Premature ventricular contractions (PVC) are extra and abnormal heartbeats that occur in one of the lower pumping chambers of the heart which are the ventricles. These extra beats causes disruption of the regular rhythm of the heart and sometimes, it will cause a flip-flop or skipped beat that can felt in the chest. Premature ventricular contraction is also known as premature ventricular complexes, extra systoles and ventricular premature beats.
Symptoms of premature ventricular contractions
Some sensations that can be felt in the chest include fluttering, flip-flops, skipped beats or missed beats, pounding or jumping and an increased awareness of the heartbeats.
Premature ventricular contractions can be caused by the following:
- Certain medications for asthma
- Consuming alcohol or using illegal drugs
- Some injuries to the heart muscles caused by coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, high blood pressure and heart failure.
- Some chemical changes or imbalances in the body
- Increased adrenaline levels in the body that can be caused by caffeine, tobacco, exercise and anxiety.
Complications that can be caused by premature ventricular contractions like there is an increased risk of having a heart rhythm problems also known as arrhythmias or cardiomyopathy which is the weakening of the heart muscles.
Treatment and home remedies
- Take note of the symptoms that frequently happens in order to help in identifying substances or actions that cause premature ventricular contractions. By enrolling in a course on first aid today, you can help ease the symptoms.
- Minimize the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in order to minimize the symptoms.
- Anxiety can cause abnormal heartbeats, thus the individual should engage in some stress-reducing techniques like biofeedback, meditation or exercises.
Diets that can help with premature ventricular contractions
Premature ventricular contractions can be caused if magnesium is insufficient in the diet. Levels of magnesium are maintained by eating foods together with the kidney and intestinal absorption. A level of magnesium in the body that is lower than 1.4 mEq per liter in the blood is called hypomagnesemia. If there are low levels of magnesium in the body, it can cause arrhythmias and foods that are high in magnesium content can minimize premature ventricular contractions. Foods that are rich in magnesium content include green vegetables, beans, nuts, peas, seeds and whole unrefined grains.
Levels of potassium in the blood will affect the ability of the cells in sending electrical impulse to the heart and causing it to contract. Levels of blood potassium lower than 3.5 mEq per liter is called hypokalemia. Severe hypokalemia causes hyperexcitability. Hypomagnesemia and hypokalemia are linked with each other. Hypomagnesemia causes kidneys to expel more potassium that will cause low blood levels. Sources of potassium include citrus fruits, bananas, cantaloupes, avocados, potatoes, salmon, cod and chicken.
Minimize caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and appetite suppressants if experiencing arrhythmias. Eat a heart-healthy diet in order to lose some weight, reduce the blood pressure and control levels of cholesterol. Heart-healthy diets include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, poultry, fish and low fat content dairy products. Additionally, the individual should perform regular exercises.