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Instant speeding up and slowing down of heart rate
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Instant speeding up and slowing down of heart rate

Last night i had a scary episode where my heart beat would instantly speed up and then go back to a normal heart rate. I would be like 5 times fast then all of a sudden go back to normal beats a couple of times then speed back up again. It did this I would say 5 times in about a 15 second time frame. This is really scary. Then just about 45 minutes ago I was racking leaves with my family and then it did it again only this time just one instance of a quick rate burst then back to normal and stayed. I have been dealing with skipped heart beats and flutters for 5 years now but, these sensations are brand new to my experiences. It is like my arrythmias are degnerating into something worse. I have read about how a sudden onslought of increased hearts beats that are sustained can result in ventricular defibrillation or sudden cardiac death. What are the chances of this happening given my symptoms? What could this possibly be? Please help.
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612551_tn?1247839157
Sounds like you need to talk with your cardiologist.

From what you say, I take it you experience HR in the 200+ bpm range, if that's the case I'd get check as soon as possible.
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187666_tn?1331176945
I  agree - a talk with your cardiologist is the best way to get the answers. Perhaps wearing a monitor for awhile will tell the story of what your heart is doing. If it's atrial tachy bursts, then there's probably no problem. If it's ventricular, then the cardio may want to take steps.

For me having tachy bursts during the day is my norm. After 3 ablations this is what my heart does now and it's considered improved. But that's my heart and I and my doctor know what's happening. If this is new to you, then it should be checked.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for responding. Do many people on here have these symtoms (symptoms). Ireneo, what type of arrythimia were you having. Was it atrial or ventricular in nature? I keep reading scary articles about VT. What is the difference between VT and SVT. I should mention though that I also use and asthma inhaler, but i do not know if this is what caused it.
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187666_tn?1331176945
VT is ventricular tachycardia. That's the larger, lower portion of the heart and if that doesn't beat well, a person usually passes out. SVT is supraventricular tachycardia - supra meaning above. So it refers to the smaller chambers, the atria.

I also have asthma and when I use my albuterol, it will raise my heart rate a bit for 10-15 minutes and then taper off again. That's very different than when my PSVT kicks in. I can be standing in the store and bam! my heart rate jumps from 65 to 180 in a heart beat. It will race along for 30 seconds (for example) and then drop right back to normal again. You see the difference?

I do hope you can find out what your heart is up to. Knowing is half the battle.
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Avatar_f_tn
psvt is noooo fun, huh?  I have it and have been on toprol for almost 5 yrs.  I found out I was prego with my 3rd (not planned!) in July and decided to wean off of the toprol... mistake!! I ended up in ER at about 20 weeks preg with svt.  They gave me lopresser IV and it brought it down right away (thankfully didnt need adenosine again, esp since 2 doses didnt work 5 yrs ago the first time it happened).  I am now about 28 weeks preg and on 25mg toprol 2x daily and it seems to be pretty much under control.  I do notice climbing stiars or even walking  around house raises my bp and hr and leaves me out of breathe...hoping its just pregnancy and/or increase in dosage of toprol.  Cardio is giving me an echo next week to make sure I have not developed mitral valve prolapse (spelling?) due to pregnancy.  I really pray that thats not the case =(
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for both replying to my message. Ireneo, how do I know if i am in v-tach or svt? Just about an hour ago I had this sensation like in my chest where it felt like my heart tried to pump but locked up then beat slowly again for two beats and then fast for 3 or 4 beats then slow again. This is the third day in a row this has happended. As I stated earlier, my heart is sensetive to my ashtma inhalers and I had been using then quite a lot for the past week. I hope it is due to them, but I do not hope I have done further damage by abusing the inhaler. I could be just sitting and relaxing and this happens. I feel like one of these times it will not recover. I am more terrified then I have ever been, because everytime I read about arrythmias for these symptoms it is either fatal or potentially fatal. It takes so long to go to see a cardiologist and I have already racked up a close to 6,000 dollar bill for trips to the er. I do not know what to do. I have made a appointment with a physician to get a cardiology referall, but I wonder if i can get right into a cardiologist if I feel that I have an emergency.
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187666_tn?1331176945
You won't know for sure whether it's atrial or ventricular until they can catch it on a monitor. However, some people do have NSVT (non-sustained v-tach) and live with it. Again, it has to be diagnosed and the heart checked to make sure there are no other problems going on.

If your heart goes into a wacky rhythm and doesn't want to stop, you can call for an ambulance or go to ER. The first thing they'll do is hook you up to an ECG. That will tell the story right then. So far your tachy times are too brief to do much about them. At some point you'll have to check in with a doctor and ask about getting a heart monitor. At this point, it's all guess work. I hope you get some answers soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
i was treated in 2005 with svts by abiliation and now five years later I'am having scary heart fluttering. only problem with the ecg is catching the svt episode on it. if your laying there with a normal rate it wont pick it up. it took years for my doctors to finally find out what was wrong. id recommend a monitor.
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643704_tn?1304688032
I too have VT.  I was diagnosed in 1986.  I've taken different meds over the years.  I started off with Atenolol and right now I'm on Toprol XL 25mg.  Our family has heart disease on one side and cancer on the other.  I got lucky and got both bad genes. Sometimes I'll be minding my own business and bam. It happens.  A couple things the doctor is going to tell you is stay away from caffeine.  That includes Chocolate.  My hearing became impaired when he told me that.  If you do have things like coffee and chocolate try to cut back for a while and see if that helps.  You should get to the doctor and they can hook you up to the ECG machine and if your's is noticeable it will pick it up without you really feeling it. Meanwhile, if it should happen again, I know this is going to sound weird, but this is what the doctor told me years ago.  Go into the bathroom and splash really cold water on your face.  It will shock you into a normal heart beat and then lay on the bed for a minute.  If that doesn't work take 2 fingers and press gently onto your belly right above your belly button.  I can't remember exactly what that does, but that used to help me too.  It has gotten a little worse over the years, but really not much.  I've had this all my life.  I remember when I was a little girl and used to go out and run around a lot and I would feel this and the doctor told my mom that it was just me playing too hard.  Well, I still play hard, and I'm not going to stop now.  I still garden, ride my motorcycle and have lots of....well let your imagination run with that one.  I just turned 50 this year and I'm not slowing down anytime soon.

Go to the doctor and get checked out.  Take care, Lisa
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all of your responses. They are really helpful to me. I always do stay away from caffeine and other stimulants except my asthma inhaler which I have to use. I try to use as little as possible, but it is hard since I have acute symptoms. The hard part is not knowing where the arrythmias is coming from. I have made an appointment for tommorrow to see a internel medicine doctor. I want to get a referrel to a cardiologist. It is hard when you do not have health care. I have applied for medicaid, but it takes so long. I guess I will just try to do the best I can until then I will try those techniquest that you suggested Flicka. Thanks for your advice and help. Do any of you think that I would have time to call 911 if things were serious. I ask this because sometimes people like me with no medical coverage would hold out a few seconds to see if they went away. But really all you have is seconds when this happens.
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187666_tn?1331176945
Flicka was describing some vagal  maneuvers to convert your heart rhythm back to normal. Those are very handy. One that worked well for me the past 50 years is called the valsalva. I take a breath, hold it and then bear down (like having a BM) for about 10 seconds. Yes, it's uncomfortable and the heart jumps and thumps around a bit but once I slowly release my breath, my rhythm is back to normal. I've had bad times that took 1-3 valsalva tricks to kick it back.

In your case, your tachys are so brief (you said you have 5 times in 15 seconds) that this wouldn't do much for you. I usually waited a couple of minutes of solid tachy before giving up and trying the valsalva.

The albuterol is important. You still need to manage your asthma if it's affecting you daily or you'll end up in the ER sucking on a nebulizer. That's boring and annoying. I know from experience.

If the doctors determine you have some mild PSVT, they may put you on some anti-arryhthmic medication. Do remind them you have asthma so they won't give you any beta blockers. Those are contraindicated for folks with asthma. I take a calcium channel blocker to control mine a bit and deal with the chest pains. Hope you get some help soon.

irene
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