Hi! I'm sorry you are having such a difficul time. I have had these premature heart beats for over 5 1/2 years and I understand what you are going through. They told you it was a few skipped beats and that means it could be PAC's or PVC's. PAC's originate in the upper chamber and PVC's originate in the lower chamber. Both are benign in a structurally normal heart. It is not uncommon to feel them more at night or when resting because you don't have other things to distract you. Some people say they feel it start up right after eating a large meal. I notice it can also occur if I get too hungry. For some bending over or twisting will fire one off. I believe it all has to do with the vagus nerve that runs through the center of your body. If it gets aggravated, the ectopic beats occur.You are fortunate to only get "a few". I have read about people who have over 10,000 a day. I suggest you go to www.medhelp.org and check out the heart forum. You will be surprised and probably relieved by reading some of the questions answered by cardiologists at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center and the posts given by people just like you and me. I read it regularly and it helps me alot.
When I first started having my 'problems', my daughter was young and my husband worked out of town most nights. I had a great fear of dying in my sleep and my daughter being left alone unable to unlock the door or know how to call for help with my husband gone for two days. I know what FEAR is and how it grows and consumes and feeds on itself. I taught my daughter to use the phone, programmed in numbers for her easy use to grandma's, talked about when to use 911 and made sure she learned to unlock the deadbolt. Also I made a deal with my mom to call at a certain time in the morning if she had not heard from me. All simply to give me peace of mind and feel more empowered about the situation.
At first, I could not accept that this was 'normal' or that it would not kill me. Reading other peoples' reaction to this has made me realise it is a common belief for people who are beginning to experience these things. It is hard to accept. The above website helped there too. It can answer so many questions and misunderstandings.
I also understand SVT. It is probaly PSVT meaning it comes and goes-paroxsymal. I've had that also. Its onset is abrupt and its ending is abrupt. My cardiologist never could catch one on a monitor but he is quite sure that is what I have experienced on and off. Have you tried wearing a monitor for a month where you can push the button to catch these episodes? However anxiety can cause what you are experiecing or can make the episodes worse. I read somewhere that if the heart gradually increases over a few minutes to the fast heart rate and then gradually decreases at the end of the episode, then it is probably a panic attack. However if it has an abrupt onset and ending, then it is SVT. I am not sure if that is correct and you might want to check with your doctor. Mine was always very abrupt. I use to have them for 2-6hrs but I did not want to go on a beta blocker. So I went to a psychologist and learned biofeedback. If I have an episode now, it lasts for no more than 10-20 minutes. It is usually now just a couple of minutes. What I learned from the psychologist is that an episode would start and I would get anxious because I did not understand what was happening and thought I was going to die. That is what KEPT the episode going for me. It started as PSVT and ended up as an anxiety attack. I AM NOT SAYING that this is what everyone with this condition experiences-ONLY ME! It is what was happening to me!
Also I learned from the psychologist that you don't have to feel anxious for a panic attack to happen. Panic Attacks occur because of the parasympathetic nervous system. You may not be aware of it. If your system suddenly dumps adrenaline into your body and you are prone to or your body is conditioned to experience panic attacks, then you are off to the races! My point is that there are things you can do to help with all this no matter what it is! Knowledge is key and support which you can find here. Medication might help or some counseling or learning techniques like biofeedback. You are not alone in what you are feeling. Even after 5 1/2yrs there are times I feel afraid or I don't want to go somewhere or I just want someone to tell me they experience it too.The good news is I don't live in that state anymore and most days are good.
I have had the same thing for 9 years! Very upsetting to say the least. Have had holter, echo and 2 week event monitor (apparently all benign). Have recently been prescribed a beta-blocker as well, but I am going to hold off and try more digilently to monitor food, exercise regularly, meditate, just keep a more conscious approach to the barages of stress. These pvc's, pac's and svt's have altered my life dramatically. I seldom go out and never go out alone! I don't work anymore.......I searching for more of a cure for the fear now than the heart arrythmias. Hang in there, you are not alone with dealing with these darn things.
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Thanks for the welcome, elisha (?)
I do have a question for anyone who has the experience to answer. Although my PVBs are down to one or two a day, and are much less noticable now that my nervous system is functioning better, my stress test did produce some results.
Done on a treadmill, there were three stages of the test. The first was a medium paced walk on the flat. The second was the same pace up an incline, and the third was a brisk walk up the same incline. Each stage ran for three minutes with my blood pressure being checked at each transition point. By the time I reached the third stage, my heartbeat was stable at 160 beats per min. The nurse in charch told me that the rate wasn't high enough, and the goal was 180 bpm, so they cranked up the pace to a fast jog (?) up the same incline. After about three more minutes, I reached the target while discussing my symptoms with the nurse.
The question- my performance while building up the pace was noted as very good and very exercise tolerant, but while warming down, I started to get a series of events that showed up clearly on the monitor (about 7 or 8). So why do these events show themselves when the "stress" element of the test is over? I was taken down carefully from the peak.
Thanks for any responses,
Hmm... The weather seems to play a key role in my episodes.
After a period of gradual Spring warming and stability with my heart rate, yesterday there was a sudden temperature drop and a few thunder storms. For whatever reason, this had quite an impact on the frequency and effect of my arrhythmia. Even when the beat is stable, I can sense a difference centrally in my chest. Is this an air pressure issue?
Another thing I discovered was not to eat Thai food in the evening. Actually I guess this covers any spicy/complex foods that would be challenging to digest. My stomach was comfortable, but bubbled away all night and caused me episodes every minute or so until the digestion process ended.
I get my final diagnosis this coming Friday. I expect to have sinus arrhythmia. Is this a lifelong condition or just a phase? Whichever, it is bloody annoying.
if it's ok to ask, how much do you weigh? I'm just asking this because I thought that one's weight might affect how much of a vitamin or supplement they should take. I'm trying desperately to find something that will slow down or put an end to the pac's and pvc's I get (have been getting for 8 months, ever since my first "panic attack"), and currently have been taking magnesium oxide 250 mg twice a day for a little over a week now but have not noticed a great reduction in the skipping. I've heard that this form of magnesium isn't the best since it's not as absorbable, and I also don't know if I'm taking enough or not. I don't want to take too much though, as I'm scared that taking too much could make it worse too. I had a very bad day, the worst I can remember as far as the skipping is concerned, this past week....on that particular day, I had them on and off all day long, and had taken 1 and a half of the magnesium supplements twice on that day. I was told by a cardiologist that the supplement didn't have anything to do with having that many on that particular day, so I guess I need to believe her on that. But at the same time part of me is still scared to take too much of anything. These stupid things bother me so much that I have to take medication to fall asleep, otherwise I don't sleep because of my fear of them and the constant state of anxiety they keep me in. I'm scared all the time, wondering when the next one will be. Oh, I had one more question for you, did you have both pac's and pvc's? I was actually diagnosed as having both of them....bad enough to have either one, but to have both kinds just made it worse! Anyway, I figure that if you can alleviate your skipping with the supplements you take, then maybe it'd work for me too. I just needed to know if you get both kinds of skips and what your weight is. I'm very small, I just recently gained some weight as I really needed to put on a little more (went from around 103 at 5' 7", to 118 currently) and am a 29 year old female. Please help, share anything you think will help!! I've tried fish oil and vitamin C, although I may not have taken enough of either one to make a difference, but I've heard even more about magnesium helping. Please share!!
Dear April Cousart: I'm 52, 5'4", and weight 127. I started having arrythmias after my first child in 1982. Mainly PVCs. MD said I was healthy and not to worry about them. After a long time, I became used to the feeling. I was diagnosed w/Cardiac Syndrome X, MVP, A-Fib, PSVTs, and PVCs in the last 10 years. I am now controlled w/beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. They seem to do the trick. I do know one thing ... beware of any herbal meds. These meds do not go through the FDA. I have seen pts come into the ER with rectal bleeding, severe stomach pain,etc all becaused they were trying to stay healthy. If a person eats healthy, herbal meds are not needed (I know a lot of people live by herbal meds, but I just know what I've seen). The best advise I can give is to eat healthy, exercise, and set aside a quiet time each night before sleeping. My heartbeat can go from 35 - 200 in 3 seconds flat and then back into the 50s which my norm. I let stress from Hurricane Katrina, working long shifts at hospital, etc get the best of me. I didn't take my advise and ended up having severe health problems. I am back on the health track and hope to stay there. The damage stress caused on me cannot be reversed on my cognitive thinking, but I'm working on reversing imbalance, gait problems, and weakness through physical therapy. Remember, the more you worry, the more stress you place on your heart. Good luck.
Hi, I was also diagnosed with SVT in November. I have had svt since i was about 15 yrs old (27 now) but the docs misdiagnosed it as panic attacks until i had a really long episode which i had to have stopped at hospital. I am sure i never had pvcs until then. I'm not sure why they started that day maybe it was stress that triggered them but i'm not sure if that's even possible?? I have about 10-100 pvcs a day.
I just wanted to ask other pvc and svt sufferers if you too have about that many pvcs and if they started before or after the svt? Also do you have pvcs independantly of the svt or only when you have an svt??
BOOKEM: Do you have frequent svts? What did they do for you at the hospital to stop the svt? Have you ever had adenosine? Good luck with the procedure i'm assumong you are having an ablation? My cardio wants me to have one too. Please let us know how it goes??
Capesidedreamin: How many pvcs do you get a day? have you ever had a few in arow with no normal beat in between? That really really frightens me