I am a 26 year old female and I have atrial tachycardia that is brought on by an allergy i developed about 4 years ago to MSG, artificial flavors and colors, and artificial sweeteners. I was out with my friends eating sushi and on the way home my heart started beating extremely fast to the point I thought i was dying. It was very scary and the paramedics rushed me to the hospital only to be told that I had suffered a panic attack- which I knew wasn't the case. I continued having episodes of headaches and irregular beats and palpitations but the cardiologist I went to see brushed me off because he said I was way too young to be having heart problems. I later went to an electrophysiologist who was able to diagnose me with Atrial Tachycardia but put me on medication. I'm currently on Metropolol XL which helps but not entirely. I am extremely careful with what I eat make sure I don't have anything artificial, MSG, sweeteners- I basically have to make all my food because eating out is always a risk and even though i strictly ask for only salt & pepper sometimes the food just has something that will give me a headache and make my heart beat very fast and give me chest pains for days. Last year I went to the Cleveland Clinic to get a second opinion and that Dr. did recommend an ablation but I was pregnant so I couldn't do anything. Now that I have had the baby I am going to go back to try to get the procedure done because the medicine helps with the fast irregular heart rate slower but I still constantly have chest pain and it's so annoying and scary. I don't know if the procedure will work for me because in my case it's brought on by my food allergies. What do you think?
If you do indeed have some sort of tachycardia that is triggered by an external influence then I am not certain it can be fixed. I had avnrt. It is a fast heart beat that is caused by an extra muscle fiber in the heart that conducts electricity and allows the signal to get caught in a loop. It can be fixed because the physical pathway can be blocked to stop the signal from looping. However it you are just being affected by something you ingest and there isn't a clear focal point within the heart to ablate I am not sure how they would fix that issue. Though I am not a doctor but I would question what they think they will ablate. When you do get the tachycardia does it start and stop gradually or does it start and stop on a beat. Instantaneous starts and stops are characteristic of an accessory pathway svt like I had. However if it starts and stops gradually then it could be an externally influenced tachycardia. I know I will get sinus tachycardia if I drink too much that is helped by drinking water. Does drinking water help you at all? In any event, I would question the EP about what he thinks you have and what your chances are for a cure before committing to an ablation. I might even get a second opinion. It is possibly your allergy to msg may be triggering an accessory pathway svt but I personally would want clarification on that before I proceeded. It isn't a terribly invasive procedure but it does cost a lot in the states and they do stress out your heart a bit which takes a while for it to calm down afterwards so it isn't something to rush into without knowing exactly what it is they are going after. Well, good luck. Please don't hesitate to ask us or your doctor more questions. Keep us posted on how you are.
The one issue that they may be focusing on might be if you are having a run of pacs triggered by the msg. I believe pacs (premature atrial contractions) when they are not isolated or one here and there but rather in a row is called PAT. They may be able to ablate that if there is a singular spot that is getting initiated by the msg but it may be a bit more of a complicated ablation than my avnrt was. So again I would question the EP so you know exactly what it is you are getting into. Take care.
Thanks for you replies. My general doctor was the one that noticed that my symptoms were that of Chinese restaurant syndrome, but it was happening with all types of foods so my allergist told me to take out the msg from my diet. Unfortunately there is no allergy test for MSG so after a year of noting everything that was making me tachy i learned what i could and could not eat. Which has helped me a lot but not completely. When i do have an episode it starts gradually and ends gradually and I then stay with chest pains for days. Drinking plenty of water does seem to help, I guess it flushes out all the allergens out of my body. I have the appt with the EP early March so I will make sure to ask lots of questions.
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