Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Huh? PSVT? What's that...

As life often throws lemons, we continue to make lemonade.  OK, so maybe not lemonade I don't care for it very much, but we do face it head on.   

Ever heard of PSVT?  I didn't either, not until today that is.  It stands for Paroxysmal Supra-ventricular Tachycardia, now Tachycardia I have heard of... irregular heartbeat ~ Fast.  PSVT  is a term, and condition, I will learn all about.  The causes, treatment, prevention, all the ins and outs.  Welcome to the family PSVT... yeah, welcome.  

So, what a better way to learn about something then to research it... With 2 ER visits on Saturday, a Dr visit today, and an ECG {Electrocardiogram} tomorrow.. we will have enough knowledge as a family, to make the necessary changes. So, just what is PSVT anyway?

On my journey of research, I came across this website :  http://www.medicinenet.com/paroxysmal_supraventricular_tachycardia_psvt/article.htm

"What is paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)?

Normally, an electrical signal is generated in special pacemaker cells in the upper chamber (atrium) of the heart. This impulse causes the atrium to beat in a coordinated fashion and push blood into the ventricles (the lower heart chambers). The electrical signal continues to a junction box between the atrium and ventricle (the AV node), where there is a slight delay. This allows the atrium to contract and send blood to the ventricle. The signal continues throughout the ventricles and causing them to beat and push blood to the body.
In paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), abnormal conduction of that electricity causes the atrium, and secondarily the ventricles, to beat very rapidly. It is paroxysmal, because the rapid rate can occur sporadically and without warning. It may last a few seconds or many hours. Often the PSVT resolves before the patient reaches a healthcare provider. The abnormal conduction pathways may occur anywhere in the atrium or around the AV node.

Where to go from here. Medication and Lifestyle changes.. No Caffeine.  UGH.  Ever take a look into what does and doesn't have caffeine in it, here is some great information {again from the same website as above}:

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) classify a "moderate intake" of caffeine as "generally recognized as safe." This means that if you consume a moderate amount it is generally safe for the people on whom it has been studied. Most of these studies have been done on adults. Here is the definition of what is considered low, moderate, high, and heavy amounts of caffeine intake:
  • a low to moderate intake is 130 mg-300 mg per day
  • a moderate is 200 mg-300 mg per day
  • high doses are above 400 mg per day
  • heavy caffeine consumption is more than 6,000 mg/day."
To classify myself, it would have to be Heavy Caffeine Consumption, and that is just with the coffee I drink.  Pretty sure anyway, would have to really monitor and track it.  

This chart is pretty interesting:

Sources of caffeine

Caffeine content
Plain, brewed 8 oz
135 mg (range 102-200)
Instant 8 oz 95 mg (range 27-173)
Espresso 1 oz 40 mg (range 30-90)
Plain, decaffeinated 8 oz 5 mg (range 3-12)
Tea, brewed 53 mg (range 40-120)
Green tea 8 oz 25-40 mg
Black tea 8 oz 40-70 mg
Soft drinks
Barq's Root Beer 22 mg
Coca-Cola Classic 12 oz 35 mg
Diet Coke 12 oz 47 mg
Dr. Pepper 12 oz 42 mg
Dr. Pepper, diet 12 oz 44 mg
Jolt Cola 12 oz 72 mg
Mountain Dew, regular or diet 12 oz 54 mg
Mountain Dew, MDX, regular or diet 12 oz 71 mg
Pepsi-Cola 12 oz 38 mg
Pepsi, diet 12 oz 36 mg
Sunkist Orange 12 oz 42 mg
Tab 12 oz 46.5 mg
Vault 12 oz 71 mg
Energy drink
Full Throttle 16 oz 144 mg
Monster Energy 16 oz 160 mg
Red Bull 8.5 oz 80 mg
Rip It 8 oz 100 mg
SoBe No Fear 8 oz 130 mg
Spike Shooter 8.4 oz 300 mg
Chocolate, candies, other
Candy, milk chocolate 1 bar (1.5 oz) 9 mg
Candy, sweet chocolate 1 bar (1.45 oz) 27 mg
Cocoa mix, powder 3 tsp 5 mg
Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bar 1.45 oz 31 mg
Hot cocoa 8 oz 9 mg (range 3-13 mg)
Jolt caffeinated gum 1 stick 33 mg
Puddings, chocolate, ready to eat 4 oz 9 mg
Frozen desserts
Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch 8 oz 84 mg
Ben & Jerry's Coffee Flavored ice cream 8 oz 68 mg
Häagen-Dazs Coffee ice cream 8 oz 58 mg
Häagen-Dazs Coffee frozen yogurt 8 oz 58 mg
Medicine: over the counter
Excedrin Extra Strength 1 tablet 65 mg
Bayer Select Maximum Strength 65.4 mg
Midol Menstrual Maximum Strength 60 mg
NoDoz Maximum Strength 1 tablet 200 mg
Pain Reliever Tablets 65 mg
Vivarin 1 tablet 200 mg

A shocker, huh?  I knew that chocolate had caffeine in it, but for some reason; my brain tried to reason with the "Dark Chocolate is better for you" thinking.  From looking at the chart, the dark chocolate listed has more caffeine in it then the others.  Looks like the No chocolate might be better, and even regulation of chocolate intake would work.  

Throughout my online research and physician input, the same thing came across:
" Most people with episodes of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia live a healthy life without restrictions.
  • If you take medications, you may or may not experience some side effects. Discuss those potential side effects with your health provider.
  • In rare cases, if you have a continuous fast heart rate that goes untreated, your heart muscle can weaken and lead to heart failure.
  • If your doctor finds a specific cause related to an underlying heart or systematic condition, your recovery may depend on your prognosis for that underlying condition "
Strong family support is just as important and anything else.  That's what great about close families, I am truly blessed to have a close family.  And,  the journey begins...

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