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Event timeline added by: ANR418

Published: Apr 05 2018 Events: 1 Current Status: Winning / Losing / Indifferent Views: 668 Likes: 0 Like Subscribe to Timeline
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UserID: ANR418 Type: Joined: Apr 05 2018

Timeline... PVCs Level Wellbeing Legend:

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Event Date: Apr 05 2018 Event Type: First Experience Wellbeing: 5/10 PVCs Level: 8/10 More info

I'll start by saying that I have had random PVCs throughout my life, usually linked to panic attacks or high stress situations. At most I'd feel a few in a row and could always link them to my anxiety. I have a panic disorder that started in early childhood, but have gone unmedicated for it for a majority of my life. I was on Effexor for a year after I turned 30 but after a year the medication was actually making my condition worse. I stopped taking it over a year ago now. Since stopping the medication, I decided to discontinue medication that I was given for back issues as well. I was tired of having to take 6+ medications everyday and wanted to try to manage it without prescriptions. I stopped all medication in December 2016. In May 2017 I got my medical marijuana card and started taking Gabapentin to treat the nerve pain that comes from my lower back (lumbar scoliosis, facet joint arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and a bulging disc with L5S1 interaction). I had smoked a little as a teenager but didn't touch MJ as an adult until a close friend suggested it to help with my anxiety and pain. I felt amazing following this. I lost about 25 pounds since then as well. Part of that is from becoming more active with my pain being managed, but some came from issues with my stomach. I have had a sensitive stomach my whole life as well and there are a lot of foods I can't eat because they make me sick (any dairy, egg yolk, most bread/pasta, citrus, pork, processed foods). I also received a promotion at work and am now in a position that is very low stress that I enjoy (a majority of the time anyways lol). I'm single, live alone, no kids. My only real stress at this point is money, but that's just a fact of life.

The real issue with PVCs started about a month and a half ago on February 27th. I started feeling like I was maybe getting sick. Really run down, no energy, dizzy all the time, and I also fainted a few times. I barely had enough energy to even get up the stairs in my house, just the one flight would leave me winded, and for someone whose main exercise is hiking, that's a huge thing. After about a week and a half of that lethargic feeling I started to feel flutters and thumps in my chest and neck that reminded me of the feelings I would get when I would have a panic attack, minus the hyperventilating portion. They continued to grow in frequency over the next couple of days and my fainting spells became more frequent. I was terrified and definitely stressing my self out even more.

I finally went to see my PCP after about a week of this. I wasn't sleeping, still exhausted, and now even more stressed out. She said she thought it might be my thyroid, or possibly anemia (i've had this before and supplement for it now), or that it could be from my anxiety. I did bloodwork to measure my levels for anemia and my thyroid. Both came back normal. She stated that she was sure it was from my anxiety, but that she knew I wouldn't be able to calm down until I knew something wasn't wrong with my heart. I don't have a history of heart issues nor do they run in my family (Mom's side anyways, no contact with father or his family nor will I contact them to find out). I stopped drinking caffeine on that day, I don't drink or smoke cigarettes, which are all things that are linked to PVCs. She recommended that I see a Cardiologist and get a holter monitor as a first step.

I saw the Cardiologist the next week on a Thursday. He set an appointment for me to come in for the holter because they needed to get insurance approval first. Friday at 2am I woke up (after finally falling asleep around 1am) and the pounding was even worse and was now accompanied by a strong aching feeling in my left chest, shoulder, and arm. I tried to massage it, take ibuprofen, move around, stretch. Nothing was working. By the early morning I was losing the battle with my anxiety and was having panic attack after panic attack, worried that I was having a heart attack. I finally drove myself to the ER and was admitted. They did an EKG, sleep study, ECG, blood test, and a CT of my pancreas (I had slightly elevated enzyme levels). Everything came back normal and the Cardiologist at the hospital diagnosed me with benign PVCs. She prescribed me Metropolol tartrate 12.5mg every 12 hours and discharged me. She warned me to keep track of my pulse since the med drops both your heart rate and blood pressure. I have a low resting heart rate already, 62 bpm, and low blood pressure usually between 90/60 and 105/65.

The first night on the medication was both good and bad. The medication dropped my pulse into the low 50s, so I was feeling more lethargic and dizzy, but the PVCs had stopped. I finally got a full nights sleep and felt amazing the next day. I was so excited that something was actually working and figured it would just take time to adjust so that I wasn't so worn out. Well, that excitement only lasted 2 days and then the PVCs were back, even on the medication. I'd only have a couple hours of relief after taking the dose, and then would go back to having PVCs on top of the side effects from the beta blocker. I stopped taking it and started researching online. My followup with my Cardiologist was still 2 weeks away.

I ordered extra vitamin supplements that I read had worked for others, so I was taking a multivitamin, b-complex, fish oil, flaxseed oil, CoQ10, Magnesium, lipothiamine (fat soluble vitamin b-1), L-Carnetine and d-ribose. There was no change in the frequency of the PVCs, but the thud and sensation in my neck was not as intense and I was getting better at ignoring it and keeping my anxiety under moderate control. I still wasn't really sleeping, maybe 3-4 hours total interrupted sleep per night if I was lucky. I had already cut out caffeine, and don't drink or smoke (other than MMJ, but I cut that down to practically nothing too). I also read more about the connection between the stomach and heart with the vagus nerve and how large meals can irritate the vagus nerve, causing more PVCs. Due to my digestion issues I don't eat large meals and tend to spread out my food throughout the day, picking at something all the time. I drink a ton of water as well since I don't drink sodas or teas etc and live in Phoenix where it's 900 degrees (feels like anyways) year round. I started paying really close attention to how much I ate and when during the day, making sure not to eat 4 hours before bed. I've also started to wean off of the Gabapentin very conservatively as I've read a ton online about the medication and the horrible side effects and issues people have coming off of it sometimes. I'm cutting 100mg every 10 days, right now taking 800mg a day and will cut again to 700mg in 3 days.

I kept my followup appointment with my Cardiologist and saw him last Thursday. We talked about the results of all my tests, how I had been feeling, my issue with the Metropolol. Everything in my test came back "perfect". He suggested we try an extended release beta blocker instead, since it seems my system is processing it really fast. He prescribed Atenolol 25mg per day and said I could keep taking the vitamins I had started. He said that most young healthy people don't tolerate beta blocker medication well though, and that most people just had to learn to live with the benign PVCs. Call me crazy, but I don't think that anything that is ruining your life is really benign! I took it the next day for the first time. Again felt great. This one didn't drop my blood pressure as low, and the PVCs were gone... for the first day at least. The next morning I started to have them again and they just got worse from there. I took the medication over the weekend hoping that as my system adjusted that it would get better, but the PVCs were getting worse each day. When lying down I now have a PVC after every heartbeat, sitting up is only slightly better. I stopped taking the Atenolol after 6 days.

I did more research and came across a woman who said that taking Emergen-C 2-3 times a day helped to stop her PVCs. I went and got a box that very day, 4 days ago now. First day it completely got rid of my PVCs, I got 1 good nights sleep, and they were back again the next day. I'm continuing to drink the Emergen-C and the vitamins. I also read about a critical care nurse who said that taking GABA and Taurine helped hers. I got those supplements as well. The more and more I read, the more convinced I am that my PVCs are related to my gut and my digestion issues. I'm positive that my vitamin, mineral, and amino acid levels are not where they shoudl be given how much I can't eat. Right now I'm at my wits end and honestly ready to try pretty much anything (minus anti-arrhythmatic medication and ablation). These are significantly impacting my life and it's been really hard the last week to stay positive. I'm now having to battle anxiety and depression on an hourly basis.

I just spoke with my Cardiologist and we're going to try Metropolol-sucinate next. I'm honestly just hoping it will at least give me enough relief that I'm able to sleep. My PVCs are so strong, it's impossible to ignore them when they're every heartbeat and it feels like I'm being flicked in the neck with every one. During the day, I can deal, it's uncomfortable, but not painful, and I've obviously learned to live with chronic pain so PVCs I'm sure I can adjust to, now that they're not knocking me out every time. Night is the intolerable part. I'm going to continue with the supplements I've been taking as well, hopefully it's just taking a little time to correct the imbalances I'm sure I have. I have an appointment with my PCP next week as well and I'm going to have them run a nutrition panel on me. I also plan to try the Apple Cider Vinegar solution that I found in a post on this website. I'm also going to cut out MMJ completely to see if that has an effect (though I'm really hoping that isn't it, because it has helped immensely with all of my other ailments).

I guess we'll see. I can't imagine living the rest of my life this way.

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