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Heart Rhythm Community
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Avatar universal

Pacs in a healthy heart

Hi everyone, please have patience and understanding with me, this has been going on for about 2 years now, I was 26 then, now 28 (male) I went to the cardio when it started and nothing was ever picked up on the ekg so i had a stress (ekg) test and a echocardiogram, cardio said I had a strong healthy heart with no blockages but did have a small murmur caused by a very mild mitrial valve leak but it was nothing at all to worry about and that I needed to relax and exercise... fast forward another year and I start having a lot of pacs, or what feels like a lot, like 20 a day that I feel... so it gets my anxiety going and I go back to the cardio, still nothing picked up on the ekg, so for my peace of mind he's says we'll do another echocardiogram just to make sure the valve leak wasn't getting worse. Everything come back good on that and he said no need for another echo for 3-5 years... so he give me a 10 day event monitor where we finally figured out that I'm having pacs, he says theyou are harmless and no need to worry about them. My resting heart rate avgs between 50-60 which he said was good but with it being low it could be allowing the extra beats to fire off occasionally. I had blood work like 3 different times and everything come back good. So to this day I still have no idea what's causing the pacs, the only thing i can relate it to is it seems to happen more after eating so i got back on acid reflux meds when that spell started and it seemed to help, now I may go a week or longer without a single pac but then I might 2-3 a day for a few days and then they go away again as suddenly as they came... it really makes me think something I'm eating is triggering them. The reason I'm here today is because the devil makes sure to throw everything in front of me that will get me to worrying, latest example being the mma guy dying from heart trouble... so I go straight back to reading about my pacs and start reading stuff where they may cause afib, so now I'm literally a wreck scared I'm going to end up with afib. They say in a normal heart pacs are completely harmless but I worry that mines not normal bcuz of the valve leak, he said I didn't have mitrial prolapse just that the valve wasn't closing as tight so it was slightly leaky but of no concern. Someone please give me some reassurance. Thanks for taking time to read this. God bless!
6 Responses
12492606 tn?1459874033
Sorry to hear that you feel every PAC which is unlucky as everybody gets them an the vast majority don't feel them the way you do.  Yours doesn't sound frequent enough to have any correlation with increased risk for AF.  Even if you end up in AF, there is no acute risk of dying although the risk for stroke goes up.  I suggest keeping a journal of whether your PACs correlate with what you eat, drink and how you exercise (over training can do it).  Make sure you magnesium and potassium levels are in range.  Even in the worse case where you do end up with AF years down the road, ablation can cure it if you catch it while it is still paroxysmal, if you find a center that does a high volume.  A top level operator will do 200 AF ablations or more per year.  
Avatar universal
Thanks for replying! I was in a bad shape worrying yesterday morning but after church last night and praying, ive had a little bit better attitude about it today. After reading for hours and hours ive finally convinced myself that my heart murmur/mild leaky mitrial is really pretty common, cardiologist even said it's probably been that way since I was born and would likely not progress... he said the murmur is very slight and it must be bcuz no other dr has ever heard it... I've also read how common pacs are but that still doesn't make them any less scary when they happen, and the thought of them turning into something else is awful as well... but there's no since in worrying about something that may never happen so I'm just going to praying and continue to try and figure out what's triggering the pacs, a self diagnosis on the Internet says a heart valve problem but there so few and far apart that I can't see that being the cause and the cardio apparently didn't think that was it either, I guess I don't necessarily have a heart valve problem... other than the pacs I would have no reason to ever think there was anything wring, my blood pressure is usually around 100-110/60-70, heart rate recovers really quick after exercise and my resting heart rate avgs around 50 which the doc says is great and is bcuz I'm active, which is true but when you read online it says athletes can have a rhr of 40-50 im not in bad shape (5'11, 150lbs) but I'm not an athlete and dont work out, he described it like a turtle, slow heart rate and they live a long time lol... but anyways thanks for the support! It feels good to just talk about it with people who have experienced some of the same things... I'll keep all of you in my prayers and I ask that you all would please do the same for me! Thanks again!
Avatar universal
Another Q... from reading online pacs are extremely common and benign, right? So I would like to think that they really are harmless for the most part and not everyone with pacs is going to end up with afib... would I be right to assume that the condition causing the pacs would be more of a determining factor in one's chances of developing afib?
1807132 tn?1318743597
Stomach issues especially acid reflux is a big trigger for pacs.  Anything that upsets the stomach, caffeine, sugar, carbohydrates, chocolate, spicy foods, any gas producing foods will trigger pacs.  As well stress and anxiety are big triggers and becoming dehydrated as well.  Keep those things under control and you may be able to keep the pacs at bay but they really are harmless in an otherwise healthy heart.  Most anything in the atria is of less concern to doctors even if the heart has a minor valve problem.  Keep up getting echos every 3-5 years to check on it but otherwise just work on your triggers and you should be fine.  Take care.
Avatar universal
Thanks that makes me feel better, I've been to a GI and had a upper endoscopy, diagnosed with gerd/ acid reflux but when I mentioned the pacs he just said if my cardio wasn't concerned then not to worry about it... so I'm back on a ppi  (dexilant) I feel like Dr's today don't care about fixing the problem, just treat it. I was on ppi'so for 3-4 years until I quit them last year and now I'm back on them and the GI has made no mention of trying to get me healed and off them. The whole deal with afib is what scares me but hopefully that will never be an issue. I'm 5'11" and currently down to 148 lb's, back in 2014 I decided I was going to start eating better and lose some weight, I was at around 175, it probably has nothing to do with it but the pacs started around that time frame. Everyone says I've lost to much weight and look sick so I'm trying to put a little back on, I would like to get back up to at least 165-170. I want to put it back on but still be healthy about it. Thanks again for the replies! God Bless you all!
1807132 tn?1318743597
Sometimes doctors only have so much they can do to help.  I have heard that acid reflux can be related to drinking too much during meals.  Acid reflux is more about not having enough acid as opposed to too much so maybe try cutting back on how much you drink with your meals and see if it helps.  I think eating healthy tends to create more gas in our stomach which tends to trigger more premature beats.  Not sure anyone knows why for sure but I think it is related to over stimulation of the vagus nerve.  Take care.
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