T Nation

Cardiac Arrhythmia

I have a cardiac arrhythmia, i.e. irregular heartbeat. I believe it’s a premature ventricular contraction (PVC), which basically manifests as a skipped heartbeat or an irregular palpitation between normal beats. I first noticed this about five years ago while taking my pulse but I never had it checked out because I was not interested in treatment. It always smooths out and becomes regualar during exercise so I’ve never thought it to be serious.

Lately, however, it has been going into a state of complete fuckery in the hours following a bout of exercise. I basically murdered myself in the gym today and now my heart is sputtering like a retard and skipping every second or third beat. It sucks. I feel almost as though I can’t catch my breath. It will go away soon like it always does, but this is getting lame as shit.

Get it checked out, you say? Well I know the treatment for this condition is usually drugs that slow down the heart (beta blockers), but I can’t accept that because it will reduce my exercise capacity and that’s unacceptable. So I’m curious to know whether anyone else has a similar condition, and how you manage it? PVC is supposedly extremely common so there have got to be others here who deal with this or are familiar with it.

Also, just an idea, since the mods seem to be interested in creating new forums, how about a health/medical issues forum?

Do you drink a lot of caffeine, ie Spike, other energy drinks, coffee?? Stimulants can lead to PVC’s, along with exercise itself. Also dehydration can lead to it, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water around the exercise session. Another possible cause is an electrolyte imbalance… Hell, maybe gatorade is a better option than water since that can dilute your electrolytes out.

The condition is usually not a problem, and in fact most of the people on the site have problem had them and not even known it… But it sounds like your condition might be a bit more serious than that. If it is occurring just around exercise, that might just be your “trigger” for it.

Having said all that, the condition can progress to a much, much more serious one called Ventricular Tachycardia, which is classified as 3 or more PVC’s in a row occurring at 100+ beats per minute… And it is very bad news. If you suspect the condition is in fact getting worse, I would seek medical treatment.

Just about everyone will see a PVC if they are hooked to an ECG long enough. However if you are experiencing them on a regular basis and more than one here and there its definately time to seek out medical attention.

When you have a pvc your heart is not firing from the correct node. When the SA node does not fire, the AV node is the next in line causing a PVC.

You could have some sort of problem, or you could think you are experiencing something your not.

Bottom line is its time to set up an appointment with a cardioligist.

My good friend has a CA and he had to have a defibrillator implanted. He’s not on any drugs, though.

Definitely, positively get it checked out.

Do you take Omega-3 pills? I had a lot of issues with arrhythmia while taking the pills.

I take about 16-20g a day of fish oil

I was just looking for a topic like this, and was going to ask if anyone had the same problem I have. I don’t have enough time to post everything I wanted to right now…so I’ll post again later.

Although mine is slightly different, I suffer from episodes of supraventricular tachycardia. This is where, even in a completely relaxed state, my heart can suddenly start beating upwards of 230+ bpm.

No slow increase to that rate, just a skipped beat…and then bam…230 bpm. The last episode lasted 25 min. Needless to say, I didn’t need any other cardio that day!

Anyways, GO TO THE DOCTOR! I’ve had mine for 14 years now (happens about 4-8 times a year), but it was only 2 years ago that it was diagnosed, and only just last week that I finally got to an ER in time and caught it on an EKG.

The doctor said that, in my case anyway, left untreated it just gets more and more frequent. And usually worse and worse. What really woke me up a year and a half ago, after my episode was over, I went into atrial fibrillation.

That is dangerous, it can cause blood clots. I’m taking beta-blockers, ya it slows your heart rate somewhat especially resting hr. But, I don’t notice a significant change. And when I weightlift, I can still raise it easily. In my case, there are other things that can be done usually. Sometimes surgery is an option, depending on the exact cause.

I’m going to testing soon to see what can be done. I don’t want to keep taking drugs for the rest of my life either.

[quote]Synthetickiller wrote:
Do you take Omega-3 pills? I had a lot of issues with arrhythmia while taking the pills.[/quote]

You mean you think the Omega-3 supplements were the cause of your heart troubles?

[quote]BluePfaltz wrote:
Synthetickiller wrote:
Do you take Omega-3 pills? I had a lot of issues with arrhythmia while taking the pills.

You mean you think the Omega-3 supplements were the cause of your heart troubles? [/quote]

I find this odd as well. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce heart rate variability, including ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation. In addition, the reduction in the numbers of sudden deaths from cardiac causes in studies and trials is believed to be due partly to the anti-arrhythmic effects.

Dying would severely diminish your exercise capacity.

You have to get it checked out. There could be many causes for your problems and many different ways to treat them.

It’d be kind of silly if the treatment didn’t affect your training. I guess if you try medication for a while and the side effects don’t go away and you absolutely hate them it’s your choice to stop taking them.

My fiance died of that, 2 days before her 23rd birthday. She was working on her Phd and had a 20k/year grant from the NSF (national Science Foundation). Arrythmia is a time bomb. Please watch it very closely.

[quote]NewDamage wrote:
BluePfaltz wrote:
Synthetickiller wrote:
Do you take Omega-3 pills? I had a lot of issues with arrhythmia while taking the pills.

You mean you think the Omega-3 supplements were the cause of your heart troubles?

I find this odd as well. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce heart rate variability, including ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation. In addition, the reduction in the numbers of sudden deaths from cardiac causes in studies and trials is believed to be due partly to the anti-arrhythmic effects.[/quote]

I’ve mentioned it to a few doctors and they have said more people than you think have complained about it. I felt like my heart was coming out of my chest along with the arrhythmia. Only occurred when I took the pills, which were at least 8 hours before or after lifting or any strenuous exercise.

I know that its important since the body doesn’t produce it, but I try to get it from natural sources. I haven’t seen studies on it, but I know that I experienced my symptoms when on it.

My diet at that time was constant since I was eating what my college served. I would experience the symptoms within the first 30 minutes of ingesting the pill. Once I stopped, all symptoms stopped. Only occurred when I was using the pills. That’s why I mention it. I know there’s no studies, but that also doesn’t mean that its not an issue. I could repeat the experiment, but I’d rather not. I have great genes, LOL.

I would like to mention that omega 3 could logically cause heart problems in an over abundance. This would apply to many other important things we ingest for proper nutrition.

I know B vitamins (I can’t remember the specific one) can cause nerve damage in large amounts (insane amounts really) as well as too much of just about anything isn’t good. I’m guessing that too much might cause the opposite effect of what studies have shown. As we know, “too much” is an individual thing. I’m probably an outlier.

In all likelihood, I don’t need as much as the pill provides and it is an overdose for me. I think I experienced this 5 or 6 times before throwing the omega-3 pills in the trash.

I wish I could find some literature on my problem, but I can’t right now. Just speaking from personal experience and trial & error.

What exactly are “omega 3 pills” … Are we talking fish oil, flax oil, or that BS Focus Factor pill they hock on TV?

And yes, I would get it looked at by a doctor just in case it is something more serious than you realize. Hearth arrhythmias can be benign, and even something like Atrial Fibrilation is a condition people can live with (although they are usually on “blood thinners” for the rest of their lives), but can suddenly convert into something more dangerous.

As the poster said above, death would put a serious hamper on you hitting any further PR’s in the gym.

[quote]Synthetickiller wrote:
I know B vitamins (I can’t remember the specific one) can cause nerve damage in large amounts (insane amounts really) as well as too much of just about anything isn’t good.[/quote]

A toxic level of B6 will cause nerve damage, while a deficiency of B12 also causes nerve damage.
As said, there is a healthy balance with everything.

[quote]Synthetickiller wrote:
I would like to mention that omega 3 could logically cause heart problems in an over abundance. This would apply to many other important things we ingest for proper nutrition.

I know B vitamins (I can’t remember the specific one) can cause nerve damage in large amounts (insane amounts really) as well as too much of just about anything isn’t good. I’m guessing that too much might cause the opposite effect of what studies have shown. As we know, “too much” is an individual thing. I’m probably an outlier.

In all likelihood, I don’t need as much as the pill provides and it is an overdose for me. I think I experienced this 5 or 6 times before throwing the omega-3 pills in the trash.

I wish I could find some literature on my problem, but I can’t right now. Just speaking from personal experience and trial & error.
[/quote]

So could Vitamin E…

What multi are you taking?

These were the pills I took at the time:

I wasn’t taking a multivitamin at the time. I also wasn’t eating enough veggies to OD on vitamin E.

Like I said, the symptoms only manifested with ingestion of those pills (1 per day). I haven’t had any issues since then or before.

Very strange…

I never liked Nature’s Bounty anyway and now I have a reason not to.