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911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
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I have pvcs and have had some SVT recorders 45 secs, I don't

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I have pvcs and have had some SVT recorders 45 secs, I don't know or unaware of having anymore than 2-3 times not lasting over a minute. I havent been to the cardiologist in a couple years but had an echo 5 and 4 years ago, and also 4 years ago had carotid artery ultrasound and all that (collapsed and observational test i presume) Anyways I have SEVERE anxiety and have always been afraid to exercise. I have a difference in opinions in drs I see some say I can dance then cardiologist says to walk outside in the evening, but also just said to come back as needed. I take propranolol 5mg 2x a day (cardiologist had actually just originally told me to take whenever I go somewhere because my heart rate would go to 140 when I went to dr and sometimes 120-130 when I get out. It doesn't go over about 105 now when I go to dr setting. As I'm on propranolol and at home it's 67. (It was actually 67 resting before the propranolol just that it would race on occasion under attacks or going ect. Anyways I'm trying to get the courage to exercise. Today is day 6. I'm trying to work up steps. I started 6 days ago at 4000 (actually almost 5000) when normally since I'm housebound I'd just get 1600-2300ish steps. On a bad bad bad day even 800 steps. Now I'm having anxiety as I read on PBS site that you should increase 20% each week and I think I increased by 100-150%. Is this bad or dangerous?


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If you only have PVCs (benign) and short runs of SVT there is no reason not to exercise.

The fact is that if the SVT occurs and persists for more than ten or fifteen minutes then you need to get to the ER to get it stopped, but at your age this is more of an inconvenience than a danger.

If the SVT becomes a recurrent problems you will need a cardiologist to determine if you can have a procedure called an 'ablation' (not surgery, done by catheterization of the heart) to fix this permanently.

But, for now, there is no reason not to increase your exercise and fitness level. Touching base with your cardiologist would, of course, be beneficial.

The propranolol should be protective so please do take it.

Also, if you have not had your thyroid function checked this would be prudent, as overactive thyroid can cause tachycardia (fast heart rate) and this would be an important thing to rule-out in your evaluation.

If you have questions about my answer please type them below and click 'reply'. Positive feedback always appreciated.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks so much I've got such bad anxiety that I'm afraid to do anything at all. I was sooo afraid I started to much too soon, 1600-2400 steps to 4000 steps, is this dangerous? A few years ago about 4 years, I collapsed I think maybe anxiety, not sure they kept me for observation and I have been scared to move afterwards. It scared me so much that I think that brought on SVT, as it happened after I went thought observation and maybe a month and I don't think I have had any incidents since. I told my cardiologist but he shrugged it but finally agreed for an event recorder. I didn't know I was suppose to just record SVT I recorded ALL every day, which was a LOT, he recommended ablation but I said do I have to and he said but you've got a ton of pages of documents and then I explained it was just 3 occasions in the month. One was 45 secs. I went to another cardiologist for a visit and he wasn't concerned with 45 secs, think the most I had was never over 2-5 mins actually less more than likely, I just get scared when I have to go somewhere now and that's why i went on propranolol . My thyroid I check about every six months to a year. It once was low but was corrected without meds in a week or so, it runs between 2-3 sometimes even 4-5. I'm just so scared of exercising and haven't seen my cardiologist in a couple years he said return as needed. I felt mixed because I asked if I could dance and he looked at me and said just go for a walk when it's cool outside. I'm terrified to move. Or move to much or move too quickly ect


nothing you are telling me indicates that there is any reason for you not to exercise. I think you should. If you have a recurrence of the SVT that requires treatment then I would seriously consider the ablation and put the thing behind you. But for now, be reassured, there is nothing dangerous about exercise in your case.


911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5094
Experience: Emergency Medicine Physician
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks so much! I appreciate it. Do you think weight loss can "help" svt? I dont think I've had a spell in a couple years, will it come back? can it just happen during stress? or get worse?

No way to know. Stress/anxiety can certainly cause a rapid heart rate, but if you truly have SVT and it recurs then weight loss will not help. Medicine or an ablation are the treatment. It occurs because the conduction system in your heart has an 'extra pathway' that, under certain circumstances, can cause the heart to stay in a rapid rate.


Weight loss and exercise though, WILL help your anxiety.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Update.... You'll never guess, I was so worried about exercising, and hadn't had SVT in four or five years, yesterday I had some palpitations (I was not exercising during palpitations I was setting down) I decided just in case to just lay around. By bedtime I had two I think SVT spells lasting under a minute) I'm terrified! Now i don't know whether to excercise or diet. I was doing so good and feeling better exercising and hit this scary hill. I'm so afraid to move or that it will happen again. Last time it happened was a couple weeks after I had a normal echo.
The only way to know if you are having SVT is to be on a monitor. Even if you ARE having it it is only lasting a few seconds. There is no need to e anxious, but you probably need a Holter or event monitor to tell. Please do see your cardiologist, but what you are describing is NOT dangerous, though I understand your anxiety.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks I hadn't had an episode in so long that I was trying my maneuvers like pushing out air without moving air in breath ect. It's been years since I had a spell. Even though it was under a minute it scared me so bad I was sweating bad. I had worried all day because I had had some palpitations earlier that morning and was really scared. I don't know what they were have had them a few times but just one beat palpitations but actually started to reach for something bending side and it felt like it brought it on. It was under a minute, but the scariest part is I don't know if its something you go to the ER or what and the other scary part is I'm housebound and so anxious I can't even get to my mailbox. I can't get to the dr but am afraid if this is serious ect. Thanks so much
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm not sure if I mentioned but my first episode of SVT was about a couple weeks after I had a normal echo, 4 years ago, and had been under a lot of stress. I begged for an event recorder and was just told I had a history of palpitations but I said this is SVT it's different feeling, sure enough it showed up. I had 3 episodes under a minute in the month recorded, one of which turned out to be SVT in the notes I actually have the records of the strips. I'm not sure how but it feels different its not a normal plain fast beat.
Your main problem is anxiety. It is driving everything else. It can cause PVCs. You need treatment for this. You need, first, to see a mental health provider, and second a cardiologist. But again, neither PVCs nor brief SVT are dangerous. If you have ten minutes or more of sustained rapid beats then go to the ER. You can overcome this, you need to take that first step and get treatment for your anxiety, your heart problems may even resolve with this.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much for following up. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your efforts. I read a lot about SVT and it scares me even more. I read where it seems stress triggers it but then it says it doesn't cause it so that confuses me? Do you think I can get over this SVT with getting over anxiety? Again thanks so much
If you truly have SVT and it sounds like you do, then the question becomes whether it's manageable by medicine or not. Generally, if you have sustained episodes of SVT that require a visit to the hospital to convert you back to sinus (normal) rhythm then a cardiologist would likely recommend the ablation procedure.

But you do not sound like you have this type, it sounds like you have short runs that self resolve.

So if you have SVT then getting over your anxiety will certainly help, though you would always be predisposed to having it.

Now, get a hold of this. Take action. Right now you feel helpless, but you are not. This is not cancer. This is not even dangerous the way you are describing it, but it is ruling your life. So take that step, get some help with your anxiety and get back with your cardiologist.

All of us die someday for some reason. It would be a shame to waste years worrying about something that can be treated or fixed easily.

Positive feedback always appreciated.