's been horrible and like most of you, I went to the doctor, explained my flutters and chest pain and upper back pain and coughing and sense of doom and extreme fatigue and was put through the typical tests of echo and holter. Holter came back with one episode of SVT which I could have predicted because as one poster so aptly put it, holters are like heart medication; Once you wear one, you seem to feel better! Well, at the time of my testing, I was getting them mostly around my cycle time which of course was not at the time of testing, but now...I get them all month long. Yes, it's worse during and just before the cycle but they are present all month long. I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure although still having cycles which means, I am guessing, peri-menopause? If anyone has information on what hormone causes the palps or lack of something? I always imagined it was too much of something...not thinking it could be a lack of it. Anyway, I now have the anxiety and do have to take xanax. Just a half, once in a while. Now my struggle is; did the doctor see what's really going on in there or because the holter was done during a calm time, did he not really see and what I have and could it still be a dangerous kind? Ugh! Those who know me think I should get a re-check because it's true, the doctor didn't get a clear idea of what I'm going through. I honestly hate doctors (no offense!) and have a fear of going but the fear of dropping dead is a little bigger. lol Does anyone else agonize over what I do? I would love to hear from you. By the way, if someone does close this thread, I will start a palpitations group over at yahoo groups entitled, "Heart Palpitations Forum" that way we can lean on each other rather than the just the xanax! Ciao for now....
Heart_and_soul, if it makes you feel any better I have these PVCs all throughout the day, on most days. Sometimes I even get them in the early AM before I'm even out of bed. Of course it's unsettling, and it can surely cause any reasonable person to have anxiety. So I had a second holter done for the exact same concerns you have, and it showed the same PVCs, just a bit of a higher count with occasional bigeminy and trigeminy. Again, all benign. Of course we are all different, with different symptoms and underlying causes perhaps. But at least in my case, my mind is at ease about this for two reasons (1) there doesn't appear to be anything I can do to change it other than live a clean life and eat well, exercise, all that... and (2) My girlfriend is an RN/NP working in a cardiology unit at a top cardiology hospital. If she doesn't love me I don't know who does. She has looked through my reports too and she is absolutely certain that I will be fine. So I don't know if that helps you, but at least you can rest easy knowing there are many other people like you that get scared about this, but as far as --anybody-- knows it is in fact benign.
One thing is for sure: BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE XANAX. Addiction to that, however minor or unintended, can be absolutely **HORRIFYING**. Never mind about the PVCs, go look at http://www.benzo.org.uk and read the Ashton report. Talk about it to your doctor and do as much independent research as you can about pros and cons of benzodiazapines, and only then make a fully informed decision about what is best for you and the anxiety that is understandably caused by the PVCs. Hopefully you can take comfort in the experiences of others as posted here (and maybe an online support group is just the thing). Like I said, I have PVCs all the time, and I'm otherwise completely fine (just wondering if they will ever go away, or maybe even get worse over time??). But no xanax required :) Best of luck to you!
Thank you for your response. I am hoping to hear from others here who actually feel as I do about these crazy palpitations and how they can ruin a day or worse, and how they deal with it, etc. I am very well aware of the possibility of addiction but still having 24 pills left from my 30 count bottle that was filled a year ago, in July of 2006, I am pretty sure that isn't happening at this point. Unfortunately, there are times when I do need it and I am very grateful for it. I don't take anything without researching the living daylights out of it first. :) I am glad you seem to have a good handle on your condition. It is more than comforting to know there are people out there (still alive) and going through what I am. Take care...
I got to read my holter monitor report. They said that during the time when I marked I was having pvcs (I ony bothered doing this once or twice because it was a "good" day), they said that I was having NO pvcs, nor pacs at the time....that I was in NSR. HAHAHAHAH Like I'm an imbecile. Like after 30 years with these, I am clueless. Maybe I missed the time a bit, but shouldn't they have looked at the REST of the 24 hours? I am SURE they would have found a little something interesting.
I'm so disgusted. I am seeing an "age well" doc right now and hoping once he gets my hormones straightened out, these palps will stop.
Yes, I know they can ruin a day. I'm not afraid of them, per se, anymore. But I feel so funny all the time now. It just doesn't feel right. I do fear that I will have bad days where they will come all day and I will feel disgusting, but that is happening mostly all the time now, anyway. I am trying to lead a normal life and the people I work with don't even know I am standing there, skipping away, but I am not really living. It is not fear of dying, trust me. It is fear that I have to feel exhausted and sometimes nauseous forever. Maybe they will never go away again. Sorry, but it is so frustrating. I am trying to lose about 15 pounds to see if that works. I'll let you know.
I don't usually post to these sites, but this thread is very good! Bill has hit the nail on the head. I have HORRIBLE allergies. I get shots, take 4 medications, etc. I have been telling my doctor for years that I think my PVC's are related to allergies. When I feel bad from allergy related symptoms, I get PVC's.
I also have the same problem with my stomach. If my stomach feels empty I get PVC's. If I eat too much or the wrong thing I get them.
I have had them for about 20 years. They have gotten worst as I grow older. My doctor had me on BP medication and beta blockers which worked for about 1 year. I went on a low carb diet and they came back and are still going strong even though I stopped the diet.
I have had every test known to man, monitors, etc. Everything is normal. My PVC's also get better with exercise.
My doctor has given me relief and made them easier to live with. Especially keeping me out of the ER!
One thing I would like to see is maybe a forum or yahoogroup that will focus on things that help. Many people have tried different things that helps. I think we are going to have focus on what makes us feel better and all our little tricks to make them go away.
One thing I do know... Doctors are not spending any time working on it. It is very low priority for them!
A very fascinating read. I have far less PVCs than many here. I am in the uk and aged 69. I first had Missed Beats occur following a cold affecting the chest, which took 5 weeks to clear. The MBs began at the end and over the next 2 years there were a number of days with MBs, 39 in my diary. The comment by Bill Chatfield about digestion is born out here as I found that at that time 2000/2001 after a day out on the local hills if I ate fish and chips then on 5 days out of 11 I had MBs for 1 to 3 days following. I am now taking the beta blocker, atenolol, and this no longer happens. I have also had at least 4 long sessions of tachycardio over the last 8 years. I also think like Bill that it is not the heart itself which is the cause. I have wondered if it is inflamation of the pipes around the gullet or bronchia or perhaps scarring. I also agree with AnthonEE and TomPi that food seems to cause problems but I find that drinking tea after a meal often calms the heart again, possibly by easing upper wind. I have often noticed that upper wind seems to be implicated and burping reduces the frequency. Usually exercise makes MBs stop although this year has been an exception in that I had non stop missed beats all day when out working in the countryside on one day and starting when in the garden on another.
Over the years the most likely time to start having MBs is when sitting calmly especially if leaning forward although they may not be quite so frequent then. The most puzzling thing is the constant variation in frequency. In the 7th year from the start I only had about 13 days of MBs but at the end of the year just before christmas I ate a mince pie late in the evening and had double beats start which happened every day for a while in the evening and increased until I seemed to get into an anxiety state. I blamed the winter blues due to the very dark days we were having but it took months to feel normal again. By the time I saw the hospital consultant there was no problem. Although all tests done so far have missed any events I have recordings made myself using an electronic device I made over 30 years ago to detect brain waves. It enabled me to take the electrical signal and convert it to a sound recording which I could display in the computer. I have printed out both the tachycardio, 148bpm, and PVCs (missed beats) appearing as double pulses with a gap following.
I am surprized to note that on these posts no one seems to refer to using atenolol at the dose that I need which is 50+50 mgs. My doctor wanted to reduce my BP and I wanted to reduce the MBs but while adjusting to the dose I had worse symptoms. Initially when on 25mg after 3 weeks I started having MBs the moment I layed down at night. On 50mg after 3 weeks I had MBs on waking each morning until the tachycardio which I recorded to take to the surgery after the weekend. Since then I have used 50+50mg. I do not seem to get so much of the horrible sinking feeling using atenolol. After a long tachycardio of several hours, the pulse seems to calm completely. Since using the higher dose the number of MB days has been 2003 = 31days, 2004 = 8days, 2005 =7days, 2006 = 13days, 2007(6months) = 75days July = calm(almost). Also 4 longish tachycardio events, usually in bed. They always continue until after I get up but do not stop if I stay up late.
Hoping this gives some ideas to those thinking what to try next.
I agree with many above comments that suggest PVCs are not some condition of an abnormal heart. I'd like to suggest or propose that they are more related to general irritability of the heart muscle, and see what people think. If the muscle is irritable then it seems it would be more likely to spasm and/or depolarize prematurely. Supposing this is correct, then the question would be what causes the muscle tissue to become irritable (and how to eliminate or reduce those things)? Triggers that people have mentioned above include allergies, certain foods, stress, caffeine, menstrual cycles, illness, infection, etc.
I have observed that several of these things, especially in combination, can greatly increase PVCs for me. For example, after I remove stress and caffeine, the PVCs often settle down --but it takes time-- as if the irritability must gradually go away over a period of several days or weeks (certainly not hours). Maybe this is why it is so difficult to pinpoint direct cause and effect? The results of eating chocolate, having stress, or whatever, are averaged or smeared out over time. So perhaps it is hard to identify exact cause for this reason, and it's too easy to pick out other things (like what you ate that afternoon) that might not be directly related. And certainly everybody has different triggers, with certain common things like stress or caffeine.
So at least for me, this is how I have started to think about it. Very interested to hear what others might think. Is this plausible? If so does it offer any help toward some solution or helpful understanding? I'd really like to figure this out with help from others, maybe symptoms could be reduced. Medical community only offers beta blocker, but no real understanding about this problem that so many people suffer with.
For me the triggers do seem to be stress, coffee (caf/decaf), certain teas, adrenaline. I do notice more PVCs in the spring allergy season to bill_chatfield's comments, but I've never suffered from other allergy symptoms that I know of(?). And as I mentioned, backing off those triggers does seem to help but only after several weeks of saint-like behavior. Even then it's not a definite.
Thought you guys might be interested in this study of the effects of caffeine, alcohol, smoking and excercise on PVCs. (Published in the journal 'circulation' in 1979).
They found that total abstinence from caffeine, smoking, reduction of alcohol and engaging in a physical reconditioning program for 6 weeks had no significant effect on the number of PVCs.
Ventricular premature contractions: a randomized non-drug intervention trial in normal men.
The influence of a 6-week intervention on factors thought to be related to ectopic cardiac rhythms was tested in normal men with frequent ventricular premature contractions (VPCs), using a randomized, controlled and partial crossover design. The VPC intervention trial experimental regimen included total abstinence from caffeine and smoking, reduction of alcohol intake, and a physical conditioning program. Effects were studied in detail among 81 healthy men with persistent VPCs. VPCs were measured during standard states of rest, dynamic and isometric exercise and other stresses, and 24-hour ambulatory monitoring. Adherence to the treatment was excellent. The experimental group achieved more than 80% of activities asked of them, and little "contamination" occurred in the control group. VPCs were analyzed according to VPC/min, VPC/man and VPC/total number of heart beats. Moderate changes in VPC rates occurred in both experimental and control groups but no significant group differences were found at rest or during any induction test. This 6-week, multiple-factor "hygienic" intervention program had no significant influence on the frequency or occurrence of VPCs in apparently normal men with persistent and frequent VPCs.
I am a 25 year old female that was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in January of this year. There is nothing "normal" about the way I feel anymore and my constant PVC's started in March. I've had most of the tests you all have had (Echo, EKG, Holter...) Of course, mine are also benign PVC's, but like most of you part of me wishes there was something really wrong so we could try to fix it (not mask it.) I know how crazy that sounds, but everytime I have a skipped beat my chest hurts and my stomach drops like I'm on the highest roller coaster ever built. It is a disgusting feeling and impossible to ignore. For a while, it was all I could think about. I was just waiting for my heart to give out. I guess I'm as used to them now as a person can be. I am noticing now that they worsen about 10 days before my period and stay bad for about 10 days after. So, if you do the math I get about 2-3 days a month where they are not so constant--woohoo!
I don't really have anything new to add, I just wanted to throw the thyroid problem out there for anyone else going through this and to let you all know that there is yet another person out there you can relate to. PVC's suck, but life is good. I guess the best we can do at this point is to take the best care possible of ourselves and trust that God's got this under control, just like everything else in this crazy world. Rest peacefully tonight and just know that you will wake up tomorrow:)
The study mentioned by deedle1976 is very interesting and discouraging at the same time. I wonder if there are more studies like this, possibly more recent. I think I can get access to PubMed papers online so I'll try to do some research and see what I can find. If I do find something interesting I will post it here. I very much respect the results cited by a well run clinical study. But I do have to say there are several things I am absolutely certain of, all studies aside. Stress increases PVC frequency and intensity for me, and the effects seem to gradually accumulate and dissipate as the stressful situation changes. Several years ago I changed jobs and it was a very stressful experience. I had the worst PVCs ever during those months, so bad I actually got headaches and could feel them throbbing with each PVC. Coffee also has a real influence on me as well. But the onset of PVC when I have lots of coffee is not so gradual, it happens that day. Other than those things which are definite contributors, everything else is questionable.
Crazyheart25, about the thyroid, I thought something similar might have been a problem for me too and I actually went to an endocrinologist last year. I had a panel of tests done that probably funded the lab for an entire month. So the results came up completely normal across the board. Of course it makes me very relieved to have these result. But it gave me no information about the PVCs.
P.S. I also wanted to say I enjoyed reading all the posts on here and they gave me some comfort & support I longed for!!!
Also, does anyone else w/ PVCs suffer from heartburn & extreme fatigue after you have a lot of pvcs in a day??? My doc never mentioned anything about being tired w/ them, but I am. Is that a bad sign?? I have never had heartburn before, ever! So to get this the same week as the PVCs has made me wonder what is up!? I hate the exhaustion... I hope that gets better. I am too young for this. God bless you all:)
I am a 35 y/o mother of two little boys.... I've been having PVCs for about 2 wks now. I woke up one morning 2 wks ago & there they were. I went to my doctor & he said he could see nothing wrong w/ me so he had me go get the holter monitor. They said I was having palps, but that they were benign and they called them PVCs. I went back today for an EKG & Thyroid test. Both were normal and I am "said" to be fine. My hubby thinks these are brought on by stress as we have a very stressful life and that if I would slow down a bit I might be able to control them. Also, I had not slept well for months and had not drank water like I normally did. I am a health nut, but I have been taking care of an ill family member for years now, and this has taken it's toll on me. So, anyways, I am wondering how much of PVCs are in the "mind"??? I probably have about 25 or more a day and I notice they are when I am more active and always when I eat... that one is strange. I am gonna try & keep my stress to a minimal.
Are there any wholistic remedies for PVCs????? Would love to hear any/all comments on that. Thanks!
I have been getting PVCs off and on for almost 20 years now, but only during the last 4-5 years have they been enough to really bother me. To answer your question about fatigue, I do not generally get any feeling of fatigue or of being tired as a result. But when I'm getting a series of palpitations I do feel a little drained at that very moment I suppose. I think light headed is maybe too strong a description, but sort of gives the idea. Almost as if the cardiac output is not as efficient during these times. But I do not get any heart burn or symptoms of indigestion. Never have. Very interesting you mention the connection with eating. I almost always get these PVCs after I've eaten, but sometimes in the morning before getting out of bed. There is a very strange connection between PVCs and eating (for me). Other contributors to this forum have also mentioned a connection. And stress and coffee as I've mentioned before. I've heard people also suggest spasms of the esophagus that may feel like heart palpitations. I guess some people do get that, especially after eating. But at least in my case they are not from that, they are PVCs of the heart. The EKG will determine.
I have not really heard of a holistic approach to managing these, but would be very interested if you came across something. I don't think they are completely in the mind because there are many PVC events all through the night (when my conscious mind is not active) and they show up on my holter reports. It is something very physical, like how the heart (ventricular) muscle can occasionally depolarize in a funny or premature way on certain beats. As if the heart muscle is irritable, or if there are some overly excitable areas of the ventricular muscle that fire off before their time, and the rest of the surrounding heart muscle will then depolarize in response to this rogue "command". It is good in the sense that your heart muscle is working (depolarizing) just as it should, only the various parts have gotten their signal to "beat" in a way that is unusual and a little out of order. So what you feel is this heartbeat that has not progressed at the right time or in the usual orderly way. The fact that the ventricles can and will eventually depolarize on their own without the usual command from the atrial sinus node can be a life saving mechanism in the heart. It's a really beautiful and amazing thing. But it seems like this mechanism can get out of hand, or alternate pathways or blocks can develop to alter the normal propagation of the heart beat. In the case of PVCs this is said to be benign. Anyway, I believe this is all very physical and not only in the mind.
What may be in the mind is whether we're tuned in to it, or anxious about the effects that we feel from it. Plus stress and the mind/body response to it does release lots of cortisol, adrenaline, and other things that may cause the heart to become more apt to behave this way. That's just my layperson theory. But if stress is a trigger, which it seems to be in my case, then I'd say in that sense it is definitely in the mind. Stress can do tremendously bad things to our bodies and overall well being. It can also save our lives.
So with the possible connection to stress, maybe you are very correct in looking for a more holistic approach to managing this. I'm very interested in this idea too and hope to hear back from you. Best wishes.
I too am in my 30s and I have a lot of palpitations in a day. I don't know how they are related to eating with me but I do notice they are definitely related to my cycle. It may help you to keep a chart for a couple of months and see if they increase at certain times in your cycle. I am in the process of doing that myself. I don't know of any holistic approaches to dealing with these awful things but I am always on the look-out and will share anything I find out...with the rest of this thread too. If the palpitations are showing up on the holter monitor, they are not in your mind. Find whatever it takes to help yourself relax a bit more. Hopefully, these things will go away as quickly as they came on for you. Good luck!
Please don't be offended because that's not my intention. Why are you torturing yourselves? I understand your anxiety but using stethoscopes and wanting personal holter or event monitors to monitor your heart arrhythmias would only add to your suffering. This is becoming your whole world and I can't imagine the life's you are enduring. How are using these instruments going to help you, except make you more obsessive in tracking every single PVC etc. Get rid of them and start treatment for anxiety, this will truly help you, I know, because I've been through it.
I've had them for 40 years. Still breathing, still biking and still doing tricks. But they are hard to ignore and get me down occasionally. Just gotta keep keeping on! Yeah, 'benign' says the cardio but it doesn't feel too benign when the pump jumps and bumps all night. You all have my sympathy but at least we're all still on the right side of the earth1
I too am a sufferer from pvcs. I was diagnosed with them about 5 months ago. My holter showed around 3,400 single ectopic beats over a 24 hr period. Amazingly, almost 70% of them came in just a 7 hours period (2PM - 9PM). I remember sitting down with my wifes stethoscope listening to my heart beats as I counted them. I was only trying to figure out what my resting beats per minute was. This is when I first heard the odd beats. I wanted to try and encourage everyone who deals with this beats. Trust your doctors and live your life. If it causes you to fear you are going to die any minute, (which you probably won't), then live your life to the fullest. What better way to live than to think that this may be your last day. Nobody is promised tomorrow.
I have all the symptoms mentioned on this forum. They started at sixteen. My dad had these also. I was going to the emergency room sometimes three times a week to have Calen (sic) injected into my vein to stop these episodes of heart running away. After my heart beat retuned to normal......whatever that is......I would pass hugh volumes of urine. On my last trip......12 years ago.....a doc in the EM asked me if I had ever taken Klonopin. I had not, but I had been on everything else. He gave me a scrip for it and I have not been back to the EM. I spend lots of time on the puter, looking for the reason for all of this. Seems we have something called Gaba receptors in our brains, that control our anxiety and heartbeats and other things. When Gaba is low or whatever we experience these episodes of our heats taking on a life of their own. Now I am not an expert by any means of the word. I have little skips and flutters now and again, but I have not had anything I could not deal with. Seems Klonopin is a benzo and it fits right into the receptor just like the gaba. Even progesterone works like gaba. My dad and I both always thought the brain was involved in some way. Anyway it gives us something to think about. numbercruncher
Forgive me for straying off topic, but this seems relevant to the anxiety so commonly connected with PVCs. One thing they may not have mentioned to you about influence of benzo (Klonopin) on the GABA receptors is that after taking these meds regularly for a while (even just a very short while, like two weeks) the body somehow begins to reduce the responsiveness of the GABA receptors to the body's own naturally produced GABA. At first when you take the medication the anxiety is greatly reduced or eliminated. It feels wonderful. But then the receptors begin to rebalance (or reduce) themselves to the presence of this medication, and the anxiety returns just as before. But now you need the medication just to get back to where you started in the first place. For many people this can happen in as little as two weeks even at minimum dose. Then when you stop or try to taper down from this medication, BEWARE. I tell you this from my own direct experience with 14days on 0.5mg Klonopin. Worst nightmare in my life, and it took me probably a full year to recover. Please see my posting to heartandsoul on 7/18/07 (in this thread) about Xanax, a similar benzo medication. I know anxiety and stress are tightly interwoven with PVCs, either directly or indirectly, and it should be respected and treated. But PLEASE, for your sake, heed my advice about Klonopin, or any benzo, and get fully informed about the pros/cons and potential risks. Once in a while it's ok. But any regular usage can really spell trouble. I'm not an expert either, but all I'm saying is do your research and get informed because if your experience turns out to be anything like mine, the PVCs and their associated anxiety will absolutely pale in comparison with the horror that cessation from Klonopin can cause, even after as little time as two weeks. And I'm not the only one that responds this way, there are hundreds or even thousands like me. I hope you're fine with the medication, and I only post this because I am concerned. But if I can save just one person from the nightmare that I lived through, my time on this forum will be very well spent. Best luck to you. And now, back to PVCs...
I am a 17 year sufferer of PVC. It drives me nuts. Nobody understands our problem and they don't want to keep hearing about it (non-sufferers that is). I, too, agree with several people on this forum that we need to address the causes and not the symtoms and stories. We have them. We have to deal with them. Nobody in the medical field is going out of their way to help us. We have to help ourselves. The comments from readers on what they think, or know, causes pvc's is what we need to focus on. We need to put our heads together, pool our resources and information and work as a team. I sound like a football coach.
Let's do a test. Go for a week or two. Take a suggestion/opinion from one of our readers or panelists. (ie: take magneium and potassium, eliminate stimulants, exercise, stay hydrated, relaxation techniques, diet, etc....) and see if you have improvement. Post your results when you are finished. The following week or two, try another test and so on. After a while, we may see a pattern. I know everyone is different and respondes to different stimuli, but if we could help just one person feel better, we've succeded.
I also agree it's a great idea. I propose an experiment with stress. My PVCs have been relatively mild for the past few months. But I injured my leg and I cannot exercise. Walking is difficult. And I'm moving to a new house this weekend. My stress level will be elevated to a very high level over the next few weeks. I propose to report back if the PVCs increase in frequency and/or intensity as a result. I'd be happy to keep all other aspects of my life (like diet, caffeine, etc) as much the same as possible. Is this like the idea proposed by Furry Murray?
AnthonEE, you are right on. I'm glad you and Awake agree. It can't hurt.
Let me tell you my progress. By the way, this is great forum I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. I have learned quite a bit from you guys, and it has helped understand some things. We are not alone, which in itself, is reassuring. I also believe that PVC's are related to other simuli in our bodies, rather than a 'heart condition.' I think our hearts are just fine, they are simply 'victims of circustance' if you will.
Over the past ten days, I have drank a lot of water to stay hydrated, especially in this heat. I'm in Atlanta. I have also been taking vitamins to include; multi's, magnesium, calcium, and potassium (the electrolytes). I have noticed a decent decrease in PVC's, at least ones I could feel. I tend to get PVC's when I'm hungry. I then eat, and they go away. There is a blood sugar thing there, I think. However, if I eat junk or heavy food, I tend to get them for a while after I eat, but they eventually go away. I used to take Klonopin for Restless Legs and Anxiety, but quit about a year ago. Thinking back, since I have quit Klonopin, I have noticed more episodes of PVC's for longer periods of time. Maybe something there. I may go back on Klonopin and see. I drink several beers a day and smoke a half pack of cigarettes a day (bad furry). I have noticed no correlation between drinking and smoking and PVC's. I think with drinking alcohol, though, it is key to stay hydrated. Dehydration, I believe, can cause PVC's. I do notice a stress/anxiety connection as well. I get them when in a stressful/anxious situation. Job interview, crazy drivers/traffic, etc..... I have not noticed that exercise directly eliminates PVC's, but I believe that exercise relieves stress, which can cause PVC's.
I will keep track of my progress and will try some new things and then report back. If others want to participate, great. If not, whoever wants to add their results/comments, wonderful.
Good luck and have a PVC free day.
Thank you for your comment. I started Klonopin 12 years ago at a dose of 0.5. I still take 0.5 at bedtime. I have weaned myself off Klonopin many times during these years. I have not needed to increase my dosage in all this time. I only know that after I have been off the benzo for awhile.......my heart goes back to having it's own life again. I don't have answers for others.....I only know what works for me. My doc told me I was not addicted because I have not had to increase the dosage for Klonopin to continue to work for me. I have read everything I can find on this disorder, but I do not have the proper education to understand what I am reading most of the time. Laughing......I just "get the drift." (Texas saying.) Usually I find people with a greater understanding....such as yourself...and learn from them. numberc
Thought you'd be interested in another study, this time on effect of fatigue and stress.
I'm not sure whether they looked at the same interns under different conditions or two different sets of interns, which would be less convincing. I noticed that the maximum pvc's is 23 per hour. This is quite high and one intern with frequent pvcs like this could have skewed the results quite a bit if he/she happened to be in the 'stressed and fatigued' group. Would need to see the whole paper though (You'd be amazed at the poor quality of statistics that sometimes get published in the biological sciences).
The effect of stress and fatigue on cardiac rhythm in medical interns
Stamler et al. Jelectrocardiol 1992 Oct;25(4):333-8.
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.
Twenty-four-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring was used to determine the incidence of arrhythmia while on-call and its relationship to stress and fatigue in 20 healthy medical interns. Mitral valve prolapse was present in 8 of 19 interns (42%). Heart rates ranged from a maximum of 103-167 beats/min (135 +/- 16) to a minimum of 38-61 beats/min (47 +/- 5). Interns had at least one episode of sinus tachycardia/h during 57% +/- 21% (range, 8-88%) of their hours on-call. Atrial premature beats (APB) were present in 19 of 20 (95%) and ventricular premature beats (VPB) in 12 of 20 (60%) subjects. APB/h ranged from 0 to 1.2 (0.4 +/- 0.3) and VPB/h from 0 to 23 (2 +/- 6). Three interns had multiform VPB and two had ventricular couplets. More APB/h occurred in interns under greater stress (0.5 +/- 0.4/h vs 0.3 +/- 0.1/h, p < 0.05) and combined stress and fatigue (0.6 +/- 0.4/h vs 0.2 +/- 0.2/h, p < 0.01). More VPB/h (5 +/- 9/h vs 0.5 +/- 0.6/h, p < 0.05) and higher (Lown) grade ventricular ectopy (2.3 +/- 1.6 vs 0.8 +/- 1.1; p < 0.05) occurred in interns under greater combined stress and fatigue. Mitral valve prolapse, sleep deprivation and caffeine intake were not associated with increased arrhythmia. The authors conclude that (1) rapid sinus tachycardia is frequent in interns while on-call and (2) interns experiencing greater stress and fatigue have more APB/h, VPB/h, and higher grade ventricular ectopy. These data support the notion that stress and fatigue may contribute to arrhythmia in healthy normal subjects.
I totally believe that stress and fatigue can cause increased frequency of PVC's. I noticed I get them when I am fatigued or stressed out. Caffiene doesn't seem to increase my PVC's BUT my PVC's happen more often when caffeine wears off likely due to the "crash effect" (I feel tired once it wears off).
I am extremely grateful to have found this site. Although I do not get them all the time when I do I am on a ride to the emergency room as quickly as I can get there. My insurance company hates me I am sure, but my trips there have slowed down because I am learning more and more about what may be the causes of them. But you see, I have never known what caused them so now I understand why I might be having them. I dip snuff (tobacco) , I have stress (pvc's , loss of breath), I drink diet coke (caffeine), and I am tired quite a bit from staying up and worrying about this all of the time. Plus I should sleep with my cpap every night but I cheat myself and do not. Honestly I think I am trying to end it myself without doing it outright. But I do not want too. I want to live a happy healthy life but I just cannot seem to get started. I know I need to exercize but I am afraid because I do not want to start these things up for nothing. So I am stuck there. It is truly sad that I put myself through it but I do not know how not too. It is like telling someone take a pencil and put it in their hand and then tell them to "try and drop it ". Well a person cannot try to drop a pencil. A person either drops it or holds on to it. The same for telling someone to try to stop thinking about it. The more I try the more I think about it and the more it gets me uptight until I end up having a full anxiety attack. I have to watch a movie to go to bed to keep my mind on something else. That is very sad to me. Sympathy is not what I seek. Freedom of fear and anxiety is my ultimate goal. I truly sympathize with each and every one of you who have these and are worried as I am. I currently take a 5 milligram dose diazepam when I feel the anxiety coming on. Believe it or not that does help me from going into a full panic attack.
Okay, so... I realize I'm probably just high-strung (self-proclaimed hypo when it comes to anything that deals with the heart or brain) but I have a few questions.
First... some personal information.
I'm a 20 year old white female with no known history of heart disease in my family. My BP is almost always 105/60; normal resting HR 65-75. I don't lead an extremely active lifestyle, but I am active. I'm 5'7" and 130 pounds. I do have some anxiety issues that have diminished over time.
I don't drink soda, either diet or regular and my diet consists of a good amount of fruits and vegetables... I am not taking any medication, nor have I ever (aside from sinus infection meds... etc).
My first noticeable 'episode' happened when I was about 13. I was in the shower (super hot) and I bent over to grab the shampoo off the bottom shelf when... bam. My heart was all skippy and a little fast (I'd peg it at about 130). I instantly became terrified. I jumped out of the shower and called my mom who told me to calm down... I was otherwise non-symptomatic. After I sat down and took a few deep breaths, I felt a tiny kick and it went back to normal.
This all happened just a year or so after my grandfather dropped dead from a heart attack... but his was NOT hereditary (he drank like a fish, smoked since he was 12 and was obese). He died at 64.
Okay... well, from that day on, I was heart-conscious. I experienced a few little split second episodes of the 'wiggly' heart, but I had no other 'major' instances for a year or two. The next really noteable one came when I had taken a couple years off from the whole active scene (ran a lot, played basketball... always super active) and started becoming a bit more sedentary. Well... it was the first day of gym, and I think I pushed myself too hard. Needless to say, when I stopped and went to put my hands on my knees to relax, it kicked into one of those crazy, wiggly episodes. Well... I got really nervous and the anxiety fueled it. I kept trying to calm down, but I couldn't (kept having flashbacks to the shower). I was otherwise non-symptomatic.
It lasted for about five-ten minutes. I walked all the way from the gym to my next class upstairs on the other side of the school. When I sat down and took a deep breath, it went back to normal.
The third major incident occured when I was under a lot of stress -and- ill. I woke up in the middle of the night extremely hot and achy. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to lie down on the floor because it was colder. Well... I knelt down and went to lie down when my heart kicked up and felt pretty fast (140-150). I freaked. I woke up my girlfriend... it lasted for about five minutes. I was insanely nervous the whole time.
There again... kicked back to normal. Completely non-symptomatic otherwise.
Ever since then (I became more active... I eat better, get out more... etc) my 'episodes' seem to occur about a week before my cycle but are otherwise non-existent. To give you an idea... I might feel a brief series of wiggles anywhere from less than a second to 5 seconds at the MOST twice a day... usually once a week or less.
Am I ******* insane to think I have a problem, or does this sound very much within the normal range? Does it mean anything that mine started earlier in life? I would also like to excuse my hypo-ness before anyone responds with, "WTF I HAVE LIKE A MILLION A DAY".... etc.
What you describe could be a type of PVC and they can most definitely occur just before your cycle and then not show up again until the next month. They can also occur just before, during ovulation. I don't think it means anything that yours started so young. Have you been checked by a doctor because if this is what they are and your heart is otherwise normal then they are not life threatening, just a little scary. I have read posts from people who are seventy something years old and have lived with them all their lives starting at a young age. However, you should have yourself checked out by a cardio just to be sure nothing else is going on and then when they occur you will have the information you need to reassure yourself that although they are scary, you will be fine. Hope this helps.
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