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Avatar universal

Question: How has SVT adversely affected your life?

I'm curious - how has SVT adversely affected your life?  What have you had to give up and how have you had to modify your life because of SVT?

Last night, I was pondering the many ways SVT has changed the way I live over the last 25+ years.  So many favorite foods and beverages I've had to give up, so many activities I no longer take part in.  I've posted a short list of things below.  

Foods, beverages, and OTC medications........No more.....
-  Alcoholic beverages
-  Caffeinated beverages - soda, coffee, tea.   And have stopped decaf beverages as well.
-  Soda, diet soda, and any other beverages containing aspartame or artificial sweeteners
-  Cough and cold medicines - anything with Pseudoephedrine
-  Allergy medications
-  Chocolate - fortunately only have to give this up temporarily until after ablation.

Outdoor & Indoor Activities and other things that will trigger an SVT event.
-  Hiking.....which I absolutely loved.  My heart can't handle uphill climbing.  For whatever reason, walking downhill isn't a problem, only uphill.
-  Climbing stairs - barely able to climb a flight or two of stairs without having to stop.  This has been one of my biggest triggers for SVT.
-  Roller coasters and amusement parks in general.  (And I love roller coasters, the bigger the better!)
-  Exercise - no more walking on the treadmill till my cardiologist gives the OK after ablation.
-  Volleyball - another activity I loved, had to give this up 25 years ago
-  Aerobics - had a really bad SVT event in the middle of an aerobics class - very embarrassing, that was the end of the aerobics.
-  Swimming in the ocean - cold water guaranteed to set off an SVT event
-  Work functions - I used to take a vacation or sick day anytime the company had an employee activity, like going to a waterpark, beach, party, participating in presentations, holiday parties, etc.  Did not want to take the chance of having an attack in a crowd of people.  This gained me the reputation of being "antisocial".  Only my boss and HR knew about the SVT and kept it in confidence.
-  Working out in the yard.  I feel bad that I can't help my husband with the yardwork and gardening.
-  Snow shoveling ...... ok, this was something I didn't enjoy, but nevertheless it's another thing on the "do not do" list.
-  Climbing stairs - guaranteed to set off an SVT event
-  Taking hot showers - guaranteed to set off an SVT event
-  Stooping, kneeling, or squatting - fair chance of setting off an SVT event when I got up.
-  And one of the worst things - being startled by the phone ringing in the middle of the night.  It always set off an SVT event.  (Unfortunately, we're not able to turn off the phone as I have an elderly parent who isn't in the best of health.)

52 Responses
Avatar universal
oops....I meant to say EP or cardiologist, not doctor.  
1142137 tn?1301916030
im scared to move from my current dr :( hes the first out of 6 or 7 heart dr's that actually believed me...im really scared.
Avatar universal
do you take any medication? has the doctor suggested trying low dose beta blockers? I take a small dose of atenalol daily and once I got used to it my SVTs have subsided 90% and i can do some physical work now which I couldn't for 15 years. I resist taking drugs and have avoided this for years but I was silly and should have persisted and taken the atenalol. My life was a misery, ANY physical activity at all would trigger runs of SVT and irregular heartbeats - raising my arms above my head to change a light bulb, prune a bush in the yard, anything at all. Sex stopped years ago for me because of the fear and triggering of SVT's (my wife was glad anyway).
talk to the doctor some more. You're too young to give in to this. Best wishes
Avatar universal
In answer to your question it has ruined and controlled every aspect of my life for over 15 years. Now I'm too old to pick it up again. Used to fish from the ocean beach, can't - cast the rod and BANG, there it starts, try to walk back up the hill from the beach, and can't, frightened to go out much in case it starts, can't work anymore because stress and fear of an attack brings one on, and so on and on BUT!!! THERE IS HOPE....after years of resistance I have been taking atenalol in adjusted doses for the past three years or so and it has helped enormously. 90% reduction in frequency of attacks and severity. Persist with your doctor and beta blockers or calcium channel blockers together with anti anxiety meds like low dose valium and you will find a formula that will help get your life back!! Talk to your doc. chin up.
Avatar universal

Unfortunately, beta blockers have been nothing but problems for me, the side effects created more medical issues on top of what I already had.   I have found a wonderful EP cardiologist who is performing an ablation for me on Wednesday and have high hopes for getting my life back.  

I am glad to hear you are having better experiences with Atenolol than I did, though and I hope with the change in meds your life will improve.
Avatar universal
I agree about the side affects, they are awful and sometimes I wonder if it's worth it.....good luck with the ablation; yoiu'll have plenty to do afterwards but sometime in the coming weeks please drop me a note if you get time telling me that you are FIXED!!
1142137 tn?1301916030
yes i have done drug therapy. nadolol for almost a year, it stopped after i upped my dosage 5 times, so friday he put me on zebeta and so far it works when it wants to. on and off... my body just doesnt handle any prescription drug like it should. even when i was younger and on bitrh control (i tried 3) i would stay feeling under the weather...my attitude is, if theres a chance it can be fixed, lets try. you know? but dr doesnt seem to be on the same page as me.
1423357 tn?1511089042
I've written here on several occasions how SVT became intetwined in my daily life for the last 54 years  Although I refused to have it rule it, there were things I would avoid.  
-I've never been on a cruise with my wife. I was afraid of an episode even though I've successfully every one that I've ever had.  
-I wouldn't do overnight ocean fishing trips with my family who fish all of the time.
-My dad, my brother in law, and some friends sailed our sailboat to Bermuda.  I never even remotely considered going, although I would have loved to.
- I never ever took allergy medicine or anything with antihistamines; guaranteed SVT episode
-Generally never ventured far from home becasue of it.
-Perhaps the one thing I'm most bitter about was my amateur speed skating carreer.  I excelled at it, along with track cycling.  But skating was my thing.  I was nationally ranked at one time and was looking at participating in olympic trials.  But leading up to the trials, SVT episodes in two of the events that I was favored in forced my withdrawal, and all chances were gone.  That was a long time ago, but the one that hurts the most I think.  I don't think my EP fully understood when I thanked him afterwards for changing my life.  He smiled and nodded, but my life has been radically altered.  Now I want to do the things I always dreamed of but never dare do.  Although I still skate, it's only for coaching and enjoyment now.  That facet of my life is forever lost.

1298588 tn?1330322581
I also suffer from SVT. There's a lot I have had to give up in order to deal with it.

-caffeine: I still drink it, but less often than before, in smaller amounts and not in the mornings. I miss my morning caffeine buzz so much! And when I do drink it, I have to make sure that there isn't another factor that could combine with it to set off an attack, for example I shouldn't have caffeine if I'm having a stressful day, because the combination of stress and caffeine could cause trouble. Technically I should avoid it altogether as some of my worst episodes have been set off by caffeine but I love it. :(
-sausage: weird one, I don't know ... but I've had sausage for dinner twice and had really bad palps after!
-any meal that doesn't have enough protein: somehow, large amounts of carbs with low protein aren't good. As long as I eat protein, I tend to be able to manage.
-sugar: large amounts of sugar tend to set problems off

Thankfully, I am able to work out and exercise. I usually am less likely to have an episode on days when I work out, as if my heart has excess beats that it will use on SVT if they aren't used on exercise. There are lots of other things I've given up though, mostly my peace of mind. Whenever I'm out anywhere, I'm constantly worried about having an attack. I take a cell phone with me all the time so I can call for help if I need it. I don't put myself into situations where I feel trapped, because if I have an episode I need to be able to escape it. Some places I feel trapped:
-hairstylists (especially unfortunate!)
-long lines (at supermarket etc.)

As I say, the thing that bothers me most is my loss of confidence and general wellness. SVT is so scary and I hate having episodes so much that I will do almost anything to avoid triggering them. It is very nice, though, to know I'm not alone. Thank you all, for answering this post.
1465650 tn?1316234760
I also had to give up some things when struggling with SVT.
Slowly I am getting them back bit by bit.

I was lucky that I only had a few big attacks before being diagnosed and only missed out on about a years worth of my life.
I really take my hat off to those of you that have suffered for years and years with this terrible terrible problem.

At first my attacks were random and years apart and I didn't even think about them as they always converted back in a few minutes.
Last year they started coming more frequently and eventually it was all the time. I would move and they would start, I would eat and there they were. Basically everything I did caused an attack. The very last attack I had before the ablation was on a Sunday morning reading the newspaper and eating breakfast... there it was BANG! and this time I couldn't convert it back. In a sense I was relieved that I ended up in the ER as they finally got it on tape. My doctor said it usually takes years to catch an attack so that made me smile.

I was a very active person until my SVT kept getting worse. I am self employed, active voluntary worker and sit on advisory boards for mental health and the Red Cross. That year before the ablation I was a recluse. Very difficult being a recluse when you are a chairwoman believe me!
Since the ablation 6 months ago I have started to rebuild my life and now take part in spinning and aerobic lessons on a regular basis. I do find some short SVT bursts are still happening but I am trying to catch them on a monitor.

I won't let SVT ruin my life anymore, it did enough damage to my life to last a lifetime. My business almost crashed as I wasn't allowed to drive and my customers are all over the region.
BUT being ill and a recluse forced me to re-evaluate my life, the SVT forced me to face my fears about dying. It forced me to live for today and enjoy whatever life we have left. I don't remember how many times laying in bed at night did I wish that it would be over, how many times I did pray (and I am not a believer at all) I hit rock bottom totally. Those were the dark dark days of SVT. But then when you are at the bottom emotionally, mentally and physically the only way to go is UP! It took me a while to get over the anxiety of SVT. The help of some pills really got me through. Right now I am drug free I don't take meds for anything anymore. I am building myself up through exercise, stress free living (trying to at least with the kids) and a total new career (going back to university to study)

We get only the one life and when we give in to SVT then we give in to our life. I and so many others learn this the hard way.
The ablation I had changed my life for the better in more ways than one :)
1398166 tn?1358874123
I was only concerned about dying a couple times, but once that passed my EP said, "Quit running (until after the ablation) or you'll end up in the ER again."

So, I missed out on:
caffeine (back on a 30g a day habit thank you)
My wife was always worried about my running. I do marathons, so the time on the road can be up to 3 hours.
I was always "looking over my shoulder" for the next attack.
I didn't train as hard as I wanted...
I miss my savings account and disposable income. (read: if you don't know what the "max out of pocket" is on your insurance plan... you will.)
Avatar universal
i has svt for 5 to 6 years an im on beat blockers an idnt think they work an iv refussed avin a pacemarker cud any 1 help me i dnt no wot to do abwt it..
1464004 tn?1384139333
Everything in my life has been affected by PSVT. I've had PVCs and PACs for more than 20 years and now for the last coupla years the PSVT ( everyone on here has heard my rants about this ) I gave up all sorts of things like everyone else, the coffee, chocolate alcahol etc etc etc. But the biggest change has been the day to day fear. I recently moved into a new house and am living alone and live in fear every day of the next attack. The Inderal is doing ok but I haven't gotten the cash together yet to see an EP ( theres avery good one close by ) no insurance at this time. I own my own business and can't afford to buy insurance plans yet. Anyway I'm dealing with it day to day because I have no other choice-but  I can tell you I HATE it.
1465650 tn?1316234760
Ask your cardio to refer you for an EP study with a possible ablation, you won't regret it.
967168 tn?1477588089
couple of questions...
I'm trying to understand SVT a bit more - how can you die from it? I haven't read that before

SVT and PSVT are the same thing? does it start out as "infrequent' as PSVT then more attacks occur? - atrial stuff is all new to me.

I thought the only dangerous arrhythmia originated in the ventricles?

I was dx with Pac's and PSVT after my ablation but doctor's say not to worry about it like my pvc's and VT...
967168 tn?1477588089
thanks for posting this; sorry for all the questions.

that's alot of info and reading about SVT/PSVT is an eye opener...after chatting with Is_something_wrong about holter monitors I'm wondering how many of my pvc's were really pac's or vt/svt...

is there a way to really tell the difference when you have all kinds of arrhythmia's if the doctors don't look at your holter monitors?
Avatar universal
Hi...I definitely will drop you a note and let you know how it went.  Looking forward to sharing my experiences and comparing notes with everyone.
Avatar universal
Hi Tom, thanks so much for all your help and explaining things to me over the past few weeks.  I look forward to chatting with you again later this week.  P.S.  I hope someday you and your wife get to go on that cruise.......the Caribbean is a beautiful place to visit in the spring.
Avatar universal
Hi.....I hear ya about the caffeine......it did awful things to me, but I loved that energy kick.....haven't had a cup of real coffee in years.  Can't even drink decaf anymore.  I refuse to give up my chocolate though.....I treat myself to a few small squares every week.  Don't dare go overboard though.

Interesting to hear that protein seems to lessen SVT issues.  I will up my intake and see if it makes a difference.  I can also relate to the "trapped" feeling.  Everytime I go somewhere, the first thing I do is scout the room and find out where the nearest exit is.  I also can't stand crowded elevators......if an elevator has too many people (more than a couple), I wait for the next one to come along.   Thank goodness we all have one another to discuss these things with....not too many other people understand what a challenge this is.
Avatar universal
As I read these posts, everyone's resiliance and spirit comes through, despite what we've all been through it's made us stronger people.  Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.  I am very  glad to hear you're doing so well.  Every success story here gives me hope, that I can do it too.  Please keep me posted on how you're doing.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the warning on the "max out of pocket" expenses.  I did check it out a few weeks ago with the insurance company.  :-)
Avatar universal
I can relate to the day-to-day fear.  I hadn't had it for a long time, until my SVT started acting up again recently. SVT has spoiled so many things in my life, but I will not let it defeat me.  What I really hate more than anything else is the atenolol.   I hope you are able to get some money together soon so you can see the EP.  Please keep in touch and let me know how you're doing.
Avatar universal
Hi Lisa,

Re: your questions on SVT.  My PCP always told me that it wasn't possible to die from SVT, but if it didn't convert in a short period of time that I should get myself to the ER.  I have to admit, that last episode I had three weeks ago, I sure felt like I was going to die.

SVT and PSVT are the same thing?  Not sure.  My SVT's started out as infrequent, and as the years went by they increased until they were occurring several times a week.  (This was before the days of my taking atenolol.)   I still don't know what kind of SVT I have....guess I will find out tomorrow.

Re:  Dangerous arrhythmia originates in the ventricles? That's what I thought too, but again I could be wrong as I'm not a trained medical professional.  Looking forward to hearing others' opinions on this.

Avatar universal
Hi.....BigKev414 is right.....you're too young to have this take over your life.  Please talk to the doctor some more.....I'm praying that he can help you or that he can refer you to someone who can.  Wishing you all the best.
1464004 tn?1384139333
o Lisa and Jannie,
PSVT is paridoxical (sp) supraventricular tachycardia, means the heart is not only in SVT but running backwards so to speak ( so me! ) I can't usually convert myself and have to go the the ER and get Adensone push-everyone here knows how much I hate that!!!! Living alone is scary, always waiting for the next eopisode but I can't let it stop me from living my life. I will let everyone know if I can finally get to the EP. May have to use tax return to pay for it out of pocket and hopefully get some kind of payment plan for any additional testing. Having a really crappy dau today just dealing with more than usual PVCs, hope it all I have to deal with today!
1464004 tn?1384139333
Please pardon my typing, its terrible! Meant Adenosine and day not dau of course! LMAO
967168 tn?1477588089
Thanks for the responses; I'm still confused but I'm trying to understand this.

running backwards, I wouldn't doubt my heart does that lol it's funky I've found and does all kinds of weird stuff

This article says PSVT - (Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia) means the same thing as SVT which is Supra Ventricular Tachycardia...which is an occasional rapid heart rate that's chaotic or doesn't contract in a coordinated manner with the ventricles...

What I find weird is I didn't get any of this before ablation, only after...but my SA node wasn't ablated.  I have a Pacemaker/ICD and it shows I have NSVT runs about every other day..

I ride a HR roller coaster from 60 (lowest it can go right now) to 200 in a blink and no provocation; dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath - don't even ask me to bend to pick something up or blow dry my hair - that sets off the HR and bp tanking.  

My atria activity went from <1% to 11% in one quarter, so I'm questioning what's going on after reading this thread; sounds like part of what I'm going through too.
1423357 tn?1511089042
Lisa, the terms SVT and PSVT are as you found out are interchangable..  However, SVT is not chaotic, but rather a super rapid, but relatively normal  heartbeat. You might be thinking of (sustained) ventricular tachycardia which happens to carry the same initials, but is a totally different condition.  The regular albeit rapid heartbeat is why SVT (or PSVT) is usually not life threatening.  There can be a problem in some people with a rate so fast, that the lower chambers cannot fill fast enough, or with an older persons heart not being able to cope with the high heart rates usually in excess of 200 bpm.  But I've heard of folks who've been in SVT for hours at a time without problems.  I'd often find myself on the interstate driving to or from work when one would hit, and I'd sometimes drive to my destination before I'd attempt to convert it.  If not, I'd convert it on the side of the road.  This is something you don't want to do while driving!  Forcefully holding one's breath can lead to passing out, although this never happened to me; dizzy, yes, but never unconsciousness.
967168 tn?1477588089
thanks Tom; I wonder why some dr's call it different things? Maybe mine put PSVT because I already had VT and S-VT episodes...

I'm going to ask for another holter when I go back in May because on top of my NSVT runs I'm getting what seems like PSVT runs frequently - what I think of pac type arrhythmia but in my throat more and a fast HR

has anyone ever had all types of arrhythmia's daily? ugh this is so frustrating

btw...I know what it's like to be driving and faint..ugh that is a horrible experience - so please be careful driving =)
187666 tn?1331176945
Mine has been life long so I've grown up avoiding certain things and that's my life.

I don't drink alcohol,coffee or tea; I don't eat too much chocolate; I avoid high sodium foods which trigger fluid retention and more palpitations and tachy bursts. I never run and can only go uphill slowly and carefully expecting to rest as I deal with tachy times. And this is my new and improved heart after the 3 ablations.

Good news is my heart doesn't pop into tachy every time I move and it doesn't last very long. As I sit here answering emails and such, my heart will do little tachy bursts of 5-10 seconds and then settle down again. That's a big improvement and easy to ignore. No worse than yawning or a couple of hiccups.
1464004 tn?1384139333
Lisa, the doc in the ER told me when I was being converted with the Adenosine the first time that the P in PSVT was paradoximal , meaning the SVT was triggered in the lower chambers of the heart rather than the upper. I think that is the only difference and it is the type I get. Self converting only worked for  me once and Adenosine has had to be used every other time!
187666 tn?1331176945
Actually if you look up PSVT in any dictionary it will show paroxysmal supra ventricular tachycardia. Paroxysmal means it's a sudden outburst of tachy. PSVT tends to start in the space of a heart beat and will stop the same way. Supra ventricular refers to "above the ventricles."  I can't find the word "paradoximal".  If the rhythm is kicked off in the ventricles I think they refer to it as some kind of ventricular tachy then.
1464004 tn?1384139333
Thanx Irene, you can just chalk that up to my horrible spelling. You wrote exactly what I meant. My ER doc ( the first time I had to be converted ) did use the EXACT words "your heart is running backwards." I thought it was so odd I never forgot it! Do you have any idea what he may have meant by that? I think I get better and more accurate info on here from my fellow Arrythmiacs ( a made up word entirely lol ) than I do from the docs!
1423357 tn?1511089042
" My ER doc ( the first time I had to be converted ) did use the EXACT words "your heart is running backwards........Do you have any idea what he may have meant by that?"

I'll take a stab at it.
The electrical pulse that is your heartbeat is generated by the sinoatrial node, a bundle of special tissue located on the right atrium of the heart.  The pulse propagates down the heart muscle's conduction pathway to the AV node. This is kind of a gate, delaying
the pulse which gives the ventricles time to fill with blood before contracting. The charge disapates after reaching the ventricles.  In some folks with SVT, me included, an accessory pathway allows the charge to propagate back up, or reverse of what it should be doing.  The returning charge sort of fakes out the sinoatrial node into firing again, over and over.  In my case I had a very good return conduction pathway.  Once started, my heart would remain in tachycardia, in excess of 200 beats per minute until it would have failed.  Only once in 54 years that I had it did it drop out on its own.  My personal condition is referred to as Circular Movement Tachycardia as once the accessory pathway started to conduct, the pulse loops back up causing the SA node to fire again.
1464004 tn?1384139333
Thanx so much for the info, makes sense to me. Did you always have to be converted like I do? I have the same deal, 200 beats per and no self conversion except once. Still tryin to get the finances togethre to see the EP but still chicken about ablation!
1423357 tn?1511089042
I never had to be converted.  I was taught at 6 years old how to do Valsalva to slow it down, and that always worked for me. I had SVT probably 50 times per year towards the end I sure thousands of episodes over the 54 years that I had it.  Medication often does little to help SVT, and in some cases may actually create another arrhythmia.  You shouldn't fear the EP procedure, as it's probably safer than messing with the different meds to find one that works.   Check my journal for details on my ablation as well as the expected charges that you will incur.
1569985 tn?1328251082
What is the difference between SVT or PSVT and Afib?  I have had pac's, pat, short runs of tachycardia and Afib.  My last hospital diagnosis was Afib with rapid ventriicular response.  My atria were quivering and the ventricles not filling properly, therefore not enough blood being pumped around my body and to my brain, not to mention the 180 bpm heart rate.  I have been converted at the hospital with meds, at home after 15 hours, at home after 3 days, and the last time had to be electro-converted after 4 days.

My life changes are: being afraid to drive, go places alone, walk any distance without a resting place in sight, panic -- I can't sit in a traffic jam without room to move if I need to.  It has ruined job opportunities.  I have completely given up soda, coffee, caffeine, chocolate, even decaffinated tea.  I take Atenolol in divided doses and Xanax, and am now on coumadin and have managed to hang onto my job, but stress will send me into a bout of tachycardia.  Breathing techniques help, but not always and I have to leave my desk and find a quiet place to practice them.  I was not taken seriously for years and did not realize a lot of my symptoms were due to the heart condition, then due to the meds, as well as the panic an episode can bring on.  I haven't driven in 3 months, but took a walk yesterday across the campus where I work and managed it without too much panic.  I did stop frequently to rest and talked to my husband on the cell phone all the way over and back.  Walking in to work in the mornings has been a nightmare in this past bitterly cold Michigan winter.  I want to be well.  My sleep apnea is better controlled and my cardiologist thinks that could make the difference in my condition being paroxsymal or persistent or permanent.  I am about to retire and hope less stress will make life more enjoyable.  I'd like to take a walk around the block, walk my dog or go for a bike ride.  pvcs, pacs, and short runs of tachcardia are normal for me.  The Afib episodes can be years or (lately) months apart.  This message board has helped me enormously.  I finally knew my symptoms were real and not just in my head.
967168 tn?1477588089
ok this makes sense then...I think mine starts in the ventricles and then goes to the atria which would explain my 10% increase in atrial involvement as well as ventricles...in other words my electrical system is all kinds of confused :P

it would definitely explain the "episodes" I've gotten since surgery that are completely different than previously when it was only pvc's/nsvt runs.
Avatar universal
It totaly ruined my life untill my second ablation surgery. Last year I was diagnosed with AVNRT and WPW. I was very active before the symptoms came on. I raced dirt bikes every weekend and I worked out every day. I also work as a full time firefighter, which totally began to slowly crumble due to the fact I could never do anything physical without having an episode of SVT. I was forced to take lots of time off work, which finacially was crippling cause I didn't have enough sick or vacation time to cover some of those days. Mentally I also began to crumble, I could no longer do the things I enjoyed doing the most. I was on anxiety meds, heart meds, pain meds, which totally drains you out. It was the worst year of my life to say the least!!!
Avatar universal
Im 32 years old and had a attack Im also six months pregnant i never had this issue before . The doctor has not given me meds yet. can u die from this
1423357 tn?1511089042
SVT sometimes occurs during pregnancy, and disappears following delivery.  Most SVT's are harmless, but are frightening nonetheless.  If the SVT doesn't convert own it's own, there are techniques that you can use yourself to convert them to normal rhythm.  Up doing so,will save you a trip to the ER.
Avatar universal
Hi. I know that PSVT causes a rapid heartbeat (I've had qvrnt PSVTs since age 12 and I'm 37 now), but does anyone else get very HARD and FORCEFUL heartbeats when having a PSVT? When I have PSVTs I get up to 250 to 280 bpm and my heart beats so hard that you can see it. My cardiologist said that's normal for some people with PSVT.

I had PSVTs a few times a week until about age 20 and they've gone down to about once or twice a year since I started taking 50mg of Metoprolol extended release. The beta blocker doesn't help much with the forcefulness but does slow it down a bit. I had a really bad episode in 2006 when I had to have Adenosine for the first time. The paramedics tried 6mg, 6mg again, then 12. Felt terrible but it finally worked. Since THAT episode happened, I've developed anxiety about my PSVT. Although I used to hike and drive alone, I can no longer do that. It makes my adrenaline go just thinking about it and that can start up a PSVT just from the adrenaline.

Because I only have one episode a year or more now, my EP doesn't think it's worth messing with. But the anxiety just knowing that it could happen is  terrible. The scariest thing is driving on long stretches of road where there's no sign of life for 30 minutes to an hour.

Exercise is also very difficult. I'm a man and find it difficult to stay in shape because when I lift weights, especially with upper body exercises, it really does a number on me. I get a few bad beats and if I don't hold my breath, those turn into a full blown PSVT.
Avatar universal
Hey Rich,

I have PSVT with a rate of 250 to 280 BPM as well. it seems everybody has slower SVT. I get very hard beats also, and chest pain during the episodes, and on the monitor my rhythm at that high rate looks like ventricular tachycardia. I'm scared to do anything, anymore. I've developed an anxiety disorder, and panic attacks. I started taking metroprolol, and that has kept me from having a sustained episode for about six months now. I do get little runs that last about 3 to 10 seconds several times per month. Do you get these or just no SVT at all. Also, did you notice any side effects from the metoprolol, perhaps depression or dizziness.
1464004 tn?1384139333
Hi, I have the same PSVT as you, 250 to 280 BPM. I also take Metoprolol which has brought it down to a manageable level. I get fewer episodes of shorter duration, which I can most times convert myself (I could never do that before). Yes I do get side effects from the drug, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and some depression. Is it worth it? So far yes, I hate going to the ER (which I'm sure you have read above lol )and until I'm insured, that's about the only alternative. I get the hard beats in SVT sometimes, sometimes not. It also has caused me to have panic attacks for which I am on Ativan PRN.
Avatar universal
Yes sometimes if I'm dehydrated, stressed, and tired I get those short 5 to 10 second runs of PSVT but I just hold my breath, relax (to not get my adrenaline going) and if possible, lay down quickly to slow my heart rate. That stops it.

I've been taking Toprol XL for about five years. I take 25mg in the morning around 6am and 25mg around 4pm. The generic versions don't work for me. I had a PSVT three years ago that lasted 20 minutes but otherwise I've only had about one 5-minute PSVT a year. I've had tons of PVCs though.

The main trigger for me is my thyroid. I have thyroid disease and so when I become hyperthyroid, I get PVCs and PSVTs like crazy unless I go up on my beta blocker dose. Magnesium really helps too. I recommend for anyone who has PSVT to also ask their doctor to check their thyroid. My cardiologist said that the cure for PSVT used to be to take the thyroid out, but that's probably worse than having the PSVT in the first place.

I stay away from fat soluble supplements. For example one time I took fish oil and D3, and had so many PVCs that I nearly went to the ER. It took three days for the stuff to get out of my system and the PVCs to go away.

The anxiety of not knowing when it is going to happen *****. But this month I have to give three public speeches and I worry about my adrenaline from performance anxiety starting up the PSVT and making me look like a fool in front of hundreds of people. Hope that doesn't happen.

Avatar universal
Just an update on the post above. I did the public speech thing and although my adrenaline was through the roof, I did not have a PSVT or a PVC, as I had feared I would.

For some reason, adrenaline doesn’t start my PSVTs. But sudden movements do, and gas and bloating also. A nerve, or something pushing on my atrium is my trigger.

Also this month I drove through the desert of Arizona and through New Mexico, through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and Michigan - and all the way back - twice. I used to be too afraid to drive more than 30 minutes from medical help.

On one of that, my wife and I took a two-mile tour through cavern by foot, with no medical help for miles should I had slipped on the slippery walkway in the cavern, which would have easily started up my PSVT.

I've been a little adventurous and risky with untreated PSVT. Exposure therapy actually. My anxiety was getting the best of me.

I did have one PSVT in the middle of nowhere, driving from Arizona to California, in death valley of all places, but I didn't panic. Well, I panicked just a little. But the PSVT stopped and I continued driving. It was a fast PSVT, maybe around 250 to 280 beats per minute and I felt faint. My wife could have taken over driving but I was fine. The PSVT stopped on its own. I had antiarrhythmic drugs in my pocket and even an AED in the car. Probably would have done me no good, but the point is, I'm still alive. PSVT is mostly a benign condition that causes a lot of anxiety for most of us. The exposure therapy has helped some.

I still will not step foot on an airplane bound for a trans-Atlantic flight, and I won't travel more than about an hour or two away from medical help (I won't be doing any camping in the wilderness). My cardiologist recommended against that kind of stuff until I get this fixed one day. But the anxiety is a lot better than it used to be.

I still have PSVTs about once or twice a year. Too infrequent to have a procedure according to my EP, which sux.

Question: has anyone had an ablation with having only between one to two PSVTs per year? My EP won't do it.
yes, with Kaiser...$30K, 5 hrs., EP could not trigger for 3 hrs, woke me up a bit more, IV stimulant for 1.5 hrs., no trigger. on beta blockers. 3-5 episodes yearly now, 260 bpm average. ANXIETY..about when, where...the tips on the parasympathetic nervous system are one key for control.

1423357 tn?1511089042
There have been a couple of people on heremin the past few years who've had cardiac ablations with only onemor two events.  I think your wise in waiting.  I had a nearly a lifetime of them; 6 to 60 brfore mine was repaired.
Avatar universal
I have found that I can sometimes take a deep breath or two and it prevents the SVT cycle. I get a tightness in my neck and slightly dizzy feeling. Also, the last two times, I have tried a friend's suggestion. Lay down on your left side (heart side) on the floor, deep breaths, relax as much as possible. Within 5 minutes it converted on its own. The last several times before that, no other attempts (coughing, bearing down) have worked as they have in the past. It has saved me a few trips to the ER and the horrifying dose of adenosine. However, that does always work.
Avatar universal
I have found that I can sometimes take a deep breath or two and it prevents the SVT cycle. I get a tightness in my neck and slightly dizzy feeling. Also, the last two times, I have tried a friend's suggestion. Lay down on your left side (heart side) on the floor, deep breaths, relax as much as possible. Within 5 minutes it converted on its own. The last several times before that, no other attempts (coughing, bearing down) have worked as they have in the past. It has saved me a few trips to the ER and the horrifying dose of adenosine. However, that does always work.
Avatar universal
I posted a message here in 2013 when I was still having PSVTs. I've had PSVT off and on since I was 10 or 12 years old. I'm 44 now. From age 20 to 40, I'd have between two to four PSVTs every year. I have not had any PSVTs in over four years now. Magnesium helped me. Beta blockers did not really help much. I take 500mg magnesium citrate (or oxide, whatever I have on hand) at night time.
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