I have woken up in the middle of night with a rapid heart beat. Feels like its going to explode out of my chest and it is pretty scary. Also I feel shaky and sick to my stomach. This has happened 4 times in the last month. My family dr said it was anxiety and panic attacks which prob is tru since I have been under tons of stress lately, but of course with anxiety you always are scared something terrible is going on with your heart. I have had 5 ekg's, thyroid checked, cardiac bloodwork done, chest xray, and an echo. All have been normal. While in the ER my heart rate was up to 159 and they just said tachycardia. Other than anxiet, panic attack, and tachycardia thats is all I have been told. They started me on prozac and today is day one of it and also I take ativan as needed. When I have the racing heart episode if I take an ativan it will bring it down to th 100-120 after 20 mins, but of course after an episode like that its pretty terrifying and hard to get over it and calm down. Anyways my question is how do you know if you have svt and can anxiety and panic attacks cause svt? I can't take betta blockers so that is out of the questioin. I'm so terrified I'm going to die from this. Like I said all test so far have been normal. Should I be as worried as I am or is this all jusut anxiety? Sorry for rambling... thanks for any help anyone can give me. Just a little background I'm 28 and up till a month ago when these episodes started I have never had any problems, never sick, and pretty healthy.
Let me first start by saying that I have SVT, but I also have experienced a rapid heartbeat in the middle of the night like you have described, with shakiness, flushing and sometimes sweating. For me, the two types of heart racing are two different things with different causes, as diagnosed by my cardiologist. For about two months off and on, I experienced what you have, waking up with my heart pounding and running fast. It was also not at all like the SVT that I have had since age 18, so I knew it must have been caused by something else, like maybe hormones. It did seem like it could be a panic attack, especially because I would always have a nightmare before awakening with the uncomfortable symptoms. It also happened more often about a week or two before my period. I mentioned this to my endocrinologist and she said without even batting an eye, that it is a common occurrence when blood sugar levels are too low. After she told me that, if I had an episode during the night, I would think back on what I ate that day and sure enough, it was practically nothing, and little to no protein. When I made an effort to eat more throughout the day, or at least not waiting until late in the day to eat anything, my symptoms went away. Of course I still have SVT, and thankfullly I haven't had many episodes lately, but I haven't had a middle of the night situation like I used to since my endo told me about the low blood sugar. You might want to keep this in mind if you have another episode, and see if your symptoms could be caused by not eating properly that day before. Your situation sounds so much like mine was, maybe eating small meals throughout the day and having a protein snack before bed might help you with your symptoms. I hope this helps! Lily
I would see a cardiologist to be on the safe side. I used to have episodes just like that when I would wake up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding out of my chest! I was referred to a cardiologist that advised me to wear a holter monitor. The holter monitor recorded my heart rate going from 70 to 180 beats per minutes while sitting! I was advised to have catheter ablation to get rid of the extra electrical paths that caused the arrhythmia. It's been 5 months since my procedure and I haven't had an episode like that since!