SVT is different from a rapid heartbeat. Anxiety or a panic attack might make you feel like your heart is racing…but the truth is that the racing is still within the control of your breath. SVT is when your heartbeat goes into a pattern and can no longer be controlled by your breath. I have AV node re-entry SVT. There are different types of SVT and you should check with your DR. to see the one you have, (except don’t be surprised when they tell you they don’t know!!…they can only know for sure when they catch one on an EKG).
Some SVT’s are more “dangerous” than others. Supposedly this one is not so serious (although tell that to my brain during an episode). The best thing is to try to get an EKG while your heart is in one. That’s what I did and the ONLY way they diagnosed mine after 15 years of episodes…they caught it ONCE.
AV node SVT means that for any given reason that no cardiologist or electrophysiologist can exactly explain (thanks guys!), sometimes, a heartbeat gets stuck in a pattern of extremely rapid beating. My SVT’s are fast, like 260. They can come on at ANY time, although I whole heartedly (no pun intended) believe that there are REASONS it happens and it’s up to us to figure it out. (can anyone say FOOD ALLERGIES???)
If you are lucky, you can try to stop an SVT on your own. This will make episodes less scary, as you will not rely on an ER visit to inject you back to normal.
If you get an SVT, it seems like the earlier on you try to break it, the better the results. So….the episode usually start with a thump, or a weird sensation like you suddenly missed a beat and your heart stops for a few seconds…then when it starts back up it’s like a race car….At that moment, you should try to bear down and blow as hard as possible into your cupped hands.
The following methods have stopped an SVT in the past…
- Massaging the side of my neck
- doing a yoga shoulder stand
- bearing down
I’ve had 2 episodes that I couldn’t stop on my own, and I got one shot of adenosine to stop it both times. So..if the thought of an SVT episode makes you have a panic attack…then join the club. Thats why we need to try to practice preventative medicine and do everything within our control to avoid episodes.
Some people (like me) have other symptoms that we “feel” prior to an SVT. Mine symptoms are…
- feeling hot
- like I need something cold to drink
- feeling “OFF”
- feeling like Im foggy or ate something I was allergic to
- being tired
- being constipated
- being mad
What are your symptoms prior to or during an episode???