Arrhythmia Alliance
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Terrified I have svt

Hi all I'm just looking for a bit of piece of mind, over a week ago I started to feel unwell dizzy, run down. Gp gave me antibiotics and steroids for a chest infection. Within 2 days of taking them I out eating and noticed my heart pounding, I'd been sitting down for ten mins so knew it wasn't due to exercise. Since then 3 trips to A&E later I'm having heart palpitations multiple times a day and I have episodes of ridiculously fast heart rate 4-5 times a day even at night I wake and panic. I suffer from anxiety so that doesn't help, I feel so depressed I'm crying a lot and can't shake this daunting feeling. I have a cardiology appointment in 3 weeks how ever will I cope until then.

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I know how frightening this can be at first but try to keep calm and tell yourself it will stop. I have had SVT for several years now and was shown a number of controlling exercises by my GP. Breathing as deeply and regularly as you can does help. I hope all goes well with the cardiology appointment.

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Please try not to panic! I know it’s horrendous waiting for a diagnosis (I waited 4 years for mine!) the palpitations can be pretty alarming, especially if you are not used to having them BUT svt is not the end of the world even if you do have it. It can be well controlled with medication or even treated and cured.

Hope your cardiologist appointment goes well, and you can get a diagnosis soon!

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Hi Sarah

I can speak from both points of view re anxiety and svt. Whether it either scenario it is important to remind yourself that it will pass and it is not life threatening. I have suffered with anxiety and panic attacks since my 20's and believe me i have had episodes where I have thought I was going to die, unfortunately in this state your mind finds it diffcult to think rationally so it is very difficult to control. For me personally medication was the key. It took a while to find a suitable one and i have learned to deal with any episodes in a more positive way. It sounds to me like you are having panic attacks when I first started to have them I was in a state of panic continuously and going to bed was worse. On the otherhand my daughter was diagnosed with svt at the age of 9 so I have seen both sides of the spectrum. Her episodes are contolled mainly by herself but on a few occasions she has had to have her heart slowed down via an injection at a&e. Svt can only be diagnosed when the heart is in that mode so I wonder weather you are suffering from anxiety otherise your doctor would of sent you to a&e to capture the svt. My advice to you is not suffer in silence if you feel so awful dont wait 3 weeks for an ecg go back to your doctors. Remain in the fact that neither if these conditions are life threatening. Stat strong you will get yourself feeling well again.

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Hello I suffer from very much the same thing and I am awaiting my operation you need to keep pushing your Gp you need medication to calm your heartrate this helped me so much I hope you can find a solution to your problem

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Hi Sarah,

I too can speak from both. What was your HR? I have had a successful ablation after 15 years of misdiagnoses. I also suffered from panic attacks which I found to be so much worse. The absolute best way I can explain the difference is this...

SVT happened to me, from no where.

I create the anxiety and can uncreate it.

SVT was like someone flicking a button (mine was triggered by my ectopic). Whereas anxiety felt like it came from no where but really it was building up!

You're in safe hands 😀 Keep an eye on your HR. My SVT HR was 220-248 whereas the highest with anxiety was in the 130s.

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I agree with this wholeheartedly, although I have only had SVT for 2 years (with only three episodes under my belt). When I have had panic attacks, I've felt like I was going into cardiac arrest or dying. With SVT, it is definitely like someone just flips a switch. Mine were also in the 230s/240s for SVT.

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Thanks everyone for your kind words, with help from my family I've been able to go private and have a 48 hr ecg which was fitted last night. So I'll have to wait and see. My HR has been 180/190 at its highest last week and has only been that high once. My resting HR is almost always near 100bpm which is very different from two weeks ago when my resting HR was around 80bpm. I've made the stupid mistake of googling my symptoms and read that if someone's resting HR is higher than 80 they have a greater risk of heart attack and stroke, and its scaring the hell out of me.

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Hi Sarah your resting HR is higher now because you are anxious if your going to google google Dr Sanjay Gupta York cardiology he really knows his stuff & reassures SVT is not life threatening & treatable I had it for years but couldn’t tolerate medication so had an ablation last year- no episodes since!

Did your 48hr tape catch anything?

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Hiya my tape came back normal, yesterday I had my NHS appointment with a cardiologist they did a heart trace and as I expected he said everything is normal he's given me beta blockers to take for 6 weeks to see if they stop it, he's reassured me that a heart rate of 110-120 when resting won't damage my heart and if it continues he will fit a monitor for a longer period. My argument is how will they tell if my heart is beating at a normal rate when they don't know if I'm resting or moving about. I know my anxiety makes it worse but it wasn't my anxiety that started all this.

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Hi Sarah try not to become obsessed with the numbers, you could feel when yours was high so you will know, you mentioned antibiotics & steroids they alone could cause a run of ectopic/faster HR, or even the infection, the cause of my SVT was never found (my cardiologist said I had an “extra” electrical pathway in top chamber of my heart) Mine was recorded at 250bpm once so don’t worry everyone is different I know it’s scary when it’s matters of the heart I have had a terrible time with anxiety but things do get better take care.xx

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Hi Sarah,I was diagnosed last year with SVT,but I’ve had it fir about 5 years,it is rather scary as I have to dial 999 within 30 minutes of an attack,I’ve read loads about it and now I don’t find it quite so bad as before. I take 7.5 bisopralol each morning and have 2.5 to back up as pill in pocket,I’ve only had 2 episodes in the last 6 months that ended up in Resus... I’m given Adenosine injection to put my heart back to normal rhythm.

This is standard procedure in and out of the UK..I’ve had to go to various hospitals because of this problem,I’ve missed a flight,and a cruise so have good insurance if your traveling,to me now it’s just a nuisance,it’s the electrics in the heart that’s the problem.

The reason for 999 is that you could pass out when your be drops . My resting hr is 59. In SVT it reaches about 174. I have an ap on my I phone called heart rate so I can monitor when I have an SVT.. I’m 75 years,I hope this information will be of some help to you... good luck and try not to get anxious,this is what kicks mine off ...grrr

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