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Avatar universal

Tachycardia over 200

I'm trying to find do I have POTS and/or chronic orthostatic intolerance. And it is incredebly how hard it is here in Zagreb, Croatia. I can't even find doctor who knows anything – they are just ordinary cardiologist; and the far they can see is syncope; low blood pressure and fainting , actually. When I ask them about POTs and COI, they looked at me like I was crazy ... I thought "They don't know what I'm talking about!They don't know?!How is that possible?They are finished their study, so how n earth they look at me like I talk blabla?". But, I suppose, Croatia is to small country, and they get stucked in their own sub-sub-speciality, and  they don't have contact with people like me. Maybe GP's people like me watch as , well, something like really neurotic folks ... I don't know; I shouldn't care, but I do, because it makes me difficulty to find ( medical ) help.

So, this is my story.
I never had any problems, except sometimes, but rarely , after standing from chair, something like tinitus and lightheadness, but just for a few seconds. But, after I had rubella&postinfetious encephalomyelithis, and then I got undifferentiated connective tissue disease& Raynaud syndrome &Antiphospholipid syndrome, I got tachycardias. Especially while standing and/or moving; bending, changing body position. They weren't so bad; just few times; and I couldn't even measured my pulse; I believe it was very above 200, and my BP monitor didn't want measure my BP&pulse. I went to the emergency, but, after app. 2 hours of waiting, my pulse was OK – 100 or so. They gave me diazepam 5mg, and told me to take it if I'll experience the same.

I have MVP, but really small MVP, because when I went for regular ultrasound check-up, few doctors ( I can't go allways  to the same one, because it depends which of them has free termin ) told me that it is so small that they even wouldn't caracterized it as MVP, they would said everithing is OK, no MVP.

But, a week ago, I climb from the cellar to the 4th floor, came to my flat, I felt little fatigue, but nothing much; I was little upset because somebody brokeone of wooden lath at my shed in the cellar, but I rolled very quickly to take something and then: I felt all of my blood gone into my heart; I felt like I will fainting, it was so bad; I lie and took 5mg of diazepam, and it didn't stop ... I called my GP, he told me to lie still and call emergency if I won't feel better. I called them, they told me to take atenolol ( asked me do I have any medication ... I didn't but my fater had/has, and I had carvedilol somewhere in the fridge ( my mum died 4 months ago, and I left some of her drugs for family friend who takes the same, but she doesn't live in the same town, so I save them for when I'll see her ); then I called my GP again, he told me to measure my BP, but I couldn,t, nor my father, and we tried 5-6 times. My GP said that I shouldn,t take atenolol if I have low BP. Anyway, I took 2,5mg diazepam ( so 7,5mg totally ), tried to relax ( but I was frightened and felt panic ... my mum died of heart attack&pulmonary emboly and I was with her till last few minutes ... they made me go out of emergency room, and then she died when I was sitting outside, uh, I'm crying now, it hurt so much  ), called my GP, he told he'll come in ½ an hour  ... Then, after 5-10 min. I felt better, measured my BP&pulse ( 125/87/91 ).

It was 8 days ago, and I'm still fealing pulse problems: when I'm walking, standing  etc. I have palpitations; and, well, I'm scaring a little ( or lot ).

I'm fealing fatigue and breathy, like after having  heavy exercise.

My GP sent me to do some blood tests: T3,T4,FT3,FT4,TSH,catecholamins,CBC,cortisol&ACTH,growth hormone ... and I,m waiting for the next free termin in the lab ( late october ). And I just don't know what to do.
I have to wait for my apointment with my cardiologist ( she ordered me in december! ), I'll do tilt-up table test in november ... and what I'm going to do today, tomorrow and every other day? Taking diazepam? Taking atenolol?
I measured my BP&pulse  few time for tha last few days; even my BP is usually around 110/80, it was 136/91/76, 124/90/96 ...

I just don't know what to do ... it is so long untill all that testing and visiting my cardilogist ... I fill scary, I don't know how can I help to myself, how to prevent such tachycardia and how to stop it! How to stop it fast!
I red what I found at *****.org, and different tacycardia/POTS/OI related pages, but I'm still frighten.

4 Responses
1124887 tn?1313758491
Hi Gordana!

First, a general practitioner can't diagnose POTS and he has likely never heard of it. That's common, even here in Norway. A cardiologist should have heard of it, they are the ones doing head up tilt table tests, so that's a bit strange.

Hard for me to tell you what's wrong (this is a medical community and not an "Ask the doctor" forum) but there is possibly a chance that you increase your symptoms by your excess worrying and stressing over this.
As you probably know, POTS/OI and generalized anxiety disorder may present with almost similar symptoms. If you are thinking like "a disaster will occur when I stand up" you will get an extreme tachycardia. I experience this myself. I can be perfectly calm with a heart rate of 55 when I'm sitting in a chair, getting up and heart rate climbs to 65 or so. I can walk up some stairs and heart rate don't go above 85.

Other times, after stressful days at work, etc, I can easily almost double the heart rate just by standing and climbing stairs may increase the heart rate to 150-160. It's all about the adrenaline, that both "whips" the heart and stiffens the blood vessels, so the blood runs down in your legs and abdomen. Not at all uncommon.

I notice that you "kept some carvediol" that did belong to your mother. I'm really sorry for your loss, by the way... It sounds terrible. Carvediol is a beta blocker with alpha blocking effects, which will dilate your blood vessels, possible making the problems worse, I strongly advice you NOT to take meds that isn't for you - you should let your doctor decide what meds you should take and not.

You mention atenolol (a selective beta-1 blocker). Is this something your doctor prescribed for you? If you have problems with tachycardia while standing, you could possibly ask your doctor for a nonselective beta blocker like Propranolol or Nadolol which may have better effect. If the drug wasn't for you, don't take it unless your doctor tells you to.

I'm sorry I can't tell you for sure if you have POTS/OI or not. The tilt table test will probably reveal that. In the meantime, I wish you the best and I hope you will be able to relax some more. I would think that will help you getting less symptoms, regardless if the diagnose is POTS or an anxiety disorder.

1807132 tn?1318747197
Hi Gordana,

I agree with Something Wrong.  You should not take any prescription medications that are not prescribed to you.  It can be dangerous.  Also, the section you are in is just a members section.  There is an experts section that may be able to answer a few questions for you.

That being said, there are different types of tachycardias.  It sounds a little like you may have the version I had.  Your symptoms are very similar to mine.  I typically have low bp.  Sometimes upon standing I do get very light headed and close to passing out.  I don't think that condition is the cause of your tachycardia.  As I said, I have that and still have that after my tachycardia has been treated.  If you do indeed have the same tachycardia I had it is called AVNRT.  It can start suddenly and cause your heart to race over 200bpm.  A hallmark of the AVNRT type because of the short path of the tachycardia travels on.  Mine would reach around 230.  I was also unable to get a reading on my bp machine and my heart rate would be a bit elevated and my bp a little erratic after an episode for a day or so.  The thing to keep in mind is a lot of tachycardias are not life threatening.  My cardiologist even gave me the choice whether or not to treat mine.  Mine however was starting to effect my quality of life.  I was starting to get weekly episodes, sometimes 3 or more.  It is a condtion that may continue to get worse as you get older.  Simply because of the nature of the condition and not anything you are doing.

The condition is more of a anatomical problem rather than a lifestyle problem.  If you have AVNRT there is an extra fiber in your heart near the AV node that is the part of the heart that accepts the electrical signal and passes it along to the circuits of your heart.  In AVNRT the signal jumping on this extra pathway can fall into a loop entering the extra pathway and then exiting the normal pathway.  The signal going round and round the av node in a circle is what is causing the heart to beat really fast.  It is a condition that starts all of a sudden and stops all of a sudden.  Mine would last from a couple of seconds to the longest was 12 hours.  The episodes are disconcerting and tiring but I am told not life threatening.

If you do not have my type you may have a different version.  The best way to get it diagnosed is to have it captured on an ekg.  I would think if you have one of the more dangerous types of tachycardia like afib or ventricular tachycardia it would have shown up in the ER.  However, once you are able to get to a cardiologist they may be able to give you an event recorder.  You would wear it for a month and then record an episode as it happens.  The readout could help tell your doctor which type you have and then they can let you know what your options are for treating it.  The important thing though is to get to a cardiologist to get it properly diagnosed.  

Whether or not you have my type or a different version most tachycardias are not life threatening, just a big nuisance and tiring.  I would do my best to get yourself diagnosed but just know you are likely going to be OK.   I know the condition is scary espcially because it affects the heart but your heart is an amazing organ that can handle a lot.  And the calmer you remain the better able you will be able to tolerate an episode.  Remember to sit down, breath deep, and calm yourself as an episode is happening.  A trick you can try to get it to stop is to hold your breath and bear down like you are going to the bathroom.  This can sometimes get the episode to stop but if it doesn't just relax and hang on until it stops.  I never actually went to the ER durning any of my episodes, even the couple I had that were long, 8-12 hours because I always figured by the time I got there they would stop.  They always did and I have survived having weekly episodes for over 10 years before I finally got it treated with an ablation so odds are you will too. I do not recommend exercising while you are having an episode but I did adopt an exercise routine that really helped me to tolerate the episodes.  Obviously do not take one on until you have consulted a doctor but once you are cleared I would highly recommend getting a bit of cardio into your daily routine.  It helped me tremendously.  

My heart goes out to you.  I and many on this site know what you are going through.  Hang in there and Best of luck.  I do hope you can get into see your cardiologist sooner rather than later.  I am sure all will be fine once you get a handle on the situation.

Avatar universal
No,no, I've never in my life took other peoples medications! I said, after my mum died, I left her drugs in the fridge; I asked my GP can I give those medications to my aunt, because she's on the same medicine, and I thought why should I throw in the trash original - lose/sealed pack of Carvedilol. After my doctor said OK, I left it in the fridge for the moment she'll come and visit me ( she doesn't live in my town ). I will not never ever in my life take any medication that I didn't get prescripted from my GP/or specialist!!  Back then, I called ER and my GP and they asked me do I have some of this drugs ( and I had/have ), and after I talked to my GP and ER doctor, I was thinking about taking one of this drugs. But I didn't; and I don't know if I will ever take one of them ( but only and when if my GP/cardiologist approved it ).
My mum was a professor (of chemistry, worked whole her life with student at the university in the Laboratory for Organic chemistry, and she learned me to be very cautious about any chemical substances, medications etc. And I'm allergic to penicilline and some other medications, so I'm really cautious about taking any medication, even when I get it prescripted from GP or specialist.
I'm at work now, so I have to go; but I'll be in touch, and thanks  for your answers!
967168 tn?1477588089
have you checked the dysautonomia forum or some of the other autonomic dysfunction forums to see if anyone can recommend a dr for you? I know there's Dysautonomia Information Network and here that many of us are members of which has a list of dr's as well as the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation that has their own list as well.

POTS is abit more common here in the US than other places; I think because of our foundations and Dr. Blair Grubb and his work/research most dr's I've been to know about it and autonomic dysfunction

I've found not even dr's here in the US know about OI though :(   I have chronic OI and dr's know the word orhtostatic hypotension but when I mention OI they have never heard of it so I have to show them my information from the NDRF and Dr. Grubb's research.

most of us are diagnosed by symptoms, history and testing - some facilities only have a tilt table for testing while others like Vanderbilt in Tennessee have full autonomic testing sites

hopefully you find some answers soon; it may some time to get properly dx
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