Need Help Coping with PACs/PVCs

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MzPam
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 1/2/2010 11:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey all....
 
I'm a 46 year old female that has been dealing with "extra beats" for years.  I will go for months without feeling them at all, and then, like now, they come on with a vengeance.  I mean literally I will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 per minute.  Then I will go for a half hour without any... and then it all starts up again. 
 
I was orginally diagnosed with this years ago and heard all the same stuff - "It's not normal, but it's not unhealthy"  "just deal with it because it's just the way your heart works" "there is nothing physically wrong with your heart"  Blah Blah Blah!  Good news right?  Yes I agree... but here's the thing.
 
I feel like I'm starting to lose my mind over this.  I don't stress about it, but I can't get over it.  I feel the thumping so hard in my chest and throat that sometimes I lose my breath.  I don't get dizzy, but there is definetely a physiological reaction to it because my hands get sweaty and I get that nervous tingling all over.  So yes, now I am starting to stress over it.  Whenever I get runs or bouts like this, I wonder if "this is it" so to speak.  If I have any back pain, or pain anywhere else, then it must be related to my heart acting up.  I know this isn't true, but I can't seem to get "mind over matter" with this.  I am reduced to tears sometimes because I can't STAND this feeling in my chest and throat.
 
I don't do caffeine... ever.  I am generally not a stressful person.  I am not on any medication whatsoever.  I do drink alcohol occaisionally, but not a ton. 
 
Does ANYONE have any coping measures that they use personally to overcome this situation?  I'm desperate at this point.  My friends don't understand because none of them suffer from this type of condition.  They are sympathetic, but don't know what to do to help me.  Just looking for advice and a little reassurance.  
 
Thank you in advance!!!!!

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/2/2010 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there, have you ever had a Holter Monitor study done lately.........perhaps it is time to see a new cardiologist as you may need medication or something new has developed. Better to have it looked into and be reassured you are fine then stressing out.


Kitt

MzPam
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 1/4/2010 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks.  Actually, I have an appointment with my cardiologist tomorrow.  It's been over 2 years since I had a holter and stress test done.  I figured it was better to be safe than sorry.  I know what the answer is going to be, but it still leaves me with the problem of finding a way to "forget" about them.  They are driving me INSANE!

MzPam
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 1/7/2010 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   

Well I went to the Cardiologist.  They put me on a Holter and I haven't recieved the results yet.  I have to go for bloodwork and an Echo (2/9).  She felt the palps, extra beats, whatever when she was listening to my heart and taking my pulse.  Didn't seem concerned, but wanted to be sure by running a few tests.

Meanwhile.... I'm getting them constantly now.  Anywhere from 6 to 15 per minute.  Seriously...***????  I try to stay busy and keep moving around so that I don't notice them, but it's hard NOT to notice.  Especially when I talk because it literally takes my breath away and it's like my voice is cracking.  *sigh*  

Anyone else out there dealing with this on a daily basis???????


stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/7/2010 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Glad to hear you had the Holter monitoring and your scheduled for the Echo. Many people have the Premature beats but are not aware of them.


Try to take a deep breath and just stay in the moment as your anxiety may be kicking in to a higher gear which also can cause you to have these beats. Also are you a caffeine user...............remember caffeine is in many things, not just coffee and sodas.



Keep us posted.



Kitt

MzPam
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 1/8/2010 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   

I haven't touched caffeine in over 5 years :)  I try to stay away from high sodium foods too because I noticed over the years that could trigger it - like Chinese food. 

Anyway.... still living with the constant thumping.  I seriously believe that I am being as calm as I possibly can be and I'm keeping my anxiety in check. 

But now it's getting to the point where I'm starting to get dizzy and I'm feeling pressure in my head.  This could all just "be in my head".  I'm starting to get depressed because I'm telling you I can't live like this forever.  It's literally driving me insane. 


MzPam
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 1/16/2010 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Got the results of the holter monitor today. They recorded approx 2,000 PAC/PVCs over a 24 hour period. More PVCs than PACs. Heartbeat looks "normal" but I have to get an echo to be sure. I have never experienced anything like this and it's getting very tiresome. In fact, I'm tired all the time. It's hard to ignore, but it doesn't make me anxious. It's making me angry. I'm seriously thinking of going on a beta blocker because I don't think I can live like this.

kcabelut
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/22/2010 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm a 43 year old male and have had heart arrhythmia issues for 18 years. I first suffered from occasion bouts (once a year) of A-fib. I have had all test that you can possibly have and no heart disease detected. (This is great because my father had his first heart attack at 32 and died at 62 due to heart disease.) After 10 years of my occasional A-fib my cardiologist recommended I see a electrophysiologist (a cardiologist that specializes in the "wiring" or electrical systems of the heart.) I had an EP study and an ablation to correct, destroy the errant nerves in my heart that were causing my A-Fib. The first ablation I had did not do the trick and I was back about a year later for a second one. This time it seems to have worked great (knock on wood). It has been about 5 years and no A-fib, but I do have PVCs on occasions, and I don't mean one or two I'm talking days of them, 10,000 - 30,000 a day (holter monitor showed this). I returned to the electrophysiologist to get his take on this, he calmed me down and explained that PVCs are very common, not harmful (under most circumstances), and that it appears that my heart may be very sensitive to arrhythmia's. He told me to evaluate what might be triggering them, alcohol (i don't drink), caffeine (an occasional Pepsi and no coffee, or energy drinks), stress & anxiety (I'm doomed-- I have also suffered with generalized anxiety disorder GAD for years, and my heart doing the cha-cha has never been a big help for that.) I have taken 10mg of Paxil a day for 20 years to keep my GAD's in check, it has been a heaven sent for me. In fact a year ago I thought I would try to get off my Paxil, within month I was anxious and having PVCs, so Paxil for life is my motto. I have found that overeating, eating to late, constipation, or just getting bloated seems to trigger my PVCs on occasion. Around Thanksgiving I over did it, who doesn't, and the PVCs started they last several days and then went away, a couple weeks later another bout, then two more weeks and again. To get to my point, I have always found that PVCs are annoying, scary, unnerving, sleep interrupting, life interrupting, just a pain in the butt. So with these constant occurrences I started searching the web and found that people have had success supplementing their magnesium input. So I stop at Walgreens and purchased a bottle of Magnesium Oxide (On the vitamin wall.) I went home and took 2 tablets (400mg) and within 4 hours my heart had settled right back into a normal sinus rhythm. This after 3 days of constant PVCs. I have been taking 400mg a day for a week and have never "skipped a beat". I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV, not really, but I have seen my share of heart specialist, but this "Google" search about Natural Treatments for PVCs paid off.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/22/2010 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
MzPam


Hey there, I am not a big fan of Google search as there is so much info out there that you must be careful on what you choose to believe and what may confuse you, JMHO in response to the above post.



I hope you decided to go on a beta blocker and if you did which one are you taking. Your Holter Monitor results certainly did tell it like you felt it. :-)



I have you in my thoughts and hope your Echo is normal.



Gentle Hugs,



Kitt

Paddy 1
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/23/2010 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am new to this forum. I am a 49 year old male who has had pvc problems in the past. As you know they come and go. Months may pass with hardly a missed beat, and then  Bam ! ..Their back again as if they never left.  This time is different though, they are more frequent, especially when sitting or lying down, but the real concern is the runs of them I'm having. Four and sometimes 5 in a row . Sometimes 5 or 6 runs in one minute.  Also lots of doubles and triples. And on average thousands per day with singles. I had a holter monitor a few years ago, with echo and they didn't seem to be concerned. But as I said this time, the way they are running together,  it's a whole different ball game . I feel lucky to make it through the day, only to be afraid to go to bed, as trying to sleep with this going on is incredibly distressing. Also, as I mentioned they are definately worse when lying down. And it has nothing to do with me being more aware of them. I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.    ...Cheers, Paddy

Paddy 1
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/23/2010 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
"MzPam,".... Sorry didn't mean to hijack your thead. I posted this in the wrong section. Meant to start a new thread. Again , sorry. ................Paddy 1

MzPam
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 2/3/2010 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been meaning to come back and post about what all is going on and totally forgot! 
 
I'm still having major episodes of PVCs.  I have an Echo next Tuesday and I went for blood work already.  Assuming no news is good news, I haven't heard back from them about the blood work.  They said that the Dr. would most likely review everything together when we meet after the Echo. 
 
I'm so glad to hear from others out there who are experiencing the same thing.  It is comforting to know that and I appreciate everyone's input.  I have thought about the Mg thing, but I thought I would wait to hear from my Cardiologist.  Some of the blood work that was ordered had to do with my Thyroid, so we'll see.
 
Thank you guys again so much for your kind words, concern and feedback! 

andwes
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 4/6/2010 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   

I am a 62-year-old woman who's been dealing with PVC's on and off since I was 12 years old.  Like everyone says, they can disappear for months or even years and then come back with a vengeance.  I hadn't had any four quite a few years then all of a sudden over a month ago they started up worse than ever.  Tests I had done earlier in life didn't indicate any heart disease but I'm older now, and a long-time smoker, so I may have worsened them myself (sometimes we're our own worst enemy).

I'm now starting 400mg of Magnesium per day as someone on here suggested - I had been taking it but not a high enough dosage. so we'll see if the increase helps.  (Can you over-do Magnesium intake??)   Anyway, I have always struggled with anxiety/panic attacks and minor OCD all my life and I find that the PVC's definitely get worse when I worry about them or am under stress from some other situation.  When I'm anxious I've learned that I don't breathe normally, I take more shallow breaths because I'm "uptight" as they say,  and this seems to worsen my PVC's.  So after reading something online about doing breathing exercises for PVC's I started consciously breathing full breaths in and out and it seems to do the trick.  Naturally you can't be conscious about doing these breathing exercises every second of the day but when I do,they ABSOLUTELY keep the PVC's away.  So give it a try and see if it helps.

Bottom line though - PVC's ARE ANNOYING AS HELL!


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/6/2010 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello and you are right, bottom line, PVCs are annoying and scary too.



When people discuss overdoses, magnesium isn't one of the more commonly thought-of culprits, but it is possible and it's a potentially dangerous condition. Do discuss with your cardiologist/physician how much is to much.





Kindly,



Kitt

taxman
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/27/2010 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   

I have NOT had a good day today.   I had a couple of bad dizzy/lightheaded spells this morning.   They've subsided this afternoon.   And it's weird, because I've felt great for weeks now.   And then, all of a sudden...WHAM---there they are again.

I was diagnosed with both PVC and SVT's, but seem to get the PVC's more.  In fact, many times, I don't even notice my heart at all;   it'll be those darned dizzy spells and lightheaded spells that accompany the PVC's.   I'm on 50mg metroprolol/daily for them and whether or not they help is up for debate.     I've had 2 nuclear stress tests, wore the monitor and had a couple of EKG's.   Doctor says that everything is functioning normally---in fact, even the cardiologist read the results and agreed.    But, they did pickup both the SVT's and PVC's on the monitor a year ago.  

The dizzy spells scare me, though.   Anyone else have them other than me??


kkennon
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/1/2010 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I struggled for years with pvc's 300 to 400 a day,and tried every thing to prevent them.I finally knocked them down to almost nothing.flecainide 100 mg 2x a day,metoprolol 25mg 2x a day,Cut milk and products with milk in them down to almost nothing, 1 ginger tea a day.I pray this helps even 1 person

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4983
   Posted 6/4/2010 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I found my tachycardia was triggered by an allergy (acquired) to sulfite in processed foods. It usually came on a half hour to an hour after eating. My allergist had me keep a food log and then do "challenge testing." I had a long list of seemingly unrelated foods, started googling them and found my whole list - all containing sulfite.

Not saying this is your problem, but keeping a log of events, foods, medications might help you figure out if you have a specific trigger.
Alcie
 
 


k1k2k3
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/6/2014 3:37 PM (GMT -6)   
This is an old thread that I came upon it in my desperate search to cure my PVCs, so I'm bumping it up in the hope that someone out there has found resolution.

MzPam, my story is so similar to yours and the others that have posted here as well. I'm a 52 y/o female, history of irregular beats, diagnosed with PACs 10 years ago, then PVCs 4 years ago. With the PVC diagnosis and being an RN and knowing too much about the body, my PVCs became worse. I absolutely agree that anxiety and stress can trigger it, but I'm not completely convinced it causes it. I have just completed another round of tests, holter, exercise stress, echo, aortic ultrasound and will meet with the doc next week, I've already been told the echo and US were normal and the exercise stress showed the PVCs and ST depressions. I'm expecting the doc to suggest an event monitor, which I don't have a problem with, except for the fact that it won't help to figure out what actually causes the PVCs. I am going to ask about being started on a BetaBlocker and/or antianxiety meds. I'm not a medicator, and I feel it will just mask the symptoms and I won't get to the cause, but I am so desperate for a relief and some chance at a "normal" life, that I'll try anything. I have always felt a link to the tension/stress/sensitivity I almost always have in my intestines, although there's not a doc on earth who will admit to that. They tell me that BOTH are being triggered by anxiety, but that one is not causing the other, and they may be right, but I definitely notice when one is bad, so is the other.

So PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if anyone here has found relief from this madness, you can contact me here or via email. Hoping to hear from someone with some good news!

JungRulz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 394
   Posted 2/7/2014 6:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I wish there were a cure for them, but the cure can be more dangerous than the PVC's. I've been having 1000's/day, really irritating at the least. Some time ago I found the following link to an Electrophysiologist addressing the question of treating PVCs. He said that in a structurally normal heart with an otherwise normal EKG, that he would not consider treating them until the patient has more than 20,000/day.

www.drjohnm.org/2013/06/benign-pvcs-a-heart-rhythm-doctors-approach/

That's quite a lot, basically one PVC for every 5 normal beats. I get 1000's/day, but nothing near that many. I had been taking 0.125mg Atenolol twice a day, kept my resting rate at 60 bpm. The cardiologist knew I was taking essentially 1/2 of a 0.25 mg tablet, he was OK with that, but I could take 0.25 mg twice a day. Having grown frustrated with the 1000's/day I was getting, I started to take the 0.25 mg twice a day. My resting pulse dropped to 57, but I went from 1000's/day of PVCs to 100's/day.

The cause of many of the benign arrhythmias is automaticity. "Automaticity refers to a cardiac muscle cell firing off an impulse on its own."

Here is a forum I used to post on:

www.medhelp.org/posts/Heart-Rhythm/Is-PVCs-really-just-anxiety-really/show/1638562

And a user comment from the linked page:

"Heart cells are the root cause for ectopic beats, the condition is called "enhanced automaticity".  Other body functions, drugs, CNS tone, emotional awareness, or chemicals can aggravate the cells to make it worse."

I've had PVCs since my mid teens, 40 years ago, they come and go, but are never gone very long. I've always advocated that anyone experiencing PVCs (any arrhythmia) for the first time be seen by their doctor, or if severe enough or accompanied by other symptoms to go to the Emergency Room. If anyone normally experiences a benign arrhythmia and it suddenly worsens, do the same. But if you've been tested, and tested, and tested, and everything is negative, acceptance (and a Beta Block) is probably the best medicine.

A quote by Benjamin Hoff that applies here.

"A saying from the area of Chinese medicine would be appropriate to mention here: "One disease, long life; no disease, short life." In other words, those who know what's wrong with them and take care of themselves accordingly will tend to live a lot longer than those who consider themselves perfectly happy and neglect their weakness. So, in that sense at least, a Weakness of some sort can do you a big favor, if you acknowledge that it's there."

There are people that are blissfully unaware of their PVC plagued hearts. If they are benign, that's the definition of Nirvana. But if they are blissfully unaware and their PVCs represent a pathological condition, they will not know to seek treatment.

Be well.
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