New here, first episode of SVT two days ago

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi All,

Just looking for some insight to SVT. I do see a cardiologist next week as my first ever episode happened just two days ago.

I've always had a heart flutter that lasts a couple seconds and would take my breath away since I was a teen but never anything like what happened the other day.

When it started, I was driving to work and felt what I thought was a flutter. When it didn't stop and my heart began to race and race and I was diaphoretic (sweating), I knew something wasn't right. Luckily, I work in a doctor's office and right across the street from a hospital!

My coworker took me in and my heart rate reached to 231bpm! Everywhere I have read, mostly say heart rates can get anywhere from 150-180bpm. Has anyone else experienced over 200? It felt like I was running a marathon....and was really scary.

Anyway, the ER doctor and nurses instructed me to "bear down" (literally) and after trying it twice, my heart rate went back to normal! I guess this is one of the ways to bring you back down and it triggers the vagus nerve. Let's just say I learned a lot that day.

Guess I'm here just wanting some insight from others who have dealt with this multiple times as this was my first episode. Just curious to hear others thoughts smile

Thank you!


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18 Replies

  • Posted

    I had my first SVT episode approximately 12 years ago. I was shopping and all of a sudden my heart was beating rapidly and pounding. I could literally see it beating below my sternum. I didn't really have any other episodes until 5 years later. I started drinking more coffee and tea and that's when I had another SVT attack. My heart rate went up to 212 beats per minute.  I had difficulty breathing so I had to go to the ER. The paramedics had to give me adenosine 4 times before my heart rate went back to normal. After that, I eliminated any caffeine drinks from my diet and it helped out alot. I was hesitant to take any medications because usually if I had any SVT attacks, I would be able to stop it by splashing my face with ice water or doing a val salva maneuver. I've only been getting SVT attacks once or twice per year in the last 5 years until this past year. I was getting them more often and it would last longer. I was so scared and always anxious of getting another attack , so I decided to go on meds. My blood pressure is low so my cardiologist prescribed Flecainide and Digoxin (both very low dosage) Now, I'm doing much better. I'm still thinking of having an ablation in the near future, so hopefully I don't have to take any more meds.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response!

      So crazy to know there are so many of us out there. It is scary, luckily I have cut caffeine out for over a year.

      What about exercising? I usually go to the gym 3-4 times a week but since my episode, I've been afraid to let my heart rate increase....

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  • Posted

    My cardiologist said I don't have any limitations on exercising. You should ask your cardiologist to be sure it's okay to exercise.

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  • Posted

    I had an issue while I was driving. I felt a little dizzy and pulled over. Then my heart rate started racing. Was between 180 and 200. Thought I was going to pass out. I called 911 and an ambulance came and picked me up. By the time they got there it was down to 145 and was normal by the time I got to the hospital. 

    I had another one when I was giving a party at my house. Nausea, hr 175 , faint about to pass out. Was normal l by the time I got to the hospital. 

    Very frustrating and makes you very tired for 2-3 days after. 

    Its very frustrating to have this happen without warning and not being diagnosed because they can't capture it. I did have an ablation and it corrected the SVT. 

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  • Posted

    Hi there Nicole,

    I am sorry that this happened to you. The first time is really scary, but you learn not to freak out as time passes.

    I am certainly not downplaying it,  It is not nice at all.

    This has happened to  me .  Actually 2 days ago as you.  I usually have an episode aboutevery 3-4 weeks.

    The first time It happened to me my heart rate was about 210 bpm.  I think alot of people here have heart rates much higher than that.

    What did they say showed up on the ekg.?  It was told to me that when the P waves are absent that is what happens with SVT. I was told I had AVNRT.

    Normally when it starts with me, I feel a thud, and the rate goes from about 70 bpm to whatever it wants to do at the time.  Normally now my heart does not go up above 145-150. bpm

    I did go on the bisoprolol  but absolutely  hated it.  So many side affects.   

    I then went for an ablation but  it was unsuccessful as the EP specialist thinks he could not find the irregular circuit  due to some anxiety medication I was on.  I am in the process of weaning off to have a second ablation done.   The beta blockers did stop the attacks, but AI would rather have the SVT episodes  than take the beta blockers.....

    The last few episodes have been different.  I feel as you say a flutter, and my heart rate does not immediately go sky high. It kinda goes up much slower, maybe with in  30 seconds or so.  Not sure what that is all about.

    Sometimes the maneuvers work and sometimes they don't.   I have many things that I do. Most times, you just have to wait it out.  Mine last from 20 minutes to the longest that was about 6 hours.

    Not nice at all.  I started this Feb/ 2016.  It is quite common for females in their teens and early 2-'s to start this, but it can happen at any age

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    • Posted

      Wow, crazy! It's comforting (in an odd way) that there are so many people out there. Thank you for sharing your story.

      All my labs came back normal at the ER. So I'm guessing I will have to wait for the cardiologist to see what's next.

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    • Posted

      SVT won't show up in labs. Heart attacks, heart disease but not abnormal rhythms. 

      Because I had a total of 5 abnormal rhythms when I had my ablation( they found 5) I still have to be on medication and I had a loop recorder implanted under my skin at the chest area. It only monitors my heart. The battery lasts 3 years, so I will have to have a minor surgery to have it removed by then. It was recommended by my cardiologist since I still have 4 other abnormal rhythms. Don't know if I will eventually have to have another ablation for any of them. I'm told that not all of them can be fixed, maybe one can, so I can get off the blood thinner. 


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    • Posted

      As Linda mentioned, SVT will not show up in the blood. If they captured the SVT on the ekg, that is a good thing. Many people go for years with this but are never able to have ir caught on the ekg.

      I was one of the lucky ones. Mine was recorded.

      Please let us know hoe you made out with the cardiologist.  Keep us posted

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    • Posted

      I probably had SVT for 5 years and didn't know what it was. 

      Was in church choir and suddenly got dizzy, sweaty and very hot. Went to the doctor and he said it was probably the hot  lights. Was shopping, got off the elevator and got very dizzy and heart rate was 170. Just minding my own business. Stopped at a red light and heart rate went up and got dizzy. 

      Late  lunch  with a friend and afterwards was driving and suddenly got very dizzy. Heart rate was 200. Called an ambulance and went to the hospital and had resolved by the time I got there and doctor said it was probably dehydration, it wasn't because I had been drinking a lot all day. Was at dinner with friends, abdomen became distended and heart rate up, went to ER and ekg showed nothing. Had resolved. Was cooking at the holidays and suddenly got very dizzy, was giving a party and had to go by ambulance as heart rate was 175, nauseated, dizzy, thought I was going to pass out, was taking my dog to the vet and felt fine and suddenly heart rate went up and wouldn't go down after an hour so went to the ER and it resolved a little while after I got there. All the times I went to the ER, my labs always came back normal, which was good, because that indicated that I wasn't having a heart attack and didn't have heart disease. 

      I stopped driving for awhile , because of the episodes I had while driving. I was afraid I would wreck out and hurt or kill someone or kill myself. I lost confidence in driving because I never knew when these episodes would happen? This was before my ablation. I no longer have SVT, but I still have other abnormal rhythms and the latest is atrial tachycardia. It doesnt go as high as SVT, but it still is bothersome. I was on fleccanside but it wasnt working all that great, so was put on rythmol. Doctor told me that rythmol doesn't work that long. I've been taking it about 4 months now and so far so good. My episodes started getting worse and more frequent before my ablation. They would last anywhere from 5 minutes to two hours. They all made me feel terrible. My husband and I like to travel and now I'm sort of paranoid about traveling. 

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    • Posted

      Hi there Linda,

      It's crazy isn't it? You just never know know when it happens.  Mine are about 3-4 weeks apart.  I had one last Wednesday.  I had an extemely stressfull day the day before that, And a few days prior to that we had to hve a little Yorkie put down, He was only 3 years old, and I have just been so sad since. So even though I get these episodes, I think all this sadness and stress did not help.

      My episodes usually start with a thud in my chest and instantly heart rate is up, but the last couple of episodes my heart took about about 15-20 secondss to go up. I felt a flutter and then monitored it. Strange for it to do differently.

      I am so much better at home when it happens.  I try the emerging fqce in ice water,  The laying on my right side in fetal position,  laying down and blowing into a syrynge for 15 seconds, then immediately laying down and lifting my legs up.    Never know what helps.  I think it just stops on it's own.

      My episode are from anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours.  The most being 6 hours.

      I really try to not panic now.  

      Do you remember when having an episode aor after an episode  having to pee like crazy?  that happens to me

      Sometimes I get the sweats, and sometimes I don't.. I kinda wonder whether that happens depending how much I panic

      It really just sucks   

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    • Posted


      Meant to mention to you, I had an ablation June 2016. Unsuccessful.  EP specialist thinks because of an anxiety med I was on 

      I have been weaning off 2 anxiety meds to have another ablation.  Coming off these meds has not been kind to me, but I have been working hard at this in order to try again.  Stupid me for even going on this crap.

      Last year just prior to the unseccuessful ablation, I stopped taking the Bisoprolol.  Why on earth do these doctors say to just stop them.  I went through torture with withdrawls from them.

      I just did not go back on the  Biso.  Thought SVT episodes were easier than the side affects I was experiencing on the Biso.  Side affects were also a nighmare

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    • Posted

      Do you think you will have another ablation? The only thing about my ablation is that now when I just walk across the room, my heart rate will go automatically from 75 to 120 and then back down. I asked 2 doctors about it and they don't know and just say it's because I am de conditioned. I knew that wasn't true. 

      I was at a concert the other night and it was hot, my heart rate went up to 130. As I cooled off it went back down. 

      The heart is a complicated machine for sure!!!!! 

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    • Posted

      I see my EP specialist this week coming.  I would have had a second ablation by now as he wants to do it again, but not until I am off these anxiety med.  i started weaning March/17.  Has been a nightmare. I am down to just a very little bit, so I am hoping that he will say it is okay to do now. Otherwise it will be a bit longer.  We will see.

      With all of the hundreds of ablations that have been performed, it is hard for me to accept that all those people   were anxiety med free.   Or maybe it was just me...who knows.

      When I get up in the morning,  my heart rate goes high for a bit. I asked him about it, and all he said was it was positional heartrate.   On my monitor it also show runs of quick higher heartrate. He said that that is fine.    Really?   Maybe he should experience it

      Do you use a heartrate app?

      i do and sometimes it becomes obsessive

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda,

      I use 2. One is called Instant Heart Rate and the other is called Cardiograph

      Cardiograph allows you to be able to leave it on for as long as you want.  It shows your heartrate and how constant your rate is.  When I have flutters, you can see it on the app.   Not always sure that is a good thing......

      I tend to get very obsessive with it but am working on that.  Sames goes for taking my blood pressure.

      If you are using a fitbit, then I am sure you are getting accurate readings.  Not sure whether you are interested in seeing how regular your heartrate is

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