Sorry for the delay in response.
As you can quickly see from the support network you are not alone in your symptoms or concern.
In the setting of a structually normal heart, your symptoms while concerning do not really portend any difference in your long term health.
There are a variety of medications, some with side effects and other methods such as biofeedback that many on this forum have used with success to control not only their symtoms but their anxiety and concerns.
Continue your exercise and abstinence from smoking!
This sounds exactly like the same thing that happens to me all the time. Its amazing how you can go for a few weeks and have nothing at all, then all of a sudden they are happening every 3-4 seconds for days on end. I have been having them every beat, which is scary. Sometimes 2 or 3 together. I know I have a very low potassium count from taking methylprednisolone, so have increased my potassium intake.
Oh and I am nearly the same age as you as well :)
I'm a 30 year old M with no history of cardiac disease. Within the past year or so, I've had infrequent skipped beats or whole-heart flutters. Last Thursday night I was unable to sleep because instead of happening relatively infrequently, they happened at least 3-4 times a minute for hours on end. I kept thinking maybe they were anxiety-related, but whenever I'd take a deep breath, the end of the breath would mean one of the bigger "thump"-type beats. People who've had them will know what I mean, but sometimes, instead of fluttering, they beat so hard it feels like my heart expands and twists at the same time. I went to the ER and the doc hooked me up to an ECG for the duration and told me that they were probably stress-related PVCs, but that they'd hook me up to a Holter monitor and get the results checked by a cardiologist. I was well on my way to believing him and heading home to try and calm down when I felt this sort of spreading, intense heat that started near my chest and spread out. It felt an awful lot like the heating-burning sensation when you get general anestesia and I was surprised that I didn't lose consciousness. The ECG and pulse O2 had been disconnected, but by the time they reconnected the leads, my heart rate was slightly elevated, but everything else seemed relatively normal. After talking to the doc, we figured out that the likely reason was the Lexapro I'd just been prescribed and that I'd started that morning. So, I went home with the Holter, turned the tape in yesterday and the more I look around the 'net, the more I'm convinced that everything was a result of anxiety and the Lexapro to relieve it.
So, I'm trying to stay calm until I get the results back, but my RN mom is concerned and to ease more her mind than mine, my question is this -- does anyone know of any other reason for the PVCs? I mean how often are they misdiagnosed and turn out to be something fatal? I can't find anything like that anywhere, but she's a mom and she's alsoa mom who's had a *lot* of experience with incompetent/unconcerned medical professionals, so she's convinced she's going to drop the matter while they take their time getting back with the results and that I'm going to die of some exotic, non-benign PVC-related something-or-other. Can anybody give me any good news to help her get through this thing?
Thanks in advance,
So,is anxiety causing the palpitations and pvc's or are the pvc's and palpitations causing anxiety.It seems like when doctors are unsure of whats wrong, they label you with having anxiety. It seems to come up quite often as a diagnosis for pratically everything,that can't be explained.
How long have you lived with the condition you have and are you on alot of medication to control it,if you don't mind me aking.
I read a previous post about were you live,never been there,sounds like a really wonderful place to live.
WOW,140bpm thats fast.I know when my thyroid was overactive my heart rate went up high.I was put on Atenolol,which controlled it very well,much younger than and not near the asthma problems.But my heart rate was no where near as high as your talking about.So did you panic when it would happen?Did you go through alot of different medication before finding the right combination? have you ever heard of allergies triggering pvc's or palpitaitions or lack of certain vitamins.
Yeah, there's the old chicken or the egg question -- which comes first? anxiety or PVCs and/or PACs?
I hate to sound like a naysayer here but, while certainly anxiety and the flight or fight reactions can cause premature beats and make your heart race, I think "panic disorder" and "stress" and "anxiety" are far too often the labels many of us ( women in particular) are stuck with when an arrhythmia problem isn't properly diagnosed.
Here's a rather old article from l997 (http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/Garden/8988/heartrhythmindex.html) that talks about a large number of folks with PSVT who received just those diagnoses when, in fact, they had just what they SAID they had and what they SAID made them anxious, nervous, stressed and panicky was a fast and sometimes irregular heartbeat that came out of nowhere.
I think it is all well and good for people to understand there's a mind/body connection and that relieving stress and living a healthier lifestyle can help reduce ectopic activity, reduce blood pressure and even lower your resting heart rate. Agreed. But I also think it is heart breaking ( pun intended) for people to go around with this label of "panic" and "stress" when actually they have a heart rhythm problem -- now it may not be life threatening but only lifestyle threatening and aggravating. But the bottom line is I am so tired of people being discounted for reporting what they believe is happening to them -- and then having to doubt their own perceptions when they are told they have "panic disorder" when they know doggone well it is the HEART skips and racing that are making them panic.
Would you please tell me (us) more about magnesium oxide in relation to tachycardia and other conditions discussed in answer to this question? I notice a VERY small percentage of the MDR in my multi vitamin and unless my diet compensates I am deficient. ( and so I presume are lots of other people ) thanks, John
I posted a comment to you under "karen".. sorry! got the K names mixed up.
I agree with the supplements too. I started taking 500mg of magnesium as well as 1gram of salmon oil daily and really being disciplined with my diet a few months ago and have definitely had a more stable heart in recent months. This was until I bought some Decaf coffee and within a week my heart was unstable again. It took about 3 weeks for me to link the instability with the Decaf which I had assumed was 100% caffeine free. A phone call to the suppliers and I learnt that it has a small percentage of caffeine in it. Stopped the Decaf and my better rhythm stability returned. Have also cut down sugar intake a lot - not even on my cereal or in my caffeine free tea anymore, stopped chocolat binges, no Coca Cola either. This has all helped enormously to settle my heart down.
Thanks for all the comments, although I am still waiting for The 'A' (answer) to my 'Q'(question). Any thoughts of when I will see that? And...last night I had the scariest episode of all. My palpitaions seemed under control all day until evening. My two sons were very sick. I had to pick them up from school. Fevers, throwing-up, ect. I was rushing around taking care of them when I noticed my papitations starting. I also felt it difficult to breath at times kind of like I felt when I had bronchitis/pneumonia. I kept trying to cough something up only to get myself dizzy. I was finally able to cough up about a millimeter of phlegm.(I know, gross but I am trying to figure out what happened.) anyway I then got everyone in bed finally sat down myself. I noticed the extra/skipped beats were happening constantly and making it difficult to get my breath. I gfot up to get my daughter a bottle and started feeling some discomfort in my epigastric area and lightheaded and tingly. I walked in my sons room where my husband was and told him I didn't feel right. He told me to sit down and I did. All of a sudden I wasn't able to focus and my arms started going numb. My heart rate was elevated...I think...but I couldn't tell you because my hands were tingling so much it felt like electrical currents were running through them. They froze up and I couldn't even grasp my husbands hands. All the while I was pretty calm trying to focus and take deep breaths to my husbands urging. Afew minutes later my brother, who is a paramedic/fire captain arrived. Since I work at the local ER I was trying earnestly to avoid going although at one point during this episode I had asked my husband to call an ambulance. I though I threw a clot or my aorta was rupturing or I was in v-tach or something. I am still unsure what happened. The entire episode lasted about 10 minutes and then following I felt some tightness in my chest and some mid-back pain. I also continued feeling the papitations but not as frequent. Funny thing is that I was at the cardiologist that morning to get looked at for these palpitations. He kind of gave me the brush off ( again I am in my early 30's and look healthy). I am supposed to go back today to get an event recorder since the last time I had one it didn't catch anything. Maybe if the birdbrain of a physician would of ordered a 24 hour holter we could have caught something! All I know is that I am now more scared than before and very frustrated. Any thoughts on what the heck happened to me?
Could you please look at my previous post and give me some feedback? I see you mentioned a background in this area. Did you work in Cardiology? You seem to have a lot of experience. I have also worked some in Cardiology but when something happens to you it changes everything. It is easy to look at someone and tell them don't worry, its no big deal. Sometimes these palpitations occur so frequently (several per minute) that I am sure I am going to fall over. You also mentioned that beta blockers were no good for you. In fact, I've not come across anyone who states that betablockers work for their pac/pvcs. Have you?
I have a question on PVCs. I read alot of people here having PVCs and would like to know if they are really PVCs or PACs. I had an event monitor recently as I have been having PACs (feels to me like heart skips a beat) Well, they caught a PVC on there this time. When I captured the PVC it felt like someone kicked me in the chest. Whenever I have PVCs, that's what it feels like. Like I have been hit in the chest. But with PACs, it just feels like a flutter or skipped beat.
Is this what people with PVCs feel when they have them? Someone mentioned they had 20,000 PVCs in a 24 hour period. That's a "kick in the chest" 4-5 times per minute ALL DAY.
I have Sarcoidosis in my lymph nodes in my chest. I have these PACs and PVCs, and whenever I do, I get to thinking the Sarcoidosis has gone to my heart, and if that happens, you can have SCD.
So how do I know if my PVCs and PACs are caused by Sarcoidosis? My pulm doc #1 says it won't effect my heart, pulm doc #2 said it looks like it is effecting the heart. No test done by either to confirm or deny though.
Finally, if I can be having no PACs/PVCs and then I get on treadmill to do my exercise - just a normal walk for 15 minutes or so - and the PACs/PVCs start. I have no symptoms with them, other than the "kick in the chest" feeling when I have a PVC. Is this dangerous - being brought on by exercise? It certainly makes me want to stop exercising.
Hi. I recall you saying that the atenolol caused you to "dream". Did you mean nightmarish dreams? cause the past few nights I have had nightmares ... of all things my brother trying to kill me (not that the topic is relevant, just eerie). I was just wondering, I remember when I was put on antidepressants before that they caused nightmares in the beginning but subsided over time. Is this the same case with the atenenolol? Thanks Hank.
I was having over 20000 pvcs/24 hours, but I did not have the discomfort level of many others on this board. I could feel the extra beats or jumps if you will, but it was not the "kick" that you describe. Holter exams revealed 24% of my heartbeats were ectopic, about 15/minute. But, I still had no pain...just a strange sensation.
Since you have differing opinions from your doctors, are you considering another opinion? Getting answers to your questions can be the BEST medicine. Sitting around wondering "what if?", "can this cause?" will make you even more anxious. I'll bet everyone here would agree, the anxiety associated with this stuff is the worst part....Good Luck Riker.
I am 32 years old and in relatively good health. I have had no history of heart arrythmias until about six months ago when I was briefly in and out of A-Fib for about an hour at a time. I was prescribed Cardizem and reccommended to stop caffeine (I was working 60-70 hours a week and travelling and constantly drank diet Cokes) It appeared the a-fib was a direct result of the lack of sleep and the caffiene. Ever since that time I have been having what the doctors have called compensatory pauses. I can only get in about 3-6 regular beats at times. I never notice the arrythmia unless I have recently had a meal. Has anyone had a doctor confirm a relationship between digestive problems and cardiac rhythm? Like most I read I have been to the emergency room and at times feel as if my heart is going to stop for good at any time, the doctors feel as if it is not dangerous but for my mental health I need it to stop.
Hello Everyone! I am 34 years old and was told that I have what is called a "premature beat". I remember feeling this "sensation" since I was a little girl. Every once in awhile I would feel it. Everytime I was checked out, the doctor could find nothing wrong. I have been told that it is anxiety, stress, etc etc. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (hyperthyroidism) when I was 25 after the birth of my second child. I had palpitations due to that condition. Eventually that illness was under control and the palpitations went away. (For several years during my treatment of meds, I was taking Atenol, 5mg once a day. Everything was fine for about 6 years, then WHAMMO the palps started again! That was about a year ago. I thought immediately that it was that darn thyroid again. After lab work, and more lab work, the thyroid has been normal! Ugh! I did have several panic attacks thinking that I was dying. I went to doctor 4 months after they began, he put me back on Atenolol. I had a terrible experience with that. Went skiing in the mountains, and because of the high altitude, the fact that I was on my period, and being exhausted, I passed out! Yes, unconcious on the floor. Scared the bigeebees out of my two sons. I went back to the Family Prac. doc. and he said no more meds until I got checked out by a cardiologist. Had the holter monitor, and he said all it was is those premature beats, he wasn't too concerned, told me that I was too young to take medication for it, that the side effects wouldnt be worth it. I have been living with these stressful heartbeats for over a year now.. The doctors don't really want to do anything about it. I am frustrated and almost to a point where I am having trouble working, and doing just about anything. I saw another endocrinologist last week, says my thyroid is normal, and I had more lab work done. Haven't got those results yet, as of today, December 16, 2003. I called the Family Prac doctor for the last two days trying to get a referral to a cardiologist (HMO, need I say more?) I have stopped all caffeine, chococale, and smoking. I smoked only 3 cigs a day. I have felt better, but still feeling them. I have trouble sleeping at night too. Oh, the Fam Prac doctor also gave me a two week supply of Paxil CR and sent me home. No follow up appt or anything. He told me that it would help me sleep. I tried that and it made me feel terrible! I felt like I was in a daze, almost confused and extremely tired. I want to have a complete cardio evaluation. Echocardiogram, treadmill etc. I don't know if the irreg. beats are causing the stress or vice versa. I am soooooo frustrated!
I just had to answer to your scarey episode on 10 Dec. It sounds exactly what I experienced a few months ago. I would suddenly feel my arms go numb, feel weak, and tingly all over. My head felt like it was going numb too. I have realized I was having panic attacks. I was seeing a therapist to deal with all these heart PVC and other things, I can almost 95% say it was a panic attacks. What would happen was, I would feel a PVC (or just feel something funny with my heart) and I would immediately feel strange and scared to death. I really thought I was dying or going to die every day I woke up. I was having PVC's so bad every 10 or so minute every day, for about 3-4 weeks! I was miserable (I am under a doctor's care by the way).
But I have learned to make them a part of me instead of fighting them and believing that I am okay, and just plain deal with it. As I write, I am going through a PVC "episode", I am going on day 3 with having them all day. I am also on Paxil which helps with the anxiety, but I know that stress is not always my cause, but definetly a factor.
Anyway, the bottom line, it amazing what stress can do to your body and mind. It takes alot to overcome the fear of them and just make it a part of you. I am still working on that. I once read on this Post, that once your focus on them burns out, they will go away- a very good thing to remember.
Good luck and know that others are sharing your frustrations!
Im with you I feel the total kick in the chest! It also radiates through the back and it really hurts! I just hate them sooooo bad! I just have to keep telling myself thats the normal beat getting out the extra blood from the extra beat that I did not feel, I guess I just try to convince myself that its a good thing and that its working right! hahaha, It doesnt work though Im always freaked by them.
I too have been had palpatations for quite some time now. I think my have been for 2 years. My latest episode started on 12/20/03 and have not stopped. I get about 6-10 palps every hour and they have yet to stop. I am in rather good shape, not overweight, run 20+ miles per week, don't smoke. I too have had many tests (echo, tread mill, EKG, some nuclear die injection thing) all of which showed no problem. It took a while but I now simply live with them knowing that that palps are most likely harmless. I am sure that, for me at least, these palps are harmless. I was having many palps before going on a 5 mile run yesterday. I thought well if this doesn't kill me it could only make me stronger. I finished the run never experiencing a single palp while running. But 3 minutes after the run, my friend the palp was back and has not left me. As I type this, I am palping like there is no tomorrow. I am not making lite of this, humor seems to be the only way to get through this stuff. Don't kid yourself, these palps do still scare the hell out of me but I don't know what else to do. I am going to try the 500 mg magnesium oxide as talked about in other posts.
Has anyone ever experienced different sensations with their palpitations?
I was told I get PAC's, but I think I get all sorts of different kinds because of the feelings. Some are a hard thump, some feel like an electrical shock going up my chest to my throat, some are flutters (the PAC's) and some I just can't describe other than it feels like my heart is going to stop.
My doctor tells me that from the stress test it's just PAC's, but they didn't catch the other kinds at that time. I also have a bicuspid aortic valve and regurgitation. My family doctor poopoo's everything and I don't get to read anything.
I get palps walking in the cold, wind, uphill, when scraping frost off my car, shovelling, bending over, deep breathing, etc.
Anyone else get this and is it as benign as the doctor says?
I am new to the forum, and like many of you, I too suffer from these skipped or extra beats. I am 34 and recall having the first episode around 27 or 28. At the time I was not really sure if it was absolutely my heart. I guess I thought(I was hoping) that It felt like my lung was included, or like the thump affected or was felt in the left lung. Anyway, this is the third day of palps and I am not really worried because I would guess that if it were really serious I would have already died on the first or second day. Last night I was sure it was my heart because I took my pulse and when the thump occured there was a long pause. I would like to hear about everyone's experience and the duration of the palps. I really haven't developed a hypothesis as to when or what brings my on, but I wish they wouldn't stay so long because it is difficult to sleep.
You truly touched my palpatating heart. Dylan is also my life, and thank you for the info. I will follow up with my doctor and let you know of my diagnosis(if there is one). Hankstar, do you occasionally feel as if you need to cough when this thump occurs? I sure do, that is why I thought its to be my lungs, and there is the fluttering that is probably a consecutive palp.
Thanks again and Happy New Year
We could all use a good one!
I thought that I would make an appointment with my doctor, but the office is closed today-figures. Anyway, around 31 I started to have anxiety attacks because my son was very ill and suffered several cardiac arrests and later developed seizures-on and on. I am a full time student with lots of pressure, as I am sure most of you experience. When I went to the doctor for the axiety, he said that he believed that I had a mitral valve prolaps and prescribed a ekg-but at the time had no insurance and decided to stick it out. I since have been to two doctors and a nurse practitioner and none have mentioned anything to me about a mvp. I have not metioned it to them because I wanted to see if they would notice it. Hankstar, what is a PVC? This is the first time I have ever really tried to investigate the occurance. One more question. Do these attacks really get worse over time? That is horrible.
Hi - I just now read through your 'episode' posting, and I have had exactly the same event. Very scary, I know. I'm not sure if I can provide any relief, as I know it's just plain hard to believe that this could all be physically benign, but from my research, what I've learned is that what you had was most likely a panic attack. I remember my first one, and I've had a few since, but have finally figured out how to let them pass through without putting me in the ER. I've been on meds and in therapy and have been and continue to research alternatives to help with both the palpitations (PVCs and PACs for me) and the associated panic attacks. A few things I'm trying are: Adapton (natural remedy used in the UK for panic/depression), exercise (mostly yoga and bicycling), diet (fish/veggies/fruit/fiber), avoiding soda pop, caffeine, sweets and alcohol. Insomnia is still kicking my butt, so I'm looking for information and help in that area.
Hang in there and stay engaged, and I believe you'll find relief, but there are going to be tough hills in your mind to climb.
I stumbled on this site just looking up different arrhythmia info. I am 18 years old and have been having palpitations when resting or upon exertion, tachycardia upon exertion, and episodes os extreme tachycardia, PSVT in the middle of the night. I have been having this for 1 year. For me it all started when I got on birth control pills to treat an ovarian cyst. My doctor simply told me to stop taking it, however that didn't exactly fix it. With time it only became worse. During the first episode of PSVT I knew I had to get serious help. I called 911 and when paramedics arrived they clocked my heart going 250bpm. I wondered how my heart handled it, but they say it was because I am so young and healthy so it won't kill me. Well that was a relief, however it didn't stop it from hurting or scaring me to death practically. Well I have been seeing a Cardiologist. I have had an EKG, Heart Echo, 24hr Haltar, full blood work, and it all came out fine. So my doctor has me on 50mg of Toprol XL a day. Unless I want to suffer the consequences I cannot run, go up stairs or anything of that sort. The one test we have not performed is a stress test, but my doctor refuses to do one since I am so young and during my blood work my lipids were fine. Im still so angry at what is being done about it, however I do find comfort in others who can sympathize with me.
I don't know if anyone will find this helpfull but I thought that I would mention that I have had similar episodes of PVC's throughout my life, usually only a couple of times a day, and I've been diagnosed with MVP, which, runs in my family but as my mother likes to point out never killed anyone. However, starting in September I starting having many more PVC's (feeling of skipped beats), went on a heart monitor and clocked 20,000 in one day. Cardiologist was un-impressed, seems its not the quantity but the type of PVC that they look for and mine were benign. Eventually they decreased except for early morning where I would wake up with them. Bending or moving quickly would put me into 1 pvc in 4 beats, this would happen until about 10am. Doubling my toporol did nothing. However by accident last month I skipped my lipitor which I was put on in September and voila, no PVC's. Seems a side-effect of lipitor is PVC's but just not a common one. So the moral of the story is check your side effects. Neither my cardiologist or my PCP thought of this.
Hi, I'm rather new to this site. Thanks for all support. What do you mean by the type of pvc being more important than the quantity. I thought a pvc was a pvc. When does it become dangerous? I have suffered from pvc's since I was 18. At times it seems like there is a big pause and then my heart slams in. I definately notice them more when I'm stressed. Another thing that is a bit strange is everytime I have an ectopic beat my head also starts to hurt. Usually I get a nasty headache after a series of them. I've been checked several times by a cardiologist who says other than minor mitral valve prolapse and pvc's, I'm fine. Of course, it's believing her that's the hard part.
Well, I have finished the event recorder. I saw the cardiologist after a week of recorded events (I couldn't wait for over a month) and at that point he said i was having "a lot of PAC's and junctional beats". Junctional beats-Hankstar help me out here- actually arise from somewhere other than the normal start point of your heartbeat. For example the av node vs: the sa node. Here is what bothers me most.....I have heard from the cardiologist and my PCP that I may have always had them but probably just became aware of them. What????? There is NO WAY on this earth that I all of a sudden just "became aware". My theory is that there is a reason for it. whether it be physical or chemical-a reason. I am a multi-tasker, type A working mother of three. I have no more stress now than before. Perhaps there is an imbalance with my adrenals and adrenaline/cortisol. Maybe it is hormones like estrogen/progesterone. Perhaps my thyroid is in a non-therapuetic range for my body. I think Dr's get off the hook by blowing them off and there is not enough research done about them! I am currently getting this type of bloodwork done per my request as it seeems that sometimes Dr's have to be lead by the nose a little. They have a hard time thinking outside of the box. They give evryone a "textbook answer". I was soooooo surprised to see how many people actually suffer from them. And I mean suffer. Looking back to my episode in December it sure may have been panic. I can't deny that because I was scared to death when they first started. They still come and go and the only correlation I can make is that I generally feel terrible when they start up and all the while that they occur. I feel fatigued, dizzy at times, sometimes a wheeze-like sensation (almost like mild difficulty breathing) and more. That is what makes me think there is a reason for them happening. The cardiologist said that I could try Calcium channel blockers if these palps become a nuisance. He said these were better than beta blockers for younger people but may have side effects so I'd have to weigh it out. He also said that this medication as well as beta blockers could actually make the palps worse. Needless to say I never tried them and probably never will. Any side effects with the magnesium oxide and does it have to be a particular brand or will any magnesium do? I have heard it can have the side effect of diarrhea. I am following up with the Cardiologist next week to go over the rest of the month of recordings. I am not afraid to request testing. Especially since I have insurance that will cover almost anything. As you may know, Dr's will try to do the least amount of testing at times because of kickbacks and incentives from insurance companies.
I'm right there with you. I have the same symptoms and I have been told pretty much the same by doctors but the worry is still there. I do take mag. oxide and I noticed a difference for a while but now it's back. I might have a couple a minute or go for a few hours without a skipped beat but never a whole day. It would be nice to have a day off from these. I also have three children and live a high stress live. Excercise use to be my release but I have let this consume my life and no longer excercise after six years of loyalty. Your not alone. I'm try this low carb thing and it kind of seems like it's working. If you ever want to chat my e-mail is ***@**** Just knowing someone else is going through this to is comforting. Not that I would wish this on my worst enemy, but you no what I mean.
Here are some potential causes and solutions for episodes of palpitations/ectopic beats, in my experience.
Solution: Drink more water
Solution: Don't drink Coffee/Tea/Coke/Dr Pepper/Mountain Dew etc
Solution: Don't drink alcohol
Solution: Don't smoke
Cause: Aspartame/Equal/Nutrasweet/Diet drinks
Solution: Don't use products containing these sweeteners (Palpitations is a symptom recognised by the FDA for users of Aspartame)
Cause: Magnesium deficiency
Solution: Use a supplement such as Solgar Magnesium/Calcium
Solution: Get more sleep :-)
Hope these help!
(I am not a doctor)