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Avatar universal

skipped heartbeats

hello, since 2004 i have been having skipped heartbeats..it's weird because sometimes it goes away, like recently i have not had any for 4 months, then it comes back again like recently..it happens mostly in the morning, and does not happen at night...sometimes when i brush my teeth it happens, when i shower etc...when i feel skipped heartbeat it stops then it either goes faster or stays slow after the skipped heartbeat.. i dont have any symptoms associated with the skiped heartbeat like chest pain, dizziness etc..why does it leave and then come back again after months?  do skipped beats mean there are clogged arteries or heart issues?  i do not have caffeine and i am a vegetarian on a meditteranean diet..i use olive oil, flax seed and have alot of  fresh garlic everyday..i also have co-enzyme q-10, 400 mg everyday...i am thinking that since this is NOT  a stable skipped beat issue that it might be just anxiety and neves etc..i dont know..but i know i am healthy with good cholestrol levels and blood pressure..i do drink red wine on the weekends however..i take enough potassium and i take l-carnitine and b-complex as well...sometimes the skipped beats go 3 or 4 times in a row then go back to a normal bpm of 68-72...i rarely get fast heartbeats, only if i drink red wine.

i will be 42 in june...i would greatly appreciate any answers that you can give me..thanks alot..

dan white
26 Responses
239757 tn?1213813182

Thanks for the post.

What you have are palpitations. Generally these are very benign. The first step is figuring out what your heart is doing at the time that you feel your symptoms. This is usually done with a heart monitor such as a Holter or Event monitor.

You can do a search for palpitations and see that many in the forum are affected greatly by this.  It is not at all uncommon for the symptoms to wax and wane over time.

good luck
Avatar universal
Hi Dan,

Welcome to the 'skipped beats' club.  : )

First thing first, it's important to get these checked out just to rule out any underlying heart disease, but from what you said it sounds like you are pretty healthy.

I feel what you feel from time to time throughout the day, and I went and had a Cardiac workup to check me out.  They were able to see that I have PVC's.  The Cardiologist told me that these are entirely benign, and will not hurt, or kill me.  They also do not alter life expectancy at all.  Of course he told me all of this AFTER they did an EKG, Holter, and Stress/Echo on me.  I have no underlying heart structure issues, or disease.

The one thing that most (if not all) doctors agree on, is that there is no real "known" cause for these things.  Some say caffeine, stress, smoking, and alcohol consumption can cause these too.  I am by nature, a high-anxiety person, so I'm sure that is playing most, if not all of the reasons for mine.

My advice would be to get them checked out for peace of mind, if anything.  Then once you get the "all ok" that they are benign, and your heart structure is perfect, then you'll be at the point I'm at.....which is battling the mind, and trying to learn to ignore them when they happen.  I have found that taking a daily Magnesium supplement is really helping me.  I take around 500 MG daily of Magnesium Oxide.  I will be switching to Magnesium Citrate soon, as everything I've read online suggests that Oxide is very low absorbable, and Citrate is one of the best ones to take.

Avatar universal
hi mike, thanks alot for your answer..i really appreicate it!!!
Avatar universal
You need to go to the thread posted on 5/8/06 entitled "episodes of heart palps..." and read skippyheart's post. I've been on this forum for about 6 monthsn now but have had PVCs and short runs of tachycardia for going on 14 years. Reading skippyheart's last post has done wonders for my peace of mind because I read myself in EVERY line of it. I've been on meds, tried vitamin supplements, am still in therapy to control anxiety, and nothing has given me the reassurance like skippyheart's "Ten Step Program." Truly, these things are harmless as long as you get a good cardiac workup. Stop at nothing to get one, because once you do (and it'll all be FINE), you can start moving to step 9. I've hovered at step 6 for too long, and I'm getting to step 7 slowly but surely. I've actually started swearing at my PVCs when they occur (except when my children are around!!). Be angry at them. Forget about them. Just don't fear them.

Skippyheart, if I could, I'd forward every check I've written to a therapist over to you. Knowing there are people in this PVC boat helps, but you brought to life EXACTLY what I'm going through. Your humor and positive outlook are amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I printed it out. I'm carrying it around with me. Wish me luck getting to #9!!

Avatar universal
Thanks so much for the positive response to the "10 Step Program" :)

So many people on this forum have helped me get through these things - I was hoping to give something back. You really can't talk to anyone else about them, since they just can't empathize.

Good luck to all!
- Skippyheart
Avatar universal
Garlic can definitely cause ectopics.
Avatar universal
Garlic is a big trigger for my palps. Also wine is not a good thing to have. It will cause them too. Msg really triggers them as well. As time goes by you will figure out what to avoid and sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to them either. I also avoid chocolate and caffine like the plague! Good luck
Avatar universal
Thanks so much Connie for the reply, I have now have a better understing of what is what. I thought one was skipped beats the other like a tacky thing going on.

Tlylor, I have fibromyalgia and cosochrondritis and get this pain and shortness of breath. With fibro you will find sore spots on your chest, with costo you will find sore spots along the sternum and along the edges, also between the ribs. If you check yourself for these spots you sure will know they are there. They are both aggrevated by repitition, my Dr. told me if you find these spots it is muscluar or the costro becaue you cannot reproduce heart pain. with these syndromes you can reproduce the pain, ouchie.

Avatar universal
"Supraventricular ectopics" means the same thing as "atrial ectopics" or "PACs". The word "supraventricular" just means "above the ventricles" in other words, originating from the atria of the heart. I know all this jargon gets confusing. So PACs (premature atrial contractions) are the same thing as "supraventricular ectopics".

It looks like this is the start of another good PVC thread. I, too, love skippyheart's list.

Just a thought - so many of us with PVCs also have issues with anxiety. Is it, mostly, because people with anxiety disorders are so highly tuned into our bodies that the PVCs bother us so much? Whereas other folks have the same number of PVCs, but are blissfully unaware of bodily sensations? Or is it that anxiety and the stress response is truly a primary cause of PVCs in the first place? Are there people who notice that their hearts are skipping beats but just don't give it a second thought?  I'm just curious what percentage of people who "suffer" from PVCs have a pre-existing anxiety disorder.
Avatar universal
I am a member of this board for a long time and have what you people will think are stupid questions, but I am hoping that someone will take the time to answer.

What is the difference between PVC"S and PACS? what is bigemmy and tri-bigemmy? I am trying to get a better understanding of what is going on.

I get skipped beats but feel the senastion in my stomach and my pulse not my chest. Can bloating or stomach spasms cause skipped bets? I have IBS and fibromyalgia.

I just posted a few days ago about palps but the Dr., really did not answer as to whether either condition could cause palps. I did post my recent echo results and he felt I needed no more tests done as my heart function was fine but if the palps become irritating I could ask my DR. for a holter monitor.

No, matter what anyone says, I know my palps become more frequent after having an echo, this was my 6th echo and for weeks after I get a lot more skipped beats.

I do have mitral reguratation and mild LVH.

Thanks to anyone who can help. Linda
Avatar universal
I've been having skipped beats off and on for over 35 yrs, and they still scare me.  Heart was checked out and is o.k. However, I found out that I have high BP and since I am on BP meds my skipped beats are a LOT less.  I used to have them real bad at times.  

They can be caused by fatigue, nervousness, low potassium, hormonal changes (in women)stress, high BP, thyroid problems, and sometimes there is absolutely no cause at all and they just appear.  Its always important to have them checked out to make sure nothing physical is causing it, and if that is the case the doctors/cardiologists usually say "live with it" "don't worry they will not kill you".  Some people get beta blockers for the PVC's (skipped beats) but they never helped me, and I know of other people where the beta blockers did not help their skipped beats.
21064 tn?1309312333
Hi Linda,

There are no stupid questions, so don't worry about asking whatever's on your mind....

A PAC (premature atrial contraction) is an extra beat that orginates in the atrium, or the UPPER chambers of the heart.

A PVC (premature ventricular contraction) is an extra beat that originates in the ventricles, or the LOWER chambers of the heart.  Pretty tough to FEEL the difference, but some are able to.  

Bigeminy is when you have an ectopic beat every other beat.

Trigeminy is when you have an ectopic beat every third beat.

I do find that gastro/intestinal activity can trigger ectopic beats.  IBS seems to occur frequently in people with ectopics.

No sure about why you would experience more palps after an echo....Maybe you're just more aware of them.  

Hope that helps : )

Avatar universal
Welcome to the club!  You are in really good company.  I too am plagued by these darn pvc's, pac's,skips whatever you want to call them.  They're enough to drive you batty.  Of course in the light of a good cardio work-up, these little buggers mean nothing.  They sure as heck feel like something when they're happening though, don't they. I know a lot of people claim there are "triggers" but for me, there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to them.  They come when they want, everday for days on end and then, they're suddenly gone for weeks.  

I wish some doctors would do more research in this area.  When you look on this forum, it seems the majority of questions are regarding heart skips, palpitations, flutters etc.  Anyhow, try to relax and remind yourself that in a structually normal heart, these annoying little skips are benign.  It's hard to do, I know, but they can control your life if you let them. I would get monitored and see if what you're feeling coincides with any kind of arrythmia.  Peace of mind is worth it's weight in gold.  Best wishes!
Avatar universal
I just got done putting in some new locks on my doors (this is when my man should be around. lol) and doing some laundry. My left chest felt so tight and straigned and I couldnt take a deep breath to save my life. THIS is what I dont understand. THIS is why I am confused as to what is REALLY going on with me. I know I had normal echo, ct scan, xray, pft test, and so on...but what the hell? I just dont get this. PUSHING 5 MONTHS NOW. I understand that my holter showed PAC and PVC (more PAC's though) and I truly believe this is the cause of my left chest, throat and stomach sensations. Had many small ones today by the way. Just "flashes" and then they are gone. But this CONSTANT aching anda tightness and breathnesses. I dont understand how something is not causing this. I am so grateful for all my normal testing but some days I ask myself the dredded..."did they miss something?"

Do people with these PACs and PVCs experience any of this constanst chest ache and lacking of a deep breath feeling????
Avatar universal
Hi there,

I completely understand.  It is so easy to start the ball rolling with "did they miss something?".  I have had chest pain/tightness for months.  Sometimes my arm aches with it.  I hate the tight feeling I get.  My chest aches as well but I have costochondritis too.  Have you ever explored that avenue?  It might explain some of your achiness and tightness.

I have had so many cardio tests it isn't even funny (echo, stress echo, stress tests, nuclear stress test, ekg's).  From what I've read, pac's and pvc's can cause chest tightness, particulary if you start to feel anxious.  I think for people like us, we really have to trust in the testing we've already had.  It is so much easier said than done, I know.  Don't let anxiety over the "what if's" control you.  Quality of life is so important and worrying really takes it's toll on you.  I'm so sorry for you though to have these problems.  To put it bluntly, it sucks!  I know. Hang it there and try to gain some reassurance from tests you've already had.  Best wishes!
Avatar universal
Hi, not sure if my post went through, I don't see it on the forum here. Does it take awhile to show?
Thanks Urssy
Avatar universal
Looks like it was lost somewhere. I'll try again later.
Avatar universal
I've also had the same thing, where I get PVC's for a while (a few weeks or so) and then they go away for months and then come back.  My cardiologist says it's nothing to worry about, and I've gotten kind of  blown off about it, but when I have them, they can be pretty frequent (every 2-5 minutes) and it's halfway between scary and annoying.
Avatar universal
To SkippyHeart:

I just want to let you know that I also carry around your post these days. For twenty years I've been plagued by thes pvc's and I still panic every time I get them and allow them to affect my day to day activities. No more! Your post is going to remind me that the only thing stopping me from living a full life is myself - not my pvc's. Thanks so much for taking the time to write it. A sense of humor about these things is the best medicine.
Avatar universal
has anyone had any luck with coenzyme q10?  if so i would really like to hear your success stories and dosage amounts. thanx
Avatar universal
I have a question. I read alot on this forum that caffience, alcohol, chocolate, even msg and so on can trigger these PVC's and PAC's. So of course I have been avoiding them. But does this mean we have to avoid them ALL TOGETHER? Like say is one beer or one glass of wine going to kick it in? One piece of chocolate or a whole bag of it? If they do trigger it...will you feel it while consuming these things, a little after, way after, the next day?
Avatar universal
I started drinking coffee again (too much to do and not enough time to sleep!) and was surprised to find it seemed to have no immediate affect on pvcs. I don't know if I'm having more or less overall, but if I drink a few cups of coffee I get wired, but that's it. I suspect everyone's response is different.
Avatar universal
Where can I find Skippybeats post???  I did a search and could not find it.....or please send to ***@****  

Thanks!  It sounds like a life-saver!!!!
Avatar universal
I have read up on costrochrondritis. Line, what you said was exactly what I feel, pain, tightnest, tenderness on the sternum above the breastbone and on the lower left rib cage, right under my breast. If I touch these areas they are tender. My doc told me the same thing, if it hurts to touch it, its not heart related. I didnt think costrochrondritis could last this long and my docs never mentioned it to me. Nor have them mentioned fibromyglia.

These areas get worse with activity and it always makes me a little nervous cause I think maybe it will bring on a PAC or PVC cause who knows what the heck triggers these damn things. Still my doc said my holter showed the PAC and PVC but in a completely benign setting. Wasnt getting them alot at all in his reading but to me, 66 PAC and 22 PVC and I tell him I get feelings throughout the day (I wrote on my event log for the monitor 47 events)so go figure.

Momto3girls...I know I need to trust the docs and the results and I know when those thoughts come to me, they are not rational, I know when I think "they are missing something, they are not listening to me, they dont know what they are doing", is not helping me heal and get past this and relieving the stress on my life and body which is probably not allowing these beats to go away. I am doing my very best to deal with these. I actually have stretches of some pretty good days cause I only get the small ones and I have become used to them by now (hate them but I can let them pass). However, if a strong one hits, I am still started and upset. This forum has helped me realize I wont be harmed by them, but mentally, I havent found a way to cope with them yet.
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