Just joined the group, wanted to say hello and give some details of my 'SVT'

Hi, my name is Gail, I'm 60 and have had SVT for the last 10 years. Looking back I had an episode during my first pregnancy but it went off after an hour or so and I forgot all about it.

I seem to have 'attacks' roughly 2 or 3 times a year and I am sure that bending down suddenly, stress (high adrenalin levels) 'bring on' an attack. But when my heart is beating at 160bpm I 'freak out'

During the 2nd/3rd episode it was caught on ECG.

I understand that it is probably genetic and that it is an 'electrical' heart problem.

For the first 7 or 8 years I took the 'pill in the pocket' approach and then starting taking a small amount of antenolol daily - I used to break a 25mg tablet in 3 ( I hate taking any medication). However, last year I started to take 25mg daily - this is the lowest dose of ateneolol you can take. The only problem with this medication is when you end up in A & E they give you adenosine to stop the SVT which is horrible. If I am having an attack I take and extra 25mg of ateneolol and wait for it to work (atenolol seems to take about 1hr 45mins to work).

I panic like mad when I have an episode and my GP has given me some diazapam to take to help me keep calm and I only use them for SVT attacks). I now usually manage with the extra atenolol/diazapam most of the time.

I have been offered an ablation, but know of a few people that have had these several times before they work and I feel at the moment if I can keep it under control it's ok!!

Sorry that this is turning into a novel but would just like to mention 2 more things......

1. I have IBS

2. My sister and I were diagnosed with Haemochromatosis last year. This is a genetic issue which causes too much iron in the blood. The extra iron is stored in the liver but also can be stored in other organs such as the heart.

Woman are protected to some degree during menstruation. However their iron levels increase in their 50's/60's. Once diagnosed and there are no other issues, it is treated by venesection (taking blood every so often until the iron levels are normal) I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that I had my first SVT during pregnancy and then not again until after the menopause!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this epic email - I'm recovering from a broken leg so have plenty of time myself at the moment:-(

15 Replies

  • Welcome gail i just joined, it must be horrible to know your having a attack, i didnt feel my VTach even tho first one was 213 min i had 2 more i didnt, there none sustained but i get syptoms of tight chest, some light head, breathless...i have palpitations on and off but there really bad at moment...i have been told it is prob my age as i am 50 now....my iron level as been up and down for a few years..but ok at the minute, i have IBS but its not been to bad for years!!! Mine problem is the electrics and cells in the ventricals...maybe ablation would be good to try for you...hope all is ok.


  • It's lovely to hear from you Jeanette, I know it's horrible to put up with these things but it good that there are others to talk to! Keep in touch, Gail.

  • Thank you gail, let me know if you have the ablation done.

    Jeanette x

  • Will do Jeanette, take care and don't worry x

  • Hi Gail,

    I have also just joined and posted on a different thread....

    Im 30 and have had svt and lone af on average a few times a year.

    my triggers are also similar,

    Bending down suddenly

    adrenalin , any sudden exercise produces palpitations.

    And espeicially a day after i have had anyalcohol.

    I have also got ulcerative colitis (falling apart lol) and im sure digestion plays a massive part on the arrythmia. (Eating large or sugary meals causes palps too)

    I too have been given the pill in pocket approach, but try not to take them.

    my episodes normally subside wihin 5 minutes.



  • Nice to hear from you Rich. Have you every had your iron levels (ferratin) tested? I know what you mean about falling apart ;-) It sounds as if you are coping really well with it all !! regards, Gail

  • I have had bloods taken, im sure they would have checked iron levels but the tests have never raised any concerns.ive had many ecgs, chest xray, echocardiogram and going to see cardiologist next week so praying they can help me...

    I think I would consider ablation should that be an option for me.

    but I think its more likely they will put me on permanent meds for a bit first.

    I know what u mean about freaking out during an attack of svt, its horrible.

    can u relate to the digestion having an impact on heart?

  • Hope the cardiologist appt. goes well! There are many many people who have had successful ablations and if it works I understand it is amazing. I am not sure of the digestion/heart connection. The 2nd time I had SVT I had been out for an Indian and too much wine! I don't have spicy food at all now but still have some wine....

  • I just wanted to add..lots of people on the F/ B palpitations forum have being saying about taking magnisum for palpitations? I asked my cardiologist this but was told no..i have to have a cardio pulmonry excersise test done soon.

  • I know my potassium levels drop after an attack of SVT, so I try to have banana's orange juice etc. Maybe I should try extra magnesium? How long until your test?

  • Hi gail

    My cardiac Nurse rang me monday to disscus it with me and told me i will ger appo in the next 2 weeks...

  • That's great let me know how you get on!

  • Hi Gail,

    I have been diagnosed with VT where the heart rate can go over 200 bpm. However, I have experienced smaller attacks too. I am currently considering ablation but haven't made up my mind yet. A doctor told me that some people need to go in two or more times for it to work. I have heard that some people have had a successful ablation the first time but I guess it depends on the type of heart condition and individual.

    I have also heard that some women can go through their life without experiencing their condition until they reach pregnancy. I expect it's because it's the added strain on the body but it sounds like you didn't experience anymore until several years later.

    I would discuss things through with your GP and decide on how you currently cope with your condition. I also suffer from allergies so I have to put this into consideration when deciding what to do.

    I hope you'll find the answer soon.


  • Thanks Shelby, I think your right it depends on your type of heart condition ( and and an element of luck) as to whether an ablation works or not! When you don't have SVT for several months or years you stop worrying so much about it - until the next time!!

    It' s probably time I saw my GP again!

    Good luck with whatever you decide. Gail

  • Hi

    I had also the same scary feeling when I had SVT ,I'm 48 years old And having those since two or more years and I was taking sotalol which is beta blocker and rhythm control since I'm having VT also

    I hate also taking medication so I was having the minimum dose of sotalol , then I take more if I had attack which take around twenty minutes to work, Recently I was having few SVT attacks daily which made my life miserable so I took decision and had ablation last week

    I didn't have any attack till now thank god and stopped my sotalol , still under recovery.

    Actually I was too scared from the attacks where I was running to ER then doing nothing more than monitoring , by experience I learned how to calm down and not being scared and calm down till it ends even without taking zanax , the most important thing that I'm taking blood thinner to protect my heart

    Try to avoid triggers as you can , and be calm if it happened ;)

    I also have other health problems like artificial valve and VT .


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