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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Arrhythmias

Question: Frequent PVC's

 shadowjason - Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:30 pm

Im 34 yr old male and for the last 6 months have had almost daily pvc's, somewhere to the tune of 6-10 per minute. I will have them all day long and on occasion they will just stop for no reason for a couple days. Then begin again for who knows how long. I have visisted the ER once and they ran the regular tests and they were determined to beign. I have also done a stress test and and Echo both came out normal and I had an EF of 61. I also seem to have very mild shortness of breath Im not sure if this is related or just cause Im very out of shape. I should note that I chew nicorette alot and don't drink much fluids by habit so Im sure im dehydrated most the time. My question is there a point where an individual should be on medication to suppress these? I understand that there is a risk of Cardiomyopathy if you have alot of them. I paranoid of taking pills and want to avoid this as much as possible however im having thousands of these a day which kinda sucks. Its not disrupting life but it is bothersome and its hard to believe that im not going to just going to keel over sometime. I can not determine a trigger for these its so random I might have 3 a min or ten I wish I new what was going on so I could make an adjustment and suppress these without medication. Since I have had the stress and echo does that mean I need to find somthing better to do with my life then worry about these?

Thanks for the help

 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:41 pm

User avatar Hello -

First, PVCs are the most common arrhythmia in both healthy and diseased hearts. They are common in almost everyone, occurring either occasionally or frequently, or, as in your case, sporadically. They can come and go, stay for weeks or months, go away for the same periods of time, and absent any structural heart disease, have no diagnostic or prognostic significance. While it is true that people with cardiomyopathy often have PVCs, so do normal people, so they are not a risk factor for this problem, and you have had all the appropriate tests to rule out this problem anyway, so that becomes a non-issue. What is left is a bunch of very annoying premature beats. If you are able to accept them as a normal abnormality and something that everyone has (but only some people are aware of -- others have them non-stop and don't even know it) then you will likely relax about it and not become overly concerned to the point that you become chronically anxious. This latter would be a much more serious problem than the PVCs by a mile.

Also, you mentioned you chew nicorette, so you are getting a daily dose of nicotine (and congratulations for getting it via the gum instead of by smoking) and nicotine, along with caffeine, are two of the top causes of more frequent PVCs than whatever your baseline number would be.

The worst thing about PVCs is the patient's perception of them. As I mentioned, some people never even feel them, but others feel every single one, and if they are not understood as benign, one can become terribly anxious about them, which can do a lot more psychological damage while doing no physical harm.

I assure you, you've had cardiomyopathy ruled out by your echocardiogram and stress test. You've also ruled out any current coronary artery disease. you have a healthy heart. Keep it that way by healthy diet, a regular exercise routine, maintaining a proper weight and above all by not resuming smoking (I assume you are a former smoker and don't just chew Nicorette for the buzz). But for now you just have PVCs because, well, because you have them. Practically everyone does. That's important to remember.

If the PVCs become a terrible bother to you there are medical ways to reduce the frequency and perceived forcefulness of them, but medication for a benign condition should be a last resort for people who have major anxiety problems because of the palpitations they feel. If you can avoid this whole area you'll be better off.

To answer your final question, yes. You can probably find something better to do than worry about this. Not always as easy to do as to say, but if you can set them aside and move on, that would be idea. Also, for some people, exercise actually makes them go away, at least while exercising. Just a thought.

I hope this has helped. You're fine. Enjoy.

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