When you have PVCs, does your heart literally skip a beat, or does it only seem this way?
That “skipped” beat has been known to frighten many people, making them think that a heart attack is imminent or will occur in the near future.
So to find out what’s really going on with premature ventricular contractions, I asked cardiologist Dr. Pam Marcovitz, MD, medical director of the Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center, at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. Her explanation applies to both women and men:
“Because the extra heartbeat happens earlier than expected, the heart’s normal beat senses the extra beat and pauses a few milliseconds before delivering its next beat,” explains Dr. Marcovitz.
“This pause is followed by a stronger heartbeat, and may be sensed as a skipped beat, a thump or a pounding sensation in the chest. Your doctor refers to this as a palpitation.”
Even a pause of just a few milliseconds can be perceived by the individual experiencing a premature ventricular contraction.
When you then feel that “thump!” that’s the stronger heartbeat, to compensate for that pause.
So with PVCs, there is no skipped heartbeat, only a very slightly delayed heartbeat. Premature ventricular contractions do not indicate an increased risk of a heart attack.
To lower your risk of heart attack, there are many things you can do, including:
Don’t let sodium (salt) consumption exceed 1,500 mg daily.
Drastically reduce consumption of processed foods.
Eliminate as much as possible processed carbohydrates.
Eat at least 25 g of fiber a day.
Sleep seven to eight hours a day.
Eat red grapes, berries, dates, almonds, walnuts, seeds, wild game and wild caught fish.
If you eat meat, limit it to grass-fed or wild game only.
Take the following supplements: green tea extract, turmeric and garlic.
Do both interval cardio training and strength training.
PVCs or the sensation of a skipped heartbeat are not a risk factor for heart disease. So instead of stressing about that, pay more attention to how many hours a day that you spend in a chair. Prolonged sitting is linked to a myriad of health ailments including cardiac related.