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Old 11-24-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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I don't know how to distinguish a PVC (pre-ventricular contraction) from a PAC (pre-atrial contraction) when they occur but the symptom is the heart pausing for a one beat length of time and then a harder "thump' before resuming it's normal rhythm. I can get one a minutes or dozens. I notice they are worse when I have gas, and burping relieves them somewhat but not always completely. They are not consistent. This year I went for about ten months without recurrent episodes (occasional thump here and there) Now for the last month I've been getting them nearly every day. They seem to go in cycles (periods of time when they are active and when they are inactive) and the time lapse in between cycles varies tremendously (days, weeks, or months). My research indicates that unless there is something structurally wrong with the heart they are not generally life-threatening and you just have to learn to live with them. By all means get to an emergency room immediately if something out of the normal pattern occurs.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Illinois
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If you are getting dozens of PVCs within a minute, I'd see a doctor. I would assume that you are having couplets or even triplets with so many in that time frame.

Four plus PVCs in a row might be non-sustained ventricular tachycardia. This can be quite serious.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:57 PM
 
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I get PVCs, and I also get non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT). While I don't get NSVT often, I get it about once a month. I don't see why it's so dangerous. My cardiologist freaked out about it when it appeared on my 24 hour holter test. I've had the complete cardiac workup and there is nothing structurally wrong with my heart. I'm in my early 30's and have been getting PVCs for years. When they were really bad I was getting about 6-8 per minute.

Now I get a few per day (that I can feel). My cardiologist says there is nothing to be done about my PVCs and NSVT, because my echo was completely normal. So I've just learned to live with them. Fortunately, in the last year they've been very mild. I figured out what my triggers are and I avoid them, which helps. My triggers are dehydration, being hungry, and being tired. But my number one trigger, which I have now learned to stop doing, is deep breathing. I used to have a nervous habit of taking very deep breaths every so often. Every time I did it I would get a PVC, and a bunch of them afterwards. I finally figured out the connection for me and stopped doing the deep breathing. My PVCs have dramatically decreased since I stopped doing it, though I find that when I do take the occasional deep breath I still get one.

My husband gets PACs, and we seem to have the same symptoms--the skip followed by a thud. His are much less frequent than mine, though. Sometimes I'll get two in a row.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Illinois
3,168 posts, read 4,153,023 times
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I think it's great that you went to your physician and he found your NSVT and PVCs to be harmless. More people should do that.

However, all too often people read about this (and many other conditions) and assume that they must have a case that isn't serious, either. NSVT is a known cause of sudden cardiac death, hence me telling OP that perhaps he/she should see his own doctor. I got the impression that OP was going off what he/she has heard and read versus what his primary care physician has relayed. There was no mentioning of being referred to a cardiologist for testing, either. If your own cardiologist freaked out about it that should tell you that it can be serious. Your case turned out to be benign. That's great but at least you had the chance to learn that on your own via a trained health care provider.

Btw, an echo will only tell if there is a size or obvious chamber abnormality. A regular stress test will tell if there are any obvious rhythm abnormalities. But cardiopulmonary stress testing, complete with gas analysis, will tell if your heart, muscles, and/or lungs are having trouble with extracting and using oxygen. It will even grade it to the degree of severity. Ultimately, that's what matters.

Remember Tim Russert?
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:36 AM
 
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Had them about 9 years ago and literally had hundreds a day that debilatated me.The ensuing panic didn't help and was found to have a low potassium level. I now drink enough OJ, V-8 along with fruits & veggies and I barely have a few a year now.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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Quote:
NSVT is a known cause of sudden cardiac death,
Well, if you have to go there are few better ways of going and one of them is taking a bullet to the back of the head without knowing it's coming. The best is SCD in your sleep. Seriously though, I notice that when I have a lot of gas i get them worse so I keep tons of simethecone on hand and gulp them down. It helps.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C.
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Magnesium deficiency caused by caffeine, tobacco, alchohol or celiac to name the most common
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:17 PM
 
10,177 posts, read 10,538,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiRob View Post
Had them about 9 years ago and literally had hundreds a day that debilatated me.The ensuing panic didn't help and was found to have a low potassium level. I now drink enough OJ, V-8 along with fruits & veggies and I barely have a few a year now.
I take every supplement in the store, you name it. Some particular supplements probably help but nothing completely eliminates them for me. What I've noticed is that when I have gas (the kind that comes out the front end) I can control them by belching but I cannot completely get rid of them.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:15 AM
 
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I'm a male, 49 yrs. old and have been getting pvc's/pac's for four years now. I've had just about every test done, including an EP study... ablation not successful. Was put on Toprol-XL and am now on Lopressor. My cardio has told me not life threatening and learn to live with them, not so easy when you are in the hot seat! I don't smoke, drink alcohol, eat chocolate, drink coffee. And yet these pesky flutterbugs still happen. For me they show up in cycles, and then seem to lighten up for periods of time. I do seem to notice that they sometime happen to me after I eat foods that have high levels of sugar: donuts, candy, birthday cake with lots of frosting, etc... all non chocolate. Question - do foods with higher levels of sugar set them off in anyone else, or is it just me? Most of the time I don't let them bother me, but at other times they do rattle my cage, especially when they are the more noticable ones that occur multiple times in a row. Would appreciate any info on the "sugar" theory. Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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Default RE: PVCS and Pacs......Aren't they a *****????

Hi Having pvcs and pacs for many many years...Just recently i have been having episodes of these....It does seem like when it is time to go to sleep around 11-12 I get these so bad....I do have some during the day,,,but it seems like they are very mild.....A couple days ago.....I had gone to my cardiologist to have these checked....At first we thought I had Mitral Valve Prolapse...which is really nothing too concerning....but it turned out...it is not that....My doctor did some heart tests...saying everything really was fine....Then he put me on a heart monitor just to check too....Well that night was horrible...The palpitations started around 1200 at night...and lasted all night constantly......I finally decided to go to the ER....they examined me and told me my EKG was perfect....they also put me on a monitor..and they saw nothing...but I sure was feeling them so bad....So went home...and finally it stopped and went to sleep.....Now I am waiting a answer from the cardiologist in regards to my heart monitor.....I am so scared because my heart monitor has so many palpitations on it especially at night time when I went to the hospital....I know something has to be wrong....It is totally making me have panic attack too.....Anyone out there experiencing anything like this?????
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