Heart Rhythm Conditions – Welcome to the group

Welcome to the Heart Rhythm Conditions group on Mayo Clinic Connect.
Did you know that the average heart beats 100,000 times a day? Millions of people live with heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) which occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate heartbeats don’t work properly. Let’s connect with each other; we can share stories and learn about coping with the challenges, and living well with abnormal heart rhythms. I invite you to follow the group. Simply click the +FOLLOW icon on the group landing page.

I’m Kanaaz (@kanaazpereira), and I’m the moderator of this group. When you post to this group, chances are you’ll also be greeted by volunteer patient Mentors and fellow members. Learn more about Moderators and Mentors on Connect.

Let’s chat. Why not start by introducing yourself?

@espivack

Hello, sorry to hear about your suffering. I also have PVCs but they were originally classified as rare 2 yrs ago. They now seem to be ramping up as I have had several episodes in just the last month.
I am told that my symptoms are unusual, so if anyone else has the same symptoms please let me know.
Episodes start with elevated BP, 200/90 ish, my heart is pounding 100+, I get diarrhea pretty fast after it all starts, then sometimes I throw up or just feel nauseous. The episodes last anywhere from 1-5 hours. I’m told that these symptoms are not typical.
I have a Doc appointment tomorrow to discuss next steps.
BTW, I have the Kardia app, it doesn’t have the capability to report PVCs, so now I’m not sure why my Doc told me to get it!? Any heart rate data over 100 doesn’t get captured and shows as “unclassified”, so not real helpful.

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I read your post to my husband, he thinks you are having an anxiety reaction.

@tomr

Hi my name is Tom. I’m a seventy year old white male. I have recently been diagnosed with PVCs. They came on like a thief in the night with the principal symptom being inability to draw breath (fluid in left lung). My PCP, refered me to a Pulmonologist who in turn sent me to a Cardiologist. ECG disclosed the PVCs. Echo cardiogram showed really bad efficiency. Cardiac MRI to look for damage (still waiting for interpretation), and ablation scheduled in two weeks. Currently taking metropololol and a diureticbut the condition is barely controlled. I would love to know a couple of things like: what did I do to cause these? I’ve always been a competitive or amateur swimmer and distance runner. Heart never had a problem before.

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It seems to me it isn't all physical, what about your emotional life? And all the grief from TV news showing us images of starving children in Yemen. I think this has an effect on us even if it bypasses the brain and goes directly to the heart. I'd take a fast from world suffering.

@espivack

Hello, sorry to hear about your suffering. I also have PVCs but they were originally classified as rare 2 yrs ago. They now seem to be ramping up as I have had several episodes in just the last month.
I am told that my symptoms are unusual, so if anyone else has the same symptoms please let me know.
Episodes start with elevated BP, 200/90 ish, my heart is pounding 100+, I get diarrhea pretty fast after it all starts, then sometimes I throw up or just feel nauseous. The episodes last anywhere from 1-5 hours. I’m told that these symptoms are not typical.
I have a Doc appointment tomorrow to discuss next steps.
BTW, I have the Kardia app, it doesn’t have the capability to report PVCs, so now I’m not sure why my Doc told me to get it!? Any heart rate data over 100 doesn’t get captured and shows as “unclassified”, so not real helpful.

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espivack, Your PVC problem is much worse than mine ever got . The way to use the Kardia devise to note the PVCs is to look at the distance between the beats. If they are really close followed by a longer pause it indicates PVC happened. I always make the star go yellow so I can review the ones with the PVCs with my Cardiologist.

It is bad Kardia does not care about PVCs. They are definitely behind the current knowledge that indicates the PVC induced heart failure. Even Mayo clinic now recognizes how they damage hearts.

I remember the Kettle Drum beats of the return to beating my heart was producing. I used to lay in bed and count them. Now I seldom actually feel them, but sometimes I do.

Dr told me those quick and short beats mean the blood is not a full volume beat and the heart has to struggle to send out the next one and that is why it can feel like a Kettle Drum size boom going off inside the chest.

Liked by Dee

@predictable

I'd like to raise some doubts about proposals by @afrobin for getting off common medicines for treatment of A-fib and its symptoms — first the recommendation for rigorous exercise to make it possible to cut off use of beta blockers within a month; second the idea that anticoagulants are not needed if A-fib is ended ("cured"?) due to exercise, and third that if you have A-fib you can get clear indications from your heart on whether medications are even needed. I don't feel that these proposals are wrong, just that they may be unique to the condition of one or a few patients and unfortunately fatal to a few on the other end of possibility — myself, for example.

First, I get no signals from my heart about my A-fib, which I'm told is clearly obvious on an EKG; otherwise I'm conscious of it only by watching my heart rate's irregularity on my blood pressure meter at home. Second, my A-fib medication is a relatively strong dose of a beta blocker twice a day and a medium dose of Coumadin anticoagulant once a day; these meds have applied for nearly two years. Third, my exercise regimen is challenging, but not comparable to running a mile. I was preparing last Spring to begin a gradual reduction in my beta blocker medication over a period of two-three months.

However, out for a brisk walk in June, I was struck by symptoms of a stroke, my return home on foot was belabored by loss of balance and repeated stumbles. At urgent care several hours later, the MRI showed I had suffered a "small stroke," probably from an A-fib clot ejected into a cranial artery. Movement of my left arm and leg and my jaw was affected. I spent six weeks in physical therapy and regained my balance as a result.

Lessons learned? First, if I ever again experience symptoms of a stroke, I'll call 9-1-1 and get emergency medical transportation and care right away. Second, I'll be less determined to back down on the medications that have carried me thus far. Third, coordination with my medical team is required before I take ANY steps to modify the therapy my doctors recommend. I hope other A-fib victims find something helpful in my experience with it, especially to avoid cutting back therapy unilaterally. @afrobin's decision to follow this practice and work with a doctor is a good example for us all. Martin

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Very well said. I have been on bystolic for many years for blood pressure. For this reason, my now persistent and apparently permanent again did not cause the racing heart. Everyone is different, but I am very thankful for my bystolic and Eliquis to control the rate and help prevent a stroke.

Liked by Dee, healthytoday

@healthytoday

It seems to me it isn't all physical, what about your emotional life? And all the grief from TV news showing us images of starving children in Yemen. I think this has an effect on us even if it bypasses the brain and goes directly to the heart. I'd take a fast from world suffering.

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A Premature Ventricular Contraction seems to be fairly easy to observe. It is physical. One can even observe them by taking a pulse. When hooked up to an EKG or monitor it appears to be possible to speculate the location based on the image it leaves on the recording device (sometimes referred to as the morphology). Doctors often classify the PVCs according to how many PVCs are observed versus normal beats ( often expressed in term of percentage of PVCs vs normal beats, or ectopic burden). PVCs in succession or combination are also noted, as would be any evidence of other abnormal beats.

Doctors also look to see if pVC activity coincides with time of day. Sometimes PVCs are more common during periods of stress of exertion, seeming to suggest a Adrenalin like trigger.

So even if the problem is anxiety, it’s still a problem to be looked into.

Liked by Dee, healthytoday

I'm Dennis and was diagnosed with a fib just before x mas. Was put on metro at that time by GP. Saw cardiologist 2 jan. Was told my Aortic regurgitation was worse. I might have to have Open heart surgery. Was put on Eliquis and told to come back in 3 months for another eco cardiogram. Right now feel fine. any comments would be appreciated.

@dfelix

I'm Dennis and was diagnosed with a fib just before x mas. Was put on metro at that time by GP. Saw cardiologist 2 jan. Was told my Aortic regurgitation was worse. I might have to have Open heart surgery. Was put on Eliquis and told to come back in 3 months for another eco cardiogram. Right now feel fine. any comments would be appreciated.

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I'm finding this a big topic. My med team has two tools, meds and surgery. Eliquis helps relieve the chance of stroke, and that's a big deal.

@eileena

espivack, Your PVC problem is much worse than mine ever got . The way to use the Kardia devise to note the PVCs is to look at the distance between the beats. If they are really close followed by a longer pause it indicates PVC happened. I always make the star go yellow so I can review the ones with the PVCs with my Cardiologist.

It is bad Kardia does not care about PVCs. They are definitely behind the current knowledge that indicates the PVC induced heart failure. Even Mayo clinic now recognizes how they damage hearts.

I remember the Kettle Drum beats of the return to beating my heart was producing. I used to lay in bed and count them. Now I seldom actually feel them, but sometimes I do.

Dr told me those quick and short beats mean the blood is not a full volume beat and the heart has to struggle to send out the next one and that is why it can feel like a Kettle Drum size boom going off inside the chest.

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Kettle Drum beats, could that be adrenalin from anger. That's what I feel when I'm very angry.

@healthytoday

Kettle Drum beats, could that be adrenalin from anger. That's what I feel when I'm very angry.

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healthytoday, Actually the hard beats happened at times when there was no negative events occurring. the doc told me it was that my heart had to work harder due to the excessive load of blood it needed to pump out of th ventricle chamber.

Liked by healthytoday

Hi I'm will… 43 yrs old and very concerned about my heart rhythm… it started in early November of 2018.. I'm taking metoprolol and it seems to be working, but every so often it happens. Would love to hear opinions, suggestions or similar stories about it

Liked by healthytoday

@will76

Hi I'm will… 43 yrs old and very concerned about my heart rhythm… it started in early November of 2018.. I'm taking metoprolol and it seems to be working, but every so often it happens. Would love to hear opinions, suggestions or similar stories about it

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Hi Will, this happened to me this last fall, I moved, husband had surgery, all the same time, lots of stress. Do you drink a lot of caffeine, alcohol, under a lot of stress recently? My doc also put me on metropolol, and I take .25 mg of Zoloft to help with the anxiety that these cause for me, the meds have helped immensely, but like you I still get the breakthrough ones that scare you, good luck🙏🏻

Liked by healthytoday

@will76

Hi I'm will… 43 yrs old and very concerned about my heart rhythm… it started in early November of 2018.. I'm taking metoprolol and it seems to be working, but every so often it happens. Would love to hear opinions, suggestions or similar stories about it

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The usual, low salt, low sugar, low stress, some exercise, positive images in music film etc., and some vitamin supplements can be helpful for some. Look up heart health online and see what you can find. Have afib every so often is part of the illness for most.

I worry that some might believe that, without palpitations, their A-fib is inoperative and they can get careless about taking their medications and getting their exercise and other therapy routines done. Don't be fooled. In nearly 5 years after my A-fib was diagnosed, I don't remember EVER having palpitations, but the irregular heartbeats were drawn clearly on every EKG my primary care physician administered. And here's the clincher:

Last June, I suffered a stroke. Without warning, I lost my ability to walk smoothly and ultimately tripped over my own feet and fell on the lawn. Fortunately, I escaped injury, but some loss of mobility has beset me ever since — even to the extent of interfering with my ability to articulate words as I once did as a public speaker, actor, and singer. An MRI confirmed a "small stroke" near my hippocampus (so my memory isn't what it used to be either).

My big mistake was waiting several hours before being taken to Urgent Care by my daughter. Never again. If ever again I have even minor stroke symptoms, I am going to immediately call 9-1-1 and have emergency medical personnel take me to the hospital, calling ahead so ER staff are ready for me when I arrive. I hope my experience will be taken seriously by everybody who has heart rhythm problems, because a stroke is a shadow over you, whether you feel it or not. Don't take a chance. Martin

@predictable

I worry that some might believe that, without palpitations, their A-fib is inoperative and they can get careless about taking their medications and getting their exercise and other therapy routines done. Don't be fooled. In nearly 5 years after my A-fib was diagnosed, I don't remember EVER having palpitations, but the irregular heartbeats were drawn clearly on every EKG my primary care physician administered. And here's the clincher:

Last June, I suffered a stroke. Without warning, I lost my ability to walk smoothly and ultimately tripped over my own feet and fell on the lawn. Fortunately, I escaped injury, but some loss of mobility has beset me ever since — even to the extent of interfering with my ability to articulate words as I once did as a public speaker, actor, and singer. An MRI confirmed a "small stroke" near my hippocampus (so my memory isn't what it used to be either).

My big mistake was waiting several hours before being taken to Urgent Care by my daughter. Never again. If ever again I have even minor stroke symptoms, I am going to immediately call 9-1-1 and have emergency medical personnel take me to the hospital, calling ahead so ER staff are ready for me when I arrive. I hope my experience will be taken seriously by everybody who has heart rhythm problems, because a stroke is a shadow over you, whether you feel it or not. Don't take a chance. Martin

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@predictable
Thanks, Martin. We do need to take A-Fib and stroke symptoms seriously. It can be debilitating as you have said. I hope that you are recovering well from your experience last year.

@predictable

I worry that some might believe that, without palpitations, their A-fib is inoperative and they can get careless about taking their medications and getting their exercise and other therapy routines done. Don't be fooled. In nearly 5 years after my A-fib was diagnosed, I don't remember EVER having palpitations, but the irregular heartbeats were drawn clearly on every EKG my primary care physician administered. And here's the clincher:

Last June, I suffered a stroke. Without warning, I lost my ability to walk smoothly and ultimately tripped over my own feet and fell on the lawn. Fortunately, I escaped injury, but some loss of mobility has beset me ever since — even to the extent of interfering with my ability to articulate words as I once did as a public speaker, actor, and singer. An MRI confirmed a "small stroke" near my hippocampus (so my memory isn't what it used to be either).

My big mistake was waiting several hours before being taken to Urgent Care by my daughter. Never again. If ever again I have even minor stroke symptoms, I am going to immediately call 9-1-1 and have emergency medical personnel take me to the hospital, calling ahead so ER staff are ready for me when I arrive. I hope my experience will be taken seriously by everybody who has heart rhythm problems, because a stroke is a shadow over you, whether you feel it or not. Don't take a chance. Martin

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Thank you Martin for that great advice, God Bless

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