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GN ICT
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/7/2010 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone, my name is Grant, I'm a 35 year old male (almost 36).  Recently (June 26th) I was getting ready for a BBQ around the house when I kept feeling a flutter in my lower neck area and a quick shortness of breatk (like 1/4 of my breath was taken away), there was no pain or anything like that.  I didn't think much of it, later in the day I started taking my pulse and when I felt that flutter in my neck and the brief shortness of breath I noticed I didn't have a beat....this freaked me out.  I am one that is very quick to worry about anything and everything and I always assume the worst....especially when it comes to my family's health (mine included). 
 
Anyway, to try and make a long story short I went to the fire department and the guy there felt my heart skip 3-4 times in 30 seconds.  They put oxygen on my and called an ambulance....when the ambulance got there they hooked me up to an EKG machine....it came back perfectly normal....they kept it hooked up and managed to catch one of the little critters and give me a copy of it.  The EMT guy said it was a PAC and that it is common and not to sweat it, he said it could be brought on by dehydration or what not.  Well, I ended up going onto the hospital that night because I was still real worried about it....another EKG was done there and everything looked normal.  The doctor did see some early beats on the heart monitor that I was hooked up to, probably had 3 within a couple minutes that she saw...she wasn't concerned, sent me home with Xanax. 
 
The next day I went to my family doctor who drew blood to check my thyroid and something else...he also put me on a 24 hour holter monitor.  The blood work came back fine and he told me he saw some PACS on the holter monitor, he said at one time I had four premature beats in a row and he said I noted that I felt the flutter at that time, he asked me if I felt any different at that time, which Ii didn't.  He told me I could go on and see a cardiologist but that they won't treat it as "high priority" because this is normal. 
 
Anyway, I have never had any health issues, my blood pressure is usually around 120/80, I do have high cholesterol so I take Zocor each night before bed to control that.  I had a stress echo done in 2004 and everything came back fine.  I am 5'11" and weight 225, so I am overweight but not a ton.  There have been a couple days since the first episode where I only think I had a handful of these things.....but there have also been times.....like today and yesterday where it feels like I go several minutes without one but then I feel like I have 4 or 5 per minute.  I'm finally going into see a different cardiologist tomorrow at 10:00am because the one I saw in 2004 can't get me in until the end of the month. 
 
I don't want to take any other medication, I already hate that I'm on cholesterol lowering meds......but these things worry me like crazy!  I have three young kids and a wife and my biggest fear is not being around them as they grow up.....it is a relief to see that I'm not in the minority, that a lot of people have these and some don't even notice them.  The EMT guy who found it said that I probably have had it my whole life and am just now noticing it which makes it worse. 
 
Any thoughts, encouragement, advice, information, education, etc....would be much appreciated!  Not sure why, but for some reason it always makes me feel better when I know others share my experiences and that I'm not the only one out there.  Two weeks ago I didn't even know what PVC's and PAC's were.......
 
Thanks,
 
Grant

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/8/2010 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Grant,
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell. I am glad to hear you are going to follow up with a cardiologist re your PACs.
 
Generally PACs are not harmful and if you can tolerate the symptoms with little or no medications that is a good thing.
 
Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
 
Again a warm welcome,
 
Kitt


   ~~ Kitt ~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Gerd/Heartburn,  
Osteoarthritis
& Heart/Cardiovascular Disease 
*~* http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*

~Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday. ~
"I am not a mental health professional, nor do I play one on TV, I just kind of talk like one!"

 



Post Edited (stkitt) : 7/8/2010 8:28:10 AM (GMT-6)


GN ICT
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/8/2010 2:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Well.....I went to the doctor today, and I think I feel better for now. The cardiologist I saw in 2004 was booked until the end of July and I just couldn't wait that long so I went to a different one who saw my Dad a couple years ago.

My blood pressure was 100/80 when we started...said that was fine. They took me in to do the echo....they said the size of my heart looked good, the valves all worked properly, and the blood flow was good....when the PA was listening to me before I went in for the echo he thought he may have heard a clicking noise that might signal MVP....they could not find any signs of MVP on the echo. My friend did the echo and he said all the measurements were good. Afterwards, I went into a room with a treadmill...they wanted to hook me up to a heart monitor and see how my heart responds to exercise.....I went for almost 8 minutes with the treadmill inclining every 2 minutes, they wanted to get my heart rate up to 180..which they did and the exercise actually felt good because I didn't feel any premature beats with it going so fast. Once my heart rate came back down though they started again....they didn't notice that or mention it, but I could feel it and see it on the monitor.

The cardiologist told me what I've read on here...that they are normal. I asked if it was a PAC or a PVC....she said "the one that I had" was a PAC....this bothered me because I know I had more than that there....I had 4 or 5 while the echo was being done that I both felt and saw on the monitor...and so did my friend who did the echo. Then she said I only had one during the treadmill part....before my heart rate got up, but again, I felt more than that and saw them on the monitor. Anyway, she said the structure and function of my heart looks good and it responded well to exercise as well. She told me these are normal...and that the only thing she saw was that my heartrate took a while to come back down after the treadmill. My guess is that is because that was the first time I've been on a treadmill in about 4 years. She wants to put me on a very low dose of a beta blocker to help my heart rate come down a little bit and said it may also help with the PAC's. She prescribed me 25mg of atenolol.

This is where I have mixed feelings....I'm very happy to hear my heart looked good and was functioning properly, but I don't like the fact that I am going on another med. I am only 35 years old and am already on high cholosterol meds (simvastatin 40mg's).

What is everyone's experience with atenolol? I don't mind trying it for a while and hoping it helps get these flutters to go away...but I don't want my body to become dependant on it. These stupid things won't go away....I've probably had 9 or 10 while typing this.....I hate it!!!!

Ok, so....atenolol experiences?????

Thanks,

Grant

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/8/2010 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Grant,


I would suggest you talk to the Dr. re why they want your heartrate lower and if taking another med is something he/she strongly recommends. What is you normal resting heartrate.



We have a member in the forum that had 34,700 pvc's in a 24 hour period on a monitor. Now that would scare me. [img]/community/emoticons/shocked.gif[/img] Yup, I did say PVCs .



I use Inderal, also a betablocker which keeps my heartrate down even during exercise. I do not like this as I sometimes feel lightheaded when I try to exercise to long.



Please keep us posted.



Kindly,



Kitt

GN ICT
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/8/2010 6:07 PM (GMT -6)   
She just said that my heartrate took a while to come back down to normal after my treadmill, that is when she wanted my heartrate down.  However, I think with regular exercise my recovery heart rate will improve.  She also thought it would help decrease my palpiations (PACS)...which is another reason why I think she prescribed it.  My family doctor was ready to give me a beta blocker even before seeing the cardiologist to take as an "as needed" basis if my PACS ae really acting up to help my anxiety.....but when he found out I was going to the cardiologist today he said to just see what she would say.
 
I've heard that atenolol has also been prescribed for anxiety in some cases...or that it helps with anxiety anyway, anyone know if that is true?
 
Thanks,
 
Grant

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/9/2010 7:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Grant,


Beta blockers tend to be used most frequently in situations where there is performance anxiety or public speaking anxiety situation and they work primarily by actually blocking the physical manifestations of anxiety, so they have very little effect on the emotional sense of anxiety. But what they do do is help with things like tremors and palpitations and shortness of breath, and sweating and the physical symptoms people experience when they're in anxiety inducing situations. So in that way they can actually make people much more functional, much more able to tolerate these types of situations that cause a lot of anxiety for them.



I hope this helps you understand a bit more on how this medicaiton helps with anxiety.



Kindly,



Kitt

GN ICT
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/9/2010 7:58 AM (GMT -6)   
stkitt,

Thanks for the detailed response, that does help a lot. I am so torn on what to do right now.

Part of me wants to start taking that 25mg of Atenolol each day, especially if that will help the PACS go away so I'm not emotionally consumed by them. However, there are some fears I have....my resting heart rate upon waking is usually around 70...give or take 5 beats. My blood pressure has never been high.....120/80 or maybe a little lower at times which is very suprising considering I've been a worrier my whole life. I don't want to start taking something that is going to bring those two things down to unsafe or dangerous levels. Does that make sense? I also plan to start working out, I don't want to restrict my hearts capabilities with medicine while doing so.

The other part of me wants to continue to move on and try to fight this without taking any meds. The problem is, I have already cut out caffeine completely and my diet is much better since these PACS started two weeks ago. I also haven't drank any alcohol. Which that is another thing that bothers me, I do enjoy going out and having some beers with friends, we have a float trip planned in a couple weeks and i wanted to float down the river stress free while enjoying several cold ones....while on a beta blocker I would be scared to do that...but of course without a beta blocker if these frequent PACS are still around I would still be scared to do that.....not sure which way to go.

I wonder if I should start doing 30 minutes of exercise a day without any meds and see if that changes anything. I am continuing to eat well (on weight watchers) and drink lots of water....so I'm getting closer to losing the 25 pounds that I needed to lose.

I'm so frustrated with this though....how we can take things for granted. I had never even heard of these PVC's or PAC's a couple weeks ago. I wish it were like a long cold or a long virus that you have for a couple weeks then it is gone...unfortunately from reading things this is like a life long thing which sucks!!!

Anyway, I'm torn, not sure what to do at this point. The fact that the cardiologist pointed out "that the one I had was a PAC" is not sitting well with me either, because I know I had at least 4 that I felt and saw on the ultrasound machine and then at least 5 that I felt when hooked up to the heart monitor before the treadmill test.....I just don't want her to think this is an isolated event when it is pretty frequent.

Ok, end of rant....

Mishkins
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/24/2010 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Grant,
I've been reading your posts with interest and actually became a member to offer you some assitance and if you want it - some advice I think will help you.
Firstly I am in Australia and I work for  a Professor of Cardiology/Electrophysiology - Electrophysiology is the specific study of electrical rhythms of the heart so exactly what you're looking for.  If you ever want a second opinion ask to see a Cardiologist wh is also an EP specialist.  The Prof I work for is world class and performs many procedures overseas including training.  I am a cardiac tech in his catheter lab and also work in rooms doing some of the testing (treads/echos etc).
 
Anyway - I wanted to provide you firstly with some reassurance. Both PAC's and PVC's (premature atrial complexes and premature ventricular complexes) are extremely common and there is even a school of thought that a person who gets none of these actually does not have a very healthy heart.  That being said most people will throw at least a few during a 24 hour Holter monitor and some people many many more.  Some of us feel them - others do not.  I get both PVC's and PAC's and have now had them for 23 years (I'm now 48) and still very well alive I assure you.....
 
Okay feeling better??  Well at the height of my annoyance/frustration with them and when I was getting them every single night as soon as I lay down in bed I tried a beta blocker - in my case it slowed my rate down (of course) and I got more PVC/PAC's than I had before.  So - back to the drawing board.  Also I didn't like the fatigue induced by the beta blocker - I took Toprol.
So I went off the beta blocker and started taking 500 mg magnesium complex twice daily and also fish oil - yes plain old fish oil has a very pronounced effect on the electrical stability of the heart and is used by most cardiologists "in the know" nowadays to help stabilise a heart that is irritated from an electrical viewpoint. And that my friend is simply what you have - an area or areas of irritation whereby an extra beat is arising from.  It will never take over from your sinus node where the proper wave originates - unless you have sinus node disease (which you would know about)...so in a healthy heart (which yours is) these things are a totally benign and common dare I say natural occurence.
 
I now rarely get them - just the odd flutter at times - normally when I am tired and I find I cannot take anything with ephedrine in it - some cough medicines or sinus tablets etc but that doesn't worry me not being able to take them.  It took around 3 months of religiously taking the fish oil (liquid form 5 mls 2 x daily) and magnesium to notice a big difference but it has surely made a HUGE difference now one year after starting this.  It has also helped to bring my cholesterol down so that I've been able to come off Lipitor - which I was on as my chol was a bit high. 
 
Anxiety will make them worse - there is no doubt about that as adrenalin can set them off.   So the very best thing you can do for yourself as hard as it is at first is to just "let them happen" and I used to play a little game called "what is the worst thing that can happen" - the worst thing of course would be that my heart would stop and I would die (well at least it would be quick and that used to make me start laughing at the absurdity of it all)..... also your heart is not going to stop because of them - if you've seen your heart muscle beating you will know how big and how strong it is - teeny little arrhythmias like PAC's/PVC's are NOT going to damage your heart or stop your heart in any way. 
 
If it were me starting out again with these - I would not take the beta blocker until I had tried letting them be and religious adherence to fish oils and magnesium for at least a trial of 6 months.  My BP is a little on the high side and I am trying natural therapy for that first rather than again go on a beta blocker.  I really did not like the "zombied out" feeling and the fatigue  - and also my exercise capacity was reduced on them.
 
The other thing I found was a definite increase in PVC s or PAC's if I let myself get dehydrated so plenty of fluids during the day and a glass of water near the bed at night really helps.  I still drink some coffee  but have never been a strong coffee drinker but what I do drink I enjoy so I was not going to give it up on account of some benign arrhythmia.  The other thing to realise is that these won't develop into anything else - they're not a precusor of another arrhythmia unless there is some type of structural change already in your heart which in your case there is not
 
Also don't worry about the Cardiologist just referring to the "one" beat - you may have had a brief run of tachycardia after the one beat that you interpreted as 4-5 beats or they just may be referring to the one beat - having offered you a beta blocker I am sure they got the complete picture however if you're unhappy please get a referral as I said to an EP Cardiologist.
 
I hope that has allayed your concerns somewhat - happy to help if you have any futher questions.
 
Cheers, Mishk.    smilewinkgrin

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 7/24/2010 3:13:20 PM (GMT-6)


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/24/2010 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Mishk,

I welcome you to HealingWell but would like to ask you to please read the forum rules. I highlighted some of your post that I think is misleading and I would remind you politely to review Rule 20. Do not use the forum to give professional medical advice. If you are a medical professional, please remember the forums and chat are for patient support and not to be used for distributing professional medical advice per se'.

To the best of my knowledge, PAC's can deteriorate into atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation and paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. PSVT is also known as paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT). This is a very common dysrhythmia. Its onset is sudden and is often instigated by a premature atrial beat or a premature junctional beat. It will often spontaneously stop. PSVT has a very high rate of between 150 - 250 bpm.

A run of 6 PVCs in a row is considered V-tach and could be a pre-cursor to v-tach.

I do agree if your heart function and EKGs are normal, I do not think PVCs or PACs are a marker of serious cardiac pathology.

However it is always up to a Physician to make the call in these situations and for the patient to decided if they want to follow the Doctors advise.

I thank you for your input and it is always good to have others post support and share personal experiences with each other.

Kindly,

Kitt

Mishkins
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/24/2010 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
no problem moderator - will my post still be there but edited? Would really like to help allay his concerns.
you are correct - but there would be obvious changes in ECG strips etc well before that.....6 pac's in a row can be considered VT in some cases but this would be rare and normally non sustained VT....most people with this respond very successfully to pacing or EP study and ablation.
But what he is describing is a very normal aberrancy. It would be a very rare person who over a 24 hour period did not show any premature complexes and that in itself can give rise to concern - as I mentioned in my post they are actually a sign of a healthy and normal heart. I know the feeling all too well and for around 2 years they really ruined my life in many ways.... which was such a waste of 2 years..... if there is any way of posting some sort of sticky that latest research shows massive benefits on the electrical conduction of the heart by the simple ingestion of 5 ml fish oil daily that would be great - as that is sure not going to hurt anyone.
Kind regards.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/25/2010 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes your post will remain intact without edit.

Discussions on HealingWell should be balanced and suggestions concerning the scientific validity of remedies are open for discussion also. We are all entitled to our opinions and there will always be times when those differ from one another. Your opinioned is valued.

I agree with you 100% that there is a very important place for EP studies. The medical teams that treat heart arrhythmia patients at Mayo Clinic here in our own state are led by electrophysiologists (cardiologists with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders). Diagnosis often includes electrophysiologic testing for potentially serious arrhythmias.



As far as stickies go, only our Administrator has the ability to post stickies and due to the great amount of info available he uses our resources feature most of the time to share sites and information. If you click on the link at the top of this page your will find the resources for this forum.



Kindly,



Kitt

GN ICT
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/30/2010 3:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Mishkins, thank you very much, I appreciate it. I am still struggling with it, I just wish it would go away, I just don't get how all of a sudden I can have this regular "irregular" heartbeat and it is completely normal. I am trying to deal with it though. I may try the fish oil and magnesium....

Is there anyway to private message another member on here?

Thanks,

Grant

Carly18
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 8/4/2010 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Grant,
You wrote on my wall earlier, I was wondering how you are doing. The irregular heartbeats just starting one day is how they began for most of us. I know when you take magnesium you have to take the right kind, what kind are you taking? And does anyone know what kind to take that helps, maybe Mishkins would know and by the way I appreciate the information that Mishkins wrote. We all are advocates of our own bodies and the more information we can gather, we can make better decisions and maybe come up with something that will help us that is natural. I would rather treat myself without medicine if I can. Mishkins, I also appreciate the fact that you know where we are coming from being that you also have suffered with heart palpitations.

GN ICT
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/4/2010 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Carly, thanks for the response. I haven't taken magnesium yet, I have started zoloft to try and get a hold of my anxiety, which has been an issue for a long time, not just about these PACS, of course it gets out of control with them....but I need to get my anxiety in check. Hopefully Mishkins will write down the exact brand that she used (fish oil and magnesium). I would give it a shot, if its natural then it can't hurt. I never did start my atenolol...I'm with you, I want to try and do it natural, although I am on zocor for high cholesterol. I also need to start exercising, should weight about 200 pounds, in mid-June I was at 239, I am down to 221 now by doing weight watchers, of course the anxiety that has helped me lose my appetite and the fear of not drinking a lot of alcohol (beer on the weekends) and caffeine has also helped me lose the weight because I have cut back on those two things dramatically. I'm scared to start exercising now because of these PACS....but who knows, maybe it would help me with them. I don't know, it's frustrating. I'm trying to not let it control me, but I do lose the battle a lot of times. I'm trying to work more on living in the NOW and not the future or the past. But sometimes the PACS are in the NOW and that makes that difficult.....ha ha.

Anyway, thanks for responding. It's nice to stay in contact with those that are in the same boat. Carly, are you on facebook? Have a good day!

Thanks,

Grant

brishka
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/1/2014 7:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi grant,
I'm in the same boat as you. I was wondering how you are doing now?
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