Here's some tips for those suffering from pvc's...

Disclaimer: Im not a doc, just a guy (45) who has had these all his life.

1) Quit worrying about them. This will only make them worse, not that they actually get worse, it's your body tuning into them and noticing every beat, thump, etc, your heart makes. I'm sure some of you can't stand the sound of your heart beating at night and will sleep with the tv or radio on to tune out your heart beat. Sound familiar? Wink

2) Read #1 again. Seriously, one thing you have to realize is, there really isn't a whole lot you can do about PVC's. Accept the fact that you are alive right now and do something productive with your life today, tomorrow and beyond.

3) Get off the caffeine, chocolate, candy, sugar, aspertine, etc. Drink plenty of water, your body needs it!

4) Work out everyday! For some weird reason, the majority of people suffering from pvc's feel better when working out. PVC's should not stop you from working out, etc. There could be other factors that do, but if all you're diagnosed is with PVC's, then feel free to workout. I would suggest walking, 30-60min everyday.

5) Accept the fact that you'll go days, weeks, months, without them and "uh oh...they're back!". Again read #1. Usually stress, diet, etc, will trigger them so find out what's different and usually you can stop them. In my case it's almost always "I havn't had any for a while so why not dig into some candy bars, cookies, etc" then a few days later my heart is going wacky for a few days.

6) Sleep. Avoid this and they will get worse, plain and simple.

7) The "thump" you feel is usually not the pvc but the heart "resetting" itself electronically. This is a good thing. The only time to get remotely concerned is if you have a "run" of pvcs that you can feel, if that happens stay calm and cool, relax, the more you tighten up and get nervous the more adrenaline you're sending through your system causing the heart to beat faster, etc, etc. One Doctor told me, go ahead and faint, at least that will calm you down quicker! Smile lol..

Cool Go into a Hospital and talk to the cancer patients. They would trade places with you in....you guessed it....a heart beat. Wink This can be a wake up call for those that need it.

9) The going crazy part. Seems like a horrible pattern that happens to all first time suffers. You feel your heart skipping a few beats, you go to the Doctor, they tell you "you have pvc's", you research, research, etc, etc, feel EVERY single pvc, you start having panic attacks, "im going to die!!!!!", it takes control of you, you're convinced you're going to die, you get all kinds of checkups, tests, etc. You're probably in the majority if nothing wrong was found in your tests, but still YOU'RE convinced something is wrong, you may be right who knows, you're still alive though, days, weeks, months go by, you're STILL convinced something is wrong, looking back....perhaps you could have done something with that time instead of freaking out? Wink Think about that one for a while...

10) PVC's, like any heart arrythmia, can be scary, but the quicker you learn to just deal with it and not freak out when an episode happens, the better you'll be and you can slowly get your life back. The sweats, nervousness, chest tightness, etc, that usually follows an episode is 99% of the time caused not by your heart but your brain sending signals to your body to "run, get away from this, we're freaking out!!!"

Relax, breath, work out, eat right, sleep, etc. If after all that..you STILL have pvcs, well guess what...that's your heart. That's how it works for you and your body. Live with it, accept it, etc. Continuing to be mentally negative about your heart can do all kinds of weird things to your body and your mind. Good luck, stay calm...guess what...you're still alive if you're reading this. Wink
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First Helper dmunsie
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Users who thank dmunsie for this post: DiegoV  sianybuk  Mikla  paradoximoron  nichole76 

replied September 30th, 2009
Good Advise
Good Advice! I've been living with these things on and off for almost 20 years. I sometimes go years without any symptoms, and until last year, had mostly forgotten about them until they came back with a vengeance. Had the usual tests; Stress test, echo, EKG, etc. all normal, so thank God for that.

My Cardiologist recommended Toprol XL, but I'm so against the Beta Blocker, as I had too many side effects. So, instead, I went with Xanax, which believe it or not, not only reduced their frequency, but the intensity of these little nasties. As I told my MD with regard to Xanax and PVCs, as far as I'm concerned, if I don't feel them, they don't exist!

As for those of you who continue caffeine and nicotine consumption, shame on you! Would you give a drowning man a bucket of water?

After you've done your research on PVCs, STOP! You've probably learned all you're ever going to learn. Instead, a better way to spend your time would be to research and experiment with self meditation, relaxation techniques, and proper breathing, as these WILL help you, I promise.

One other thing I've found to help with regard to diet is to eat as closely as possible a diabetic's diet, take your vitamins, a good quality omega 3 supplement, and you might try Magnesium. And of course, a daily brisk walk is always recommended.
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replied June 30th, 2014
Baggman,

THanks for starting this thread, and for the reassurance your post provided. I've had the random PVCs for most of the past 35 years, but two weeks ago (when my GP put me on Edarbychlor to drastically drop my blood pressure) they got much, much worse. I'd always been one of the "lucky" people to be aware of my PVCs, as an odd flutter, squishy feeling in my chest or the occasional thump as the heart reset itself. I knew of the connection with caffiene, and in my 30s could make them go away after cutting out caffiene.

As I got older, it didn't seem to matter whether or not I had caffiene. Cold weather seems to bring them on, and exercise in cold weather even more so. This recent episode was scary, and I was having HARD PVCs 2 to 4 in a row, 6-8 in a minute and they HURT. It kept me up all night. I decided to go to the ER and get checked out.

I'm relieved to learn I have clear arteries and a healthy heart muscle, which, for an obese type II diabetic is mighty fine. However, my PVCs come back with a vengence after exertion. They go away when my heartrate goes up, but as soon as I slow down, they start back up, frequent and HARD...and again, it ***HURTS***.

I see the cardiologist next week to follow up. THey did discover my potassium and magnesium are low. For any others like me who are both diabetic and fighting hypertension, check your medications for interactions and multiplying effects on your electrolytes. A few of mine compound to reduce these two minerals. Don't think that OTC supplements will overcome the shortfall. I now have to swallow two **ENORMOUS** potassium extended release tablets ever night. It seems to be helping, along with Cartia (Diltiazem), a calcium channel blocker. I now have more energy and the PVCs have decreased in frequency but I still hurt.

I agree with the "don't worry, be happy" philosophy. It's difficult to get out of your head when your ticker is tocking properly and you FEEL IT, but since that seems to be the worst when we're sitting still and quiet, right? So let's just get up off our bums and **Do something**. SO that way we're not sitting around worrying about a benign condition that won't kill us.

Thanks for all your posts. Live long and prosper.

Angela
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replied October 21st, 2009
skipped heart beat
hello,

have you heard AVENTURINE stone (mineral)? if you buy an aventurine necklage or bracelet and use it on your body, you could feel better... please try it!

sonnur
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replied October 26th, 2009
pvc's
Thanks for the good advice. I have been telling myself all of this....but the mind won't stop worrying. I guess my biggest problem is that when I went to the doctor, he didn't actually give what my heart is doing a "name". He just said that the stress I had been under causes to much adreneline and causes the bottom chambers of the heart to act like a pacemaker and misfire. I have read alot on PVC's and it sounds exactly like what I am experiencing. Usually when I lay down at night, set down to watch t.v, or have too much alcohol. Sometimes it just feels like a pause or a catch and that is it for hours, then other times it feels like my heart is going to flop out of my chest and can go on for hours. It usually settles down some if I get up and walk around. The doc did an EKG, which was normal, and my heart did act up once when he was listening to it. He prescribed Toprol XL 25 mg, but I haven't taken it, too many reviews that scared me about it. My blood pressure isn't really high, 121/80 about an hour ago; however my heart rate is a little on the higher range....usually around 75 resting. I am female, 41, 5'8" and unfortunatley 170 pounds. I know that I need to loose 25-30 pounds. I guess the long and short of this post is that I wish my doctor would have given what I am experiencing a name so that I would know what I am dealing with. I have had every stress realted illness possible.....IBS, colitis, panic attacks, depression, migraines......

This with my heart has been going on for a little over a month now, on a daily basis. So I tell myself that I would probably already be dead if it was something more than that, but wonder if I should have more tests done to be sure that PVC's is truly what I am dealing with.

Thanks for "listening".
Teresa

Thanks agin
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replied October 26th, 2009
pvc's
Thanks for the good advice. I have been telling myself all of this....but the mind won't stop worrying. I guess my biggest problem is that when I went to the doctor, he didn't actually give what my heart is doing a "name". He just said that the stress I had been under causes to much adreneline and causes the bottom chambers of the heart to act like a pacemaker and misfire. I have read alot on PVC's and it sounds exactly like what I am experiencing. Usually when I lay down at night, set down to watch t.v, or have too much alcohol. Sometimes it just feels like a pause or a catch and that is it for hours, then other times it feels like my heart is going to flop out of my chest and can go on for hours. It usually settles down some if I get up and walk around. The doc did an EKG, which was normal, and my heart did act up once when he was listening to it. He prescribed Toprol XL 25 mg, but I haven't taken it, too many reviews that scared me about it. My blood pressure isn't really high, 121/80 about an hour ago; however my heart rate is a little on the higher range....usually around 75 resting. I am female, 41, 5'8" and unfortunatley 170 pounds. I know that I need to loose 25-30 pounds. I guess the long and short of this post is that I wish my doctor would have given what I am experiencing a name so that I would know what I am dealing with. I have had every stress realted illness possible.....IBS, colitis, panic attacks, depression, migraines......

This with my heart has been going on for a little over a month now, on a daily basis. So I tell myself that I would probably already be dead if it was something more than that, but wonder if I should have more tests done to be sure that PVC's is truly what I am dealing with.

Thanks for "listening".
Teresa

Thanks agin
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replied January 20th, 2010
Mine are almost the opposite of the above I get them in flurrys that last sometimes weeks..
Mine are more felt when Moving I am fine when I wake up,

Walking downstairs into the shower it will "skip" 4 to 5 times, Then In the shower While I move or bend to scrub, 12 to 15 more times. Then the walk up the steps back to more of the same 12 to 15 more times..
After I get dressed and sit down I am fine..
Sitting at my desk at work I am fine.. Getting up to walk to the bathrrom or to carry a computer over to a customer or even to stand up and talk to a customer..
There they are
major "skiping" and pass out feeling I can not live life sitting and not moving, it is not me..

stress test was done in December it was fine
Echo was just done early Jan 10, it was fine

In the summer i was biking 14 miles per night after work with my sons every night
now it is winter and I am afraid to even walk down the steps.
I was at the oral surgeon last week and scared him so bad with the pvcs that he refused to extract my 2nd tooth and told me no more appointments until my cardioligist called him.
These things are taking over my life and it is hard to deal with..
I am 42 and had my first episode when i was 14.. This year has been the worst for me.
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replied March 20th, 2012
Your PVC's are identical to mine. The more I move the worse they are. The doctor acts like it is nothing to worry about but it will give you alot of anxiety. I am the same age as you. Have had them off and on for years but this episode now has lasted over a week on a daily basis with the pvc's lasting all day. I am feeling them back to back. If I raise my arms, bend over, doing anything involving moving there they are. Back to back episodes! I'm tired and drained!
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replied March 25th, 2012
PVCs on the shower
Davew42, I get most of my PVCs in the shower. You mentioned a somewhat similar tendency. Have you learned anything new to connect PVCs to the showering experience since you last reported?
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replied July 25th, 2014
I've read that Blood Pressure tends to increase in the shower... not sure why... perhaps hot water, standing, etc. Mine are always worse in the shower also. But, they do happen throughout the day as well to varying degrees depending on the day. But they definitely do tend to be way worse when exercising.

In fact, I've had them bad for the last 7 weeks and during the 1st 4-weeks, walking a couple miles would make mine pretty much go away during the walk and beyond...

But a couple weeks back, I turned a corner and they now get worse when I exercise, for the most part. That bothers me since I don't want to feel like I can't go walk and give myself the exercise I'm sure my body needs.

I'm 42.
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replied May 1st, 2010
PVC sufferers please read
Hey DaveW42

While occasional PVCs are in fact a normal occurrence that are worsened by stress, caffeine, etc, RUNS of PVCS (in a row) are not. In fact, in the medical field (I am a RN), runs of PVCs that last longer than 3 beats are called ventricular tachycardia (V-Tach)and this CAN be very dangerous if your rhythm stays that way for any period of time. The "passing out" feeling in THAT case is in fact the brain suffering a lack of oxygen from an inadequate circulation of blood during periods of V-Tach. You need to wear a holter monitor until one such run is captured for analyzing and for SURE go to the hospital if you are experiencing an irregular heartbeat that is symptomatic (ex feeling "faint").

Harmless PVCs are asymptomatic in nature.
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replied February 12th, 2011
here I am, 58 years old, still breathing, and still dealing with pvc's since I was 20 years old. In the last two weeks, I've had a major return of them after being almost pvc free for a few years. And they're still scary. Always will be. But benign. They are disruptive as davew42 said but I hate to see anyone get into a funk because of them. I have many times and it's easy to get into the "unfair" state of mind, but the fact is some of us "suffer" from this malady and some don't. Don't let life pass you by, waiting to "feel better". And frequent pvc's are not any more dangerous than occasional. You have to know the difference between what's called "couplets" and "bigeminy". What the RN is referring to is pvc's that happen in a row without a normal beat in between. Two pvc's in a row are called couplets. If there are more than two in a row then you're getting into v-tach. When you get bigeminy which I've had lasting for hours at a time, you get a normal beat followed by an extra beat, then normal and extra beat, normal and extra beat etc etc etc. This is bigeminy. And I've had that for months at a time. Very upsetting, very tiring, very uncomfortable, but benign. I take toprol xl for years now. And it stopped the bigeminy. But I still get those upsetting outbreaks of frequent pvc's for weeks at a time. Like I said, I'm having an outbreak now after a few years of just occasional ones. And dmunsie's post is helping me to cope and I thank him for that. Sometimes alittle reassurance goes a long way with these little demons! And davew42, I've had pvc's that were worse when standing and bending etc. And I've had pvc's that were worse when sitting. There's no rhyme or reason with these things. I've been in situations where I would almost refuse to get up and I'd sit for hours just to avoid the pvc's. And then there were times where I'd refuse to sit and I'd stand for hours to avoid them. All I can say is try not to get into that crazy behavior. Easier said than done though. Been there, done that. Just remember, I've had these for many years and at 58 I'm still alive! Oh, one more thing. "Harmless PVCs are asymptomatic in nature" is so not true. Ask any electrophysiologist!!
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Users who thank Marth for this post: gerry72 

replied July 25th, 2014
Thanks Marth, I appreciate your message... that you've lived with them for many years and still alive and kicking. Now 3 years later I hope that is still true Smile

I also have had them now for nearly 10 years but they have been pretty much asymptomatic for years until the last 6-7 weeks. Now they are really hurting my quality of life (constant stress, anxiety and panic).

I've had all the tests pretty much (EKGs, 6-days on monitor, Echo, stress (which revealed ventrical bigeminy, like you have experienced, which come under panic or physical exertion way more than I'd like --- since they're scary).

Today I got really faint at the mall and was afraid I couldn't make it back to my car and my phone battery was dead. I was pretty panicky and it was an awful experience. I didn't pass out but very near it.

I have the problem of knowing if the faint is due to my heart or the panic (or both). I hesitate to go to the ER anymore since I've been a couple times and they always send me home and my cardiologist says I'm in no real danger of dying from my condition.

But, yes, the battle is fought in your head. I have a really hard time convincing myself that feeling faint and having my heart play a drum solo while walking through the mall is something I shouldn't panic about. I think too much but I had to stop 4-5 times and rest for 5+ min trying to get back to my car to let the faint spell pass and the panic to subside.

I also have been given pills (Diltiazem and Xanax - for the anxiety) but I'm pretty worried about trading my current symptoms for the side effects that might be hiding behind door number two. It really sucks to be in this situation.

When my doc told me yesterday (on my 42nd bday) that It's not going to kill me, I was elated and the rest of the day was awesome... no palps at all, even slept great.

Morning was good too!

Then, ate lunch... all seemed fine.

Then, the mall and BAMMO!! Worst experience I've had yet!

I agree with the OP, get busy living while you have life, regardless of all else! But, we've all also been taught that when you're sick, take it easy to allow the body to build up strength to overcome the "sickness". So, that's what most people go through.

I suppose the problem is that IF it's not something that you can't control/change, we're likely wasting our time, energy and our lives away and allowing the symptoms to detract from our enjoyment of living.

So, I fully agree with that in nearly every way.

Damn the stress and anxiety/panic that is associated with these symptoms for so many of us though... (I've read it's 60% of PVC sufferers also experience panic/anxiety).

I'm tempted to try the Xanax and talk to a Psychologist as well to treat the stress and anxiety/panic since it seems to be such a big trigger for me.

Thanks again for sharing your post. It resonated with me.

Good luck!
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replied July 25th, 2014
Hi. Here I am three years later...still alive. lol Still getting scary PVC's but no more bigeminy. Still taking a beta blocker. When I saw you mention Xanax my blood ran cold. I started taking Xanax daily in 2012 at my doctor's suggestion after I fell and got some injuries and then started getting anxiety attacks ( which by the way turned out to be hypoglycemia!) After two months my anxiety issues were increasing which turned out to be what's called interdose withdrawal..withdrawal in between doses of Xanax. What happens is your body starts to "tolerate" the dosage, needing more and more. After two months of daily use, I was at the point where I was watching the clock waiting for the next dose just to avoid the horrible withdrawal symptoms. I decided I didn't want to take it anymore but since I was taking it three times a day every day, I had to wean myself off of it very slowly. It took nine months to stop a drug I only took for two! At one point I cut down the Xanax too quickly and my heart went into Afib, landing me in an ambulance and in the ER for several hours. The ER doctor wanted to up the dose of Xanax but I refused. The heart arrhythmia scared my doctor even more than it scared me! After several hours of tachycardia my heart finally went back to normal on it's own. It happened the next day again but I stayed home and prayed! It never happened again after those two days and I slowed my Xanax tapering down and was very careful. My doctor had no idea how to get me off the Xanax but I found a site that saved my life..benzobuddies.org. Go there before you decide to take Xanax or any other benzodiazepine. Doctors won't agree with me, they don't know anything about getting a patient off this stuff. Xanax should NEVER be taken for more than two weeks and NEVER every day like I was. My doctor had me taking it three times a day for those two months and when I wanted to get off of it, he sent me to a psychiatrist who he thought would help me, but instead the guy wanted me to increase the Xanax to FOUR times a day, which I didn't do and I never went back to him. It's been one year since I took my last little piece of Xanax and I still get some withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms could last for 18 months or longer. But I'm good. Not great, but good. Please, try to find a psychologist who will help you with anxiety without medications. I understand your fear of these horrible pvc's. I still panic. But try relaxation techniques, breathing exercises. Tell yourself "this too shall pass". Did you ever go to an electrophysiologist for your heart? I have a great guy that I go to. It's a doctor who specializes in irregular heartbeats. I see him once a year. For years! Mostly for reassurance. Please, don't touch the Xanax. It's just a quick fix that will lead you through hell in the long run.
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Users who thank Marth for this post: gerry72 

replied July 25th, 2014
I forgot to mention, going off of Xanax too quickly can cause seizures. It's a very real possibility. And believe me, the withdrawal symptoms are much worse than pvc's. You feel insane, shaking, crying, dizzy spells, hot flashes, chills, nausea, muscle cramps, crawling skin, weakness in arms and legs, burning skin, headaches, jaw pain, and more. And major anxiety, like you've never experienced in your life. I would have never thought any of this was possible if it weren't for benzobuddies.org. I honestly would have committed myself thinking I was going mad if it weren't for the wonderful support I got there. I don't mean to go on about this but you worried me by mentioning Xanax. I don't ever want to see anyone else go through what I went through at the hands of my doctor.
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replied July 26th, 2014
Hey Marth, glad to hear you're still doing ok.

I thoroughly appreciate your advice.

I'm taking a very small dose of Xanax now for the last 18 hrs...

.125 mg twice last night and once today.

My PVC's were really bad and my anxiety was horrible the last 24 hrs so I thought I'd just use it to take the edge off and in fact it causes my anxiety to go away and my PVC's to be greatly reduced while I'm under the effect of them. Which to me feels like a Godsend. I figured I'd just use it to get me through this really rough patch after yesterday's public panic attack that I'm having a tough time shaking off.

I'm so sorry to hear about your experience with Xanax. I've heard a very small mention of this somewhere recently on a forum about "avoiding it at all costs unless absolutely necessary due to withdrawal and extremely addictive nature of the drug", by one of the mods of the forum.

May I ask what dose you were taking?

I'll get over there and look though that forum. It is very disheartening because I thought I actually had something that was going to help me break the stress-panic-pvc-arrhythmia-more-stress cycle Sad

I definitely don't *want* to be a daily user of Xanax.

I merely want to get over this hump.

I have a close friend who swears by it and says a very small dose on a bad day when he's feeling panicked is so helpful to him. He's the one who has encouraged me to resist my own reservations about both Diltiazem and Xanax saying I should just do it... as they're both great and will help me tremendously.

The withdrawal symptoms sound awful!!

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your wisdom of experience with a noob who is really going through this for the 1st time... and feeling very alone. My wife and 2 young (3 yrs & 5 yrs old) daughters are away in Thailand visiting my wife's family for 3-months (only 1 month left now) and being without them through this has been immeasurably difficult.

Thanks again...
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replied July 26th, 2014
BTW, without the Xanax, right now, I can't even hardly bring myself to leave the house to get food.

And, yes, I will be seeing my dr next week to get a referral to see a psychiatrist to help me deal with the anxiety, stress, panic stuff.

Until reading your post I'd thought I'd ask them to prescribe me with Xanax since it's working so well for me right now. Now after reading about your experience, I may just see if having the moral support and helping me better cope with the stress and anxiety through more natural, non-pharmaceutical approaches.

Anxiety sucks. I'm convinced that, while yes, I do have an underlying physiological condition with my heart, my main trigger is anxiety and stress but I am really struggling to get it under control and in fact after 7 weeks of steady daily anxiety it feels like I'm getting emotionally weaker rather than stronger. Time hasn't been helping me get over it and my hope seems to be diminishing more and more as every anxiety related self-help skill I've developed over the years seem to fail me when I'm experiencing my bigeminy and frequent PVC's and *especially* light-headed, faint-feeling spells when walking somewhere.
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replied July 27th, 2014
would you believe that as I'm sitting here I'm having bigeminy for an hour now for the first time in a few years? Not fun. Anxiety through the roof too. I did have a horribly stressful day so I'm trying to convince myself that it's just from the stress.
I understand your wanting to take the Xanax and I probably should have kept my mouth shut. I just don't want anyone to go through what I did....but it doesn't mean you will. I can't remember if I was taking .25 or .5 three times a day for two months. I'd have to sign up at the benzo forum and check out my old notes. Maybe tomorrow. Right now my heart is like a goldfish in my chest so it's rather distracting. Hang in there. Try not to take the Xanax two days in a row.
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replied August 4th, 2014
I started taking vitamin D3 a few weeks ago and finally sat here today and did some research on Vitamin D3 and pvc's. And low and behold, it can cause pvc's and even a-fib.That explains why I've been having more pvc's than usual. I didn't take it for the last 48 hours and this afternoon my heart feels better than it has in quite a few days. No more vitamin D3 for me. I should have known better. I can't take anything without causing irregular heartbeats. Even advil.
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replied March 16th, 2011
PVCs Big, Small, and in between.
Hello Marth and All, I was thrilled to see that people are still commenting about PVCs. I too, have PVCs and have had them for nearly 6 years (I am a 49 year old, athletic female). As many have said, mine come and go and they occur at random which drives me insane- if they are random I have no sense of control. What Marth and others have said is true, we can't control when they show up of if they are "Big" or small. It's been over a year since I had a "Big" one and yesterday while working at my computer it suddenly felt as if my heart stopped - there was what felt like a long pause which, in reality, was probably 2-3 seconds. I then felt a flush and by the time i thought to take my pulse (on my neck) to see if I could feel the PVCs, my heart was beating quickly and in rythym (no pvcs). I'm sure my heart raced in response to my fear - adrenaline. Anyway, I called my cardiologist and he said he wasn't concerned that it was very likely a pvc. I've had stress-echos (normal except for the pvc while in recovery), EKGs (normal) and my physician has heard pvcs while listening to my heart. He insists they are benign but a nuisance. What WAS VERY reassuring was that he explained that although my heart felt like it "stopped", it really didn't and that the heart has a built in system for the pause and for returning to a normal beat. He said that some people with PVCs might pass out but they won't go into cardiac arrest.

I've had several colonoscopies and discovered that if I became dehydrated, my PVCs really kicked up. I also cut out all caffeine because chocolate, coffee, tea, all increased my PVCs. I try to get a good night's sleep because if I don't, they increase and then I'm afraid to fall asleep because I'm afraid I'll wakeup with them in the middle of the night. Crazy making.

I think I would feel better if I understood WHY PVCs are benign. I don't understand enough about what exactly is happening to the heart electrophysiologically with PVCs - does anyone else? Thanks Smile
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replied March 18th, 2011
Keko, not sure about "exactly" what's happening to the heart except that PVC stands for premature ventricular contraction which means the ventricle of the heart is having a premature (early) contraction (beat). And then the pause you feel is the heart pausing to reset itself. When I was in my early thirties I would get pauses that were long enough to make me get "black" in my eyes and when I asked the doctor what could happen to me, he said I'd pass out and then wake up again...not pass out and DIE! lol But that didn't make me feel any better since I had a one year old at the time and with my vivid imagination I could picture her all alone with mommy laying on the floor! My kids are now adults and I never did pass out! Right now I'm pvc free again after about a month in february of almost constant ones. I also get PAC's which are premature contractions in the atrium of the heart. They were found on a 30 day monitor that I wore years ago.
I just had a CT 3D scan of my heart, due to other issues..and my heart is completely normal in structure and there are no blockages. Good to know. lol
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replied June 17th, 2011
As I understand it, he pause is because the heart chamber has got a bit of extra blood in it (because the previous beat came fractionally early) and it requires a stronger beat to clear the chamber - hence feeling that little flip in your chest. It is easy to call them 'missed beats' but in fact the heart never stops beating, it's just that the previous beat was fractionally early.

From what I have read, if your heart is structurally sound (echocardiogram and ekg would show this) then pvcs are no threat to health. I have thousands a day on occasion, but all test results are fine and dr told me they will not affect longevity. They cause me huge amounts of anxiety however.

Most inportant is to have all the appropriate tests and then try to deal with the anxiety. I have not found any solution, though a heavy meal can start them off sometimes.

There is an excellent cardiologist on All Experts (David Richardson) who gives very reassuring comments on pvcs - basically harmless if you have had all the tests.
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replied October 28th, 2011
PVC's after surgery
I never had any pvc's until after some minor surgery in July. I went to a heart specialist and they measured them at >13,000 a day. Clearly to me, something during surgery caused it but everyone says there is no connection. I was riding a bicycle 3 times a week in the foothills (at 68 years old). Now with the beta blockers i was given, i can hardley get out of the driveway. I am now thinking of quiting the beta blockers and just taking my chances.
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replied April 14th, 2012
Thank you to all the people in these posts who encourage us to get on with our lives. I agree, it doesn't help to freak out. I've had them sitting, lying down, standing, walking, no rhyme nor reason. It's annoying, but I'm still alive. I have only had them for 2 years, I had a stretch of a little over a year with none (although my cardiologist says I just didn't feel them), and they just recently returned. At about the same time the stress in my life increased, go figure. Annoying, but there is so much worse than this. I have had 2 complete cardiac workups in 2 years, and have passed with flying colors. I'm going to choose to focus on the fact that I have a healthy heart, and try to reduce the stress in my life. I also cheat on sugar and caffeine, and am trying to give those things up. Let's carry on, leading meaningful, productive lives and remember that these come and go, but there is so much beauty and goodness in the world to be involved in. Focusing on benign PVC's distracts you from all the good stuff.
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replied April 26th, 2012
Pvcs
I find sites like this very helpful when I'm having a bad time with these things. Reassuring. I've had them for 26 years. They used to only be 1 or 2 maybe once a month or more. For the past year and a half, I have had bad runs that have ranged from one a day or even two or three days to one every 5 minutes for several hours. I've had several months where I've felt "almost" normal and then I gets bad runs like now. I agree with you Keko, about the randomness and no sense of warning or control. I was walking across a parking lot a few weeks ago, feeling great and all of a sudden, had one on top of another for about 7 seconds or so. Didn't feel like it was going to stop no matter how much I coughed. Thought I was going to pass out. I went to see my cardiologist and told him I was afraid it wouldn't get back on track and he acted like it was nothing to worry about. He upped my metoprolol from .25ml to .50. I went back to the .25. Didn't help at all. If they were all " small" ones I could ignore them but they are not. They are disruptive. It does help to read all of your experiences though. Always good advice. Thank you all. I'll just ride it out again and look forward to better days. By the way, dmunsie, that cancer patient comment is something that I always tell myself when this happens. Makes me feel thankful. Take care all Smile
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replied May 26th, 2012
pvc
I use to have PVC once a month at most. I started taking Zoloft and noticed I was having them 5x or more a night. After day 4 on Zoloft I stopped taking them but the PVC got worse. I freaked out and went to the E.R. They did a blood test:normal, ECG x2 Normal, a Chest Xray Normal, 2 Echo grams. Normal.
I was hooked up to a ecg monitor all night and every time i had a flutter it registered as PVC on the monitor.
The machine prints out anything irregular, and it never printed out those. The doctor did not even address it.
Did i have the proper tests to rule out structural damage? i am freaking out by these...
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replied October 13th, 2012
PVC's
I've been having PVC's for almost 3 years. The last few weeks have been worse. I am on atenolol 25 mg for 3 years. I have really been paying close attention to food I have been eating. The palpitations get much worse after eating meals with carbs. I have basically stopped drinking coffee and cut back on chocolate consumption Sad I am also on Synthroid 75 mg for about 5 years. I'm almost 40 year old. I am active person and run a few times a week. I am not overweight. I've been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what triggers them. I have had EKG's and worn Holter montitors twice. The results were "harmless" PVC's. My mother also started with this condition at the exact same age as I did. I started taking my multivitamin every day thinking it was a potassium, B12, or magnesium issue. For a few days I felt great and thought I solved the problem. I actually stopped taking the atenolol for about 2 weeks. I don't like taking the med because I cannot perform physical activity at "normal" person rates, because it slows the heart down too much. But much to my disappointment, the PVC's returned stronger than ever. Went back on the atenolol. It does calm them down, but I can still feel them throughout the day, mostly when I am sitting at a desk. So, not sure if it is food intolerance, perimenopausal issues, stress, or something else. I swear I will get to the bottom of it because I hate feeling like this all the time.
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replied October 13th, 2012
Re: Living With Pvc's....
Excellent post... thanks!

I know lots of folks have PVCs and I have had them for MANY years (54 yrs old). I have had several tests and my doctor says I appear to be very healthy so not to worry. I continue to get them constantly throughout the day so my curiosity go the better of me and I picked up a portable ECG device (Heal Force Prince 180b) and the 3 lead accessory along with some electrodes. Thought I would post a couple of pics...

First, my normal ECG:


You can see it is very typical and you can see the P, QRS and T waves.

Now, here is a pic when I am having PVCs...


You can see the wide QRS wave (the tall spike) and how frequently it happens.

These two measurements were done within 30 minutes of each other (first the PVC and 30 minutes later the normal measurement). It has been another 45 minutes and I am having non-stop PVCs again.

I have stopped worrying too much about them, but it is definitely odd when I go to bed and can feel the "da dump... da dump.......DUMP"

I also have a heart stethoscope (Littmann Cardiology II SE) and will listen to the PVCs... is sounds more like "DUMP..Da..da..da.........DUMP..Da..da..da "

Like you suggest... since I do not have a known heart problem, I do not worry about them as much... but still find them a bit fascinating.
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replied July 4th, 2013
living with pvc's or whatever this freak show is called!
Pvcs for a few years now. Started out with rapid heart beat which was diagnosed as sinus tachycardia...then the fluttering skips began...can feel them constantly these days. Could go away for months then they come back with a vengeance! Some trigger points for me....sugar, caffeine, as soon as I wake up, while at rest...moving makes me feel better sometimes ..cold or windy air, air conditioners(like in the car), showers, and when I have a cold or runny nose, changes in diet. I can feel my heart on my back sometimes it actually feels like it makes the bed move...I can see heart beat on my stomach...if I put cellphone on my tummy you can see it go up and down. I do get dizzy spells and panic attacks because of this issue...who wouldn't? It just feels weird and hollow in the chest sometimes. I don't feel like drs understand what I feel or am going through. I have type 2 diabetes and hypertension...both are controlled so doc usually focuses on those issues and doesn't seem to pay much attention to my heart...it's really upsetting because it can be nightmarish for us that suffer through these freakish things. I'm still here and alive, but I want my life back...you know what I mean? Sad
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replied July 11th, 2013
Just Found Out About PVCs
I just got diagnosed with PVCs last week. The first one I really felt a couple of months ago was by far the worst - I was loading some concrete block for my wife at the hardware store and then THUMP and then I was suddenly out of breath and dizzy and it felt like my extremities were lightly tingling. I sat down for a second and tried to decide if I needed to hit the ER or anything but most of the unpleasant feelings generally passed after a couple minutes. I just felt really, really tired afterward.

Had a few good weeks after that and then the same feeling came back. More frequent(like every few minutes) but less intense than that first one, and after a run of them I'd always feel this irresistible urge to take a nap (I generally don't take naps, so this was unusual).

The weird feeling in my heart actually isn't what brought me in to the doc, though. I mean, it was part of it, but mostly it was the fact that I would feel out of breath, light headed, dizzy, and REALLY sleepy out of nowhere. I have a pretty physical job and I spend a lot of time climbing utility poles and crawling around people's attics and I didn't want to pass out and fall into traffic or through somebody's ceiling into the cat's litter box or something. What really cinched it was after a particularly bad attack a couple weeks ago, I was in my work vehicle doing paperwork and felt like I HAD to lay down or I'd fall asleep or pass out. I got out and just started walking around in circles for the last half-hour of my day and felt a little better but decided it'd probably be best if I don't pass out in my vehicle and then get fired if the boss thinks I'm asleep. Or, worse, some jerk films it and then posts a video on youtube with the heading "YET ANOTHER CABLE TECHNICIAN ASLEEP ON THE JOB" or something.

They just had me in for an echo last week, the nurse (technician? doctor? I'm not sure what she was. Maybe she was just some random person and didn't even work there!) said she could plainly see them about every fifth or sixth beat or so. They put me on a 24-hour Holter monitor and while it wasn't the worst day I've had as far as PVCs go it did feel like I had quite a few episodes so I'm hoping it caught them.

I go in tomorrow for the follow-up where my cardiologist interprets everything from the echo and monitor.

This last week has been pretty good. I haven't really had any episodes until yesterday, but since then it's been pretty constant. They have me on some beta blocker (Carvedilol) and that has really lessened the intensity and I haven't really had any side effects other than being drowsy for the first couple days. I also no longer feel quite as tired after I have a big run of PVCs, but it's only been a week, so maybe that's just a coincidence? I'm still at the stage where I'm trying to get to know these things and how they behave, exactly.

Anyway, from what you guys are saying, it looks like PVCs will be sticking around my life for the foreseeable future. That's unfortunate, but I'm not really upset by it or anything. They're mostly just really annoying. If my cardiologist who could ostensibly get rich as hell from having me go into her office every weekly for some sort of monitoring or treatment says that really it's nothing to be afraid of, then I suppose I'll take her word for it.

Mostly tomorrow I'm just looking forward to asking the doc if I can still backpack and cycle and swim and generally work hard. Literally about all they told me so far was "Yep, it's PVCs, but it's probably nothing to worry about" and nothing about long-term treatment or if it's curable or what kind of activities I can do or, well, anything, really. Pretty much everything I know came from looking up PVCs on wikipedia!
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replied July 11th, 2013
dizziness and pvcs
I would like to know if the dizziness comes from the actual Pvcs. I think so because when they are at their worst it just flat out wears you out...they're tiring! Or maybe its just panic that causes the dizziness. I am learning to live with them and not panic as much...I still get on the treadmill for a brisk workout almost every day...I have never fainted or passed out. Hope I never do. Best wishes to everyone living with this condition.
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