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Are there any other riders with SVT out there?

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Are there any other riders with SVT out there?

Old 07-17-19, 12:34 PM
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MNHarv
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Are there any other riders with SVT out there?

I have it fairly mildly. Last time I had a major episode (read ER visit-getting your heart stopped on purpose is a strange feeling) was eight years ago. As I progress as a rider the times it happens are less severe. Normally five or ten minute bouts. Yesterday I had an episode in which I self converted as they were getting ready to read the EKG machine. An hour and a half later. This is the reason I don't ride the distances most of you ride.

Is there anyone else who rides with a variation of this condition?
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Old 07-17-19, 02:30 PM
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what is a SVT? Ford focus? Contour? Mustnag? F150?
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Old 07-17-19, 02:41 PM
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It's a spinoff of Sons of Anarchlisms following a NY trycicle gang operating inside an asylum but whose leader lives in a rent controlled hoarhoues. It's on the CW.
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Old 07-17-19, 02:44 PM
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Supraventricular Tachycardia
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Old 07-17-19, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Supraventricular Tachycardia
Yes.
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Old 07-17-19, 02:59 PM
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random abnormal heart activity ?
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Old 07-17-19, 07:00 PM
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Yes, I've got it. The only time I had to go to the ER was when it first happened. Other than that I take metoprolol succinate and it controls it quite well - a few small flare ups, but a 5-minute rest and its back to normal. I do see a cardiologist once a year for it (and prescription renewal) I might ask him if its possible to build up a tolerance to the metoprolol as flare ups seem to happen more often.

I have done a few short bike 'credit card' tours and haven't had any major issues (not yet); occasionally I'll be short of breath and just get off the bike and walk a little. Its credit card touring, so no big loads on the bicycle, and I usually plan for 50-60 mile days, not the 70-80 mile days I used to do; if I want to do more in a day I usually plan on some side excursion along the way to a scenic site.
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Old 07-17-19, 07:32 PM
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I take metropolol for an irregular heartbeat due to aortic stenosis, a valve efficiency problem. I used to go up to 165 bpm or so, then it would stay up there even after I backed off. I had a dizzy spell while riding a flat road, just cruising along, at 165 bpm. I am an ex racer, who has been riding seriously for 20 years after several years off the bike. When I had it checked out, aortic stenosis was the diagnosis. With the metropolol, it's like a speed governor on an old U-haul truck. It usually holds me at around 140bpm max, comes back down quickly when I back off. I've lost around 40 lbs. and continue to do 40-50 mile rides at a 15-17 mph average, and generally feel pretty good, if a little slower. When it first happened, and, before the medication, I was afraid my serious cycling days were over, and started feeling apprehensive about even going out. That was three years ago. Now I go in for an ultrasound once a year (next one is tomorrow), and then I ride on from there, fingers crossed. My usual ride has a avg bpm around 100-110, with a max of 130-140. I'm usually in the mid 40s at rest.

One more thing. I never had any symptoms, until 2016, when I fell twice on Eroica (damn toe clips) and banged up my knee. I backed off on riding till my knee was better, then shortly after restarting, I started getting the wierd heart issues. I thought it was just due to time off the bike, which is why it took me so long to get it looked at. On my ride log, I had about 13 heart rate issues over 75 rides, before the above mentioned dizzy spell.

Good luck with yours.

Last edited by Slightspeed; 07-17-19 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 07-18-19, 12:23 AM
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Yes.

I probably have it happen a bit rarer than you although I have had it last up to an hour and a half. Last time was a couple of years ago. That lasted about 5 minutes then I took half a beta blocker pill (a my doctor had prescribed them but I don't take them) and the 5 minutes later the heart returned to normal. I don't know if the beta blocker was the reason I was able to return to normal or not. I did feel the effect of the beta blocker and how it limits your heart rate for a couple of days though so I wouldn't want to be taking them daily.

For those that don't know SVT is a heart electrical problem where electrical feedback can lead to very high heart rates (mine gets to around 220 bpm). It's non-fatal and as far as I am aware there are two treatments, beta blockers or getting an ablation where doctors stick an electrode up into your heart and burn out the abnormal feedback. My doctor said he could do an ablation but when he told me about the possible side-effects, heart attack, pace-maker required, death, I wasn't too keen for something that only occurs for me very rarely (ie years apart)
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Old 07-18-19, 04:43 AM
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Have any of your physicians discussed catheter ablation for your SVT?
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Old 07-18-19, 05:36 AM
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I used to have PVCs on occasion. Then one time my PCP prescribed Albuterol and I started having them every several heartbeats. From there, it was 3 years of doctor and cardiologist visits until we started discussing ablation. One drug that I was on was Amiodarone which, while effective, can cause pulmonary fibrosis.
I started dosing up on vitamins and minerals and the PVCs went away. My cardiologist and I suspect that there is a mineral imbalance somewhere but we've not pursued it any further other than knowing that I am relatively PVC free now.

Best wishes for you!
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Old 07-18-19, 04:52 PM
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Good to see I'm not alone... I think? Not that I wish this on anyone...

Dr. Lou; The doctor didn't recommend it when I brought it up. My wife is a nuclear medicine technologist so she and the doc started in on their own language about me.

I think it has a lot to do with dehydration in my case.

Thanks Everyone!
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Old 07-22-19, 05:46 PM
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I developed SVT about 3 1/2 years ago. In that time I've had 2 urgent visits to the hospital ER for cardioversion (the electric 'paddles'). I had no prior history of it, but since it started, I've had anywhere from 2-3 to upwards of 20+ SVTs per day. All but the two which required a visit to the ER have either stopped on their own, or I was able to stop them with a Valsalva maneuver. They last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

I tried atenolol (a different beta blocker), but it had little effect. Beta blockers don't really suppress SVTs; all they can do is slow the heart rate so that if a SVT develops, it hopefully won't be as serious. There are specific antiarrhythmic drugs available (flecainide and encainide), but they can have significant side effects and can actually worsen arrhythmias in many patients.

FWIW, I found that regular bicycling seemed to have reduced the frequency of my SVTs.

Given the very high frequency of my SVTs, earlier this year I had catheter ablation. After that, the frequency has been reduced to a few a week, but the jury is still out; it takes a few months for the heart to remodel after ablating the aberrant 'circuits'. Many people need a second ablation procedure to completely eliminate them. Depending on how often you experience them, you might want to talk with a cardiac electrophysiologist about whether ablation might be an option for you. The two electrophysiologists I saw both felt that a frequency of more than about once a month was reason to consider ablation.

Good luck!
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Old 07-22-19, 08:31 PM
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I have it, fairly mild, sporadic with short-ish duration. Typical, when I was sitting at my desk, my normal resting heart rate of ~60 BPM would be going at 120, which is very obvious. Not hugely distressing, but it doesn't feel great.

At worst, it happens a couple times per a week for 1-5 minutes at a time. It seems to be worse in the winter when air quality around here is bad and it's cold, and dry and more often when I exert myself. It has caused me to quit training hard for xc ski marathons because if I get even a 5-10 minute bout of SVT during hard exertion like a ski race, it ruins the rest of the race, making me feel like I'm at max effort when I'm trying to go at an easy pace, and then has the same effect as if I did over do it - I more or less bonk and it takes a while to recover. I'm not super competitive or successful as a "racer" but they were fun and now they aren't. When it happens when I'm exercising, a heart rate that should be, say, a fairly easy 130 would jump to what I would consider nearly max, like 170+. From experience doing 50k races, I know that at that point in time, if I exceeded 155 or so for any length of time, it messed me up, my race pace was ~140 -150. So hitting 170+ was really a crash and burn scenario, and not fun. It pretty much made me stop and just shuffle for quite a long time to recover.

Things I've done to reduce it are (1) no more caffeine and (2) try to hydrate better. I seemed to notice that when I ski trained at noon after a couple of cups of coffee in the morning it was worse. I also tended to start the day pretty dehydrated after exhaling moisture all night in low humidity conditions. So I quit caffeine a couple of years ago and make a point of drinking a full liter or more of water before 10 am every day. It seemed to help, but it also corresponded to me reducing hard xc ski training so I can't really say. I don't miss the caffeine though, and nowadays, a caffeinated gel really gets me going for the last part of a long ride!

In the summer, I experience it hardly at all, and almost never (that I can tell) when riding the bike, even with events or group rides where I really push it. I'm not sure why - like I said, it could be the temperature, dryness and air quality in the winter that makes it worse. It could be that the quadra-ped nature of XC skiing taxes the cardiopulmonary system more than the bi-ped nature of bicycling? But I would think fitness would address that, and at the time this started bothering me (about 7-8 years ago), I was decently fit. I did three 50k's that year and had trained diligently to do so, and was well experienced in this sort of stuff.

I do know that sometimes when just feel like I'm not getting on it during workouts, riding or hiking in the summer, I can almost always trace it to having some SVT going on. But it just doesn't happen that often.

I have a friend who just went through ablation procedure because his SVT was so bad. He tries everything to convert, even plunging his face into ice water. I've never had it that bad. I think that sometimes "bearing down/ holding breath/coughing" sort of stuff might end my SVTs but it's not reliable.
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Old 07-22-19, 09:04 PM
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RiderNick; seems mine is very rare compared to others' experiences with this. No one's suggesting ablation. Or anything at this point. Which I'm fine with.

Camilo; I'm considering that it might have been because I let myself get very dehydrated that first day about two weeks ago when this started. Still, quite rare. Only happened three times before I went to the ER on Tuesday. And Tuesday only because I didn't self convert until about two hours later. Since then, a single occurrence which lasted maybe ten minutes before natural correction.

All the best to everyone who's living with this
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Old 07-23-19, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I have a friend who just went through ablation procedure because his SVT was so bad. He tries everything to convert, even plunging his face into ice water. I've never had it that bad. I think that sometimes "bearing down/ holding breath/coughing" sort of stuff might end my SVTs but it's not reliable.
I had an old farmer as a patient once who related how he would cardiovert himself by going out to the barn and grabbing the electric fence.

N.B. not an FDA approved procedure; don't try this at home.
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Old 07-23-19, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
I used to have PVCs on occasion. Then one time my PCP prescribed Albuterol and I started having them every several heartbeats. From there, it was 3 years of doctor and cardiologist visits until we started discussing ablation. One drug that I was on was Amiodarone which, while effective, can cause pulmonary fibrosis.
I started dosing up on vitamins and minerals and the PVCs went away. My cardiologist and I suspect that there is a mineral imbalance somewhere but we've not pursued it any further other than knowing that I am relatively PVC free now.

Best wishes for you!
Minor hijack.

I had those maddening PVC's as well. Refused meds because no one could tell my why. Tried mag and calcium supplements and it helped some. Was almost to ablation when I removed tannins (teas, and red wine) from my diet and they are now almost nonexistent. I still have wine from time to time and pay for it. But PVC's are pretty benign so I can deal now that I have a cause.
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