Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are also known as Premature Ventricular Complexes, Ventricular Premature Beats, and Extrasystoles. Mayo clinic experts define premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) as abnormal, extra heart beats that originate in the ventricles (lower portion of the heart). Individuals with premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) might feel a skipped heartbeat or a flip-flop sensation due to the extra heartbeats which tend to disturb the natural rhythm of the heart. Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) can also be experienced temporarily by healthy individuals but they are not a cause for concern. Frequently occurring premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) could be a sign of heart disease or some other health condition and should be treated immediately.
What are the Causes of Premature Ventricular Contractions
According to Mayo Clinic experts, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) can be triggered by several underlying reasons. These extra, abnormal beats compromise the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively around the body. The exact premature ventricular contraction causes (PVCs) may be difficult to pinpoint, but this condition is commonly associated with the following cases:
- Alcohol consumption
- Abuse of illegal drugs
- Chemical changes in the body
- Chemical imbalances in the body
- Medications such as asthma medicines
- Increased adrenaline levels due to caffeine, a state of anxiety, or strenuous exercise.
- Damaged heart muscle due to congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or infections such as myocarditis.
Premature Ventricular Contractions Risk Factors
The risk factors for premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) include the following elements identified by experts at Mayo Clinic. These risk factors will increase your chances of experiencing premature ventricular contractions (PVCs):
- Suffering from high blood pressure levels (hypertension)
- Engaging in strenuous exercise
- Frequent caffeine consumption
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- Regular tobacco use
- Suffering from anxiety and stress
- Another underlying medical condition for which one of the symptoms is premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) such as heart attack, myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease and congenital heart disease.
Premature Ventricular Contractions Symptoms
It is not necessary for a patient to feel any premature ventricular contraction symptoms (PVCs). However, some commonly reported signs and symptoms include fluttering sensations, flip-flops, skipped beats, missed beats, pounding heartbeat, and increased awareness of heartbeats.
Consult a doctor if the premature ventricular contraction symptoms (PVCs) occur frequently so that the reason behind the premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) can be determined, and the condition can be treated accordingly.
Premature Ventricular Contractions Treatment
According to Dr. Bruce Lindsey, M.D, from Cleveland Clinic, healthy individuals who only experience premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) every so often do not need to worry about premature ventricular contraction treatment options. Temporary premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) can be reduced by cutting down on caffeine, alcohol, smoking, and by reducing stress and anxiety.
Patients who experience frequent premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are usually prescribed beta-blockers to suppress the contractions. If the premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are being caused by another medical condition such as heart disease, the cure will lie in the treatment of the underlying condition.