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mssteed mssteed 2

Trouble Diagnosing SVT?

I have not been diagnosed with SVT as of yet, but from everything I have researched I am pretty sure that is what I have. Not to mention, it can be genetic and my mother had the same symptoms and was diagnosed with SVT a few years ago.

My question is, did anyone have a hard time getting it diagnosed? I have been to 4 doctors now. I have had multiple EKG's, an echocardiogram, and a holter monitor that all showed normal results. I am currently wearing an event monitor and have been for a few days now. I recorded a number of events but none have shown SVT or any other problems beside the high heart rate. Anyone else have these problems? Did anyone try to induce an episode while wearing the monitor?

Thanks for any replies!

56 Replies

  • rochelle43965 rochelle43965 mssteed

    I wore a 30 day event monitor and recorded several SVT's in the first few days of wearing it.  I think that's the best way for it to be diagnosed.  How could you induce an episode?  I would just go about your normal day and press record anytime you feel an event.  Just because your heart rate goes up that doesn't necessarily mean it's SVT.  It could just be sinus tachycardia which can occur from panic or anxiety. 

  • geoff10274 geoff10274 mssteed

    Hello,  I had difficulty getting it diagnosed but for different reasons.  Initially I went to a few doctors with unusual pains in my chest in my heart area, and some were very short stabbing pains lasting only a second.  They said it was nothing and all tests on me were normal.  One day I awoke and stood up and my heart suddenly started racing for no reason.  I drove to the surgery, walked straight into the nurses quarters and they gave me an ecg straight away.  I was diagnosed then with svt.  Five years later I underwent an ablation and thankfully I appear to be cured.  In your case if they have recorded your heart racing then it would be a simple job to diagnose svt.  Therefore I can only assume you must have something else causing this effect.

    • mssteed mssteed geoff10274

      That is what I am afraid of. My mother said she had the same problem I am having and it took a long time for them to diagnose it for her, as well. I really just hope they figure out what it is soon and fix it. Thanks for your comment.

    • kristenk36 kristenk36 geoff10274

      Were you on meds until your ablation? How come it took so long for you to get one? Any other symptoms besides pain In your heart area? Could you feel it coming on? I was just diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome but I'm not convinced. I think I have SVT.

  • kristenk36 kristenk36 mssteed

    I feel like my heart rate is always high too. I was thinking I had SVT too but I just had a tress test and echo a couple weeks. As soon as I stood up, my heart rate was 124. He knew what was going instantly. I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Look it up and see if you're symptoms are similar.

    • mssteed mssteed kristenk36

      Thanks for your reply. I looked it up and while I have some of those symptoms, I don't think that is it. Sometimes when I stand up I get the syptoms, but I also get them when lying down or walking through the store. I will probably bring it up with the doctor if he rules out SVT, though. Thanks again!

    • kristenk36 kristenk36 mssteed

      See I have your same symptoms too. I'm not convinced that I have POTS. I'm on fludrocortisone and it's only a .01 mg pill and I can take up to 3 times a day but it doesn't seem to help too much. I hope we can get this figured out. It's very scary when it happens.

  • Paladinx Paladinx mssteed

    So you are saying you had the episodes and they were recorded?   I too thought I had svt or some kind of heart abnormal rythm.  I also suffer from anxiety, but I felt these racing heart beats came out of left field every time I am trying to fall asleep.  I got a holter monitor and than I had one of those attacks that night.  They said it was sinus tachy.   What are the chances the machine could be wrong?  The way the electrodes were attached to me seemed odd,, I called the doctor about it and he said that it was fine and the machine got a good reading. I can't believe I got smething which i thought would be a conclusive test .. and I still am not convinced and I am paranoid.   They always happen the same time when I am bed and about to fall asleep.. I start feeling hot and than its like a battle or something.. sometimes the feeling goes away other times it keeps going and than my heart speeds up,, I get hotter, speeds up even more,, usually i start to sweat.. and my heart takes off...  Than I usually feel a sense of calm or that its over and my heart slows down ... Its weird.  Sometimes It really doesn't feel like an anxiety attack....  The only thing i can think of is some kind of nocturnal attack where my body dumps adrenaline out of no where or something.   I guess my main question is what are the chances the monitor didn't pick up the right results.    

    • Paladinx Paladinx

      oh just to add,, i went to a cardiologist. He also gave me an echo.. and said i got a strong heart, and the monitor didn't even pick up one PVC/PAC. and that i had sinus tachy.   Also again.. to the OP.. Did you have an episode when wearing the monitor or ek etc?   I did.. And I still have my doubts..

    • kristenk36 kristenk36 Paladinx

      The exact same thing happens to me in bed too! Soooo scary. I'm glad someone else is going through the same thing I am. I don't wish this on my worst enemy. I also get this big "flop" in my heart too. I've also had a echo and stress test, EKG, heart monitor, everything you can think of! I just got diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. I'm on fludrocortisone and have to drink 2-3 liters of water a day and intake my salt 3,000-10,000

      Mg a day too. I'm not sure it's helping at all yet as I've only been on it for a week.

    • Paladinx Paladinx kristenk36

      Just curious how do we have the same thing?  I don't have an issue with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome where my heart races depending if i stand up or not.  My episode was caught on a holter monitor that the cardiologist gave me, and according to that test, I was going through sinus tachyrdia.  I didn't get any diagnosis.. I am questioning if the machine made an error picking it up. 

    • mssteed mssteed Paladinx

      I also wore a Holter monitor and I felt like I had a small episode and they said the same thing. I went to a new doctor and they have me wearing an event monitor for 30 days now. My mom went through the same thing, had small episodes and they didn't catch it. It can be hard to diagnose SVT from what I have read.

    • Paladinx Paladinx mssteed

      I read that its hard to diagnose SVT because they have to record your heart rythm while you are wearing a monitor.  What the hell good is a monitor if you are wearing it and it doesn't detect svt if you are in svt.. makes no sense. Isn't an ecg an ecg whether its in the office a holter montior or 30 day monitor?   What do you mean by small episode?  When i was wearing the heart monitor i got the attack that was similar to the others... and I finally got it recorded.. now your saying don't trust the recording?  get multiple recordings till someone diagnosis it as svt?  I need to stop reading these forums.. its gonna make me even more paranoid than i am. 

    • sarah87602 sarah87602 Paladinx

      I have experienced the exact same symptoms as you! Feeling warm then heart starts racing when falling asleep or while sleeping. I get up, walk around then after 10 minutes the rate goes back to normal, 65-75bpm. During a few of those events, I was wearing a Holter monitor but my Dr said it recorded 100bpm but I clocked it at 145 with my pulsox monitor. But it also recorded numerous extra beats originating from the bottom ventricles so I'm headed in for an echocardiogram soon. I'm female and only 38, but served in the military for 9 years. My ekg also said St-t T abnormality borderline for gender and age. Hope to get answers soon from the VA!

  • geoff10274 geoff10274 mssteed

    Hello,  When I was diagnosed I was put on 2.5 bisoprolol and a low dose aspirin which I was later told was not strictly necessary, but it is the standard medication for the svt.  Apart from the occasional racing heart I experienced some chest discomfort,but not what I would term as pain.  Also if I failed to stop the svt within a short time it took me a few days to fully recover.  In my case the svt always started at rest.  I believe the reason I waited for 5 years for my ablation was because my svt was really very benign and I was otherwise fit with a structurally normal heart.  It was however affecting my life so I elected to undergo the ablation.  I appreciate Palladinx does not trust the various tests, but I believe the medics can see in a few seconds if you have svt simply by looking at an ecg which records the episode.  I found the heart specialists at hospital excellent.  The important thing is to get your diagnosis.

    • Paladinx Paladinx geoff10274

      Yeah I was wearing a holter monitor and got the attack.. Maybe I am just being paranoid.. It just doesn't feel like an anxiety attack.  For people who might think they have svt or something.. If my results are true.. than that means there are certain forms of sinus tachy that can really trick you.  My heart was racing SUPER fast.  Probably at least 160 minimum.   The heart doctor was like its not your heart, you have a very strong heart..  I said than what was it an anxiety attack?  He was like thats exactly what it was. 

    • mssteed mssteed Paladinx

      If I were you, I wouldn't  take that for an answer. If you feel like it wasn't an anxiety attack, than it probably wasn't. Like I said before, my mother was diagnosed with SVT a few years ago and it took a long time for them to find it.

    • Paladinx Paladinx mssteed

      So i shouldn't trust the test results from the monitor i was wearing?  I don't really get what you are saying.  I thought the way to diagnose SVT is to have it recorded while you are in the episode.. I was in an episode of the super fast heart heart racing and I was wearing a monitor.. What the hell else is left for me to do.. How could i trust the monitor than?  If it didn't pick it up and errored while I was in SVT, than how could I trust it if i really don't have it and now the monitor says I do and i get a false positive. 

  • molly92822 molly92822 mssteed

    I have just been diagnosed literally yesterday, but without a recording. They want to try capture it before they do an operation though so it's all very scary! I am only 20 so I'm in complete shock. its very hard for them to capture an STV apparently but the symptoms aren't of anything else. If it is gradual it could be anxiety but mine comes on like a sudden light switch, that's STV certainly according to the doctor. keep persisting with them because there is treatment to cure this horrible thing!

    • Paladinx Paladinx molly92822

      Molly do you suffer from anxiety.  I was totally convinced I had svt or some kind of heart arrythmia.. It felt like it would hit me from left field even when I wasn't thinking of anything or nervous.. My heart would just start to race like crazy, i start to sweat and feel horrible..I tried so hard to figure out wtf it was. It didn't feel like an anxiety attack..  But according to the holter monitor from the cardiologist it was sinus tachyrdia, aka most likely a panic attack.   I still have doubts, its like I don't believe the test result..  If it really is from anxiety .. all I can tell you is that it is possible that your body shoots off a load of adrenaline in a second and can cause your race to start pounding. 

    • molly92822 molly92822 Paladinx

      no its not anxiety related. the doctors have completely ruled it out as an anxiety attack gradually builds without you noticing. I have had a lot of panic attacks in my life and I know what one feels like. mine occurs when I walk the stairs or bend down to pick something up. I am breathless all the time and I feel physically tired too. When I have a palpitation I have no anxiety I have trained myself to grab control of them. still would rather live without them and be able to do all the things people my age can do!

    • Paladinx Paladinx molly92822

      I don't know.   For me personally my anxiety has morphed and changed forms throughout the years.  It went from feeling dizzy all the time and like hell and super tired with skipped beats.. than that disappeared and i started getting panic attacks.. than I started getting adrenaline rushes out of no where at the flip of a switch out of the blue for no apparent reason..  All I know is.. if the test results I got back from the heart monitor are real.. than anxiety attacks can fool you pretty bad.  They hit me when I am relaxed about to fall asleep not thinking of anything and than BAM its like a release valve out of no where.. 

    • molly92822 molly92822 Paladinx

      Well I am so sorry that you suffer from that level of anxiety. I hope you find a manageable way to be able to cope with those symptoms your having.

      I first had my heart palpitation after having a cough medicine. It was an 8 hour long thing and terribly scary. I should of gone to hospital but it was Friday night and the hospital would of been heaving. They say medications like that can bring on your SVT. So weird how the body reacts and responds to things. I wish you all the luck with your journey.

    • Paladinx Paladinx molly92822

      Thank you Molly and the same goes to you.. I think the biggest sufferers of anyhting heart related are those that get effected pscychologically by the sumptoms. I have read stories of SVT sufferers who had it since they were like 10 years old their whole life into old age and they had such a good attitude about it.  The attacks never really phased them and they learned maneuvers how to stop it themselves.  I have no idea what the hell I have.. The only thing that tells me it might be anxiety is i know I have anxiety.. and I always know when the fast heart rate is coming, i get a warning by the way i feel. I get a tense feeling with a little excelerated heart rate and hot, and than it escalates.  Been getting these since 2009 or so..  They always stop on their own.. most of the time they don't last longer then a min to maybe a couple of mins tops. 

  • geoff10274 geoff10274 mssteed

    Hello Palladinx, tual racing. Again I am sorry about your trouble with the diagnosis.  I can only say what has happened to me is that when ever a medical professional looked at my ecg they immediately said svt.  On one occasion I could not stop it so I called an ambulance.  They told me to lie on my bed and they recorded it there and then, and the paramedic said, "svt."  The problem is that when the heart is not in svt if you have an otherwise healthy heart it will show a

    normal result, hence the necessity to record the actual racing activity.

    • Paladinx Paladinx geoff10274

      Yeah I understand that.   I realize you have to be in SVT for it to show up.  My heart was in that weird racing mode when I wore the monitor and they picked everything up.  I questioned him about it and he said the monitor got a clear reading.  I should trust in that, but than you read online and have people like. Mssteed telling you the machines aren't accurate... so than you don't know what to think. 

    • geoff10274 geoff10274 Paladinx

      Hello Palladinx,  My main comment on that is that there are so many variations of heart conditions including variations of svt.  A friend phoned me the other day and said he had been diagnosed with svt the same as me.  However on discussing his condition it became obvious his was very different to mine and he needed to undergo further tests to establish exactly the extent of his problems.  My advice to anyone is to put your faith in heart specialists who are better today then ever with all the technology available to them.  A general practitioner no matter how skilled cannot have the same ability as a fully trained specialist. 

    • Paladinx Paladinx geoff10274

      I understand.  People with anxiety become very paranoid and end up getting tested like a lab rat non stop.. I don't want to become like that either. I went to a heart specialist.  From what I hear he is good.  He gave me an ekg at the office, an echocardiogram and than the holter monitor which i was wearing when I had the attack.  After the tests he basically told me I have a good heart that is strong, and that my problems aren't cardiac related.  I called him again to question the holter monitor test because i thought the way the girl set it up on me seemed weird but he didn't seem concerned.. He said it got a good reading.  I realize that the machine itself can pickup the rythm and identify it as well as the doctor looking at it.  So i doubt the machine and the doctor would make a double mistake.. the only thing is if the machine itself wasn't hooked up right or didn't pick it up correctly.. but maybe that is just paranoia 

    • Paladinx Paladinx mssteed

      it not just the doctor its the machine itself.  the machines today can auto detect what heart rhtym you are in.  The machine didn't detect it and I would imagine the heart specialist looked at it as well..  If both of them are wrong.. my faith in health care isn't high..  

    • Paladinx Paladinx mssteed

      Even if it was SVT and the monitor was wrong somehow. I don't think they would treat me.  My episodes only happen now as im going off to sleep.. all of the sudden i feel weird like hot .. and a sort of nervous tension feeling thats hard to explain develops out of no where... Sometimes at that point I can fight it off, but sometimes i can't and than my heart starts racing.  Its not instantly,, there is a build up towards it, but the heart accelerates pretty fast quickly.. It usualy lasts maybe a minute or two.  than it goes back to normal.. Again not instantly in a flash,  but pretty quickly it slows down.  I know I have anxiety problems, and its possible this is just a manifestation of anxiety.. Some kind of nocturnal panic attacks that aren't the typical where you are awake and nervous about something... Its like your body can dump some adreanline in your system to speed up your heart out of no where.  There was another guy on this forum whose pulse used to go up to 180.. and he was diagnosed without having SVT either on the heart monitor... IM just telling you that if my test results were accurate which they SHOULD be..  Its very hard to tell the difference.. I think with SVT you get a skipped heart beat like a flip flop feeling and right after that your heart is racing.. Than you get the flip flop feeling and than ur heart is back to normal.  the flip flop feeling by itself doesn't mean anything.. everyone gets those. 

  • geoff10274 geoff10274 mssteed

    Hello Paladinx,  well I do know what it feels like if you know you have a problem in the heart area, but you haven't been diagnosed.  I just hope it all works out well for you and try to put your trust in the specialists.

    • Paladinx Paladinx geoff10274

      Well.. I can't say I know anything for sure.  Sometimes when it happens I am convinced its something with my heart, but if anyone looked at the facts they would think its in my head.  I have anxiety disorder that I can't deny.. I been through all kinds of crazy symptoms that were terrible that I fixated on.. but the heart racing has been the worst for me.  I just want people to know from my experience that sometimes if you do suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, you still might be very confused what is going on and things might not seem so clear cut and obvious. I really don't know for sure what it is.  I never was fully confident it was anxiety or a heart problem.  I don't know what else to do other than be a lab rat and take a billion tests..  I felt that I needed to catch it on a monitor that it would be the FINAL test that would put my mind at ease.. I took the test it got recorded, I got good news and I am still in doubt.  I have to becareful I don't end up like some other people who get a billion tests till they get misdiagnosed with something they don't even have. 

  • mssteed mssteed

    UPDATE May 12th, 2015: I send back my 30 day event monitor this Thursday. I captured many episode over this period of time and none showed an irregular heartbeat that would point to SVT. It did show the high heart rate though. The doctor thinks it is Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. He has called in Metoprolol for me to begin taking daily. He mentioned that it would be very unlikely to not catch the SVT on a monitor.

    After researching IST, I do think it could be this. I do seem to have a high resting heartrate all of the time or most of the time and anytime I have activity it shoots up. Hopefully we can find the right dosage and then I can get back to normal! Thanks for all the replies and support. I go back for a follow up in a month, so I will update then as well.

    In the meantime, I hope everyone is well.

    • Paladinx Paladinx mssteed

      Do you suffer from anxiety and or... do you think about your heart a lot or worry about it..  I can tell you this..  My heart rate can start going fast just by a little activity or even what my brain is thinking.  My heart can start going face based on digestion if I have gas pressure in a certain place it can react on the vagus nerve.  Is he absolutely sure it is IST..  Are you physically active?  My cardiologist also so fast heart rates on my monitor and said my heart is always fast.. but he said i was normal..  Just wearing the monitor made my heart rate go higher than normal...  

    • mssteed mssteed Paladinx

      I do not have anxiety. I do think about my heart evey once and a while, but it does not seem to trigger my symptoms in any way. Unfortunately, I have not been able to be very zctive because of the high heart rate. Excercise intolerance is a symptom of IST, though. I have no doubt in my mind that this is not caused by anxiety.

    • Paladinx Paladinx mssteed

      ok just was checking. You know your body better than I know mine lol.  At least you have an answer for your troubles now and can work on fixing it and feeling better again.. I know the vagus nerve has a lot to do with heart rate. Being out of shape alone greately effects your heart rate.. if you are stagnant, the simpliest of tasks will make your heart rate sky rocket.. Some people who might have IST symptoms might not actually be suffering from IST.. I am not saying that is the case for you or not.. Just putting it out there for others.  I hope the treatment works well for you and this sh*t disappears.. Its tough having to worry or deal with this kind of stuff.. Best wishes to you

    • Paladinx Paladinx mssteed

      Thank you.  I dunno what the hell is wrong with me really.. I can be fine all day.. and than every 10-15 days Ill be trying to sleep and I start feeling hot and some kind of nervous tension or the thought that its coming on, and I immediately try to cool myself down. and sometimes nothing happens other times my heart starts getting faster and faster till its racing..  It usually doesn't last long.. maybe a min or less or a couple mins.. and than i feel calmer and than it stops..  Even if it happens for less than a minute it still bothers me psychologically.. the next day ill wake up in a bad mood and feel down the whole day. 

  • mssteed mssteed

    UPDATE #2: July 17, 2015

    I went to see the doctor for a follow up on my recent diagnosis of IST (Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia), he explained that it seems like I fall into this very narrow catergory of having this disorder. He called in a 90 day supply of my medicine and that was that.

    I can say after taking the medicine for a month now, I feel so much better. I can get back to normal life again. Hopefully this info helps someone out there. Thanks for everyone's support and advice. Good luck to you all!

    • nkubon nkubon mssteed

      Hey there! Thank you so much for posting this! I too am having the exact same issues you seemed to describe and I JUST posted on here asking if anyone had experienced this and then I saw this thread. I too have issues when I exercises. My heart rate will go from about 100bpm walking around straight to 160bpm within a few seconds and upwards to 198 or so. I wear a heart rate monitor at the gym to track my HR. Was there anything in particular you brought up to your doctor about this or did he bring anything up? I've had an EP study done where the doctor saw my elevated HR but no SVTs, they've also caught my high HR on the Holter monitor but nothing 100% verified as SVT's and my mother too has SVTs. I'm looking for some sort of answer. Sigh.

      This medicine they put you on do you feel normal at resting? Would love any insight!!

    • mssteed mssteed nkubon

      I actually went to three doctors before I found the one that diagnosed me with Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. I typed out all of my symptoms and a timeline of when they began. I also included what tests I had done and what doctors I had seen on the same paper. I did that so that I wouldn't forget any small detail that could help them diagnose me.

      My current doctor listened to my symptoms and thought that I could definitely have SVT. Not only because of my symptoms, but my mother has it and it is genetic. I wore an event monitor for 30 days and captured plenty of instances of my heart rate going up, but it never showed an abnormal heart rhythm. So after the 30 days, my doc diagnosed me with Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. Which is basically a high resting heart rate usually above 100. My resting heart rate, without the medicine, itsn't above 100, but it's in the mid to high 80's. Of course, anytime I move positions or do any physical thing, it goes higher.

      Here is a good article about IST  http://heartdisease.about.com/cs/arrhythmias/a/IST.htm

      My advice would be to ask your doctor about wearing an event monitor and ask whether he/she thinks you could have IST. You might get some pushback from your doctor if he/she doesn't recognize or know about IST. In the above article is says, "...while IST is fully recognized as a genuine medical condition by every university medical center, many practicing physicians either haven't heard of it or write it off as a psychological problem (namely, "anxiety" )". So don't give up if your doctor brushes it off. Actually, I believe I have read elsewhere that IST is a form of SVT.

      The medicine is wonderful! I have a completely normal resting heart rate and haven't had any episodes of suddenly high heart rate since I began taking it. I just started excersizing again and I feel completely normal. I feel so much better than I have in a while.

      I hope that you get this figured out and you can get back to normal. Don't give up looking for the right answer. I hope this helps! Good luck.

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