Rapid Heartbeat - What could it be?

by Concerned about PSVT

GUEST BLOG


I know the issue of a rapid heartbeat (tachychardia) is not strictly speaking a healthy eating issue, although eating healthy will certainly lower your risk for heart disease. However, I wanted to get information out there about something called PSVT or Paroxysmal SupraVentricular Tachychardia.

Although PSVT is fairly common, there are many doctors that just don't seem to know about it or recognize it when a patient has symptoms. For this reason, months or even years can go by, while the patient with PSVT suffers episodes of rapid heartbeat, without knowing the cause or possible remedy.

I have personal experience with this since I have PSVT, my brother has it, and I have helped several people whose doctor did not recognize the symptoms.

In simple terms, PSVT occurs when your heart develops an extra electrical pathway that can be triggered at the same time as the normal circuit. If this happens, you will experience a very rapid heartbeat (sometimes as high as 200 bpm), weakness, dizziness and a desire to lie down. This can last for hours and be very scary, especially if you don't know what is happening.

If you have PSVT, there are a number of things that will trigger an episode of rapid heartbeat. A cold wind in your face, bending over, running upstairs, caffeine, cold medicine or being overtired or stressed are some of these triggers.

Some other things you may want to know about PSVT is that it tends to run in families, does not usually show up until you are at least in your thirties, and is very treatable.

I had an aunt who suffered with what they called "spells," which I believe were probably PSVT, since they weren’t life-threatening and didn’t show up until she was middle-aged. I also have an acquaintance who suffered with PSVT for years before I met him, and after hearing his symptoms, I suggested he find a heart doctor who was familiar with PSVT. He took my advice, got treatment, and his "spells" are now a mere memory.

There are a number of treatments for PSVT, which you can discuss with your doctor, including medications and something called "ablation surgery" where they go in through your groin and cauterize the extra electrical pathway in your heart.

In addition, your doctor can show you some techniques to convert the rapid heartbeat back to normal by “resetting” the heartbeat with a rush of blood through the carotid artery, one of the main blood vessels in your body. Keep in mind that not all heart arrhythmias are caused by PSVT. It is very important that you consult a heart specialist if you suffer from a rapid heartbeat, since it is a condition that can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

I am not a medical expert, and my only purpose in writing this guest blog is to alert people who may have PSVT, so they can mention the possibility to their doctor and get help.

Thank you for letting me post about PSVT.


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