Tachycardia for short minutes: PAC or PVC?

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Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
Question from Yahoo Answers:

I've been feeling something weird happening to me. Ill be sitting down and doing absolutely nothing, watching tv or something. Im not nervous or scared or anything., And all of a sudden, ill feel kind of a tingling in my heart like adrenaline and my heart will feel like its racing, but it stops right away. It happens randomly, no dizziness, nothing like that. Its just weird. What might it be?
Update: Its very sudden, it only lasts like 2 seconds that i feel it, no dizziness, no impeding sense of doom like in panic attacks.


You may be experiencing premature contractions of the heart, which in medical terms is referred to as ectopic ("extra") beats; PAC (premature atrial contractions), or PVC (premature ventricular contractions), depending on where in the heart these ectopic beats originate (the atrium or the ventricles, to put it simply).

We all experience these extra heart beats or palpitations to some degree and this is entirely normal, although they can all be indicators of heart disease, especially PVC

You could also be experiencing a phenomena known as PSVT or Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, especially if you are young, as in your 20's or 30's, which is the common age group, although they can occur in anyone at any age.

The word Paroxysmal, means that it comes and goes, usually fairly quickly.

Supraventricular, means that the electrical focus is coming somewhere above the ventricles in your heart, the large chambers below the atria, the upper chambers.

Tachycardia is a medical term for a heart rate over 100. PSVTs usually are in the range of 180 to 300 beats per minute, often dependant on your age and underlying health.

Episodes can range from seconds, to minutes, to hours, although, some have been known to last for quite some time. This is a little more worrisome than these simple ectopic beats I spoke of above, as sometimes you need medication to stop the PSVT, the most common one being Adenosine.

More: Sudden rapid heartbeat?
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