Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
anyone else have PVC's?
Old 08-26-2008, 08:04 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
anyone else have PVC's?

Sunday night after dinner I noticed a strange sensation. My heart felt like it was thudding out of beat all of a sudden. It was really freaky. It continued for maybe 15 to 30 minutes, every few minutes getting this strange sensation, then it passed.

I happenned to have an appt scheduled this a.m. with my doc for another unrelated issue. I described my symptoms and she told me it sounded like PVC's. She said they are usually benign, but if they recur and become bothersome, they could send me to a cardiologist.

I've been symptom-free until after dinner again tonight - had DH listen to my heart and even he could tell something strange was going on. They are gone now, but geesh still pretty freaky.

I read about them on-line, and no, I was not under stress, nor did I have any caffeine or alcohol. I do, however, have mitral valve prolapse, and they apparently can be associated with that...but I've had MVP for many, many years and never had these.

I guess if this happens a few more times I might have to break down and see the cardiologist
__________________

__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-26-2008, 08:07 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,074
PVC = premature ventricular contractions

I had to look it up since all I could come up with was polyvinyl chloride...
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 08:15 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
PVC = premature ventricular contractions

I had to look it up since all I could come up with was polyvinyl chloride...

Ooops!

Sorry! Here's a link to what PVC's are: Premature Ventricular Contractions
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 08:33 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Had it for years but has diminished some over the last several years. My understanding is that it may be a marker for heart disease so your doctor might evaluate you. For me, no underlying heart disease was in evidence. But given that my father died due to a heart "electrical problem," I have a thallium stress test every few years, take a statin for cholesterol even though I was borderline for treatment, and watch my bp. I do find that I need to stay away from caffeine. Now I need to take off the post retirement pounds I put on. (I don't know how all the rest of you lost weight when you retired!)
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2008, 08:36 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Very generally speaking, palpitations is what you describe. They may be PVCs or they may be PAC's (premature atrial contractions). The former originate from the lower heart (ventricles) and the latter from the atria.

When they are simply extra beats their significance usually correlates with whether your heart is otherwise healthy or not. Extra beats from a heart which is free of significant coronary disease or valve problems usually mean little. But rarely they are a sign of more serious heart issues. Once in a while, it turns out to be atrial fibrillation, a bit more complicated since anticoagulation is often advised to reduce stroke risk.

A typical workup would consist of an exam, an echocardiogram, and maybe a treadmill test. If the extra beats don't occur during evaluation a 24 hour tape recording of the EKG might be done (a Holter monitor).

It is usually the case that this turns out to be a false alarm. Reducing caffeine, alcohol, decongestants, etc. sometimes helps. So, worth checking it out but likely it will have a reassuring ending. Keep us posted.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 07:27 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
Sunday night after dinner I noticed a strange sensation. My heart felt like it was thudding out of beat all of a sudden. It was really freaky. It continued for maybe 15 to 30 minutes, every few minutes getting this strange sensation, then it passed.
It sounds a lot like Atrial Fibrillation. I was diagnosed as having it about six years ago -- another joy of growing older. I am assymptomatic, meaning I have (or more specifically feel) no symptoms. Therefore, I have never experienced the sensation that you describe even though the physical aspect is identical. In some ways, you are fortunate that your body has given you this warning -- early treatment is a definite advantage. On the other hand, it is a lot more scary (and perhaps painful) than it need be.

Atrial Fibrillation (a quite common irregular heartbeat condition) is not in and of itself a life-threatening condition. It does, however, put you at tremendous risk of having a Stroke which is, of course, disabling at best and quite often fatal. On the plus side: There are many methods to control (not cure) A. Fib. and the threat of a Stroke is then reduced to no greater than for the general population with proper treatment. The sooner you visit a doctor and begin treatment the better. <well, Duh!>
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 09:21 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
tightasadrum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: athens
Posts: 802
Simple Girl,

I've had similar symptoms. It started about 15-20 years ago. It scared me to death. I ran to the doctor who ran me through some tests including a tread mill test. He couldn't find anything wrong. I told him I drank a lot of coffee since my time in the navy (what else do you do on the mid-watch?), and wondered if this have something to do with it. He suggested cutting back, which I did. In fact, I started drinking tea. Problem solved.

I started drinking coffee again when I had to do the 65-mile commute at 5:30 in the morning. I just wasn't safe to be on the road without it. I've since retired, but kept drinking the coffee. Guess what? Last week I had several episodes of funny heartbeats. I'm still drinking coffee, but not everyday. I haven't had any more problems so far. Are you a coffee drinker?
__________________
Can't you see yourself in the nursing home saying, " Darn! Wish I'd spent more time at the office instead of wasting time with family and friends."
tightasadrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 11:10 AM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Atrial Fibrillation ...does, however, put you at tremendous risk of having a Stroke which is, of course, disabling at best and quite often fatal. On the plus side: There are many methods to control (not cure) A. Fib. and the threat of a Stroke is then reduced to no greater than for the general population with proper treatment. The sooner you visit a doctor and begin treatment the better. <well, Duh!>
Good points, Ron but just for accuracy, what you describe as tremendous risk is actually somewhere between 5 and 8% a year depending on age and other risk factors if untreated. This can be cut by more than half with anticoagulation, but the latter introduces its own risk of about 1-1.5% for major bleeding.

The risk-to-benefit of anticoagulation depends on the individual's details. The lowest risk "lone atrial fibriallation" may be better off taking aspirin alone, while the highest risk may see a 70% reduction in risk with full anticoagulation (e.g. from 8% per year down to 3-4% per year).

Years ago, we used to try to "shock" people with AF back into normal rhythm. We rarely do that now - just control the rate with medication.

Your message is worth repeating: if you have atrial fibrillation get it checked out, treated and determine if you are a candidate for anticoagulation.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 11:33 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
Now I need to take off the post retirement pounds I put on. (I don't know how all the rest of you lost weight when you retired!)

I gained six pounds when I first retired due to inactivity but since I 've started working out four days a week I've lost it and a few more pounds.
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 11:48 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Cooking and eating bacon can be very hard work. Especially if you're using a cast iron pan. Those things are heavy!

BTW, I've been waiting for Al to pounce on this thread with some comment about using copper instead of pvc.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 11:50 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Good points, Ron but just for accuracy, ...
Yes, I definitely should have added (and stressed) your signature line. I DO NOT have any medical training whatsoever.

(Anyway, I am acquainted with two individuals -- both in their late 50s, early 60s --who for different reasons stopped their doctor prescribed treatment. One was scared off by the anti-coumadin/warfarin propaganda and the other decided a herbal treatment was a better {read cheaper} choice. In both cases the results were the same and immediate... a dibilitating Stroke. That, to me, validates the term "tremendous risk." But you are correct, statistically, it is only an 8% risk at most.)
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 12:01 PM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Anyway, I am acquainted with two individuals -- both in their late 50s, early 60s --who for different reasons stopped their doctor prescribed treatment. One was scared off by the anti-coumadin/warfarin propaganda and the other decided a herbal treatment was a better {read cheaper} choice. In both cases the results were the same and immediate... a dibilitating Stroke. That, to me, validates the term "tremendous risk." But you are correct, statistically, it is only an 8% risk at most.)
Yikes, yes if you know a victim, it certainly qualifies as a tremendous tragedy. I see where you're coming from. I'm glad you have taken care of business on this.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 12:51 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,196
I had these a few months ago, and concluded that they were a result of my newly started weight lifting. This, from Mayo Health says that there can be a relationship with exercise (especially hard workouts at Siesta Key):

Heart palpitations: A cause for concern? - MayoClinic.com
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 01:29 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,257
I have PVC.

When I noticed the skipped beat feelings in my chest, I pretty much freaked out and made an appointment with my primary doctor right away.

EKG didn't catch it (because EKG only shows like 10 seconds of your heart beat), but I told my Dr. I could feel it in my chest, and then the Dr. took my pulse and he could feel it too. He had me wear the Holter monitor for 24 hours and that showed PVC (every 35-40 beats then).

That was over 10 years ago. It seems to kind of come and go. A few years ago, I was experiencing the PVC much more frequently (every 10 beats or so) and I had the EKG taken again (another Dr) but he said not to worry unless I felt light headed or dizzy or faint from it. For some reason, after a while, PVC pretty much disappeared and I only feel a couple of thuds every now and then.

I don't drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks, but I will not give up dark chocolate (which has caffeine in it).

If I were you, I would ask to have the holter monitor test done, especially if your insurance covers it. This test gave me peace of mind - the assurance that this was a pretty benign symptom and that I didn't need to take much precaution (except the general guidelines like no caffeine or alcohol, some drugs) or take special medication for it. If it wasn't PVC (Dr. first suspected PAC, and according to him that is even more benign than PVC), I would have wanted to know what it was so I could manage it accordingly.

If you do have PVC, be careful with some over the counter / prescription drugs (decongestant which I *never* take now and some sleep aids (I can take Simply Sleep (by Tylanol) but Unisom (the orange box) causes tons of PVCs for me. Now, I just take Melatonin and it works great for me.) There may be more drugs to be careful of, but I don't know so don't take my word for it. Ask your Dr. for the full lists.

Oh, and I forgot to say - full stomach tends to cause more PVCs (you did mention feeling thuds in your chest after a meal) at least for me, especially when I stuff myself more than I should!
__________________
tmm99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 03:15 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 101
I've had PACs for 40 years now, and recently started having PVCs as well. My observation of the feeling of the two types is.

1. PACs seem to cause a thumping sensation in my neck just where the indent below the larynx is.
2. PVCs give me a feeling that I would describe as my stomach turning over.

When both are in conjunction, I kinda lose my breath for a few minutes.
During a treadmill test, I developed bigeminy and the doctor asked me to do some very deep coughs. They stopped. Not sure if it works every time though.
__________________
Enuf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 03:58 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Good points, Ron but just for accuracy, what you describe as tremendous risk is actually somewhere between 5 and 8% a year depending on age and other risk factors if untreated. This can be cut by more than half with anticoagulation, but the latter introduces its own risk of about 1-1.5% for major bleeding.

The risk-to-benefit of anticoagulation depends on the individual's details. The lowest risk "lone atrial fibriallation" may be better off taking aspirin alone, while the highest risk may see a 70% reduction in risk with full anticoagulation (e.g. from 8% per year down to 3-4% per year).

Years ago, we used to try to "shock" people with AF back into normal rhythm. We rarely do that now - just control the rate with medication.

Your message is worth repeating: if you have atrial fibrillation get it checked out, treated and determine if you are a candidate for anticoagulation.
Rich, you certainly seem to know what your talking about. Maybe you can help me out. My dad has afib and is taking an anticoagulant. However his afib is advanced and getting quite bad. He has a resting heartrate in the 90's and sometimes it will race upwards of 150 for no reason when he's just sitting down reading the paper or eating dinner. He also has very high blood pressure even with medication. Last saturday he was having chest discomfort and took his bp and it was 180/131 which is oviously extremly bad. He also has sleep apnea and is supposed to use a machine(not sure what it's called) but he doesn't use it saying it's too uncomfortable. Right now he's in the hospital having his 4th cardioversion. The first three didn't work with the best one lasting just a few days. This time they're using a far stronger and more dangerous drug. The doctor made it very clear that people have died as a result of this drug but my dad's quality of life(at just age 59) is falling quickly and decided to take the risk. He can't even take the garbage out to the curb without breathing heavy. During his 3rd cardioversion the doctors almost put him on oxygen because he was having problems breathing. It's not that bad all the time though as he does still work a fulltime job. If this 4th cardioversion doesn't work what are his options. The doctors have talked about doing surgey were they would burn his heart but don't want to do it because it's risky. There are even more dangerous drugs that they could try with yet another cardioversion but again that's risky. Should he just "live with it" as best he can?
__________________
aaronc879 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 04:11 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by tightasadrum View Post
I started drinking coffee again when I had to do the 65-mile commute at 5:30 in the morning. I just wasn't safe to be on the road without it. I've since retired, but kept drinking the coffee. Guess what? Last week I had several episodes of funny heartbeats. I'm still drinking coffee, but not everyday. I haven't had any more problems so far. Are you a coffee drinker?
Interesting. Yes, I do drink coffee, but is the "lite" version (half caffeine), and I only drink 1 1/2 to 2 cups in the morning. No caffeine the rest of the day, as it really winds me up, and I can't sleep. How much coffee do you drink?
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 04:13 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I had these a few months ago, and concluded that they were a result of my newly started weight lifting. This, from Mayo Health says that there can be a relationship with exercise (especially hard workouts at Siesta Key):

Heart palpitations: A cause for concern? - MayoClinic.com
LOL! Now how uncanny would it be that working out hard to improve my health and heart would result in problems with my heart? If that's true, I wonder how long it will last...
__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 04:19 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
aaronc879,

A couple of places to ask these questions (in addition, of course, to Rich_in_Tampa) are:

Atrial Fibrillation Research
The Atrial Fibrillation Network
HRS Online, home of the Heart Rhythm Society

and the Cleveland Clinic -- I don't have the URL handy but they are the leading hospital for A. Fib.

And certainly you would want to visit the Yahoo group AFIBsupport : Atrial Fibrillation Support Group. That forum is like this forum an EXTREMELY active group of folks with A. Fib -- very few medical people but nevertheless a wonderful source of support.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2008, 04:20 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
simple girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmm99 View Post
I have PVC.

When I noticed the skipped beat feelings in my chest, I pretty much freaked out and made an appointment with my primary doctor right away.

EKG didn't catch it (because EKG only shows like 10 seconds of your heart beat), but I told my Dr. I could feel it in my chest, and then the Dr. took my pulse and he could feel it too. He had me wear the Holter monitor for 24 hours and that showed PVC (every 35-40 beats then).

That was over 10 years ago. It seems to kind of come and go. A few years ago, I was experiencing the PVC much more frequently (every 10 beats or so) and I had the EKG taken again (another Dr) but he said not to worry unless I felt light headed or dizzy or faint from it. For some reason, after a while, PVC pretty much disappeared and I only feel a couple of thuds every now and then.

I don't drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks, but I will not give up dark chocolate (which has caffeine in it).

If I were you, I would ask to have the holter monitor test done, especially if your insurance covers it. This test gave me peace of mind - the assurance that this was a pretty benign symptom and that I didn't need to take much precaution (except the general guidelines like no caffeine or alcohol, some drugs) or take special medication for it. If it wasn't PVC (Dr. first suspected PAC, and according to him that is even more benign than PVC), I would have wanted to know what it was so I could manage it accordingly.

If you do have PVC, be careful with some over the counter / prescription drugs (decongestant which I *never* take now and some sleep aids (I can take Simply Sleep (by Tylanol) but Unisom (the orange box) causes tons of PVCs for me. Now, I just take Melatonin and it works great for me.) There may be more drugs to be careful of, but I don't know so don't take my word for it. Ask your Dr. for the full lists.

Oh, and I forgot to say - full stomach tends to cause more PVCs (you did mention feeling thuds in your chest after a meal) at least for me, especially when I stuff myself more than I should!
I think I'm going to investigate getting the holter monitor test done, like you said, just to be safe and get some peace of mind. I'm sure it's nothing, but I sure would hate to be wrong. Thanks for the tips on the OTC drugs to avoid and also for sharing your story about increased sx with a full stomach!
__________________

__________________
simple girl
less stuff, more time

(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
simple girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:46 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.