Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)

Posted by MichSophie @mlcheyne, May 6, 2019

Recently diagnosed with PVCs and I’m getting really frustrated and scared at the same time. Taking 10mg propranolol twice per day which does help cut down the intensity. But I’ve also noticed with most PVCs I’m also feeling the flutters in my upper abdomen as well as my throat. I’m going to see my doctor in a couple of weeks but was wondering if anyone else has had the same expression of symptoms. Thanks a bunch!!

Thanks for sharing your history, @cece55.

Extra heartbeats, most commonly known as premature ventricular contraction or PVC, are early contractions that occur when the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart) contract out of sequence with normal heart rhythm. Although they are generally harmless and usually do not require treatment, PVCs may trigger more serious arrhythmias in people with heart disease or a history of ventricular tachycardia.
You may feel odd sensations in your chest like
Flip-flops
Fluttering
Pounding or jumping
Skipped beats or missed beats
Increased awareness of your heartbeat
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-ventricular-contractions/symptoms-causes/syc-20376757
You might wish to view these other discussions as well:
Afib with Rapid Ventricular Response https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/afib-with-rapid-ventricular-response/
PVCs and Coronary Artery Disease https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pvcs-and-coronary-artery-disease/

There are a number of factors that can cause PVCs:
Certain medications, including decongestants and antihistamines
Increased levels of adrenaline in the body that may be caused by caffeine, tobacco, exercise or anxiety, stress
Injury to the heart muscle from coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, high blood pressure or heart failure

Have you noticed any”triggers” other than stress, @cece55?

Liked by catmom777

REPLY
@kanaazpereira

Thanks for sharing your history, @cece55.

Extra heartbeats, most commonly known as premature ventricular contraction or PVC, are early contractions that occur when the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart) contract out of sequence with normal heart rhythm. Although they are generally harmless and usually do not require treatment, PVCs may trigger more serious arrhythmias in people with heart disease or a history of ventricular tachycardia.
You may feel odd sensations in your chest like
Flip-flops
Fluttering
Pounding or jumping
Skipped beats or missed beats
Increased awareness of your heartbeat
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-ventricular-contractions/symptoms-causes/syc-20376757
You might wish to view these other discussions as well:
Afib with Rapid Ventricular Response https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/afib-with-rapid-ventricular-response/
PVCs and Coronary Artery Disease https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pvcs-and-coronary-artery-disease/

There are a number of factors that can cause PVCs:
Certain medications, including decongestants and antihistamines
Increased levels of adrenaline in the body that may be caused by caffeine, tobacco, exercise or anxiety, stress
Injury to the heart muscle from coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, high blood pressure or heart failure

Have you noticed any”triggers” other than stress, @cece55?

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Hello does anyone know if propranolol is stronger than Rythmol (Propeferone)? I am on 225 mg 3x daily for Afib and PVC's as well. I am experiencing palpitations all off in my throat as well so EP decided to up meds to 325mg 3xdaily. Now this have my body outright exhausted. I noticed you are taking 10mg propranolol twice. Just trying to be proactive to see what may work best for my body. Will ask EP in the next few weeks whats d difference.

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@kanaazpereira

Thanks for sharing your history, @cece55.

Extra heartbeats, most commonly known as premature ventricular contraction or PVC, are early contractions that occur when the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart) contract out of sequence with normal heart rhythm. Although they are generally harmless and usually do not require treatment, PVCs may trigger more serious arrhythmias in people with heart disease or a history of ventricular tachycardia.
You may feel odd sensations in your chest like
Flip-flops
Fluttering
Pounding or jumping
Skipped beats or missed beats
Increased awareness of your heartbeat
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-ventricular-contractions/symptoms-causes/syc-20376757
You might wish to view these other discussions as well:
Afib with Rapid Ventricular Response https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/afib-with-rapid-ventricular-response/
PVCs and Coronary Artery Disease https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pvcs-and-coronary-artery-disease/

There are a number of factors that can cause PVCs:
Certain medications, including decongestants and antihistamines
Increased levels of adrenaline in the body that may be caused by caffeine, tobacco, exercise or anxiety, stress
Injury to the heart muscle from coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, high blood pressure or heart failure

Have you noticed any”triggers” other than stress, @cece55?

Jump to this post

That's what I've experienced (though not frequently) but the doctors said only that I have afib. They said nothing about PVCs. I didn't even know what they were until you explained them here.
Mine come on when I'm very tired or very anxious, and sometimes I think too if I don't drink enough water it brings them on also. Coffee has no effect and neither does wine. I haven't tried chocolate. My heart is perfect, I'm cmall and not overweight, and I was in perfect health before I got ill from a cold about 1.5 years ago. I think I got afib initially from a combination of bronchitis which made it hard for me to breathe, acid reflux, and maybe having six to eight ounces of wine after dinner. Now I know that once a person has afib, they have it for life, and that it's progressive, so I expect it to get worse. It is not fun. And, I feel very confused by it all. This forum helps me cope though.

REPLY
@kanaazpereira

Thanks for sharing your history, @cece55.

Extra heartbeats, most commonly known as premature ventricular contraction or PVC, are early contractions that occur when the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart) contract out of sequence with normal heart rhythm. Although they are generally harmless and usually do not require treatment, PVCs may trigger more serious arrhythmias in people with heart disease or a history of ventricular tachycardia.
You may feel odd sensations in your chest like
Flip-flops
Fluttering
Pounding or jumping
Skipped beats or missed beats
Increased awareness of your heartbeat
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-ventricular-contractions/symptoms-causes/syc-20376757
You might wish to view these other discussions as well:
Afib with Rapid Ventricular Response https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/afib-with-rapid-ventricular-response/
PVCs and Coronary Artery Disease https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pvcs-and-coronary-artery-disease/

There are a number of factors that can cause PVCs:
Certain medications, including decongestants and antihistamines
Increased levels of adrenaline in the body that may be caused by caffeine, tobacco, exercise or anxiety, stress
Injury to the heart muscle from coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, high blood pressure or heart failure

Have you noticed any”triggers” other than stress, @cece55?

Jump to this post

Thank You for responding to me. When I was diagnosed with AFib I gave up all the stimulants I could think of. I don't drink, don't eat chocolate or sugar, try my best to stay away from processed foods, drink plenty of water and only drink caffeine free tea and coffee.
I go to yoga three times a week to control my anxiety, and go to the gym the other four. I can't cycle which I was used to doing because I am on Eliquis. I just can't imagine what is causing this sudden problem of constant PVC. I do have days or hours of no problem at all. I am not dizzy, fatigued, short of breath etc… It is very frustrating and scary. I try to tell myself, "this too shall pass".

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@danab

Hi welcome to Mayo Connect. I have experienced PVCs but they were not really a problem for me since my main problem caused me more issues. So based on what i was told they have to get to a certain duration and repatition before treatment. But i decided to write because i know my fears were made worse by my stomach issues and as time went on it seemed i was having arrythmias when actually it was stomach reflux. As the drs told me the top of the stomach and the heart are right on top of each other. So what i thought was actually my heart acting up was my stomach. I had a pacemaker so it made it easy to record when i felt something and when they download my pacemaker i found out when it was and wasn't my heart. I think once you have any heart condition we become so sensitive to whats happening in our bodies it can be a blessing and a curse. I hope that helps.

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Did you actually have a pacemaker or an implanted loop recorder – BIG difference. It sounds like a loop recorder. There is no reason on Earth to have a pacemaker for PVCs unless you were having life threatening ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation (which causes sudden death). PVCs are common in NORMAL hearts but, yes, they can scare the cr*p out of you. It's not so much the heart and stomach "on top of each other" but irritation in the esophagus and irritate the vagus nerve and contribute to heart arrhythmias. A loop recorder is a tiny device implanted to record heart rhythm for up to three years ( that's how long the battery lasts) to document where heart "blips" are coming from, how long they last and if they are benign or need treatment.

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Afib is not necessarily for life, Catmom. I cured mine with daily exercise. And my case was so severe that I didn't have 3 normal beats in a row; the worst case my cardiologist had ever seen. I do stay FAR AWAY from coffee, tea, alcohol as I said. It could take weeks after you cut it out of your regime, to finally let your heart calm down. As I recall you only have episodes every few weeks…and they are short lived. In consultation with your doctor of course, you may want to exercise daily, cut out all stimulants and then lower your beta blocker dose and get off them completely. Americans are the biggest users of medical drugs in the world. Life-style changes could be your ticket to optimal health.

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Check the side effects of medications. Speak to your pharmacist who is THE expert and studied drugs for years in university. For example, Catmom above has a thyroid problem and a side effect of her medication is arrhythmia. Medications are something you want to avoid at all costs unless absolutely necessary because they cause their own set of problems.

Liked by catmom777

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@afrobin

Check the side effects of medications. Speak to your pharmacist who is THE expert and studied drugs for years in university. For example, Catmom above has a thyroid problem and a side effect of her medication is arrhythmia. Medications are something you want to avoid at all costs unless absolutely necessary because they cause their own set of problems.

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I could NOT agree more. Privately, cardiologists have expressed to me their concerns over the ubiquitous use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) , for example, which first were prescription, now over-the-counter – for GERD, hearburn, reflux (Nexium, Aciphex, many, many brands – all these drugs have "…prazole" at the end, like omeprazole). Not only do they significantly raise the risk of heart attack but can cause low magnesium, producing heart arrhythmia. Yet, docs often don't know this, don't have time to read all the literature and, frankly, PPIs make patients shuttup about their heartburn and reflux and stop complaining – but at what cost? It was thought for years PPIs would reduce the risk of gastroesophageal cancer in those with Barrett's – that is now questionable, too. Anyway, my point is that there is much that can be done with lifestyle changes and critical thinking about what might have precipitated arrhythmia, including a-fib.

Liked by catmom777

REPLY
@afrobin

Afib is not necessarily for life, Catmom. I cured mine with daily exercise. And my case was so severe that I didn't have 3 normal beats in a row; the worst case my cardiologist had ever seen. I do stay FAR AWAY from coffee, tea, alcohol as I said. It could take weeks after you cut it out of your regime, to finally let your heart calm down. As I recall you only have episodes every few weeks…and they are short lived. In consultation with your doctor of course, you may want to exercise daily, cut out all stimulants and then lower your beta blocker dose and get off them completely. Americans are the biggest users of medical drugs in the world. Life-style changes could be your ticket to optimal health.

Jump to this post

Absolutely true. However, the most research – surprisingly – does NOT show any association with a-fib and coffee but, of course, people should stay away from anything that seems to precipitate their arrhythmia. Oddly, several studies have recently found caffeine may reduce a-fib episodes. Alcohol, on the other hand, has been recently shown to have a far great impact on a-fib than previously thought – any alcohol at all. So it might be a good idea for those with atrial fibrillation to eliminate it entirely. Also losing weight will lower the risk of a-fib and can reduce the odds of repeat a-fib episodes. "Conclusions A higher caffeine intake (>165 mmol/day or > 320 mg/day) is associated with a lower incidence of atrial fibrillation in the 12-year epidemiological prospective setting based on the general population." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29692210

Liked by AFRobin, catmom777

REPLY
@afrobin

Afib is not necessarily for life, Catmom. I cured mine with daily exercise. And my case was so severe that I didn't have 3 normal beats in a row; the worst case my cardiologist had ever seen. I do stay FAR AWAY from coffee, tea, alcohol as I said. It could take weeks after you cut it out of your regime, to finally let your heart calm down. As I recall you only have episodes every few weeks…and they are short lived. In consultation with your doctor of course, you may want to exercise daily, cut out all stimulants and then lower your beta blocker dose and get off them completely. Americans are the biggest users of medical drugs in the world. Life-style changes could be your ticket to optimal health.

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from research presented at the recent American College of Cardiology meeting re: alchol and a-fib: "Alcohol-AF Trial: It is well known that binge alcohol consumption (holiday heart) can trigger atrial fibrillation (AF) and that observational studies show a higher incident of AF with higher amounts of alcohol consumption. This trial was the first ever randomized controlled trial of alcohol abstinence in moderate drinkers with paroxysmal AF (minimum of two episodes in the last 6 months) or persistent AF requiring cardioversion.
Participants consuming at least 10 standard drinks per week at baseline were randomized to abstinence or usual consumption. They underwent comprehensive rhythm monitoring with implantable loop recorders or existing pacemakers and twice daily AliveCor monitoring for 6 months.
Abstinence prolonged AF-free survival by 37% (118 vs 86 days) and lowered the AF burden from 8.2% to 5.6%AF-related hospitalizations occurred in 9% of abstinent patients versus 20% of controls. Those in the abstinence arm also experienced improved symptom severity, weight loss, and BP control. This trial givesprecise numbers to present to my AF patients to show them how important eliminating alcohol consumption is if they want to have fewer AF episodes.

It further emphasizes the point that lifestyle changes (including weight loss, exercise, and stress-reduction) can dramatically reduce the incidence of atrial fibrillation." Source: https://www.medpagetoday.com/blogs/skeptical-cardiologist/78756

Liked by AFRobin, catmom777

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Actually, the doctor was experimenting with taking me off levothyroxine to see if it would make my afib go away or lessen the incidents because I was on a low dose. She said that the generic thyroid meds (for low thyroid) had inconsistent doses and sometimes were too much and sometimes too little. I don't know if going off the med lessened my symptoms because that was early on when I was having a lot of symptoms. My triggers actually seem to be getting very tired or getting anxious or getting dehydrated. I got home this week from a trip and had several afib incidents on it because I was getting too tired and the plane trips especially made me anxious and it's hard to get enough water when you travel.
My doc will put me back on thyroid meds again if my next blood test shows my thyroid is low again. Then we'll see again if I'm affected or not.
After much reflection on this, I am sure I initially got afib from a combination of stress, some alcohol (I did not get drunk–had only two glasses), acid reflux, and bronchitis when I sometimes have a hard time breathing. My heart acted like it was starving for oxygen.

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@catmom777

Actually, the doctor was experimenting with taking me off levothyroxine to see if it would make my afib go away or lessen the incidents because I was on a low dose. She said that the generic thyroid meds (for low thyroid) had inconsistent doses and sometimes were too much and sometimes too little. I don't know if going off the med lessened my symptoms because that was early on when I was having a lot of symptoms. My triggers actually seem to be getting very tired or getting anxious or getting dehydrated. I got home this week from a trip and had several afib incidents on it because I was getting too tired and the plane trips especially made me anxious and it's hard to get enough water when you travel.
My doc will put me back on thyroid meds again if my next blood test shows my thyroid is low again. Then we'll see again if I'm affected or not.
After much reflection on this, I am sure I initially got afib from a combination of stress, some alcohol (I did not get drunk–had only two glasses), acid reflux, and bronchitis when I sometimes have a hard time breathing. My heart acted like it was starving for oxygen.

Jump to this post

There are several studies now showing total abstinance – not ANY alcohol – may even eliminate all afib episodes in some people.. something to consider if it might be a trigger.

Liked by AFRobin

REPLY

When I had Afib, (non-stop, 24/7, out of control heart beats, possibly like you, it was actually TEA that started the whole thing. Also my mother was dying… I had a client who wanted tea (which I never drank at that point) and I made a big pot and we 'enjoyed' it all afternoon. My heart was racing as soon as the tea kicked in and then a couple of hours later it went out of control. It took a massive dose of beta blockers to keep it under control.

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I am following now as I have been experience these extra beats. My Apple Watch has recorded them also. When is it an emergency ??

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@jadillow

I am following now as I have been experience these extra beats. My Apple Watch has recorded them also. When is it an emergency ??

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My cardiologist told me when I first went to see him with not even 3 normal beats in a row that out of 10 people who see him with skipped beats, he medicates only one. I was that one. He said that if a patient came to him with skipped beats but was not feeling faint or having to gasp to get enough oxygen, (which was the case with me) he would not medicate. My daughter at the time who was about 20 years old was also experiencing occasional skipped beats and I took her to see him. She had no other symptoms besides the skips and thumps and he said she was fine. I tried to get her to go easy on the coffee but she wouldn't listen. LOL Bottom line: I wouldn't be overly concerned…but see your doctor to rule out anything serious. Once I got off the medication, I cut out alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, stress… I have been doing that for over 20 years in order to keep my heart steady and it works for me. No recurrence.

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