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Old 01-29-2006, 02:57 PM   #1
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autumnmoore HB User
fast heart beat

I am at a point now where I don't know what to do. For the past 2 years I've had about 5 episodes of a very rapid heartbeat out of no where. On 3 of the 5 occasions I was bending over and stood up and then all of a sudden my heart started racing for about 5 minutes probably around 160 bpm. I went to a cardiologist who did and ecg and and echo and says everything is normal. But that's not good enough. There has to be a reason for my heart racing and I need to know why. Otherwise I feel anxious not knowing. My current cardiologist insists I am fine until the episodes become more frequent and longer in duration. But again this is not good enough. What should I do now?

 
Old 01-29-2006, 04:33 PM   #2
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rigel434 HB User
Re: fast heart beat

"What should I do now?"

Maybe anxiety pills- you've gotten good news from a cardiologist and it sounds like your anxiety about it is the biggest problem. If you think he's wrong, you could get a second opinion- maybe ask for a thallium stress test if you want the best non-invasive heart test.

 
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Old 01-29-2006, 04:56 PM   #3
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Re: fast heart beat

It sounds like SVT - Supraventricular Tachycardia- to me. SVT starts and stops very suddenly, and things like leaning over can trigger it. SVT causes heartrates of 140-250ish. Next time it happens, go to the ER and have them do an EKG. They can diagnose it then, and can give you medication to bring your heartrate back to normal.

Generally when you have SVT, your heart will appear normal on an EKG except during actual episodes of tachycardia.

 
Old 01-30-2006, 10:28 AM   #4
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Re: fast heart beat

I don't want to take medicine though. I am 30 and all the cardiologists I've seen have said that because my attacks are so far and few between I don't need meds. My problem is that i want to know what is causing my heart to race out of no where! With a clear ekg and echo the doctors think I'm fine but like you said...SVT usually doesn't show up on an ekg so I need more testing but my docs seem to think I am fine. Do you know what causes SVT? I know there are few things but how to diagnose? And shoudl I be scared when this happens? Any chance of sudden death?

 
Old 01-30-2006, 03:37 PM   #5
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Re: fast heart beat

The medication that they give you in the ER isn't something you take daily. They inject it into an IV quickly and it converts your heart back to a normal rhythm within a minute. Your body metabolizes the drug within seconds. The med is called Adenosine, and it's actually a chemical that is naturally produced in our bodies.

No, you don't really have to worry about sudden death except for under certain circumstances, and your doctor would have informed you if you fit one of them (like if you had WPW).

SVT is caused by an abnormal electrical pathway in the heart. Episodes can be triggered by dehydration, too much sugar, electrolyte imbalances, heavy exercise, bending over, stress. Each person has different triggers.

You don't really need more tests if you're just having occasional episodes of SVT. It's not going to threaten your life, and it's not a sign that anything else is wrong with you if you've had a normal echo and an EKG. Why do you feel that what your cardiologist has said isn't good enough? What else do you want them to be looking for?

 
Old 01-30-2006, 04:40 PM   #6
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Re: fast heart beat

HI Timber,
Well how do I know I don't have WP? I thought an ekg and an echo won't show that? I want to rule out Wolf Parksinson's that's why I want further tests and a second opinion. I also want to know if the episodes are going to get worse and what my trigger is. Do you have the same symptoms?
Thanks

 
Old 01-30-2006, 05:42 PM   #7
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Re: fast heart beat

Would WPW disease shown up on my ekg? How do you diagnose this?
Thanks

 
Old 01-31-2006, 06:08 AM   #8
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Re: fast heart beat

WPW shows up on your EKG, yep. Your doctor would have told you if you had WPW.

I do have the same symptoms as you. I have SVT that occurs very suddenly. It's a really scary sensation. My episodes aren't frequent, so my cardio gave me the option of treating it or just waiting to see if it gets worse.

Your episodes may or may not get worse. Some people here on this board ended up getting it frequently. On the other hand, I had a 5 year break from it for no particular reason. I wasn't on meds or anything.

Pay close attention to your physiology to try to identify your triggers. Had you eaten a lot of sugar? Not had enough water? Were you overheated? And so on. For me personally, my SVTs don't occur out of the blue. Something triggers them and I have learned to avoid my triggers which means that I rarely go into SVT.

When I do go into fullblown SVT, it will generally last for hours if left alone, so I go to the ER and get a shot of Adenosine. Has someone taught you the Valsalva maneuver? If you feel your heart start to race, hold your breath and bear down. Or, lean forward and cough hard. That'll stop tachycardia for some people.

 
Old 01-31-2006, 07:35 AM   #9
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Re: fast heart beat

well I will tell you about my condition, it is just like yours. every sense i was 15 years old there has been times that my heart races fast. it comes on so fast and unexspected. im gonna say it has happened to me at least 20 times sense i was 15 years old and i am now 39 years old. they call it tachycardia. i have had to go to the emergencey room many times for this and they give me something to slow it down. i also have nitro valve prolapse. my doctor says that not to worry but if it happens to many times that it does weaking the heart. i am on inderal for my heart and been taking these sense i was 19 years old. i have had a history of chest pains also. hope this helped.

 
Old 02-01-2006, 07:12 PM   #10
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Wink Re: fast heart beat

Sounds to me as if it is IST. Inapropriate Sinus Tachycardia. If it is it will need monitoring on a yearly basis but may be fine for the rest of your life.

 
Old 02-02-2006, 06:22 AM   #11
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Re: fast heart beat

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlottesmum
Sounds to me as if it is IST. Inapropriate Sinus Tachycardia. If it is it will need monitoring on a yearly basis but may be fine for the rest of your life.
It doesn't sound like IST to me. It starts and stops suddenly, and only happens rarely.

 
Old 02-02-2006, 11:14 AM   #12
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Re: fast heart beat

It sounds very similar to something I experienced about 10 years ago. Just out of the blue, I was finishing up painting and my heart started racing and I also got sweaty. It scared me that night - lasted about 1/2 hour. Then a couple weeks later the same thing. After going to the doctor, and getting an EKG to confirm it wasn't a heart issue, they told me it was generalized anxiety. I am someone who internalizes stresses and it builds. Apparently, there was too much going on and I had a disconnect in the brain. I ended up in ER almost 2 times a month for 6 months before getting help ... then I had panic disorder as a result. I would get a 2nd opinion. Check with your family doctor and also track what is going on in your life that might cause you stress. I was put on Buspar for a while which helped with focus.
Good luck!

 
Old 02-04-2006, 09:33 PM   #13
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Re: fast heart beat

I would have to say that Timber is right on the money on this. I have these symptoms also and that is what I have been diagnosed with. I am on some medications and I have identified some of my triggers but there are more that I have not. I have had this for about 17 years and my episodes are a lot more frequent than yours. My Doctor and Chardiologist have performed many tests on me and tell me that otherwise I have a healthy heart and should not be too concerned about this.

It is scary at first, I know but you will learn to live with it as I have. I didnt know there was an actual technique with a name but I also controll my episodes by holding my breath and either squatting or somehow putting pressure upwards toward the heart. I have gotten very good at it and my episodes usually only last about 30 seconds on the average. Before I started doing this my episodes would last anywhere from 30 min to a day or 2.

I hope this helps you feel a little better because the anxiety will not help the condition any.

 
Old 02-05-2006, 05:00 PM   #14
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cfoxj HB User
Re: fast heart beat

I would have to agree with Timber and Weedwacker. It sounds a lot like SVT. I had SVT for 11 years and was on medication for it that long as well. Find out what your triggers are. Mine were mostly sugar and anything with caffiene in it like pop, chocolate & coffee. Anxiety & stress were also a big factor for me. Try a daily supplement of magnesium and get the book called "The Magnesium Factor" by Mildred S. Seelig and Andrea Rosanoff. Magnesium made a big difference in the number of attacks I had. Although, it did not stop them completely. I finally ended up having an ablation, of which I am glad I did! To find out for sure what you have, go to the emergency room during an attack. You will get an ekg, but, you must be in rapid heart beat for them to be able to tell what it is. Otherwise, everything just looks normal to them. At least, that is the way it is with SVT. Good Luck to you!

 
Old 02-06-2006, 02:29 PM   #15
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Re: fast heart beat

I have also been having SVT episodes for about 15 years (I'm 47), but have never been actually diagnosed because I haven't had it "captured" on an EKG. There have been times where I might have had 1 a month for a few months, then nothing for 6 months. A few months ago I was having different heart racing symptoms (not like the SVT's) and had a thorough check up by a cariologist. We did find a birth defect, but it doesn't affect the way my heart operates and does not cause any of the symptoms I was having, including the SVT's. I happen to talk to a co-worker about it and she had been diagnosed with SVT's. Her episodes would last 1-2 hours (yikes!) and she did get it recorded. She told me to take magnesium (which I do), cut back on caffeine (which I pretty much cut out) and I've only had one episode in the past year. Who knows why I had it, but they always scare me and this particular time I was driving and felt very light headed. The bearing down does not help me, usually I try to lie flat on the floor (if I can) and it seems to go back to normal in 5-10 minutes.

 
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