Have you ever had heart palpitations that seem to come out of nowhere? You might be having PVCs, or premature ventricular contractions. PVCs are irregular heartbeats that may feel like your heart did a flip-flop or is beating to the beat of its own drum.
While occasional PVCs are generally harmless, they can indicate a serious underlying heart condition that needs attention. Unfortunately, some doctors may not take PVCs seriously and brush them off as a minor issue, leaving patients frustrated and unsure about their health.
One such condition that may cause heart palpitations is myocarditis. Although typically viewed as two different heart conditions, PVCs and myocarditis sometimes go hand-in-hand. In fact, PVCs may be one of the first signs of underlying heart inflammation.
What are PVCs?
The heart is equipped with its very own electrical system. This system controls the regular beating of the heart. The sinoatrial node (SA node) in the right atrium sends electrical signals to the heart’s upper two chambers, telling them to contract. Then, these electrical signals travel down the heart to the atrioventricular (AV) node, which signals the ventricles to squeeze.
In people with PVCs, the ventricles contract before they’re supposed to, disrupting the heart’s normal rhythm. While some individuals don’t feel PVCS, others experience symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness.
What is myocarditis?
The heart’s wall is made up of three layers. The epicardium is the outermost layer, and the endocardium is the innermost layer. Between these two layers, you’ll find the thickest layer of the heart, which is made of muscle. This layer is called the myocardium.
“Myo” means muscle, “card” refers to the heart, and “itis” indicates inflammation. Therefore, myocarditis is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed. Left untreated, myocarditis can weaken the heart, resulting in a heart that has difficulty pumping effectively. As a result, the body becomes depleted of life-sustaining oxygen.
When a person develops myocarditis, the body produces antibodies in response to the inflammation. Unfortunately, these antibodies wind up damaging the heart.
The relationship between PVCs and myocarditis
Whenever inflammation occurs within the heart, the electrical system may be compromised. Therefore, it stands to reason that myocarditis, an inflammatory disorder of the heart, may contribute to PVCs.
Research shows that myocarditis causes heart palpitations. For example, a 2019 study found that over 50 percent of patients with new-onset frequent PVCs had underlying myocardial inflammation.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine rarely addresses the underlying cause of inflammation. As a result, when someone presents with PVCs, most doctors prescribe medications such as beta-blockers or antiarrhythmics. When those fail, they suggest risky procedures such as catheter ablations.
Sadly, without addressing the root cause of the condition, the problem is never addressed. As a result, there are likely many more cases of myocarditis than are diagnosed.
PVCs are the heart’s way of signaling to the body that something is out of balance. PVCs are not a condition, but rather a symptom. If you are experiencing heart palpitations, the goal should be to identify the cause.
At Natural Heart Doctor, we start the healing process with Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well. Omega-3 from seafood will help myocarditis. So will organs such as heart and liver. Sunshine is part of our healing protocol along with other “biohacking” strategies.
The medical team at NHD is highly skilled at helping our patients get to the root cause of their symptoms. Each person is unique, so each person requires their own myocarditis healing strategy. We start with a detailed health history, followed by extensive lab work, and a customized plan. There’s no guessing with our practice. If you would like to learn more, consider a complementary 20-minute strategy call with one of our expert health coaches. We would love to help you get to the bottom of your health concerns.