Palpitations, low heart rate, normal BP

I'm a 61 female, have had irregular heartbeats since I was 25. Over the past 3 or so years they've gotten worse to the point where I don't think I can live like this. In and out of the ER for the past 4 months diagnosed with PVC's. they go all day, every day, taking over my life. Worse with lifting weights but biking, don't seem to get worse. Started apo-bispropolol 1.25 mg ...cant take it... feel like I can't breath, panic attacks...and depression and sadness has set in. Doc wanted me to take 1.25 mg twice a day. Can't handle one dose a day as it is! Heart rate goes down to like, 40 on 1.25 mg a day! Regular heart rate is 47-60. Doc suggested ablation in 2014 and now I welcome anything that will help. If not for my husband and dogs, I might consider offing myself. Who can live like this?? Seeing doc in 2 weeks. Seeing cardiologist soon. They say it's anxiety but I wouldn't have anxiety if not for the palpitations!! I know it's nit anxiety I'm the happiest I've been in my life! Ativan helps calm me but doc doesn't want to give me this and instead wants to put me on SSRI's, which I tried and can't take. I read ablation for atrial issues and fast heart beats but what about for PVC's? This is a rough ride.... thank you!

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11 Replies

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  • Hi CatAnn, I know how you feel it's an awful journey we are on. I guess we have all been where you are at different times, some times up many times down.

    I get really irritated when medics want to attribute sensations, symptoms etc to anxiety. Anxiety the great catch all and cop out. Who would not be anxious dealing with these nasty arrhythmias, I bet a medic would not be so quick to put it down to anxiety if they had to contend with it.

    Of course anxiety is a symptom unless we are devoid of feeling, but why are we anxious, well because we are dealing with all this heart stuff doh!!!

    I know anxiety if counterproductive and I am sure none of us would be anxious if we were free of this horrible condition. As it is we need to push our medics to take us seriously, recognise we feel absolutely dreadful when in arrhythmia and its associated symptoms and support both our physical and emotional needs in conjunction.

    One day, we trust, there will be an answer to this whole arrhythmia business either in full or in part. In the interim we just carry on carrying on, taking the good days and enjoying them and dig in during the bad phases.

    We are all on side on the forum and encourage each other ongoing, quite a close little family and long may it be so.

    No solution to offer but a clear understanding and empathy plus lots of cyber good thoughts to send to you. Keep your chin up.

  • Hi all: I got to see the Cardiologist yesterday. From wearing the Holter Monitor a 3 time in 2 years, my Atrium had 153 abnormal beats and my Ventrical had THIRTEEN THOUSAND PVC's in one day/night!!! WTF?? He said top number he has seen is 30,000. Said this won't kill me and I said I was going to kill me because I can't handle this horrible feeling in my chest! Can't take 1.25 mg of Bispropolol as I hated it with too many side effects. He lined me up with a EP that will supposedly take a year to see and then a year to get an ablation, if the EP thinks that will help. Gave me an Rx for a low dose of Digoxin. Said to take it when needed. But pharmacist said that was a strange Rx, and there are other drugs that he could have prescribed. Said Digoxin is for daily use, not 'as needed.' I am SO confused.....Cardiologist basically told me that 'strong willed' people tend to do okay with all this..???? Thought I was a very strong willed person, but this has taken me down quite a lot. Anyone take Digoxin for PVC's and can share your experience, please? Glad you are all here to share. Thank you! X0

  • Ectopics or PVCs can be very annoying as I well know even if they are not dangerous. Anxiety and arrhythmias go hand in hand I'm afraid.There is something wrong with your heart so you panic. You only have one after all. The good news is it won't kill you but it might feel like it some days..

    There is a breathing exercise which might help if you can be structured enough to do it regularly. Relax and breath from your diaphragm not your shoulders. Breath in slowly and out until your stomach is fully contracted against your spine. Do this and slow down your breathing to NO MORE than six breaths a minute. No really you can with practise. I'm down to below four now. Keep this up for a minimum of five minutes but preferably ten . Many of us here have learned this technique and found it helpful to stop ectopics.

    The other point is to actually see a type of doctor who understands arrhythmias as few general practitioners have enough experience to treat you . Ablation may help depending on where the rogue signals are coming from but you need to speak to an expert.

    Look forward not backwards. This life you now have may not be what you want but it is what you have and still jolly precious. There are far worse things that can happen so maybe right now you need to look into CBT or similar to help you deal with your anxiety problems and enable you to move forward.

  • The Palpitations often cause anxiety. They did for me. It is best to have an evaluation with a electrophysiologist. After wearing a heart monitor for longer that 2 weeks they will be able to evaluate the pvc percent of occurrence and decide if an ablation would be best for you. An ablation is a great choice for returning to normal sinus rhythm and elimination of heart palpitations that are caused from electrical problems of the heart. I was on medication for anxiety while I was having heart palpitations. Never have problem with anxiety before in my 52 years of life but AF and AFlutter caused me anxiety. I had a successful ablation in Nov. 2016 feeling much better AFlutter and Afib gone just occasional PAC's and no anxiety.

  • Thank you I will ask my doc about the electrophysiologist testing. That's what I needed to know....how is it decided if ablation will work? And your glad you had the ablation?

  • Yes very glad I had ablation. But long healing process but worth it

  • I wonder why the procedure doesn't always work.......? What is the recovery process like? Glad you had a positive experience!! Cat xo

  • Take it easy and rest. My doctor used 3d mapping for my ablation. Mapping took about 3 to 4 hours and procedure about the same. Had 151 sites treated. Should have taken off more than week of work. Went back after one week. Im a dental hygienist so doesnt require alot of standing or walking. My chest was very sore for first 3 or 4 days. More problem lying down. Slept elevated for 4 to 5 days. I had alot of complications with flecainide. Seem to really improve after getting off that. Almost 6 months post op and feeling great. Notice improvements with heart rhythm after treatment and longer it has been better it had been. Each person is very different. Hoping to continue to stay in sinus rhythm. Wishing you rhe best with you ablation

  • I noticed you mentioned biking and lifting weights, is it possible your body is trying to tell you something? I have no idea how much exercise you do but over exercise can be as likely to cause heart rhythm problems as no exercise. However it is clearly an activity that is important to you so the ablation seems a good idea.

    I gave up complaining after my doc asked me if I was having emotional problems, luckily a visit to A&E convinced him I had a physical problem 😬

  • Yes I stopped lifting weights but I am not in the best shape, just average. I'm about 20 lbs over my ideal weight at 5'8". I believe the adrenalin from lifting made them worse. I am happy to stick to walking and biking. Funny after months of the worst palpitations, they stopped! I am sure they will return, but what I did was take vit c, b12, b6 and selenium with lunch and then magnesium, potassium, coq10, efa and evening primrose with dinner. All my blood work was 'pristine' but I am trying everything regardless. I cut out caffeine months ago. I rarely drink alcohol except a glass of wine about twice a week. I will do anything or try anything to keep these horrible palpitations!

  • 3 months has gone by and I am HAPPY to report, I have gotten my palpitations/missing beats down to ZERO or less than a handful a day max! The amino acid combination I am taking is the ONLY reason why I am not dead!!!! What a life changer!!! I did research for months and it was worth it!!! So happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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