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Crazy heart of mine

How common is it to have more than one heart arrhythmia? I'm a 44 year old female. I had an ablation for SVT (AVNRT) two years ago and was told by my EP it was a successful ablation. I continued to have persistent tachycardia with rates up to 190 and was told I had IST. Last month I had to be taken to the ER for what the EKG said was another SVT. With 3 doses of Adenosine and a Diltiazem push and drip the doctor could not get my heart to stay slowed down. The Adenosine slowed it for a matter of seconds and it shot right back up again. The ER doctor was ready to shock my heart to cardio-convert me but I was too scared to get that done by a non-cardiologist.  I was transferred to another hospital and the cardiologist told me I was also going into atrial flutter. I've had 3 documented episodes of the atrial flutter and one additional SVT  in a one months period which he thought was uncommon. I also suffer from PVC's, PAC's and 1st degree heart block.  I take Rythmol, Propranolol SR, Spironolactone and baby aspirin was just started since the atrial flutter diagnosis. Is there an easy way to tell when I go into an SVT vs a flutter or PVC? I'm constantly getting different flutters, thumps and flops in the chest and tend to be tachy most of the time. It's just a normal day for me.

Thanks for reading and helping....
9 Responses
1807132 tn?1318747197
It is not unheard of but I don't know how common it is for people to have more than one svt but it sounds like that is what is happening in your case unfortunately. I wish I had some advice to give you.  I do think it is common for people with heart rhythm issues to have more than one issue, I had avnrt and I'm still dealing with pacs and pvcs but you do seem to have the gamut of problems that is not really typical.   What have they suggested to help you out?  Has a pacemaker been recommended?   I guess the best advice I can offer is to try and do whatever you can to find stress relief.  Pacs and pvcs are fueled by stress and adrenaline and pvcs and pacs can trigger the svt.  If you can find some zen then maybe you can help stave off some of the episodes.  I don't know that it will help but it is what came to mind.  Well take care.  I hope you can finds some relief soon and feel better.  Keep us posted on how you are doing.
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for your reply. :-)

My EP has suggested a pacemaker and I had an ER doctor suggest an ICD implant. My regular cardiologist is telling me to "hold off" on the pacemaker for now and continue medication therapy. Seems like they just keep adding more meds and of course every med has its own side effect to deal with so I'm not liking that either. I'm just hoping with all the different arrhythmias I'm not causing some cardiomyopathy or other heart issues by holding off on getting another ablation with the insertion of a pacemaker.

What do your PVC's, PAC's feel like when you have them. I'm trying to differentiate those from the A flutter.
1807132 tn?1318747197
The pacs feel like little blips if I notice them at all and the pvcs feel like a fizzle unless I have a bunch of either in a row or close together then it actually feels a little like a flutter with some thumps thrown in or a long fizzle with thumps.  That said, sinus tachycardia can also feel a little like a flutter for me as well.  I wonder does atrial flutter actually feel like a flutter or does it feel like a fast manic beat like avnrt?  

I can see why the doctor would want you to not rush into the pacemaker especially and ICD although that may have been suggested to help you get out of flutter when it happens.  But it is a huge permanent step to allow little devices to take charge of your heart but I get the whole worry about cardiomyopathy or congestive heart failure, if you are having daily episodes of svt it has got to be a bit tiring for the heart to deal with.  I asked my doctor if my svt caused my pacs and pvcs and he seems to think no but I no I have had svt my whole life but I am just now feeling the pacs and pvcs the last 5 or so years so I am not convinced.  He did say that most people don't "feel" their ectopics so I guess I could have had them when I was younger and just didn't know it.  I do know the pvcs were my svt triggers.  My ablation report states that any ventricular stimulation caused me to go into incessant tachycardia so maybe the pacs and pvcs progress as we get older and is why the svt becomes more frequent.  I really don't know, the ectopics are something I have only been conscious of the past six months so I am just beginning to understand them.  But because the pvcs and pacs are a big trigger for svt is why I suggested about some zen therapy.  I know I have to watch stressing about anything now or my pvcs go crazy.  Luckily they slow down once the adrenaline from the stress is gone but it is kind of odd to know if I stress I will get these pvcs.  Like my body forcing me to face my stress and anxiety issues.  I still get them everyday regardless if I am stressed but stress definitely makes them worse.   And I never really saw myself as an anxious person but I guess I am a little.  I have always been one of those go, go go types rushing around to get things done so I am probably more of an adrenaline stresser than fear stresser.  Well still trying to understand and move more slowly through life.  It is hard to change old habits though.  : )

Well hang in there, I am always hear if you need to talk.  You have found a good place where people understand what you are going through.  
Avatar universal
hope what i'm gonna say helps....i have had those crazy palpitations, skipped heart beats, flutters, pauses in the rhythm and then that pounding of the heartbeat since i was 18 or so....at least thats what i remember. it could've been since i was much younger and i just never knew i had it. anyhow, i am 43 now so i've had it for at least 25 years. it came and went over the years. i could go a year or two without even noticing i have them and sometimes, especially when i get panicky, i could have them 50 or 60 times a day if not more.  i drank heavily when i was younger, i smoked, plus excercised. my eating habits was terrible and my stress level was out of control. my emotional issues had taken over my life. i was a walking hypochondriac and i was angry at the world. i worked like a dog on my job, so stress was an everyday part of my life since i can remember.
   the reason im telling you this is because the more stressed i got, the more panicky i got, the worse things got for me physically. i nearly had a nervous breakdown if i actually didnt!!!  these irregular rhythms brought serious depression into my life. yes, i been to the ER, i had all the tests done on more than one occassion.  it took me many, many years to come to terms with all this emotional stress and irregular heartbeats.   my BP was out of control. as high as 210/106. all the tests i took...EKG, ECG, stress test, blood work, urine tests, 48 hour monitor, weekends in the hospital.....everything revealed nothing, all came back normal. continuously normal. nothing showed any signs of a bad heart. i've been dealing with all this hospital visits for nearly 25 years off and on.  as of right now, i take chlonidine twice a day for control of my BP in my brain, i take metoprolol twice a day, lisinopril once a day and lipitor once a day. i eat more fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, i drink at least  3  20 oz. bottles of water daily, i cut out salt, pop, caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol pretty much altogether and i still excercise but i just don't over-do it. such as a brisk walk for about 3 miles a day, some stretching, jumping jacks, sit-ups. just minor cardio stuff.  i'm training myself to not over exert myself or over analyze myself. i am feeling better, i'm sleeping better at night and i'm slowly producing at work better.  my emotional stress is still there but i'm learning that it is a part of life and that i need to let it go. i guess what it really comes down to for me is emotional stress and depression can cause a lot of problems such as irregular heartbeats.  just for the record, i dont know what PVC or SVT or ICD or PAC means.  i hope that what i said to you may help you because i have found out over the years that there is many, many people out there that are experiencing these same problems and i dont feel so all alone anymore. please let me know how your doing.  and michellepetkus, i've read some of things you've wrote on here, your insight has helped me. thanx!!!!
1807132 tn?1318747197
A PVC is premature ventricular contraction or an irregular extra beat coming from the ventricles.  A PAC is the same thing only coming from the Atria (premature atrial contraction).  SVT is supraventricular tachycardia, or a fast beat that arises from a problem in the Atria.  I had an svt called avnrt (AVnodal reentry tachycardia).  There are a number of others.  ICD is an Internal Cardiac Defibrillator.  This is one step past the pacemaker in that it shocks the heart if it stops or falls into a dangerous rhythm.  I am glad I could help : )  I know how scary it can all be.  And I am glad you are doing better.  I grew up with svt so I was use to it but I was not use to the irregular beat and they can take over your day so it does indeed take some adjustment.  I smoked for 25 years and my cardiologist was more impressed that I quit smoking then having an ablation to correct my svt.  He says it is the best thing we can do for our health.  I am glad to be free of the addiction for sure.  Take care.
Avatar universal
I can understand how these arrhythmia's can cause some panic/anxiety in people. The very first time I had a full blown SVT I never really knew what was happening other than my heart was beating very fast and felt like it was trying to pound right out of my chest.  I was under great stress at that time and am pretty sure that is what set the SVT into motion. I was scared of the "unknown" and did go into the ER to have it stopped and ended up being admitted to the hospital for a full week because of some abnormal rhythms I continued to have. That was 3 years ago. I now have pretty frequent episodes and I have no fear of them at all. It's just another day for me and I know it will eventually pass. Sometimes it takes longer than others or sometimes it gets so bad that I do need to go to the ER for appropriate meds. Actually my husband usually pushes me to go in when he knows I'm having a bad attack or I wouldn't go at all. The thing I hate about hospitals is when you present with these symptoms they immediately want to admit you and I know I don't need that. I have never been a smoker but I am guilty of drinking daily caffeine. Which my cardiologist has never seemed concerned about. I rarely drink alcohol but when I do I can almost always expect my SVT or atrial flutter to show itself. You learn the triggers very fast! The PVC's, PAC's are sometimes mild and other times this hard thump has awaken me from a dead sleep. Michelle I agree you are very helpful. Thank you!!!
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