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I keep stopping tachycardia...
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I keep stopping tachycardia...

I'm a 39 year old male and I have quick bouts of tachycardia (seld-diagnosed) every month or so and it's very scary.  Someone told me to cough real hard to stop them or to lean over tense up very hard.  I just tried it and it stopped them.  It seems that everytime I have them, it's maybe 4 to 8 PVC's in a row and I feel like passing out.  Is this a good way to treat these things.  Everytime I go to the cardio for a halter or one of those push button recorders, it doesn't happen, so he really can't determine what's going on.  He has seen many PVC's with me but says my heart is strong and they are benign.  I'm scared that one day these techniques won't work and I'll just pass out and die.  What do you recommend?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear santiken,
The good news is that it is unlikely you will pass out and die from one of these episodes.  For the most part palpitations like you describe are benign.  It is important to make the diagnosis of what is going on.  To do this you need to have an "event monitor" for an extended period of time until you have an episode.  Once the diagnosis is made the best treatment can be recommended.
26 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I just want to let you know that the SAME exact thing happens to me OUT OF THE BLUE.  I have no symptoms before, it just happens and is quite scary.  Scroll down and see my posting...by nina...it is just like yours and you can review their reply.  It happens to me only 2-3 times a year and I could not record it either.  I was diagnosed with pac's not pvc's and the doc told me that I had sinus arrhythmia.  But I understand exactly what you are going through.  Does it ever happens at home?  Thats the thing with me, it only happens when I am not home.
Nina
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Avatar_n_tn
I get the same thing except that I don't feel like I am going to pass out although I do get light headed.  Like you, we can't catch them on a monitor as they don't happen often enough.

My cardio thinks that it is a bout of PSVT.  Holding my breath, coughing or sometimes just changing positions will stop them.  

They are very scary.  I am very interested in the answer to your post.

Does your heart "pound" or is it a light fluttery beat?

Loni
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Avatar_n_tn
My heart starts to pound hard, and keeps on pounding like it
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Avatar_n_tn
This is very weird...like a said, I get the same exact thing.  I really dont feel like passing out either, when it happens I get really scared and my face gets really warm! It starts POUNDING very fast and it happens out of no where.  I feel perfect right before it happens.  The only thing that I do is breathe very deep and it stops.  sometimes it can last for a couple of seconds, but one time it happened for almost a minute and i felt like dying!
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow!!! A minute???  That's way too long for one of those crazy episodes.  Have you had it checked out by your Doc?  The longest one I had was for about ten seconds and I thought for sure I was a goner.  I haven't had one in awhile, but I better keep my mouth shut or I might jinx myself.  Hopefully, I will never have one again, but with my luck I doubt it.  Good luck to you.
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Well.....maybe not a minute but it felt that long!!!!!!  It happened at a carnival/fair and now I will never go to one of those again because I am scared that it will happen again..that was the worse one.  Then it happened in sept and that only lasted around 10 seconds.  It is scary.  I have had several recorders and ekg's and echos and they say that my heart is very strong....I do have sinus arrhthmia and they saw a couple of PAC's. Sometimes i can go weeks without them and then I can get them for a while at a time.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey Nina...

Do you exercise alot?  Sometimes when I exercise hard, it will jump around pretty hard.  I asked my Cardiologist about it and he gave me the green light to go hard, so I do, but the heart really gets wild when the rate is way up there (165-185 or so).
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Avatar_n_tn
My heartbeat gets very "swift" (rapid and weak) and I have had it last for a whole morning, by the time I got in to see my Dr it had stopped, typical.  My cardiologist, although this rhythm has not been documented, is convinced that it is PSVT as I also get a lot of PAC's and sometimes Atrial Fibrillation so the mechanism is there for SVT.

I am very active and exercise a lot.  It doesn't seem to make any difference to the palpitations and it is important to keep the heart strong.

One thing I have noticed is that it is much worse if I take magnesium.  People on this post often say that magnesium helps them but it makes my palpitations more frequent and harder to stop.  Other people have also mentioned peanut butter (does anyone know why peanut butter would make them worse?).

I avoid all caffeine and other stimulants.  Try to limit the amount of sugar in my diet (I have a very strong sweet tooth).  I also find that my palpitations are worse if I don't drink enough through the day and a couple of glasses of water often stops them.

All the best

Loni
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Avatar_n_tn
When I exercise my skipped beats seem to get better in a way.  My cardiologist says that I should definately exercise!  The only thing that I am worried about is that I am having these at such a young age..I am only 23!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a crazy sweet tooth, but that doesn't usually cause my crazy heartbeats.  However, if I eat a large meal that is heavy with carbs and some fat, I can feel my heartbeats much more keenly.  If I keep the calories down, however, my heart doesn't seem to be so stressed out.  When I eat small meals, I feel the best, especially if they are vegetable based with maybe some fish.  Nina, I started getting these weird heartbeats when I was 27 or so, so being 23 doesn't surprise me.  I think as the years go on, you will notice that your heart seems to get back to running smooth but with maybe some scary events here and there...at least that's what has happened with me.  Good luck and keep exercising...also a good multivitamin every single day helps I think...and plenty of H2O also.
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Avatar_n_tn
Interesting comments on this site. I am a active runner (sub 3 hr Marathon), and have completed 6 Comrades ultra's. My heart seems to skip beats and then have two beats real close together. It's a flip-flop sensation and causes discomfort. I'm convinved though it is strong enough to empty half the Atlantic ocean if it could be connected !.
I never seem to get this while running, but can simulate it the minute I lie down on my back. Cardiologist says nothing structurally wrong, I think there is a lot to learn about this still. Caffeine definitely also seems to have an effect.
My GP tells me it's stress related, and I can believe that 'cos I'm a bit mad at the moment having torn a calf muscle, and I'm waiting for it to heal.
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Avatar_n_tn
Don't worry nina, I started getting the crazy heart beats at 23 as well. The good news is that here  I am at 30, alive and kicking, the bad news is that I still have dodgy beats, I've just learned to live with them (most of the time). Like most, they come and go with me.  The last 3 months have been like heaven...only about a handful of pac's a day. But before that I was averaging hundreds a day. I don't know why they have subsided a bit and I'm sure they'll be back but for the moment I am enjoying feeling like a normal human being and not some pulse-taking, heart-obsessed, dread-filled nut that I felt like before.
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Avatar_n_tn
iam a 44 year old male and have had three major tachcardia episodes in the last 4 years and have had heart palpitations since early childhood.what i call major is two episodes(175 -190 bpm) lasting close to two hours and one lasting 30 minutes, the later being the last one.i believe the adrenaline produced by my body because of the high level of anxiety extended the length of the first two.these three attacks were converted back to normal by various actions such as rubbing the large vein in the neck and sitting bent over and pushing as though you are going to the bathroom(taught by paramedics called for the first attack).the interesting thing about these major attacks is that moments prior to the onset i've been bent over forward and then returning to an upright position.i have been to see a cardiologist twice about these episodes and reassured that because there is no underlying heart disease this is not a life threatening health problem,regardless of this reassurance these are very frightening experiences,but i will say this much that having done hours of research has helped me to realize that this is very common and many people taking drugs for arrhythmia maybe making the situation worse.please note that paramedics called for the second episode administered 6mg.of adenosine which was not affective and the another 12 mg, also not affective.this is not a pleasant experience either.this particular episode was converted back to normal using the valsalva maneuver in the ambulance just prior to entering the hospital were they would have used more drugs and other methods in an attempt to restore normal heart rhythm.  


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Avatar_n_tn
I'm 49 yrs old and had my first scary bout with the rapid heart beats during my 3rd pregnancy and that was 18 years ago. It lasted about 20 min. with the feeling that my heart was going to jump out of my chest. I could feel the pulse racing like crazy in my throat. This has continued four to six times a year ever since. I just lie quietly & wait for it to subside. The beats are usually 160 to 250 per min. Just recently had it checked out in the emergency room because they have been lasting around an hour. And I was recently told that I had very high blood pressure. So, now we are controlling both with medications and for this past month have not had an attack.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 30 year old woman who has experienced SVT and palpatations for the last decade. I have had two attempted ablations, but the orgin of the arrhythmia is too close to the AV node that the slightest mistake on the doctors part would result in my having a pacemaker. Alas, the doctor wants to try again though. My question is in regards to tachycardia immediately before or after a bowel movement. Does anyone relate? My stomach often feels like it is in spasms or raw on the lower left side. It feels desended as well. Is there a connection between digestion and arrhythmia / tachycardia. If so, what can I do about my stomach to help my heart?
        Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 30 year old woman who has experienced SVT and palpatations for the last decade. I have had two attempted ablations, but the orgin of the arrhythmia is too close to the AV node that the slightest mistake on the doctors part would result in my having a pacemaker. Alas, the doctor wants to try again though. My question is in regards to tachycardia immediately before or after a bowel movement. Does anyone relate? My stomach often feels like it is in spasms or raw on the lower left side. It feels desended as well. Is there a connection between digestion and arrhythmia / tachycardia. If so, what can I do about my stomach to help my heart?
        Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
I hope that everyone is doing great and had a wonderful holiday season.  I tend to ignore this site when the skipped beats have been gone for a bit.  Of course they are back.  Last night I think that I had an episode in my dream.  Last time that happened, I  awoke with a terrible bout of tachycardia.  Hope all is well.
Nina
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had 3 episodes of "rapid heart rate" w/ beats up to 200 bpm. The first one occurred at age 27. I had never had any symptoms before. I hit a golf ball and pow! My heart began pounding so forcefully my friends could see it through my shirt. I had pressure on the left side of my neck and jaw. Lasted 2-3 minutes. An RN that happened to be there instructed me in valsava and it was like a light switch. The second time (about 8 months later) I picked a sock off of the floor and instead of being very forceful, the my heart felt like it was fluttering but very rapidly. I was very short of breath. It lasted over 20 minutes. My gen med doc was convinced I was having anxiety attacks. EKG normal in her office. After second time I paid over $400 for holter monitor for 2 months and it showed nothing because the attack did not occur. Still convinced I was having panic attacks, she prescribed Celexa. Took for 2 months, but did not like side effects. Nearly 12 months later I am at a wedding, have a cup of coffee and 3 beers before heading to dance floor. We were being goofy, acting like we were headbangers and POW! Worse one yet...lasted almost 45 minutes and nothing would work. My husband is an EMT and he had me submerge my face in ice water while holding my breath...it finally worked. Went to an internist who thinks it may be PSVT. I have started an exercise program, have lost 30 lbs., have completely cut alcohol and caffeine out of my diet. No attack for 7 months...so far so good. I have two concerns...#1 doctor's who miss underlying heart condition for diagnosis of anxiety (my heart races out of control and THEN I am anxious...not the other way around!) and #2 How strange a condition it is & how it seems to effect all ranges of people. One more thing...would like to know, from those of you who have had Adenosine, what the experience was like? Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 39 female, I have was diagnosed with tachycardia at the age of 16.  The doctor put me on Inderal for a few years. My "attacks" lasted for several hours @ more 200 beats per minute. I was gradually taken off the medication by age 20.  I began having the attacks again 2 years ago. I have, so far, controlled the rapid heart beats with deep breathing exercises.  I often feel short of breath or a "flutter" in my upper front chest , not associated with tachycardia.  I did not experience this when I was young.  Any thoughts?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Everyone,

In response to Emmathecat's comment I have something very similar.  I have had palpitations for all my life and just thought they were normal.  As a child they wasn't all that regular but I'm now 22 and recently they have been happening more and more often, usually about once a month.  They always happen either during exercise or caused by bending down too quickly or sitting down too fast or the last one happen when I hiccupped.  My pulse rate suddenly shoots up to 240 b.p.m and I have pain in my jaw, I get very dizzy and have passed out but usually can stop that by lazying down straight away.  The attacks last for anything from 1 hour to 5 minutes.  I am currently seeing a cardiologist but whenever I mention the fact the my attacks seem to be caused by some sort of movement they just look at me blankly.  My cardiologist has said that they need to get my palpitations on record and so far I have had a 24 hour and a 7 day ECG but I never had an attack during that time so the ECG came back OK.  I was so relieved to hear someone had been experiencing something similar to me - reassurance that I'm not going mad!!  Would love to hear from anyone else who has something similar.  Many thanks for your time.
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Avatar_n_tn
I did not read all the replies but wanted to add this just incase someone else does not.

Tachycardia of over an hour can lead to congestive heart failure (which isnt truly heart failure). If anyone is having tachycardia for over 30 minutes I HIGHLY SUGGEST you call your doctors at that time or go to the ER.

I was also told by the elctrophysio cardio I see that untreated tachycardias result in more deaths than heart attacks.

Any rate of over 120 for any period of time is cause for concern.

Mine went up to 200 and they had to treat me with Adenosine (which basically stops and restarts the heart) which reregulates the heart rate.

I went to one cardio who told me he would not treat me with meds for the Spuraventricular tachycardia but warned me not to drive unless I went right out and bought a cell phone. Very odd he wouldnt give me medical treatment for it but didnt want me out driving wouldnt you say?

Needless to say, I changed cardios IMMEDIATELY.

Please be careful if you have tachycardia that does not go away after a few minutes. Keep an eye on it.

One good thing to try if you get tachycardia is to splash cool water on your face and sit down.

Passing out from tachycardia is no fun and it can be dangerous.
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Avatar_n_tn
Unfortunately different doctors espouse different opinions, often leaving patients confused.  I have had tachycardias of over 120bpm for relatively long periods (hours at a time).  Once I went to the campus GP who hooked me up to an ECG and was very concerned that my tachy did not subside after a few minutes.  He faxed the ECG to my cardiologists office for advice.  My cardiologist (also a very experienced EP) replied back that it was of no concern and that I should be sent home and told to rest and put my feet up.  I did that and it eventually went down.  I recently went to the ER with 130bpm tachy that had lasted all day.  After an ECG, the emergency physician was not bothered in the slightest and told me that I would have to have a sustained rate of over 200 for more than 24 hours for any damage to occur to my heart.  Perhaps it depends on the tachy? I get sinus tachy and not SVT (p waves are present) who knows? Your EP may well be right, or it could just be another opinion.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have read everyones responses and I need to know why only one person mentioned an ablation. Why isnt anyone having EPS study and possible ablations??? My surgery is scheduled in a fews days. Now I am getting scared that I am making the wrong decision.  I have SVT always over 250 and last a long time until it is converted with adenosine.  I am also having short runs of svt.  I am so scared but can not go on like this.  The last time it happened I was walking my dog and I was in the attack for 40 minutes before someone would help me,911 had me on hold.  Finally a man put me in his truck and got me to the paramedics.  My SVT's are always around 250> and the paramedics tell me it is very dangerous also info I read says it could go into cardic arrest. I have had many & get converted with adenosine. My doctors say not to worry it is not dangerous.What is the truth? Also I relate to all of you on this because my attacks started in 1996 and the doctor convinced me I had panic disorded until in 2000 I called 911 and the paramedics got in documented, the strip doesnt lie.  So, for years I sat in my house in attacks thinking it was in my head. Now I know it was real and am concerned that having so many over years has damaged my heart???
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Avatar_n_tn
i'm glad i found this sight  you guys are putting my mind at rest as i thought i was the only one,i keep missing beats just as i think there gone they come back with a vengence.latley i have felt sick and like passing out ,dizzy ive been on the tred mill at the hospital in uk and they sayall is fine i'm now waiting for a 24 hour tape.but this has been coming and going through the years ,if and one has been through the same thing please let me know as i now suffer from anxiety.i'm 43 don't smoke or drink,don't touch chocolate or caffine products but i still can't beat this thing please email me at ***@****
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