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Fast pulse, short of breath, chest discomfort, PVC's
maryalice40 posted:
Yesterday, my pulse was pounding so hard, my leg was jerking so I checked the bpm and it was 160. I was having PVC's, some in rows of 3, rest were scattered, I went on to get tightness in my chest and mildly short of breath. I was awake most the night & had mild chest discomfort the entire time. When I went to the dr that day, I was told my blood pressure was low, she checked it twice, told the women at the desk, and they said not to worry about it, don't think they wanted to get up and recheck it to be honest. But I have never been known to have this problem, once in awhile a little bit high but that's it. I was unable to check it last night because my cuff is messed up. But I listened to my heart beat and I heard these loud sounds that sounded like a metal door being slammed hard. I only heard it a few times but what would cause that? Is it normal? I have widespread tingling/prickling, and twitching because I have such a strong pulse. I had a stress test that turned out okay but can you really rely on a stress test? Just don't know what to think. Was short of breath today as well just being up walking around.
maryalice40 responded:
and my pulse is pounding like this doing rest, when I get ready to go to sleep. most of the time I lay down, I feel it pounding hard and racing, I checked it once before and it was just 100 bpm.

could all this be normal??? thing is,, all my grandparents had heart disease, my mom and brother have high blood pressure. I smoke 2 pks a day, very inactive because of my fatigue from having a mild rheumatoid disease, don't eat right, cholesterol has been up for 20 yrs, never been treated though. on the good side of it all,, i'm only 41 and I haven't seen anyone in my family have it at a young age (not that I am all that young lol)..

hope someone can give me some advice.. i don't know what I should do about this.
billh99 replied to maryalice40's response:
With that history of high heart rates have you had a holter monitor or an event monitor.

could all this be normal??? thing is,, all my grandparents had heart disease, my mom and brother have high blood pressure. I smoke 2 pks a day, very inactive because of my fatigue from having a mild rheumatoid disease, don't eat right, cholesterol has been up for 20 yrs, never been treated though. on the good side of it all,, i'm only 41 and I haven't seen anyone in my family have it at a young age (not that I am all that young lol)

First of all RA is an inflammatory disease. And that is know to increase the chance of heart disease.

And all of the other factors, specially the smoking, just pile up.

At the very less this should be a wakeup call.
maryalice40 replied to billh99's response:
No,, he said if things got worse, he may do that to evaluate my PVC's when I'm asleep.

I have MCTD, not RA,

Risk factor, yes, I know, but that doesn't mean something is wrong. When do you know when you need to be worried?

If your trying to tell me to stop smoking, I can't break that addiction. I did for a year just to suffer daily wanting one.
cardiostarusa1 replied to maryalice40's response:

Is it normal/could all this be normal?"


"What would cause that?"

The most common type of palpitations, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs, occurs even in many heart-healthy individuals), has various causes or triggers, cardiac and non-cardiac.

Often, PVCs are typically harmless, be it isolated (single), couplets (2-in-row), triplets (3-in-a-row) or salvos (short bursts of 3 or more in-a-row), bigeminy (occurring every other beat), trigeminy (occurring every third beat), quadrigeminy (occurring every fourth beat), etc., etc.

However, the main problem or concern (even more so, much more emphasized for those with certain major or serious heart conditions) with PVCs is if/when sustained ventricular tachycardia (runs of PVCs over 30 seconds) occurs.

Symptoms that may/can occur wih PVCs includes none at all or chest pain/discomfort/pressure/tightness, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness/dizziness, and in uncommon to rare cases, near-syncope or syncope (temporary loss of consciousness, includes fainting and passing out).

Additionally, as applicable, there is a condition commonly known as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) or paroxsymal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), which has various causes (or triggers), though sometimes it can be deemed as "idiopathic", no known cause, cause unknown.

PSVT typically causes a frightening burst/surge in heart/pulse rate that begins/starts and ends/stops suddenly (hence the term paroxsymal), which can last for just mere seconds or it can continue on for minutes to hours to days.
SVT can send the heart into speeds up to 150-200 BPM, and sometimes, even as high as 300 BPM.

Symptoms that may/can occur with SVT, PSVT includes chest pain/discomfort/pressure/tightness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness/dizziness, and in uncommon to rare cases, syncope (temporary loss of consciousness, which includes passing out or fainting). Sometimes there can be no symptoms at all.

"I can't break that addiction"

I know it can be difficult, but you can do it, as many have done so.

Smoking increases the circulating levels of catecholamines and free fatty acids, which may contribute to the increased level of total cholesterol and decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein ("good" cholesterol) that are found in habitual cigarette smokers.

The effects on platelets may enhance coagulation (blood clotting). There can be accelerated coronary and peripheral vascular disease, and occurrence of a dreaded stroke and complications from hypertension.

The greatest concern is the acceleration or aggravation of cardiovascular disease. Smoking can promote atherosclerotic vascular disease by contributing to high cholesterol, endothelial injury (damaging the sensitive inner lining of the walls of the arteries), or both.

Complications of hypertension are more severe in those who smoke cigarettes. Smoking can also aggravate hypertension by causing vasoconstriction (tightening of the vessels).

After You Quit Smoking - The First 2 Days

Quit Smoking Benefits - the Healing Begins...When you quit smoking, the benefits begin within minutes of your last...

At 20 minutes after quitting:

Blood pressure decreases, pulse rate drops...

USA Today

Just one cigarette can harm DNA, Surgeon General says


"Tobacco smoke damages almost every organ in your body," says Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. In someone with underlying heart disease, she says, "One cigarette can cause a heart attack."

Best of luck down the road of life.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)

maryalice40 replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
Thanks, I'm fine now,, just have some lingering soreness in my breastbone..
cardiostarusa1 replied to maryalice40's response:
You're welcome.

Hope you can report back soon that you have quit the cigs.

Take good care,


Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to maryalice40's response:

We have a Smoking Cessation Community that might help you quit without suffering! Also a Smoking Cessation Health Center with many suggestions and lots of information. Click the links to access.

You deserve to be healthy!

maryalice40 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
How is that going to stop the suffering?? lol. I went through this before. I talked on a quit smoking forum, took chantix, I had to go on anxiety medication. Was breaking out in hives I was under such a high amount of stress. I just can't handle that kind of stress at this moment, we've had a serious family issue which I don't care to explain online, but I've had more than I care to tackle with the stress issue recently, when I feel a bit better, I'll give it some thought..
maryalice40 replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
My pulse has an irregularity in the consistency of the rhythm. It will be beating fast, then I have a few skipped beats, then it starts beating really slow,, then speeds back up again, and repeats itself.

that scares me, I've never had my rhythm pattern change like that.

called my dr's office and he said to come in tomorrow for a BP check. I checked it, it's 140/80 NORMAL! But my heart beat isn't.

this happened friday night too, I just wasn't for sure until tonight.

please tell me what it means..
cardiostarusa1 replied to maryalice40's response:
You said:

"It will be beating fast, then I have a few skipped beats, then it starts beating really slow,, then speeds back up again, and repeats itself"

"Please tell me what it means."

Worth mentioning here, as applicable, some individuals have (or can develop) a condition known as Brady-Tachy Syndrome (or Tachy-Brady Syndrome). Also, some individuals with a condition known as Sick Sinus Syndrome (SSS) can have this alternating fast/slow heart rate occur as well.

This specific condition typically requires consulting with/being under the care of a cardiologist who also specializes in treating problems with the heart's electrical conduction system (electrophysiologist EP).

If/when there is bradycardia-only, treatments may/can include pacemaker implantation, and if/when it involves tachycardia-only, treatments may/can include prescription drug-therapy or an ablation (catheter-based corrective procedure), and if/when it involves both, treatments may/can include all of the above.




It's your there.


WebMD/WebMD forums does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
maryalice40 replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
I think they should of offered to do an EKG instead of just a BP reading since I've had these problems all weekend. He knows my BP is normal most of the time, that isn't going to explain why I feel this way.. Think I will just ask for a holter monitor. I don't want to get up in the middle of the night and go to the ER just to get this checked out. Don't even know how I'd have the time to see a cardiologist. I am leaving in June out of state to go spend a few mths at my son's when he returns home from the army. When I come back home, I have to do my clinical training and externship for 2 mths. It would be October before I'd have any free time. thank you for the info.. really do appreciate it.
cardiostarusa1 replied to maryalice40's response:
You're welcome.

"I think they should of offered to do an EKG instead of just a BP reading".


"Think I will just ask for a holter monitor."

And as deemed necessary, which can be used for a much longer period of time, an event recorder, to capture/record a transient or elusive arrhythmia.


maryalice40 replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
My bp was good, like 120/64 but it's out of my normal range, cause it's usually at least 130/80. I have to go back later and get an EKG, but if had been done this morning, it would have caught the arrythmia.. If it doesn't, I'm asking for the holter monitor. But hopefully I'll find out what is going on later. Still having them and about 8 PVC's or so a minute. Should you have PVC's that much?? I know when I had a surgery done years back, they said it was constant the entire time. Woke up, my oxygen was low & they had to put me on oxygen the rest of the day. One lady was very concerned but the doctor was like if it's just single PVC's, don't worry about it. Well this is around the time my problems started. In Dec, I had an endo/cysto and she told me I had a few irregular rhythms while I was asleep. Never found out what they were, my dr said it could be normal. I have widespread tingling and I think because I am so aware of my pulse, that it is causing it. Pounds and races all the time. At it's worst when I lay down. Hard to go to sleep cause of that. I've had the PVC's, chest tightness, and shortness of breath for awhile now. My dr suggested I lose weight, I dropped about 25 lbs. Didn't help. He did the stress test, didn't show anything wrong. I had PVC's so bad, one dr sent me to the hospital afraid I might end up having a heart attack, but I was sent home.. They didn't think it was anything to worry about. This has been going on for about the past 2 yrs I guess. Don't think I'm headed for a heart attack or anything, just feel like something there isn't right, you know?
maryalice40 replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
I had continuous PVC's.. so I have to get the test with the holter monitor and maybe get sent to a cardiologist..

Does this mean I could drop over dead with a heart attack?

I won't lie.. god would be doing me a favor if I did, as sick as I always am.. but I wouldn't want to leave my kids.. they couldn't stand life without me around. heeheehee..

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