Recent svt diagnosis...feeling abit lost

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I was diagnosed at the beginning of October after having 5 episodes 1 morning. Prior to that I'd had them once every 2 weeks for about 6-8 weeks. 

I was sent to acute medical unit & was told I was textbook svt, I was given 2.5mg bisoprolol to take. 

Since taking meds I've felt worse. No palpitations but chest discomfort which hurts & short of breath on & off.

Today I woke up feeling uncomfortable like I slept awkwardly. As soon as I got up I realised it was my chest hurting again. I was out of breath & the stairs were a definite no.

My gp confirmed my blood pressure & pulse was normal but the bisoprolol coukd be the problem. I can't stop taking it until I've seen a cardiologist,  which they've only just referred me to.

She also said it could have been another episode just minus the palpitations. I didn't even know that could happen.

No one has sat me down & told me what to do. I've had another day off work because I feel awful &the chest pain won't go away. to be honest II'd rather come off the meds & go back to infrequent episodes thanfeel this rubbish. 

Is there anything anyone can suggest to help me get on like normal? Stop caffeine & alcohol? Lose weight (needto lose a few pounds)? Exercise? 

Thanks smile

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  • Posted

    Hi Vicki. I can really sympathise with how lost you must be feeling right now. It's not nice to expereince something with your heart as it can feel awful. I've had SVT for as long as I can remember. This time last year I started suffering with severe ectopic beats as well as the SVT but found through trial and error that cutting out caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate), alcohol and spicy food relally helped to reduce my symptoms. I also began following the NHS couch to 5k podcasts (going running) which significantly reduced my SVT episodes (I would get up to 5 or 6 episodes a day). The exercise has been particularly helpful but I'd always been able to control the SVT with breathing techniques so knew I would be ok with running. It also had the added benefit of helping me loose some weight which is always an added bonus!

    I can't give you any advice with regards to medication I'm afraid. My heart rate drops so low when I sleep I can't take any but this was only picked up when I wore a heart moitor for a week.

    I'm sure you're feling a little lost and in the dark but do try to stay positive. I had ablation last week (still feeling pretty sore with a very heavy chest which I'm hoping will disappear) so there is hope. This site and the Arrythmia Alliance website both have good forums for SVT. I hope my words may be of some help/comfort to you but just remember, there are others out there expereincing similar things to you. Good luck with everything. xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.

      I was considering going on a diet & trying to exercise some more (hard to find time with a 20 month old though) smile

      I don't drink alot of tea/coffee but will try cutting it out. Along with alcohol. 

      My gp told me today I have to grin & bear it until I see the cardiologist,  easier said than done when the chest pain hasn't eased all day. I feel so tired too.

      Start making a few changes then hopefully the cardiologist can sort me out.

      Nice to know there's other people trying to work out whats right for them. The dr mentioned ablation....don't like the thought of that (I'm abit of a chicken) I hope it doesn't come to that. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Vikki. Sorry to hear you are not well and have had an SVT diagnosis. It is not a nice problem to have but there is much hope! I am 55 now and had SVT for about 20 years until I had no choice but to have an ablation a couple of years ago (when I was having about six episodes a day). Touch wood, I have not had a single episode since and life is so much better. My experience of the ablation procedure (during which I was fully conscious throughout) was that it was a bit unpleasant but no worse than an SVT episode of the same duration, and I don't recall much if any discomfort afterwards. The procedure is over in no time, so I would very strongly recommend you have it done as soon as possible if your cardiologist thinks you suitable (if he/she doesn't then get a second opinion to be sure). 

    I am in Ireland, so things might not be the same as in the UK, but I did find that SVT knowledge and expertise varied considerably between GPs (and even some heart specialists) so it might be an idea to pick medics recommended by others (e.g. on forums like this, or recommended by a GP you trust). 

    I was on the same medicine as you and also found it made me very tired and ill (to the point where I couldn't drive safely!) until they got the dosage right and I got used to it. It could take a few weeks or even months. I really wouldn't recommend going without the tablets - I tried that but it got progressively worse. 

    There are different types of SVT and different folks also get varying symptoms for the same type, but for what its worth I'll let you know how I learned best to avoid it:

    1. Try to avoid sudden movements like quickly bending down to pick up something you've dropped. 2. Cut out ALL caffeine (no tea, no coffee, no decaff because it has some caffeine, no lucozade, no coca cola etc. - check ingedients of stuff to make sure). 3. I know this one is not easy, but do try to avoid stressful situations (e.g. family rows) because I found a pattern where they generated delayed SVT, usually the next day. Telling your family and colleagues of this might help. 

    All the doctors told me to quit smoking and the booze, but in my case I found these made no difference whatsoever (in fact I think abstinance made me more stressed and made the SVT worse), so don't sacrifice too many of life's simple pleasures unless you are certain it helps in your particular case!

    I really hope things get better for you soon xxx

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    • Posted


      I'm definitely not stopping the tablets, on 2 occasions I've taken the tablet abit later than usual & suffered with the chest discomfort so I know how much I need them. 

      I'm just annoyed that I've only just been referred to the cardiologist today, a month after I saw the gp. They also lost my ecg that the hospital needed to confirm diagnosis. Its just stressing me out abit which is not good.

      If the chest pain isn't any better tomorrow I'm phoning the gp again because its becoming so uncomfortable I can't sit or lie down comfortably. 

      Glass of wine would calm the stress levels tonight smile 

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  • Posted

    Hi Vikki

    I am 51 and had my first episode this year and its took me about 4 months to get over it, in that time i have had a visit to the cardiologist who has offered me an abilation. I am really with you how crap it makes you feel and so low also. i have learnt some breathing techniques to deal with them and help me out...I just wanted to say i am with you and do understand its horrid but good luck Vikki 

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