My Heart PVC Experience: Palpitations and Arrhythmia

My Heart PVC Experience: a few years ago I started to suffer from severe PVCs (Premature Ventricular Contractions – commonly referred to as heart palpitations), as well as from some angina symptoms:

My Heart PVC Experience

I soon become almost incapable of living a normal life; after only a few quick steps, I would feel my heart ‘skipping beats’ heavily or beating furiously fast and irregularly and, at times, disabling chest tightness.  I was very confused and scared at first but then, after suffering ‘in silence’, I decided to see different cardiologists and cardio surgeons and, of course, underwent several tests, at the end of which my Heart PVC experience was confirmed as such.  One of the 3 cardiologists (probably the better one) prescribed beta blockers for me and, after that, further tests.  One told me I should undergo heart ablation surgery  .  I thought that would be my very last resort since, talking to several patients during my many hospital trips, I quickly found out that undergoing heart ablation goes not guarantee success in that the arrhythmia can resurface somewhere else in the heart.

On my way home from the most uncomfortable & painful test ever during my heart PVC experience, I decided that I was going to give ‘natural supplements’ a try.  I was shocked at how quickly my condition improved.  I can say that these days I am PVC-free except for when I drink stimulants or after some ‘shock’ (but I can revert the rhythm to normal); I am writing here what really helped me and maybe it can help you too (of course, always check with your various cardiologists).  Let’s start from the beginning:

What are PVCs?  PVCs are, briefly put, irregular heart beats which make you feel as if your heart is ‘skipping a beat’ or beating too many times (feeling the ‘extra systoles’ in your heart beat, for example); this is not a pleasant feeling at all and can make you faint or feel very anxious or even scared.  If, on top of that, you also have some chest tightness (as in my case), you may well feel as if you are about to have a heart attack or to pass out.  I would find myself in the middle of a store suddenly needing to stop and sit anywhere hoping that the ‘heart palpitations’ would subside and, at times, my chest tightness too.  It was awful.  I also became very irritable and anxious, as a consequence of my physical condition.

I will go into the detail of the condition if you want, but essentially anybody who suffers from PVCs (sometimes referred to as heart palpitations, rightly or wrongly) will know what I’m talking about.

The cause of PVCs is different from person to person.  It could be trauma, stress, a metabolic problem, some nutrient/s deficiency, occasionally even a hormone-based cause.  It could also be due to some ‘blockage’ inside or hardening of the arteries, even the peripheral ones (not the ones inside or just outside your heart, very simply put).  For this reason, the best approach is to undergo enough tests to rule out potential blockages of even one artery, or just to make sure they have not hardened too much (again, very basically put).  Your cholesterol and your blood pressure should also be checked thoroughly, to make sure there are not further problems in your cardiovascular system.  In any case, if you speak to a cardiologist he/she will know what’s necessary to rule out a physical reason which could be potentially dangerous.  The tests usually range from a simple Echo Cardiogram to a Stress Echo Test (a way to ‘view’ the heart and its functions whilst in a ‘stressful’ situation, namely beating much faster than usually), to an actual angiogram (a more invasive procedure for which you may have to stay in hospital for one day).  Sometimes a scintigram is indicated, although during my heart PVC experience I chose avoid such (relatively) high radiation tests (very recent studies cautioned against nonchalantly carrying out scintigrams and recommended this type of tests only if absolutely necessary – but of course you are welcome to check for yourself); again, it all depends on the seriousness of your condition and, above all, if a much deeper study of your cardiovascular system and your heart function is necessary; the choice is yours and, of course, listen to what your 2 or 3 cardiologists recommend in your case. 

Your options (and what my options were told to be during my heart PVC experience): assuming your tests show nothing serious at physical level as mentioned above, you are going to be offered a small number of options, typically:

1 – do nothing since your PVCs are ‘benign’, potentially only consuming (letting it dissolve in your mouth, for example) a ‘baby’ aspirin daily (from 75mg to 100mg per day) to improve blood flow

2 – the use of beta-blockers or similar drugs; beta blockers slow down your heart beat (often with the pleasant consequence of diminishing PVCs).  Nitroglycerin-type drugs ‘widen’ your arteries and veins, thus improving blood flow (the latter made me feel instantly much, much worse, by the way, but of course we are all slightly different in the specifics of our heart condition so always double check with your cardiologists.

3 – in very serious cases, heart ablation is considered.  This is a surgical procedure which ‘burns’ the section of the heart where the extra systole is taking place (or the ‘faulty’ heart beat).  As I was waiting for my many tests at various hospitals, I talked to few sufferers who had already undergone heart ablation once, and were scheduled to have a second surgery!  I was not impressed (but of course you cannot rule it out unless you cardiologist thinks it’s ok to do so – in my case 2 out of 3 thought heart ablation was not in my immediate future and that other options should be tried first).

I went to 3 cardiologists (very expensive but my heart is important, and so is yours and well worth a second or even third opinion) and I heard all of the 3 options above.  I was confused in general, and my other feelings ranged from afraid to concerned.

I went to 3 cardiologists (very expensive thing to do, but my heart is important – and so is yours – and well worth a second or even third opinion) and I heard all of the 3 options above during my lengthy and lonely (no friend or family member can really understand what you’re going through) heart PVC experience. I was confused in general, and my other feelings ranged from afraid to concerned. I therefore embarked on a research path to find out more by myself; I quickly concluded I was going to try a ‘natural approach’ with supplements. I feel much better now.  I explain what I did on my article Effective PVCs Supplements