Avatar universal

Exercise is RUINING my heart! (worse pvcs with exercise)

Like many, I started having PVCs in my mid-40's, I am female and so attributed this to perimenopausal/hormone changes.  My PVCs occur 2-3 times per minute at a minimum, and 30-40 times per minute at a maximum during bigeminy and trigeminy episodes, thousands/day at a minimum.  What I have noticed is that stress, lack of sleep, vitamins, sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, wine, and metaprolol/beta blockers (all the things that they "say" have an effect) have NO EFFECT pro or con.  I recently started adding cardio and weight lifting to my very sedentary lifestyle to try and strengthen my heart and I notice that this is NOT helping ... if anything, it causes the pvcs to go into bi/trigeminy cycles more often!  And it usually happens for 2-3 hours right after I finish a hard cardio class.  Recently I had bigeminy that continued for just shy of 2 hours right after having a pulse rate of 150-165 in class - how can a person go comfortably from 150/bpm down to 42bpm (during bigeminy)?!!!  It made it very nerve-wracking to drive.  

Two questions:  How low can your pulse go before heading to the ER?   42 seems pretty low, especially after a hard work out.  Second question:  Anyone else notice worsening PVCs with/right after exercise?

I mean, really, why exercise?!!
Best Answer
1534233 tn?1523388856
Hi, I'm 44 and for about a year have been getting bigeminy. I lost quite a lot of weight last year (50lb or so) stopped smoking and started healthy eating. Bigeminy got worse and worse! My cardio consultant tells me the 'excessive exercise I did' was most likely the cause, resulting in mild thickening of the back of my left ventricle. She said this commonly can affect the way the electrical system ofnthe heart works. Of course, she also bigeminy is nothing to worry about. Easy for her to say as it can feel dreadful!

Consultant has told me cycling for an hour with my pulse at about 140 was too much, that I should still exercise but not at those levels. She said to aim for a heart rate max of 130. Imtake beta blockers now, only 40mg propranalol a day, but it does help. My resting heart rate before was too high. Just normal gently cycling Made my pulse be 120, it would go up to 160 or 170 easily if I cycled hard for a minute or so.

I wear a polar heart rate monitor when I exercise, often I keep on for a few hours afterwards to see the effect. When I get bigeminy it starts to beep (I have the low rate set to 50bpm) usually reads about 40, my record is 28! If you feel your pulse while this is happening you can usually read a more normal pulse but alternate pulses feel weak, I think this is where the ventriclemdecides to beat by itself. My doctor tells me that even if the normal way the heart beats was to stop the ventricles would still beat by themselves at a rate of about 30.

Based on what I have learned about my situation, i think you should be careful about doing to much extreme exercise as this may make the situation worse, still exercise of course but gently - a pulse of 150 to 165 is a bit high especially if you were previously quite sedentary. Also perhaps a different beta blocker might help. I do sympathise though, to me the worst part is doctors just don't seem to think having runs of bigeminy is a big deal- perhaps it's not, but wondering if you are going to faint and the other feelings it can cause are no fun. Hope you feel better soon!
6 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
Bigeminy is a pvc every other beat. Tri is every third beat is a pvc. The only way to know the number of them is to wear a holter for 24 hours and it records them, and then they will tell you when they send the results.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
What are bigeminy and trigeminy and how do you know how many PVC's (or PAC's?) you have an hour?  These symptoms sound familiar to mine but I have been diagnosed with SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) and am having an ablation next month.  I just hope and pray it helps with the palpitations, (and high heart rate with excercise (170-185bpm) which they say it may not.   BTW, excercise ALWAYS makes all my symptoms worse too....sooo frustrating and scary!  Good luck with everything.  I'll let you know how the ablation goes.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks guys, it really helps to know others are going through this too.  It just seems SOOOOO abnormal, and therefore, it is sooooo infuriating when the docs say "so what."  There should be some additional education you can give a patient who is in emotional distress over this, especially those that are trying to do something to heal themselves.  Without the heart, obviously, you die - it's seems only natural for a person to try to fix an issue rather than take the "so what" attitude.  I've read and read too, and have heard (as I mentioned) that artificial sweeteners, caffeine, wine, etc., etc., are to blame, but I stopped all of those (and the ones I mention above), and no improvement.

I want to exercise just to be in better health, do more with my family.  I'm not obese, but I do lead a sedentary lifestyle and am heavy (5'7', 175 pounts, female).  Going on a bike or treadmill raises my pulse to 120 with virtually no effort, it seems like I'm not really exercising! ... which is why I really pushed it to the 150 mark.  I'll go more gradually I suppose ...

I DID have about a ten day period last Aug where I felt absolutely no arrhythmias ... for the life of me, I am in a desperate search to figure out what was different those few days!!  Thanks all, lets all agree to post back if we find something that works!!!  THANKS!!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I just posted on jkfrench post about this very things. I have them pre, during, post. Right now I am having a LOT ( every 3rd beat for about 5 min. straight then a break, then more).
I have had the bigeminy for hours at times. Its scary but I did not go in. I was in the ER before with 30 pvcs a min and they said "so what?" My EP said lets do an ablation asap. I said what if I say no? He said "well you wont die, but you will have to live with the way you feel" I dont know, I read and read and read and I HATE this but I am not ready to ablate. So I suffer and hope God will heal all my health issues soon. Hang in there.
Helpful - 0
177337 tn?1310059899
I just asked that question too.  Noone answered it.  I'm getting several after exercise.  Nothing like you and I really really feel for you.  That has got to be tough and kudos to you for going out there and exercising anyway.  I would call your doctor and ask him about how low a pulse can go.  If you are on a beta blocker then it can get that low during sleep and I'm it can feel low during bigemy.  Sorry I don't have an aswer, but I can certainly relate to the hormone change, increased skips and feeling them after working out.
Last night, I woke up at 1am and my heart did a really quick fluttering.  Like 5 or 6 beats really fast, then normal, then 2 beats really fast then normal.  They have been documented as supra ventricular something but I usuall don't get more then one at a time.  It happened again an hour later.  I hope that isn't bad.
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Heart Rhythm Community

Top Arrhythmias Answerers
1807132 tn?1318743597
Chicago, IL
1423357 tn?1511085442
Central, MA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Are there grounds to recommend coffee consumption? Recent studies perk interest.
Salt in food can hurt your heart.
Get answers to your top questions about this common — but scary — symptom
How to know when chest pain may be a sign of something else
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.