Can constipation cause PVCs?

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Submitted by Dr T on March 28, 2011 – 8:53am

I had an EKG and it show 2 PVCs and I wore a halter monitor for 24 hours and was told  it was normal to have PVC’s and not to worry. I worry! When they first started about a year ago, (I’m a 55 year old healthy female) I thought it was my stomach as I can tell when they are going to happen and I feel a weird sensation in the top part of my stomach and it’s very unnerving to say the least. My question is can stomach problems or IBS or constipation cause these PVC’s. I also take a lot of laxatives due to cronic constipation can this cause PVC’s.

Chronic use of laxatives renders them less effective as you probably have noticed and palpitations and PVCs may occur with straining during a bowel movement. Palpitations aslo occur more often in women during specific periods:

* Premenstrual syndrome
* Pregnancy
* Perimenopausal period

When palpitations are present, your doctor should begin your evaluation by looking for underlying heart disease. Treatment depends on whether heart disease is found, the type of irregular heart beats that are diagnosed and symptoms they cause such as lightheadedness and/or fainting.

Abnormal electrical signals such PVCs can originate in different areas of the heart and may be caused by many different factors, including:

  • Coronary artery disease.
  • Electrolyte imbalances in your blood (such as sodium or potassium).
  • Changes in your heart muscle.
  • Injury from a heart attack.
  • Healing process after heart surgery.
  • Irregular heart rhythms can also occur in “normal, healthy” hearts.

You’ll find these are rather common complaints and most people don’t need treatment, only reassurance once their heart proves OK.

Hope this helps,
Dr T

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