Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia
Given Coralan (didn’t work).
Given Cordarone (it worked but warned of long term liver and thyroid issues).
Currently having ascites.
Worried Lasix might bust the kidneys but how else to non-invasively drain abdominal fluid?
Is there a better alternative for Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia than Cordarone?
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When you say "paroxysmal," how often do you have tachycardia? Is it also an arrhythmia?
Of course, don't take a post as perfect or even accurate medical information. However, I happen to know a great deal about this subject and I would suggest you make an appointment with your – or another – cardiologist and go over everything I write here: Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT) is not life threatening. Often, medications can cause annoying and even health problems of their own when it scares people so badly and they insist on a medication "fix". PAT means your heart is racing over 100 for no reason that can be explained by exercise, extreme anxiety or a drug reaction ( including extremely excessive caffeine). Because the beats originate in the atrium ( UPPER chamber) – that's the good news. That is why PAT is not life threatening . In extreme cases a person could faint and if it doesn't stop for a very long time you might need to go to ER to have the super fast beat terminated. There are some easy do-it-yourself techniques to stop the racing. Talk to your doctor about this. The one I've seen work the best and fastest is employing the "mammalian diving reflex". Huh? Let me explain. When a mammal which lives mostly in water dives deep , its heart rate must slow down to survive under water… In human mammals, we have a bit of this reflex ourselves. When your heart races, tell yourself to be calm. Run a pot of water and dump in some ice. Take a deep breath and then exhale slowing while plunging your face into the cold water.. You can, in fact, simply first trying splashing your face with cold water. Simply sitting calmly and focusing, taking in deep, slow breaths through your nose, holding breath briefly and then slowly exhaling through your nose can very very often break the cycle of PAT within a few minutes . You can put on an oximeter on your finger to test how much your heart rate is going down. You can also massage one side of your neck – carotid artery – which can help break stop PAT but discuss how to do this with your doctor. If you truly have PAT so often that you are miserable , talk to your doctor about seen an electrophysiologist about an ablation – a minimally invasive procedure which can usually cure the condition. Good luck..
You do know a lot. Thanks for this. 🙏
I am struggling so much with this condition too… it is exacerbating a long term chronic pain syndrome I also have-pudendal neuralgia-(which I managed not too badly in the past with exercise) and throw the debilitating scenario of anxiety about my health into the mix and it’s pure misery. I haven’t been able to understand why my doctor is unconcerned about the tachycardia. Your response here adds clarity. I have many episodes a day of up to 185 bpm – exacerbated by emotional and physical stress. I find I have been avoiding exercise as a result and this has been detrimental to my overall health. Grappling about what to “do” about it all is tiresome. Sleeplessness from the pain syndrome at night…
And fatigue from the cardiac thing in the day and I’m a mess. It’s been going on for years but much worse lately.
I do the cold water thing. I actually have been advised by pelvic physio to stand in it up to my neck and have started doing so for 2 minutes at a time so far. I feel better after it and it doesn’t at least trigger the AT.
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge. 🙂
I should have stayed away from this topic. I had my first episode in almost two years of afib with tachycardia (170 per minute) at 1:30 am last night. This time I tried Gas-X (simethicone) and burping/releasing air from my GI tract stopped the afib. I have long suspected this as a factor- gas pressing on my heart. I have spinal fractures and there isn't much room in there!
I drove myself to the hospital 20 minutes away, with oximeter on my finger the whole way. Waited in the parking lot, then drove home. First time no ambulance was needed. I did not take diltiazem to slow heart but did take two baby aspiring just in case.
I cannot imagine experiencing this often.
I advise you to google 'Vagus nerve and AFib' and read up on how that important nerve can help you to minimize the onset of AF.
Atrial fibrillation is the same thing as atrial tachycardia. A rapid, uncontrolled, heart beat. If it is paroxysmal, that is the best kind of AF to have. When it becomes persistent or permanent, it becomes essentially untreatable except by ablating the AV node and installing a pacemaker. So, paroxysmal is good…or the best kind if you have to have AF.
It's a progressive disorder, so stay on top of it. It won't kill you. Seriously, you won't die from tachycardia unless it is untreated and persistent for days and weeks. Yours comes and goes, so the heart doesn't suffer any real damage. My message is that, since it will progress from here, you should consider consulting an electrophysiologist as soon as you can see the best one around, and see about getting a catheter ablation. It might not be indicated in your particular case, but you want to know exactly what your options are, especially if you'd like semi-permanent relief and as little anxiety and intrusiveness from the disorder as you can pay for.
Paroxysmal apparently does not always progress. It hasn't for me. But mine are infrequent.
It always progresses. If you read any information on the disorder, including at the Mayo site(s), it states early in the description that it is a progressive disorder of cardiac function. Each person is different, but they all eventually come before their cardiologist in time and state that they're getting more and more breakthrough episodes. When that happens, medications must change, or you'll have to consider mechanical means of controlling it.
Mine has not progressed. The interval between episodes is longer and longer and the time the episode lasts gets shorter. I believe it depends on the cause of the afib and ability to identify triggers.
This has been extremely helpful to me anyway. Mine starts in the atrium. This I know because as soon as it starts I have to urinate every 10 minutes. My cardiologist explained that is because the atrium produces a diuretic when in afib. I am do interested to read of the different techniques that you suggested. I will definitely try the next time, if there is a next time,.. my problem is I just can't relax when in fast afib. Thank you again.
Also, when the afib acts up and you are anxious try coughing hard.. wait a few seconds.. do it again. Sometimes that will break the cycle and stop the afib (my usual disclaimer – talk to you doctor if you have concerns).