I am having PVCs more or less every 3rd heart beat for the last 3 days - should I see a Cardiologist

Posted , 2 users are following.

I am in my mid 50's and healthy but just started getting these PVC's about a week ago which started to increase in frequency and I am now getting about 10 every minute. I have an Apple watch which does an ECG and I can see I am getting double, triple and sometimes quadruple beats.

I went to A&E four days ago because I had felt light headed a couple of time and could feel my heart fluttering every now and then. They were not picked up on the 10 second ECG so I was told it could be indigestion. Then 36 hours later I woke up in the night and my heart was constantly fluttering so the next day i bought the Apple watch to do my own ECG and the results terrified me as to how often it was doing it.

I went to A&E again and this time they caught a PVC on the ECG and have referred me to have a 24 hour ECG but there will be a 2-4 week wait. I asked the Doctor whether it was ok to have these so often and he didn't really give me a straight answer. He was Junior Doctor and really gave the impression that he was in a hurry and didn't even listen to my heart and i was in the room for 4 minutes maximum.

My question is am I ok to have these constant PVCs (maybe as much as 15-20,000 per day) or should I ask more firmly to see a Cardiologist more urgently? I don't want my heart to be damaged.

Any advice or reassurance would be very much appreciated.

0 likes, 7 replies

7 Replies

  • Edited


    The first thing is not to panic as anxiety makes them worse. There are many people with very frequent episodes as you describe, but they have been reassured after having the ECG that despite the numerous episodes that things are 'normal'. Doctors can be very dismissive.

    I would ask firmly to see my GP or failing that to go back to And E and be more insistent, to ensure that things are 'normal' as regards your own heart..

    In the meantime do consider if you have done anything that may have caused the episodes. They can often come straight out of the blue but can sometimes be traced to a change of circumstances-moving house, marriage, divorce, even new cleaning materials, too much caffeine, wrong types of food, pollution etc etc.

    So after trying to check this out with a qualified medical person I would suggest you read some of the very long threads on this site whereby you will see that people tolerate 10 episodes a minute or more but for no reason they suddenly go into remission for days or weeks.

    Google the 'vagus' nerve. As these episodes are often related to indigestion and burping often helps to clear wind.

    Do let us know what you do

    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice Tony,

      I've been reading through the threads all morning and have gained loads of information.

      I felt so awful this morning I managed to get a private video consultation with a Cardiologist and he basically said the same as you. He does want to check that the structure of my heart is ok and also wants me to do a 3 day ECG so that they can decide what treatment I need.

      Unfortunately I do not have health insurance so will now have to switch back to the NHS for treatment but at least now I feel reassured that I've spoken to a Consultant and that my heart is not going to stop at an second.

      Thanks again

    • Edited


      That sounds hopeful. One more thing, do check you are getting enough fluid as proper hydration seems to be a key factor in keeping the heart in good condition. That should exclude anything with caffeine in, including energy drinks and alcohol for the time being.

    • Posted

      Thanks again for the advice. Luckily there was a last minute cancellation so they are giving me the 3 day ECG tomorrow.

      30 minutes ago I was on the verge of calling 999, my heart was racing at 260 beats for a minute and i thought it was going to stop. But I got up and walked about to calm down and it back to how it was but my watch is still counting 8-12 PVCs per minute which i can feel.

      I've been reading all the threads and some people are saying they are going to the Doctors with 16 PVCs a hour but I am getting this amount in 2 minutes and that's what is worrying me. This is now my 4th day of non stop PVCs and I think I must be getting them in my sleep because it just woke me. I haven't had a clear 30 second ECG on my watch since i got it on Friday.

      Is this what other people are going through as well because it would make me feel a hell of a lot better if I new others had been through this amount of them for a few days and then they stopped.

    • Posted


      There is nothing like the calm atmosphere of a doctors surgery or hospital when actually face to face with a medic.

      Twice I have gone in to see the nurse on spec as i was concerned about the missed heartbeats and of course as soon as I put the device on everything became normal.

      Hence the advice not to panic , which I know is easier said than done. The more you time things the more you will cause yourself anxiety. I suspect the watch is just helping to fuel your anxiety.

      You will obviously have tried deep or steady breathing, burping, and will have cut out any form of caffeine especially coffee or energy drinks? Walking around is usually helpful. Have you checked out the comments on the Vagus nerve, often linked to indigestion or other stomach concerns as they give some useful tips.

      Many here will have similar symptoms to you but the difference is probably they have already gone through the process of having an extended ECG and have been reassured by medical people rather than random bloggers.

      Mind you it is extraordinary how dismissive the medics are of this complaint as it affects many people and is very worrying.

      I had a similar 3 or 4 days to you (but not with the rapid heart beat) at the beginning of April and it then stopped as suddenly as it started and touch wood i have been almost totally clear of them since.

      I do not consider myself to be at all an anxious person but assume losing 2 close family members (not through Covid) within 2 weeks of each other must have tipped me over the top.

      I had a bout of shingles when i was much younger and also Irritable Bowel syndrome (both cleared up years ago) and suspect people who have had these complaints are more susceptible to ectopics etc.

      So keep calm and let us know how you get on. Only you can know if it seems serious enough to warrant a emergency call.

    • Posted

      Hi Tony and anybody else reading this,

      Thanks for all the good advice again and your last bit of advice about only you know yourself know how seriously ill you are is so true and important and I hope other people read this.

      I had my appointment on Wednesday at a specialist heart hospital (I won't name it because I don't really want to be identified by this thread) and ended up being admitted because my heart rate was so fast and irregular. They gave me loads of medication to slow it down and bring it under control. To cut a very long story short I have Atrial Tachycardia which is treatable and can be kept under control with medication until they can operate on it to fix it if they need too. I still have the many ectopic / PVCs but not the bouts of rapid heartbeats.

      Basically the point I want to make is that I am in my 50's and never been to A&E before with an illness but have so twice in the last week and on both occasions they dismissed my symptoms and made me feel like I was making a fuss over nothing. On my last visit to them on the early hours of Sunday morning I had to very firmly insist that they did a second ECG because during the first 10 second one my heart was not fluttering. The doctor I saw never even listened to my heart and dismissed all the ECG readings I showed him that I had got from my Apple watch - even the one when my heartbeat was over 240 bpm.

      I also had 2 telephone consultations with my GP who also dismissed it as a need for me to make live style changes even though I am pretty much as fit as a fiddle but maybe 1/2 stone over weight.

      So, if I had taken the advice from the last doctor I saw and waited for an NHS appointment to see a Cardiologist then there would have been a good chance that I would have deteriorated rather rapidly.

      If you know yourself things are not right with your body then please DO NOT LET the Doctors and nurses dismiss you as a hypochondriac!

      PS. The care I received from the Specialist Heart Hospital from all the nurses and doctors was absolutely superb so maybe the problem is just with my local hospital???

    • Edited

      I am glad you persisted. The dismissal by the general medics of the condition is quite disturbing. The specialists seem to be much more understanding which is to be expected.

      The good thing to come out of this is that the condition persisted when the test was being done. So often, especially with short tests, the symptoms disappear and even the longer tests are often inconclusive if the condition (temporarily abates)

      So hopefully the rapid heartbeats can be treated which leaves the ectopics.

      I really do recommend you keep a diary-food and general-so you can see IF there are any triggering factors. I suspect sometimes there will be and sometimes there won't

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.