Afib & PVC's

Posted by Larry @crashnam, Jul 30, 2017

Have been experiencing heart flutters, jumping, hesitating, pulsating, flopping, twitching, thumping, quivering sensations (you name it, I’ve felt it), for 40 years. Have lived with it since being told 35 years ago that’s what I had to do. Over this period I had a couple of instances where my heart would start racing but only for a few seconds. Well, four years ago I was sitting at my desk at work one night and the racing kicked in, but this time it lasted for 14 hours. Since then, the AFIB incidents slowly got more frequent and so did all the flutters, jumping, hesitating, etc. to the point they were more alarming. I do have a cardiologist that I’ve been seeing for about 3 years now. Put me on metropolol tartrate then switched to metropolol succinate, anywhere from 50-100 milligrams a day. Don’t know if it has really helped or not. Also taking Vitamin C, D, Magnesium and baby aspirin. Have been prescribed blood thinners the last couple of years as well as dilitizem but have been afraid to take any of it. When in AFIB, my heart beats very hard at between 175-200 beats a minute. Have had several holter meters, echocardiograms, stress test over the last few years but everything appears to be normal. The holter meters did record hundreds of skips and other bothersome beating each day, and one time recorded 8,000 over a two-day period. On two occasions since April, 2017, I went into AFIB for several hours then, of course it always stops on its own. But, these two times it remained with me like aftershocks going in and out of AFIB numerous times over a two or three day period after the initial AFIB incident. Heart will feel very strange going in and out of these numerous incidents and makes me a little light headed. Feels like the heart is just rumbling around not knowing what to do. Very scary. Ablation has been talked about in the past and when I am at my worst I really start considering it. I do try and get through this all over the years by pushing myself and deciding I’m just going to live my life the best I can. I am still a smoker, drink black coffee and drink beer maybe 3 or 4 a week. Been told however to cut down on all of it. But I am stubborn. Any suggestions or comments would be welcome.

@kanaazpereira

Hi Larry, @crashnam,

Welcome back! I can imagine you’re worried, and moved your most recent message to this discussion so that it will be more convenient for fellow Connect members to join us with some more information.

@predictable, @hopeful33250, do you have any insights that might help Larry?

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Hi @crashnam,

We are so glad you’ve reached out to Mayo Clinic Connect; by sharing your story, you are actually giving yourself the best opportunity to learn and advocate for your health.

I’d sincerely encourage you to view these active and incredibly informative conversations on Connect as well:
– AFib questions https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/good-morning-im-almost-66-years-old-with-infrequent-afib-and-on/
– Should I consider ablation? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/jimana-79-year-old-male-caucasian-excellent-health-and-regular-exercise-with-history/
– Afib after ablation https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/afib-after-ablation/?pg=1#comment-54125

Meanwhile, I’d like to introduce you to @jmgm @debbee @martishka @vermontrob @debcrawford @jhoffmanj @darrellb @prescott @topaz @charlottemaxine @twptrustrek @nadine66; do you have any thoughts and insights to share with Larry, @crashnam?

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Hi Larry, @crashnam

I was wondering how you were doing – and hope that all is going well for you.

Any updates regarding your health problems?

We look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

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Larry, why not experiment with cutting down on coffee and beer and wine. I have done this on advice of my cardiologist. I now only drink zero% beer and no wine and coffee only 2-3 times a week. I have had fewer long lasting afib episodes since. I take flecainide and apixaban tablets.

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@lawsonsa

Larry, why not experiment with cutting down on coffee and beer and wine. I have done this on advice of my cardiologist. I now only drink zero% beer and no wine and coffee only 2-3 times a week. I have had fewer long lasting afib episodes since. I take flecainide and apixaban tablets.

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Yes, I too take flecinade
and Zorelto for my afib.
Also metoprolol,foursemide
diltiazam.
I drink half and half coffee.
And, Mabe two days a week
a couple glasses wine.
Im Very aware of my body
and know when Iv overdone.

It is a constant challenge,as
I’m trying to lose about
20 pounds.
I’m 73,and, otherwise,feel
Good.
I try to exercise, also, as
that I feel is necessary for
my heart to stay in rythm.

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@kanaazpereira

Hi Larry, @crashnam,

Welcome back! I can imagine you’re worried, and moved your most recent message to this discussion so that it will be more convenient for fellow Connect members to join us with some more information.

@predictable, @hopeful33250, do you have any insights that might help Larry?

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Hi. Haven’t had the willpower yet to cut down on coffee or cigarettes. I only drink beer occasionally. Have had PVC’s since returning from Vietnam, but tolerated them for 40 years. When AFIB started four years ago (intermittent), PVC’s seem to get worse which was more alarming to me than the AFIB. Went 5 or 6 months in between episodes, then 3 or 4 weeks, then 10-12 days. BPM would be 200 or above for 6-12 hours. Since April, AFIB occurrences have become more infrequent anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks, which is an improvement. Why, I don’t know. I went 47 days at one point without one. I will get little 10 or 15 second AFIB events once and awhile along with my PVC’s. I’m beginning to feel PVC’s in upper stomach, especially when I exert myself too much. Just taking metropolol (50 mg twice a day), and baby aspirin. Been prescribed other drugs but don’t want to take them. Hope you are doing okay.

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@kanaazpereira

Hi Larry, @crashnam,

Welcome back! I can imagine you’re worried, and moved your most recent message to this discussion so that it will be more convenient for fellow Connect members to join us with some more information.

@predictable, @hopeful33250, do you have any insights that might help Larry?

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Hi Larry @crashnam

Thank you for checking in with an update. If you are comfortable sharing more, what are the other meds that the doctor has suggested for you? Also, you mention an increase in symptoms when you “exert yourself too much.” Is this exercise induced (like walking, biking etc.) or when you are lifting something heavy (in other words, exertion in activities of daily living) ?

I found some websites that discuss health problems and Agent Orange exposure that you might find interesting or at least helpful, https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/ and https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/index.asp

Also, are your doctors aware of your exposure to Agent Orange?

Teresa

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@kanaazpereira

Hi Larry, @crashnam,

Welcome back! I can imagine you’re worried, and moved your most recent message to this discussion so that it will be more convenient for fellow Connect members to join us with some more information.

@predictable, @hopeful33250, do you have any insights that might help Larry?

Jump to this post

Other meds would be Eliquis, Diltiazem and Atorvastatin. Don’t take eliquis because I have occasional bleeding hemorrhoids, and the diltiazem supposedly slows the heart down and I would hate to feel all of the numerous types of palps and pvc’s at a slower rate. AFIB has been fewer incidents and longer in between incidents for at least 5 months. I have mentioned agent orange but doc’s feel there is no correlation. Noticed about two months ago that sometimes any kind of physical exertion will trigger PVC’s. Other times I can still do physical work and won’t bother me until later on. Over the years sometimes my heart feels weak and like a hair trigger with the slightest movement triggering the PVC’s. Sometimes I will get a squeezing or choking off sensation. Through all of this, however, there are still times when my heart purrs like a kitten. A good steady beat, 70-85. Also been feeling more palps in the upper stomach area. Bottom line, there is still no set pattern with my problems. Again, I do smoke and drink strong coffee every day. Wish I could stop for a few days and see if it would make a difference. But, all of the above makes me nervous, and smoking especially is a nervous habit. I still try to push myself and do things since the dr’s say none of this is life threatening, but many times it feels like it is. I do have emphysema, with no problems breathing, and dr’s say the lungs would not cause any of my heart sensations.

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@crashnam

Hi, thank you for getting back to me. Just being cautious about the diltiazem. After experiencing so many whacky palps and sensations with my heart for the past 40 years, and now off and on afib along with them, I am afraid that the diltiazem may interrupt the natural course of the afib stopping on its own, and/or creating more problems with all the other palps. Palps on their own can be very scary, let alone have afib episodes two or three times a month. My cardiologists tell me that the diltiazem will help cut down on the different arrhythmias but with so many different types of arrhythmias, that’s what scares me. I will however be trying it shortly to see how I react. I am a 67 year old Vietnam Vet with a lot of life left in me, so I am being very cautious while suffering at the same time. Get back to me when you can. Thank you very much.

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Problem is, my pvc’s are all over the place. Meaning several different types and sensations. Some not so worrisome, while other are very worrisome. Since diltiazem is supposed to slow the heart down (during AFIB episodes), I would hate to feel all of these other palps and sensations at a slower speed.

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@texas7777

My story isn’t as severe as the others’ here, but I have always had a “hard” heart beat, but never thought much of it until around age of 40 (4 yr ago). Last year, went to a cardiologist, halter monitor reported 8,000 pvcs. In summary, ran multiple tests and he and my cousin (cardiologist at Duke) said that it’s not destructive or bad, just irritating. Thus, no discussion of ablation at this point. So, here’s my opinion after discussing with 2 great cardiologists (cousin and my current Dr.): Since it’s not destructive (not going to increase my problems for a heart condition in 10 or 30 years), then I can put up with the heart beats. However, I am VERY reluctant to take any type of medicine. My Dr. (& cousin) suggested I take a low dose (25 mg) or metoporol. I resisted for 6 months and decided I’d give it a try. The very 1st night of taking it, I slept better than I had in 10 years! Totally different person. I think that my “hard” heart beats, etc. were waking me up out of deep sleep; metoporol calmed that down. In addition, my sinus surgery (I had terrible sinus problems) also added to a good nights sleep. Thus, I’ve been on toporol for about a year now and when I get off of it for a week or so, I can tell a difference. Thus, I’m sticking to it. Might reduce the dose as suggested by the Doc, because he said I only need to take it for “comfort;” it’s not required.

Thought I’d share, even though I doubt it helps much on this string of posts

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Have been taking metoprolol for three years and hasn’t helped my pvc’s or afib incidents.

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@crashnam

Hi, thank you for getting back to me. Just being cautious about the diltiazem. After experiencing so many whacky palps and sensations with my heart for the past 40 years, and now off and on afib along with them, I am afraid that the diltiazem may interrupt the natural course of the afib stopping on its own, and/or creating more problems with all the other palps. Palps on their own can be very scary, let alone have afib episodes two or three times a month. My cardiologists tell me that the diltiazem will help cut down on the different arrhythmias but with so many different types of arrhythmias, that’s what scares me. I will however be trying it shortly to see how I react. I am a 67 year old Vietnam Vet with a lot of life left in me, so I am being very cautious while suffering at the same time. Get back to me when you can. Thank you very much.

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Larry, @crashnam

I can certainly understand your concerns. It might be a good idea to get a second opinion and voice your concerns, “I would hate to feel all of these other palps and sensations at a slower speed.” The doctor’s response might give you some good information. Remember you are the best advocate for your own health needs. You have a right to be heard and to have your questions answered.

Have you talked with another doctor for a second opinion? Might you consider it?

Teresa

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@texas7777

My story isn’t as severe as the others’ here, but I have always had a “hard” heart beat, but never thought much of it until around age of 40 (4 yr ago). Last year, went to a cardiologist, halter monitor reported 8,000 pvcs. In summary, ran multiple tests and he and my cousin (cardiologist at Duke) said that it’s not destructive or bad, just irritating. Thus, no discussion of ablation at this point. So, here’s my opinion after discussing with 2 great cardiologists (cousin and my current Dr.): Since it’s not destructive (not going to increase my problems for a heart condition in 10 or 30 years), then I can put up with the heart beats. However, I am VERY reluctant to take any type of medicine. My Dr. (& cousin) suggested I take a low dose (25 mg) or metoporol. I resisted for 6 months and decided I’d give it a try. The very 1st night of taking it, I slept better than I had in 10 years! Totally different person. I think that my “hard” heart beats, etc. were waking me up out of deep sleep; metoporol calmed that down. In addition, my sinus surgery (I had terrible sinus problems) also added to a good nights sleep. Thus, I’ve been on toporol for about a year now and when I get off of it for a week or so, I can tell a difference. Thus, I’m sticking to it. Might reduce the dose as suggested by the Doc, because he said I only need to take it for “comfort;” it’s not required.

Thought I’d share, even though I doubt it helps much on this string of posts

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Hmmm
Are you taking anything with it.
You may need to have your doctor
go over your meds.

I myself, take a couple other drugs
with the Medication.
Diltiazam furoesemide and
flecinade.
For myself, I feel its working
Good.

Keep us in formed.

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@kanaazpereira

Hi Larry, @crashnam,

Welcome back! I can imagine you’re worried, and moved your most recent message to this discussion so that it will be more convenient for fellow Connect members to join us with some more information.

@predictable, @hopeful33250, do you have any insights that might help Larry?

Jump to this post

@crashnam

Given your lung/heart problems you might consider a cardiopulmonary test. It is similar to a stress test on a treadmill, but has the added feature of a device in your mouth that measures the oxygen level during the testing period. You would probably need to go to larger medical center for this test – a cardiologist’s office would probably not have this type of testing.

Also, I would keep mentioning your Agent Orange exposure to whatever doctor you see – don’t write if off, just because your current doctor doesn’t think it is relevant.

Are you anywhere near a university or larger medical center?

Teresa

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@crashnam

Hi, thank you for getting back to me. Just being cautious about the diltiazem. After experiencing so many whacky palps and sensations with my heart for the past 40 years, and now off and on afib along with them, I am afraid that the diltiazem may interrupt the natural course of the afib stopping on its own, and/or creating more problems with all the other palps. Palps on their own can be very scary, let alone have afib episodes two or three times a month. My cardiologists tell me that the diltiazem will help cut down on the different arrhythmias but with so many different types of arrhythmias, that’s what scares me. I will however be trying it shortly to see how I react. I am a 67 year old Vietnam Vet with a lot of life left in me, so I am being very cautious while suffering at the same time. Get back to me when you can. Thank you very much.

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Getting close to giving up anyway. Tired of fighting this.

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@texas7777

My story isn’t as severe as the others’ here, but I have always had a “hard” heart beat, but never thought much of it until around age of 40 (4 yr ago). Last year, went to a cardiologist, halter monitor reported 8,000 pvcs. In summary, ran multiple tests and he and my cousin (cardiologist at Duke) said that it’s not destructive or bad, just irritating. Thus, no discussion of ablation at this point. So, here’s my opinion after discussing with 2 great cardiologists (cousin and my current Dr.): Since it’s not destructive (not going to increase my problems for a heart condition in 10 or 30 years), then I can put up with the heart beats. However, I am VERY reluctant to take any type of medicine. My Dr. (& cousin) suggested I take a low dose (25 mg) or metoporol. I resisted for 6 months and decided I’d give it a try. The very 1st night of taking it, I slept better than I had in 10 years! Totally different person. I think that my “hard” heart beats, etc. were waking me up out of deep sleep; metoporol calmed that down. In addition, my sinus surgery (I had terrible sinus problems) also added to a good nights sleep. Thus, I’ve been on toporol for about a year now and when I get off of it for a week or so, I can tell a difference. Thus, I’m sticking to it. Might reduce the dose as suggested by the Doc, because he said I only need to take it for “comfort;” it’s not required.

Thought I’d share, even though I doubt it helps much on this string of posts

Jump to this post

I am so glad you are taking this med. Yes, it is calming for myself. I like to resist doctors
and,then, find that their advice
Is often good for me.
Keep taking it.
There are lots of good years
left.
I’m hanging on for some
anyway.

Enjoy, your hobbies and,
See less of the white coat guys.

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@crashnam

Hi, thank you for getting back to me. Just being cautious about the diltiazem. After experiencing so many whacky palps and sensations with my heart for the past 40 years, and now off and on afib along with them, I am afraid that the diltiazem may interrupt the natural course of the afib stopping on its own, and/or creating more problems with all the other palps. Palps on their own can be very scary, let alone have afib episodes two or three times a month. My cardiologists tell me that the diltiazem will help cut down on the different arrhythmias but with so many different types of arrhythmias, that’s what scares me. I will however be trying it shortly to see how I react. I am a 67 year old Vietnam Vet with a lot of life left in me, so I am being very cautious while suffering at the same time. Get back to me when you can. Thank you very much.

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Hi Larry, It is understandable that you wish to give up and are tired of fighting. Having a chronic heart condition compounded by lung issues is exhausting. May I ask about the family and friends that you have around you? Who helps you get through the dark times?

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