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STOPPING SVT ATTACKS........
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STOPPING SVT ATTACKS........

Hi everyone,
As some of you know i was diagnosed with SVT 7 months ago but i have been having episodes since i was about 13 yrs old.
The other day i had a short svt attack at night. Before laying down i could feel alot of discomfort and pressure in my chest. When the attack started i sat up and had an urge to belch (disgusting i know!) As soon i belched the svt stopped in its tracks!!! Usually they last for a minimum of 15 mins but this time it stopped in about a minute!
Has any other svt sufferer experienced this?? What other techniques do you find actually work??
Thanks x
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22 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow you sound just like me.  I also started having attacks around age 13 but wasn't diagnosed til age 24.  Kept being told I was having panic attacks, until someone finally bothered to check me on an EKG.

Anyway, anything that stimulates the vagus nerve can stop an episode and belching probably did just that.  Another way of doing this is holding your breath and bearing down like you're going to the bathroom, plunging your face into ice cold water, gagging or coughing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oatbucket, the maneuvers used to stop SVT will not make it worse.  Every cardiologist, doctor and EMT I've ever discussed my SVT with has recommended them and you can read about them online (search for Valsalva Maneuver or vagal nerve maneuvers).

Nobody will laugh at your questions.  We were all new at this once ourselves.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can't believe that this question was just asked.  I was just thinking this morning as I was waking up that I needed to ask the very same question for my daughter (12).  Now my question is, can doing these things to STOP the svt actually make it worse?  This is all brand, brand new to my daughter and me so please don't laugh at my questions!

Thanks.

Carla
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170935_tn?1225374676
Thanks for replying
I too was told that i was having panic attacks!! (so frustrating) My GPs just didn't believe me until i had a long episode caught on a monitor at hospital. If you don't mind me asking are you on any meds for the svt? How frequent and long are your attacks? Do you also get missed beats??
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Avatar_f_tn
i have svt for 6 years dr keep givinf=g me zoloft paxal been to hospital ermany time but they convert before any meds i am alwys scared they happen alot at night I cant  go any were scared of being alone that I will die no one seems to know whats happening I am very depressed my life is so confined what can I do
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1437328_tn?1283802247
What things start an SVT attack? Can I set it off myself? I know how to stop them, I just want to avoid things that start it off, also if I were to faint how long would I be out for and would I fall softly or stiffen and fall? Im pretty scared about fainting, ive had SVT for nearly 3 years, diagnosed with it when I was 13ish. Please help :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, i have not yet been diagnosed with SVT but i have been having attacks similar to this since i was about 11 and i am now 16. The other day i was taken into hospital with a really bad attack and my heart rate was recorded at 310. Obviously i am only young and if anyone who has had this for a long time has any advice on how too stop these attacks it would be a great help, thanks.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have tried a few things and sometimes they 'revert' my svt's which I've had on and off for over 15 years. Bend down suddenly from the waist - (reach for the bottom drawer my old doc called it) and then straighten back up.
Lay down on your back and hold your breath and 'bear down' like you're trying to push your stomach out as hard as you can. Do that a couple of times.  
Grab a glass of preferably cold (icy is best) but really gassy coke or mineral water and really gulp it down and get to burp a lot or ever kind of 'choke' on it. That usually works the best for me - fill up with gas an burp really big
If you are home and allowed, a big gulp of brandy or whisky which 'takes your breath away' for a second, or a gulp of strong vinegar can have the same affect. It shocks the system and often reverts the svt.
Also, ask the doctor how to massage your carotid artery, but that is only advisable if the doc agrees and shows you how. Best is the cold gassy drinks and burps. Good luck, but get your problem properly diagnosed and maybe hey will prescribe medication like a beta blocker to help stop them. They do work.
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Avatar_m_tn
How do you stop them? 10 million of us would like to know. I've had them for 15 years and never actually fainted, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Just sit down when you feel one triggers.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm not a medical expert. I have no training. I'm sure a good portion of my beliefs and values are fairly skewed, in fact. But I do suffer from SVT, and I have learned a few things about it, at least as far as it relates to me personally.

I've been having SVT episodes for about 5 years now. Generally, they occur when I'm stressed, anxious, overcaffeinated, and/or physically exerted, but sometimes they seem to crop up randomly. They've become common enough that I can usually stifle them in a matter of seconds. Other times they're more stubborn, but I'd say 85% of the time I can get it under control quickly.

Through my many trials and errors I've come to the conclusion that, in my case at least, it's all about relaxation. Getting yourself into a place of total relaxation and comfort. Physically AND mentally. I know that sounds almost insultingly cliche, but for me, it's not about the conscious breathing exercises and respiratory acrobatics. It's about getting into a comfort zone.

When my attacks kick in, I think like most, I become dizzy and anxious, my heart jackhammering through my ribcage, and I certainly don't think clearly. There's a feeling of fear and desperation. The swirling colors and flashing white spots clouding my vision don't help things either.

I'm the type to over-think things to the point of neurosis at times - I tend to have bouts of insomnia that can last days or even weeks. Each night that I don't sleep snowballs into an even worse experience the next night. The point being that I get inside my own head and complicate things. When I have an SVT attack, I tend to over-think it and make myself even more anxious. For me, the intensive breathing exercises, the bearing down ("like you're taking a poo"... are all doctors trained to say that?), the ice-water face-plunge, the blowing into straws, etc. generally only serve to elevate my heart rate and anxiety level. Because I'm exerting so much effort that I can't possibly relax.

I once became so desperate that I engaged in these improvised yoga-type breathing exercises/dance moves in my living room, focusing way too hard on my breathing and posture. Within moments I had succeeded in skyrocketing my heart rate up to record levels and completely blinding my vision with black-and-white spots, while looking like an *** in the process. My point being that I was making too much of the issue - you tend to become more frantic, stressed, desperate and increasingly disconcerted when each exercise fails to bring you back to earth. My very first attack 5 years ago landed me in the back of an ambulance, so in the back of my mind there's always that fear: "This could be the one that lands me back in the hospital. I HAVE to get this under control, quick." Which doesn't do much for the relaxation process.

What ALWAYS works for me, is this:

1.) Close your eyes, exhale fully. Then take a deep, deep breath, hold it for a second, and exhale very slowly while bearing down. Don't just mimic the steps, though: that's where I end up over-thinking it and making things worse. Really FEEL relaxation. Get yourself calm. Know that you can get it under control: it happens all the time to many, many people, many of whom have become so experienced with it that they can swat away SVT episodes like flies. It's common, it's not a medical emergency, and you'll be fine in a few seconds. And that's usually what works for me.

2.) Sometimes it doesn't though. If it's being stubborn, remove yourself to a location where you can feel comfortable. Away from bright lights and a concerned audience. Physically get up and go to a room - a fluffy chair or what-have-you - wherever you legitimately feel you can relax. For me, if I feel that I HAVE to get my heart rate down, then I won't. There can't be a sense of urgency. And there can't be self-consciousness. If people are watching me attempt to right my ship, or if I'm in a place where I simply don't feel at ease, then I'm not going to hit a comfort zone. Tuck yourself into a cozy spot where you can let the tension just melt away. Close your eyes and take the deep breaths and slow exhales while bearing down, but mostly just stay calm. Relax and know you'll be fine in a matter of seconds. If it takes longer, that's fine. You're not going to explode, though it's sometimes tough to believe it while you're experiencing it.

I don't have any further advice on what to do if that doesn't work; for me, it always has. The trick is getting out of your own head. Don't expect the worst. I believe that if you're truly relaxing, and are able to assure yourself that you're not in any danger, and that your episode is only temporary, then the episodes will usually melt away. Get yourself away from any surrounding stimuli that are causing you anxiety or self-consciousness and just let the episode roll right through you. They come and go.

Sorry for the rant. Haven't been sleeping much lately.
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Avatar_n_tn
When I had my very first svt attack on Christmas 2010 I tought I drank too much coffee. The other theory was stress, anxiety and too much work. It took me several hours to revert my heart beat. That time I didn't know what svt is. I laid down, relaxed and drank lots of water. My symptoms were very fast heart beats for a few minutes and then chills.
After that day I quit drinking coffee. I thought that was a major cause.
Well, four weeks after I was going to bed and when I laid down the same happened. For sure not because of caffeine. I took my time, I relaxed, calmed down and that worked after 1.5 hours. Next day that happened again at work. I had to go home ( and finally found this forum).
I though a lot if there is anything common as for timing of svt attacks. I came with the conclusion that it was stress- and anxiety - related. In both times I was exposed to a stressful situations 1-2 days before the attacks. So far - same as in Tinusch's case- relaxation works best.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had svts fro about 8 years - diagnosed about 3 years ago when I had one at at friend's house and a GP was there!  I can usually control them with inhale, hold breath and bear down - sometimes not.  Then "alternate nostril breathing can help. Block one nostril with your finger. Inhale slowly through the other, hold for count of 3, and then release blocked nostril, block the other,adn exhale gently.   Repeat a couple of times..... I agree with previous person...  try to find a quiet place and relax.  It is hard if you are in a public place or in a meeting, and trying to hide it!.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was recently diagnosed with svt. I had been told most of my life that it was anxiety/panic attacks. It wasn't until recently I experienced an episode that left me completely disoriented. I was feeling very funny, don't remember much of that day, just snap shots. My boyfriend quickly rushed me to the hospital where they put me on a monitor and my heart rate was recorded at 217bpm. They had me do the valsalva manuvuers which did not work so I was given Adenosine twice which is a medicine that stops your heart and restarts it, and it was HORRIBLE. I've been dealing with this for years and no one has ever been able to catch it. I'm on beta blockers and I am currently awaiting an SVT ablation to finally rid this problem. I am currently having an attack as I am typing this, it's been building for a couple days now and is being very stubborn. It was nice to see these comments because I until recently had never heard of this. The symptoms I am experiencing right now are memory lapses, flutterey tighness in chest, my hands and legs are tingling, cannot think clearly so excuse the spelling :), dizzy, having a hard time forming my words, and I just generally feel out of it. My cardiologist said that I was born with an extra electrical connection in my heart and when I have an attack it sends the signal for my heart to beat in a vicious cycle through the extra connection causing my heart rate to sky rocket. I don't have insurance at the moment and have been trying the suggestions to make this stop. I am trying to avoid the hospital at all costs but this is a scary thing to deal with and nothing is seeming to help.....I don't know what to do.
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Avatar_f_tn
I definatly DO NOT want to ever experience adenosine again. Not to mention because my heart was beating so fast all my veins had constricted and they were digging. Had 14 people in my room 3 to 4 of them were panicking, one nurse opened the valve the wrong way for the Adenosine sending blood squirting across the room then I notice a defibrilator being wheeled in. Scariest thing I have ever been through. My heart rate has been sustained at 130 for the last three days, my attack simmered down since I last posted this but it's still up there. I always feel drained after an attack like I just ran a marathon and weak. It is so strange that I am 24, a personal trainer, and have to worry about my heart.....???? The beta blockers make me feel washed out and I don't like them. My longest attack was about 2 hours however I am not sure if I have been in SVT for the last 3 days as my heart rate was sustained above 100. Ever since the last severe attack that requirred Adenosine my heart rate and blood pressure have never been the same. I do not like this at all.
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Avatar_f_tn
I get them a lot always have since I can Remember.  Only lately if i drink and hang out late i try to go to sleep and that is when I can't stop them.  Normally i can stop them on my own but not after drinking.  I have been to the Emergency room a lot to get them stopped with Adenson which *****.  This weekend had some wine not a lot but some and around 2am woke up to the fast beat and couldn't stop it it was 197 for along time got it stopped after 2 times of trying the medicine.  Guess drinking is a no no for me.  does anyone else have that problem?
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Avatar_m_tn
I  had my first SVT in 2006.  I had to go into the hospital to get it stopped with Adenosine.  I was sent home on beta blockers went to a cardiologist for six month at $90 a pop.  Felt like an invalid.  Then I read an article by Dr West and went on some Standard Processing Vitamins he recommended and I didn't have another episode for 6 years.  This year I have had 3 severe ones.  I have had 2 ultrasounds that say my heart is healthy yet I have been diagnosed with CHF.  I am now seeing that first, I start to retain water and my weight goes up then I have an attack.  I had stopped taking the standard processing vitamins because they are expensive, so I reread Dr West's article and  started back on the protocol he recommends.  Look up the symptoms for beriberi.  He had said that it was wet Beriberi and my symptoms match up.  Some of what you all described sounds like the symptoms too.  Beriberi is a vitamin B4  deficiency.  Standard Processing vitamins are whole food vitamins so they do.  Natural Sources:
Brewer's yeast, whole grains (breads and cereals), raw unadulterated honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis, most fresh vegetables, most fresh fruits. It is believed that all complex carbohydrates contain varying amounts of Vitamin B-4 (Adenine). As I understand it, stress eats up your vitamin B's.  I have had a very stressful year, eat white rice and white bread.  It will take about a year for me to recover according to what I have read.  I have faith in it because it worked before and I feel the Lord led me to it.  Since the medical community offers very little hope for CHF it's my best shot. In the meantime, I am still having attacks.  I have also found that Taurine helps to regulate the heart beat.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 45 years old. Have endured SVT episodes since I was 11 yrs old. Im not over weight, and I exercise daily. 2 years ago, I was hit with breast cancer, and since my cancer removal double masectomy w reconstruction surgery, my heart has doubled the episodes. One Cardiologist told me to keep the heart walls clear from fat build up. In other words, eat right and stay fit helps. Try any or all of the remedies that I have found helpful, such as:
1. Lay down flat in a hard surface, like the floor or if it happens while you are driving, pull over and lay in the back seat.
2. Breathe deeply and relax yr mind, dont panic
3. Put yr arms above yr head, and yr legs straight up, it helps bring circulation back to the heart
4. If u take medicine, Chew up yr beta blockers instead of swallowing them
5. Drink an apple juice or any drink high w sugar, no caffeine pls!!!
6. Stay away from caffeine


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Avatar_f_tn
I am 45 years old. Have endured SVT episodes since I was 11 yrs old. Im not over weight, and I exercise daily. 2 years ago, I was hit with breast cancer, and since my cancer removal double masectomy w reconstruction surgery, my heart has doubled the episodes. One Cardiologist told me to keep the heart walls clear from fat build up. In other words, eat right and stay fit helps. Try any or all of the remedies that I have found helpful, such as:
1. Lay down flat in a hard surface, like the floor or if it happens while you are driving, pull over and lay in the back seat.
2. Breathe deeply and relax yr mind, dont panic
3. Put yr arms above yr head, and yr legs straight up, it helps bring circulation back to the heart
4. If u take medicine, Chew up yr beta blockers instead of swallowing them
5. Drink an apple juice or any drink high w sugar, no caffeine pls!!!
6. Stay away from caffeine


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Avatar_f_tn
Doing a handstand stops it instantly. It makes the blood rush to your heart so your heart grts the amount it needs without beating 150 beats a minute. Do it up against a wall and have someone hold your legs up.
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Avatar_m_tn
this really does work... i had a 2 hour attack this morning and simply could not stop it with usual methods.... i had to call the ambulance who tried a couple of things.  Then they upended me on the bed into a semi headstand position and got me to blow really hard into a syringe for the pressure... 15 seconds did the trick and man was i relieved!  after 2 hours of beating 240 a minute i was kinda exhausted.
So do give this one a try cos it worked for me. :)
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329165_tn?1412685860
I watched a documentary the other day and the patient also had an SVT attack and the Doctor gave her the syringe to blow on and it worked!  I was amazed!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi all, i also suffer from the confounded SVT, what I have learnt to do is sit with back straight, then pressurise your tummy similar to you straining to push if you were constipated, ( sorry ) this in effect seams to compress the lungs diaphragm and in a seance crimp the heart. The effect seems to pressurises you head, so to speak, then you know you doing the it right way. That momentary compression of the heart stops my SVT instantly, it works every time.
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