Is Your Racing Heart a Sign of Supraventricular Tachycardia?

Do you often feel like your heart is beating so fast you actually think you are having a heart attack? To make the matter worse, you feel it even when your body is at rest, such as when you just wake up or are lying down looking at your smartphone.  It may alarm you because it doesn’t sound and feel like a normal heartbeat

So, what could be the causes of this frightening and bothersome condition? Apart from experiencing stress or anxiety, you might have supraventricular tachycardia or SVT. 

What is Supraventricular Tachycardia?

The heart has chambers responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. It is also equipped with an electrical system that allows these chambers to contract. When these electrical impulses don’t work properly, it causes your heart to flutter or beat faster than its normal beat which could be due to Supraventricular Tachycardia.

Supraventricular Tachycardia or SVT is a condition that causes your heart to beat abnormally fast. A normal heart rate should be 60 to 100 beats per minute. The fast beating of the heart caused by Supraventricular Tachycardia may come and go lasting from a few minutes to a couple of days. 

An episode of Supraventricular Tachycardia can occur suddenly. There are causes that can possibly trigger it which includes psychological stress, lack of physical activity or even lack of sleep. However, some people may not notice what triggers supraventricular tachycardia to occur but an episode may be triggered by:

  • Thyroid disease
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Smoking
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Surgery

Supraventricular tachycardia can also affect pregnant women. 

Types of supraventricular tachycardia

There are several types of supraventricular tachycardia.  Some of them are:

  • Atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia. It is the most common type and can affect both men and women of any age, but is common in younger patients.
  • Atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia. The second most common and usually affect younger people. 
  • Atrial tachycardia. This type of supraventricular tachycardia is common in people with existing heart diseases. 

So is a racing heart a sign of supraventricular tachycardia? Apart from abnormal heart rate, you should take note of some symptoms such as:

  1. lightheadedness
  2. passing out
  3. sweating
  4. pain in your chest
  5. pounding sensation in your neck 
  6. shortness of breath

If you are not sure about your condition, it is best to talk to your doctor and let him/her diagnose you properly.  Supraventricular tachycardia is not a life-threatening condition but you should take it seriously, especially if episodes occur more often and if you are suffering from heart disease.