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Old 02-12-2020, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Florida
6,068 posts, read 3,979,746 times
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Look up Dr Sanjay Gupta on YouTube. He is a cardiologist practicing in York, England, and he's extremely reassuring.

I get PVCs on and off. When I have them, it's many times per day for days or even weeks in a row. Then they go away for weeks or months. I've had them checked with an EKG and they are definitely PVCs, which are basically harmless. I also have some anxiety, though, and when I start feeling them, my heart rate speeds up and then I feel them more and more and more. It's a vicious cycle.

Taking magnesium daily helps. So does daily exercise and doing what I can to relax and work through the anxiety. They definitely ramp up during stressful times, so I really think that managing mental health is one of the keys to managing benign heart palpitations, which it sounds like yours are. But really, go watch some of Dr. Gupta's videos. They have a lot of good information that can really set your mind at ease.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:02 AM
 
1,381 posts, read 919,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrassTacksGal View Post
>>cardio physiologist<<

I see one for a-fib but they seem to be rarer than hen's teeth.

He had me wear a monitor for a couple of weeks but of course nothing happened during that time.

A-fib won't kill you as long as you take a blood thinner but it can be annoying and scary when you don't know what it is.

A-fib often runs in families. My father started having it in his 50's. Do either of your parents have it?
I never heard either of my parents mention that they had it, so I believe the answer is no. Oddly, my sister, who is 4 years older than me, just told me she is experiencing the same thing as me. And she has no known anxieties. So, I still think it is something physical. As I stated, I do no take any medication and my cardiologist did not suggest that I do. He only mentioned to take a half aspirin each day as it cannot hurt. I never do because I keep forgetting to. I definitely don't want to live with this for the rest of my life the way I did the other night. I cannot keep driving to ERs every time this happens. It can happen any time. I'll buy a monitor and see what happens. Thanks
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:13 AM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
9,341 posts, read 6,565,248 times
Reputation: 9684
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherTouchOfWhimsy View Post
Look up Dr Sanjay Gupta on YouTube. He is a cardiologist practicing in York, England, and he's extremely reassuring.

I get PVCs on and off. When I have them, it's many times per day for days or even weeks in a row. Then they go away for weeks or months. I've had them checked with an EKG and they are definitely PVCs, which are basically harmless. I also have some anxiety, though, and when I start feeling them, my heart rate speeds up and then I feel them more and more and more. It's a vicious cycle.

Taking magnesium daily helps. So does daily exercise and doing what I can to relax and work through the anxiety. They definitely ramp up during stressful times, so I really think that managing mental health is one of the keys to managing benign heart palpitations, which it sounds like yours are. But really, go watch some of Dr. Gupta's videos. They have a lot of good information that can really set your mind at ease.
Excellent advice!

He is terrific and I sought out and watched every video of his that I could find on the subject of afib when mine first came on. He offers insights far beyond anything the in-person MDs I've seen understand.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:28 AM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
9,341 posts, read 6,565,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trusso11783 View Post
I never heard either of my parents mention that they had it, so I believe the answer is no. Oddly, my sister, who is 4 years older than me, just told me she is experiencing the same thing as me. And she has no known anxieties. So, I still think it is something physical. As I stated, I do no take any medication and my cardiologist did not suggest that I do. He only mentioned to take a half aspirin each day as it cannot hurt. I never do because I keep forgetting to. I definitely don't want to live with this for the rest of my life the way I did the other night. I cannot keep driving to ERs every time this happens. It can happen any time. I'll buy a monitor and see what happens. Thanks
What you have described sounds almost identical to what I experienced 2 years ago when my heart was flirting with afib regularly. From what I've learned, most docs would recommend a beta blocker and a serious anticoagulant in your scenario to be on the safe side. Aspirin is almost useless.

Best of luck....I know how frustrating and scary it is.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:31 AM
 
Location: A noncontiguous State
4,178 posts, read 2,297,686 times
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If your resting heart rate is near 70 ( likely lower during sleep) then occasionally having episodes of around 100 is probably nothing to worry about.

The smart watches give you pulse info but not rhythm.
If you were having tachycardia episodes your pulse would be higher than 100, given a 70 or so baseline.
Try deep breathing, relaxation exercises next time to see if that can bring pulse down.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:14 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,361 posts, read 7,577,916 times
Reputation: 15833
Quote:
Originally Posted by trusso11783 View Post
I have never passed out in my life, let alone from the palpitations. I get no shortness of breathe or dizzy. Just a weird feeling in my chest. I have taken my heat rate using a stop watch and it is usually 68. The day I went to the ER, it was 100 or so, but that was when I was just sitting and relaxing. That was too fast for me so I thought it was serious. I have a stethoscope and when I Listened, it sounded like 3 or 4 beats and no beat, then another few beats and no Beat. The other night when I was sitting outside the ER all night, I didn’t measure but it didn’t feel too fast but it did feel throbbing. In other words, normally, I don’t hear or feel my heart beat. When I feel it or hear it, it is beating harder than usual. For me, that isn’t normal.

Again, I am on no medications at all, ever, only have one cup of coffee a day at the most and dont drink alcohol. Maybe 5 -10 drinks a year, depending on the occasion. Oddly, I did have 1 Corona beer the other night. I can’t be that much of a lightweight, can I?

I want to go to the cardio physicist as was suggested to me be a couple of people. I am also not thrilled about my cardiologist dismissing this. He wouldn’t give me the monitor the night of the stress test but said I can come anytime and pick it up if this happens again. I am mostly concerned that it is happening now. Nothing has changed in my life in years. No more stress than usual. When this first happened to me in a December, I was only a month older than November, and it never happened in my life before. So why now? I appreciate all of the responses. I am ordering the monitor. So far, nothing really since the other night, though I think a felt a few this morning but they quickly stopped. I barely noticed.
Ok, I thought you mentioned in another post you had passed out. Still think it's a good idea to get it checked out if it keeps happening. For your own peace of mind, if nothing else.
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Haiku
6,693 posts, read 3,293,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trusso11783 View Post
What is the medical difference between A Fib and palpitations? How would anyone of us know the difference? The problem with my cardiologist allowing me to come by if this is happening is that it is almost never during business hours. It is usually when I am already sleeping or relaxing and about to go to sleep.what would you have done in my case the other night? The palpitations began around midnight and continued all the way through 6 or 7 am when I finally passed out in my car while it was running. I nearly admitted myself 5 different times. But I didn’t. And if I did, they would have released me because it stopped around 6 or 7 am and hasn't rEturned since.
They can put a Halter monitor on you, which is a small electronic recorder stuck to your chest. You wear it for several days then send it in and they can figure out if you have PVCs or A-fib during the night. It is a pretty standard tool for a cardio doc to use.

The danger with A-fib is clotting - blood will pool in one of the heart chambers rather than flow through it. When it pools, it can form clots which can then cause a stroke. Part of the treatment for A-fib is to prevent clots. PVCs do not cause blood to pool so clotting is not a danger.

Most people who have PVCs have them fairly regularly so they should show up on a Halter monitor worn for a few days. A-fib tends to be very intermittent. I feel PVC several times a week. My wife has 2-3 A-Fib events per year but they usually just go away on their own without needing to go to the ER.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:02 PM
 
Location: on the wind
9,305 posts, read 4,096,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
They can put a Halter monitor on you, which is a small electronic recorder stuck to your chest. You wear it for several days then send it in and they can figure out if you have PVCs or A-fib during the night. It is a pretty standard tool for a cardio doc to use.
There are wearable patch type cardiac monitors that can record continuously up to two weeks. Other types can record as long as a month.
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:32 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,361 posts, read 7,577,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrownVic95 View Post
Completely extraneous, unnecessary, and abrasive comment. This is why you're on ignore....but every now and then I foolishly open a post to see who it was directed to. I must maintain more discipline.

I stand by every word I posted, including the assessment that modern cardiology is a gargantuan cash cow. No afib patient needs an ablation and nowhere near as many who have stents need them. Do some research and you'll see that more and more doctors agree. But in the short-term, interventional cardiologists are mining gold as fast as they can.

Sounds like a good idea if you get your panties in such a wad over a comment pointing out that medicine, medical conditions and the people who have them fit into a "one size fits all" category. So maybe you don't read my comments, your choice, it's not like I'd even be aware of that, LOL.


I know you don't care, but I tend to agree with you that if it's at all possible, controlling afib, or any other tachycardia with rate control drugs is preferable to other measures such as ablation, or as I see it, even antiarrhythmic drugs. I've had atrial tachycardia for years, and for the most part, (until about two years ago), it's been well controlled with metoprolol. My sister has afib, and seems to have it under control with a low dose of diltiazem. Though we've both developed "sick sinus syndrome ( tachy-bradycardia type) so we both have pacemakers to keep our heart rates from going too low, and the medication to control the tachycardia- I've had to have diltiazem added to the metoprolol as neither of these alone controls the tachy anymore.. Our cardiologists support our choices not to have ablations ( in fact have discouraged them- that was music to MY ears, LOL) and using the rate control drugs in lieu of antiarrhythmic drugs. And I NEVER plan to have an ablation, nor does my sister.



But I'd never make a blanket statement about ablations being nothing more than unnecessary "cardiac cash cows" ( have you looked at the piZZ poor medicare reimbursements for these lately?). These can be viable, or even the best options for some people, say a young person with afib, or someone with an SVT that's very amenable to ablation, folks who don't want to take meds for the rest of their lives or for whom meds aren't helping, a person with an incessant tachycardia with a heart rate of 180+ and on the way to, if not in, heart failure ( my daughter fell into that category at age 25), and meds didn't help much. She needed more than one ablation to get the beast(s), including one to ablate the afib she had, but I believed these saved her life.



In my experience, ( patient in a cardiology practice that sees mostly elderly patients), the policy tends to be that for patients with afib, or other arrhythmias ( like mine), if they can be well controlled with medication, ablation will not even be offered. I think in this case the concern is mainly the risks of ablation in elderly people, many with comorbidities.



Now, none of this is on the original topic ( as neither was your rant about what I said, including your informing me of my Ignore status, LOL), so let me try and get it back on topic, and tie in what people have posted about their own experiences with this stuff.



The OP is having palpitations, which naturally are concerning him (?him?) to the point where he's losing sleep, puzzled about the nature of what's going on, worried about it, his family, and he has no idea what could be causing it. It's completely normal to feel that way, it's his heart, after all. So hopefully, he will get a monitor and get the arryhythmia captured on that monitor ( which depending on the frequency may take up to 30 days) get it identified, and he'll be on the way to either having his mind put at ease over the benign nature of the arrhythmia, or getting into a plan to manage it if that's indicated. Either way, it'll improve his perspective on what's happening to know that its being addressed and can be controlled, and he can resume a normal life.



I've read all the comments by the posters who related their own experiences and perspectives with "palpitations". They run the gamut of benign PVCs which improved with taking magnesium, or avoiding

alcohol, stimulants, other life style changes, or maybe the PVCs will subside by themselves over time, to experiences with afib controlled by rate control drugs with an anticoagulant, to ablations which with any luck at least mitigate, hopefully eliminate afib in the patients who underwent ablations. In any case, I think a common thread through these comments has to be that in the vast majority of cases, these arrhythmias are not life threatening, and they can be managed. They can be really scary but they won't kill you ( I have found this helpful as a reminder when I've gone through some of the episodes I had over the years). But it's still important, especially when they're recurrent, to get them checked out.



.....stepping off the soapbox now.........
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:32 AM
 
9,783 posts, read 4,293,232 times
Reputation: 1908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonlady View Post
I had an episode of a-fib (atrial fibrillation) last year. Scared the crap out of me. I went to the ER and they treated it with a drug to lower my heart rate. I was completely freaked out about it afterwards. I don't know if what you experienced is afib, but it's not uncommon. Mine felt like an over-caffienated hamster on a wheel in my chest! There is a website with resources and a forum that helped me - afibbers.org. Also look up vagal maneuvers to lower your heart rate- I was able to stop another episode by using the bearing down method.

Honesty, if it's not happening while you're at the cardiologist, they're going to have a hard time diagnosing it. If you're willing to spend a little money, you can buy one of those portable heart rate monitors that downloads the results to your phone that you can take to the doctor. I have one similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/EMAY-Portable.../dp/B072DVN9GV

Heart palpitations by themselves won't hurt you. A-fib can cause a stroke if left untreated but many people who experience this can't feel their palpitations. Taking a daily aspirin can also help with the stroke risk.
I'm a recently retired internist. I had serious PVC's/palpitations for about 3 years. I found this neat cellphone app/gizmo. And with it you can monitor your palpitations.

Kardia

https://www.alivecor.com/kardiamobile
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