Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cold & Flu Season

I know every time I'm coming down with something because along with congestion and fatigue, I start to get heart palpitations. When my body is run down, I get the dance in my heart. And I'm not going to lie. It sucks. Not only do I feel crummy but on top of it, I have to deal with accepting my heart palpitations. And not surprisingly, they always feel worse when I'm sick. When you just want to sleep and your heart goes into the dance, it's extremely frustrating. Of course, the key is to prevent colds and flu from even happening in the first place. I try to wash my hands often but with a small child it's hard to avoid everything she brings home. And I always get my flu shot but I know that's not fool proof either. If I do start to feel ill, I know I should start taking care of myself immediately. That means plenty of rest, drinking liquids, and using some alternative healing techniques such as massage, saline solution, hot baths, etc. I definitely do not recommend taking cold/flu medications that contain pseudoephedrine to anyone that experiences heart arrhythmia. Decongestants are known to cause heart palpitations and high blood pressure. Sudafed and Benadryl make me feel like I'm on Speed (not that I've ever tried an Amphetamine but I'd imagine it to feel that way). Some cold medications, such as Coricidin HBP, don't contain decongestants. However, these medications may contain other powerful drugs, like dextromethorphan (DXM), that can be dangerous if you take too much. Follow the dosing instructions carefully. I'm a staunch believer in the Neti pot and Vick's VapoRub.

I got sick last week. And to be honest I didn't do such a great job taking care of myself. The first day I started feeling bad, I continued to push it and ran a million errands. By the time I got in bed later in the day, I could tell I had pushed my body too far. I paid the price with some pretty nasty heart palpitations. But I learned, and the next day I canceled all my activities and did as little as I possibly could get away with while still taking care of my child. I felt a lot better.

I hope you stay healthy this Cold and Flu Season. But if you do come down with something, please take care of yourself.


Kelly said...

Hi Ali, I somehow came across your blog and I do not even think I was searching PVC's! I have recently been told I have these too, though I am professional athlete and has really thrown me off. I would love to be able to talk to you about your experiences with them, if you were up for it. I am curious 'how many' you were diagnosed with? Mine was a ridiculously high #, though I think I am going to just cut down on alcohol and caffeine rather than an ablation as they suggested. Anyhoo... my blog is:, and my email is Please drop me a line if you can and maybe we could get coffee (or, decaf...ugh) sometime! I am in Austin too (south Austin)! How Random!!!
Take care and thank you for sharing this on your blog,

Ali said...

Just sent you an e-mail! :)

Kenny said...

Ali, I'm going through that right now. Currently, I'm quite ill with a cold/sinus infection thing. I haven't been able to find any definitive information as to why PVCs (or PACs in my case) happen more when we're sick with the cold or flu, but it DEFINITELY does happen.

Luckily, for me, when I lay down they seem to subside. Sitting in a chair at a desk really sets them off.

I also noticed you recommending "Hope and Help For Your Nerves" by Claire Weekes. Best book I ever read for my panic disorder.

Ali said...

Hope you're feeling better Kenny! Yeah, there never seems to be any scientific evidence of an increase in PVCs with colds, flus, etc. But it makes sense when you think about it. If your body is run down, then your body is stressed by the infection. And when our bodies are stressed, we get more heart palpitations. And I'm always fascinated by what positions trigger palpitations in people. For me, being crunched up with my knees up and my shoulders slouched forward, always brings out some nasty PVCs. When you are sitting in a chair, what's your posture like when you get them? You might look into the Alexander Technique. See for some pretty informative stuff on posture and how it effects our health. Thanks for visiting my blog!

dee said...

Love this site! Thought I'd throw in my latest "formula" for when I get PVCs (which often start up after or during a cold -- LIKE TODAY!). I take potassium, pantothenic acid, kelp, taurine, arginine (these last two have been shown to stop PVCs, I've read, and I've used them often the last year whenever they start up), and 1/2 tab of --- copper! This started after I read that copper deficiency could trigger them PLUS realizing that, when I get a cold, I often take zinc lozenges (and zinc counter's copper and could theoretically cause a deficiency, I'm thinking). Anyway, have had a couple times when this has worked for me. Just took some. We'll see. (PS I have the type that do NOT get better when I lie down.)

dee said...

Yep, worked. Now next day and though still have cold, the PVCs stopped shortly after took my recipe. So far so good. By the way, took cayenne at night and the next morning, but the PVCs had stopped before that. Hope they continue to stay away.

Amber said...

Dee, what's the dosage on your recipe??
Fighting a cold and would love for the PVC's to stop.

Amy said...

So thankful for your blog! I had an ablation for SVT a few months ago but now I have frequent palpitations, I have a cold now and they are soo much worse, I was completely panicking until I read this! Thank you!!

Unknown said...

Try everything before an ablation. I'm a cardiac nurse and take care of these patients. They are nasty procedures and only recommended when all else fails. I too come down with frequent PVCs when I get a cold and it lingers for about a month or so. It's just a natural occurrence of the body. I try to let my body do its thing and that's how I think we are to function best. Mother Nature has divine wisdom.

Allison in St Pete, FL