My Story

I was 27 working as a fashion designer in NYC when one day while I was packing an order, I bent down and stood up and my heart started beating in a way I had never felt. I couldn’t control the beats with my breath like I normally could. It was beating so fast I didn’t know what was happening to me. Was I having a heart attack? Why couldn’t I slow down my heart?

Head Shot BookHaving suffered from panic attacks at the age of 18- 20, almost 7 years earlier., I knew this was very different.  I called my then boyfriend who worked all the way downtown and he made his way to my office to help. About 40 minutes into the episode I finally (embarrassingly) called an ambulance. I drank so much water during the 45 minutes before I called for help, that when the ambulance arrived, I had to go to the bathroom so bad I could hardly stand it. The emergency responders told me I had to wait until I got to the hospital. really???

like-usUpon arrival to the ER, my heart rate was at 260 for over 55 minutes and I was given a shot of adenosine. This immediately stopped my racing heart after what felt like an elephant stepping on my delicate chest. I had no time to harp, as I never had to pee so bad in my life…

I stayed in the hospital that night and had all the usual tests…which were, all normal. I would later discover that all of my tests over the next 10 years would continue to be all “normal”. Except what happened to me was far from normal and the fustration only built as to why no Dr. could tell me why this was happening to me…

In_style
I was a Fashion Designer in NYC. Here are some of my designs in In Style Mag, Oprah Mag, and LUCKY.

I was released without a diagnosis…My worried father made an appointment with the “best” cardiologist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC who explained that it was most likely an SVT and could be a one time thing…there was NO reason given to me for why it happened, or what I could do to prevent it…only that as it was the first time, they wouldn’t recommend medication yet. So on I went…fairly confident it was a one time thing….until my next episode…

Over the course of the following 10 years I had several more SVT’s and went to over 10 more Dr.’s. I was told a multitude of things…here are some examples…

1. I should have ablation now, before a pregnancy as SVT’s seem to become more frequent during pregnancy

2. My blood work was perfectly normal and there was nothing they could find that was wrong with me aside from having SVT’s.

3. There is no reason they could explain as to why these SVT’s began at age 27 and I never had them before…(although I will say that upon reflection, I vaguely remember once when I smoked pot in high school my heart was racing out of control…) Maybe that was my first SVT? (I dont some pot at all anymore, I havent in over 20 years. I never did any other drug in my life)

4. I could go on a beta blocker that may or may not help.

I used to provide Mary Hart's wardrobe from Entertainment tonight!
I used to provide Mary Hart’s wardrobe when she was the host from Entertainment Tonight!

5. I could have heart ablation that may or may not work, and I may or may not wake up from the surgery with a pace maker

6. I wore holter monitors several times that never captured an actual SVT so some Dr’s were actually still not willing to say I really had SVT

7. If an SVT occurred I could….

  •  try an “Ice Bath” on my face
  • Bear down
  • massage my “vagus muscle” (not recommended whilst alone, as you my pass out)
  • go to the hospital
  • push like you are having a bowel movement

So…from the age of 27-35 I went on with my life basically just never knowing if and when an episode would happen (nothing like a little something to constantly worry about…I guess going on a safari was out of the question…do they have adenosine there?).

Truthfully although the fear of having one was anxiety provoking, it was nothing compared to the crazy panic I felt when they did happen..and it was nothing compared to the health crisis I would face after the birth of son at age 36.

ALL 998
My 2 boys…My first son weighed 12.7 lbs at birth! (no I did not have gestational diabetes! )

I gained 60 pounds and delivered a 12.7lb baby at the age of 36. (yes, I said, 12.7 lbs!!!)

No, I did not have gestational diabetes. My life mate is 6 5″ and I just had a big baby!!!

I had one SVT (while exhausted and also worth noting after I ate 2 slices of pizza…((this later becomes important))) during my pregnancy and feared for the health of my unborn son. I was able to stop that SVT and thankfully I didnt need the adenosine whilst pregnant. (A lot more on pregnancy and SVT in the blog)

After delivering a healthy child, I lay in the hospital recovering and just then a new version of my symptoms began which would plague me for years to follow.  I was in bed, and all of a sudden, everything stopped, just like it does 2 seconds before an SVT…my heart mis-fired and I crindged…I waited…and somehow, my heart resumed its normal beat…What just happened?…my heart “almost went into an SVT? I called the Dr.’s into my room…what a better place for this to happen than a hospital…Well guess what…no answers..again…Mis-fires, are a huge part of having SVT, a mis-fire is when your heart “tries” to go into an SVT but doesn’t. In other words, about 5 seconds of terror.

That was the first of the series of what would become my new normal…feeling like my heart was “going” to have a n SVT…and it not actually happening…..feeling like I was crazy, only I wasnt. I was however,  exhausted, drained, depleted, and handed my little baby boy to care for, when all I craved was a deep longing for my own nourishment. I felt the real definition of exhausted. Learning how to nourish myself became a major crucial layer into recovering my health, becoming a mother, and healing my SVT.

My symptoms at the time were:

  •  feeling”off” like something was missing, or not right, like I needed a certain Vitamin only I didnt know which one!
  • constant electrical mis-fires of the heart that may or may not lead to an SVT, they happened while I was breast-feeding
  • feeling hot
  • did I say I felt hot? I mean I was hot all the time, Hot, as in all my gorgeous turtlenecks were in the give away pile,  because I was never to wear one again (its 6 years later and still never again). Hot, as in wake up in the middle of the night take your shirt off HOT. Hot as in I needed cold water and ice water all the time and wouldnt leave home without it.
  • Heat intolerence. Different from feeling hot. Heat intolerence is not being able to bare being outside in extreme heat.
  • exhausted adrenals
  • general panic and anxiety
  • fears
  • never wanting to travel or leave my neighborhood, or house for fear of an SVT happening outside of my comfort zone
  • Not being able to even remember the girl I used to be, carefree,  jetting off to London or Paris at a moment’s notice. The THOUGHT of getting on an airplane and this happening seemed like the LAST thing on earth I would ever want to do.

fb4I suffered for 3 years, exhausted, unable to function, cancelling plans with lifelong friends, afraid to do all the normal things I used to do, missing parties, leaving early, not being able to leave the house with out my bag of SVT tools…Ice, cold water, vitamins etc.  Loosing friends because they were unable to understand my situation or I was too embarrassed to explain it, not going on planes for fear of it happening on a plane. Afraid to be alone with my son,…I was overwhelmed. Sad, sick and miserable and searching for help and answers…except I couldn’t find any. I never felt like the Dr.’s were listening, or on my side, or were even trying to make sense of my symptoms or help piece things together. If I did want a Dr that would even remotely help, they were holistic and didn’t take insurance, adding a financial burden to my misery. .

What I do want to underscore, is that I was also happy. Even though I was plagued with not feeling well, and wanted help from Dr’s that I wasnt getting, I adored my son, loved being a mother, and felt beyond blessed to have a beautiful happy child.

In hindsight I think what I was experiencing was that body, which I had been pushing for years, was just not going to allow me to treat it poorly anymore. The pregnancy left me having to rebuild from scratch. I required much higher levels of nutrition, I needed to release and heal old pain and wounds from childhood, and I needed to really rethink my goals and life purpose and make sure I was doing spiritual work that fed my soul and helped others. While physically I was feeling anxiety, SVT, exhaustion, constipation, headaches, Spiritually I was feeling a push to grow.

 

This blog is a journey of my path toward healing, finding my own answers, and the relief that eventually came. Parts of this blog were written at the beginning of my journey 7 years ago, as well as now, and I can hear and see the difference in my voice. I have grown from a frustrated girl who searched for answers and protested changing unhealthy lifelong eating habits, into a woman who finds my answers and guidance within. I feel sorry for the me back then sometimes, because I can vividly recall and see my cries for help. I was begging the western medical system that I grew up leaning on for answers and they disappointed me every time. I HAD to go the holistic route to really get to the deep layers of my healing that I intuitively knew were possible. Now, holistic routes are far more accepted then they were then, and even now, people are still reluctant to admit things like that there are emotional layers to dis-ease. It is my true hope that this site inspires you to find the healing that works for you, that you deserve and that will help you reduce your SVT’s so that you can live your own life to it’s fullest. 

If you would like to be on my email list and receive an email everytime I post, click below. You will not only get my top ten tips to heal SVT naturally, you will also get my jumpstart kit which has my SVT + gluten free guide and my food and lifestyle tracker. 

Sandrine optin

 

 

 

Below is copy from this original page when I first started the site: I love seeing how my voice, opinions and confidence has grown. I left it below in case you want to see where I began and why!

Having a Heart issue is so complicated because SVT’s are not HEART disease. Many of us have beautiful healthy arteries, that are not clogged, What is happening to us is an “electrical” problem not a plumbing problem and as such, there is not a lot of information on how to support it.

I have no idea where this blog will led me, all I know, is that I am here to share and lead whomever into the small healing tools that I have used to help rebuild my health, nourish my body , heart and mind and allow me to live fully again. More full than ever before, and dare I say I am thankful to my SVT’s for leading me on this path of healing. that I never would have embarked on without the feeling of sad desperation that lead me here.

I believe SVT’s can be healed and supported naturally and think that there are so many paths to explore before we jump to fixing the symptom instead of healing the whole person.

I’m not so much interested in how to stop my heart once its beating fast, but in finding out why it wants to beat fast to begin with.

I want to support it and feed it and balance it in every natural way possible because I understand that if I simply fix the “beat” without fixing the “whole”, eventually a new “symptom (fast beat etc..) will just pop up in some other weak area of my body…

Our health issues are our clues, they are our bodies only language that they have to speak to us…my misfires are a language, that I have to work hard to understand. I share my findings with you , so that you can find hope and ways to stop suffering from this scary condition, and practice preventive healing method

My sincere hope is that you will find ways to help your body heal so that you can live a happy, healed nourished life for yourself and for your family!

Love & Healing, xoxox Laura

 

 

 

 

145 thoughts on “My Story

    1. OMG I am 42 and I feel like you have re read my life with SVT . This is incredible. My first SVT was when I was about 12, lasted hours, my mum put me to bed to rest. I then had another when I was pregnant with my first and only child when I was 34. Once again no hospital It stopped after 45 mins. Then a huge break and back again 2 years ago and been haunting me ever since. I have connected it with my cycle too, and I have also suspected carbohydrates and gluten… I’m amazed you have written this also. I have had a major tragedy in my life in January and I too have the heart beat and impending sense of doom before an attack and then it never happens. It’s like my heart stops , it’s dreadful. I only had a bout of SVT 2 nights ago and the next day got my period.
      Thank you for this blog and am going to read every single word and follow your advice.

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      1. Have you tried the Valsalva Maneuver (bearing down as long as you can in a way you do with childbirth)? I am 32, also have SVT and despite many efforts to make my lifestyle as healthy as possible, I still have episodes. This has been the only thing I’ve found to work when I’m on my own. Sometimes it takes several tries, but it’s so effective for me. I am a nurse and still don’t have thorough knowledge of my own heart condition. Everyone is different. I know personally how terrifying it is to feel like your heart is going to beat until it explodes. I definitely have less occurrences when I take good care of myself and eat right. Intense exercise has actually thrown me into SVT before though. I’ve been as high as 360 bpm on an EKG machine. I hope you’re feeling well and I would love to see more posts!!

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      2. Hi Thanks for you post! You say despite many efforts to make lifestyle changes, you still have episodes…then you say you definitely have less occurrences when you take good care and eat right. I would love to help you with you both those comments! What kind of lifestyle changes have you tried that you have not made any impact vs. the ones that do? That info would be a huge clue on how to help you further! Also, are you gluten-free? Thank you, All the best!!

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  1. I feel like I am you. I am 38 years old with three children. My story is almost identical to yours except that I’ve probably only had about 10-12 episodes in my life. I am scared to get the ablation for fear of being worse off than I am now.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I too have only had aprox 10-15 episodes in my whole life….Right now they are about once per year…. The big question is…Have you been tested yet for food allergies? Are you eating wheat? Have you tracked your episodes yet to see if they occur after a large meal, eating sugar, wheat, dairy, or meat? Being angry at yourself or another can also trigger episodes, especially if you tend to go over and over things in your mind (and heart!!!) ….I will blog more on that topic soon. Consider altering your diet to see if that helps your symptoms….All the best!!!!

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  2. Found your blog today after having a episode last night! I was diagnosed with SVT in 2007, I had an ablation done(wish I never would have). My symptoms began when I was in high school, I brushed them off as because of a heart murmur, but I began having attacks when i would bend down and stand up quickly, being a mom and a husband that worked out of town at that time I wanted to find out what this was, I was able to stop them almost as soon as they started, since I had the ablation my trick doesn’t work anymore.Stress makes SVT worse, it has caused me anxiety, well I had a pulmonary embolism two days after my ablation which kicked in the anxiety and now I tend to get panic attacks when have an episode. I to believe this can be healed naturally, that I believe it’s a imbalance in our bodies, I have taken some steps to improve my life, yet I fall short of follow through, done with this feeling of being chained to SVT! Like you I have given up a lot because of fear, yet I tend to rely on my faith and can’t be captive to this, but it still does. In the process of seeing a naturopath now to help with any hormone imbalances/thyroid issues so that I can get on track with healing my body! I have done so much reading on SVT, over and over the same things and I found you today, thank you! I am 39 now and hoping that advancing into my 40’s will lead to a much improved life and lifestyle.

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    1. Hello Renee, All I can say is I FEEL for you! Everything you describe is exactly how I felt/ feel having SVT. Except for that it DOES NOT RUN my life anymore. The reason is doesn’t is because I DO everything WITHIN my control to help support it….

      The FIRST thing I would do if I were you is get tested for food allregies and TRACK your episodes with what you ate. You are most likely allergic to wheat/gluten. (sorry!) You also probably have excess heat inside which can trigger episodes and you need to pay close attention to eating cooling, lubricating foods. Please read this blog for some tips, and also you can follow it via email to receive a blog post to your inbox every time I write one.

      Life style changes have everything to do with frequency of SVT so the best first step is deciding to do WHAT is within your control, and that is breath work, mediation, handing stressful isssues, learning how to express your anger in a healthy way, cutting out food allergens, supporting your gut, and healing your heart. I have another blog called http://www.NourishMySpirit.wordpress.com, you can look at that if you want to follow some more spiritual approaches to life in general. Best of luck and feel free to email me anytime for support! p.s. I dont know where you live but this HEAT is not helping anyone with a HEAT related issue. STAY COOL!!!! swim, cucumbers, WATERRRRRRRR lots of it, add chloryphl to it, eat SMALL meals, stay in a cool place…..

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    2. Hi Renee,
      When you had your ablation done? I was diagnosed with SVT in 2009 but had frequent attacks in previous life. Is ablation changed your lifestyle? what problems you are facing after ablation

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    3. Did you ever find a natural cure for SVT? I’m new to this and it’s really taking a toll on my life! Thank you for any info!

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  3. I was diagnosed with svt last year. I had an ablation that was unsuccessful. I currently take metoprolol everyday to keep me from having attacks. My heart goes crazy after eating still but it will calm down after I drink a lot of water. I got pregnant with my son 4 months after being diagnosed and thankfully I was able to take the metoprolol my entire pregnancy. My cardiologist told me that it could randomly go away on its own the same way it randomly came on. I don’t know what would be worse, to have svt attacks at random or basically to always have them but they are controlled by medication. I wish my heart would go back to normal. I hate being dependent on medication.

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  4. Hello, I creid when I found your site. I have just been diagnosed with SVT after having an episode after a shift at the hospital. I am a midwifery student and I have been freaking out that I will have to drop out as the pressure and stress are so high in my degree course. Having read your blogs, I now feel there is hope for me to control my symptoms naturally. I was gluten free for ten years, and had started eating it again as I wasn’t having any gut problems from it, but I guess I’ll go back to gluten free, and am happy to clean up my diet if means I can keep being a midwifery student. Unfortunately my teenage son is a drug addict and the stress that is causing in my life is unbelievable! Sadly there is not much I can do about his choices, so my challenge is to self-care instead of trying to fix him.
    Thanks so much for your blog, and giving me the nudge I need to clean up my life, and get healthy again.
    I’m a bit scared to exercise at the moment as I’m scared everytime my heart does something weird. Does gentle exercise help as well? I presume being fit has to be a good thing…

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  5. So happy to see that there are other people out there that want to fix this SVT monster naturally! I was diagnosed with SVT in 2011, I was 18. I turn 21 in three days and just had an attack that admitted me to the hospital yesterday. I am discharged now, and have to follow up with my cardiologist but I don’t want to give in to being medicated or have an ablation done. I’m a nursing student and I work as a tech in a hospital, so I was lucky I had my attack where I did, but a hr of 170 for a long period of time is no fun, especially when it starts when you are driving to work.

    I know that my everyday stresses and diet play a huge role on how my ticker is acting, but it took this last scare to get my butt in action. Thinking about going gluten free and doing anything I can to make this better! Any successful tips are appreciated! 🙂

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  6. So glad I found this! I am 36 and just started having episodes last Fall. I had a big one on January 1st and another smaller one two days ago. I just saw an accupuncturist today as I really want to change things to help it. I feel my old fear gripping me again. I used to suffer from panic attacks in my early 20’s and it is making me so sad to feel that again. I look forward to exploring this blog.

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  7. Hi, thank you so much for this post. I definitely feel for you and I completely understand the whole “letting SVTs rule your life” comments. They are terrifying and I too suffer from them although I have never been diagnosed specifically with them. Every time I am given a monitor to wear I don’t seem to have them- they are so random. You can garuntee though that a few days later after not having the monitor, I have an episode. I am so frustrated because of this. The drs I have seen all agree that it certainly sounds like an SVT episode. I too usually get them when I bend down and then stand up quickly, if I eat too much of certain types of food. I feel like I’m not living atm. Can’t eat this, can’t exercise too much, can’t have a drink! Just incase it triggers an episode. I am 31 and am very healthy and exercise- or have done very regularly. I have 3 children and my newest addition is 1 year old. I had these same episodes after having my last two children 10 years ago. This is when they all began. They then went away randomly after my 8 year old was about 2 years old. I have just started having them again and they are back with a bite! A couple of months ago I had my first one in a long time that scared the hell out of me. More worried as my little girl was home with me and I was scared something may happen and shes be left alone.They came to me along with my menstrual cycle again as I had been breastfeeding. Then this morning I had an episode that only lasted a few seconds while cuddling my little one this morning. They are horrible and I really feel for anyone who suffers or has suffered from them. I am now pregnant again and wanting to enjoy my last pregnancy but I live in fear everyday that I will have an episode. I have found the only thing to work for me is sipping icy water when I have these, it has worked successfully 9/10 for me.
    Again thanks for sharing and I will be looking into what I can do for my heart,mind and body to eliminate these horrible things. God bless you all and good luck x

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing! My episodes all got worse after the birth of my son. Im sure it has to do with being so depleted after giving birth and breastfeeding (and changing hormones). In fact, I was having episodes almost every time I breastfed, and it forced me to stop breastfeeding at around 4 months when I planned to go til at least 6. The best thing I ever did for myself was go gluten free. (which I didn’t do til my son was 4) My episodes are virtually gone now and that is the main factor. While there are others, like always having to get proper sleep, water intake, etc…the gluten is the strongest contributor….so if you are still eating gluten, its the one major difference you can make so that you don’t have to live with the fear…of “what if”…

      The second thing is to have a plan in place….Tell a friend or neighbor, that you have SVT and it can happen anytime etc…while its not life threatening, you may need help with the kids if/when it happens and ask if they would be willing to help you out. The point is, sometimes just knowing that you can call on someone is a relief.

      All the best to you and your growing family! Try to take good care of yourself as best you can…lots of naps, water, fruits and veggies…try to stay away from sugar and wheat!!!

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  8. I am 56 and what I believe to be in good health.I am a vegitarian into nutrision and excersise regualry.It has been around 6 wks that things in my life changed.I woke about 3 in the morning feeling very anxious and could not go back to sleep so aroun 5:30 I got up and started to do lots of house work to try and get rid of the anxious feelig.I have never exsperianced anxity.Well this went on for a few day but now I was not sleeping at all and I could my heart beat very strong through out this .I was becoming exausted so went to Dr. and he did an ekg and said he thinks I may have svt.So he sent my results to a cardiac Dr.He also put me on metorprolol and lorazepam to sleep and relax.I never do drugs just natural things.I had lots more test and I do have svt and an other irregular rythm.They are not sure if the svt is causing it or what.So they said my options were stay on medication or also abulation.Well I read about abulation and I really feel my svt is not that bad.I have only exsrianced it this past month where I knew it was there.Well now that I am on medication I wander if maybe I would be ok with out it.I still don’t sleep much at nite 4-5 hours so I am still taking the lorazepam.I feel fine during the day but nite is a bit different.Has anyone been on meds then stopped and everything wwas ok after that?I am also concerned of the side effects of stopping.I would love any input out there Thanks.

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    1. Hi everyone, can I just ask if anyone finds they struggle more with this at night? I’ll be fine all day, and then when I lie down to sleep, my heart goes crazy and if I dont sit up, it will carry on till it turns into a heavy pounding feeling which then becomes painful and my heart beat feels erratic. I cant seem to find any articles where other people complain about it being worse at night, which is making me doubt that the doctor has me correctly diagnosed with SVT.

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      1. I sleep with at least 3 pillows. Im always propped up. I cannot lay flat….ever…I find that my SVT is positional

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      2. POTS? It’s a postural svt thing. My doctor at the Cleveland clinic wanted me to have a series of tests to see if that might be the cause of mine, but can’t afford the inevitable bills I’ll get from whatever my insurance won’t pay. Plus, nothing ever happens when they are looking for it.
        Grateful for this blog, cutting the gluten and increasing my water intake has helped more than anything any of the 10 doctors I’ve been to have done.

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    2. I’m 61 yrs old and had my 1st episode where I couldn’t stop it with bearing down when I was 55. Had to go to hospital and was given adenosine . Had all the tests done and was diagnosed with SVT. I was put on metoprolol also. Took it for 1 yr. without anymore episodes so my cardiologist told me I could come off of it f I wanted to. Then a yr. later had some repeated episodes so started back on it. He told me that when I experience an episode to take 2 pills instead of one and see if that helped which it does. I normally take a 25mg pill daily but if I have an episode I take another one that day. It seems to work for me so far. Also I usually have good results when I bear down really really hard a few times. It may not work the first time or the second time but eventually I can get the rhythm back in sync.

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  9. I have other arrhythmias at night that I notice when I lie down, worse on my left side, but so far no SVT in bed. I’m currently wearing a cardiac event monitor and have managed to record two “good” sessions of weird arrhythmias. I think they happen more than this, but it is easier to notice them when I’m in bed. Don’t think you are alone on this.

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    1. Hi, thank you both for the responses. I really appreciate it. I think the worst part is lying there feeling everything your heart is doing and not knowing if you should be getting yourself to a hospital or not. And the doctor told me SVT isnt dangerous and it cant kill me so i tell myself i’m freaking out for nothing, but at the same time wonder if it could be something else and my heart is literally in trouble and I’m doing nothing about it. Lets hope we all get a good nights sleep tonight 🙂

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  10. Hi Ashley I feel things more at nite too.I feel better but I am on medication and one of them is lorazepam.I don’t like drugs and I scared to stop because of the withdrawel .Right now I am only getting 4-5 hors sleep but I feel its because of the meds.Has anyone started meds then stopped and everything went ok?

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  11. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I was officially diagnosed with PSVT on May 21, 2012. I had my first ablation on June 5th, 2012. I went on vacation about 3 weeks later and found myself in 2 ERs in one day due to multiple episodes. Upon returning from vacation, I has my 2nd ablation on July 31st. I had one major episode following the second ablation and was put on metoprolol. I went 8 months without any issues (except random flutters/skipped beats). I weaned myself off the metoprolol at the end of May 2013. Its now a month of no meds and today I had 2 SVT episodes. Luckily I was able to stop them on my own (versus before ablation- I could NEVER get them to stop myself. I was a regular at the hospital). I am currently *trying* to get pregnant and I am wondering if I am indeed pregnant and the SVT is acting up with the changes. I guess time will tell. It gives me a sense of relief that I will be able to have children because I was starting to think I wouldn’t be able to with SVT. Glad to know I am not alone. Again, thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Hi Lindsey, Thank you for commenting! Your story is not the first that I have heard about ablation “not working”. Try some of the other things listed here…like cutting out gluten, figuring out your allergens and avoiding them, increasing water intake etc….SVT’s definitely seem to have a major connection with our hormone fluctuations…I was always more likely to get them around menstruation etc…I also had them when I was pregnant. (they should not stop you from getting pregnant) Try to keep a diary of what you eat so you can start to make some solid connections to what you were eating, drinking etc prior to an SVT. Note your sleep patterns and bowel movements as well. Make sure you are eating quality salt like pink himalayan mixed with iodized sea salt. REST throughout the day and take a look at the state of your adrenals….No doubt when your well rested, well fed, and well hydrated you are least likely to have an SVT….Keep me posted, all the best!!!

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    2. I am scheduled for my first ablation on November 12th. I am on a gluten free diet but I still get them about a week before my period. I always have to visit the ER and get adenosine. I am praying the ablation works. I am so nervous about the surgery but I want my life back….I don’t drive for fear of passing out and killing a family or a person! I am in constant fear of another one when my heart does the flutter or skipped beats I panic immediately! I am hoping one surgery works for me and praying I don’t back out of the surgery like I did a year ago… Most people tell me after the surgery they are not quite as bad if it would not work, is this true? I just want my life back… I am 50 and worry about these continually controlling my life!

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      1. I am having the procedure done at the end of July, I am very nervous and was wondering how your eperience with it was.

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  12. Just want to add that I have been doing a lot of research, and it seems it is important to keep up the potassium levels in the system, as low potassium can trigger arrhythmias. Potassium is depleted by diruetics such as tea and coffee and over the counter versions, another good reason to stick to water. Also, aside from the naturally occurring electrical impulses in the heart myocardium that fire signals for the heart to beat (which don’t work too well with SVT situations), the sympathetic nervous system speeds up the heart rate, while the sympathetic nervous system slows things down. A long period of a high stress levels can put this balancing system out of whack, and the sympathetic nervous system doesn’t get a chance to work properly. So monitoring the stress levels is vital to reducing the incidence of SVT in my opinion. I also found evidence to support the idea that fluctuations in hormones plays a part, one piece of research stated women are more likely to get an SVT while they are menstruating. Hope this helps. 🙂

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  13. HI I get the SVT too but I seem to be able to stop them by holding my breath, I havent been formally been told I have them but had a incident in the GP’s surgery last week and she put the monitor on me and it appears to be SVT. Also find it worse on my left side or even if the kids hug me it can set it off, today at work I had them every time I sat down a real pain to deal with especially when you are trying to deal with customers. However, one thing I have found is that when I am on natural progesterone they seem to get a lot better, I did a little experiment about 2 years ago I had a good period with no palpitations and could not figure it out. Then I stopped the progesterone and they came back, I wasn’t sure if it was a fluke so I did it again . And I stopped progesterone in April and my SVT got slightly worse in May and this month it has been really bad – daily short episodes. So I am going to go back onto the natural progesterone and hopefully it will help it again. I also find dairy can make it worse. Hope this helps. God bless Laura

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  14. Hi I am so glad I found this!!! I have a similar story to all of you. I have had heart palpitations since I was 21 and I am now 32. I learned to deal with the skipped beats because eventually they became few and far between. Everything changed when I got pregnant 3 years ago. During pregnancy I bent down and stood up. My heart skipped 3 times and then took off so fast I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t break it and I was so afraid I was dying and worried about my baby girl. After 30 mins my heart paused and reset. IT was back in normal sinus rythem. I went to ER and they didn’t catch it in time so they assumed SVT. Saw a cardio had all the workups done. It’s not a structural problem it’s electrical. I was told probably wouldn’t have it again. Fast Forward 11 months. I have stomach issues, something is wrong there but Dr’s can’t figure that out yet. Bloating, gassy, cramping, etc. Palpitations after eating. Well I was eating 3 slices of pizza which I know will bother me, and then I turned over on my left side. I could feel my food sitting in my throat just not wanting to digest. And then skip skip skip my heart took off again!!! This time my husband helped me and it lasted 5 mins. That was a huge setback for me with my panic and anxiety. I didn’t want to leave the house, always had to have someone with me at all times. They put me on Ativan which I am still on over 2 years later 😦 not good! They still said it’s probably SVT nothing I can do. I slowly over time started to regain my life back. Still was on ativan and having palpitations but no SVT. Fast Forward again 2 years later to 3 months ago. Again, eating a huge dinner of spaghetti and my stomach was upset. Middle of the night I turn on my left side and skiip skip skip it takes off. I was shocked after 2 years this is happening again!!! My husband rushed me to the firestation behind our house and they called 911. My heart rate was around 240. I couldn’t breathe. That lasted about 30 minutes but my heart was going so fast the paramedics couldn’t see if it was SVT on the monitor. Then all of the sudden it slowed down significantly. But as they drove me to the ER I could feel something wasn’t right. IT was flip flopping and just wouldn’t stop. ONce I was at the ER they said oh you are in Atrial Fibrallation!!!!! I was floored 😦 They couldn’t get my heart to convert over to NSR with all the medications. I was so uncomfortable. A Fib is the worst feeling 😦 So they admitted me to the cardiac floor and scheduled a TEE to go down my throat and make sure there wasn’t a clot around my heart, and to shock my heart to convert me back to NSR. well right before they took me to do that, I felt like I was going to pass out for a split second and then the nurse said you are out of A Fib!!! It took 11 hours. I was exhausted, weak, scared and felt like my life was over. I knew now that it was A Fib as well I was never going to get better. So I saw my cardio and an EP dr everyone agrees that it’s most likely SVT that one time went on into an Atrial Fib episode. Which can happen they say. So the EP Dr wants to do a EP study and ablation to see if there is the SVT and get it. He is 99 percent positive I do’nt have A Fib. But in my head I am so confused. I hear horror stories about ablations etc, but then what is my quality of life? I have a 3 year old daughter who I don’t want seeing me live this way. I am scared to be alone and everytime I have skipped beats I panic it’s going into something. I feel lost and don’t know what the right decion is here. I think it is an electrical issue, but everytime it has happened has been after huge meals that make me bloat like I am 9 months prego. Anyway, sorry for the long story. Has anyone ever had an afib episode after SVT?

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    1. Hello my dear, thank you for sharing your story…The beauty of your story…if you re-read your own words…is that is is FILLED WITH CLEAR ANSWERS for you….Clearly you are ALLERGIC to gluten…STOP EATING GLUTEN and you will drastically reduce your SVT’s. The second thing I talk about in the blog is large meals….LARGE MEALS TRIGGER SVT’s. These are things YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER….there are some things you do not have control over…but eliminating gluten, and eating smaller more frequent meals…is something you can do for yourself, your health and for your daughter…I have to run now, but am going to address your story in my next blog post this weekend! Thank you for your courage to share your story and research natural solutions! Have faith and remember YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN HEALTH!!!!!

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  15. What an amazing blog! I have SVT, High Blood Pressure and Atrial Flutter, I’m 40yrs old and first got SVT when I was 15yrs old playing indoor cricket. My years with my heart issues have been all over the place, I have had 2 ablations and 4 cardio versions. The last ablation I had was 16 months ago and so far so good. After reading people’s story’s it made me think about what sets me off, eating a big meal definitely….and until recently I ate BIG! Stress is a HUGE factor for me and stress about everything and anything even for other people if I think they aren’t worried enough for themselves. Alcohol sets it off which makes me sad as I love to drink! Being over tired or over welhemed sets me off, being sad or very excited sets me off. I can not sleep on my left side it definitely sets me off and feels like my heart is being crushed. I have always been a bad sleeper and will often wake up with it. Heat sets me off. Over the years I have tried managing with rest, massage and always no matter how sick I am or what day of the year it is or where in the world I am I walk, walking is a great help. But recently I have started juicing and it has made a world of difference, before this I felt just needing to digest my food was making my heart work to much and tiring my body. Over the years I have lost a lot of weight about 50kg’s but still my heart got worse with age. But juicing has made the world of difference and reading about large meals affecting it now makes sense why I feel so good with the juicing. I live in Bali (shifted here for a lifestyle change to help my heart and less stress) and there is a guy here called Tyler Tolman and he runs online free juice fasts and is a world of health knowledge. I urge everyone try juicing see the benefits to your body. It all makes sense to me now why the juicing is working so well for my heart. Thank you for all the information, my goal is to come off all medications and I now know for sure juicing and raw food is going to do this, I will definitely reasses the gluten. I have eliminated this a lot lately which is obviously also helping I have never heard of this before. The are so many stories I have of how debilitating this condition can be on your everyday life and your family and friends lives and how on the outside to many people you look “normal” but on the inside you are just waiting for that heart attack to come. Please keep the information coming and I’m happy to give anymore information of my experiences if anyone is interested as I’ve had this condition for many years.

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  16. Hi Laura,

    What a great blog. Just wanted to add my story.

    I was formally diagnosed with SVT when I was 11 years old (I’m 24 now) after having lots of episodes in late primary school. Fortunately I have never needed to go to hospital (a few episodes stopped just before I went), and they usually stop when I hold my breath. My episodes usually only last a minute or so, but I have had episodes that are close to an hour in length. I can go months without episodes, and then have several per day. My biggest trigger is stress, which also gives me heart “jumps” (palpitations where it feels like my heart skips a beat).One thing I discovered recently is that my lifelong battle with eczema has been caused by gluten all along, and now that I am on a gluten-free diet I’m hoping I find some improvement regarding my SVT episodes.

    I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like to first get SVT in my 20’s – fortunately as a kid I wasn’t too afraid and since gotten used to them. It’s just my “heart thing”. I’d imagine it being very scary to have it now, for the first time!

    Thanks for this blog, I hope I can find some answers here too.

    Melina

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  17. Hi, your story sounds very similar to mine. How can I read the rest of your blog to see what I can do to help my “svt” which, by the way, only one of my cardiologists thinks I might have. My other does not. They’ve never actually saw it on my EKG. I was given a beta blocker to take “as needed”. I’ve had palpitations, skipped beats for years. Started when I was around 18. Was worse while I was pregnant and so much worse after drinking alcohol. I’m in Napa right now and had a little wine. Very little hours before bed. Needless to say, I was up all night with terrible palpitations. I also have bad anxiety not sure which came first but it feeds off of each other. All my doctor keeps saying is that I’m not having a heart attack which is little comfort when my heart is racing. I ended up in the ER two years ago because I got thyroiditis which temporarily puts your body in hyperthyroid mode. Needless to say, I ended up in the ER. My heart rate was so fast it showed up in my blood work. In response to this my dr just said “I guess your heart was really moving.” That’s all he said. I’m so frustrated. Any suggestions would be great. I have learned certain things trigger it ie alcohol, big meals especially in the morning. If nothing else, it has allowed me to have a healthier lifestyle no smoking etc. I look healthy but feel like a wreck. I’m not sure when it will strike. I can’t tell the difference between anxiety/ panic and svt. I ‘m sorry this is so long. Any thoughts?

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    1. Btw I forgot to mention that my dad has a severe glutton allergy and, although, I don’t experience the same symptoms that he has, and a blood test showed I didn’t have it, I’m wondering if I could still be sensitive to it.

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  18. Hello,
    My name is Shaelyn and I am a 19 year old college student. Earlier today I was sitting in a college lecture room when all of a sudden my heart started racing out of control. I felt like I had over-dosed on some drug like cocaine or meth. It was the first time in my life that I thought I was truly going to die. I have never been more afraid.

    The anxiety that followed afterwards was absolutely insurmountable. My aunt and cousin have both had heart transplants before the age of 30, and my brother who is 21 already has a pacemaker. My whole life I had been tested and told that I didn’t catch the “family gene” for heart problems. However, today I was convinced that I had it. I am so grateful to have found this blog because it has brought me peace after the scariest morning of my life.

    This was my very first episode, but I am comforted that other people have gone through this as well and have learned to manage it.

    One thing I have to add to this blog (that I haven’t seen anyone else post about) is indigestion problems. Yesterday (the day before my episode) I must have burped at least 30-40 times. It was incredibly strange and the whole day I was confused why I had been burping so much. I believe that indigestion was what triggered my SVT. I am going to do more research about the connection between burping/ acid reflux/ SVT. However, if anyone has more information PLEASE ADD IT!

    Thank you all so much for your contributions to this blog. ❤

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    1. Dear Shaelyn, Thank you so much for your post! Im so glad you took the time to write…Indigestion would be related to something your body was unable to digest easily and probably means that you ate a food allergy food. The BEST thing you can do for yourself is write down EXACTLY WHAT YOU ATE for the last few days and feel free to post it as a comment and I will help you evaluate it to see if we can find some possible allergen which caused the indigestion which lead to the SVT. I have also noticed in the past that burping is a symptom that could take place prior to an SVT…and the less stuck things are the better…Hence my advice on daily bowel movements and doing everything to support them….Are you taking probiotics? They help with soooo many things….Really give thought to exactly what you ate, when you ate it, if you were rushed, ate late, ate gluten etc….Considering your family has a history of heart issues just is a clue that you are SENSITIVE and have to make your heart health a priority…Managing these health issues isn’t a curse, in the long run it makes you healthier than most, and gives you a chance to admire your body for giving you the road map to exactly what YOU need to be healthy…Drink some decaf tea, maybe fennel or peppermint with some nice local honey if possible and eat light for the next few days….Rice, cooked veggies, soups, etc…Start a heart journal and keep track of your feelings, what you are eating, and see if you are disconnecting to anything in your life that needs attention…or ignoring your real needs and dreams…I hope you feel better and feel free to post your food intake…Your story helps others!!!! All the best, Laura

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    2. Hi Shaelyn, I burp for several hours and experience stomach discomfort after an SVT. A couple of weeks ago I had a bad SVT with feeling chest pain, dizzy and faint, and so rushed to ED at local hospital to get an ECG trace and finally got a definitive diagnosis. When the SVT slowed down I got the burping (as usual). I asked the consultant if he knew why that would happen and he said there is a theory that when the heart is beating so fast the body draws blood away from the digestive system to the vital organs, and when the heart rate drops again, the blood returning to the digestive system causes feelings of indigestion. I notice when I do burp a lot in one go, that I have probably had a short burst of an SVT. The other thing that happens to me is urinary frequency. The docs in hospital and my doctor couldn’t give me an answer about that, so I did my own research ( I have access to medical data bases as I am a midwifery student) and found out that in some people the SVT puts pressure on the atria and triggers release of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) which tells the kidneys to stop absorbing water, thus the extra fluid filling the bladder. I too get quite upset after an SVT around the unpredictability of it. However, the anxiety is not helpful if the SVT is triggered by stress (one of my triggers) as it compounds the problem. I decided that most of the time I feel fine, so I am better off focusing on being happy and relaxed than worrying when the next one is going to hit. In fact I went to a wedding on the weekend and I had to drive hours away from home. On the way I said to my kids “I better not get an SVT at the wedding” and guess what? I got one, because I was worried about it.
      The new thing I have discovered which I think really helps is EFT emotional freedom technique. Google it if you are interested. I used it at the wedding when I felt a second one coming on, as a friend suggested it, and I stopped it. Also agree with what Laura says in her comments. For me too, I have been repeating an affirmation “It is safe to love and be loved” as this helps my heart to feel emotionally healthy.

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    3. I have indigestion problems after an episode and they take awhile to get back to normal. I believe and started questioning the correlation. Notice that burping, gas, stomach growls, indegestion and upset stomach can make me feel that episodes will trigger. When my stomach is fine it feels less likely the svt will occur. Might have to try a gluten free diet.

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      1. Your comment is so interesting!!!! Im glad we are all starting to notice these correlations….To add to this theory further…I have said in the past that for myself, if I dont have a bowel movement Im 90% more likely to have an SVT…Therefore the whole stomach, digestion and bowel movement, is all connected to an increased risk for an SVT episode. Ive heard some people say that the “Gut” is the second brain, and that all disease begins there….Im so sure our SVT is linked to our diets and how we are digesting (or not digesting) certain foods. That must be why I do 100% better with my SVT when I follow an “allergy-free diet”. My advice to all is to start your detective work in your gut. Check out enterolab.com. Thats where I did my stool sample to get started. They are reputable, professional and will give you individualized evidence of what foods are triggering a allergic response in your system.

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    4. Hello,

      My name is Pat, I am a 60 year old woman who had SVTs since I was 35. They have changed throughout the ages. The last year or so, I noticed that there is some connection with my eating and burping. My chiropractor said I have a hiatal hernia and when it is acting up, it gets close to my heart and irritates it. So yes, there is a connection between indigestion and SVTs.

      I used to have one or two long (30 – 90 minutes) SVT episodes a month when I was younger. Now I get 5 to 30 episodes a day! I used to be able to stop them within a few minutes by holding my breath. But recently, that has changed and they have become prolonged (6 minutes to 120 minutes). Last fall, I turned from hypothyroid to hyperthyroid and was recently diagnosed with Graves Disease as my TSI was high. But all my tests for the actual thyroid hormones are normal. Go figure! A natural doctor put me on female hormones (200 mg progesterone and 2.5 mg estriol) and that is when the SVTs became prolonged. I’ve stopped the hormones, but they have not improved too much as my stress level is high.

      I cannot even take vitamins sometimes as the capsules trigger the SVT within 5 minutes after taking them. My life is like hell right now and as I am single, there is no one who really understands my situation. I understand all of you people feelings and fears as they are with me all the time. I feel right now that my SVTs rule my life and I don’t want that. I am going to go off gluten and try to drink more water. I had subconsciously drank less water as sometimes the drinking brought on the SVTs. Thanks for the blog and all of your suggestions!

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      1. Hi Pat thank you so much for your post. If swallowing vitamins bothers you can you try to drink your vitamins? there a lot of vitamins that come in powder form. I recommend mediclear by Thorne. you can put a scoop of that in your smoothie every morning and it’s delicious and has tons of vitamins.

        Definitely try life without gluten!! lower your sugar and increase your water. in your case you’re admitting that you have a high level of stress so you have to do some things to bring your stress level down…some deep breathing meditation,baths etc but if you could just try to remember to exhale out your mouth that’ll help.

        stress and sugar definitely affect your hormones which affects the frequency of your SVT… Best of luck to you feel free to comment anytime and I will always try to reply! Xox

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    5. Hi everyone,

      I also have SVT diagnosed when I was a child although it hasn’t been caught on an ecg since. Mine only last a few minutes but have been on a beta-blocker for a year now with some really great results. They freak me out whenever i have an episode.

      In response to the blog above I was finding that I was burping alot and getting more and more flutters – it turned out to be a lactose intolerance. Burping stopped and flutters calmed down when I stopped having products containing lactose.

      I also avoid caffeine and find foods containing msg trigger mine along with stress and being overtired, if I eat too much I have issues and lying on my left side.

      So glad to hear personal stories about this condition.
      Thankyou

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    6. Hi, I am Subodh Shukla from New Delhi, India. I am 57 years old male. I was diagnosed with PSVT about 8 years ago although I do not recall if there were earlier short episodes or not. However, after the diagnosis, which happened when I had an extended episode in 2007, I was told by the docs that RF ablation is a cure for this but the conservative advice was that one should get the procedure done only if the problem become unmanageable. So I have just lived with the problem because it was generally short episodes of a few minutes which reverted after a few deep breaths or other exercises.

      I have also felt that somehow the episodes are linked to my digestion. When an episode begins, I feel that a burp is building up in my throat and if I am able to burp, often it goes away.
      Of course there may be other reasons for onset of an episode but my personal experience tells me that it has something to do with my stomach at that time. Some of the patient experiences above seem to confirm this. Best wishes.

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  19. I am currently crying while reading many of these stories. I was diagnosed last year with SVT: I too worked in healthcare which I find very interesting seeing that a few other commenters are apart of the field; which can be an extremely stressful environment at times. I have episodes at the most random times and I feel extremely emotional and out of control when I do. It’s hard to breath and I panic making everything worse. I had an unsuccessful ablation after I was diagnosed, which discouraged me entirely, that was the start of currently the most stressful time of my life. The whole situation put me out of work and on disability. At the time I was dealing with some other minor health issues. Everything together was enough for me to lose my job. Anyhow I have been searching for ways to function through all of this and needless to say it’s very hard. Stress just makes everything about SVT worse and unfortunately I’m living under constant stress. I’m so interested in learning from others about diets that can help. I was also curious if anyone else on here ever suffers from migraines and if anyone else has the onset of a massive migraine after an episode? I find my SVT almost always trigger them…

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    1. Hi Cierra, Thank you for your post! Sounds like this blog can give you some ideas on where to start with diet and some other self-care tools. Gluten Free eating is the number one place to start if you are suffering!!!….Since you know that your life is very stressful and that stress plays a huge role….Is there anyway that you can start to really reduce the stress in your life? Sometimes we don’t think there is a way and have been resisting taking the steps that will lead to our relief…Maybe your health is trying to speak to you and its up to you and only you to try to listen and give your self what you need…!!! Every one of our cases is so unique but I know that no matter how hard, there is always a way to change a nagging situation…and I also know that long standing nagging situations and stress are factors in this condition. I wish you all the best, and am happy to try to answer any specific questions…feel free to post anytime and I will always reply! Hope and healing, Laura

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  20. Reading this blog has made me feel much more at peace. I’m a 20 year old college student diagnosed with SVT when I was about 8 or 9 after a long night at dance. My mom also has it, and luckily it lasted so long the doctors caught it the first time it happened. After about 8 or 9 episodes I decided to have the ablation when I was 14. I didn’t have any symptoms until I was a senior in high school. I have not had any episodes where my heart beats an extreme amount, however now I have flutters that are unbearable. I can’t lay on my right side.. EVER. I bend down fast and it feels like my hearts skipping beats, and being hungover is the worst feeling ever. I wore a heart monitor and my cardiologist said that these are symptoms of SVT.. to try beta blockers, or to get an ablation. But I’m so unsure of what to do. It has never had such a negative affect on me. My anxiety is through the roof, and I can’t drink caffeine or alcohol without the side effects being triggered. I’m not sure why I’m posting this, I guess just to assure people they aren’t alone. I worry a lot too, and also assume that my doctors aren’t right sometimes. But hopefully things will get better. Thanks to everyone who posted.

    Kayleigh

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    1. Hi Kayleigh, I am so happy you posted! You are a young girl with your whole life ahead of you and its great that you are learning so early on what your triggers are….believe me, although it may not seem so now, not drinking or really only drinking occasionally is one of the best things you can do for yourself! Also, drinking to the point of a hangover is too much for your sensitive nature and the sooner you self-care the sooner you will feel better! Drink tons of water, and herbal decaf tea with yummy honey and you will feel soothed. If you must drink, try some nice wine and only one glass and only once in a while. And remember, drink 2 full glasses of water for every drink. Also increase your Vit B. Its never too early to dedicate your life to your health and try now to really develop some habits that you like and make you feel good and will have a positive impact on your body. Practice yoga and walking and journaling…Watch what you eat, try going gluten free and cut out the caffeine. Feel free to post anytime, Im always here for anyone who posts. I love hearing from everyone and am happy to help with specifics. All the best, Stay strong! Once you really take control of your health, this condition is not as scary as it seems! All the best, Laura

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      1. HI Sam, I am great. No I would never have ablation! I havent had an SVT in over a year and a half now and in general I have had 1 in about the last 3 years. I have drastically reduced my episodes and have also improved my overall health tremendously. Have you tried any of my suggestions on the site yet? How frequently do you have an SVT? I completely understand that you are afraid to get the ablation, I was too, that is why I tried to do more natural remedies and they work!!! Let me know if you would like a free 30 minute skype session to discuss your situation. I offer 1-on-1 coaching and we can look at your overall situation to see what lifestyle changes might help you! The first call is free, I would LOVE to help, let me know if you are interested! All the best, Laura

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  21. Apologies, I accidental replied to the first story at the top of this page.

    I like most others am in tears at finding this blog.
    I am 42 and have not formally been diagnosed with SVT as I use to be able to stop it within half hour or so of onset.
    My first attack was when I was 12. I had been at a water park all day climbing an abundance of stairs over and over again to go down a water slide. By the time I’d reached home my heart was beating out of control , when I say out go control I mean you couldn’t ever count the beats it was crazy. My mother a RN put me to bed to rest with fluid and told me it was palpitations. It eventually stopped but after a really really long time, maybe a couple of hours.
    I never had it again, until I was pregnant with my first and only child. In my last trimester I was driving and I was a bit anxious about a news report on the radio and BAMM my heart skips a beat, I get that sense of impending doom and my heart takes off… I reach my destination and have to lie down really worried about my unborn baby. After about an hour it subsides.
    Nothing again until 2 years ago, at the gym and finished a work out, it’s like I’m holding my breath and WHAM it happens… Racing so fast that my friend with me who is a RN can’t get a radial pulse reading and my body is shaking . Lasted for about 35minutes. Fast forward I get it again whilst attending an 80th birthday party interstate. I was anxious before I went and I am most certain my anxiety bought this on. This time I had it for 1.5 hours I got my husband to drive me to the nearest hospital which was 40minutes away… When I got to A and E the nurse wasn’t taking me seriously and was mucking around with my details which made me cranky and all of a sudden WHAM it stopped. They hooked me up anyway to ECG and couldn’t find anything. The doctor recommended to my husband to do coroted massage down both sides of my neck next time to stop it (I have since been told that this is a dangerous method as it can cause clots to the brain) the doctor suspected SVT.
    Have had it in an off since then , we did the massage which would work, sometimes I could stop it before it took off. Other times I’d sit on the loo and push as advised by that country doctor.
    I started making notes on my calendar every time it happened, I noticed that it seemed more prevalent in the week leading up to my period. Very interesting. And I also felt that carbohydrate tipped my anxiety and palpitations off which can lead to SVT. I just had an attack 2 nights ago, I then got my period the next day. My attack lasted for an hour. I just stay at home now and try and breath them away. It was scary to read isabellasmoms story of AFib I really hope I don’t have that.
    I have had a huge family tragedy in January this year, shocking . I am suffering a lot of anger and anxiety over this event and I most certainly know that the manifestation of anger is not good for the heart.
    I am due to go OS in January with my husband and daughter and am really afraid this will happen on the aircraft.
    I am now going gluten free, I see the benefits and I do believe I am gluten intolerant.
    Thank you for your blog. I am so grateful.

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    1. Hi Stephanie, Im so happy you posted. Your story is so similar to mine and many others….The fear of not knowing if it is going to happen…thinking about it all the time, it happening around your period, pregnant, anxious etc….The good news is that, in my own experience (and for others), eliminating gluten has drastically helped reduce the frequency of my SVT’s and also coincidentally, my anxiety in general. I don’t have panic attacks anymore or even general anxiety. I’ve done a lot of work on my anger, and really healing old wounds from the past….I’ve also changed any stressful circumstances in my life (it only took about 6 years!). Point being, my stress is down, my anxiety is drastically down and my SVT’s are (dare I say) gone. If I were you, I would really focus on sleep, tons of water, light stretching and walking, journaling and lots of greens. Try the green vibrance, I swear by it. Also make sure you are taking probiotics and having nice bulky bowel movements every morning. During travel, just prepare yourself in advance…Take your water, ice pack, and practice meditation so that you can use it if you get nervous on the plane….Remember, even if it does happen on a plane, it will eventually do away. Try bearing down to stop it, and also blowing really hard into your cupped hands right as its starting…that one has worked for me a few times. I also do the neck massage which has stopped it a few times…Don’t carry anything heavy and in general try to book vacations NOT around your period. I really think eliminating the gluten will help! You are on the right track, and the more you do to benefit your health, the less you will worry about your SVT’s. Just be honest with yourself if you are being as healthy as you can possibly be. Its actually fun to be healthy…and it’s contagious to those around you! Self-care is a cure all! All the best, Write anytime, Peace and healing, Laura

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  22. I am so relieved to see that someone else has gone through similar problems to me! Not to say I’m happy you have gone through all you did, but it’s so nice to not be alone. My story in a nutshell: have had episodes of tachycardia that would come and go suddenly since I was probably in my early teens. Never went to a dr and except for getting the occasional episode while playing volleyball I just lived with it and never told anyone. After I had 3 babies, the episodes became worse, and then when I was pregnant with my 4th, I got couple of bad episodes that scared me. Went to a cardiologist that was 0 help at all, she just dismissed me. After the birth 19 mo ago, I had strange palpitations and “almost SVT attacks” that became daily occurrences. I was always living in dread and fear of having an attack. Was drinking caffeine and under a lot of stress with a difficult and fussy baby. Since then I have had about 5-6 attacks, now accompanied by feeling panicky and dizziness. They last longer too. I have since the birth been to a different cardiologist, worn a 24 hr holter monitor, a 2 week holter monitor, had an ultrasound, and still…no diagnosis. I am scared to go to the ER during an episode, I think it would scare my children to have an ambulance come and also I want only to be left alone and lay flat on my back and try to control my breathing, not go to the hospital. But because of that, I have no official diagnosis. I am positive I have SVT though, after doing a lot of research. I am going to go back to my cardiologist and try to get him to diagnose me because I am tired of suffering quietly and having my life inhibited by this invisible ticking time bomb. Have you tried any medications of any kind? If so, have they helped? I also am suffering from chronic adrenal fatigue/exhaustion, and believe they may be related. Thank you for listening! I just mostly wanted to thank you for posting about your story and the things that have helped you! I am eager to read the rest of your blog.

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  23. I’m a pro wrestler and had two SVTs exactly one year apart during matches. The doctors did a cath, after the second episode, and found a strong heart with no blockages. Almost unable to determine what the cause was. Ablation was discussed but too risky. Sometimes I’m doing nothing significant and my heart misfires and goes right back. When I really push myself, like wrestling or even in training, I can feel it “coming on.” It’s terrible and there doesn’t appear to be much help for it.

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    1. Hi Jay, Thanks for commenting…Are you Gluten Free? Track what you ate exactly what you ate up to 24 hours prior to the SVT…Im sure you are wrestling a lot and there must be a line up of events that made you have 2 on random days 1 year apart and not on a lot of the other days you wrestle…By the way, the heart remembers…I have had mine around the same time from year to year…Sometimes, it can even be related to a childhood trauma in the month it happens…(I know that sounds heavy, but worth looking in to)…Is there something else symbolic of the month or week or even day that they are happening? At the very least, start with considering becoming Gluten free and see if it makes a difference. I used to have undiagnosed “POTS” postural orthestatic incompetence…which basically meant that when I moved in to different positions I was triggering an SVt or a near miss….By eliminating Gluten, the constant “almost” episodes are completely gone…I don’t suffer at all any more from “Pots”… Also, make sure you are doing the obvious like staying really well hydrated prior to your matches, and sleeping well, etc…Try adding some balanced minerals to your water and smoothies and see if that helps. Let me know! Laura

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  24. Hi,
    I was recently diagnosed with SVT and recommended to get the surgery and take the meds because my episodes are frequent and pretty severe with a 2-3 day backlash. Since I found this wonderful site, I decided to try to control it naturally first, so for 3 weeks now I have cut out all sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol and eat very limited meats, and have had only one episode since the day after I decided to try to have a half of glass of vodka and sparkling water with lime out with friends. It was occurring every 2-3 days, so the alcohol seemed to trigger it. Now here is my concern. I have a 7 day trip to Cabo that I already paid over $3k to go for a week in Feb 2014! This is all inclusive of food and alcohol. This is what is going through my head with international travel.. What if I have one in Mexico and need ER care? What if I eat gluten on accident or have little to no other options? What if I decide to indulge in a drink? Is it even worth going on an all inclusive trip with unlimited food and alcohol if I can’t indulge in any of it for an entire week? Does an airplane trigger an episode?? All these concerns, all these worries. I just started getting these episodes in the past two months and was lucky enough to catch it on a monitor, but it is still so new and so scary. I am considering just skipping the whole trip and forfeiting the $3k already spent. Has anyone traveled for a week internationally where you can’t bring your own food? What did you do? I hate to be a prisoner to SVT, but I am so nervous I will eat something with hidden gluten and have an episode in mexico which again, puts me in bed 2-3 days after as I can barely even walk once it is over. Please help!!!

    Jenay

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    1. Hi Jenay, Thank you so much for writing! While I cannot advise you on what to do about your trip…I can say the following…Its GREAT news that you can clearly see that positive changes that you have made to your diet have directly influenced the frequency of your SVT’s! That’s really positive results and encouraging for you to keep it up! You are in control of your health and it shows!!!!

      Thee are things that you can do when you travel to help support yourself….I will write a quick blog post on that now for you to review.

      Look at this experience from a birdseye view and remember that whatever you decide to do about your trip, you know that the things you eat, and the way you take care of yourself directly relate to your heart. I am sure this new knowledge will take you on a path of further healing on many levels! Im really excited for you as it shows that your body really responds well when you take the garbage out of it….Keep eating clean and I bet you will continue to feel great and drastically reduce your SVT’s! Much Love, Laura

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  25. I just came across this blog when I was searching for SVT answers. I haven’t got the ablation yet but considering in having it next year, I am terrify of the outcome but I am tired of feeling like Im having a heart attack! I was given heart medication but I can’t tolerate the side effects so I am taking alternative medicine, magnesium taurate, omega 3 and potassium every day. I sometimes feel better but I really don’t know if these vitamins are helping or is my mind trying to think so. Yesterday and today I have felt like passing out, like heartburn feeling, chest/neck pressure, arms numbing..etc. I wish I could find a solution for this problem..I can’t work and don’t know if I will wake up tomorrow…

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    1. I would start with the basics….Are you eating gluten? Get yourself tested for your food allergens and start eliminating them…and if you cant afford to or don’t want to then just eliminate gluten, sugar and alcohol for 2 months and see if you have a noticeable difference in the frequency of your SVT’s…Sounds like you might have acid reflux which is another digestive issue…It all starts in your gut…sounds like that’s the place to look for answers! Are there things you are eating that you know don’t agree with you? all the best, laura

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  26. Hi. I am a medical resident specializing in cardiology. I started having SVT a month ago. They seem to happen when I am on duty at night and wake me from my sleep. I have never had an episode while awake. My cardiologist put me on a beta blocker which I took for two weeks but stopped hoping I was better and the attacks came back. I have always been lactose intolerant and after reading the blog will try to be on a gluten free diet.

    I miss being healthy as I use to cycle everyday now I can barely make it up the steps.
    I am scared of the ablation after hearing about the person who got a pulmonary embolism.

    Thank you for the blog it helps to know what you isn’t rare and you aren’t going crazy stressing while the doctor thinks it isn’t a big deal.

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  27. Hello!

    I was 12 when my svt started and I was having attacks once a year. All the tests came back normal. Started doing gluten and dairy free with little difference besides weight loss and attitude change.

    I am now 21 and just had the ablation therapy done in October and things are great! I am feeling way better and able to have caffeine, stay up late and excersise without worry. The hospital I went to had a 95% success rate with patients and everyone was soo kind and fun! It was scary just thinking about “surgery” but now life is so much easier! Plus recovery is 3-7 days. I was up and back to normal life in 5.

    If surgery is what you’re worried about, think about life after surgery. Living with fear and anxiety is no fun. Also getting it done earlier will help because of your age (healing and what not)

    Good luck to you all! Stay healthy.

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  28. Wow. I was moved to tears reading this. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who feels like this. I had open heart surgery in 2003 to repair ASD (atrial septal defect). I was 23 at the time, and I had the surgery after having my third and last child. I wasn’t diagnosed with SVT until 2010, after having what my doctor thought was panic attacks for 6 mos. I kept thinking that it wasn’t just anxiety which I have always struggled with and that it was different. EVERY SINGLE EPISODE I felt like I was having a heart attack. I was scared to death, my heart felt like it was thumping out of my chest. My doctor sent me to a cardiologist to “ease my fears” about having a heart attack. I went to the appointment and left with a 15 day holter moniter. I cannot count how many times I pushed that button and called that thing in. I seen a heart rhythm specialist after the results were in and sure enough….she diagnosed me with SVT but said it was in the upper part of my heart and I also heard the “I’m not sure if I could find it with an ablation but we can try” “It’s hard to say but I think that that’s what it is”. I opted to try a beta blocker and currently take atenolol everyday. It’s done wonders. I no longer have “big” attacks. But, really…they all feel the same. I’m exhausted all of the time, I sweat, I’m hot (thought that I was the only one who had that), I feel twinges in my chest, missed beats still, wake up every so often with rapid heart rate, etc. I noticed over the years that when I have an episode I’m also gassy. Or my stomach hurts. Nearly every single time. I too believe that it’s directly related my my digestion/stomach and am so happy I found this site. I am going to work on changing my diet and see if that helps. Thank you so much for sharing your story! You’ve helped me a lot today!

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  29. Hi, thanks for your blog. I’ve had SVT for a while now I’m 21.
    I’ve also had anxiety and panic attacks so I don’t know when I started having problems with SVT or if it was just anxiety. But I believe when I was 14 I started having issues because I couldn’t exercise without getting dizzy, out of breath, etc on regular normal stuff. (i was an athlete so it was bizzare).
    I figured it was my anxiety.
    So I worked on my anxiety, and pretty much overcame 90% of it.
    I had an attack when I was 18, without anxiety.
    found out that I had SVT from the hospital.

    I have been to the hospital two times because of an attack.
    The first one was scary, I had to go into the hospital myself, but the adenosine(sp?) worked the first time.

    The second one was the worst. They almost got out the paddles. They shot me with like, 5 different drugs that all didn’t work. It freaked the doctors out, I was pretty calm and the people in the room said that I was the calmest person they’ve seen with this problem. lol (probably because of all the training with the panic attacks I overcame haha) I asked them to pray for me, I believe they did eventually, I prayed super hard, and know/felt God’s loving care over me. I’m not afraid of death anymore. I think one of the drugs they put in me actually jumpstarted my heart, to go faster. 230bpm.
    When you’re heart is going that fast you feel:
    1. Extremely dizzy, disoriented, and feel like you’re going to die
    2. weight on your chest, and like all your veins are going to explode, super hot all over
    Even though it was a bad situation, I learned a whole lot from it. 🙂

    so I got an ablation. It was successful. I can run! I can do things that I want!!! I can go travel, and eat the foods I want. everything! 😀 I’m so thankful to God. I do have little flutters, but they don’t turn into full blown SVT attacks. 90% of ablations are successful. I was one of them! yay! The younger you are when you get it, the better it will be.

    There’s not a lot of information about SVT on the internet….it’s weird!
    I tried finding natural things/cures but there wasn’t really anything on the internet.

    my questions are:
    1. why would this affect me LATER in life if I always had an extra electrical pathway in my heart? (figured it would have effected me while I was younger)
    2. WHY does what you eat have anything to do with your electrical system? (because I’ve noticed that when I eat gluten, certain junk foods, etc, my heart is more likely to go off)
    3. Not sure why there’s so many people online that got ablations and it didn’t work? How can it not work? lol You cauterize the bad pathway so you should be fine after that. I think they have more than one pathway then. Either their doctor sucks at finding the pathway or it’s something else?
    4. Ablations shouldn’t be risky, they’re relatively safe unless for some reason you have a preexisting condition that may make the procedure unsafe. They get a little more risky the older that you get, but isn’t that with any type of surgery/procedure?

    I’m an athlete, an active person, and couldn’t stand having SVT any longer. I needed exercise to be able to control my mental problems (depression and anxiety just get worse the less active you are).
    The doctor I found has done 300 ablations or more and all have been successful and they were mostly old people too. He’s an excellent doctor.
    He moved to California though. His name is Dr. Molden, he’s the best doctor in the world and super nice/funny! He actually cared about ME not just my issue (if you get what I mean). I recommend him to everyone. He’s extremely careful, and did a great job. 🙂

    Just get an ablation, it’ll be awesome in the end, you’ll be able to do everything you wanted to again! My quality of like sucked before this, now it’s amazing! please find Dr. Molden and give him a call.

    At this point, the only things you can do is:
    1. get an ablation
    2. be on pills the rest of your life
    3. try natural things (for the rest of your life)
    4. go to the hospital (if you let your heart beat waaaay tooo fast for too long, you can have heart failure, so go to the hospital!)
    go to the hospital in 30 minutes if your SVT doesn’t slow down.
    Just adjust that time to how fast or slow it’s beating. So if you have 230 SVT you better get your butt to the hospital before 30 minutes, because that heartrate is dangerous to have for too long (I suggest 10 minutes if your hospital is 15 minutes away).
    5. live in fear constantly and not be able to do the things you used to.
    quality of life=sucky
    6. or die. You can have heart failure with SVT. I don’t hear of this happening often but it has happened. Don’t worry if you get to the hospital in time you’ll be fine (don’t wait longer than 30 minutes!!!!! My doctors thought I was crazy for waiting 30 minutes to get it slowed down, it was at 180-200) but if you don’t and your heart rate is high you can have a possibility of heart failure. Your heart is not designed to go too fast for long periods of time. My heart started to hurt a little bit, and I started to feel really gross, so that scared them too. I could’ve died from waiting too long (I wanted to try all of the things first like ice water, holding breath, etc)
    Do not go on for days with svt, some people online say they wait days to go to the doctor because their heart rate is high, but not super high like 110 or something. JUST GO TO THE HOSPITAL IT’S YOUR HEART FOR GOODNESS SAKE! lol

    I suggest an ablation. My doctor made extra sure I wouldn’t be on a pacemaker, cause I’m young and probably wouldn’t want to have that for the rest of my life lol.

    I love my life now! not living in fear!!!

    ❤ you all! and hope you find the solution for you.

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    1. Hi! Thank you for posting! I am so glad to hear that your quality of life is so much better now! As my grandfather used to say, “To each his own”. Whatever works for you is whats best for you. You raise some questions that I will do my best to answer…I will speak mostly to healing SVT naturally…Many people with anxiety and panic attacks also have SVT and sometimes its a what came first question. In my own case I suffered with panic attacks for years prior to my first SVT. I know the difference b/c my first SVT episode was a clear heart pounding difference that normal calming methods didn’t influence or improve. Things like slow breathing, meditation, drinking water, don’t actually break an SVT.. That’s how I knew the difference between a typical P.A and an SVT at on-set. Relaxing methods are beneficial to practice during an SVT episode to help you to remain calm while focusing on methods specific to breaking an SVT. Its good to practice calming methods to reduce anxiety on a daily preventative basis…(we all know the benefits of walking, journaling, breath work, meditation, exercise etc), its also important to practice other preventative methods that help reduce your risk of an SVT on a daily basis. (and theses are the ones we explore on this site)

      You bring up your own valid point and observation that “because I’ve noticed that when I eat gluten, certain junk foods, etc, my heart is more likely to go off” which is one main point I speak to all over this site. Junk food, Gluten, Sugar, Stress, Alcohol etc. all increase your risk of SVT. People are finally starting to draw these connections…You experienced this yourself and so do I and many others. So this site explores the question of WHY does this happen, What are the connections, Why don’t cardiologists speak to these connections, Can eliminating gluten or other allergens reduce or even eliminate SVT. We are just pondering these issues in a forum where no one else is addressing those questions. If you want some of my educated guesses as to why these things are connected just read through some past posts…

      I personally have drastic (positive) results by living a “healthier” than before lifestyle. Prior to my very first SVT I had ice coffee with probably 5 sugars in it, and cookies for breakfast. In hindsight, I can see how everything from sugar to gluten to anger etc were present prior to every one of my SVT’s. I was ingesting toxins and it played out in my body as an SVT. Every mainstream Doctor is starting to understand the correlations between food and disease…and Type 2 diabetes is the biggest, clearest example of this….SO, one point we explore here, is if diet effects one health issue, why wouldn’t it effect all the others…The food we eat has everything to do with the frequency of SVT. So do our stress levels, and emotions, and sleep patterns and water intake etc. SO, if SVT sufferers have an extra pathway in the heart that others “do not” or “Why” some people don’t get SVT until later in life…etc are all amazing questions that Electro psychologist dont have answers for. Im a girl that wants answers. I believe in digging DEEPER for the answers, its my body, I see the connections. I want to know. I don’t accept the mainstreams answers or lack thereof. I want to know WHY I get SVT’s?????? Even if its because I have an “extra pathway” then why am I not in SVT 24 hours a day? Why I can go ALL year without one and then ONE day BOOM? What tripped it off THAT particular day? Obviously something effected it!!!!!! Why do some people have it daily or weekly or monthly or yearly. There is no set pattern. Its random, individualistic, just like our food intake, beliefs, emotions, allergies, digestive tract etc. There is no ONE thing that we all can do, but there seem to be many things that effect us all….things like Gluten, sugar, alcohol etc.

      You include “trying natural things” for the rest of your life in the same catagory as “be on pills for the rest of your life”. Its interesting because I wonder if we don’t make those healthy changes to our lifestyles…whats next after SVT? If abalation “cures” or shall I say temporarily stops the most massive SVT episodes in maybe 80% of all cases…Why is your heart still mis-firing even after ablaltion? The answer is because you “fixed” the symptom that was disrupting your lifestyle most. You didn’t HEAL or CURE the reason these episodes are happening in the first place. That is the ANSWER I SEEK. Yes abalation sometimes cuts the pathway successfully, just like going on anti-depressives may stop you from feeling depressed. BUT THEY DIDNT address the reason you are suffering in the first place, nor does abalation. If the Dr. got rid of the pathway then why are people still having irregular beats? Why do people still misfire on some days and not others? I speak to the points of why we mis-fire, why is there dis-harmony there? Where in your body is your “dis-harmony” that still is playing out going to show up next? This exact point is the mind set of natural healing…SVT is someone’s achilles heal. Its your “extra pathway”. Someone else’s weak spot might be their eyes, or knee, or digestive tract where their dis harmony shows up. There is no crystal ball to show us all our next health issue. Things like drinking water, improving sleep, dealing with anger, avoiding foods you are allergic to etc. are not life sentences. They are natural normal things, that people who are loving themselves, and taking care of their precious bodies enjoy doing. Doing natural things to support your health will benefit your SVT, and many other issues at the same time.

      Heart surgery is heart surgery, some people no matter what age wind up with a pace maker. Some people wind up with having to have open heart surgery to correct abalation gone bad, there is risk with any surgery and all of us are weighing those risks vs. our quality of life, vs. doing what is within our control etc. So, I will end as I began, “to each their own”. Joy and love and peace and harmony all around….Do whatever works for you….Success lies at the end of many different paths…What I can say for sure, is that trying any of the approaches we talk about on this site will only benefit your overall health and not just SVT. My hope for everyone is that we all live as healthy as our awareness allows and keep asking the questions in life that we want answers to!

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  30. I wanted to give an update. A little history; I am 32, a mother of a 7 yr old, workaholic, foodie. Out of no where I started having SVT attacks that started at 5 minutes and lasted longer and longer each time with my longest being around 3 hours. I had one, a month later had another two weeks later another, a week later another then 2-3 a week. Within 4 months I was having them left and right, scared out of my mind to leave the house in case I had another until I found this blog. I read about the health aspect and the gluten, caffeine, sugar, rest etc and decided to give it a try. (keep in mind I saw the best cardiologist in Atlanta and didn’t want to get the surgery or take the horrible meds and when I mentioned this approach to the Dr. he thought I lost my mind.) I immediately tested my allergies on enterolab.com, cut out gluten, sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Two weeks passed and no SVT although I still felt like I was going to have one any second. Then I accidentally ate gluten in a curry seasoning and the next day had an svt. I noted in my food journal everything I ate and was fine after that until I had leftovers a week later of the curry veggies and had another svt the next day. I soon realized wheat flour was the second ingredient in the curry. From that point on I became VERY knowledgeable about hidden gluten and made my family gluten free as well to make things easier when shopping and cooking. I was feeling good, no svt, but still had flutters every now and again for the next month which would freak me out!! Within another month I added a morning green smoothie into my diet, eliminated my food allergies discovered from enterolab, started taking probiotics and overall allowed less stress into my life and slowed by “go go go” mentality. If I am running 10 errands and am tired after 5 I stop now when before I would do all 10 then come home and not sit down until 1am doing more things around the house.

    I am happy to say that I am almost 5 months SVT free! AND I feel GREAT!! It takes a good 12 months to get gluten out of your system and I believe that as I feel better each month that goes by, and now I can even cheat a teeny bit with a little sugar or caffeine, but never gluten. I am even turning into quite the gluten, sugar and allergy free baker and have made some wonderful cookies, breads and muffins and lost 15 lbs which puts me at my weight when I was 18! I have been to several dr.s in the past 5 months with each one saying there is no way I am controlling SVT this way, but I 100% know that I am. I now go to a holistic Dr. that has recently added to my regiment and like I said I have never felt better. I sleep better, I am happier, I let go of old anger, slowed down, don’t let things get to me, don’t allow myself to hold grudges, eat right, take yoga and pilates, still indulge in my homemade sweets, so I don’t feel cheated AND AND AND am not afraid to leave my house!!!! The fear has subsided! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! YOU have changed my life and if it wasn’t for this blog and these ideas I would be under the knife right now getting this horrible ablation that is not a cure, but a band-aid covering up the real problem. Anyone that is having this problem should truly dedicate 3 months of their life to trying these things before considering drastic measures.

    Jenay

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    1. Dear Jenay, Im literally in tears as I read your post. First of all thank you for taking the time to share your journey. I am utterly thrilled that this blog has helped you, and the whole premise of it, is technically not medically based…rather based on MY OWN personal experience and journey. I am sooo happy that some of the things I discovered that actually helped me, are helping you too!!! I KNOW that there are things we can do to support and hopefully eliminate our SVT and you are a shining example…Like my start student! A++++++…I feel like I just got encouragement from the universe for us all to keep digging for answers and NOT LET old school thinking and mainstream outdated medicine dictate our health! I WISH there were more Doctors willing to look at the big picture….WHY is this SVT happening instead of just offering those band aid “cures” and actually be OPEN to a combination of solutions! Blessing to you for not only taking the leap and for finding JOY in it, and discovering your cooking talent and enjoyment through it all! The universe needs MORE people like you and I am so glad to have been a part of your journey. PLEASE PLEASE keep us all updated on your journey…what works, what doesn’t…Best of all, you are empowered knowing that you are doing EVERYTHING within your control to drastically reduce your SVT’s. I would LOVE LOVE to post your comment as a blog post. If that would be ok with you please just comment with your permission and basically I will just post your comment as an actual POST. I think its important to spread your message and recovery to help inspire others….Love and healing xoxoxoxox Laura

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      1. I am forever grateful for your blog, it has changed my life and of course you can post my experience in anyway you choose. For a month now I added in treatment from a naturopath where she has been working on leaky guy and yeast overgrowth from too much antibiotics in my life amongst other supportive factors, and I have hit a new milestone. I exposed myself to every culprit (except gluten) that used to cause an svt. coffee, sugar, allergies, exercising, and no svt with any of them! This doesn’t mean that I will include any of those back in my diet on a daily or weekly basis, not even monthly probably, but it is nice to know that I have moved up on the wellness scale enough to tolerate things that I once could not even tolerate in small amounts and once again have the choice. If I feel like a cup of coffee I can have one! lucky for me, i have been green long enough that I actually crave a smoothie in the mornings instead, but it is still nice to have options! I also found out I indeed have two genes predisposing me for gluten sensitivities and so does my son, so we are both gluten free for life.

        There is a light at the end of the tunnel, you can improve, you can have that sweet dessert or cup of coffee again, life is not completely restrictive forever, so please anyone reading this, if you want to improve, I know it is tough to give everything up, but if you do it makes a life changing difference and one day you can have these things again in moderation possibly! Thank you Laura, you are a lifesaver and I have this huge pull from the universe to spread awareness to others because this knowledge changed my life. i believe everybody goes through things for a reason and I feel blessed to have gone through what I did, so now I can help others, help raise awareness about gluten, svt and even GMO’s and our food in general. Thank you Thank you Thank you 😉

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  31. I have found reading about other people’s SVT quite interesting, so thought I would chip in with my own experience.

    I’m 38 years old, female and had my first significant episode of SVT last year. In total, I have had 5 *significant* episodes of SVT. Although, looking back, I now recognise that I’ve had very short SVT episodes throughout my life that I’ve dismissed as they have resolved themselves within a few minutes.

    Each of my 5 significant episodes have taken place at the gym when I have been coming to the end of a 45 minute, fairly intense cardio session. (I usually do 5 x 1.5 hour sessions with a 50:50 cardio:weights split per week.) On each occasion that I have had SVT, my heart had been working at about 160 – 170 beats per minute beforehand. (I have started to wear a heart rate monitor when I exercise, so I have a pretty clear idea about what is going on before and during my SVT.)

    When I had my first episode of SVT at the gym, I didn’t know what it was, so the staff called for an ambulance. The ECG showed an abnormal rhythm with my heart remaining at 220 for about 45 minutes before it resolved itself.

    The second episode, precisely 1 week later (interestingly – they usually occur on a Wednesday) was a little more dramatic. Same pattern, I was coming to the end of a 45 minute, moderately intense, cardio session. On this occasion, my heart went up to 250. I was struggling to breathe and my blood pressure had dropped so low, I was unable to stand. This time, the ambulance insisted on taking me to A&E. My heart remained at 250 for an hour – and again resolved itself at the 1 hour mark without any medication. I was kept overnight and monitored.

    A cardiologist confirmed that I had SVT. I was given the option between taking beta blockers or flecanaide ‘pill in pocket’ – to be taken when the need arises. I did not want the beta blockers. My resting heart rate is about 50 – 52. The idea of lowering it further struck me as unwise. I agreed to take the tablet as and when I need to. At the hospital, a nurse talked me though the vagal manoeuvre (holding my breath / bearing down).

    The next time I had an episode, 2 weeks later (yes, on a Wednesday!), I tried the vagal manoeuvre and it worked. My heart dropped from 250 to 90 in about 5 seconds. Subsequently, I have been able to control my SVT, but it has taken me about 20 minutes to get my heart under control with this vagal manoeuvre.

    My cardiologist has suggested ablation – which I intend to have in the next few months. He has described it as incredibly low risk procedure with a very high rate of success. Whilst I have been able to control these episodes, it can’t be healthy to have my heart racing along at 250 for about half an hour every other week.

    I would love to understand why my SVT arises when it does; always during cardio, and not even during the most intense cardio that I do. My cardiologist hasn’t the faintest idea. If anybody has any theories, I would be very interested to hear them.

    Many thanks.

    Yours with palpitations!

    LL

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    1. Hello LL, Thanks so much for writing…I have heard many stories where SVT is prompted by Cardio exercise. First off, its great that you can stop it on your own. That alone will help you if and when one does occur. I think the ability to stop one takes a lot of anxiety out of the equation. I love your questions and almost would like for you to help answer them yourself! Why do you think your SVT happens when it does? On a Wednesday and during Cardio? I would dig deep into both. Are you more stressed on a Wednesday? Does your body remember something stressful that happened on a Wednesday a long time ago? Do you feel like once you get through Wednesday your week is almost over and you can be happy or relax…Write in your journal and see what your inner voice says…Secondly, just to point out the obvious, if your heart is having SVT during Cardio…I would say its trying to tell you its too much cardio. Pretty simple…but maybe not what you want to hear. Perhaps more gentle cardio or breaking it up into 20 minutes intervals, or walking outside…I would try to mix it up and listen for the hidden messages in between the lines. Remember your heart doenst have an actual voice…it cant just tell you in its own words what it needs and wants…you have to figure it out like a detective. So if it happens at the gym during cardio, those are your best clues. The other place to look if what you are eating on the days of your SVT? I would (as always) see if gluten or caffeine plays a role. In Chinese medicine they don’t believe in pushing the heart at all, they believe you shorten your life span by speeding up your heart. Cardio intentionally speeds up the heart and in your case its being driven several times per week every week. Sounds like you like to work out, but maybe you can slowly find another great workout you enjoy that is less harsh on your heart…maybe yoga or a good hike outside with some breaks. I don’t have the exact answers, but I do feel confident that each of us are totally unique and the answers lie within. Someone else may get SVT’s when they eat chocolate, completely different triggers for different people…Whatever the cause, your heart needs something its not getting…and usually its to do with some form of rest, self-care, joy, self-expression, and nutrition and being heard. Best of luck to you, I LOVE hearing your story and am here to try to support you anytime, All the best, stay in touch, Health and healing, Laura

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      1. Dear Laura,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

        I understand exactly why you wonder if my body is trying to tell me something about cardio. But here’s what I find perplexing – every Sunday I have a *really* intensive exercise session with a personal trainer (cross-fit type cardio with heavy weights). My heart hovers around 180 for about 20 minutes of that session. If pushing myself hard when exercising is my trigger, I can’t understand why I don’t get SVT on Sundays. On Wednesdays, I usually go a little lighter on cardio as I normally have a pretty intense weight session immediately afterwards.

        One of the things that I was most concerned about when diagnosed, was that I would have to stop or scale back my exercise. I have been pretty overweight for most of my life. Two years ago, with a combination of healthy eating and exercise, I dropped about 45 lbs and am now fitter than I was a teenager. I was incredibly relieved when my cardiologist told me that he didn’t think I should alter my exercise routine. Ideally – I would like to maintain this routine (for reasons of pure vanity!) but, like you, I thought my body might have been trying to tell me something!

        In terms of food triggers – initially it was assumed caffeine was to blame as I had a few cups of coffee before heading off to the gym. Subsequent SVTs have all been when I have been caffeine free though.

        I doubt it’s gluten as I don’t consume very much by way of gluten at the best of times. I have never liked chocolate (despite having had a very sweet tooth) as it tended to make me feel quite odd. It doesn’t push me into SVT, but my heart feels a little jumpy. Caffeine sometimes does the same; as a student I recall trying to study all night with caffeine pills – which made me feel so terrible, I never tried that again.

        Here’s one detail about my SVT that I thought was very interesting. When I downloaded the data from my heart rate monitor following my episodes of SVT, I noticed that my heart rate would be at approximately 160, when on each occasion it would drop to approximately 90 (which is odd as I was still exercising) before soaring to about 250, where it would get stuck. When I mentioned that to my cardiologist – he thought that the heart rate monitor was inaccurate – but this has now been the pattern on each of the 3 occasions that I have had SVT when wearing the monitor.

        Finally – I treat my SVT as an inconvenience rather than a serious health issue. But, a number of people posting comments here suggest that a heart rate above 200 for more than a few minutes is unhealthy / dangerous and that medical attention should be sought. So far as you are aware, is that right?

        My apologies for the length of my response. I have all these questions and comments because you are the first person with SVT that I have ever communicated with.

        My thanks once again.

        Regards,

        LL

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  32. Aww…finally! Some information! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
    I was diagnosed with STV a few years ago, after being in ER. I hd been cleaning, and bent down for a moment only to feel my heart THUMP really hard then start racing. Faster and faster and faster! Had to sit, and could feel my body litteraly bounce off the chair. Scary! Told myself if it didn’t stop in 10 minutes of drive to ER. So off I went. There, they monitored me asap, my heart was beating 256 bpm. By now it had been 40 min. They shot me adenosine and a few minutes later it was normal again.
    I have had lapband survey in 2010 and can’t eat much, especially bread and pasta. I have also had a hysterectomy last year.
    My father died if a heart attack at 51 and my grandfather did as well, when he was in his 50’s. I am 38,.female. I worry.
    Last night I had 8 start and stops while lounging on the couch. I had been there for many hrs watching tv. Nothing different than I normally do in the evening.
    I also had a severe attack at work two weeks ago. My heart beat was so fast, no one was able to get my pulse. It stopped about a half hr later.
    I’m not sure if I should see a Dr at Mayo. I live about 40 minutes from Rochester andtrust dDrs at mayo. But I don’t want to waste anyone’s time if this is nothing to worry about. It just really scares me. What if did nothing and I die from it?

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  33. I’m very thankful for this site as a place of optimism and valuable information! I just had my first episode of SVT at 51 years of age. I am just starting this journey and was overwhelmed by the depressing stories I read on the internet. I have been researching as much as possible to prepare for my doctor visit. My daughter, who happens to be the one who has encouraged me to remove gluten from my diet before this even happened, found your blog. It really has been the most encouraging and empowering resource I have found!! I was speed walking/ slow jogging a mile to check my time so I could work on my fitness. Beforehand I had a cup and a half of coffee, a pineapple, banana, coconut oil smoothie AND a decongestant. Now I know that is a recipe for disaster. I felt like I might pass out and used a blood pressure cuff at home to find my pulse was 190. My husband took me for my first visit ever to the ER and thru vagal method and blowing thru a syringe I was able to reduce it to 120. I later received an injection of a beta blocker to get it down further. From what I read, I’m thankful I didn’t need Adenosine! I have PVC’s which were captured on the EKG as well as the SVT, high catecholamine levels and those I am familiar with. I have felt those on and off for years. Thru prayer and positive changes I hope to heal my heart….thanks for being here for us!!!

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  34. I don’t know how to edit my comment above but I did not type “high catecholamine levels”! I don’t know how that was inserted…very strange! Please disregard that part as I have no idea what it is or what my levels are.

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  35. Hello and thank you Laura for this wonderful site and to all the people who have shared their experiences.
    Many of the stories people have posted are very similar to my own experience of living with SVT.
    I’ve lived with this condition all my life (I’m now 44 years old).
    One of my first memories is of having an episode when I was around five years old. I don’t remember having too many attacks (is attack the right word?) during my childhood but as I recall they did happen from time to time and I quickly learnt how to stop them by crouching down. They would only last for a short time, a minute or two and as soon as my heart had corrected I could carry on as normal. I never told anybody about it and (as one of the other posters said) I just accepted it, it was my heart thing that sometimes happened but even though I did accept it I was very anxious about it.
    I think the attacks became more regular when I reached my teens, probably because I was putting nicotine, alcohol and caffeine into my body for the first time.
    In my early twenties I had a panic attack one night while I was lieing in bed,my heart suddenly started pounding in my chest, it was different from my previous weird heartbeat experiences and very scary, I told my girlfriend who was lieing next to me in the dark to phone an ambulance, by the time the ambulance arrived my heart was back to normal but I went off to hospital anyway.
    After that I had some tests done, chest xray, ecg, bloodtests, ambulatory monitoring with a Walkman type tape recorder that I had to take away and wear and press record if I had a symptom , but they never happened while I was wearing it.
    The doctor told me I had a condition called SVT, it wasn’t life threatening but was more of a nuisance and I should just get on with my life, he added that I should avoid stimulants, coffee, alcohol etc.
    I was relieved that my heart thing now had a name and I wasn’t going to drop down dead because of it, so I did what the doctor said and got on with my life.
    The attacks have continued to happen mostly they last for a few minutes and I can stop them the same way I discovered all those years ago.
    I have had some bad ones where I thought I was going to die.The bad ones have happened whilst exercising and my heart rate has already been quite high.
    Stress is a definite trigger I’m positive about that, so managing stress is something I try to do through a philosophical outlook on life, I’ve found Buddhist philosophy to be very helpful although I wouldn’t call myself a practicing Buddhist.
    I currently have symptoms most days, not always full attacks but nearly attacks or extra beats.
    I stopped the cigarettes fifteen years ago, rarely drink alcohol now or coffee.
    I’m quite sure that sugar is a trigger so I go through phases of cutting it out and then when things improve gradually I go back onto the chocolate, so I plan to cut it out for good.
    I’ve been very interested to read about some of the other triggers, particularly gluten so I’m going to keep a diary and make dietary changes, learn about gluten and try and cut it out.
    I never tell anybody about my condition, its always been my guilty secret and I’ve always been a bit ashamed of it so its really great to read about other peoples experiences and to share mine.
    I’ve found SVT to be a bit more than just the ‘inconvenience’ the doctor described it as, it saps your self confidence and can stop you from doing all sorts of things due to the worry of having an attack. I know there is more I can do through the natural holistic things described here so I’m going to spend more time researching this site and the directions the site takes me in and will let you know how I get on.
    Jonathan

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  36. So thankful to find this encouraging website! I’m 32 years old and I’ve had suspected svt for about 8 years. My “attacks” have been close to 2 years apart, with most of them happening during pregnancy. And 3 of them have definitely been immediately after bending down and standing up quickly. Why is that??
    Now this morning I had another one. This time we got to the ER to get an EKG and I was finally officially diagnosed with SVT. Now here’s where I’m confused. I’ve read so many testimonies on this site about gluten seeming to trigger the episodes. And the funny thing is, is that my husband and I happened to be doing a detox in which we are avoiding gluten, dairy, sugar and anything processed. We are 10 days into it. So why, after going gluten free for the first time in my life….did I have an “attack?” It’s been 2.5 years since my last one. I didn’t accidentally eat any gluten. We’ve been very diligent. The attack happened at 9 am and I had not been able to eat any bfast or drink any water yet. But that’s not terribly abnormal for me as I’m a busy mom of 3. We were getting ready for church and I bent down to get the kids shoes…and it hit. I feel very discouraged today. I can’t tell you how good it was to find this site. I don’t feel so alone! Thank you!

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    1. Hello my dear thank you so much for posting ! The key message to get from this site is that everyone’s health is a combination of layers. If I had to pick one main contributor to svt it would be Depletion. Gluten is huge too. Since you are doing a cleanse I would say that maybe you depleted yourself a little too much of something. Not drinking water and not eating is definitely not good for you you might have just been out of balance. Your electrolytes might’ve been low and it could be so many reasons also if you’re doing a cleanse and you’re going to the bathroom a lot having bowel movements and you’re not replenishing that’s definitely a contributor. The key thing to look at with SVT is what in your opinion did you do differently…what do you think contributed to it? The last thing to think about is that while I talk a lot about gluten as it’s such a common allergen for so many people,my main point that I encourage everybody to do is to do their own stool sample with enterolab and figure out what their allergens are. Until then I would say that even though for whatever reason you think this cleanse is good for you it doesn’t seem to agree with your body at this time. I would definitely think about how you can replenish!!! Drink tons of water, eat your greens,eat some nice warm quinoa, beans, dulse, brown rice lots of veggies take your vitamins take your B take your D3 take your probiotics and cal mag citrate, and see how you feel… It’s always a mystery why somebody has an SVT,what the contributing factors were and I would say just dig deep and see if you think this cleanse was too much for you..sounds like maybe it was…all the best to you,try not to worry too much,the good news is is that you’re down to having them every couple of years as opposed to every couple of days like some people..so stay positive and if I can help you any further please don’t hesitate to post again!!

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  37. My SVT was brought on by stress, and high blood pressure. The only time food has effected it, is if I’ve over eaten for instance, during a holiday.
    I started having palpitations and heart “attacks” a few times a month. When I had my first severe attack @ 280 bpm, I was sitting in a training class for my job. My 2nd attack, I was LAUGHING with my father, telling jokes… of all things.. Talk about a mood breaker! One of my happier times, is what set of my SVT.
    Each ride in the ambulance they hit me with 3 shots of Adenosine, gradually increasing the dose *6 to 12 to 18*. They tripled the initial dose.. It feels like you’re dying, because technically, you are.. That medication is made to shut down your heart in attempts to reboot it and hopefully reset the internal pacemaker, and each time they hit me, they upped the dose which made the feeling worse. When they reached the max dose, if no positive result, they told me my only possible chance was being shocked. I’m sorry, but food does not have that kind of affect on the electrical impulses in your heart. Its the pressure. Heavier people like me, have it worse.
    One time, the doctor thought he had it fixed with a calcium channel blocker. Atenolol or something. It stopped, and they sent me on my way. I got up, and walked 3 feet, and it came back full force. There’s nothing they can really do to help because they don’t know how.
    As I’ve read, a lot of you said you bend over and it starts. If you stoop, cough, laugh, etc… That will all set it off. I can sneeze, and it goes off.. I can just be sitting still, not doing nothing, and my heart will spaz out. It’s ridiculous..
    So, I had the ablation done *unsuccessfully* in Jan. of 2010. They were able to fix 4 or 5 of the shorts on the left side. However, they were not advanced enough to fix the 4 or 5 others on the right side. So, I’m currently on Flecainide 200mg/day to try to keep it in check. But, I stilI have constant lapses where my heart ‘jumps’ hard enough that I become vocal and yell, or jump from the intensity. But ironically, they don’t consider this life threatening. I’m more than willing to find another cardiologist who is capable of fixing this, and take my chances with the surgery. Because, these ‘shutters’ and ‘jolts’ effect my everyday life..
    Since the ablation, it happens whenever it feels like it. With or without the medication. It’s very scary for me because my family history of heart disease. I’m 31 now, and my fear is that I won’t make it to 40 (and that’s reaching)..
    It’s also never consistent. My most recent attack was walking through the grocery store the other night… Heart just started beating like crazy. I just leaned against the freezer and prayed for that huge palpitation ‘BUMP’ to let me know it’s ended.. It takes such a toll on my body, like I’ve run a marathon. Granted, the beats aren’t near as fast since the surgery, but… Enough to give me an instant headache, and pressure..
    You do not have sufficient blood flow when this happens, and it’s scary.. I can’t do anything without it going off!! Funny thing is, the insurance company says the surgery is “not medically necessary”, and it’s “not life-threatening”..
    Your heart IS your lifeline.. I was unaware it wasn’t necessary to have.. So, if that’s the case, just take the whole thing out.. I’m done.. =/

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  38. Great to find this site.
    I was diagnosed with SVT in December of 2013. It was my third “official” episode and I made it to the ER in time for them to catch it on a EKG. Since December I have not had an episode but have had very small runs – like 5-6 beats really fast and then it stops. I have seen 4 doctors. I selected the doctor for my ablation and am set for surgery at the end of March. Sure, I’m scared of the procedure. I have a little toddler and I want to make sure I take care of myself so I can live a longer life. After the December episode (my first episode also happened when I was pregnant), I cut out Alcohol, Sugar, Gluten and Caffeine completely. I have lost 18 lbs since December and my heart does feel calmer overall. I plan to lose another 40 lbs. I walk daily and have started a mindfulness practice.

    The ablation is an obvious choice for me. I want to be able to go camping with my daughter, fly to Europe, and every once in a while enjoy a decaf coffee. I know the decision is difficult, but not knowing when this will happen again or where I will be is really difficult. I travel a lot for work and avoiding planes for the rest of my life would be nearly impossible.

    I wish everyone luck with their journey. I’ll post again after my ablation to share how it went.

    Thank you for this site. It is one of the only good resources I could find online. Someone should write a book!

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    1. Just wanted to provide a update.

      I have a SVT ablation in March. The ablation was successful and I feel great. I am still gluten-free and exercising more than I ever have in my life. Every once in a while I’ll have 3 fast beats in a row and then that’s it. It just stops. Which is terrific! I continue to take fish oil, COQ10 and Vit D daily. Glad I had the ablation.

      I feel like the dark cloud of SVT has opened up to bright sunny skies. Wish everyone well on this journey!

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  39. Reading this in tears because I feel the same way since I was diagnosed in 2009 I have not been the same person I live in fear of it happening and I have 3 beautiful children and pray it doesn’t happen while I’m alone with them I just want to be happy again

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  40. Your story could be my story!! Including the reaction to pot and the worsening of symptoms after having a child. I too have figured out that many o the things you are doing have helped the svt. I am intrigued to read more. Love the part about the mis-firing and feeling weird before an svt or feeling that way and an svt never happens!!! I thought I was crazy!! So glad it happens to others. I still haven’t found a doc who believes that I shouldn’t have an ablation. They treat me like I am crazy for not having one so I haven’t been in for a check up in a few years. Thanks for this blog!!!

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  41. Just read your blog I have been suffering for nearly 3 years ! Felt like I was reading about me ! I went got an ablation yesterday but they could not get full on episode to sustain it self so cancelled ! Any advise please ? Thank you

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    1. I don’t have any experience with ablation…but since they couldn’t do it maybe its a sign to try some other more natural methods! How often do you have them? Do you have a healthy diet?

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      1. Thanks Laura for this excellent and in some ways comforting resource and to all its contributors. I wish you all good health and peace.

        Having suffered this unseen and often misunderstood affliction for 20 years (I am 44) I can attest that for me the psychological damage is the worst. I am ambitious at work, very social and love to travel and although I have enjoyed all of the above the “shadow” of having attacks has never left me and I guess it’s limited me and help me grow spiritually in varying measures.

        I suffer from a mixture of Afib (every year or so), skipped beats (daily) and since Jan 31st a racing heart every night between 1am to 5am lasting 2 to 20 minutes. I carry Fleiccanide for Afib and until 5 days ago was on Bisoprolol (beta blocker) to control attacks however I can bring them under control doing the vagal manouvre. I am just now wearing a monitor and have captured recordings for 3 nights so I’m expecting an SVT diagnosis. The Afib I have learned to physically manage over tbe years and it doesn’t panic me – although any activity that involves possible stress can be made 10 times worse due to the fear of an attack. (E.g. public speaking).

        The recent onset of possible SVT followed a month of doing a diet called the 4 hour body which involves eating beans and pulses and protein 6 days a week and then a binge on one day of whatever you like. My first SVT happened after a binge day. My guess is that this imbalanced dietary behaviour caused it. I stopped the diet but since then it’s been pretty much SVT fun every night! We had medics out for three nights trying to catch it but never did hence the monitor now strapped to me.

        I’m expecting an SVT diagnosis and then it depends on who your cardio guy is as to what the course of action is. Ablation seems to be the favoured approach and fears of complications should be lessened due the risks reducing as experience and updated technology factor in.

        Going “natural” is always an option but I think it is important to acknowledge that those that suffer with arrythmias have a cardiac defect that is exacerbated by certain triggers. Therefore the “cure” is actually surgery and natural measures are a prevention/ management strategy. For me having had this for 20 years the option of eliminating the defect and the psychological “shadow” appeals.

        Which path you take depends on many factors, physical and psychological.

        It is also well and good suggesting destressing but life is for many a confrontational event and not everyone has the mental capacity to deal with their obligations – or the luxury of removing them as well as deal with this problem.

        I’m sure analysis of diet and lifestyle with subsequent changes will improve if not offer a solution for many but for others surgery is the most practical/sensible option as like I’ve said it is a physical deficiency exacerbated by certain triggers.

        I wish you all the best in your search for a solution.

        Thanks again Laura.
        Jason

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      2. At 43 I have been diagnosed with SVT. I’m scared to death about having the electro physiologists’ suggested alblation. I’ve recenetly seen a doctor of natural medicine& I’m currently taking magnesium and 10Best supplements, & trying really hard to stop caffeine intake. I will be taking a hormone test by testing saliva & blood in the next 19 days.
        Do you think there is a possibility of palpitations happening to me frequently due to hormone levels being out of whack? I swear I am in perimenopause although all Dr.s tell me “no”. There are obviously other symptoms that have me convinced that I’m in perimenopause, but the palpitations do scare me, and I’m fortunate I’m able to stop them by bearing down. It’s just that my gut is telling me, if my hormones are out of whack, that itself can cause palpitations. So I feel I can maybe avoid the alblation if I can possibly get my hormones to balance out. What do you think?

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      3. Hormones play a huge role with SVT…So many women experience a higher rate of SVT around their cycle. Myself included…I almost always had an SVT with my period. BUT, that changed after becoming GF and reducing my stress, increasing water, and vitamins etc…Keep searching for answers that work for YOUR BODY…There are so many ways to balance hormones these days, check out Dr. Christiane Northrup, she’s the leader on the subject…I LOVE her…Best of luck, keep me posted! xox

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  42. Re-visitng your site and I am comforted by all of this so much.
    For me it is the mental damage and weight that has shook me to my core. I have 3 young kids and suddenly I felt too afraid to drive them because I was afraid if my heart went I would pass out(a real threat.)

    I also had just moved and didn’t know my neighbors so when I had my big episode I drove myself to the hospital before we knew what was going on.

    It was almost comical, I didn’t want to wake the kids and suddenly I’m at the ER and they are giving me medicine to my heart. I was so scared. I thought I was dying.

    I have AVNRT and take daily medication but I feel guilty and hate being dependent. I also take xanax to combat anxiety which has come with this diagnosis and my hospital experience.

    I too find drinking a lot of water helps and I do run hot.

    I look forward to reading more.

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    1. Wow, I can totally relate to your post! Listen, having 3 young kids is one of the greatest challenges on earth! I am sure you are depleted, stressed, tired, and eating on the run…So, just be kind to yourself…soon, they will all be in kindergarten and slowly you will have more time to self-care. Just try the BEST you can to EAT healthy! Don’t eat GLUTEN or JUNK…and feed your kids the SAME way you feed yourself…If you are sensitive to food allergens, they will be too. Even when you want to make mac n cheese, just buy the GF one, and mix in a head of cauliflower with it. Is my favorite fast kid meal. Drink 8-9 glasses of water per day and add in the green vibrance…and go to bed as early as possible. Keep me posted, all the very best, xoxox

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  43. I am 42 and suffer from SVT for a few years now. I just had an ablation but they couldn’t stimulate my heart to show where the problem is coming from. The Dr. told me he wouldn’t try again and all he can do is put me on different kind of pills if the episodes continue. I am just taking Magnesium Taurate and Omega 3 every day.. People think that I am crazy and since the Dr. couldn’t find the problem I don’t have SVT. They think is myself, my mental stage that is doing my heart to have SVT. I feel hopeless!.. Out of the blue I start feeling the palpitations, not because I’m stressed or I’m sad, etc. Is my Heart doing it alone!.. I can’t take medication because the side effects makes me feel horrible, I guess I will have to live my misery the best I can and diffusing the problem.. Does anyone has gone through this?

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    1. Hello friend, don’t feel hopeless, just take back control and look deeper! Your body only has you to count on! Trust me, you can always look deeper! Be a detective!!! What is your diet like? Did you download the free food tracker on the sidebar of this site? Start recording everything and analyze your findings! If you need help, just post a comment and I will reply! I was little behind in my replies b/c I just had a baby…should be replying timely again! Look at your diet, gluten, water intake, etc…

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  44. Hi Thank you for your posts! I am now 45 and have been having svt for approx. 7 years, becoming more sensitive over time. I thought it could be beneficial to let you know that my trigger was MSG 621 glutamic acid; which is hidden in most foods (and no doubt stress after my 2nd child and running our own print/design business.) I was so sensitive that I could not even eat shop bought tomato paste – oddly enough I could eat some home made tomato paste. (Goodness knows what they do to it.) The reason being tomatoes have the highest glutamic acid of all. My attacks would only occur about an hour after consuming msg or gluatamic acid. They would mostly last for 1 1/2 hrs; or until I had a shot of adenosine in ER. I was over being so sensitive, so after 1 yr of private medical insurance to be covered for the op.; I had the eps study (now isn’t that an experience being awake for! Fascinating however) and I had svt reentrant ablation 3 weeks ago. The Dr said it’s a binary thing and yes I could now eat msg; so I went out and ate Chinese 2 days later and was elated I was ok. Then pasta, indian etc. PS I have mostly been eating gluten free and healthy prior. (Except for the past week)
    However, I am so disappointed to say; Yesterday morning I had my heart racing approx. 200bpm for 1 hr. We finally called the ambulance; as I thought it would be beneficial to get a cardiograph to show the Cardiologist! Of course as soon as I got close to the ambulance my hear rate slowed :-(; back to 125; so I did not bother going to hospital. Now I will say I had been abusing myself with garbage the day/night before; not much sleep and I am embarrassed to say I even had cigaretttes. The difference is; it happened 7 hrs after consuming anything (which was not the case before). However if it’s a binary thing; why did it happen at all!!??? I mean if they severed the 2nd electrical vein that was supposedly causing the short circuit!!? I will make the appointment with the cardiologist; may take 8 weeks to see him. The other thing is I had a very stressful week at work; and I was approx. 1 week before my period. So I am even more teary about the circumstance. It is good to know we are not alone; thank you again.

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    1. Hi! Thank you so much for your post! If you read thru this whole blog and comments you will see that MOSt people who have ablation seem to still get SVT’s…which is interesting considering the Dr.’s quote extremely high success rates. This blog alone puts doubt in the percentage they quote…One day I will actually count it up, but from memory I would say its more like a 40% rate of success…The good news is that I bet you can control it by being a little “healthier”. I think you would agree yourself since you honestly presented your food intake wasn’t the healthiest prior to an episode. I think eating an allergen can increase the risk of an SVT up to 48 hours after consuming…(Basically 1-2 bowel movements later) So, just try to avoid your trigger foods…and find foods that satisfy that are GF and cleaner. I found an amazing resource called theEarthDiet.org. I LOVE her recipes…she basically makes super yummy healthy versions of everything “bad” you can think of…like raw cookie dough…made out of almond flour, etc…worth checking out if you have a sweet tooth…In a nut shell, she is helping the world satisfy their need and craving for “bad foods” in a healthy way… Best of luck, you are definitely not alone! Keep listening to your body and be kind to it! Cig’s are def a trigger:( Thank you for sharing your story! xox

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      1. Hi Laura, thanks so much for your reply. And thank you for that great link theearthdiet.org. There looks like some delicious recipes there that I will follow. Prior to my ablation 3 weeks ago; I was following a super healthy diet; to not have my svt occur. Including no outside gravy powders, or tomato sauce/paste etc. I travelled along many months with no problems (caught up on occasions ie eating a different brand of cheese for eg. Now it appears I will have to follow caution and eat healthily once again. I just wish there were more hours in the day to prep food 🙂 Last year my kids had some issues; all to do with the gut; so for approx. 6 months we were following gaps diet (with the exception of buying shop bought real yoghurt) – no grains at all; and lots of probiotics; which we still have. It can be beneficial in many ways; however you need time to do it. So lately we have been doing gluten free as my kids are doing much better. Once of our favorites breakfast favorites lately is tapioca flour pancakes with banana, eggs and blueberries. I also sometimes make chocolate with cacoa, honey and coconut, sometimes adding mint etc. I agree with you re the % success for ablation does not appear to be accurate.. My Dr’s office said around 98%! They did note sometimes people have to return for a 2nd round. I am now sceptical.. As mentioned, for me personally, my main trigger was msg or glutamic acid. Please be aware it can even be hidden in enzyme in cheese, yeast extract, ANYTHING hydroligized, maltodextrin – the list goes on. It is also in aged foods ie parmesan cheese, soup/stock that is cooked for many hours for eg. I am appalled how the food industry gets away with adding MSG in my guess 80% of food. You see they can even get away with it when they say NO ADDED MSG in bold writing on the packet; I learnt this first hand by eating some potato chips- analysed a few years ago after a severe attack – as I knew; the chips did in fact contained msg within. They could not prove it was ADDED; you see the food companies get away with it if it’s contained WITHIN an ingredient. In this case hydrolized vegetable protein. It makes my blood boil. Msg is an etoxin and not healthy for anyone. Is it any wonder society in general is so ill with such illness like alzheimer’s etc. I pity our poor children with so many parents feeding children with etoxins everyday with no thought or knowledge. Anyway, sorry, going off topic; however awareness is the key; and i realise for many, msg is not a trigger; however if I can help if only one person by sharing; that will make me a little happier 🙂

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      2. The reason that many patients continue to have symptoms is because frequently more than one accessory path exists and in my case, they mask each other. Other patients(myself included) have a genetic condition that predisposes us to redeveloping these pathways.
        I will say that before my first ablation, my rate would be around 250. After my second ablation, the rate dropped to 180 max. Now I’m around 150.
        Also-think about things for a bit. You hear about the situations that don’t work because if it works for someone, what reason do they have to continue to bitch and dwell about it? I work as a paramedic, as well as as a tech in a cardiac cath/ep lab and am getting ready to go to medical school, so I try to continue to educate people-but consider the source.

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  45. Hi, my name is laura and I’m 23 years old. Sat I was rushed to the er around midnight, with my heart rate at 190 and both medicines the paramedics gave me didn’t work to bring it down. I had never had issues with heart or anything. I was sitting on the couch and I felt weird, dizzy, pain in heart and left arm, numb in right arm, racing heart. I instantly got into a cool bath and that calmed it down. But when I got out, it immediately started again, worse than before. That’s when I had to call the ambulance. Like i said both medicines wouldnt work or vagal manuvers, when I got to the hospital they made me hug an ice pack and one on the back of my neck. It took hours for it to go down, and it was finally resting at 90-100. Was diagnosed with svt. I do smoke cigarettes and marijuana daily(have since I was 15) well I was having little episodes the whole time after I was release, but I was getting them under control by vagal maneuvers that I learned in the ambulance. I was scared to death, felt weak and nausous. Well Tues I was feeling the palpilations all day,but no episodes until that night. ( both attacks happened at around midnight) well I was laying down and I felt like my heart was stopping, and i had read that if u are having a heart attack to cough so I did. But then it was racing and I couldn’t breathe or stop coughing this weird long couch or hack. Both times I felt like u do when u ride a roller coaster and go down a hill, like something was really wrong. The second time when I couldn’t breathe only cough, I was panicing thought I was having a heart attack or dying.my right arm went numb, then my left, then whole body. I couldn’t even clinch my fingers into fists or move them. Well by the time I got to the er it was resting at 130 and going down slowly. They said I only had anxiety and a drug problem (the marijuana) but I hadn’t smoked it since the first time because i was so freaked out.) When I got out the next morning I had extreme diarerra and still have, today is Thursday. I saw a cardiologist wed. and he put me on potassium pills ( mine was really low) and metoprol 25 mg(half twice a day) it seems to be helping but I can tell when it stops working during the day before I take the second, also it acts funny before it kicks in like my heart doesn’t know if its going to go fast or slow and skips beats. I have stopped smoking marijuana all together but have had a couple puffs of a cigg.. I don’t know anything about svt and diets. I don’t even know what gluten is. I usually drank a lot of milk, and sugar is my weakness. I am crying writing this and reading everyone else’s posts. I need help I don’t even know where o begin with the whole diet thing. I have no insurance or money. I haven’t felt normal since sat at all. Can’t eat much BC stomach hurts, the diarerra, worrying. Please if anyone can help with the whole diet thing and gluten I would like to try that. My next apt for the echo thing isn’t for another week then check up with card. in two. Thank you all for your stories, makes me think I’m really going to be ok. Any help or advice would be welcome! Thanks, laura.

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    1. Hello Laura, Thank you so much for your honest post. First off, you are going to be OK. Sounds like you are having classic SVT due to many of your lifestyle choices. I had some of my worst episodes when I used to smoke pot. So here’s the deal….you need to be on a new path to health. Your too young to be doing so many harmful things to yourself! Think of this all as a wake up call to heal whatever is hurting you and making you want to smoke, do drugs, stay up late, eat excess sugar etc. So your approach is twofold…one approach the diet, and two the emotional. #1. Research Gluten. #2. Stop eating it for a while. and dump the sugar while you at it. The more you cant/don’t want to do it, the more you need to. You probably have a gluten allergy like 50% of the world. Diareah is a sign of a food intolerance which means your not absorbing your nutrients which equals imbalance along with not getting quality sleep etc. You also said you drink a lot of milk. Cow’s milk is for cow babies. If you must have milk, try to minimize it…baby steps. Drink Rice, almond, flax, quiona milk. Please read thru this blog and absorb all the free information on it and then feel free to comment with ALL of your questions…and I will always try to respond. Some basic places to start are…start going to bed by 11. Don’t eat anything with WHITE flour, that means, pizza, bagels, bread, boxed foods etc. Eat lots of brown rice, veggies, beans, fruit, and anything from mother earth…Your body is desperate for nutrients. You are depleting the hell out of your self and your heart needs balance and minerals to function. If you don’t take care of your precious self, no one else will. You don’t need money or insurance to eat vegetables! You can do it!!!! You are a gift to the world, and smoking pot is clouding your gifts…the sooner you clear the smoke, the better. Lots of love and healing xoxoxoxo Laura

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  46. Oh, Laura, know you are not alone. Interesting as approx. 6 months ago, my potassium reading was down too. Just look up high potassium foods. White beans, salmon, apricots etc. Cigs are bad. Re food; trying eating nothing that is processed from a plastic packet or container. As Laura said – natural REAL food. Re milk substitute I like coconut cream ie in cereal; however following gaps for gut healing; shouldn’t eat grains for a little while. Suggest making lots of soups and stock – majority veggies and meat is best. If you have gut issues; you could also look up Gaps Diet which we did for a time.

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  47. I meant to say; the Dr’s office said I was in the 3% who had to go back for a 2nd round of ablation. That must be from their practice only; as we all know how many of us have return to hospital again!! The nurse said she only knew of 1 woman; similar age to me who had to go back for a touch up! Ha don’t you like how they put it. (The nurse has been working there for 3 years.) I will say, I had some organic baked beans this morning. I was nervous (as previously I reacted to tomato paste) and I had that sensation the SVT was going to come on 1/2 hr later; however it didn’t. So I will say the ablation has helped. However the Dr recommended to go back in for a touch up. They mustn’t have ablated all the cells – where there is still a pathway. Laura have you seen many people where it has not worked the 2nd time? Thanks

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  48. Hello, as far a I understand the initial blog (since I am browsing the internet for answers and suggestions), SVT was NOT DIAGNOSED. Since you were in hospital (where you got the adenosine shot), they surely did an ECG while being high in pulse/beat and most likely was ‘just’ SINUS tachycardia….like mine. Not all high tachycardias are SVTs. I have sinus tachycardias out of the blue with 220 pulse rate. It’s like a button that is pressed. Mostly during the night. Sometimes it is low rate first, I walk around with iced water and ‘whatever’ attitude and then it rushes up, which is frightening. Up to 150 pulse I consider it ‘normal’ and fully ok, I just don’t like the above 200 pulse episodes, that are hearable and noticable under my skull. You need to relax. What I learned is, that I still CAN fly (I fly Europe-Australia), the episodes never made me pass out so far. I am allergic to beta blockers….so I cannot take those with me, and still I go camping, because cool air, cool water and slowly walking around and distracting with my daughter’s ipod touch always helped…I cannot stand it, to stay in bed lying, so my only worry is, in case I ever got really sick (stomach or operation like I had in my life) and am stuck to the bed. My thyroid was slightly so called subclinical hyperthyroidism, hormones even in normal upper range, which was too high for me, once treated, the episodes still did NOT disappear as anticipated. I feel with you, because many people say ‘oh, I have the same, it is just panic attacks’ and those people ever experienced maximum of 130 out of the blue, which is for my liking: nothing to worry about. The above 200 are the awkward ones. No cardiologist could help (except costing me a lot of money which I could have spent enjoying life) and they also refused further tests like an MRI or CT while ‘will come back normal anyway’. I did not see recent posts (or am I blind) WHAT improved your situation. For me it was including loads of green vegetables into my otherwise quite sweet diet, every evening , sometimes also at lunch, a whole bowl full of steamed kale/broccoli/spinach on its own or with the regular dish, which is then a much smaller portion. I love beetroot juice daily, drink much water, I still have my little piece of chocolate or cake, but not loads of it, I must not overeat in the evening (dinner invitations), I have an apple a day, I take intestine bacteria (good) powder daily, have a banana or sweet potato, the episodes seem to get lighter or disappear, when I am more strict with food intake over weeks. And if I ever fall back to ‘old habits (like eating loads of chocolate), the episodes do not come on the same day, it takes days, it seems there is a delay. If I have episodes and change back to a very even vegan like diet, it takes a week to kick in. There is also the suggestion that histamine intake or histamine enzyme blocking foods can cause tachycardia….high in the meaning of histamine (however the chemistry is behind it, it is not that simple): are red wine, oranges, rye, sourdough, cheese, sauerkraut, most fish, salami, ham, walnuts and red/white/balsamico vinegar. Worth trying also these food hints. I am NOT GLUTEN intolerant/allergic and I have no episodes when normal flour or pasta is included. It’s not all gluten to be blamed, it’s a pretty good protein.

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  49. PS: I also have to say, that I was borderline to be classified ‘overweight’ (68kg), but since I have lost 4kg (64kg now, 163cm tall), episodes did get less. I did not want to loose weight, but changing the diet made it happen automatically. As if ‘fat’ pushed/squeezed my heart. I also thought of ‘heart scoliosis’ where a benign tumor can press against the muscle…?? Maybe our tachycardia episodes (if it is not the extra WPW svt or other physical reason like a valve, heart muscle disease, embolism, heart attack ) are a combination of stress, food, weight and infection? So there is hope, they will go away, PLEASE.

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  50. Great website and blog Laura. I’ve read it from top to bottom. I’m very grateful for the sharing and hearing of people experiences and your encouraging comments. It helps to know others successes. I thought I might add an additional element to look into as it is potentially connected to symptoms posters have shared. Please look up Roemheld Syndrome.

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  51. I do get SVT from time to time. Heart rate +200 bpm. It is very very scary even though doctors says it’s not life threatening in healthy hearts. I believe that anxiety and panic is a big factor in STVs.
    When we got our first SVT, we became sensitized from all the fear and drama. We are watching our bodies. Every beat and every breath. We ask ourselves whether our lunch or dinner will cause us SVTs.
    There are a lot of triggers for SVT. our fear of them made our heart on stand-by for adrenalin. Adrenalin became our enemy.
    The truth is, as long you have a structurally healthy heart, SVT is harmless. Fast heart is a healthy heart. Think of kids, they have a very fast heart rate, but they don’t think about it like we do.
    If you take a heart out of a body, it will still keep beating for along time on its own.
    you need to utterly accept the fact that you have a healthy heart and accept that SVT is harmless and let them pass without panicking or worrying about dying.

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    1. Salem-MOST SVT is harmless in the sense you won’t die however, you are incorrect in that a fast heart is a healthy heart. Your body has a threshold level of healthy cardiac output which is effected by your heart rate. The reason that many patients pass out with their SVT episodes is that when your heart rate gets fast, the heart cannot completely fill in between beats. Therefore, you’re getting less blood out to the body, your blood pressure drops, and the brain doesn’t get the oxygen you need. You pass out, which causes the vagus nerve to be stimulated and your heart rate slows. If you’ve got prior medical issues, oxygen deprivation could cause you to have a heart attack as well.
      WPW(Wolff Parkinson White syndrome) is a type of SVT that is VERY lethal as it quickly and without warning can dissociate down into ventricular fib which is a nonpurfusing rhythm associated with cardiac arrest. If you research sudden cardiac death in young individuals, WPW is highly implicated.
      Your statement about children is…completely erroneous and doesn’t reflect a knowledge of physiology at all. Children have higher heart rates and respiratory rates because children are not little adults. They’ve got developing bodies and in many respects completely different physiological needs than adults do. A healthy adult heart should never at rest be higher than 100.
      Yes, lifestyle changes and learning to calm down, reduce stress, ect can help prevent and limit the extent of episodes. If your heart rate does not slow on its own, you need emergency treatment. Plain and simple.

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  52. I completely relate to your mourning of where did your old self go – it’s very frustrating and impairing to have to restrict enjoying things because you don’t know if an episode or a run of misfires will happen. I’ve used Magnesium with some good effect for the past couple of years but as I’m just a little older than you (47) I think hormonal changes are starting to kick in. There’s a great website called ?A-fibbers which talks about supporting arrythmias with natural means…I suppose it’s finding the right combination.

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  57. I have had 3 ablations in my early twenties. I am now 39, pregnant for the first time and I can feel the SVT wanting to come on. Please are there any natural supplements I can be talking during my pregnancy? I already take liquid trace minerals potassium and mega-Mag. Potassium about 200 mg and 800 of Mag
    I would really appreciate your perspective, even different foods I can be eating. Or any thing else I can be doing.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Bless you
    Angie Klein

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  58. Honestly, don’t overestimate ‘gluten’, do not cross out gluten of your diet, if you are not allergic or coeliac. Essential to avoid for coeliac people, no doubt. But especially on the vegan path, ‘seitan’ (pure gluten from wheat) is one of THE protein sources. Many people deprive themselves of goods, that would do no harm to them. My SVT and high sinustachycardia episodes have nothing to do with gluten, trailed, tested, been there done that. Controlling weight and having loads of chlorophyll (steamed greens a daily must and now looking forward to) and beetroot juice and green juice in the diet though seems to help me. Also yoga is a path to calm oneself, too.

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  59. Wow, this blog is a great find. My story is a little different. I have had an arrhythmia for 25 years that I was told was food allergies, a problem with my autonomic nervous system, anxiety, and other stuff. My naturopath told me to take panothenic acid and buffered vitamin C. Also quercetin. And if I did that, I had no arrhythmia. I’ve controlled this with diet and those vitamins and can actually predict now when I will have these vibration attacks. But a few weeks ago I went into atrial fibulation (first time) and ended up in the ER. The cardiologist later told me that I have SVT. I started on Metropolol and decided to get off it. My doc said I should get an ablation, so I have been researching that. But as I think back, the panothenic acid (a form of vitamin B?) and the buffered Vitamin C (be sure to get buffered and take over 1000 mg daily) really, really helped me, more even than the meds. So, I have decided to go back to what I used to do (I have not done that in years), drink more water (thanks for sharing that), and learning to deal with my stress and fears better. I’m 62 and I do NOT want to take meds or have a procedure.

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  60. I have been diagnosed with SVT after over 3 yrs of episodes. Am a single parent and will probably get the surgery. I am a naturopath and have avoided all food allergens and tried everything. My cousin died two yrs ago at the age of 32 with this problem and without warning. I really want to avoid surgery but because my risks are higher (episodes cause fainting, and family history) I will need to get it done. Although I do believe that emotional and spiritual factors are at play, it is way too hard to live with the idea that it can, and does happen anytime. And more frequently now, such as when driving

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  61. Hi first of all is your blog still active? How are you? Have you found any great New info? I’ve bee, suffering with SVT since the middle of my pregnancy with my now one year I had multiple EKGs which never caught the episode, I had a heart ultrasound as well. Which looked great. So I can relate to having a clear heart but still issues. I finally convinced my doctor to give me a holster because we want to get pregnant again but was afraid my heart wasn’t healthy enough. And they just called me this afternoon and said the holster showed SVT. They want me to start magnesium and I’m also waiting to hear back about food allergy testing. We are thinking of going paleo to see if that helps. I want to feel healthy enough to have another baby. And while I don’t want to take it lightly I’d like to avoid meds or surgery and since at this point my doctor isn’t recommending it either that’s good. Anyway I found your blog and would love to hear how you are now!

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  62. It’s 4:40am and I have woken up again at the same time since having my first svt 2 days ago, I have never been so scared in all my life I honestly thought I was going to die I couldn’t slow my heart down for about 10 minutes then all of a sudden it returned to normal like it never happened, but it did and although it’s only been 2 days I’m not the same girl anymore, I can’t sleep, move or do anything without thinking it’s going to strike me again and take my life, it’s turned me into an anxious mess my chest is so tight and I’m breathless because I’ve stressed myself out so much over it, please can anyone help to ease my mind?

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  63. Hi there mine happend 21 july this year I must say I think its all the same that we go through your really not on your own I still fear it everyday keep your chin up its natural to feel this way xx

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  64. Laura,
    Did you ever start psychotherapy when the new “normal” started or feeling “off” and the agoraphobia about flying and leaving your house?
    Just curious with the history of panic attacks. Thanks , great website

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  65. I’m so happy to have found this blog! I’ve had PVCs PACs and such for over 20 years (I’m 58 now) and PSVT for the last 10. Even though I know they’re not life threatening they still wreck my nerves! I currently take Metoprolol 25 bid and have also been in the health field my entire life. My cardiologist wants me to get an ablation but I’d like to avoid that if possible. I’m going to try your method and see if it helps. Adopting a healthier lifestyle certainly can’t hurt. Believe it or not my last two episodes happened after I had eaten Mexican food, I wonder if that was a trigger?

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  66. My life has been completely ruined from anxiety since 2009.. I can’t tell if what I am experiencing is only anxiety or more.. Usually my attacks happen like this.. I could even be sleeping, and I will wake up feeling tense and not right.. almost like like butterfly in my gut… and i feel like I am now in a battle.. and sometimes I get out of it ok.. Ill feel dread, and start sweating like crazy and feel an inner tension.. than my heart starts to speed up very quickly and go into a mode where its like racing at a steady beat.. I guess my main question for you guys with SVT… can you always feel it coming? Do you break out into a hot sweat and nervousness before SVT happens, or does it just happen on a dime.. In other words.. with SVT.. does it happen so quick that you dont’ even have time to get nervous over it “first”. Does it go BAM .. your into SVT than the anxiety and worry comes after.? I always feel it when it comes on.. i start feeling hot.. out of breath.. nervous tension and than bam it hits.. Does that sound more like a panic attack or an SVT attack.. I really would appreciate feedback from you guys.. I am desperate

    Regards
    Paul

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  67. Just wanted to share my own experience and knowledge. Not only am I a medical professional(paramedic and med student who worked for quite some time in an EP/cardiac cath lab), but I’ve also dealt with a type of SVT called AVNRT since I was a child. So. Brief education time.
    Why does SVT happen? Basically, as you said, its an electrical issue. Your heart has a normal electrical pathway which stimulates the heart to beat. Normally this impulse initiates in your SA node in your right atrium, quickly jumps to your left atrium, pauses for a second at the heart’s septum at the AV node, then continues down the bundle of His(on the sides of the ventricles) and then into your Purkenje fibers which are inside the ventricles. The heart rests for a second and then it starts over again.There are multiple types of tachycardia and it all depends on where in the heart the impulse is originating. The most innocent of these is sinus tachycardia and is basically just your SA node firing too rapidly. This normally isn’t any higher than 140 or 150. Ventricular tachycardia(vtach) is the most deadly and is tachycardia originating from the ventricles and can be well above 200 beats a minute. SVT or supra(above)ventricular tachycardia is by definition tachycardia that originates above the ventricles but is not from the SA node. Patients with SVT have naturally developed accessory pathways(there isn’t really a reason why other than it appears to have a genetic component-in my case, both of my parents had AVNRT as well). This means that instead of a normal node like the SA node or the bundle of his pacing the heart too fast, some other heart cells have just decided to go rouge and build their own extra pathway. This essentially causes your heart, when triggered, to ‘short circuit’. For people with AVRNT(AV nodal reentry tachycardia), the impulse starts as normal in the SA, travels to the left atrium and when it hits the AV node, it essentially bounces back into the atrium triggering it to contract AGAIN and makes the impulse back and back and back against the AV noded without completing the enter circuit. There can be MULTIPLE extra pathways(I’ve had 4) however usually one is dominant.
    Is SVT dangerous? ….sometimes. Usually it is not. When your heart rate gets VERY high, the heart isn’t able to properly fill in between contractions and you may end up passing out because your blood pressure drops and your brain doesn’t get the oxygen it needs to function. Also, hypothetically, if you’re in poor health, this lack of oxygen could trigger a heart attack(so all episodes of SVT with chest pain should be examined ASAP) In general tho, symptoms like this are fairly self limiting and, most SVTs are pretty innocent(WPW is another story and ALL SVT patients need to be evaluated to make sure they don’t have WPW as it is highly associated with young sudden cardiac death) and just insanely uncomfortable and embarrassing.
    What triggers SVT? There is no generalized answer to this. For most people, their heart continues along its normal pathway until something ‘jumps’ the circuit. In the course of our normal lives we occasionally have what are called premature beats-either premature atrial contractions(PACs) or premature ventricular contractions(PVCs) which is when a rouge cardiac cell(all cardiac cells have the ABILITY to pace-they just normally don’t) fires out of nowhere and the area of the heart-either atrium or ventricle freaks out and randomly contracts out of order. This may very well be what the poster was referring to as feeling as though she may be on the ‘verge’ of SVT. If a PAC/PVC hits during the relative refractory period(when the heart is resting after a full electrical cycle), it irritates the heart muscle that is trying to recover itself for another beat, essentially the heart says ‘forget this’ and the extra pathway/s kick in.
    These premature beats can be triggered by stress, anxiety, caffeine, certain foods, the mere process of just EATING food, drinking cold water, sudden changes in posture, being tired, ect. Some medications such as albuterol(for asthma patients) also trigger episodes.
    There are many lifestyle changes to prevent episodes of SVT. I advise patients to keep a diary of what they were doing directly before episodes develop. Many patients need to give up caffeine containing food(including chocolate) and just generally be very aware of their body. For example-if I work an overnight EMS shift and we are very busy-I know that I HAVE to take it easy the next day because my heart muscle is just more irritable without sleep.
    When you have an episode, you can try to resolve it yourself by triggering your vagus nerve, which is responsible for slowing down your heart rate. You can do this by bearing down like you have to go to the bathroom, sticking your head in a bucket of cold water/putting ice on your face(seriously lol), forcing yourself to gag, coughing vigorously, ect. If vagal maneuvers do not break the SVT, you may require emergency medication such as adenosine which basically make your heart stop for a microsecond in the hopes that it will just go back to normal. As the poster mentioned, this medications aren’t pleasant, but they do work in most cases.
    Ultimately, I was on Cardizem briefly as a preventative medication and found side effects to be intolerable. Both of my parents have had ablations for their SVT and so when I was 18, I made the choice to go ahead and do an EP study. EP or electrophysiology studies are where, either under general anesthesia, or under light conscious sedation, the interventional cardiologist creates a virtual 3D map of your heart’s electrical pathways. They do this through passing very small catheters through your femoral arteries, as well as arteries in your neck and wrist. This is virtually identical to what occurs when someone has a heart attack and goes for angioplasty. They then they attempt to trigger an episode through either medications such as epi or through external pacing. This sounds scary, but honestly its pretty safe. If something WERE to go wrong, you’re literally in the best place in the world to have it immediately fixed and they only have to see a minute or so of the SVT before they immediately terminate it. At that point(and you’ll have decided with your doctor beforehand), they have the option of ablating the extra pathway. When they do this, they take either high radiofrequency or cryo(cold) therapy to destroy/cauterize individual cells along your extra pathway. You may have symptoms for a month or so post procedure as it is not effective until the tissue scars. In general, cold therapy is less effective than radiofreqency but moderately safer. The procedure is pretty safe, however as the poster mentioned-if your accessory pathway is extremely close to one of your normal nodes such as your SA or AV node, there is a danger of the physician accidentally ablating the node and you requiring an emergency pacemaker. This is insanely rare tho and would have to be a pretty major screw up as the node consists of multiple cells and the doctor literally goes along cell by cell. The procedure can be pretty long-both of mine were in excess of 6 hours. My father was able to go home the day of, however both my mother and I spent the night in the short term cardiac interventional unit. The worst part of recovery is that, like when you have angioplasty, you have to lay flat for hours after the procedure to ensure adequate clots have formed in your femoral arteries. Its also rather embarrassing as someone has to come and check on your insertion sites every 10 minutes for 4 or 5 hours. Recovery took about a week to just get my energy back and get over soreness. I have four very small almost invisible scars in my groin. I had small scars on my neck and wrist, however these have vanished.
    I had 2 ablations and am looking at a 3rd EP study in the near future however this is because I develop new pathways constantly. This is not typical of most people and for most people ablations have success rates in the high 90s. I cannot CANNOT encourage readers enough tho-if you’re having very frequent episodes of SVT and its interfering with your life, ablations are not something to be frightened of. I agree-the concept sounds terrifying but its really very safe and I can’t even begin to tell you how my quality of life improved(going from someone who was constantly in the ER, unable to work, unable to attend school, constantly passing out), to a busy paramedic/full time study. I preferred ablations to medication because of medication side effects and reluctance to be on medicine for the rest of my life, however for mild cases medicine can be very successful.
    So. Yes, there are many things you can do ‘naturally and in terms of lifestyle and many people learn to live with their condition but ultimately, you cannot prevent your heart from developing new electrical circuitry. I apologize for the long post, but from reading some of your comments, it appears as though no emergency room doctor/cardiologist has really taken the time to explain all of this and as both a medical provider and a patient, I want to encourage you guys that it really is ok to seek treatment and if you don’t feel as though your doctor has explained things in a way that makes you feel calm and makes you understand-its okay to shop around for doctors as well 🙂

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  68. Paul,
    I’ve had both anxiety and SVT (had it since around 15 years old but just got diagnosed this year). I can tell you that they are not the same thing. I’ve had anxiety ABOUT getting a tachycardia episode, and have had heart palpitations which caused anxiety. Suppressed anxiety can cause heart palpitations which leads to conscious and acute anxiety/panic attacks. I’ve had heart racing, pounding, and weird sensations and even pain in my chest. But never have I experienced an SVT episode because of anxiety or preceeded by anxiety. Sometimes, especially during a long episode and in recent years I have had anxiety because of the rapid heartbeat… It’s hard not to panic if it’s racing at over 200 bpm and you feel short of breath!

    So what you are experiencing is almost certainly anxiety. But definitely go to a doctor and have tests done to rule out any physical causes. SVT generally starts fairly suddenly (often with no obvious trigger) and stops just as suddenly. It has to be recorded on an ECG or other heart monitoring device to get an official diagnosis. Take a look at your stress, anxiety, and fatigue levels and definitely see a doctor too. Food allergies, caffeine, and other factors can contribute to both heart palpitations and anxiety. I am now following a paleo diet, no sugar, no coffee/chocolate/black tea, and am doing much better. Had an SVT episode the other day but it only lasted 5 minutes and was not accompanied by anxiety so I believe I am on the right track towards healing. An anti anxiety med might help you, and/counseling or biofeedback.

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  69. Regular sleep. Regular food. Low salt food. Regular meal times. More protein (no carb rush days or days skipping meals), stay hydrated, drink before you go to bed (water before you go to bed), and when you get up (have water ready first thing right when you get up). These things help. If I’m doing an amusement park, or having a stressful situation (head cold + performance), I better go on and take a BETA blocker. The pulses you feel are somewhat different from SVT, but a lot of skinny people feel them. Apparently, everyone has them, but we feel them. I let key people in my life know if I’ve gone into it, that I’ll be gone until i can fall asleep or cardiovert, and someone calls me in about an hour to be sure I’m okay. It’s a system. Works for me. All natural, most of the time. Could be all natural, but it will zap the life out of your day if you have a big day planned and don’t want to stress everyone out. I add a BETA blocker on those days, and keep one with me at all times. Cold meds are a big precursor to mine, as well as hormonal weeks.

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  70. Oh, and I’ve not had regular caffeine for 19 years now. ; ) I may have 1-2 12 ounce caffeinated colas a month. I do eat some chocolate, but not first thing in the morning, and high sugar foods I have to avoid first thing of the day as well…like doughnuts or poptarts. Too much sugar rush. Great explanation above, and one I’ve heard reinforced by various docs through the years. Thanks for writing it to refresh my memory on those points. PVCs were what I was stretching to remember.

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  71. I have to take medication or have SVT 24/7 & have had it for several years now. I’ve also been gluten free for several years. It had destroyed my life. I was later Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea which obviously contributed to the SVT. If you are waking up at night feeling as if you are not breathing or waking up due to your heart, frequent urination, you need to find a Cardiologist who is also a experienced Sleep Specialist (There are several because it is now recognized in medicine that Sleep Apnea & heart issues of various types can go hand in hand). You do not have to be over weight to have Sleep Apnea. If your spouse complains of your snoring or says they notice you not breathing while your asleep, you need to find a Cardiologist who is also a Sleep Specialist. Apnea can be caused by the structure of your airway. So being over weight is not always the cause of Apnea. The SVT I deal with has improved since I have received treatment, but it went on for so long it has not been an over night cure. I am getting better however. Sleep Apnea causes a multitude of issues ranging from emotional to physical because of the stress it creates throughout the body. Poor immune function, GERD, poor digestive function, depression, anxiety attacks, most persons with Allergies have Sleep Apnea according to research, it can cause issues with hormone function, increased cortisol levels which lead the adrenal fatigue, Diabetes, High Blood Pressue, Congestive Heart Failure, Stroke, Memory Loss, Fertility Issues, Fatigue, Mood Swings, Erectile Dysfunction, Perfuse Sweating, Short Term Memory Loss, Weakness, Inability to remain awake even after being in bed all night, frequent awakening throughout the night, the feeling of suffering from insomnia because you feel as if you lay in bed all night just day dreaming but sleeping deeply, being a,light sleeper (once again not entering deep restorative sleep), having or desiring to nap throughout the day, becoming exhausted/sleepy while driving or riding in a car, going to sleep frequently while watching TV & the list goes on. You do not have to have all these symptoms. Everyone is different and this is one reason why it is difficult for Dr.’s to diagnose sleep apnea. Some people are adamant that they sleep with no issues but after testing are diagnosed with Sleep apnea. Some people aren’t diagnosed until they have a major event such as a stroke or heart attack. I just beg each person who reads this, to find a Dr. who is also a Sleep Specialist in their area if they have any of these symptoms or combination of them. It is not worth suffering & ultimately having years of your life eaten away & stolen from you & your children because the Dr.’s you have seen were just not educated in this area. They can’t help you if they don’t know & treatment can be life altering! It has been for me!

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    1. Thank you for your story! Just to clarify, are you saying that the SVT had ruined your life or being gluten free? If you would like to download the food tracker and fill it in, we can look at your diet and lifestyle daily choices to see where else you can make some changes that would support you! What is your daily exercise regime? Are you walking for an hour per day or swimming or stretching? Do you have a spiritual practice like journaling or meditating or even relaxing in a bath? Just wondering as maybe some of those could also ease some of your symptoms. Try to continue to focus on lots of vegies and naturally gluten free foods like brown rice and quinoa. I always like to stress that GF bread, muffins, cookies, cereal etc, should not be used as a gluten free naturally choice. Thank you for sharing, and remember if you sign up for the email list you will receive all my free downloads, like my top ten tips, and SVT & gluten free. You need to enter your email address on any of the links that I have throughout the site! Thank you, all the best & wishing you continued healing!

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  72. I am 29 years old. I was diagnosed with A fib last year and have been having that off feeling you described ever since. On Friday night I woke up from a nap with my heart racing like never before. I called 911 and was taken to the emergency room where I was shock paddled back into regular rythem. I was switched from metoprolol to cartisem and I have been in sinus since. I got released to come home yesterday afternoon and have a follow up with my cardiologist today.

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  73. well I already have it scheduled and it is with one of the best EPs at the Cleveland Clinic so I feel pretty good about it. I dont understand what you have against ablation?

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  74. Hi. I have suffered from SVT and PSVT since age 24 and I am now 32. Never in my life have I had such a thing or issue with my heart and rarely was sick. I am also been a dancer my whole life. I had a dance partner when all this started happening and we were doing lifts of holding my stomach and etc. I thought it was from that. I also starrested having PCOS my hormones were so off my cycles completely stopped for over 1 yr. Scariest thing ever is when the thing that keeps you alive is not working right.
    I started also becoming very scared to do anything afraid an episode would happen. I too have called the ambulance but everytime they got there it converted back. The only thing that would stop the SVT was coughing continuously and hard or bearing down tightening up my stomach. Still that’s the only thing that stops them. But mine are triggered by jumping, sitting down hard, bending over sometimes, or if my stomach has a tight feeling all day.
    The doctors caught this on monitor so they seen it happen but didn’t know why and said I needed an ablation but I have been too scared to do that too. It’s so weird I don’t feel the episode in my chest as much I immediately feel like my aorta my upper stomach has my heart in it and that’s where it all happens. The fast beating like something is being cut off. Every doctor looks at me weird and doesn’t believe me and I can never have one when they are around. Of course. I also have slipped discs in my back and I have went through thinking maybe it is the spine hitting a nerve to the stomach and aorta causing it when I jump or etc, then I thought maybe gallbladder but had tests and said gallbladder fine although I always have pressure there and burp alot, I even thought maybe a hiatal hernia or sliding one or the worse aneyurism. All docs say no. None of those. UGH well something magically makes these happen and I have never had them in my life.
    I never knew anyone to experience them the way I have never. In the upper stomach area like the aorta feeling. I am always left after an episode shakey and tired. I even sometimes have hard heart beats in my stomach when it’s tight or I just ate and I go up a few steps. I hate that it’s hard to even exercise I have lost so much muscles. I’m so glad I came across this and I hope it’s still active and I’m not alone.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story! This site is very active so much so that I started coaching people privately to help them prevent episodes. If you read through the site you will see that I completely connect the stomach and bowels to SVT! You are not alone in your observations! Do you eat gluten?

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  75. LOVE THIS BLOG!!! Thank you so much Laura! My SVT’s are constant. I can have several per minute all day long. Rarely do they last more than a few seconds but I have had them last as long as 10 minutes or so. I feel like coughing sort of. I feel my blood pressure dropping (light-headedness), I am fatigued. I’ve been in the fight of my life for almost 6 years due to an amazingly lengthy period of tragedies…one right after another. The first 28 years of marriage and children were literally blissful but BAM, my luck ran out and it has been 6 years of hell (since November, 2009). The level of stress is over the top and about 3 months ago, I noticed my heart was “doing jumping jacks” inside my chest and beating like crazy. Again, the episodes do not last long at all but there was one episode that was intolerable so I drove myself to the fire station and they said I had a VERY rapid rate (SVT) and an enlarged heart (left atrial). I’ve deliberately not taken care of this via usual Western medicine means because I don’t really believe in Western medicine. I think I would rather “cross the threshold” than fall prey to folks who believe only in science and don’t connect it to the spiritual. Anyway, I eat REALLY healthy. I don’t eat wheat or any grains at all. I stay away from sugar. I don’t do ANY sort of drug or even caffeine. I try to juice. I make my own kefir from my own raw cow’s milk (yep, milk a cow each night), I have a huge garden and 68 fruit trees and do all that I can to stay healthy. I hike and bike and kayak, etc., plus I am a Waldorf teacher for wee-ones and have an outdoor playschool program, so I am outdoors and moving all over my farm ALL day long. We have LOTS of animals on the farm and so we raise all our own meat and eggs. I do eat a LOT of meat. I am rather thin for my height (5’7″ & 123 pounds) but usually feel healthy. However, I am SO TIRED these days. I have never been a good sleeper. I too sleep atop multiple pillows. I feel that my lungs are being affected by the overwhelming number of episodes of SVT…they sort of hurt. I’m happy to hear that there is hope. I do intend to end this madness and realign my thinking/actions in order to “get back into a healthy rhythm of life”. I’m winding down one of my businesses (not the playschool) and planning on just “letting the rest of the details work themselves out”. I too feel the universe is trying to tell me that I am NOT in control and if I’m not careful, I’ll find that I must learn this universal lesson the hard way. Thank you SO much for your blog Laura.

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  76. Hi. You say the doctors didn’t diagnose SVT because they couldn’t catch you having an episode. When I had adenosine the first time, it was in an ambulance, and the ER doctor told me if it happened again to be sure to get the EKG printout from the EMTs to give to the ER doctor. You’d think they would know to give them that, but anyway, of course the second time I had it I forgot to ask for it. Just FYI for anyone reading that it would help to make sure the ER gets your EKG from the paramedics if they’ve given the adenosine in the ambulance.

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