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Avatar universal

Suspected PVCs-Anxiety, Stress? Heart Issue?GERD?

I could really use some help and support here.

I'm a 29 year old female who has been having what I presume to be PVCs for a few weeks now. I had gone to urgent care to be screened and my EKG and BP were perfect. I've had these hard thump "skipped" beats in the past but very sporadically. When I had them in my late teens, I had an echocardiogram which didn't show any abnormalities and my doctor at the time perceived it to be air bubbles in my chest.

However, when I take my pulse, you can physically feel a "skip".

I had been recently diagnosed with GERD after a barium swallow was performed and didn't know if this could be related. My doctor does not think it could be related to PVCs. I have chest pressure and discomfort with occasional pain and hoarseness. My doctor has ordered an event monitor which I pick up next week.

However, day to day this seems almost debilitating! I'm continuously anticipating skipped beats and the hard, almost painful beats , especially when engaging in an activity that increases my heart rate-they increase dramatically and are far more forceful.

I do have an anxiety disorder which has seemed to surround around health over the past 2 years. I refuse to medicate this to work on this on my own (as I'd had issues I'd successfully worked through in the past).  I notice I take shallow breaths very often an perseverance on symptoms. I seem to have new ones that change every few weeks to months.

However, this is terrifying. I'm absolutely consumed with the idea that this could be a heart issue that can cause permanent damage. I don't want medication or surgery, etc. I just want to get through this. The only medication I am on is for GERD and increasing this has not helped these skipped beats and hard thumps,

If anyone has any insight, please help-I have a 4 month old son and this is consuming me!

Thank you!
9 Responses
995271 tn?1463927859
Probably PVCs.  Not a terrible thing.  I get them too, a lot.  Since my late teens.  They come and go.   I've had some months where I was getting closer to 6,000 per day.   Up and down.  I'm 47 now and still in great health.    I've also had to deal with anxiety disorder.     I cope with meditation, relaxation techniques, controlling stress, exercise, keeping my weight low...and the passing of time because the condition will keep changing.  
Avatar universal
Thanks for your response!

So have you felt these very forceful beats as well? Some literally are impossible not to focus on and almost shake your whole body!  I find that especially if I am exerting myself doing a strenuous activity or increase my activity level (I'm unfortunately fairly sedentary and my work is not physical), they become more forceful and frequent. This is to the point where it become very uncomfortable and it's hard to continue.

Granted, my constant vigilance of every sensation likely does not help. However, these make it very hard to believe that they are "benign".

How has your altered lifestyle helped with your anxiety disorder and heart rhythm?
Have you ever felt short of breath or a tight chest with discomfort from these?

Thanks!
995271 tn?1463927859
Yes!   I feel every one of them.   Some could knock me out of my shoes.   I was laying on a recliner once, half asleep with the remote on my chest.   I got one so hard it knocked the remote off my chest.  They suck!

The way they feel depends on the random timing of when the PVC fires during the cycle.  

I've felt discomfort during hard PVCs.   I've felt sore from them for some time afterwards.  Any other issues I've attributed to fear/anxiety from them.  
Avatar universal
Yes, mine feel that forceful often as well.

Also, what testing have you had done to confirm PVCs? There were no abnormalities?

Also, do you have any stomach issues? GERD, etc? Has cutting down on caffeine helped or not shown a difference?

Finally, have you had any success in controlling them? How? Do they ever go away??
995271 tn?1463927859
I get them a lot less these days.  Many life style changes.  No caffeine or alcohol.  I stay in good shape and I'm even back to running.   I also went on a low dose statin.  I don't know if any of that helped,   It definitely got better.   I had a recent flare up out of the blue.  

Stress management is critical.  

Mine were first caught during a stress test in my mid 30s.  I remember going HEY THATS THE FEELING and I looked up and saw this huge bizarre wave.  The cardiologist said meh that's a PVC.  

Then I had another set of tests done in my late 30s, all due to PVCs.   Nuclear stress test this time.   Couldn't find anything wrong.

Then when I was 42 had a major flare.  About 6,000 per day.   They would wake me up like clock work around 2:30am every night.   I was getting about 2 hours of sleep per night.  This was in 2009.   I had a panic attack at one point because I was monitoring my pulse and reading too much negative crap on the boards and my head went into panic during a PVC storm.  Ended up in an ambulance.   In the ER I realized what I had done to myself and I said enough is enough.  Either I die or I live.    

I had major tests done through this time (before the ER).  14 day event monitor, stress tests, nuclear stress tests, echoes, and finally I had a cardiac MRI because at this point they thought I might have ARVD.   That was negative.    My arteries were perfect, no clogs.  0 calcium score.   Great blood pressure.  Muscle looked good, sizes were good, mild valve leakage but who doesn't?  ejection Fraction is 74% which is great.  I was days away from having a ablation and the EP told me to not go through with it.  I didn't agree but listened to him and he was right.   Things settled down on their own.  Ablation nor meds would be indicated for me because the muscle was fine.   The trade offs would have been the issue.  If I had not let it play out things would be worse off because I would have had them burn some muscle.  

Towards the end of 2009 things started to improve.  

5 years later I was doing great.   I started running again.   Then I flared though not too bad back in March.  That has since settle down.  I keep running.  I never monitor my pulse during exercise.   My resting pulse is high 50s.  

so here I am, 47 years of this crap, and my heart is no worse off.   I'm pretty sure my grandmother had it, she was always going to the ER for palps.   She died,me hen she was 96, from dementia. That last year we wished her heart would quit,  dang thing wouldn't stop even when it would have been merciful.    
995271 tn?1463927859
p.s. During my 2009 flare I swore I had stomach problems. I had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. Me erythema was fine.   I was having GERD.   I can remember it making it seem worse or part of the cause.   Honestly, it was probably all part of the same stress syndrome.  
Avatar universal
Very interesting, thanks so much for the thorough info!

Have you ever had issues with them increasing while exerting yourself? Perhaps before getting into shape? I've noticed this. I'm thinking the stress I'm putting on everything kicks it into overdrive.

I also have not exercised in quite awhile. I am a Non-Profit Director, so my job can be very stressful. The 4 month ol likely doesn't help.

I have confirmed GERD and take meds twice a day for it. Unfortunately I am also a coffee addict. My doctor said as long as I keep it low it's fine (I normally nurse a cup-cup and a half a day). I also drink socially (once per month maybe?) and keep away from beer, wine and seemed to have had luck with clear alcohol (vodka, etc).

I'm guessing exercise would help with this but I'm scared to given my response to elevating my heart rate recently.

I'm trying to be realistic in that I had an echo done in my late teens and structurally my heart is fine, my BP is perfect and my EKG was good. It's just hard to keep repeating this above all the chaos going on in your head and the pounding in your chest!
995271 tn?1463927859
I get the opposite.  I get what are called recovery PVCs which means after I'm done exerting myself when my heart rate is returning to normal. There are studies that show recovery PVCs are associated with greater risk for future heart issues, particularly ischemia.   The kind you are getting, that increase with exertion do not have any future predictive value, which is good for you.   But something you have to get used to.  

This is the reason I'm on a statin.  Statins have been shown to lessen exercise and recovery PVCs.  This to me seems to be repeated to stress which causes inflammation which irritates heart muscle.   Statins bring this down in addition to cholesterol.  

I have a very stressful job too.   My kids are now 13 and 8.  Back in 2009 I was really struggling with stress and what turned out to be anxiety /depression.  I dealt with it through lifestyle.   I tired meds, and they worked at first but I didn't want to spend the rest of my life on them so I weaned off and I'm handling with exercise and diet.  When I get stressed now I don't reach for food, I do something physical.
Avatar universal
Makes sense.

I'm just concerned that these will keep effecting me and altering my life.

I'm constantly thinking about getting them, and when I do, I get immediately flooded with anxiety. I wonder if so much of it is the stress I'm putting in the heart muscle that it's reacting that way, though it isn't considered serious.

Realistically, I need to lose some more weight as well and wonder if GERD were to dissipate with weight loss, would these do the same?

I just keep thinking about how I'm going t handle future stress if I'm doing this to myself! It's a horrible cycle.

I was also wondering if there could be an issue with Magnesium at play as the GERD meds I'm on deplete it and I've always been chronically dehydrated (I've always been horrible about drinking water!)....

Honestly, most days I just think once I'm past this, I'll just love onto another symptom.
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