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What is PAT and what is long term prognosis?
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What is PAT and what is long term prognosis?

I am 34yr old female currently pregnant,with two children 5 and 3. I have had pv'cs and pac's on an off for many years and occasionally take a beta blocker for them if they become more troublesome. I try to drink plenty of fluids because I have low b/p,I do note that if I don't drink a lot of fluids I tend to have more pac, pvcs, I excercise and basically eat well. I also have a history of Panic attacks which can come and go over the years. Sometimes pvcs or pacs come daily a few times or not at all for a few months to a year. I also have shown to have borderline MVP. My question is that in the past year after a nasty cold and throat virus I started to become symptomatic again. I would get skips when I would breathe in, or bend over I would feel my heart race for a few beats then I could feel it go back to normal. I have been checked by two seperate cardiologists both who feel that it is more my nervous system that is producing these problems, that I am sending out to much adrenaline all the time. I have been wearing a loop monitor which has recorded some fast beats for a few beats, pvc and pacs which they have said is not to worry, that most people have them. The fast beats I have not been told if there is a name for it. On one occasion I had a reading where I felt a flutter, I became scared and my heart began to race. I recorded it and my rate went up to approx. 142 then over the course of 45 min. it went down to normal. I had no dizzines etc, just felt scared. I was told that it was either a sinus tachycardia, or possible a PAT, but never a definitive diagnosis. Only told nothing to worry about. What is PAT? Are you born with it? What is long term problems or prognosis with it? Can it go away and not return? Stress related? Can all these symptoms I have be stress related and due to too much adrenaline? When I do take a beta blocker I still feel adrenaline surges, but my heart does not respond to racing with it. I feel well otherwise, just troubled by what any, if at all these mean. All readings in summary, I have been told I have nothing to worry about, just relax. Your opinion is greatly appreciated. Sorry for the length~!!!
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238668_tn?1232735930
Dear Mom,

PAT stands for paroxysmal atrial tachycardia.  This is a broad term that covers any fast atrial rhythm that starts and stops suddenly.  PAT is usually indicates an abnormality of the electrical system whereas sinus tachycardia is normal.  So your report was saying that everything looked normal but there was a possibility that there was an abnormality.  Although annoying PAT is not life-threatening.  It may be you will need an EP study to conclusively solve your questions but for now an event monitor is a good idea.
9 Comments
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My gosh, your story sounds so similar to mine.  I have been suffering from pvc's for a few years now and when I've have had severe attacks (pvc's up to 10 in a minute for weeks on end) they have followed viral infections.  I'm not sure if it's related to the virus or the fact that I had taken the decongestant pseudoephedrine which the doctors say can irritate the heart.  When I had all my tests done, I was diagnosed with   PVC's, PAT (short run of A-Fib) and very slight MVP.  The doctor said it was nothing to worry about.  Mine almost disappeared for about a year and now they are back again with a vengeance.  I'm dealing with them now and have another appointment with the cardiologist in 6 weeks to reassure me that there's nothing to worry about.  I have also suffered from panic attacks in the past and have two small children so I know how you feel when you worry something might happen to you while you're caring for your children.  During my last struggle with panic attacks, I was very aware of the affect of the adrenaline on my body.  I could feel the fear starting and then the dizziness and breathlessness followed.
  I'm also curious about PVC's and hormone levels since mine
seem to be worse during PMS.  Also mine sometimes are aggravated by having a full stomach or wearing something tight around the waist which puts pressure on my stomach.  Mine also seem to disappear at night while I'm resting and lying down.
   There seem to be very few answers for us, but the great thing is we have this forum where we can sympathize with others and know that we are not alone!  Good Luck!
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Thanks IKM for your reply. For years the skips were pretty minimal. I figure it is because when I do get a nasty viral thing, I fall apart, the stress has built up etc. Have you tried any meds? I find the same thing with food also, though I have not really pinpointed what type. I know too much sugar will definately put me there. Just feel like who needs another diagnosis!!! I get the skips sometimes when I bend over or if I would lay down quickly after moving quickly, but that usually happens during very symptomatic and stressfull times. Trying to learn to ignore it all over again..Thanks again!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Your pregnant and very susceptible to thyroid changes that can bring on fast heartrate.  check it out.  get a tsh blood test done.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Mom2B3 and to IKM

Do you ever get indigestion/acid reflux?

If so, see my earlier posts to this forum.

Mike
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Dear Mom2B3 and IKM,  I can sympathize with the both of you.  I'm 31 and for the last 16 years I've had pac's and a fast heart rate(up to 170 beats per minute) for no reason.  It was bad when I was pregnant but some days it would just come and last about and hour.  Along with the fast heart rate would come sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath and severe anxiety.  So when every doctor told me I was just having panic attacks, I thought that was it.  But just before Christmas, I had and episode that lasted two days.  A new doctor I had just found said that he thought I had a condition called SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) and put me on a  calcium channel blocker to slow down my heart.  He also tested my thyroid but it was fine.  This medicine did not help the fast heart rate and I ended up in the emergency room with a heart rate of 180.  I had every test done to find any other causes.  I ended up having an electrophysiology study and a catheter ablation done.  They found that I had an extra electrical pathway. They burned it so that scar tissue would form over it and that my heart would use the original pathway and slow down.  This solved the problem of SVT but I still am on a beta blocker and a calcium channel blocker because of inappropriate sinus tachycardia.  The cardiologist told me that there is no cause for why my heart beats so fast but that it is not harmful just annoying and that all these years of thinking I was having panic attacks was actually this heart problem bringing on anxiety.  He believes that my heart is extra sensitive to the adrenaline that my body produces and it doesn't know when to slow down.  I too can feel the adrenaline surges but don't have the racing heart to go with it.  It is still an unnerving feeling.  The next step if the medicine does not help is to consider a pacemaker.  I have two small children and this has been a very hard thing to deal with so I sympathize with what you are going through.  The best thing is to see a very good cardiologist and have him list all your options.  I hope this works out for you.
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It is so comforting to know it's not just me.  I have had PAT for about 16 years and have been on Inderal 40MG tablets, 3 times a day since then. Mine does lots of skipping most of the time. Sometimes 6 or 8 times a minute and sometimes once or twice every five minutes or so. I have just learnt to live with it but when the skipping beats join together in a run for about 10 seconds (which seems MUCH longer) I find I get very anxious. My doctor told me to hold my nose and blow - like popping your ears, and that seems to jolt it back to 'normal'. I have talked bo my doctor about different foods causing the bad patches but he insists that it couldn't be, but I find if I eat certain foods such as pastry then the PAT plays up a lot more. Could it be my imagination? I'm not sure but I know I would rather live with it than be dead without it!!!
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Just a quick note of support to Mom,IKM, Sue and others dealing with pvcs, pacs, svt, mvp, panic disorder, etc. and small children to boot!  I, too, have had my share of these things and there is a particular stress involved in being a mother to little ones while dealing with these "glitches" in our systems.  My email is ***@**** if any of you would like to get connected for information and support.  Please don't hesitate to contact me -- I've certainly "been there" and would love to get and give support.
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Avatar_n_tn
EYEYEYEYEYE Relax everyone my goodness. And you don't need tons of beta blockers , they are not that effective. Yes it is more hormonal and yes food plays a key role in PVC's short runs of pvc's etc. It won't hurt you. I am a research chemist and I'm going to tell you that if you are really really upset , the drug that actually will work , and you are going to have a hell of a time getting it , because doctors today are not like they used to be. Phenobarbital (spelling) it was used for epilepsy.
It does not make you tired , believe it or not , take 2- 3 a day
and within a week they will be gone. Also take pepcid AC and watch what you eat. Anything that produces allot of acid avoid.
Also don't take aspirin or advil , Tylenol only , no Vit C anything acidic. Phenobarbitol works and skip the beta blockers
they are not that great. There really is no "heart med for beats"
that is reliable. Verapamil is very good for SVT and the like.
Yes stress , hormonal changes , lack of sleep and knowing that they will go away. PS only phenobarbitol works , valium etc. won't be effective , you see the pheno , chills the secondary nervous system and ices the beats. My spelling is bad but I am
highly gifted. In any event , don't get buspar or any junk tranqualizers, only phenobarbitol will work and good luck getting it. bUT RELAX NONE OF YOU HAS ANYTHING REMOTELY LIFE THREATNING!!!!!!
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