12 things in your home that Lead to Heart Disease
Searching for products?

Cardiologist-Recommended Natural Treatments for Premature Atrial Contractions (PACs)

  This post may contain affiliate links
Facebook
Twitter
Reddit
WhatsApp
Email
Natural Treatments for Premature Atrial Contractions

Did you know that up to 60% of Americans experience premature atrial contractions (PACs) at some point in their lives? Despite being common, these irregular heartbeats can be both uncomfortable and unsettling. However, it’s important to remember that just because something is common does not mean it is normal.

Unfortunately, many doctors treat frequent PACs with risky medications or procedures. However, natural remedies are just as effective in managing PACs and promoting overall heart health. By incorporating some of these suggestions into your daily routine, you may see a decrease in the frequency and severity of your PACs.

What are premature atrial contractions?

The human heart is similar to a house with different rooms called chambers. Much like our homes, it has plumbing and electrical systems. Veins and arteries are like pipes that carry blood to and from the heart. The heart’s electrical system causes it to squeeze, thus pumping blood through the body.

The heart beats in response to an electrical signal that starts at the top of the heart in a small area called the sinus (SA) node. Like a switch that turns the light on, the SA node is the heart’s pacemaker. The electrical signal travels to the upper chambers, called the atria, causing them to contract. The signal then goes to the atrioventricular (AV) node, which signals the bottom two heart sections, called the ventricles, to contract.

Sometimes, the heart’s electrical system malfunctions when a different cell in the atria sends an unexpected signal, disrupting the normal electrical pathway. This can cause a premature heartbeat, called a premature atrial contraction (PAC), which feels like a thump or skipped beat. After the pause, the next beat is usually more robust as the heart tries to regulate itself.

Premature atrial contractions may not always present noticeable symptoms. However, some individuals may become more aware of their heartbeat, noticing symptoms like a jump, flutter, missed heartbeat, or an extra hard beat. Occasionally, individuals may experience dizziness, exhaustion, shortness of breath, or anxiety.

How do I know if I’m having PACs?

The first step in treating PACs is verifying that you have them. A feeling of fluttering in the chest can also come from premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), atrial fibrillation, or from sensations in the stomach.

Diagnosing premature atrial contractions can be challenging due to their unpredictability. While doctors often order an EKG or a Holter monitor to capture a snapshot of heart activity, these tools may miss crucial information.

The most effective diagnostic tool for PACs is the Zio Patch Heart Monitor. The Zio patch is a simple, easy-to-apply monitor worn for two weeks. Unlike Holter monitors, which miss over 50 percent of heart arrhythmias, the Zio Patch detects over 99 percent during its use.

How to stop premature atrial contractions

Many patients ask us how to stop PACs. While it can be challenging to control premature atrial contractions when they occur, some strategies may help to halt them quickly. One of the best ways to stop PACs is to stimulate the vagus nerve.

Also called the wandering nerve, the vagus nerve runs from the brain to the abdomen. When activated, this nerve triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. This “rest and digest” branch of the autonomic nervous system reduces inflammation and helps slow down the heart.

Deep breathing exercises are one of the most effective ways to stimulate the vagus nerve. Deep breathing increases the availability of oxygen to the body. Moreover, the rhythmic breathing pattern stimulates the vagus nerve to reduce blood pressure and decrease the heart rate. If you notice that your heart is out of sync, slowing down and taking deep breaths may reduce the frequency of PACs and help return the heart to a normal rhythm.

In addition to breathing, the following activities can activate the vagus nerve:

  • Gargling with water
  • Singing or humming
  • Taking a cold shower or splashing cold water on the face
  • Bearing down as though having a bowel movement
  • See your chiropractor and get adjusted

9 natural treatments for PACs

1. Watch your diet

Today’s American diet is filled with food-like products containing chemicals and lacking essential nutrients. A diet high in processed grains and sugars typically lacks the vitamins and minerals the heart requires to function smoothly.

Many of the toxic ingredients in our food can trigger premature atrial contractions. For example, flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), food dyes, pesticides, and other preservatives are common triggers of PACs.

Therefore, consuming an organic diet free of sugar, processed grain, GMOs, and other toxic chemicals is essential. Increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help stabilize heart rhythm and prevent arrhythmias. The best sources of omega-3s are wild seafood, pasture-raised eggs, and chia or flax seeds.

2. Catch some Zzzs

Sleep is essential for maintaining a normally beating heart and warding off PACs. During sleep, heart rate and blood pressure decrease, allowing the heart to rest and reducing strain.

Moreover, studies show that heart rate variability (HRV) increases during sleep. A higher HRV is associated with a lower risk for heart rhythm disturbances. Quality sleep ensures that the parasympathetic system is working at its optimum level.

3. Stay active

Exercise is imperative for reducing blood pressure, lowering resting heart rate, and maintaining a healthy heart rhythm. Regular exercise reduces inflammation, thus reducing the risk of PACs. Evidence indicates that physical activity substantially lowers arrhythmia risk in some individuals.

For some, heart palpitations increase with exercise. Therefore, it’s essential to listen to your body. If you notice an uptick in PACs while working out, check with your doctor before continuing exercise. However, if you are clear to keep moving – walk, bike, run, or hike your way to lower PACs, preferably outdoors.

4. Spend more time in the sun

Many of us have been conditioned to fear the sun. However, a healthy dose of sunshine is equally vital for the heart as a healthy diet and exercise.

Sun exposure lowers blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart palpitations. Moreover, sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, which most Americans lack. Many studies have confirmed low vitamin D levels predispose the body to arrhythmias, including PACs.

In addition to vitamin D, the human skin contains nitrate that can be converted into nitric oxide when exposed to UVA rays from the sun. Nitric oxide plays a vital role in relaxing blood vessels, significantly reducing blood pressure levels and the risk of PACs.

5. Minimize stress

Managing stress and anxiety in today’s world can be challenging, but it’s crucial for maintaining a healthy heart rhythm.

Stress plays a significant role in the development of heart arrhythmias, including premature atrial contractions. A scientific review analyzing data from over 5 million people found that anxiety elevated the risk of developing arrhythmias by 10 percent. Additionally, work-related stress increased the likelihood of AFib by 18 percent.

As a society, we tend to underemphasize stress’s impact on the heart. However, negative emotions trigger the release of stress hormones and other inflammatory markers. Therefore, finding effective strategies to avoid or limit stress may help ward off PACs.

6. Reduce exposure to toxins

Most physicians don’t know how much toxins impact the body. However, exposure to chemicals in the air, water, and environment plays a massive role in the development of heart arrhythmias.

Mold mycotoxins are a significant source of PACs. Mold causes oxidative stress, increases inflammation, and contributes to cellular death, including in the heart. There are several other ways that mold mycotoxins can cause arrhythmias, including:

  • Interferes with vitamin D receptors
  • Interferes with glutathione production
  • Impairs gut functioning
  • Impairs mitochondrial functioning
  • Interferes with nitric oxide production 

7. Minimize exposure to electromagnetic fields

The heart has an electrical charge. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) may impact the heart. Electronic devices such as cell phones, WiFi routers, Bluetooth, power lines, household appliances, and lighting emit EMF radiation.

Although drastically understudied, research suggests that EMF exposure may alter the heart’s electrical activity, disrupting its normal functions. For example, a 2010 study found that WiFi signals may affect heart rate, thus increasing the risk of arrhythmias such as PACs.

Whenever possible, reduce exposure to EMF by:

  • Keeping electronic devices off the body
  • Limiting cell phone use
  • Turning off WiFi in the home at night
  • Using wired connections instead of WiFi
  • Getting grounded outside in nature

8. Get under regular chiropractic care

As the heart is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, malalignments in the spine known as subluxations can lead to cardiac rhythm issues. See a chiropractor regularly is often very successful in supporting normal heart rhythm.

9. Consider evidence-based supplements

Ideally, we would obtain all the nutrients our hearts need from our food, which was the case for our ancestors. But, sadly, our world has become too polluted, rendering depleted soil and food. 

Oftentimes, PACs derive from vitamin and mineral imbalances in the body, which, when corrected, remedy the problem. The following supplements may prove helpful for those with PACs:

The Palpitation Complete Support Protocol from NHD includes all these supplements (and more!) that support optimal heart rate and rhythm while minimizing cardiovascular symptoms.

How to cure premature atrial contractions for good

The only true cure for any disease lies in identifying the root cause of the problem. PACs and other cardiac arrhythmias are merely symptoms of inflammation. One must find the underlying cause of inflammation to cure premature atrial contractions. Is it a poor diet? Toxic molds? Stress? A sedentary lifestyle? Unfortunately, in most cases, there are multiple culprits.

Curing premature atrial contractions often begins with heart health testing. Instead of shooting arrows in the dark, NHD recommends extensive lab testing to help identify the root cause of PACs. The Level 2 Testing Package closely examines cardiovascular health, inflammation, hormones, toxic burden, gut health, and other factors that may contribute to PACs.

Next Steps

If you have PACs, odds are you’ve been told they were “idiopathic” and that there’s no known cure. Thankfully, in most cases, there is a cure for PACs. Doctors have to know where to look.

The health team at NHD is highly skilled at identifying the root cause of cardiovascular disease, including PACs. Consider a free 20-minute health consultation to determine if we can help you. With the right approach, achieving your 100 year heart is possible.

Facebook
Twitter
Reddit
WhatsApp
Email

You may also enjoy these posts...

About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

Dr. Keith Smigiel

Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.