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Old 05-26-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
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supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

Hi there. In the last 9 or so months I've experienced 5 or 6 episodes of sudden very fast and irregular heartbeat, each episode lasting for up to about 60-90 seconds and were accompanied by a very uncomfortable, flapping/fluttering sensation in my chest and cold sweats, slight difficulty breathing as well. I'm an ex smoker and recreational drug user, although reformed now, live and eat well, get plenty of excercise. The irony is that I never had any problems until after I've stopped smoking and drugs. Had ecgs and holter monitor done but nothing showed up as I very rarely have the attacks. Had two relatively close to each other (with like 10 days between the two) recently and because the last one was pretty bad the fear of the next one is taking over my life. I'm desperate for help.

 
Old 05-26-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

By the way I'm 26 and otherwise fit and healthy. No point in going back to my GP as he'll just dismiss me yet again, saying "it's all in your head". I'm at the end of my tether...What other tests could be done apart from the ones I've had already? (ecg and holter monitor twice)

 
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #3
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

If your nervous system has become sensitized due to drug use, or due to the chemicals and pesticides used to grow the drugs, then you may have to stay away from, or limit various known possible triggers of tachycardia, pvcs, pacs, etc., such as caffeine in coffee, tea, chocolate; or excessive carbs; or alcohol, or cigarette smoke.

There are also various chemicals, odors, pollen or pollutants that can stimulate a sensitive heart electrical system.

Can you link any activity or anything with the two episodes of tachycardia within ten days? Any different, or unusual foods or drinks during that time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by illegaldan
By the way I'm 26 and otherwise fit and healthy. No point in going back to my GP as he'll just dismiss me yet again, saying "it's all in your head".
Congratulations on finding one of the many doctors who are virtually useless unless they can prescribe antibiotics or put on a bandage. A fast heart rate is a fast heart rate is a fast heart rate! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize that his own heart is racing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by illegaldan
I'm at the end of my tether...What other tests could be done apart from the ones I've had already?
You can have all known heart tests run, but, unfortunately the choices for a cure are limited to avoiding triggers, taking daily medications, having surgery (ablation); or perhaps a healthier diet?

I can tell you what has helped both me and my wife when our hearts have sped up and/or become erratic. We both start taking slow deep breaths and then letting them out nice and slow and full, and then repeating the slow, deep breathing until the erratic heart behaves itself again. We also sit back in a recliner while doing the breathing, if we can, as soon as we can.

Best of luck finding a solution to your tachycardia!
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

Thank you so much for your response. Been off drugs for about two years, stopped smoking after my very first attack back in october, eat a very healthy diet because of my training. Never drink coffee as I'm caffeine sensitive, my only vice is a good drink on weekends to let the week's steam off.
Doctor(s) basically said that they can't do anything unless they capture an attack on ecg but unfortunately that hasn't happened. Not had a stress test or an echo done yet, I might change doctors to see if I can get a better one who actually cares.
It's just taking over my life now man, and I'm losing the plot. Stops me from living my life to the full. And the more I read about it on the internet the worse it is. (I know, google self diagnosis is the worst thing you can do, but I don't know where to turn) Can't even go to A&E as I have been on 3 occasions and they don't take me seriously at all now, just do a routine ecg that never shows anything because the attacks only ever lasted up to 90 secs so they always stopped even before I left my house for the hospital. Healthcare might be free here but it sure as hell sucks.

 
Old 05-26-2012, 04:56 PM   #5
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

I do have PVC's as well by the way but I've had them pretty much all my life since early childhood. (According to my mum)

My last attack came as I was in bed, nearly asleep (so in a resting state). The one before that was in the gym. Apart from that one all the previous ones came in resting periods as well, just BANG, out of the blue, no stress, nothing, they just came and went soon after. The worst part is probably that awful flapping/fluttery sensation. So scary.

Last edited by illegaldan; 05-26-2012 at 05:00 PM.

 
Old 05-26-2012, 06:54 PM   #6
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

I have had this for most of my life on and off. It is paroxysmal atrial tachycardia. It is not life threatening in itself at all, especially if it resolves in a short time. I have found that the best way to stop it quickly is to plunge your face into cold water ( just in your hands). Don't worry about it, tho it is disturbing. Sera

 
Old 05-27-2012, 12:25 AM   #7
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

Thanks for your response Sera!
Just looked up what you said to have and it says that it's rapid but regular heartbeat. Mine was all over the place, far from regular. Do you get that uneasy feeling and the flapping sensation as well?

 
Old 05-27-2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

Yes I do and I get arrhythmia as well. Again, if it resolves quickly it is OK. My longest attack was five days (twice). The last time I had to have cardioversion with the paddles, now I am on beta blockers to control it. That is necessary when you get older as arrhythmia is a common cause of stroke. It is scary sometimes. I often get an attack if I am awake in the night. I have to get up and douse my face to stop it. Keep monitoring it yourself, but unless a doctor sees you during an episode, there is absolutely no evidence of anything going on. Sera.

 
Old 05-27-2012, 07:34 AM   #9
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

What do you suggest I do then? Shall I just wait and see if it gets better with time? Sometimes I went months without one since they started. Or shall I change doctors and hope that the new one will actually take me seriously? 5 days? Blimey, even a minute is awful, how did you get through that? Although I suppose you just get used to it after a while. They still terrify me as I've only had a handful, the one in the gym was horrible, I did actually think that it was curtains as my heart rate was up due to the exercise anyway and the attack just made it even faster and very irregular. I just want this to go away.....

 
Old 05-27-2012, 11:44 AM   #10
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

Mine would disappear for months at a time. I never could work out what kicked it off again. You do get sort of used to it, and yours is not a big health problem yet. It may stay the same, or you may have longer attacks in the future. Eventually you will get to a doctor while it is actually happening, and get a better evaluation. As I said, there is nothing a doctor can or will do until this happens. Sera

 
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:44 AM   #11
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

So my heart decided to kick off the week in style and I had an attack in the gym just as I finished my gentle warm up, just before I was about to start my exercise routine. Lasted about two minutes this time, but I tried my best not to panic (a lot anyway. That flappy sensation is truly awful though, I can't see myself ever getting used to that). Still scared the life out of me though. Once it was over I decided that I won't let this rule my life and I even proceeded to go through with my workout. Do you think that was wise or shall I give up exercise altogether? I lift weights and do cardio five times a week.

 
Old 05-28-2012, 03:09 AM   #12
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

Hi there. I had something similar, every so often, maybe every 2-3 months, my heart would go from a normal rate to 180 beats/min. there was no warning. and it was hard to get it back to normal. I ended up in the ER several times, over about 10 yrs of this. my doctor had me on a beta blocker, which really didn't work. then I met a woman who told me she had cardiac ablation...I looked into it (Brigham & Women's, Boston) and they actually found I had an extra pathway, which was causing this, and they thread a catheter up, from groin to the heart, and obliterated it! I've been fine ever since.
find a cardiologist at a big hospital and see what they say.

 
Old 05-28-2012, 05:37 AM   #13
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

Quote:
Originally Posted by illegaldan View Post
So my heart decided to kick off the week in style and I had an attack in the gym just as I finished my gentle warm up, just before I was about to start my exercise routine. Lasted about two minutes this time, but I tried my best not to panic (a lot anyway.
My first episode of supraventricular tachycardia kicked off about 50 years ago. When I would get them, I would lie down and rest and relax (as much as I could) until my heart settled down. I even lied down on the pavement in parking lots until the fast heartbeat went back to normal.

That said, my episodes of fast heartbeat went on for DECADES! I never wanted to seek medical help because I did not want heart problems, on my medical record, to interfere with my getting a job.

Back in 1987, my heart went into a fast heart-rate of 160 bpm and stayed there for seven months. It never went back to a normal beat. Seven months of a constant , stressful pounding of my heart caused my heart to weaken and stretch out resulting in Diastolic Heart Failure.

Even though I have a stretched out heart that never wants to beat right, I still do 300-500 pushups per day, 12 minutes on my stepper, 10 minutes on my bike, one hour power walk, 300 weight curls and 20 weight side curls.

If I am light-headed, or I have chest pains, or I am having significant breathing problems, or if my heart is pounding hard or noticeably erratic, I will refrain from exercise at that time until my condition improves.

What types of symptoms do you get besides the fast heartrate? Any shortness of breath, chest pains, lightheadedness, over-sweating?

Quote:
That flappy sensation is truly awful though, I can't see myself ever getting used to that). Still scared the life out of me though.
Would you better describe the "flappy sensation"? Where do you feel it? Does it happen with the beat of your heart? How strong is the sensation? Does it also come with some discomfort or pain?

Quote:
Once it was over I decided that I won't let this rule my life and I even proceeded to go through with my workout. Do you think that was wise or shall I give up exercise altogether? I lift weights and do cardio five times a week.
I have lived with significant heart disease and heartrate problems for over 25 years. I have learned that, when my heart is struggling, or under stress or duress, I need to rest, relax and give my heart a break. If my heart is just slightly erratic, like it is all the time, I just go upon my normal life and do my exercises, etc. Over the past few years my heart failure and my health and my overall well-being has gotten a lot better. I almost never get chest pains anymore. My breathing difficulties have gotten fewer and much milder. I can do a lot more exercise without getting tired.

Only a medical professional can try to diagnose the seriousness of your heart problem and advise you whether or not it is wise to continue with your exercise. I just wanted to tell about what I have experienced so you can compare my situation to your own.

Best of luck and health to you. Lift an extra weight for me!
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⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
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⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

 
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:12 AM   #14
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

I do sweat excessively when it happens, yes. The flapping-like sensation is exactly what it sounds like, it kinda feels like there's a bird flapping its wing inside me VERY fast and I can feel it around the chest area and even in my throat. I can feel it constantly whilst the attack is happening although it's more uncomfortable as I breathe in. I do get slighlty light headed as well but I think that's to do with the fear. No chest pains. No shortness of breath (or maybe slighly) although breathing feels hard due to that fluttery/flappy sensation, it's really awful. As soon as the attack goes I feel fine though, apart from being scared. As Sera previously said the docs won't be able to do anything unless they can see me and do an ECG whilst I have an attack, but due to their short duration and seemingly random occurrence the chances of that are VERY slim. I'm trying to calm myself with the fact that as soon as an attack is over I feel perfectly fine, I assume if there was a serious problem I wouldn't be. Thanks for your response!

Last edited by illegaldan; 05-28-2012 at 06:14 AM.

 
Old 05-28-2012, 12:53 PM   #15
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Re: supraventricular tachycardia? Ventricular Tachycardia? Or what? HELP ME PLEASE

Hi Welcome to the boards! I hope you feel well supported here! How is the blood pressure? Is enough water taken in for the body weight? Is any weight lifting done?

Last edited by sjb; 05-28-2012 at 12:53 PM. Reason: typo

 
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