Arrhythmia Alliance
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SVT and palpitations update

I've not posted here for a few months because nothing had changed. I was told I had SVT after a 24 hour ECG at then end of January and been waiting to see a cardiologist ever since. I finally have a cardiology appointment at the end of this month.

In the meantime I've seen three GPs. The first prescribed 2.5 mg bisoprolol and said I might get an appointment with a cardiologist. The bisoprolol slowed my heart rate but the palpitations remained and I had some nasty side-effects but the dose was increased to 3.5 mg. For 4 days I didn't have palpitations but felt ill all the time, so the dose was dropped back to 2.5 mg.

The next GP read the letter from the hospital which said I had SVT probably originating in the atrium (well, it wouldn't start in a ventricle because then it wouldn't be SVT) and was prescribed a blood thinner, but the doctor phoned and told me not to take it a couple of hours later.

During these 4 to 5 months I'd had palpitations almost continually.

Then I saw a GP who knew me and said that at least most of the trouble could be caused by anxiety. I've suffered anxiety, depression and panic attacks for years but had stopped ant-depressants a year before. This doctor prescribed fluoxetine and a few fays later the palpitations had gone. I don't know if I have SVT still as I no longer feel my heartbeat but even when exercising I find it hard to get my heart rate over 100 and there are times when my blood pressure is borderline low. Most of the other symptoms have gone as well. I asked what the cardiologist was likely to do and my GP said it was a tick-box exercise, echo, maybe 7 day ECG and other tests.

So now I finally have my appointment but I don't know if anything will be found. In this area cardiology appointments have very long waiting lists and my best friend died of heart failure before his tests could be completed. That wasn't good for my anxiety and I was afraid to lock my door for a few months in case I had to call an ambulance. After my friend's death I have nobody with a key, no next of kin or family, and now no real friends but only acquaintances.

I don't know if SVT can be caused by anxiety and panic attacks but I do know palpitations can be caused by them.

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Hi Maggie

I understand your feelings. I have extra betas few years now. When they started I had panic attacks. Than I said to myself: F... them, I slowed down my life, I sleep 8 hours per day. They do not come so often anymore ( I use Beta blocker named NEBILET here in Slovenia ) but from time to time I have such strong squeeze in my chest that last 10-15 seconds and of course

I panic as I do not know what it is and I have a feeling to pass away -> I stand up immediately, deep breath.

Doctor does not take me seriously even I am 58. He says it is not dangerous. Try not to think about SVT and take a walk every day at least 30 minutes - it helps. Believe me.

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if you have not had any blood tests please check if you are vitamin d deficient and have a look at

i had a similar problem opted not to take a drug, as the only thing on offer was like you, a beta blocker, (you could do pill in pocket) i have instead supplemented with a high dose of magnesium and it improved, in fact only the odd daily ectopic but still didn't feel things were back right and 3 months on insisted on full set of bloods and it showed i was very VIT d deficient, i am still not convinced that I dont have a sub clinical thyroid problem too which is common in peri menopause i am now on high loading dose of Vit D and dr will check my tsh and t4 in three months and i have requested thyroid antibody test too as this would explain low vit d. Thyoxine, Magnesium & Vit D if out of balance can effect heart function, IMPORTANT if you have had an SVT you should be a priority patient, the NHS has 18 week pledge you can go to any hospital anywhere in the country its your choice on 'patient choice' and there is a fast track service in all areas, hope everything goes well, anxiety and panic can cause palps but so can low magnesium low vit d and tyroxine inbalance together or individually good luck!

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Hi Maggie I was told I had svt three months ago had an overnight stay in hospital,I to suffer from panic attacks and anxiety the hospital put me on 5mgms of bisoprololwhich I tolerated for two weeks and then went back to my gp and had it reduced to 2.5 as I had terrible side effects. I was put on the waiting list for an echo but was told it would be approx 6mths as I was going on holiday I opted to have one privately which I did and everything was fine I am seeing my nhs cardiologist in August. I have not had another attack since I came out of hospital and the bisoprolol is fine now but I am not wanting to take the tablets long time it has definitely helped my anxiety so don't really know what to do,I am like you even when I go swimming it's very rarely my heart rate goes high I am still not sure whether I have svt or not but hopefully will find out in August. I hope you get your echo soon I am sure it will be fine, good luck

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