SVT - alcohol a trigger?!

Posted , 13 users are following.

Hi everyone

As we all know alcohol is a trigger but I'm just wondering if any of you still drink and how much you drink before an attack may occur? I haven't touched a drop of alcohol in 5 months because I am so scared of having an episode. I am only 21 and I do not want it to control my life. I am missing out on so many things as alcohol is involved and do enjoy having a drink. If you have any advice I would really appreciate it. Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hello there! I am 20 and know exactly how you feel! I think everyone has a different tolerence to alcohol but personally i have never had an SVT after two glasses of wine but i have on 3. Vodka however does give me an SVTat different ammounts its just luck. I think go out with your girls, have one, and have the second if you feel okay. Avoid mixers like coke or fruit juice as the caffiene and sugar will increase your chance of an SVT. Diet coke is a bigger trigger than full fat. Oh and energy drinks are a complete no go! I hope you find a chance to go emjoy yourself again! smile

    Molly UK

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  • Posted

    Hi Hannah

    I had my SVT ablated last year at the age of 42 after living with it for 14 years - it's gone!

    I can totally empathise with you as I used to feel the same and I think that when SVT effects how to lead your life, it's time to get it sorted.

    As for alcohol, I never found that drinking alcohol triggered it at the time, but what we do know is that dehydration, tiredness etc can.

    Alcohol is a cardiac irritant much like caffeine so the phase you will hear is "in moderation" is that a glass of wine, 2 or 3? If depends on you.

    What I would say is enjoy a normal social life and speak to your GP if your worried or are getting symptoms. Don't let SVT stop you from doing anything.

    Keep hydrated when you're out and get plenty of rest afterwards. Over the time I've had SVT (14 years) I can only attribute one episode to alcohol and it was the day after.

    I'm not sure how troublesome your SVT is, mine would be 240 BPM for up to an hour, normally 30 mins.

    Practice the techniques to stop it (they're in this forum) that will give you confidence to lead a normal life, or take advice on the options to stop it.

    Good luck Hannah

    Cheers!

    Chris

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    • Posted

      Hi chris

      I had one bad attack last December my rate was 220 and lasted for 8 hours until I decided to go to the hospital. I then had a mini attack when I drunk alcohol and ever since it has just scared me. What technique did you find helped you the most and how long did you let it last for until you had to go to the hospital?

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    • Posted

      Hi Hannah

      My first attack lasted 8 hours, did they use any drugs to slow it down? Adenosine is the favourite, unless you've got asthma. It normally does the trick in no time.

      There are loads of techniques you can use and you'll need to try a few out to see what works for you, but what used to do it for me was to (and I'm not joking now!) take a deep breath, hold it, close your mouth and push the breath against your cheeks without letting any air escape. After 10 seconds blow out rapidly. To increase the effect, lie on your back and raise your feet, prop them up against a wall. It increases the blood flow to your heart. Or get a thin straw, breath in and blow out through the straw.

      When you're out and about you might look like a plonker! so you can also try splashing cold water on your face, drinking iced cold water, or lying on your side and tuck your knees up like a baby.

      These techniques stimulate a nerve in your heart that helps to regulate the rate.

      As for duration, you're young and I'm sure otherwise fit and well and your heart can cope with a lot, but speaking to colleagues in the medical field (I'm in the NHS) I always left it for an hour or so and then made it into the ED.

      Often they will just monitor you, but when it's in a fast SVT rhythm it can take it out of you. Some people become dizzy and it's the best place to be.

      You probably remember feeling really tired the day after.

      Have a google for the valsava technique (that might be spelt wrong!) that's the clinical term for the techniques used.

      Don't worry though Hannah. You might not have this again for 12 months or longer and if you do there's treatment you can have.

      When you learn how to control it, you'll take it in your stride. At the moment it's unknown and frightening, but it won't hurt you, it's unpleasant but you've nothing to worry about.

      That's a very long reply, but I hope it's helped!

      All the best

      Chris

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    • Posted

      That's some very useful information. ..thanks. I'm new in diagnosis and somehow the doctors just don't explain the trigger aspect. .they focused that it's "most probably" congenital and "it happens". You brought up dehydration and that is highly probable as the cause for me! Also. ..I need to work on methods to handle it. My nightmare is that it happens when I'm far from a hospital, traveling or alone. I can't take 1.5 hours of 230 beats per minute. I can't imagine how exhausting 8 hours of that could be - can anyone just tolerate that calmly?

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  • Posted

    i notice my heart feels weird and more vulnerable to start racing when I drink, even a small amount.  I can't say SVT because I wasn't diagnosed with svt.. When my heart went racing I had a monitor on, and they said it was probably an anxiety attack.. Yet I do feel like many of you guys.. except when my heart starts racing like crazy it usually lasts only a couple of mins.. But I can relate with a lot of things people say here.  even about alcohol consumption. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Hannah, i'm a 21 year old female too. I must admit it was nice seeing your comment as i have actually never met anyone with SVT let alone someone the same age as me.

    I used to drink quite a lot on a night out but would never have any signs of SVT whilst i was out, it would always be the day after for me. I would have a lot of palpitations and feel like i could go into SVT but never actually did. 

    However, i was out about a month ago with my boyfriend and all it took was three sips of champagne for me to go into SVT. I was gutted. It was obvious the alcohol was the trigger however i had also only got about 5 hours sleep the night before which was probably the main trigger and the alcohol had just tipped it off. 

    Since then i have avoided alcohol completley. It's not so bad for me as im not a big drinker anyway however just like you i would still like the option when i fancy it and not be scared of it setting off an SVT attack.

    I am currently waiting to see a cardiologist for the second time to discuss having an ablation as i feel that my SVT attacks are so regular now that they are interfering with daily tasks. Whether i have the guts to go through with it is another matter but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

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  • Posted

    Hi Hannah

    I have had episodes of rapid heart beats (svt, who knows?!) about 9 times over 10 years.  They have gone on for 45 mins to 3 hours each time and the last but one time, my GP sent me off to A&E via ambulance, the only time it was caught on ECG. By the time the ambulance had left the GP surgery car park, my HR was normal again!  But I know for sure that on a number of those occasions, alcohol had a part, mainly the 'morning after' when I have gulped down cold water. In fact, drinking cold liquids quickly have preciptated an episode even without alcohol being involved, so I'm not sure what the trigger might be.

    I have had a 7 day monitor, ecgs, echocardiogram and I am told my heart is healthy, but I still experience palpitations, flutters and other bumpety bump feelings often.  I can just about cope with those but the fear of that prolonged tachychardia is always present. 

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  • Posted

    I suspect that I've had SVT for quite some time now. I've always had a rapid heart rate the day after drinking. Usually around 100 bpm. This past Sunday, it got up to 230. I was certain I was going to die. I spent a night in the hospital. The doctor said to only have 1 or 2 drinks from now on. I don't know what to do.

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone,

    i had my first symptom of SVT when i was 18 and was rushed to the hospital from my high school I am 20 now and i recently had a severe episode reaching a rate of 222bpm in my sleep. it literally woke me up and i was rushed to the hospital where they finally were able to catch it on an ecg and diagnose me. i am undergoing the svt cardiac ablation procedure in a few hours, so hopefully this cures me of the symptoms!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Celeste

      I am waiting for my ablation appointment to come through.. honestly how was it? I know sometimes it's best to leave details out but I would really like to know. It's all I think about I'm so scared to have it done. Hope yours went ok and you are feeling ok x

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    • Posted

      I have a similar story. First off, I used to drink quite a bit. About 4 times a week. I've never had an episode while drinking. My 4 episodes have always happened while I was completely sober and been sober for several hours. Last February, I had an episode while sleeping and it woke me up. I went to the hospital with a heart rate of over 200bpm. They tried 2 different intravenous drugs, and one they tried 3 times. Nothing even slowed it down a little. I was sent to another hospital and even paddled there once. So 12 hours into my episode (my bpm still consistently over 200 bpm) I had an emergency ablation. I haven't had an episode since and it's been almost a year. It was a scary situation! But the surgery is normally very effective in fixing the issue. Also, overall, i don't condone drinking, but I don't think alcohol was the trigger in this situation since I never had alcohol in my system at the time of my episodes.

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    • Posted

      I have a similar story. First off, I used to drink quite a bit. About 4 times a week. I've never had an episode while drinking. My 4 episodes have always happened while I was completely sober and been sober for several hours. Last February, I had an episode while sleeping and it woke me up. I went to the hospital with a heart rate of over 200bpm. They tried 2 different intravenous drugs, and one they tried 3 times. Nothing even slowed it down a little. I was sent to another hospital and even paddled there once. So 12 hours into my episode (my bpm still consistently over 200 bpm) I had an emergency ablation. I haven't had an episode since and it's been almost a year. It was a scary situation! But the surgery is normally very effective in fixing the issue. Also, overall, i don't condone drinking, but I don't think alcohol was the trigger in this situation since I never had alcohol in my system at the time of my episodes.

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  • Posted

    Had another SVT today. My doctor armed me  with 30 mg Diltiazem pills which I keep in my pocket. His instructions were to take one and wait 45 minutes .This worked nicely today almost to the minute! Had it not I was instructed to take a second one. Regarding alcohol , doctors instructions were to abstain. However a few nights ago a coors light seem to quell the feeling I get just before the event starts. Had to play some music and didn't want to get on on stage.

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  • Posted

    I can only recall one time I had a svt attack after drinking alcohol and it was the morning after. I had stayed up all night partying and woke up pretty early. Probably only had about 3 hours of sleep. Well I remember getting up and grabbing a bite to eat then trying to lay back down and watch tv and I ended up going into svt. The other times I had svt attacks I hadn't been drinking at all that day or even in that week. I think everyone is different. The one pattern I did notice that sent me into svt was the change of body position. Like if I was bending down picking up something off the floor or if I was rolling over from my left side to my right side in bed.. i would feel that horrible thump and then boom full on Svt. However I did just have my ablation yesterday because I kept getting the attacks frequently and just like you I didn't want it to control my life. So far so good after my ablation. Today I have no extra beats or palpitations. Definitely check into it if your svt is becoming bothersome. 

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