This is one more case of the medical profession failing to find a cure.
In this case (potentially very serious) I went against the advice of a cardiologist who gave me a beta blocker for my "disease". I hated the medicine, and hated the idea that I was to take this medicine for the whole of my life. I also disliked the idea of doing an ablation (operation) which could make things worse.
Instead, I chose to stop the medicine and kept searching and reading the literature till I found something worthwhile to try.
I tried it. And finally, I can declare that my treatment has worked. At least I can say that I did not take beta-blocker for the last 15 months and my problem has GONE.
Here is the evidence:
2013: six incidents of SVT
2014: two incidents of SVT, one in January 2014 and one (mild one) in July 2014.
My main self-treatment started in February 2014, after the seventh incident. There has been only one more (minor) incident since then. Now, nearly seven months after the last incident, I'm now willing to conclude that the solution I found (and tried) has worked. These incidents had started occurring at a regular pace. Now they're history. WITHOUT ANY PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE.
What's my remedy? I've already alluded to it in the blog post title. The remedy is a pinch (tiny pinch, around 1-2 gm) of KCL (Potassium Chloride) in water. Plus a banana on most days.
I will continue the supplementation.
What's the basis of my concluding that Potassium deficiency in the cells of the heart is a likely cause of my problem? I will probably write about it one day, but briefly, it turns out that our Paleolithic ancestors ate far more K than Na. We eat far more Na than K. The solution is not to cut Na, since excess Na is secreted by the body, but to increase K.
K is found in bananas and potatoes. By increasing 1-3 gms per day the level of K in the cells is likely to increase sufficiently to prevent the electrical "short-circuits" that cause SVT. I did a huge amount of research on this, and if I find time I'll publish its key findings/ hypotheses separately.
But this is just to note that this works.
ADDENDUM: POSSIBLE CONTAMINATION WITH OTHER VARIABLES
Upon more careful thinking (30 January) after publishing this post, I'd like to suggest that although I'm 99 per cent confidence that K has been the solution to my problem, two other factors may have a role:
a) aspertame (which was my first port of call, and I dropped it very early. Note that I had used some such sweetener for many years, in place of sugar. Now I take a tiny amount of sugar, instead)
b) drinking more water (although this started pretty late in the process of testing various ideas).
It will require control experiments to fully confirm that K is the solution to this problem. Such control experiments clearly can't be conducted in humans. So those who wish to take any learnings from this personal case study should use their own judgemnet. This result is great – it works, but it is not as scientific (with controls) as one would have liked.
INCIDENT 1) April 2013 First time (while climbing stairs in Patanjali). Quite strong effect. Very tiring. Sat for a while till I recovered. A bitter/ bloody feeling in the mouth. Took about 20 minutes for the heart rate to return to normal.
INCIDENT 2) May 2013: somewhat fainter while climbing stairs in office (perhaps after the lunch time walk). Don’t think it was very big. Just a small incident.
INCIDENT 3) 26 May Twice on one day during tennis. Took about 20 minutes for the heart rate to return to normal.
DOCTOR/S AND MEDICINE
June-July 2013 Sought (and got – through own research) appointment with doctor after number of failed attempts.
Saw cardiologist sometime in July, and got two tests done (ultrasound and stress test on treadmill) in July-August. All OK.
INCIDENT 4) 11 September 2013: Stood up suddenly while bending (head down). Heart beat rapidly. (Standing up suddenly can cause it)
INCIDENT 5) 15 September 2013:
a) While lunging from one end of the court to the other while playing tennis. Massive speeding up of heart. So stopped and returned home.
b) Later that day while filling a hole with mud in the garden (minor exertion), and standing to review the work, suddenly experienced the same issue. Went inside and took rest. OK after a while.
After seeing the cardiologist the second time I started taking sotalol. I think from Friday 27 Sept. 2013. The effects were immediate and very poor. Extremely tired and lethargic. Played tennis on 29 Sep. but didn’t enjoy it one bit.
Spent four days at work with these lethargic and terrible feeling. Very heavy, as if I’d taken a lot of medicines. Stopped after seven days in all.
18 October 2013: Sent letter to doctor informing that I’m not going to take medicines, and will await action on ablation.
Initial self-treatment: stopped aspartame in around early October 2013.
INCIDENT 6): 16 November 2013
During tennis. While lunging. Wasn’t very fast, but felt breathless and tried to resume, but tennis partner recommended I stop. It calmed down after I reached home. Around 25-30 minutes to come to normalcy.
INCIDENT 7): 27 January 2014
During tennis after half hour. During exertion, no particular motion. Didn’t seem to be too fast (perhaps 150+ beats) and mostly regular. Stopped game went home. Lay down. Calculated that it took 50-55 minutes to return to normal from starting.
Further self-treatment: started bananas on the potassium hypothesis. Asparteme still stopped.
INCIDENT 8) 9 July 2014
At around 1:45 pm while browsing through a shop I suddenly felt onset of heart palpitation and had to slowly walk out. Even on the tram there was fast heart beating. Only when I returned (say 20 minutes from start of the incident) did I find that heart beat had returned to normal. Even though I’m taking a banana, probably need supplementation. Have ordered KCL which should be received in the next two days.
Started taking KCL from around late July 2014.
As at 29 January 2015: No incident all the way since July 2014. Even the July 2014 incident was relatively mild.
Most likely conclusion:POTASSIUM WORKS.
I would have been seriously worse off with a beta blocker. I can reasonably conclude that there is NO NEED for beta blocker in some SVT cases. Nor for ablation (which is a terrible operation to have).
I am glad that (as in most cases in my life, to date) I've reconfirmed that there is much merit in using one's own mind to search for answers.
Source of my self-prescribed "medicine"