Hi wondering how to cope with unexpected svt episodes

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I've had 4 episodes in ten days and I'm really anxious. Dr has done tests and am booked in to see cardiologist next month. I am to increase metoprolol so hopefully that will settle things done. It's hard to focus on other things as im always waiting for the next attack. How does anyone cope with this horrible thing. I also have a severe anxiety disorder.

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  • Posted

    How to cope? Deal with your anxiety because SVT is not dangerous.

    I've had SVT for over 30 years. I have had it since my early teens and I'm now 46. In December I hadn't had an episode for 6 months. Then I had four episodes in a matter of 10 days, three of which needed help to convert back to normal.

    Since then I've had an episode in early Jan which converted after ten minutes and an episode today which converted after an hour just as I was laying down at the Drs for an ECG.

    Just know that SVT is a bit random and doesn't necessarily get worse even if you've had a run of episodes close together. I use the "modified valsalva manouvre" to convert it which works beautifully. Check out the videos on you. tube. I've avoided adenosine for about 18 months now which is awesome and can have it converted at my General Practitioner's surgery (I'm gradually training all the Nurses how to do it).

    Personally I have much greater health challenges to manage at the moment so SVT is merely an inconvenience. It's not a harmful condition, just a PITA. It's never caused me anxiety as I listened to the cardiologist when I was diagnosed and believed him when he said it won't harm me. All these years later I'm still alive and have never been harmed by SVT. I do have a progressive illness though which is taking away my mobility - so whatever SVT meant to me previously it now means nothing. It's all relative. Don't let it steal your healthy life away while you wait around for the next episode. Life is too short.

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    • Posted

      Gosh, you make it sound so easy. I don't mind a twenty-minute episode but mine can go on for hours and are completely disabling. I know they aren't "dangerous" but I hate the sudden disruption of life and the complete unpredictability. Yesterday afternoon I was due to meet a friend to go to the theatre when one started and after two hours I had to phone my friend, miss the theatre, find someone to drive me to A&E where they tried everything including modified valsalvar which doesn't work, and finally adenosine which is fine, I don't mind it, but then of course they kept me in A&E for four hours to make sure I was okay, so a whole afternoon out of my life. Tomorrow I am due to travel by train to a course and naturally I am worried – supposing I get one on the train? I literally can't stand up when one is ongoing. I have three or four of these a year and some stop after 20 minutes, some go on. Flecainide has stopped working for me too. There doesn't seem to be anything that helps.

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    • Posted

      Yep I have long episodes too. I don't bother waiting before I seek help these days as they don't convert on their own mostly. I have a shower, go to the clinic or hospital. Get it fixed and get on my way. I've had two in the past month which needed adenosine. As far as I've ever known 2 hours is the required time after adenosine.

      Trying to pre empt an episode and worry about when it might happen is pointless and will steal the joy from your life. If you have 3 - 4 per year then you're pretty much in the clear the vast majority of the time.

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  • Posted

    Managing your anxiety is the best way you can manage your SVT. Anxiety can sometimes trigger it, and it also makes the symptoms worse. I also get very anxious when an episode hits me and I have a tendency to "obsess" over it. I am currently looking at how I handle different stresses in my life, as my EP doc thinks most of my episodes are brought on by my body/mind reacting to the stresses in my life. So, lots of meditation and finding ways to manage everything I have on my plate. Also, as Annie already stated, SVT episodes aren't dangerous even though they are incredibly uncomfortable and seem like they are so try to think of that when they occur to help keep calm. How long does your episodes last and how high does your HR go?

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    • Posted

      hi jamie, I've never taken my heart rate during an episode of svt. Too anxious about how high it must be so prefer not to know. They usually last a couple of minutes and I would have 1 or 2 a year. It had been about 16 months since the last episode so when i had 4 in 5 or 6 days and they lasted nearly 10 minutes i was terrified. They came out of the blue can't think of anything that could have triggered them

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    • Posted

      I also have sporadic episodes. I think for me, when one happens, I get anxious about another one happening, which brings on stress, and I end up having another episode, if that makes sense....well at least that is what my doctor thinks lol. I had an EP study done last month and he said mine is so minimum, he only could trigger it for a few seconds. Guess that is why he thinks stress and anxiety make them worse. Have you ever had an EP study done?

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  • Posted

    No I haven't had an EP study done. I have had my blood levels done, eg, thyroid, magnesium and electrolyte s as well as i have had a holter monitor which shows a normal heart beat as i never have an episode while wearing the monitor.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tracey...recently I have had 6 svt episodes in 5 weeks when usually get 2 or 3 a year so I fully understand how you are feeling. I also have anxiety issues which I think compound the situation. To make things even worse I have had several ectopic and mussed beats which may be triggering svt. I'm now not in a vicious circle of being anxious and waiting for another svt episode!.....I'm having a 7 day monitor fitted soon and then will see a cardiologist. Not sure when you first posted but hope this is of some help?

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul, I posted in February and so far haven't had anymore svt's. Had a couple start but they resolved within 7 or 8 seconds. I'm sure my anxiety is a major trigger so I'm trying to keep on top of that.

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