I'm 35 yr old female, I smoke, drink one or two coffees per day, maybe 3-4 times a week. About a year ago I had to be rushed to the hospital with a heart rate of 280. I was at work, i waitress and was not at all busy or running around. My blood pressure was perfectly normal at all times. They gave me adenosine and that corrected it right away. I don't do any heavy drugs. I do have anxiety and took a pill which did nothing for me, so i knew that it was something else. ER doctor said that it was my heart misfiring and it happens in normal heathly hearts of people my age. However, about 4 months ago I went down a slide at McDonald's to show my nephew how fun it was, and as soon as i got off, i could feel my heart doing the same thing. I went to the clinic and heart rate was 240, they called the ambulance, but my heart converted before getting to the hospital. They tested my electrolytes(normal) and took blood for thyroid tests which came back normal as well. It happened again like a week ago on vacation, of course i was drinking, i was on a resort, i went to the club there and they had loud music with lots of bass (which has effected me before and i had to pull my headphones out cause i could feel the same feeling i had before) my heart starting beating fast. i tryed converting on my own, the four methods that i know of, nothing worked. My heart would try to convert and then shoot up again. I have a watch that measures my heart rate and it couldn't take a reading from me. went to the clinic, heart rate was 230, and would go down to 170. Ambulance to hospital in Punta Cana, heart rate was beyond 235, that's the highest their monitor could read cause the monitor was kindof old, it kept beeping which meant that it was going over that. They sedated me and gave me the paddles, which worked. It was SVT, and was moved to the ICU unit. I'm from Canada and ICU is not the same over there, I still had a nurse in the room at all times and better equipment there. He gave me baby aspirin and cordarone to take for 10 days. Came back home and went to the docs, who sent me to a cardiologist within a hour, did all the basic tests, ultrasound, heart monitor for 2 weeks. They are trying to speed up an appointment with a rhythm specialist, which can take months to get. They also told me to stop all stimulants, coffee, drinking, caffeine, etc. They are going to test the currents in my heart to see where it is coming from. My question is has anyone heard of anything like this? What causes it? Yes I do have aniexty, but I was told that this is not causing it. The heart rate stays the same when this happens, doesn't go up and down.
I had heart rhythm problems as well for quite a few years. Eg: 300bpm for a few minutes, 250bpm for 7 hours. I was a bit over doctors when my 7 hour episode occured. I know i should have gone to hospital but yeah i didn't lol. I was slurring my words, somehow drove home and was in bed for the next 6 1/2 hours. Eventually i used a cold water bottle against my heart to "shock" it out of this fast rhythm. It hurt but it worked. Wish i had of thought of this 6 1/2 hours prior. :) My blood pressure was higher than my home blood pressure machine could measure during the 7 hours.
Well, after years of no answers, I finally figured it out myself along with my numerous other symptoms. Severe magnesium deficiency. My memento of this deficiency is a calcified mitral heart valve.
You have a supraventricular tachycardia that follows an extra pathway in your heart (because you responded to adenosine).
280 is very high, but it seems you tolerate it well. It's also excellent that your blood pressure was normal. It would be far worse if you fainted during an event, that would be a sign that your heart isn't able to pump efficiently at high heart rates.
It's really a shame that you can't see an EP doctor earlier, instead you must take really strong medications (Cordarone, amiodarone). Try your best to speed this up. Ablation is fixing this issue with 90-99% certainty, and the problem is gone forever.
What is the cause? You probably (very likely) have an extra pathway in the heart. Anxiety and stimulants may (but not always) be the "spark" to set off the arrhythmia, but is not the cause alone. And of course, such conditions will always cause anxiety.
You are not alone. Many of us here on the forum have or have had SVT (PSVT) for years, or as I did, nearly all of my life. The poster right above me summed it up well. In my case, after 54 years, I decided to have an electrophysiology done, the extra pathway was found and destroyed. I am now a year and a half free of SVT. Most SVT's are non-life threatening and can continue for hours without danger. Concern builds though as the person ages, and this is what prompted me to get it done. Daily medication for me was of no benefit. If you've had it once or twice, you'll probably get it again. You should talk to your doctor about the techniques you can employ to "convert" the SVT back to normal rhythm. I used a technique called Valsalva. I learned it at six and used it all of my life with never having to go to the ER. You have lots of friends here who experience the same thing as you, and we're always here to help if you have questions.
The same as above posters it sounds like you have an svt. No one can say for certain which type you have until you have your ep study and ablation done but with the super fast rate it is likely you have avnrt. Again I can't say for certain but rates over 200 generally tend to be a situation where the extra pathway is a short one. In avnrt the extra pathway is into the avnode and a very tight reentry path is established. It is one of the most common types and one of the easiest to fix with a 98% success rate for cure and only a 1% complication rate. The biggest concern being if the extra pathway is too close to the main pathway then they can't ablate but this is rare. Also, as odd as this may sound the more active you are when you go for your ablation the better. They doctor needs to be able to induce an episode to be able to see where the signal is coming from so he knows where to block it's path. I had 7 episodes the week before I had mine done last September and I was so active the EP was able to induce an episode on the first try. So a procedure that typically takes a minimum of 3 hours only last 2 for me. If you are interested in reading about it you can click on my profile and read my journal entry. The procedure it really very easy on the patient the only real discomfort coming when they do the actual ablation but they give you some meds so it really isn't bad at all.
Until you can get in I would try to avoid the caffeine but the truth is your condition is more congenital than anything else. You have some extra fibers in your heart that have matured to the point of being able to conduct electricity. Caffeine and other stimulants are said to be triggers but to be honest changes in posture were my biggest triggers so I might suggest getting up and bending slowly. Quick moves always seemed to get me. But rest assured, you are on the fast track to getting this fixed so there is very little chance any long term damage will have occurred. It really takes years of episodes to do any harm which tends to be congestive heart failure so you are really in a good spot to be catching this right away. Like the Tom, I have had episodes all my life though they only got bad the past 10 years getting worse and worse with every year. And like the first poster I too had a couple of long episodes, one 8 hours and one 12 but never went to the ER. I can't say why I didn't go but I never really was afraid of the episodes maybe because I grew up with them but the point being my heart is still in good shape even with all the episodes I have had. So take heart and know what you have is something that can be fixed pretty easy and you should be episode free before you know it. Hang in there and if you need to talk as things progress for you we are here if you need us. Good luck and keep us posted on how you are doing.
I agree with what's said above except the %-success rate.
Some (many, most?) SVT's are 90%+ treatable.
My doc gave me 95% before I got on the table.
He said 80% after I got off the table, as mine was, "more difficult." My surgery took 7 1/2 hours. Others can get it in 3 hours or less.
That being said: it probably will be treatable. With your history of going to the ER and age, I presume you will get abalated in good time. You're in Canada, nice. You will not have to write a big check.
Thanks for all the input! Reading up on it, which freaks me out more! lol
I can't believe that some people have this for hours on end, I couldn't deal with that. My cardiologist is getting my ekg from the hospital that gave me adenosine. He said my recent one was narrow and they usually don't give adenosine for that, but it did work, he seemed a little surprised. I was dancing at the time the last incident occured so I understand about sudden movements. I just would rather not live my life in a bubble, i don't mind the decaf coffee, I love to dance and I have to be careful about that now, and I do like my wine! I, however hate taking any form of meds unless completely necessary, I don't like the risks or weening off them. I'm taking Cordarone to lessen my risks though, I rather fix the problem then to mask with meds. I'll keep you updated and hopefully I get my appointment to be tested like a car battery soon! Thanks again.
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