A few weeks back I shared with y’all a predicament I’ve had 3 winters in a row and an experiment I decided to execute on myself to see if I could help remedy it. You see each December/ January, when the days are short and the holiday stress often runs high, I have found myself with an increase in heart palpitations. For me these palpitations can be anything from skipped beats (PVCs), pounding heart, rapid heart, or fluttery heart. Since becoming ill, I’ve had heart symptoms that come and go, sometimes mildly concerning, other times horrifying. I’ve coped during the more mild episodes and panicked during others.
This winter I realized something which I found rather fascinating – my symptoms peak during those winter months, enough so that I’ve actually visited a cardiologist annually the past 3 years in a row. But this year I stopped to think about that “trend.” Why would they peak during this time? What is it about this time of year that makes my symptoms different than other times of the year. I knew this much – cardiac symptoms can be caused by magnesium deficiency, which high stress type A personalities (ME) can easily have, and this time of year can be especially stressful, but I can easily be stressed year round. I’ve also learned over time that MOST people are at least mildly deficient in magnesium for a host of reasons. Poor soil quality, modern stressors, less than optimal diet all contribute. But that wasn’t all there was to it.
I also realized that during this time of year, Vitamin D absorption is limited (via the sun) so unless you are supplementing, a deficient person is likely to become more deficient. In my case, because of some funky genetic business, I actually cannot supplement with Vitamin D or my 1,25OH drives up way outside the normal range even if my 25OH looks good. So I’ve learned that the only supplementation my body likes is from the sun, which happens primarily in summer.
So if I become more deficient in D in winter (as most non-supplementing people would), why would my magnesium drop too, if that’s what was indeed causing the heart palps?
My hypothesis was this: Since magnesium is needed to help absorb D, if magnesium drops due to stress and poor dietary choices and D drops because of the seasonal swing, I need to up both. I wasn’t worried about whether I got enough calcium, but I did want to make sure I got enough K2 with my D so I got a supplement that included both.
Here was my original post on FB…
So here’s what I did:
- Increase Magnesium (I had actually stopped taking it for awhile, so I restarted and increased)
- Start Vitamin D3/K2 supplementation (again, I cannot normally tolerate D but determined it was worth it in this case)
- Monitored my symptoms from January 6th (the date of the original post) until now, totaling 3 weeks
- My heart palpitations of decreased, on all counts – PVC’s, rapid pulse, pounding, and flutters. They have not disappeared altogether but are few and far between at only 3 weeks of supplementation.
- I will continue supplementing both, will run labs for Vit D 25OH, 1,25OH and Magnesium RBC next week (1 month mark)
- I will adjust supplementation amounts based on labs and how I feel
- I will let up on Vitamin D once I can get more sun in warmer months
**I intentionally am not including the doses I took because it is not my place to recommend what is appropriate for others. If you are interested in running labs or increasing supplementation, please consult your healthcare practitioner to determine a plan that’s right for you!**
Becky Heath says
I’m so glad I saw this post on insta this morning and read this! I just went to the cardiologist yesterday for increased heart palpitations and am currently wearing a heart monitor, which sucks! My heart palpitations increased in December as well. Im going to look into my magnesium and vitamin D levels. Thanks so much for writing this!!
Hope it helps!
cookie hebert says
I saw your post in Instagram. This is great info and a curious experiment. I have had heart palpitations my whole life. Anxiety, poor sleep and terrible leg cramps. the answer also for me was magnesium. I actually quit my cheffing profession of 25+ yrs to pursue helping people through magnesium. I make an organic magnesium foot cream that has nearly eliminated the symptom I mentioned. My life is completely changed. I would love to send you samples to try it out for yourself. I look forward to keeping up with how magnesium helps you through your experiment. It’s truly a magic mineral that is so often under looked. Thanks for writing about it!
That’s so nice of you, thanks! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m so glad I read this – I have had trouble with the same PVC’s and feeling my heart beat in my throat (which kept me awake at night). I regularly use Natural Calm for restless legs, and have just recently added in more potassium (in the form of Low Sodium V8). That has helped. I didn’t realize that the K2/D3 would also help – I have some drops and will try that too. Thank you!
Was really excited to read this & know there are others out there who have been battling health issues that seem to have come out of nowhere. Im going to up my D3 after reading this, my husband pointed out to me this morning that “this happens to you every winter.” “This” meaning lots of flips flutters etc …. so glad I stumbled upon this. Ialso drink lemongrass tea… I think it helps?
Glad you’ve figured out the missing links!
Hello! Thank you for sharing. I too suffer from PVCs and low Vit D. I was just wondering if you have any updates. Did this supplementation continue to work for you?
For 5 years now, every December my PVCs come on in abundance, occurring almost every morning for a few hours and lasting through early April. From mid-April through November I have none. I supplement with D3, 2000iu in summer, 4000iu in fall and winter. I have read that low humidity and cold temperatures have been associated with PVCs, but there is insufficient evidence for causation at this point. I look forward to any research which will shed light on this.