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Discussion:
Question about PVCs
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I'm popping in from the Lyme Disease forum with a few questions.

I was diagnosed with Lyme 9 months ago although it's possible I had it since childhood. When I was teen, I was diagnosed with Neurally Mediated Syncope. So, having tachycardia is familiar to me.

However, in the past 5 days - I've had terrifying palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pains and nausea. I went to the ER and they said I was having PVCs and I needed to wear a holter monitor (which I am getting tomorrow). They dismissed all my concerns and barely paid attention to me. Even though I'm certain it's not anxiety, they loaded me up with Atavan - which didn't alleviate the PVCs at all.

Anyway, I know they didn't think my life was at risk but I've never been so scared. This isn't like every 5 minutes - it's literally every other beat. It wakes me up when I sleep, it made me vomit yesterday because it was so intense. The chest pain is scaring me too. It also makes me gasp for air.

Any info would be very helpful. I'm tempted to go to a different ER today but I wanted to check in first here since you all seem familiar with PVCs.

My primary doctor thinks the Lyme Disease has gotten into my heart - and so he wants to start me on IV antibiotics as soon as he gets my holter results.

So, to put it in a nutshell: are all PVCs normal or are some dangerous?

Thank you!
Posted on 02/17/08, 09:19 am
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Reply #1 - 02/20/08  5:05pm
" I was told by my cardiologist that there are benign and malignant PVC's. I really could not begin to explain the difference.I have never received a definite diagnosis on the cause of mine except I have low potassium and that sometime will cause them. I have had them for about 7 years. The doctors tell you not to worry about them and to learn to live with them, but from the discussions I have read in this forums not too many people are able to do that. Personally my life was a living hell, the doctor's don't understand that the constant PVC's control your life, you are afraid of being alone, your are afraid of going anywhere or doing anything. At the time I was driving a tractor trailor with my husband and was always afraid of something happening to me to cause and accident, but my doctor gave me a clean bill of health to continue to drive. He said it was nothing to worry about. It drove me crazy, after trying many medications for over a year my doctor prescribed Inderal La. which has helped me live as normal life as possible. It cut back on the PVC's considerably, this is just my story but my sister is having similar symptoms and coping about the same way, she is on a differnt medication, I think Atenalol which helps her to some degree. I will say a prayer for you and hope you get some help. You will find that you are not alone with this problem there are many more people with this problem than you realize. It is sometime very scary, try to relax until the doctor finds something that helps. I know easier said than done. Good Luck cinnamon57 "
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Reply #2 - 07/21/08  9:49pm
" I completely understand where you are coming from about having those pvc's every other beat..mine do that sometime and scare me to death and send me into terrible panic attacks which just make it worse..keep trying with the docs tho..im on atenolol daily and it seems to help when i take it regularly which i am bad not to...lol..just hang in there and im sure you will be fine.. "
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Reply #3 - 07/22/08  1:58pm
" I have them too,every 3 or 4 beats, I have had all the tests, all normal, Millions of people are affected by them and they are not harmful, they tell you to ignore them, HOW!!
I take a small dose of beta blocker which does help alot, they are not dangerous and they wont kill you.
I suppose you know that caffeine makes them worse or any kind of stimulant, as does smoking.
A good web site to go on is medhelp.org,then go to forums, then heart rythmns, and you will see just how many people are affected.
Good Luck. "
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Reply #4 - 07/22/08  3:19pm
" Did they make sure you don't have a pulmonary embolism? They should do a D-Dimer blood test, and if it is high, then a spiral CT scan of the chest. I would make sure they ruled that out, especially if you use birth control or smoke -they both increase the risk, as well as certain heart arrythmias. The most common symptoms are chest pain -sometimes worse with breathing in, shortness of breath,sometimes coughing up blood, and a sense that something is wrong. I would be asking if you have already been screened, then if not, I would insist on it. Let us know what happens. "
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Reply #5 - 05/08/09  3:07pm
" Usually they are safe but can be so uncomfotable and scary.

USed to get over 600 PVCs per day. Since started taking Flecainide (for afib), hardly get them.

A coworker's dentist had them like crazy, she's taking a beta blocker and doing fine now.

Good luck with everything. "
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Reply #6 - 05/09/09  2:45pm
" I understand about feelings and PVCs. I as far as I know never had any unti May 5. I ended up in the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. They shot blood thinners in my belly, IV's in my arms, taking a series of blood test for cardiac enzymes, 4 baby aspirins, 4 potassium tablets, ekg BP 220/153 PVCs every third to second beat plus they said ectopic beats. All test came back normal. Next day they did a cardiac cath---came back normal. 4 weeks before this I had a chemical stress test came back normal...migh of had a mild heart attack sometimes in my life buy very minor at apexes could be articfact from film. Diganoisi diabetic on my birthday. What a year. Doctors said am anxious of PVCs just relax I am probably understress. What? I amfrustrated that all of suddent I got PVC's and felt my heart was pounding and skipping. 24 observation and cardiac cath....sent me home May 7 I returned test normal except for EKG show trigimmin PVCs BP 168/101 told me to relax. Said no reason coming back unless I m having sevre chest pain, vomiting and passing out. So all of sudden at 58 I now have PVC's... I don't understand. I called my cariologist he said no reason to see me I have no heart disease. So they gave me Zorco my LDL 72 and HDL 28 Tri 142 Atenolol 100 mg and a pill to relax me but I don't feel anxious or stress. I feel loss, because all I hear is live with it. They tell me to lose more weight 6 ft at 228 lbs I use to be competetive powerlifter. They want me at 180 lbs.. might help my PVC's and will help my diabetes BG is under control now 90 - 120. It is the PVC and pounding that is troublesome. I am going to Vanderbilt Cardiac Center...maybe they can help. I hope they don't tell me to live with it. It has been a tough year. 1. Moved from Calif. 2. Retired from Teaching, but want to work in TN.3. No friend, but all of my kids are here. 4. Lost $ sixfigures + in economy 5. 3 rd rotator cuuf surgery 6.Lost 24 lbs in 5 weeks 7. Was told I had Barretts Syndrome..never knew I had GERD. 8. My wifes business went bellied up and lost alot of $. But I think I am handling the stress...I don't feel stressful or anxious just tired of hearing it...and it might be causing my PVC's. Why can't I stop them...I am scared at night time...that is when they are the worse. Any help or suggestions. Bless you "
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Reply #7 - 07/30/09  7:10am
" Sorry to hear of your story. PVC's can be difficult if not impossible to deal with. You should immediately see a cardiologist. See if there are some emergency rooms in your area that provide better cardio care than others. There are hospitals that have better cardiology services than others. If you drink alcohol, stop. Learn to identify all stimulants and discontinue, (coffee, tea, energy drinks, etc.). Research any medication and their side effects that you may be taking in order to identify which if any may be causing PVC's. Try to remain positive, (I know this isn't practical). I hope you get the help you need. "
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Reply #8 - 07/30/09  1:18pm
" Someone who has a known diagnosis of Lyme can have a serious, even fatal problem if the heart is involved. Going to the ER sounds like a good idea in that case. "
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Reply #9 - 07/30/09  1:27pm
" I just wanted to update to say that the original post was from February of 2008 but I appreciate all the helpful replies and am sure other people will find the info useful.

I've since been cured of Lyme Disease, which took almost 2 years of intense antibiotic therapy. As soon as I started intramuscular bicillin injections, the PVCs resolved within a couple of weeks which convinced me they were a result of the Lyme. Every now and again, I'll have them and it still always catches me off guard. I'm not sure if the Lyme damaged my heart but I never thought I'd make it this far, so I'm happy.

I wish everyone the same recovery I've been blessed with.

Thank you again for your helpful replies. "
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Reply #10 - 08/15/10  1:06am
" hey girl! just wanted to add in that your NCS might cause some of those random benign ones. i have dysautonomia too (POTS, but theyre really similar!) and i get random PVCs which they chalked up to just that! :) but it looks like you have it all figured out!!

i hope you continue to have a smooth recovery! :) "

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