After about a year and a half of terrifying PVCs, I am finally getting some relief; I hope it continues!
A little background...I'm a 29-year-old female with no significant medical history and am not on any prescriptions. Last March, I began having PVCs out-of-the-blue. They weren't constant like they are for some people, but I would have one every couple of minutes. I went to an urgent care doctor who did an EKG and confirmed that they were "completely harmless" PVCs. He told me to just forget about them. He ordered a metabolic profile and thyroid tests, all of which were in-range.
I then discovered the wonders of magnesium. Magnesium seemed to make the palps go away, but they returned with a vengeance in July 2010. So I again set out looking for an explanation/cure since it simply didn't make sense to me that they would just begin all of a sudden. And despite the doctor's assurance that it was "normal" and nothing to worry about, it didn't feel normal. I was afraid to sleep at night for fear of not waking up.
One of the tests I had done that made me begin to suspect an iron problem was a ferritin serum test (but not a whole iron panel). My ferritin was 26 ng/mL (range of 13 - 150) in August 2010. My regular doctor seemed unconcerned about that level (even though now, after having done a lot of research, it is apparent that a 26 is not a good number. An optimal range is supposedly between 70 and 90 for women, and some people's hair falls out and they suffer from restless leg syndrome with levels below 50). His solution? A beta blocker. (I'm so sure that PVCs are caused by a propranolol deficiency. <Eyeroll>) I took the beta blocker twice, and it caused my heart rate to lounge around in the low 40s, so that didn't work for me.
In the past couple months, the PVCs were getting worse. They weren't really happening a lot more frequently, but they got scarier; sometimes, it would feel like there was one after another lasting for many seconds - terrifying! And even when I wasn't experiencing the full-blown "FLIP/FLOP," my chest just didn't feel calm; I'd still feel
squiggly/wigglies, as I have dubbed them.
So I decided that I would get another ferritin test and a complete iron panel. At that point, I had done a lot of reading indicating that low iron can cause heart palpitations. My results are below:
Iron Bind. Cap. (TIBC): 330 ug/dL (250-450) (usually normal/high with iron deficiency)
UIBC: 289 ug/dL (150-375) (usually normal/high with iron deficiency)
Iron, serum: 41 ug/dL (35 - 155) (optimally above 90)
Iron saturation: 12% (LOW) (15 - 55%) (optimally 35 - 45)
Ferritin, serum: 15 ng/mL (13 - 150) (optimally 70 - 90)
I also had a CBC done, and everything was in-range (though my hemoglobin, MCV, and MCH were on the low end of normal). So thankfully, I'm not anemic, though I might have been after a few more months of my iron levels declining, as they obviously had been over the past year based on the 11-point ferritin drop.
I got my iron panel results two days ago and began taking Blue Bonnet's Iron Glycinate (very absorbable and easy on the tummy) immediately. I have already experienced tremendous relief! Last night, my heart was the calmest it has been in MONTHS, and I haven't noticed any of the giant "flip flops" that I had been noticing several times a day. I know that it can take weeks and even months to replenish iron stores and am not going to get discouraged if I still have PVCs for a while (since I had them when my ferritin was 26, I will probably have them to some extent until it at least exceeds that), but I'm so grateful to already be feeling better. I wanted to share!