SVT and high Blood Sugar

Just a quick note (as mine seem to be).

I spent most of today at the emergency while having an episode of SVT (Supraventricular tachycardia). I have had this since I was about 20 with a couple of episodes per year.

Today my heart started beating at 220 for no apparent reason so off to the ER where they gave me 2 shots of Adenosine. This drug basically puts out the hearts spark plugs so they have to re fire again back into normal rhythm. Its a very scary thing and I was honestly scared.

I’m just wondering if anyone else here has SVT and if so what precautions do you take? I am meeting with a cardiologist and will probably undergo what they call a catheter ablation to correct the SVT…

Thanks, Paul (glad to be out of the ER - 8 hours!!!)

OMG!! Poor you. That does sound Terrifying. I don’t blame you for being scared. I don’t have SVT but I’ve heard of a couple others who mentioned it.

I remember when it felt like my heart was going to explode sometimes from a rapid heartbeat when I got a low blood sugar. Thankfully I don’t get those anymore. I don’t know how fast my heart was beating while low but I doubt that it was 220 bpm. But still it was Really scary for me.

I’m Glad that you are back home and feeling Better. Hopefully the future procedure/treatment will fix the problem. Good to hear that there is a correction for it. Wishing that everything goes Well for you.

I dont have the condition but let us know how it goes Paul. Glad you are having it looked into . We are thinking about ya… My father had atrial fib if that is similar.

Glad you are home and feeling better, Paul, and so sorry you have to go through this. As I like to say, one adventure after the other ,eh? Good luck with your treatment and keep us posted.


How frightening! Eight hours in the ER:( Happy you’re home & doing ok.

Hi Paul, I know it is scary as I’ve been there, done that. About 20 years ago I would get this fluttering and extremely fast heart rate. I had been to various doctors and a cardiologist but no one knew what was wrong until 5 years later I drove myself to the ER where I was having a real bad episode and I ended with electrodes, oxygen, paddles, you name it I was having SVT with AFIB. Atrial Fibrilation. I was diagnosed with PSVT with AFIB. To make a long story short, I went to see a Cardiologist in a bigger city where he performed the heart ablation. He was the one who said I had PSVT but when he tried to zap the SA node he couldn’t. He said I did not have PSVT (which is: parodoxal superventricular tachycardia) and therefore I had SVT with AFIB and the ablation had been unnecessary. He prescribed Flecainide to control my rapid heart rate. Be sure to ask questions regarding the procedure. You might not need it or you might just need medication. Just hang in there, you will be ok.

Two years ago I had something simular where I had a Cardioenfarction done, where I had a Aorticflutter. At the time I also had pneumonia on top of it. They used the Adenosine on me also with two jump starts to my heart and I had the paddle mark on my left chest for 3 weeks afterwards. I was in the ICU for 4 days and a night on the Cardiac floor.

I even had a TIA on Thanksgiving 1980 when I was 28, but the damage didn’t get really noticed when they found a heart murmer and in 2004 with the valve leaking.

I am going in on Tuesday for a Eco done to see if there is more damage to the already damaged Aortic Valve. So I can feel for you as you go through to find out whats going to happen next.

I forgot to mention that I am glad that you are home and resting. Take care

Thanks guys…

Yes, I was glad to finally be home. My upper chest is still sore from my heart pounding away for a few hours but feel good otherwise. One of the nurses asked me if I was taking aspirin each day which I told her I wasn’t. I’ve read that it is generally a good thing to be taking this as it helps with thinning the blood. Do any of you take aspirin because of high blood sugar levels? I’m wondering if this might be a double benefit for me?

I guess I will ask my cardiologist once I meet with him to discuss the ablation…

Thanks again for all of your feedback and kind comments.


Hi Mary,

So are you saying SVT with AFIB doesn’t require an ablation? I’m not sure if I have plain old SVT or the PSVT? I will ask my cardiologist about it though. When did you have the ablation? How was it? Did it hurt? Were you scared?

Sorry for the questions but I’ve looked into the procedure and the whole thing scares me a little (I’m a big baby when it comes to me heart).

Thanks, Paul

I have heard Dr Bernstein talk about this that good sugar control should be acheived first before starting asprin or a statin on his web casts.

What he said that once you are on Aspirin your chances of having a stroke in some studies amplifies 3 times if you suddenly stop. I would ask your cardiologist about this and see what he/she says about the whole aspirin thing vs good sugar control and how that compares to your lipid profiles.

I am on Aspirin myself but wonder if I need be if my lipid profiles improve to normal.

Hi Paul, yes, there is a lot of apprehension but the procedure is painless, I guess the worst of it is when they put the needles on your hand for the drip, other than that, you are wide awake when they do the ablation, you can hear the doctors talking while they run the catheter (wire) through your groin and into the heart. It was amazing to me they could do that procedure without me experiencing any pain. Believe me, there is no bigger baby than I am when it comes to pain. As far as being scared, yes I was very scared and I refused to do the ablation but my family talked me into it. After it was over and the doctor told me it had been “unnecesary” as I only had SVT and not the PSVT, I told my kids, the doctors scarred my heart and it had been unnessary. Well, I know they meant well and I am feeling much better with just the medication-by the way, I was in the hospital for 2 days with the ablation but 3 days more while they were trying to see if I could tolerate the Flecainide. I had the procedure in August, 1999. Relax, everything will be fine and you will be glad when it is over. Take care and we will be thinking and praying for you.

Hi Paul,
I had a heart cath when I was 32 - had some chest pain exercising and they did a stress echo and said my left ventricle wasn’t working well. So off I went for an emergency cath, thinking I had a 90% chance of needed a bypass. I was very scared, but the heart cath was really an easy procedure. Worst part was having to lay still for hours afterwards, and they bottomed out my sugar from 268 preop to LO in recovery! Thankfully, they just found vasospam of the coronary arteties without any blockage. So no treatment needed other than aspirin and keeping my heart rate under 150 while exercising. They put two very large IVs in and a bladder catheter beforehand. They gave me some IV sedation. I remember a little bee sting in the groin when they numbed the area before starting, and that’s about it. Much less scary than I thought it would be. Hang in there, you’ll do great!

Hi Mary,

Thanks for your words. I was actually back at the ER for 7 hours today. The chest pain I was experiencing was worse this morning so I went to see my Dr and he told me to go back to the ER. Well, after 7 hours and blood work, which came back ok, they finally figured out it was a reaction from the Adenosine.

I cant wait for my appointment with my cardiologist so I can get all of this behind me.

Take care, Paul

Oh Paul, worse chest pain & another seven hours in the ER. Sooo sorry to hear this.

Hi Paul,
I’m so sorry you had to go through that, but glad you’re out of the ER…not a fun place to be for sure.

I myself have had a few episodes of SVT in the past 10 years, but I think I’m much older than you probably. The first time they used intravenous diltiazem to stop it. IV Diltiazem has to be refrigerated, so they weren’t able to carry it in ambulances. The last time I had SVT, they gave me something before they even loaded me into the ambulance which stopped it immediately…but they still took me to the hospital just in case. I can’t remember the name of the medication, but I know it started with an A.

The last time this happened, the heart doc in the ER told me that if it happened again, I could possibly stop it myself by pounding on my chest or by squeezing my nostrils shut and trying to blow out air through my nose. It hasn’t happened since I was told that, so I can’t tell you how well that works (or not!)

With the first episode, it was quite frightening, especially since I’d had a heart attack several years prior. By the second episode, I knew what was going on, so I just called 911, got my toiletries bag ready, and sat by the door waiting for the paramedics…I absolutely HATE going to the hospital without my “stuff”, lol.

As for the ablation…my cousin had that. He was getting arythmias constantly. Not sure what type they were, but I think they were SVT’s. At any rate, he had the ablation. He said the worst part of it was not being able to move a muscle while they were trying to find the spot to cauterize because it took some time. Other than that, he was quite happy to have done it, and it definitely stopped the problem.

Hope that helped. Good luck with the cardiology appointment.


Paul, I am so sorry you ended back the ER with chest pains. Isn’t it amazing how long it takes to see the Cardiologist? People die waiting for an appt. to a specialist but they don’t seem to take patients that have been to the ER meaning that it was an emergency. When do you see your cardio? Hope it is soon. I waited 3 wks to see mine, finally yesterday, he went over the results of my holter and event monitors. All he said is continue on the medication and maybe I will need a pace maker as my heart beats very irregular and that is the only way to put it back to rhythm. You hang in there Paul, I know it is scary but we will be praying for you.

Thanks Mary,

I have a cardiologist apt on Feb 20th. I’m almost certain he will suggest the catheter ablation. The only thing that worries me about the procedure is having to lie still for that long (4-6 hrs). I know I will think about it too much and then the panic sets in. I’ve heard they can drug you up depending on how nervous/anxious your are so I’ll be asking for the maximum :wink:

BTW, my new Dr (2nd in 4 months) is quitting his practice and working at a hospital so I have an apt with a new Dr on Monday and I’ll be asking about LADA. Hopefully third time will be lucky and she will know what LADA is and maybe have me tested. So far 2 Dr have said no!


Paul, I started having SVT episodes about 5-6 years ago. This is long before I was diagnosed with diabetes (just diagnosed 10/08/09). Usually my heart rate will immediately jump to 180 - 190 beats per minute but the episodes usually end after a minute or two. I have learned to stop them sooner by either taking about 3 -4 very deep breathes or by acting like I am defecating. So, seldom do my episodes last more than a minute now.

What I have determined is that I get these episodes under two conditions. If I have too much caffeine, I get them. Now, I am talking a lot of caffeine. I am not a coffee drinker but I do drink a lot of tea. My last episode in December, I had probably 7-8 glasses of tea and because I had a headache due to neck muscle pain, I took two excedrin migraine (which are very high in caffeine) and in the middle of the night, around 4am, it hit me. In fact, all of my episodes have happened either while laying down at home or at my desk at work. The other condition is when my electrolytes are out of whack due to too much caffeine and too much sodium. I had one episode while eating an entire bag of Salt and Vinegar chips (yes, this was before my diagnosis of diabetes :)). I had two 20 oz bottles of Coke and ate the whole bag of chips. I laid down on the couch to what football and bam, episode.

I usually go a very long time between episodes. In fact, prior to my episode this past December, I hadn’t had one in almost 2.5 years.

If yours are lasting more than a couple of minutes, you probably will need the catheter ablation. If they don’t, you might want to try what I have done (I did find out about these methods of stopping it by doing some research on the internet about SVT). From all of the research I have found and with talking with a cardiologist, SVT usually is not harmful and you can live a normal life with it and there are some things you can do to keep the episodes from happening. They are very scary though so I totally understand but it has helped me a lot to know that I can stop them pretty quickly after they start. I fortunately have not had to go to the emergency room. From what you posted about your ER experience, yours seems severe enough to need either medications or the ablation.

I wish you well and hopefully something will be done to keep you from experiencing SVT again. After I have an episode, it takes me a couple of weeks to mentally get over it. I feel like I am on the verge constantly but I know it is just in my mind.


Hi Dan,

Wow, 7-8 glasses of tea!!! I think my heart would be popping out of my chest if I had that much! I’ve tried to convert the episodes with certain maneuvers but it has always been unsuccessful. This most recent visit to the ER my heart was peaking at 200-220 but 2.5 years earlier it was peaking at 240-250 :frowning:

I haven’t had caffeine in about 2.5 years and guess what, its been 2.5 years since my last episode. I know the caffeine is a trigger for me and we have recently been having decaf coffee every morning so I’m going to have to investigate whether that little amount is the cause?

I know my cardiologist will recommend the ablation because the last time I saw him he said the success rate for my type of SVT is the easiest to correct. It still doesn’t make me feel any better knowing they are going to stick a tube in my groin and push it all the way to my heart and ZAP a piece of it :frowning:

Thanks for your comment and take care… Paul