Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC) are extra, abnormal heartbeats which begin in your heart’s two lower pumping chambers i.e ventricles. These beats can disrupt your heart’s regular rhythm causing you to feel in a skipped beat for a moment. These contractions are very common and happen sometime in life. If you are an otherwise healthy person but otherwise experience these contractions regularly, then there is generally no reason for you to worry about. However, if you have any heart disease and experience regular premature ventricular contractions, then you’d require treatment to make you and your heart healthier. Premature Ventricular causes generally no symptoms. However, you may sometimes feel some odd sensations in your chest such as flip flops, fluttering, pounding or jumping, skipped beats, or increased awareness of your heartbeat.
Many of us wonder what results in these extra heartbeats and how to stop premature ventricular contraction. These extra heartbeats can generally be associated or can be caused due to the following reasons-
- Chemical changes or imbalances in the body
- Certain medications
- Alcohol or illegal drugs
- Increased levels of adrenaline caused by caffeine, tobacco, exercise or anxiety
- Injury to the heart muscle from coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, high blood pressure or heart failure
If you are a healthy person, you may ignore these extra heartbeats. However, for a person with heart disease extra caution needs to be taken. Even for a healthy person a little caution can do no harm. An early treatment can help for a healthier tomorrow. This is because if you are experiencing these extra heartbeats regularly, you may be at an increased risk of developing heart rhythm problems or weakening of the heart muscle. So, what can you do to prevent these issues?
- Get Stress Under Control – when you are stressed, your body releases more adrenaline and cortisol among other stress hormones which causes an extra strain on your heart and can trigger PVC. So, the first thing you should do is to get your stress under control by doing something that calms you down, eg. Yoga.
- Eliminate Stimulants and other Vices – As mentioned above excessive consuming of caffeine, drugs, alcohol, or any other nicotine product, it can trigger PVC. Thus, try to cut down these stimulants and your PVC can remain under control.
- Get Enough Sleep– Most of the PVC patients do not get the right amount of sleep. Without enough sleep, your stress hormones can go up which can trigger PVC. Have a set up sleep schedule and try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each day.
- Eliminate your Triggers– Your PVC can not only be caused by the stimulants like drugs, caffeine or alcohol. You can have additional triggers like many people have vagal triggered form of PVCs. Vagal PVCs are triggered by activation of the vagus nerve, like after a big meal or eating certain foods. Often, by avoiding your gastrointestinal triggers or by getting the gastrointestinal system under control, the PVCs may subside.
- Eat Potassium or Magnesium Diet- By having a diet rich in potassium and magnesium can be all that is necessary to get your PVC under control. The electrolytes from such diet can have a calming effect on the cells of the heart. These foods are one the healthiest foods a man can consume. For Potassium, other than banana, a person can have spinach, beans, broccoli, and cantaloupe. For Magnesium, the best sources are nuts, seeds, and “greens” which can include pumpkin seeds, spinach, and beans.
- Too Little or Too Much Exercise – Not getting enough exercise or doing too much exercise can trigger PVC. A moderate intensity 30 minutes workout or a high intensity 15 minutes are usually recommended by doctors. For those who enjoy extreme forms of workouts, you need to scale it down to get your PVC under control and those who do not exercise regularly, consult a doctor before starting a new exercise program.
- Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control – Some patients find that when their blood pressure increases, they are more likely to experience PVC. Thus, if your blood pressure often reads higher, consult a physician to keep it under control to avoid PVC and other heart diseases.
- Treat Other Medical Problems – PVC can be triggered by a lot of other medical problems such as asthma, sleep apnea, COPD, heart failure, or coronary artery disease. Thus, the only way for you to avoid these extra heartbeats is by consulting and continuously working with your physician to keep the medical problems at bay.
These are some basic and everyday ways to combat PVC. It is also important that with these above precautions, you also keep taking your medicines regularly and have constant checkups with your doctor. There is no need for you to worry. With the right precautions and the positive attitude, you can combat this disease like it was a piece of cake!