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PVCs and Heart Palpitations: Your Best Options to Stop Suffering
A few months ago I began to suffer from severe PVCs (premature ventricular contractions – commonly called heart palpitations), as well as some symptoms of angina: soon I become almost unable to lead a normal life; after just a few quick steps, I would feel that my heart was ‘jumping’ strongly or beating furiously fast and unevenly, and at times impossible to press in the chest. At first I was very confused and scared, but then, after suffering ‘in silence’, I decided to visit various cardiologists and heart surgeons and, of course, have more tests done. One of the 3 cardiologists (probably the better one) prescribed beta blockers and further tests after that.
On my way home from the most embarrassing test ever, I decided to try ‘natural supplements’. I was shocked at how quickly my condition improved. I’ll keep you posted on not only what I’ve done and am doing, but also how I’m progressing with updates.
What are PVCs? Briefly, PVCs are irregular heartbeats that make you feel like your heart is ‘skipping a beat’ or beating too many times (such as feeling ‘extra systole’ in your heartbeat); it is not a pleasant feeling at all and you may pass out or feel very anxious or even scared. If you also have some tightness in your chest (as I did), you may feel like you’re going to have a heart attack or pass out. I found myself in the middle of the store and suddenly had to stop and sit anywhere in hopes that the “heart palpitations” would subside and sometimes the tightness in my chest. It was terrible. I also became very irritable and worried about my physical condition.
I’ll go into the details of the condition if you want, but basically anyone who suffers from PVCs (sometimes called heart palpitations, rightly or wrongly) will know what I’m talking about.
Cause of PVC varies from person to person. It can be trauma, stress, a metabolic problem, lack of certain nutrients, occasionally even a hormonal cause. It can also be the result of some ‘blockage’ inside or hardening of the arteries, including peripheral ones (not those inside or just outside the heart, very simply put). So the best approach is to do enough tests to rule out possible blockages in even one artery, or to make sure they’re not too hardened (again, very simple). Your cholesterol and your blood pressure should also be thoroughly checked to make sure there are no further cardiovascular problems. In any case, if you talk to a cardiologist, they will know what is needed to rule out a physical cause that could be potentially dangerous. Tests usually range from a simple echocardiogram to echo stress tests (ways to ‘see’ the heart and its functions in a ‘stress’ situation as it beats much faster than normal) to an actual angiogram (a more invasive procedure that may require you to stay in hospital for a day ). Sometimes a radiation-based test is indicated, although I have chosen to avoid such (relatively) high radiation tests (very recent studies have warned against carelessly performing these tests and recommend them only if absolutely necessary); again, it all depends on the severity of your condition and, above all, whether a much deeper study of your cardiovascular system and heart function is needed; the choice is yours and of course listen to what your 2 or 3 cardiologists recommend in your case. If you’re like me, you won’t stop at the first cardiologist and seek more than one opinion until you feel you know everything you need to know about your condition and all your options for treatment.
Assuming your tests show nothing serious on a physical level as mentioned above, you will be offered a small number of options, usually:
1 – Do nothing because your PVCs are benign, potentially just take (like dissolve in your mouth) baby aspirin daily (75mg to 100mg per day) to improve blood flow.
2 – use of beta blockers or similar drugs; beta blockers slow your heart rate (often with the effect of reducing PVCs). They are quite useful and generally considered safe. I found them helpful, but I didn’t want to deal with minor weight gain or having to check my heart rate frequently to prevent it from being too slow. Nitroglycerin drugs ‘dilate’ your arteries and veins, improving blood flow, and if you don’t want pills, you can opt for a skin patch; very helpful against angina, but in my case my PVCs immediately got worse and I literally thought I was on the verge of death. Of course, we are all slightly different in the specifics of our heart condition, so monitoring your body’s response to any particular or any medication is critical. I quickly decided to research if there were alternative, natural supplements, and today I feel that this is the best path for me. I explain this in my article (link below).
3 – In very serious cases, cardiac ablation is considered. This is a surgical procedure that “burns” the part of the heart where the extra systole (or “wrong” heartbeat) occurs. While I was waiting for my many tests at various hospitals, I talked to a few patients who had already undergone heart ablation once and were scheduled for a second operation! I wasn’t keen (but of course you can’t rule it out unless your cardiologist thinks it’s ok – in my case 2 out of 3 felt that cardiac ablation was not in my immediate future and that other options should be tried first) .
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