Heart Rhythm Community
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1097808 tn?1257462995

My PVCS have disappeared after 35 years

Not a question, just sharing my experiences.
I've experienced ectopics , pvcs, flip-flops or whatever you prefer to call them all my adult life, particularly over the last two years. They have now totally gone. I thought I would share my experience with you to offer some reassurance and possibly some benefit to other sufferers.
I am 51 and first noticed a fluttering feeling in my chest when I was 17. I took little notice but came to realise over a few years that my heart was "missing" a beat. I noticed that I got more of them the day after drinking alcohol, and that was quite often. I spoke to people about it and found that others  were experiencing the same thing. I never worried or panicked when they occurred and for the most part ignored them.
20 years or more passed until one day my daughter who was also experiencing them, informed me that hers had gone since she gave up drinking caffeine. I did the same and lo and behold mine disappeared too. Not completely but almost. For the next 6 years I barely had a PVC, even alcohol  failed to bring them on.
In April of 2008 things changed. They were back. With a vengeance. And they didn't come alone. Not only did I get the thump thump pause big thump, I was getting continuous weird beats every beat. These I called flip-flops. When I would lie down after drinking alcohol they would start. If I rolled over they would stop for a while then start again. It would wake me up. Sometimes it would start while I was dreaming and I wouldn't wake up so it would continue in my dream. For the first time I began to worry and for the first time I consulted my doctor about it. A quick ecg showed nothing wrong so I was sent to a consultant for tests. A 48 hour monitor showed short bursts of ectopics and short bursts of sinus tachycardia. No treatment was necessary but if it got really troublesome they would try betablockers. This was a road I didn't want to go down.
The bouts continued, I stopped drinking, it helped a lot. I tried everything, antacids, various supplements, q10, herbals, magnesium, potassium, every suggestion on the forums and internet I could find I tried, but still the flip flops persisted.
Then mysteriously around 4 weeks ago they stopped. Pvcs and flipflops completely gone. I drank alcohol, nothing. I drank caffeine, nothing. I didn't know why.
I started to look at what was different over that period of time.
The only difference I can put it down to is this. My partner, although not overweight, decided she wanted to lose a stone. I, also not overweight, decided I would also lose a stone. My partner joined slimming world and I joined in. We changed our eating habits. Basically we started eating healthier as advised by governments and doctors. More fruit, less fat and more exercise. It was about a week after the diet started that I noticed my heart rhythm was improving. Then it improved completely. Fantastically.
So what was so different that after 35 years my arrhythmia had suddenly stopped?
I'm eating very little fat, only lean meat completely trimmed. When we fry we use the spray stuff. Could that be it? Maybe.
I'm only eating 2 slices of wholemeal bread a day. Is over processed wheat contributing to the problem?
I'm eating plenty of eggs.
I drink 2 cups of normal tea a day.
I drink some alcohol most days.
No chocolate or biscuits, never had a sweet tooth anyway.
No crisps or fatty snacks.
Not much dairy, just skimmed milk and low fat cheese.
Potatos, fresh veg, fruit.
Why had the flipflops stopped?
I wondered about it and then spotted a possibility. Here was something very different. I'm eating at least 2 bananas a day. Didn't I read somewhere that bananas are high in potassium and other minerals. I had tried potassium supplements without any success, why should the bananas be any different? I googled banana and there it was, all the health benefits you can shake a stick at. Especially for the heart.
Is that the answer? Bananas? The truth is I don't know. Perhaps it's a coincidence my problems cleared up at the same time my diet changed. One thing I do know is that I'm staying on this diet and will continue to eat bananas every day. If your symptoms are the same as mine give it a go. It might work, it might not, what have you got to lose? Good luck.

ABB Nov 2009
35 Responses
612551 tn?1450025775
Thanks for the story and list of facts, I think I'll start eating bananas, even though I don't like the consistency of them, e.g., slices on cereal.  I can always liquefy and drink with milk or some other fruit.

Sorry, I start to ramble.  

I think you have given us all a "existence proof" that a healthy life style does have health benefits.  We sort of all know that must be true, but your results puts extra emphasis on us suffers of heart rhythm anomalies to give it a good try.  In fact, it seems you didn't give up much, still drink tea (coffee?) and alcohol - wow!  

What a wonderfully inspiring story.  Your selfless sharing of a personal and extremely scary issue for so many men in society today is not only commendable but it's downright inspirational.  By the way, this fifty year old can also concur on the Banana's!  What a Miracle of Fresh Food! Wow Thanks so much!
1097808 tn?1257462995
Hi Jerry, thanks for your comments. You're right I haven't given up much which leads me to think. Is my improvement down to something I've given up or something I've added? I could test out my theory by stopping the banana intake, but do you know what? I'm not gonna... lol
I haven't drunk coffee for years, perhaps I'll try it. If you try what I'm doing please let me know how you get on.
995271 tn?1463927859
Thanks for posting and sharing!

I think for sure that diet plays a role.  Myself and a good friend I grew up with both have PVCs.  I tried magnesium, calcium, potassium, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, benzos, exercise, vitamins.....

My friend convinced me he had the most luck with going to a low processed food diet.  I did this and lost about 15 pounds.  My PVCs also dropped dramatically.  I can go weeks without them though once in a while i still get flareups.

I've also read, anecdotally, that males tend to have PVCs more and they generally start in late teens early 20s.  They worsen up to 40s, and some folks have reported they completely go away sometime in their 50s.  So i suspect hormonal issues or ventricular pacers calm down a bunch as the heart ages.

My philosophy on PVCs is that folks that get them (in a benign way) have great hearts.  nature put those ventricular pacer cells (which cause PVCs) there for a good reason, they backup the SA node in case the signal gets blocked or doesn't occur.  The ventricles can then take over beating for the heart, as is quite apparent in people with a-fib, the ventricles alone can get the job done though less efficiently.  When the ventricular pacers do their job under the right circumstances (meaning nor NSR), it's call an "escape beat".  Google "escape beat", it's very interesting.

When they fire when not needed, in the presence of NSR, it's called a PVC.

What I've found from folks that work in health care is that most people that drop over from sudden cardiac death (SCD) have never reported any arrhythmia issues.  So their ventricular pacers didn't kick in when needed. My feeling is that folks that never feel a single PVC might not be healthier, to the contrary, their ventricular pacers may not be effective when needed.

People with many PVCs (the benign variety), have the same risk of dropping from SCD than the general population.  However, they still bug the living daylights out of me.
Me to,having lots of them right now,also wearing a hotler monitor for 48 hours.
968809 tn?1288660510
I wish it was that easy.... I am nearly a lifelong vegetarian, have always been thin, eaten as healthy as I could etc. My mom is a real heath nut so I picked up a lot of good habits. When I started having pvcs I stopped drinking coffee and eating chocolate and it made no difference. However, I am really happy for you. Whatever one can do to feel better...go for it! It's certainly worth a shot to mod your diet if it might make you feel better.
1097808 tn?1257462995
Hi Chuporasa, the purpose of my post was to pass on my experience and I thank you for your comments. Perhaps the problems I have experienced were due to potassium deficiency and bananas provided me me with potassium whereas supplements could not. Obviously bananas aren't going to provide everyone with the relief I have discovered. Saying that I still don't know what has provided me with this relief but persons with my symptoms could do well to explore this avenue.  I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Good luck to you and everyone visiting this forum, I wish you the good fortune I have experienced.

1097808 tn?1257462995
Thanks for your comments, very interesting. I'm about to look up "escape beats".
I shall come back to you.
1097808 tn?1257462995
Still nothing. No pvcs or the wierd rhythm I was getting. Will keep you posted.
Back to an almost normal diet, keeping it healthyish, eating 2 bananas a day.
Fingers crossed.
996946 tn?1503252712
I love it!  I am soooo impressed!  My a-fib started about the time I hit middle age and started gaining wt around my "middle"  My waist probably increased about 6 inches!  Have you ever done any research on the vagus nerve? I think sometimes it can get constricted and sends signals to your brain and it can change the rate and rhythm of your heart. Looks like we solved that little problem, lol Seriously I know these arrythmias have lots of components to them and there is no one answer but if we all work at trying to put this puzzle together, maybe, just maybe we'll find the answer.     PS. I just started taking a 300mg dose of EPA-DHA omega 3 fish oil capsule daily and what few pvc's or pac's I had are pretty much all gone.
690060 tn?1247845341
interesting story, Alwyn. Good of you to post it.

Besides having potassium, bananas have magnesium, too. And potatoes have more potassium than bananas do.

Were you saying that you'd tried potassium supplements and they didn't work? That'd be an interesting angle, too - on absorption.
637910 tn?1454710180
Hello all, just dropping in (as I occasionally do :). I am a banana-eater too (lol), but what's really changed my life dramatically this year (after 14 years of pvc-nightmare) is fish-oil (enteric coated reflux-free fishoil, 1000mg, 2x day, with meals). Together with magnesium chelate, 500mg, 2x day, with meals. This is my regime, I've done the magnesium/bananas before, but since I've added the fish oil, my life has changed. I love it, and it works for me. The thumps aren't gone completely, but I can live with that. So I guess, we all have to find our own way to deal with this, but all posts help in one way or the other. I can only recommend the banana thing, together with an overall healthy lifestyle, it really does help. Wondering though if too many bananas could mean too much potassium in your body?
I am dealing with this and it seems to be after food, still feels random, I am on a low carb diet and working on weight loss for fitness lifting walking biking, pulse 60 until this thing kicks in. Then I am useless until it goes. Taking slow mag, potassium supplements, etc years ago I had a Vegas nerve issue but gone since 93. Also consider hiatel hernia. I quit drinking eating carbs and coffee a month ago no change.
1097808 tn?1257462995
Yes tried Mag and Pot supps didn't make any difference at all. I tried fish oils, tried everything. I gave up and got on with things, changed diet just to fit in with my partner and they went!!! I'm only guessing its the bananas, I can't see what else it could be...

Avatar universal
I  observed a similar experience to what you have shared.   For me, the onset of SVT happened during a time last year when I was under quite a bid of stress.  Possibly because of the stress, l also gained weight.  

Last June I improved my diet and lost the excess weight.  I also noticed the symptoms go away.  Since I had an ablation scheduled for July, I was considering canceling the procedure but was assured the doctors could instigate the PVC's with medicine. (They were correct)  

I am aware of fat content measuring devices sold in sport shops that rely on body resistance to calculate fat content.  I have never heard of any correlation between arrhythmia and body resistance, but since this is basically an electrical process, I wonder if somehow there is a relationship?

At any rate, losing weight and eating a better diet can only help.

1097808 tn?1257462995
Its amazing how little we (the medical profession) know about ourselves. Sharing information on forums such as this is a relatively new advancement and is pushing the boundaries of knowledge and discovery.
PS I've been drinking.
No more pvcs so what the hell.
1097808 tn?1257462995
Too much potassium? Wonder what that could do to you. I've not gone mental I'm eating 2 a day. I quite like them anyway. Fish oil didn't do anything for me. Glad its working out for you. We're all different it seems.
Excessive potassium just like deficiency can cause significant arrhythmia
1097808 tn?1257462995
I've always tried to eat healthy yet the arhythmia has always been there. As I said I've never panicked over it anyway. I've had periods when theres been little activity in the past but whats different this time is they are totally gone and I'm so relaxed and confident they've gone for good. Its difficult to explain.

My best wishes
Avatar universal
Skippi, I have reflux and have trouble with fish oil. Where do you get your reflux-friendly, enteric coated fish oil?  I really miss taking it. It's so good for us.
637910 tn?1454710180
I get it from Golden Glow, www.goldenglow.com.au, not sure if they deliver to other countries (I live in Australia).
996946 tn?1503252712
Maybe you should try banana daquaris to further push the "boundaries of knowledge and discovery."
Avatar universal
Costco makes enteric coated fish oil... reasonable priced and no fishy taste/burping for me.
Good luck all!
Avatar universal
sick and tired (and Skippi)...Thanks for the tips on enteric fish oil!  Wish we had a Costco nearby. I'm not aware of any in our area, but will check Google to find out for sure. Or, maybe Costco has a website? I'll see.
1097808 tn?1257462995
Still no flip flops after 10 weeks.
If you have the same symptoms as me try bananas.... :o)
996946 tn?1503252712
I'm so happy for you!  Have you tried the banana daquaris yet?
1097808 tn?1257462995
Yes very very nice, I'm on a banana daquaris diet... I've lost 2 days already!!!
996946 tn?1503252712
Cool, that could start a new trend.lol  You'll have to post some of your personal recipes.
194555 tn?1264290523
Hey, that is very interesting, i am so glad it is working for you..

I have noticed i get more beat beat pause BEAT flop beat beat pause BEAT flop, plus pluse of up to 101-110bpm (you get me) When i h vae eaten a takeaway..

Chinese food is the worst for me (msg?), and now macdonalds as it seems, i had one yesterday and within 10 mins they started from 3pm-nearly 10pm, i started panicking about 8.30, they are so freaky!!

I am making a diary between yesterday to 5th jan when i go see my cardio!! I am only 29 ffs, they are ruining my life!!

Healthy eating is the way to go though, and i love bananas!! I will make sure i have one a day, it is the only fruit i do like...

Avatar universal
I just started getting these things about 3 weeks ago and I must say they are pretty annoying.  I notice they get worse after exercising, drinking wine and nicotine.  My thought is once you think about them, they get worse.  I just bought flaxseed oil and I will keep you guys posted.  I also notice I have bad gas whenever I have these.  Does anyone else experience the bad gas?
Avatar universal
Wow!  Thanks for taking the time to post this. I too have noticed that curbing my diet has done good things to the PVC Issue, and ESPECIALLY cutting down on Caffeine to the point where I really can't drink it anymore.  I too eat very little fat, Eggs sometimes, never red meats and rarely chicken.  A lot of 99% fat free turkey from Trader Joe's or WFM.  A lot of salads.  Healthy vinegars like Braggs.

One more thing to add is that my adrenals were shocked in 2010 from a lithotripsy operation I had to have to save a kidney from an extremely large kidney stone.  Since that time, I began having problems with PVC's ( not too many daily, usually under 10 but still annoying ) as well as tachycardia sometimes.  DEFINITE triggers are sugar products and caffeine products.  

So being a Chiropractor I put myself on Standard Process adrenal support products that have as well helped tremendously.  My feeling is that most of us burn out our adrenals with diet and especially caffeine.  Our systems are hyper-adrenalinized and after a time this creates adrenal burnout.  There are many systems designed by both Chiropractors and Naturopaths to heal the adrenals, and the usual total heal time is 3 to 6 months.

I drink 2 cups of Chamomile tea as well daily and this has really helped.  In fact if you find yourself in an episode where it is extremely scary and they just don't seem to be stopping, try having a double dose ( 2 tea bags ) of Chamomile tea.  Let it seep at least 10 minutes.

Hope this helps.  I know from experience how scary this all can be.
Avatar universal
thanks for your update. i am happy for you. I have had them on, off since 29, now 67, been without them for 4 days now, however, earlier this evening, they started to come back. I am now convinced more than ever, that they are GERD related, hiatus hernia, etc. otherwise, it is a random mystery, that just drives me crazy.  hope yours stay gone. good luck. tom
Avatar universal
Hi I'm scott, im a recovery alcoholic. My pvcs are bad, I stop drinking two days ago, does anyone know if they will stop
Avatar universal
just wanted to say that i too have been suffering with ectopic heart beat every few minutes for a while now.  I put it down to asthma medication. Well in an attempt to get shot of them - like you i stopped drinking alcohol - no effect - stopped drinking caffeinated coffee - no effect - tried the potassium tabs - no effect.  Then they just stopped one night as i was watching TV.  It was so noticeable.  A lovely peaceful feeling in my chest at long last!!  I could not work out why. I retraced my food intake for the day.  I had eaten a large banana about an hour or two before they stopped.  Its the only thing that i had done any different to usual. Now when i get up in the morning i can feel that tetchy feeling in my chest so i have one for breakfast and it goes away. I have looked up other foods that are rich in potassium and these include Avocados which i love - but so calorific - and spinach, tomatoes and sweet potatoes are also good sources along with cantelope melon.  I am making sure i eat a diet high in potassium from now on.  I hope the dodgy beat stays away for good!  Wishing you well.      
Avatar universal
What kind of doctor does someone go to you about having heart palpitations and is anyone else that is experiencing these symptoms have Nutcracker syndrome or any other vascular compression syndrome?
Avatar universal
What a story. Good to know that you are free from irregular heart beats. For me banana shall be the order of the day. I had experienced irregular heart beats some six years ago, was so scared. My  first child, my daughter was just born and I was so happy but also worried about my condition. I read on the internet that magnesium helps, so I bought supplements from GNC. Well, after some time Irregular heart beats disappeared. Now after six they are back. I went to the cardiologist and he termed them as benign. He suggested exercise and life style change which is mostly sedantry. I stopped having tea except for the morning and have started to do some walking. My skipped heart beat is better but not gone away altogether yet.
By reading your story I am encouraged and thanks for sharing this wonderful experience.
What a story. Good to know that you are free from irregular heart beats. For me banana shall be the order of the day. I had experienced irregular heart beats some six years ago, was so scared. My  first child, my daughter was just born and I was so happy but also worried about my condition. I read on the internet that magnesium helps, so I bought supplements from GNC. Well, after some time Irregular heart beats disappeared. Now after six they are back. I went to the cardiologist and he termed them as benign. He suggested exercise and life style change which is mostly sedantry. I stopped having tea except for the morning and have started to do some walking. My skipped heart beat is better but not gone away altogether yet.
By reading your story I am encouraged and thanks for sharing this wonderful experience.
Started getting pvcs about a month ago. Never had them before. Every 4th beat. Only when active, just walking, etc. Damn things made me feel like I was going to pass out. Would have to lay down for 20 mins, then they would go away until I got up again. Went through all kinds of heart tests until they finally showed up on a holter. I really don't eat that healthy and I would always drink 6 or 7 beers every night. Out of desperation I stopped drinking beer. (which sucks) It took about 10 days but now the pvcs are gone. I'm 65 so I guess the beers finally got to me. I will have to live without because I can't live every waking hour feeling lightheaded. It is weird because the pvcs would only happen the next day after drinking beer. So if anybody is stopping alcohol, maybe give it a couple weeks before you say that is not the cause. Everyone is different though. Just wanted to share what my experience was.
Good luck to all.........
Avatar universal
I too experience ectopics (skipped beats) runs of atrial tachycardia and other flip flops on a daily basis. I had experienced them periodically since I was a child but I am now 58 and they happen daily all day the only time I didn't have them was when I was sleeping. I had all the cardiac testing and my heart was healthy and sound and I was told it was anxiety or just an irritable heart. It was affecting my quality of life....I was afraid to go anywhere because I would get very anxious when I felt these symptoms. I felt if I didn't go sit down on my couch I would simply pass out.  I had to quit my job and I was becoming depressed. The doctor perscribed metropolol tartate 25mg split and taken twice a day. I was afraid to increase the dose and it helped a little but I still felt completely dysfunctional. I started reading info from others going through the same thing and trying different things. I finally hit on something that works for me. I feel like I can live my life again. First and formost Ihad to start reminding myself daily that there is nothing wrong with my heart and nothing bad was going to happen. I had no heart disease so my heart wasn't going to do anything worse than it had already done.    with my dr's ok i started taking 50mg of metropolol daily 25 in the morning, 12.5 at noon and 12.5 at 6:00 p.m. I also started taking magnesium daily. I watched my caffiene intake and tried to get enough sleep. This seemed to make things a lot better. I still get them But it is managable and i can live my life with out fear.
Best of luck to everyone!
Dear Prettyfish, very happy for you! Had the same feeling, with bigeminies that sucks, could not quit the job though - went through two ablation with the second one not successful I guess. But on your example holding up there.
Avatar universal
How are u feeling now at the age of 60. I wish for more improvement
Avatar universal
And watch, one day after posting this question you will have a heart attack (sustained v-tach) LOL.  Joking.. good for you, almost hart do believe.  Like, are you sure they're gone?  Or are you sure you had them to begin with?  That sort of thing doesn't just go away on its own.  Once a wonky heart, always a wonky heart.    
I had a similar experience to yours.. for periods of time they disappeared seemingly for good.. but then out of the blue they would always return worse than they were before.  
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