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1486478 tn?1307466597

PVCs from Anxiety?

There was a close loss that caused me to become hypochondriac for the past few months, and we were in the midst of changing doctors at the time, so I was afraid that something was wrong with me, and the fear manifested into anxiety which caused me to feel it in my heart.

I had a panic attack one day, and my heart felt numb the rest of the day, and I've had PVCs ever since. I finally got to see a doctor, had all the tests run, blood, ekg, pulse, chest x-ray, all came back normal.

The pvcs drove me up the wall, but it seemed like when I accepted them with little to no fear, they eventually got less intense, except for when I sat up and lurched forward, and I eventually started feeling like I was only days away from full recovery and back to being my normal self. In the process, I tried everything from apple cider vinegar to apple juice, the valsalva maneuver, lying a certain way for a while, deep breathing, you name it.

It seemed like one of a combination of those things over time was making them less intense, bearable, and made me feel like they were about to leave me forever.

Then, a week ago, I was reading an article about heart attack, had a little heart quiver that scared the living daylights out of me and sent me into a full panic attack, minus the breathing. Just intense fear, that took a few hours to fully subside. Seems like that reset everything back to the way it was before recovery tactics, as the pvcs got bad again, and even the anxiety symptoms like achiness, headache, etc came back.

Symptoms are just about gone again, but the pvcs are still hanging around, as they seem to be the last to go like they were last time.

My question is, because I have no true heart arrhythmia, and they were brought on by a prolonged case of anxiety, does this mean that they will just run their course, and eventually, I'll go back to only having them after intense exercise or excitement, because that used to be the only time I would have them. When I calmed down, they were gone. Now, they mainly appear when I am calm, or trying to relax.

The internet is scaring me, because it seems like from people's accounts, once you get them, you have them for the rest of your life, and I can take a palpitations every now and then, but now when it squeezes my heart really tight for like 5 seconds. Those hurt, and bring more waves of anxiety.  

I just want to know if pvcs from high anxiety eventually go away after anxiety recovery, because I'm just about recovered from anxiety itself, but the remaining symptom of pvcs doesn't help matters any.

They're manageable only when I'm in a good mood, because they're not every other beat. I feel normal, and then every about 10 or 15 minutes, I get the strong one that ruins my mood and brings anxiety.

I just want them gone, it at all possible.

Please help, don't ignore this question, and people reply as much as often. Keep talking to me, at least to give me hope. Answers, research, I don't care. I'm just tired of being ignored or being told to wait.
35 Responses
Avatar universal
It sounds as though you are having a terrible time with symptoms so many of us here are familiar with, and I'm sorry you have to go through the experience.  From your description, it seems you understand that testing has shown that your heart is healthy, and that the big problem is anxiety or panic associated with the odd heartbeats you continue to feel, as you worry that they will never go away.

They may or may not go away.  There are various remedies people can try, from prescriptions like beta blockers, to OTC magnesium supplements and so on, but overall, not much has been found in the medicine cabinet that reliably stops benign ectopic heartbeats.

It is known,however, that things that keep the adrenaline level high make ectopic beats both worse and more noticeable.  So the next logical step is to find a specialist who can help you with the anxiety.  Have you tried that?  

The reason I ask is based on my own experience:  Every few years, I have a phase of panic attacks that lasts for months.  It is invariably accompanied--instantaneously--by pvcs, and whether it’s the chicken or the egg, I have no idea, but the whole situation can get pretty difficult pretty fast!  

For those who are opposed to medication, there are various mental exercises, such as hypnosis or cognitive therapy, that may help with this kind of problem.

Personally, I find that my panic attacks come on so swiftly that these calming exercises are of little help to me. I have gotten my best relief via medical help from an excellent psychiatrist, for which I am grateful.

In my case, this has meant trying several different medications, and by now, I know that some antidepressants of the SSRI class are worth their weight in gold to me for long-term control of anxiety or panic.  Zoloft is my favorite, and has worked reliably for me time and again (sometimes, the pvcs have disappeared for months when I was on it).  I also know that Celexa may work, or it may not.  And for me, Lexapro and Paxil are useless in quieting down a good, four-alarm panicky phase.  (And Lexapro made chocolate taste like chalk, to boot, which was definitely not good!)

Books and articles about our problem say the ectopic beats are usually only perceived by people when they are anxious, and that has been my experience:  After a little while on Zoloft, I hear and feel them less and less, and I mind them less and less.  In other words, the disturbing physical symptoms go away as my nervous system quiets down and I am no longer compelled to 'listen' to my body.  My shrink likens it to having an overly sensitive car alarm, one that goes off even when it feels a gust of wind, and he advises me to use the medication steadily for several months beyond the point my symptoms have diminished--"to give the alarm system a chance to cool off," as he puts it.  

Based on my experience, I’d suggest you try to find a psychiatrist who specializes in treating anxiety. You might have to see more than one doctor to find the right one; you might need to try several drugs to find the right one; but the end result will be that your life will once again be enjoyable, with or without PVCs.

1486478 tn?1307466597
My main thing is, since they were brought on by anxiety, does that mean they will go away when the anxiety does?
Avatar universal
It's possible, but I don't think anyone would guarantee it.  You might get more insight from the first entry on the page that comes up when you copy this link:

1124887 tn?1313758491
I think you're asking your question a bit wrong, I will explain why.

The relevant question is not if they will go away. The relevang question is more "Why are you afraid of them"?

You know that PACs and PVCs are not dangerous. Why are you afraid of a benign phenomenon that everyone experiences to a certain degree? Of course, when you pay attention to them, the sensation of them will be stronger. My guess is, you've always had a few of them (everyone does), but anxiety made the number increase and the sensation increase.

I bet you don't pay attention to hiccups. And still you know, they will be there from time to time the rest of your life. They are annoying, but not dangerous. Neither is premature beats. You need to get the same relaxed feeling about premature beats as you have about hiccups.

They will reduce as soon as you stop trying to make them go away (a paradox). Stop doing Valsalva (it only works with AV reentry tachycardia, it will never stop PACs or PVCs), stop doing all tricks to reduce them. The only things you can try is stop drinking coffee, stop smoking if you do, and try to reduce stress. I assume you don't take coke or similar substances. Healthy food is also good. Some people experience their anxiety levels and heart activity rise after excess sugar intake.

Conclusion: Don't focus on making the PVCs (or PACs, which they usually are in young anxious people, not PVCs) go away. Focus on accepting them as normal heart activity. If you do, I can promise they will at least reduce, and the rest of them will pass more or less unnoticed (as before).

Avatar universal
hello,i understand we all have the same kind of feeling ,,no matter what age we are or which part of universe we are at,,i have the same problem for so long,i skip how long part,,but it comes and goes and never give up,i know it comes with stress,, and that would made me even  more stressfull,, when i feel extra beats!!i do meditation and yoga for 15 years,,it helps,,but not vanishs,than u can learn the ways of useing ur thougths for healing!!it takes some time,take it as aducation, i recoment books by adam,,the healer,,canadian,,u migth benefit,
i must say one of the usefull answer belongs to ,,is something wrong s ,,to me very ,,truthfull ,,very much intelligent,
i thank him for my side,,
i hope u will find way out,,
1486478 tn?1307466597
Why am I afraid of them?

Because of how they feel. We're not talking little heart hiccups here. We're talking about extremely forceful beats that occur everytime I try to relax, and scare the living daylights outta me.

I can take a little pre-mature beat, but not when I feel my heart squeezing REALLY tight, leaving my chest and throat in pain after every one.

Ignoring that is easier said than done.

Sure, everyone gets them, my thing is that if I'm stuck with them, how do I stop them from being that strong?

Hiccups don't hurt. These do.
Avatar universal
Hi Dahrol

People have given such great advice.  Did you have a 30 day event monitor put on?  Maybe you need a second opinion for someone to explain to you and answer all of your questions.  Until you believe that they are "just" pvc's you probably won't be able to relax much.  I pray that you will find some answers, which will bring peace.

I completely understand where you are coming from, although my PVCs are not painful - just scary to me.

Keep posting for encouragement.  We are here for you.

1486478 tn?1307466597
I still have general anxiety, and just want to know how to get the palpitations to where they're not painful, because they bring me more anxiety on top of the anxiety I have, and everytime I start feeling good, they bring me back down.

Everytime I think I can handle it, a strong one brings me back down.
Avatar universal
Definitely I would get a second opinion so at the very least, they can reassure you that it is okay to have pain along with that.  There is nothing wrong with getting a 2nd opinion if you are having pain.
1486478 tn?1307466597
It's an anxiety symptom.

That's my problem. Dealing with the physical anxiety symptoms.
1486478 tn?1307466597
I've notice a slight reduction in pvcs since I started laying on my back with my chest totally spread out. Been sleeping like that.

Think that might have somethin to do with it?
520292 tn?1232039450
Once a PVC'er always a PVC'er.  
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