PVC's and salt crackers

Last week and today I felt little bit of light headedness and funny beats in my heart. I had a PM to ICD upgrade last month.When I called my doctors office they said its PVC's happening @ 8 per hour and its not denagerous and some people feel it and some dont. I never felt them when I had my PM and at that time the average was 3 per hour.They told me to drink enough water and cut down on coffee/alcohol to 1 beverage per day.They also said eating salty stuff like crackers help too. Just wondering what kind of tricks people use when they feel their PVC's.


I used to be the Queen of Ectopics

by Gemita - 2021-04-13 05:50:37

Before my pacemaker, my days and nights were ruined by ectopic beats like PACs (premature atrial contractions) and PVCs (premature ventricular contractions). They were prolonged and frequent and ruining my days and preventing me from getting a decent night's sleep.  Although benign, they are still arrhythmias, so they may need controlling if they increase.  

I found a premature atrial contraction would frequently lead to more important arrhythmias like Atrial Fibrillation and I have also developed some NSVT (non sustained Ventricular Tachycardia) too, some of which are from runs of PVCs, so we cannot really afford to ignore benign ectopics if they occur too frequently.

I note you have an ICD so presume you have a potentially dangerous arrhythmia or heart disease.

My best secret is to get that heart rate up when you feel those long pauses, those skips, those thumps, brief fast, then slow runs.  My heart rate is constantly up since my pacemaker because it is set at 70 bpm day and night and it helps to keep my heart in rhythm and running smoothly.  What a difference it has made.  I have tachy/brady syndrome, history of syncope, pausing, and lots of nasty arrhythmias and my EP felt a pacemaker controlling my heart at a higher, steadier pace would help to outpace any arrhythmia.  It doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me.  

I was clearly getting bradycardia induced arrhythmias, particularly AFib (with a rapid ventricular response rate).  I still get episodes of Afib, but by changing position (standing up from lying;  lying down from standing;  increasing heart rate/blood pressure (hence salty crackers Seenu302! might just help push up blood pressure if it is on the low side) these are all good tricks to have in the tool box or pantry.

Seenu302, I know I keep saying this, but it is still early days and your heart has been disturbed again with the new ICD and it will complain for a bit until you heal.  This could be a cause for your frequent PVCs also, so just be patient for a little longer.  Also if you are taking meds, they can lower blood pressure/heart rate and make ectopics worse, which is why a higher heart rate setting helps me.  For example beta blockers can worsen my ectopics, so I have to take lowest dose possible.  I was told a calcium channel blocker might be a better choice for me, but I have stuck with Bisoprolol low dose for the moment.

So get that heart rate up and also blood pressure if it is low by exercising regularly, drinking lots of water, having salty snacks (if safe for you).  Yes avoid too much alcohol, caffeine which will dehydrate you quickly in any event without adequate water and dehydration is a big big trigger for ectopics.  I no longer drink wine, alcohol or caffeine.  My heart just starts firing all sorts of nonsense.  And finally tiredness and gastric related issues may quickly lead to heart rhythm changes.  Get plenty of extra rest with arrhythmias, eat slowly, avoid heavy, greasy meals.  If all the above doesn't help, get electrolytes checked and your thyroid . . . then consider any changes in your heart condition which led to your need for an ICD in the first place.

I wish you lots of luck

Thank you Gemita as always

by seenu302 - 2021-04-13 14:22:39

I will try changing positions, walking around etc when I feel them next time. I was asymptomatic to A-flutter/Bradycardia when I got my PM in 2014 and few  sustained and non-sustained V-tac episodes this year which got me an ICD. This is the first time (due to PVC's) I am feeling something and it got me worried.My mom had like 30K PVC's per day and it took a couple of endocardial and epicardial ablations to bring them down to 1% now. I dont wanna go that route though its not under my control.Cutting down the 2nd cup of coffee was hard but herbal tea aint bad either.Bi-V pacing is new for my heart as well. I guess I will know more in next 3-6 months when I am fully healed.


by AgentX86 - 2021-04-13 23:56:41

PVCs aren't worrisome (medically) unless something like 30% of the heartbeats are PVCs.  I find them awful, much worse than AF or AFL, and couldn't imagine that many.  With a western diet, we alost always get more than enough salt (sodium).  Potassium and magnesium are different.  These are critical too and harder to come by.  I take magnesium suppliments which helped my PVCs and eliminated leg cramps, as well.  I wouldn't be without it.

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