Can you control SVT without medication? - Arrhythmia Alliance

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Can you control SVT without medication?

SheRaSparkles profile image

I’m just wondering if anyone manages to control SVT without the need for reliance on medication? Is it even possible?

10 Replies

I lived with svt without meds, for over 40 yrs either the episodes converted on their own naturally after 10/15 minutes or using vagal nerve techniques like bearing down,cold water treatment on your face. But once I reached 70 yrs of age they became extremely stubborn & lasted hours, needing adenosine conversion, cutting out caffeine & triggers helped , then a succesful ablation, now I am booked in for a pacemaker to pace Bradycardia! I still get spikes of tachycardia even with gentle exercise, but no full blown svt episodes.

My sister, daughter and I all have SVT. I am on meds (couldn't stop episodes that lasted hours at work and taken to hospital by ambulance a few times). Both my sister (in her 60s) and daughter (16), however, can control theirs with the bearing down technique. I think it depends how stubborn your episodes are. I also had to try a few meds before we found one that didn't make me too tired to function. The one I'm on now doesn't seem to have any side effects so I don't mind taking it. I also cut way down on the caffeine. Hope this helps.

Thank you yes it does help. What medication are you on? I’ve been given flecainide but currently not taking it as I’m too fearful of the side effects! I need to learn some of the self recovery techniques most definitely.

I'm taking a low dose of diltiazem. If I get an episode, my cardiologist told me to take a second pill. I lay down and it goes away in about an hour.

With the "bearing down" technique (can't remember what it's called) you hold your breath and bear down like you're going to have a bowl movement, and hold your breath as long as you possibly can. When you finally let the breath out, it often jolts your heart, making the episode stop. It helps to have your legs raised, and I try to do it on the toilet, as after having 2 kids, I often leak a little pee while doing this. (sorry if TMI). Another technique is to plunge your head into a bowl of ice water, but that one has never worked for me personally.

Are you seeing a cardiologist? Mine is very helpful.

Good luck!

I’ll try the bearing down technique. Thanks for explaining it as I wasn’t sure what it was! Yes seeing a cardiologist. Got a follow up in November. Not had any palpitations but I am having the odd flutter. Still not taking the meds as I don’t feel right about it.

SuperKate88 profile image
SuperKate88 in reply to SVTCindy

I was never successful at converting on my own. I’ve tried all the maneuvers and face in ice... even at the hospital these things would not work. Recently while at the ER with a 250hr, they had me blow into a medium sized plastic syringe while lying on my back with legs straight up (they held my legs). You blow into the tip (no needle of course). This type of pressure is a little different from the bearing down type. It worked for me so give it a try.

Jakisu profile image
Jakisu in reply to SuperKate88

Works for me too. Episodes may last 30 mins, but the manoeuvre you mention is what brings my hr down, plus focusing on breathing in for 5 and blowing out for 8, + interspersed coughing. Helps to have legs up against a wall! 250 hr sounds hideous, mine doesn’t quite get there and feels pretty rotten; so glad you found something that works too.

I have only had a few episodes in the last 5 years that required a hospital visit. After the first, I declined the recommended ablation procedure or medication. I went to see a naturopath and he prescribed several supplements, and insisted on drinking purified water only, and no artificial sweeteners. I think it was Taurine, Irodoral, Omegas and a couple others. I took them religiously for about a year and noticed a significant improvement.

Jakisu profile image
Jakisu in reply to SuperKate88

SuperKate, what’s the deal with artificial sweeteners?

So I had a 9 neat run that lasted only 6 seconds in June it spooked the heck out of me while it was happening but right after I felt really relaxed witch I thought was weird.. anyhow, as I was laying bed just now about 20 mins ago I felt like a flutter and then two really fast beats that shot my anxiety to the roof again and now I’m totally relaxed! What gives!!!!

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