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Thread: ventricular tachycardia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    ventricular tachycardia

    Hopefully somebody on here will have some idea what I'm going through, or be able to offer some advice.

    I have been having 'missed beats' for a few years now, they started after i started having paniic attacks. I have had countless ECGs, been referred to a cardiologist twice, had a couple of 24hr monitors, blood tests, echo, apparently fine. I'm not convinced about the echo though because i was initially asked to go back for a 2nd test, but when i queried it they said never mind, apparently the first person that looked at it wasnt quite sure but they showed it to somebody else and they said it was fine. So obviously i'm thinking what on earth was it they werent sure about?!

    Anyway, all this time I've been having all these tests to reassure me that these 'missed beats' are nothing to worry about. I've pretty much got my head around those now, they come and go as they please but i only seem to get them in the evening or when i first get up in the morning, so luckily i dont have to deal with them during the day.

    I even have them in runs of 15 or so, which my doctor tells me is called bigeminy and he has reassured me that they r totally benign.

    Anyway, last Christmas i was led in the bath and my heart suddenly went crazy. It only lasted a few seconds and it was over too quickly for me to feel my pulse and check what was actually going on, but it scared the life out of me. It made me sit up quickly, take a deep breath and cough then it returned to normal.

    So i have no idea whether it was regular or irregular, how fast it was or anything but it scared the living daylights out of me. I did a post on here about it.

    Since then, this has happened quite a few times. There doesnt seem to be any particular trigger, it can happen during the day or in the evening, sitting, standing, lying in the bath, anything. A few nights ago i was sat watching telly and my heart was in bigeminy, then suddenly my heart went nuts again. It was over within 3 seconds or so, but it just felt like a few REALLY strong beats in a row, i'm not sure of the rhythm exactly but it didnt feel very regular. When it happens i feel the urgent need to sit up and take a deep breath, so i cant actually just sit calmly and take my pulse to find out what's really going on.

    I have mentioned it to my doctor and the response was that as long as it sorts itself out within 10 seconds or so then dont worry. The problem is that I'm so scared about what is actually going on. I've read a bit on SVT which apparently is quite common in young people and not really something to worry about, but i dont think thats what it is as SVT is just a fast but regular rate, and mine doesnt feel very regular.

    The long and short of it is that i think what i am feeling could be ventricular tachycardia, which seems to be the most dangerous of all the arrhythmias, and I'm terrified that one day it just wont go back into its normal rhythm but will turn into ventricular fibrillation and that'll be the end of me. I googled "ventricular tachycardia is very rare in young people" hoping to reassure myself (i'm 23) but instead it just came up with all these things about it being a leading cause of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, so as u can imagine I'm now even more scared!!

    I just dont know what to do, its no good asking for another monitor as the chance of actaully catching one of these episodes is so slim, but until a doctor sees whats going on i dont think I'll be able to move past this. I feel like I'm stuck in a rut and dont know what to do. This is playing on my mind all the time. Im just so scared.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Re: ventricular tachycardia

    I wouldn't worry about it. Are you sure your not having adrenaline rushes which is causeing it to ho fast as you can have them with out having a panic attack. A cardoligst said you only need to worry if it doesn't stop but remember it's not a problem as anixety can make your heart beat fast constantly but that's just because you adrenal glands are so fine tuned x

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Re: ventricular tachycardia

    i know what u mean ive been getting ectopic beats now for a couple of months until last week when i found this site i had em everyday all day i thought i was alone and was going to die so i sat on my sofa wondering if i would survive the next one leting my life go by in a state of pure terror but i found that i wasent alone and there was ppl suffering like me and it helped me i know thats pretty horrid to say but i dont want to be alone. im still getting them but im trying to stay calm when they come or they get worse im waiting to get my appointment to see a cardiologist but all my other ecgs were normal and blood tests. im worried when i get em that i t5o am going to have ventricular tachycardia but that only usaully only comes when u have had a heartattack before and its rare. and u probley wouldent know much about it if it did happen. worry is the worst i know how u feel ive been worrying since i was 19 and im now 35.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Re: ventricular tachycardia

    Ventricular Tachycardia usually only happens in hearts that are diseased or damaged. I worried about VT for a while but after speaking to several doctors about it, I'm now convinced that it's not going to happen.

    Why would it happen? You've had several tests to say that your heart is in tip top shape. You get ectopic beats, we all do. Some people are more sensitive to them. I get little runs of PVC's, I get flutters and thumps and everything else but I know now that it's just a reaction form anxiety or sometimes in my case, caffeine.

    When you say you read about VT and sudden death syndrome, well SADS is a term for a group of heart conditions that can cause sudden death. All are genetic and can spin the heart into a horrible rhythm caused VF and then death. But this is very rare, and you have been tested. On the website, to test for these conditions that cause SADS they just use a simple ECG and maybe an ECHO if the ECG comes back abnormal. So don't worry about any of that. Your heart is fine.

    The rhythm that you are afraid of does not need to be caught on a holter monitor to determine whether it is harmless or not. If it was harmful there would be other signs that would be present on your ECG regardless of what you feel at the time. It would be caused by an underlying condition which you obviously don't have.

    You're heart is fine. It's just reacting to anxiety and excess adrenaline.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Re: ventricular tachycardia

    Great reply ella-jayne as I too have exactly the same problems. I have had ectopics for over 25 yrs now and also the sudden really fast fluttery beats lasting a few seconds. I also get runs of ectopics that make me feel very strange in the head.

    Your explanation has helped me as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Re: ventricular tachycardia

    Hi, I hope this reassures you a little bit. I know somebody in my family whose doctor thought she had VTach, and what she had was terrifying. She would have episodes all the time and would pass out unconscious from them.

    Anyway she ended up NOT having VTach, but my point is that I think the doctors know when it could be something that serious, and wouldn't brush you off. She had something different, and got a surgery where they went through her legs and did something electric (no idea, not a doctor!) and now she hasn't had an episode since. Might be something to look into for a cure!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Re: ventricular tachycardia

    Hi Ann

    I suffer as well with worry about my heart. It seems to do loads of different things that are difficult to explain accurately ranging from missed beats to racing for a few seconds. Have had a resting ecg and just last week had a 24 hour ecg so waiting to hear results from that. Like you I worry that these tests are not picking up the things we are worried about but as EllaJAyne says perhaps they don't need to happen during the ecg for the problem to show up? I have stopped googling and that has helped me stop worrying so much.

    You are not alone with this. Hope it helps to know that.

    Kinnygirl x

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: ventricular tachycardia

    I'm sorry to hear of the hard time your having.

    I'm sure that if the tests have come back normal you will be fine.

    Your recent episodes sound like an adrenaline rush to me. I'm sure that now you've had it you will get it more often. Anx works that way.

    Love gem x x x
    'When there is no more room left in hell, the dead will walk the earth' - Dawn of the Dead

    'Between the things we fear and the things we see is a world of possibility' - The Haunting

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Re: ventricular tachycardia

    Thanks everyone so much for your replies - they have definitely helped me to think a bit more rationally about this whole thing. Especially ella jayne - what a great post. I also read that ventricular tachycardia is usually seen in diseased or damaged hearts - I guess its the anxiety that makes me think I could be one of the unlucky minority!!
    I wish it was just an adrenaline rush but unfortunately I've been having ectopics and other stuff for so long that I am super tuned in to my heart and what it's doing. I can't believe it when people say that they never knnow what their heart is doing, I wish I could say that! My boyfriends mum has a minor heart problem and she has to really concentrate to find a pulse on her wrist. I wish I could say that! I can feel my hearbeat in my head just by sitting still for a couple of seconds!
    My doctor once said to me that there are no absolutes in medicine. They can only do the best they can with the evidence they are presented with. Therein lies the problem! I am wasting my life searching for the absolute reassurance that I am not going to collapse of a heart attack, when the reality is that it could happen to anyone at any time but the chances r incredibly slim. There is probably more chance of my boyfriend having a heart attack than me, but he certainly doesn't let it worry him. Most people will never even consider the possibility of having a heart attack.

    I think the best thing to do is live as healthily as I can, I don't smoke or drink, don't take drugs, I eat relatively healthily, I am not overweight, I have everything going for me. I just wish I didn't have to cope with tjese godawful things. The ectopics are bad enough, but now these as well? I can't help feeling a bit sorry for myself and wondering if I'll have to cope with these forever.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: ventricular tachycardia

    Ann the uncertainty over your echocardiogram is probably over mitral valve regurgitation, this is the most common reason that uncertainty over the result happens. Cardiologist say that a lot of people have slight regurgitation so it is a normal variant.
    The other thing you have to understand is that in healthy hearts the origin of atrial and ventricular premature contractions originate from abberant impulses from the vagus nerve not from the heart itself. So in reality it's a nervous system impulse from a digestive impulse that ends up in your heart like a twitch.. They will never cause you any harm it's just a sign that your parasympathetic nervous system is working. And as for the doctor saying medicine is not an exact science, well in that case they should be more sympathetic to health anxiety sufferers. It usually takes an intelligent individual to work out that not all the answers are readily available in medicine and that is one of the reasons we are continually looking for reassurance. The other reason is all the doom and gloom in the newspapers regarding heart health, the heart is a very powerful organ and can cope very well with everything that we ask it to do, only problem is that I know it's easier said than really understood and that's why I am part of the club with health anxieties ha ha.

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