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Continuous PACs


Gena
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Hi everyone,

I have MVP and POTS, so I am used to the little flutters in my heart that come and go from time to time. However I started noticing a lot of them this week and last night I could feel the big ones about every 30 to 60 seconds. Very uncomfortable and scary. Some slight chest pain, but I've had much worse.

I mostly feel fatigued and like I can'T catch my breath. I went to my GP today (he wasn't in so I had to see the nurse pract.). Anyway they did an EKG and she said I was having an enormous amount of PACs, like about every 3RD heart beat. I realize most PACs are benign, but this is crazy.

She was very concerned b/c she said with this many that the blood was not staying in my heart long enough?? She prescirbe inderol, but I had to get the generic form propolanol since the pharmacy was out.

She also tried to get me an appt. with one of the cariolgists here in town, but they said their soonest appt. is 2 weeks from now, and that is even after they told the office it was an emergency situation!! Which is so typical from this group of cardiologists. Most people wind up going to the ER in my town just to get a visit with the on-call cardio, b/c there is usally a waiting list of 2-3 months to get an appt. with the regular cardiolgoists at this particular office.

Anyway, I am calling my cardio at Mayo in Jacksonville to run this by him and see if he thinks I should come over there for an appt. I am pretty sure he would fit me in sooner than the bozos here!

IF YOU'VE HAD PROBLEMS WITH THIS MANY PACS BEFORE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU FOUND TO HELP, AND DID THEY EVER GO AWAY? (I do not drink caffeine, drink alcohol or smoke -- I do indulge in chocolate, (can't resist) :o which I know can make them worse)

I would appreciate any feedback...Morgan if you're out there, let me know if continuous PACs like this is life threatening?

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Hi Gena,

Sorry you are experiencing these. I know how annoying and frightening they can be. I had a bout of I think they were pvc's but could have been pac's(I get them both) after shoveling snow when I was pregnant. I bent over took a load of snow and tossed it and then they started. Every other beat or so had a pvc or pac. Moving was bringing them on even more. I had if for a few days. I called the cardio on call, and even at the time was wearing a heart monitor so it could the rhythm. They told me to up my beta blocker and ride it out. It did stop, but it was scary and I worried even more because I was pregnant.

I know there have been many people who have had thousands of pvc's a day(especially in MVP population). I thought they worried more about pvc because of the slight risk in certain people for it to turn to v-tach.

I hope you took a dose of the beta blocker and are noticing some relief. Were you doing anything or taking anything that may have triggered it of.

:o

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my flatmate gets pacs and takes 50mg of bisoprolol every day and is fine. they're not lifethreatening as far as I know, but I'm not a cardiologist. Don't feel bad if you end up in the ER. It's happened to me here- if you get really sick ,you have no choice. It's TWO YEARS wait to see a cardiologist in bristol, uk!

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Guest Belinda

I get pvc's and pac,s all the time..I have been told they are benign. The biggest thing is to have aholter monitor to record what kind they are where they originate from, and how many are happening right in a row.(couplets is what they call them).

Not much you can do for them..beta-blockers,no more chocolate(be suprised how much caffiene is in it), and mine usually get worse around my period. At least that is what I do in my case.

Take care and hope you get into doc. soon!

Belinda

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I get frequent PAC'S, SVT & PAT. I have been reassured not to worry. In fact I called my doctor today and spoke with his nurse because every morning for the past couple weeks my heart has been soooooooo irregular when I first get up in the morning. I take Inderal 10 mg 4 times daily. Sometimes drinking a glass of ice water quickly will put your heart in a regular rhythm. I hate the feeling, the pauses sometimes make you think it is going to stop. Most arrhythmias are benign. Cardiologists always say if you don't lose conciousness, don't worry about it.

Dawn

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Thanks everyone for your input. The nurse just kind of frightened me because she seemed to think it was urgent that I see a cardio right away. I agree that I should, but I guess I'll have to wait 2 weeks, unless it gets worse, in which case I'll get my butt to the ER!

I might call the nurse on Friday and ask for a 24 hr holter monitor, just to make sure they are getting the full picture.

Does anyone have a lot burping and indigestion with arrythmias? My husband is just loving the gurgling tummy and belching right now! :D

Well, I just took a 20mg propranolol tablet, so I hope it works and that it doesn't have any bad side effects.

The weird thing is that my BP has not been low these last few days and it's been fairly normal, so I am not sure what triggered it. It did start happening after a stressful Monday and then went away on Tuesday then came back Wed. with a vengance after eating a big meal (I hate it when I do that, b/c I always pay for it later..I was just so hungry darn it!) :)

Please feel free to add any feedback. (I took a 1/2 of a Xanax today and that actually seemed to reduce the PACs some, or maybe I was just too loopy to feel them! :P )

Hugs,

gena

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I know how uncomfortable and scary this is. When I was pregnant I had A LOT of these--some days as you describe--every third beat for hours at a time. I actually went to the ER one day when it was this bad, after going in to see my Ob/Gyn --she kind of freaked out about it and sent me to the ER in an ambulance. They gave me IV fluids and I was so much better. Do you find that increasing fluids and salt helps reduce these? Ultimately, I learned that this helped me a lot with this symptom. Rest assured they are benign.

Take care,

Katherine

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I get the every-third-beat PACs too. I have them right now because I have this GI virus, and I always have them for about an hour every night before I go to bed. I have no idea what the pattern is, but I do know I am getting used to them as I have them so much more frequently. My sister, who is a family practice doc, says it doesn't matter how many you get, so long as you have a normally structured heart and the rhythm is normal. That makes me feel better. Hang in there, Gena!

Amy

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I'm hanging in there. The Inderal seemed to help quite a bit, but it put my BP in the toilet! :huh: It was 76/48 this morning when I woke up ...and I was very dizzy! I had a few arrhythmias that I felt in the wee hours of the morning and then again after eating breakfast, but so far they have significantly decreased, at least the ones I can feel anyway. Light exercise seems to help it get back in rhythm too.

Amy, your sister said it doesn't matter how many you have as long as heart is structured okay (does having MVP count for poor structure)? The NP that I saw yesterday said she was concerned b/c with this many PACs I was not keeping enough blood in my heart long enough, so that is why I was feeling winded and fatigued. The heart doesn't get fully oxygenated I guess.

Thanks to all of you for your support. Never had this happen for so many days in a row, so it was a new scary symptom. :huh:

Best wishes to everyone,

Gena

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Gena, sorry to post this late. PAC's are very annoying, but not life threatening. The reason many people feel them is because they are associated with an early beat. You don't actually feel the pac.

What happens is, the pac is early, so the heart doesn't have as much blood as it would with a normal beat. There is a teeny pause, I mean teeny, that occurs before the next beat, while the heart rests and gets ready for the next beat, that causes an extra amount of blood to fill the heart and when that beat happens, that is what you feel. More volume of blood pumping out.

This is what the nurse was saying, but saying very poorly. I have never seen anyone have problems with pac's and even the healthiest person on earth has their share of them.

PSVT, PAT, and many other atrial tachycardias are just a whole lot of pac's without any regular beats in between. If it remains sustained for a long period, it can become symptomatic. The only time these types of arrythmias are considered a real problem, is when a person has severe conestive heart failure, develops atrial fib or flutter and develops clots. Or the congestive failure is so bad, they need that 20% kick that the atrial beat provides. But even with pac's the person will receive the needed kick.

I think this is what the nurse was trying to tell you, but it seems all she did was scare you. I think I could understand her concern more if you were in a-fib or flutter, where the atrium wasn't working at all, but that is not the case.

So hopefully that alleviates some of your concerns. morgan

Sorry, an added note. MVP can exacerbate the arrythmia's, but unless you have significant regurge and prolapse,it is sometimes not even mentioned in reports.

MVP can eventually cause congestive failure, but over a very long period of time and it has to be pretty darn bad. And many healthy women get it after getting elderly, so it's not just a pots thing. morgan

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Does anyone have a lot burping and indigestion with arrythmias? My husband is just loving the gurgling tummy and belching right now!

Ive gotta say if you look back to my post on DINET youll find ive had ALOT of indigestion problems and last night my PACs and PVCs were sky high!

The went away........but hope yours do.

Regards.....

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I had alot of PAC's and PVC'c, I have found that betabolckers have helped alot. The done side to that is that my BP goes to low now. You should talk to youe doctor and see what they can do to help you out! Good luck, hope you feel better soon!

Amy

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Hi, I am on a beta blocker for SVT/PSVT, PAC's, & PVC's. If it were PVC's that you were getting that often then I would worry more. If it would make you feel better having a heart monitor then I would call your PCP and ask for one. I bet the Cardio is going to hook you up to one for either 24 hours or a month. Hope you find some treatment that works for you! :)

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Thank you all for your words of comfort. It's good to know I'm not alone and that these are not life threatening... And thanks a million Morgan for that wonderful explanation and reassurance. I can always count on you when it comes to matters of the heart! :)

Hugs,

Gena

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i don't have anything medically-minded to add but just wanted to add that i hope you're feeling better soon!

hang in there,

B) melissa

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Oh yes I have them all of the time. Right now my cardiologist has taken me off of all stimulants, and if that doesnt work then he will try beta blockers, but he doesnt want to do that because it lowers the b/p. I have not found anything that works as of yet. if i do I will let you know. Hope you find some answers. Vanessa

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Gena,

That certainly sounds miserable! I would definietly find that disconcerting...and life-threatening or not, it's certainly aggravating!

I am so glad that others chimed in with their experiences (as I don't have any relevant help...I just know we're both 'shakers'!). And that Morgan did the medical explanation! I would be lost without her!

I hope things settle down for you soon...

Emily

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I had the same thing happen to me Christmas of 2003. The pacs started either Christmas Eve or the day before and Ihad several every minute. Christmas Day I started having them every 5 th beat and sometimes I would get doubles. 2 days later I had some nausea and an occurence of throat tightning so I went to the emergency room. They thought I might be having a heart attack so they admitted me for observation overnight and a echo stress test the next day. I did great on the stress test and the echocardiogram showed no problems so I was released. By the time of the stress test my heart felt tired and the pacs went away. I guess they wore themselves out as well as me. A heart catherization done last summer for a different reason showed no blockages at all. A few months after this even my pots got worse and I eventually had to leave work. The two are probably not related in the real world but in my mind I take the pac event as a sign that my autonomic system was getting ready to get worse. I have not had a similar pac attack since and have not had a doctor say the pacs are connected to my pots dive.

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