SVT is different from a rapid heartbeat. Anxiety or a panic attacks 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.Unfortunately, SVT and panic attacks can seem to go hand in hand, one feeds the other, and it can be confusing to know which one you are experiencing…until you have an SVT! After having panic attacks for years, I knew immediately the first time I had an SVT that something very different was happening to me.
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).
The best thing is to try to get an EKG while your heart is in an SVT so a Dr. can try to determine the type. That’s what I did and the ONLY way they “named” mine after 15 years of episodes…they caught it ONCE.
AV node SVT means that at random times a heartbeat that originates in the upper chambers, gets caught in a “loop” instead of flowing down through the lower chambers and releasing. The beat goes back up, through an “extra pathway” and gets stuck creating a cycle of extremely rapid beating.Then you need to break the SVT either through maneuvers or by a shot of adenosine. This type of SVT is an “electrical” issue not a “plumbing” issue. Again, you should check out all the areas of your heart to see if all your “plumbing” is working ok, and not clogged etc. As a generalization, SVT is electrical.
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. This belief is the premise of this entire site. To find the hidden or not so hidden causes of SVT. My finding conclude that SVT’s are not as random as we think.
Ways to stop an SVT:
You can try to stop an SVT on your own. Learning how is helpful so that you don’t need to rely on a ER.
My episodes usually start with a thump, or a weird sensation like you suddenly missed a powerful heartbeat. My heart seems to stop for a few seconds…then when it starts back up it’s like a race car….Right at that very moment, when you become better at catching it, try to bear down, hold your breathe, and blow as hard as possible into your cupped hands. Try that several times. It’s like trying to catch it at the onset, which sometimes stops it right away before it gets into the full blown SVT.
The following methods have stopped an SVT in the past…
- Massaging the side of my neck
- doing a yoga shoulder stand
- bearing down
- having a bowel movement
- ice on my chest, face and side neck
- preventative measures that I discuss on this site
I’ve had 2 episodes that I couldn’t stop on my own, and became scared and went to the EF for help. It took one shot of adenosine to stop it both times. Sometimes it takes more than one shot to stop it.
If the thought of an SVT episode makes you have a panic attack…then join the club. An SVT can be very scary! Layer in that it can happen anytime, anywhere, and that most people dont know what it is, and the thought of one can wreck havoc in your life. For those reasons, preventative techniques become the key to living with SVT. We can do everything within our control to avoid episodes, because I really do believe that there are many many contributing triggers. .
Some people (like me) have other symptoms that we “feel” prior to an SVT. My pre-SVT symptoms are…
- feeling hot
- like I need something cold to drink with ice
- feeling “OFF”, vacant-like
- Craving salt
- feeling like Im foggy or ate something I was allergic to
- slightly puffy eyes, or tenderness above my eyes and eyebrows
- being tired ( generally tired, or even exhausted)
- being constipated (this one is huge contributer!!!!)
- being mad, angry or unable or unwilling to express my feelings
- getting scared at something in the moment, like a child getting hurt
What are your symptoms prior to or during an episode??? Feel free to comment below…and also read through all the comments on this site as other people have shared amazing stories and information.
Below is my heal SVT naturally jumpstart kit. It includes my Top Ten tips to Heal SVT naturally, My SVT & Gluten free mini guide and a food a lifestyle tracker to help you be your own SVT detective! Once you are on my list, you will get an email every time I write a new post or have something to share!
I know that this can feel crazy scary, but having SVT taught me so much ans has made my health and how I eat and live a priority. Viewing your SVT as a friend and not an enemy is very helpful in handling this issue.
All the best, I know you can do it, and will be OK, even better than before!
Love + Healing, Laura xoxox