Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are a regular phenomenon that might cause significant worry. A fast, fluttering, or hammering heartbeat can be frightening, prompting people to question whether anything is wrong with their heart. They can cause a fast, irregular, or strong heartbeat, as well as other symptoms such as dizziness or feeling tight in the chest.
Also known as ventricular extrasystole, PVCs are harmless in young people, but in elderly patients with underlying heart disease, there is a danger of ventricular arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. The ectopic rhythm’s development might show an underlying illness.
In this post, we will look at the causes, symptoms, heart palpitations, and extrasystole treatments to reduce anxiety and increase general well-being.
What Are the Causes of Heart Palpitations?
Several factors can cause heart palpitations. Stress and worry are two of the most common triggers. When we are emotionally or physically stressed, our bodies release stress hormones, which can cause our heart rate to increase. Excessive coffee or alcohol use, smoking, and illegal drug usage might lead to palpitations as well.
Physical reasons can also cause PVC. Abnormal strenuous activity can trigger palpitations, especially if you are out of shape and pushing yourself over your limitations.
Another common cause is hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause. Underlying reasons might include medical diseases such as anemia, thyroid abnormalities, and cardiac conditions such as arrhythmias or valve difficulties.
Risks of Heart Palpitations
Ventricular palpitations are unnoticed and not dangerous, but they might show underlying heart disease or pose potential dangers in certain situations. While it is essential not to panic if you suffer palpitations, it is also critical to be aware of potential threats and seek medical help when required. Here are some dangers of heart palpitations.
Undiagnosed heart conditions
As mentioned before, heart palpitations can also mean a more serious illness, such as arrhythmias, cardiac valve disorders, or coronary artery disease. These problems, if left untreated, will lead to more severe issues, such as heart failure or a heart attack.
Increased risk of blood clots
The abnormal heart rhythm in some arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation, can cause blood to pool in the heart chambers, raising the risk of blood clots. A blood clot that develops and spreads to other regions of the body can cause a blockage in the blood vessels, resulting in a stroke or damage to other organs.
Fainting or loss of consciousness
Palpitations caused by certain arrhythmias can reduce blood pressure or cause a shortage of blood supply to the brain, which results in feeling faint or even loss of consciousness. This is especially dangerous if it occurs on the road or when operating heavy machinery.
Reduced quality of life
Periodic and chronic palpitations can cause substantial worry, tension, and discomfort, resulting in a worse quality of life. Constant worry about PVC can interfere with everyday activities, sleep habits, and overall well-being.
Palpitations can create mental distress and an emotional load, especially if the individual is always concerned about their heart condition. The fear of palpitations can cause additional anxiety and panic attacks.
Impaired physical performance
PVC might make it difficult to participate in physical activities. This can impact your general fitness level and cardiovascular health, as well as contribute to a lack of movement, which has its own health risks.
If you have heart palpitations, you should assess your symptoms and get medical assistance if necessary. You should seek medical help right away if you experience severe chest pain or faint after experiencing palpitations.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The doctor who treats you can do a complete physical examination and analyze your medical history to determine the reason for the palpitations. Cardiologists can also propose further tests to check the structure and rhythm of your heart, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter monitor, stress test, or echocardiogram.
- The underlying cause affects how to treat heart palpitations. Changes in lifestyle and stress-reduction techniques might be beneficial when stress or worry is the cause of palpitations. For example, deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga can help regulate stress and lessen the frequency and intensity of palpitations.
- If changes to your lifestyle alone do not relieve your symptoms, your doctor can prescribe drugs to control your heart rate. To treat palpitations caused by arrhythmias or other cardiac disorders, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and antiarrhythmic medicines can be proposed. While taking these drugs, following your doctor’s advice and periodically evaluating your health is critical.
- In certain circumstances, intrusive treatments or surgeries are required to treat the underlying cause of palpitations. Catheter ablation, a surgery that selectively destroys aberrant cardiac tissue to restore a normal heart rhythm, may be advised for some arrhythmias. Similarly, structural abnormalities impacting the heart’s function may necessitate surgical treatments such as valve repair or replacement.
While it’s normal to be concerned about heart palpitations, realizing that they’re usually harmless and manageable is vital. A balanced lifestyle, stress reduction, and obtaining proper medical treatment can help minimize symptoms and enhance health. Consult with your medical professional to establish the underlying reason for your palpitations and build an appropriate treatment strategy.
While PVCs are usually innocent, it is vital to be aware of the dangers, especially if they occur frequently, are followed by other troubling symptoms, or if you already have heart disease. Seeking medical consultation and following the advice of your healthcare professional is critical to ensuring adequate treatment and reducing any related risks.
Patients can find relief from heart palpitations and enhance their overall well-being by addressing lifestyle issues, reducing stress, and following medical advice.