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Avatar universal

PVC's and Anxiety

Hello there, I am new to this forum and have been reading it for a few days now. Hearing of other stories and problems has helped me relax a bit. My situation is as follows. I am a 30 y/o male 6"4 270 lbs not in horrible shape but not fit by any means. Last November I started getting "funny feelings" in my chest and after having my pulse checked by my wife and hearing the words "heart skips", I ended up in th ER. After being placed on a Heart Monitor and having my blood checked and heart xray, I was told by the attending Physician that is was merely PVC's. I was given very little definition other than that I wasn't having a heart attack, and I was sent home. I did some research on my own via the internet and was slightly relieved at the majority of the responses that most PVC's are benign and experienced my the majority of the population at some point. After a few months of small "episodes" I became slightly accustomed to them and within about 4 months I didn't experience them any longer. At least none lasting more than a mere beat or two. This past week They came back, stronger and easier for me to notice. At the same time I had problems "catching my breath" and felt as though I wasn't getting enough oxygen when I took breaths. This cause a lot of panic and concern. I went to a different ER and was basically told the same thing, that I had PVC's and my blood and electrolyte levels all looked normal along with another chest xray. I was given a prescription of propranolol 20mg to take twice daily and sent on my way with no further answers. The breathing problems have gotten better, and I can "cope" with the PVC"s for the most part. But I am having a very hard time with what seems like anxiety and panic attacks now. I am afraid to leave my house because the air outside is hotter and thicker and therefor harder to breath. And I am not sure if it is psychological or not, but I have also had strange feelings in my chest and left arm. Almost like i have indigestion and hit my "funny bone" on something. I also have the feeling like my sternum and middle of my spine need to "pop". I don"t have medical insurance and am trying to get some sort of help through county clinics though they don't seem to care nor want to help getting me in to see a cardiologist. My question is basically a plea to get some form of help, Even if it's only peer to peer emotional support. I have read on many things to do to help, I quit smoking, caffeine intake and alcohol intake the second this all started up last week. I have read that exercise can help, but am not sure if raising my heart rate will make things worse, especially since i am on the beta blocker. I have also heard that magnesium and calcium supplements along with omega 3 fatty acids and fish oils might help, but again wasn't told anything was in shortage by the ER doctors. Does anyone else experience the same forms of symptoms I am having, is it anxiety or something more? Why was I ok with them PVC's after the first bout, but having a harder time dealing with them this time around?
6 Responses
961612 tn?1250642671
Hi, I have almost the same thing, I have PSVT, with PVC's, and very sever panick attacks that come with the Tachycardia. I take 20mg of Propranolol twice a day along with 0.5mg of Clonazepam for the panick attacks.  So far the two of them together work really well to control them.  The panick attacks, to me always seem to make the PVC's worse, I don't know why, they just did.  If you can find a doctor who will help, and give you something for the panick attacks.
If you need to know anything else, I am here to talk to.
899454 tn?1295583938
Hi,

I have an anxiety disorder since 2004. I experienced (a lot) of panic/anxiety attack. In churches, supermarkets, at my workplace (you name it). In my twenties I experienced PVC once a year. I 2007 I started feeling them once a month. In march 2009 I started to get 10 a day! I was so stressed and shaky al over. I also experienced ventricular tachycardia, couplets (2 PVC's in a row) and some PAC's. After some test (may 2009) I was diagnosed with mild Mitral Valve Prolapse with mild regurgitation. I was born with it (I did not know that). My cardiologust put me on a beta blocker Nebivolol (Bystolic). This med controls the tachycardia but not the PVC's. Actually when I started taking the med I experienced more PVC's a day, because my heart is beating much slower.

After reading a lot of post on this forum about magnesium for PVC's, I decided to give it a try. I am taking magnesium oxide 250 mg twice a day for 8 weeks now and my PVC's have decreased considerably. There are days that I am PVC free :). I am also taking Omega 3 fish oil 2000 mg a day. I have posted some information about magnesium on this forum, maybe you can search for them. I recently got magnesium taurate. Magnesium taurate is especially made for heart problems including PVC's and it is better absorbed. I am planning to test that out to see if I will be PVC free for a longer period of time.

I will recomend you to see a cardiologist for your own peace of mind. I will recomend an echocardiogram of your heart and also a Holter monitor. In a structural normal heart PVC's are not dangerous or life treatening.

Above all you have to accept PVC's and stop worrying so much. Distract your mind. Read something, meditation, praying, gardening, etc. IF you want to talk you can message me.

I wish you well,

Lissette
267401 tn?1251852496
Hi Panther,

The reason you have a hard time is the reason so many others have a hard time - after going months without any symptoms, a repeat bout with PVCs can take you back to square one, worried and scrambling to figure out why you're having these symptoms again.

Your sternum "popping" feeling - does it feel uncomfortable to have a seat belt on?  I've had that a few times, and after several tests, including chugging some very thick liquids while a fluoroscope watched it go down my gullet, I was diagnosed as being fine.  Maybe a little stressed.  

If you're afraid to leave your house because of the density of the air outside, it's probably safe to say that you're suffering from some anxiety.  Not having insurance probably adds exponentially to the stress - hopefully Prez Obama will fix that shortly - but you might see if you can get into an urgent care clinic and possibly get a prescription for the anxiety issues, and get a cursory heart exam in the process. Having a cardiological green light can lift so much weight off your mind, but without insurance that might be hard to get.  I wish I could offer some advice there - maybe a local hospital is offering free heart screenings?  See if any of your local hospitals have upcoming events like that - I know we do locally.
Avatar universal
Well, an update: I went to a county health clinic. The Dr. there believes everything is due to stress, that I am being too paranoid about previous family heart conditions. That I need to relax and not worry about things at my age. Said the PVC's are normal in most people and of no concern. She prescribed me 20mg of Cilexa and drew some blood to test for cholesterol and thyroid problems just because I wouldn't leave without some form of screening.
Avatar universal
I am 29, heathly, and relatively active.  I too have recently been having PVCs  I too feel the trouble with "thicker" warmer air and trouble breathing.  I also sometimes have sensations in my chest/sternum.  I have always had very mild anxiety, but the PVCs have really made my anxiety soar and now I am having panic attacks.  For me, the anxiety has been reduced by maintaining my blood sugar (eating regularly), and taking some vitamin supplements (magnesium, Fish Oil with Black Currant Oil, and a regular multi).  I have also found that drinking OJ or taking a vitamin C when I start feeling PVC's helps.

I have had an echo, blood work, and a holter.  Everything is normal minus PVCs.  So, like you, everyone says don't worry--but it is so hard not to be concerned when your heart feels funny.  I also worry about exercising now that I can feel the PVCs.  I am afraid to bring on more....but as my grandfather said while battling cancer, "I can worry, dwell, and limit myself and possibly survive long enough.....or I can live today, enjoy it, and worry about tomorrow when it gets here."  I try to remember that when I get anxious.  We just have to remember that PVCs are not a death sentence...
Avatar universal
Anyone out there have PVC's or PAC's during exercise?  I tend to get a few at the start of exercise that gets my heart rate up quickly (running, stair climber, jumping jacks).  They scare me so I have stopped exercising and I seem to not have them too much unless I am anxious.  I have had an EKG, Echo, and bloodwork by my GP.  All are normal (sinus Tachy).  She said go ahead back to normal life, but I am afraid of exercising and having a heart attack or some other major heart problem.  Any comments?
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