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Understanding Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) 

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Supraventricular tachycardia

Picture this: You’re settled into a calm moment, and out of the blue, your heart starts a frantic race, drumming inside like it’s sprinting for gold. 

A nerve-wracking thriller or an extra shot of espresso can cause the heart to race, but it quickly returns to normal. A lesser-known phenomenon called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) causes the heart to suddenly speed up at a much faster pace that is typically hard to break. 

SVT is a relatively common arrhythmia that impacts approximately 2 out of every 1,000 people in America. 

What Is Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)?

At its core, SVT is an abnormally fast rhythm originating from the upper part of the heart above the ventricles. Typically, the problem starts in the heart’s upper chambers, the atria. Sometimes, it begins in the tissues between the atria and ventricles. 

Unlike the typical rhythmic and synchronized contraction of the heart’s chambers, during an SVT episode, the heart can race anywhere from 150 to 250 beats per minute—considerably faster than the average resting heart rate.

One common subtype of SVT is Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia (AVNRT). In AVNRT, a tiny “reentry” circuit in or near the atrioventricular node causes the heart to beat faster than usual. This can lead to palpitations, dizziness, and even fainting spells.

Diving Deep into the Causes

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) can be set into motion by a variety of triggers. Some medications and over-the-counter remedies have been known to set off this heart arrhythmia.

Consuming large quantities of caffeine or alcohol can jolt the heart’s rhythm, just as intense moments of stress or emotional upheaval can. Even seemingly benign actions, like a swift change in posture, can act as a catalyst for individuals prone to rhythm disorders.

Other common causes of SVT include: 

  • Structural Heart Changes: Conditions such as congenital heart defects or an enlarged heart can pave the way for SVT.
  • Electrolyte Imbalances: Elements like potassium and magnesium play a critical role in heart functions. An imbalance can disturb the heart’s electrical activity.

The Vagus Nerve and SVT 

Have you ever heard of the vagus nerve? It’s like a superhighway of communication running from our brain to our heart and other major organs. Damage to the vagus nerve can contribute to SVT, potentially sparking or worsening those rapid heartbeats that characterize the condition.

But here’s the interesting part: knowing about the vagus nerve’s role gives us a tool to help manage SVT episodes. There are specific techniques called “vagal maneuvers,” designed to gently stimulate the vagus nerve and bring the heart back to its regular rhythm.

One popular technique is the Valsalva maneuver. Think of it as trying to blow air out while keeping your mouth shut and pinching your nose, like you might do on a plane to clear your ears. Another technique involves bearing down as though one is having a bowel movement. For some, this can be a game-changer, providing quick relief during an SVT flare-up.

Is There a Cure for SVT?

While many medical professionals label SVT as idiopathic—meaning its cause is unknown—at Natural Heart Doctor, we’ve observed that embracing a holistic approach can substantially reduce SVT episodes. Our philosophy is rooted in the Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well mantra, which emphasizes:

  • Dietary Excellence: Opt for a diet rich in organic, whole foods reminiscent of what our ancestors consumed. This means steering clear of processed sugar, gluten, GMOs, pesticides, and chemicals. Embrace a nose-to-tail eating philosophy, incorporating wild seafood and other nutrient-dense foods that nourish the body from within.
  • Balanced Exercise: While it’s true that strenuous activity can sometimes trigger SVT in predisposed individuals, exercise, in general, is beneficial for heart health. It’s essential to find the right balance. Focusing on low to moderate-intensity workouts and always heeding the body’s signals can be the golden middle ground.
  • Nature Over Tech: The ever-present electromagnetic fields from our gadgets can disturb our heart’s rhythm. Swapping screen time for green time, immersing oneself in nature, and taking frequent breaks outdoors can be revitalizing.
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress is a potent SVT trigger in today’s fast-paced world. Cultivating mindfulness, adopting relaxation techniques, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle can keep stress at bay.
  • Sunny Side Up: Regular sun exposure has myriad benefits. Not only does it aid in Vitamin D synthesis, but the sun’s rays also help the body produce nitric oxide, promoting heart health.
  • Chiropractic Care: Routine chiropractic adjustments can alleviate nerve pressure and strengthen vagal tone, enhancing overall cardiovascular function and ensuring a rhythmic heartbeat.

At Natural Heart Doctor, we believe that the heart, much like any other organ, responds to its environment and the care it receives. By embracing a holistic approach, one can significantly improve the heart’s health and reduce the frequency and intensity of SVT episodes.

SVT Ablation

In general, SVT ablations have a high success rate, with most patients experiencing a significant reduction or elimination of their SVT episodes. Success rates can be well over 90% for certain types of SVT, such as atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) and atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT).

At NHD, our goal is to make you the healthiest version of you BEFORE an ablation. This ensures the best chance of success with the least short-term and long-term complication risk. 

SVT Pharma

Many options for SVT control with drugs exist. Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and antiarrhythmics are options. But natural treatments abound including one of my favorites, lithium. Our Cardio Lith 2 tabs 3x per day is first line natural therapy. 

Next Steps 

If you suspect you’re experiencing SVT or AVNRT, it’s essential to consult with a cardiologist or electrophysiologist. A series of tests, including an electrocardiogram (ECG) or a Zio Patch monitor, can confirm the diagnosis.

Living with SVT requires a blend of awareness, treatment, and proactive lifestyle choices. While the rapid heartbeats can be disconcerting, understanding the condition and its triggers can pave the way for effective management and a high quality of life.

Considering a holistic approach to managing SVT? Schedule a free 20-minute call with one of our experienced health coaches, who can guide you through effective strategies tailored to achieve your 100 year heart. 

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Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

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He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

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About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

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Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

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Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

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Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

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We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.