Disease: Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT)

Diagnosis

To diagnose supraventricular tachycardia, your doctor will review your symptoms and your medical history and conduct a physical examination. Your doctor may ask about — or test for — conditions that may trigger your SVT, such as heart disease or a problem with your thyroid gland. Your doctor may also perform heart-monitoring tests specific to arrhythmia. These may include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). During an ECG, sensors (electrodes) that can detect the electrical activity of your heart are attached to your chest and sometimes to your limbs. An ECG measures the timing and duration of each electrical phase in your heartbeat.
  • Holter monitor. This portable ECG device can be worn for a day or more to record your heart's activity as you go about your routine.
  • Event monitor. For sporadic episodes of SVT, you keep this portable ECG device available, attaching it to your body and pressing a button when you have symptoms. This lets your doctor check your heart rhythm at the time of your symptoms.
  • Echocardiogram. In this noninvasive test, a hand-held device (transducer) placed on your chest uses sound waves to produce images of your heart's size, structure and motion.
  • Implantable loop recorder. This device detects abnormal heart rhythms and is implanted under the skin in the chest area.

If your doctor doesn't find an arrhythmia during those tests, he or she may try to trigger your arrhythmia with other tests, which may include:

  • Stress test. For some people, supraventricular tachycardia is triggered or worsened by stress or exercise. During a stress test, you'll be asked to exercise on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while your heart activity is monitored. If doctors are evaluating you to determine if coronary artery disease may be causing the arrhythmia, and you have difficulty exercising, then your doctor may use a drug to stimulate your heart in a way that's similar to exercise.
  • Tilt table test. Your doctor may recommend this test if you've had fainting spells. Your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored as you lie flat on a table. The table is then tilted as if you were standing up. Your doctor observes how your heart and the nervous system that controls it respond to the change in angle.
  • Electrophysiological testing and mapping. In this test, doctors thread thin tubes (catheters) tipped with electrodes through your blood vessels to a variety of spots within your heart. Once in place, the electrodes can map the spread of electrical impulses through your heart.

    In addition, your cardiologist can use the electrodes to stimulate your heart to beat at rates that may trigger — or halt — an arrhythmia. This allows your doctor to see the location of the arrhythmia and what may be causing it.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

Alternative medicine

Research is ongoing regarding the effectiveness of several forms of complementary and alternative medical therapies for supraventricular tachycardia.

Some types of complementary and alternative therapies may be helpful to reduce stress, such as:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation techniques

Some studies have shown that acupuncture may help reduce irregular heart rates in certain arrhythmias, but further research is needed.

The role of omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient found mostly in fish, in the prevention and treatment of arrhythmias isn't yet clear. But it appears as though this substance may be helpful in preventing and treating some arrhythmias.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

Lifestyle and home remedies

Your doctor may suggest that, in addition to other treatments, you make lifestyle changes that will keep your heart as healthy as possible.

These lifestyle changes may include:

  • Eat heart-healthy foods. Eat a healthy diet that's low in salt and solid fats and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise daily and increase your physical activity.
  • Quit smoking. If you smoke and can't quit on your own, talk to your doctor about strategies or programs to help you break a smoking habit.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control. Make lifestyle changes and take medications as prescribed to correct high blood pressure (hypertension) or high cholesterol.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
  • Maintain follow-up care. Take your medications as prescribed and have regular follow-up appointments with your doctor. Tell your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

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