Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia (PAT): Irregular Heart Beats

Dr. Larry Weinrauch Health Pro January 22, 2007
  • What we call normal rhythm is stimulated by a group of cells in the upper chamber of our heart called the atrium. This group of cells is in an area of the atrium called the sinus node and functions as a "natural pacemaker" stimulating the atria and then the ventricles of our heart to contract.In ...

3 Comments
  • Anonymous
    northernsky
    Jun. 01, 2014

    I was diagnosed with PAT in 1980 when I was 19 years old. The palpitations came out of nowhere while I was sitting. HR reached 220. I went to the ER and ER Doc. started Carotid pressure first with no decrease in heartrate. Next was the Valsalva Manuever via "push down" holding breath. This did reduce the HR from 220 to 100 pretty quick. After I stopped...

    RHMLucky777

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    I was diagnosed with PAT in 1980 when I was 19 years old. The palpitations came out of nowhere while I was sitting. HR reached 220. I went to the ER and ER Doc. started Carotid pressure first with no decrease in heartrate. Next was the Valsalva Manuever via "push down" holding breath. This did reduce the HR from 220 to 100 pretty quick. After I stopped freaking out (PAT is a scary arrythmia which I consider a nuicance, and again an unsettling experience) my HR starting dropping back down to 64 beats per minute.

    Holding the nose and bearing down for a good 8-10 seconds just before you feel like passing out does seem to work. I have never done the face in ice yet, but I can see how that can work well too.

    I take Lopressor 100mg/BID that seems to help.

    I also am in menapause and the PAT is much more frequent especially a few days before my menstrual period. My HR is higher, and the episode lasts longer even with a Beta Blocker.

    My diet is totally caffeine free, low sugar, no stimulants, no alcohol, no giant meals that sit high on my stomach. I suppose I have quite a rigid diet because of my arrythmia, but it does keep the HR normal and low. I also excerise heavily which does help reduce the HR too, and is just plain healthy.

  • Anonymous
    mls
    Dec. 28, 2011

    Plunging your face into a bowl filled with ice water and holding it there for as long as possible will usually stop an episode, also. I speak from experience! Emergency room doctor had me do this and it was the only thing that worked after a couple hours of trying just about everything else including drugs by injection. If this had not worked I was going to...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Plunging your face into a bowl filled with ice water and holding it there for as long as possible will usually stop an episode, also. I speak from experience! Emergency room doctor had me do this and it was the only thing that worked after a couple hours of trying just about everything else including drugs by injection. If this had not worked I was going to be admitted to the cardiac unit. Thank goodness it worked!!

  • Anonymous
    Cali
    Jan. 04, 2008

    First PAT attack 17 years ago when 26, and another about a year later (undiagnosed - HMO GP refused ER cardiology referral because I was "young and female." Saw outside cardiologist, she diagnosed PAT, prescribed Atenolol, worked like magic). Since: few, small episodes controlled by dosages.

     

    10/06, ER visit showed gallstones (lost benefits, no...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    First PAT attack 17 years ago when 26, and another about a year later (undiagnosed - HMO GP refused ER cardiology referral because I was "young and female." Saw outside cardiologist, she diagnosed PAT, prescribed Atenolol, worked like magic). Since: few, small episodes controlled by dosages.

     

    10/06, ER visit showed gallstones (lost benefits, no surgery). Changed diet, weightloss, exercising.

     

    12/13/07, major PAT attack. Worst: discomfort to unbearable pain, breathing labored to involuntary gasps for air, etc. (Interestingly, each was precipitated by a dive into pool).

     

    Suspect gallstones are behind 12/07 PAT attack. How in the world do gallstones affect PAT? What happens physiologically between the two?

    Thanks.