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Old 10-19-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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Anxiety?

Hopefully some of you will have some insight/advice...

Background: I'm a 29 year old male, 6ft 190lbs., have asthma, high blood pressure(120-130's/80-90), and have PAC's. I quit smoking about 1 1/2 years ago, but still use chewing tobacco. Also, I had a cardic cath about 3-4 years ago while the doc was trying to diagnose the PAC's, and it looked perfect.

Now the problems..., started about 2 months ago with chest pain between my left nipple and my sternum. I went to the ER, and they did an EKG and chest x-ray and said everything looked fine. Shortness of breath started next so I went to see my GP. He did blood work, which came back fine, and suggested it might be anxiety, but recommended I go see the pulmonologist. Pulmonoligst gives me a new asthma med, symbicort(which I stopped taking since it seemed to make the anxiety worse, now taking flovent), and tells me it should help. Then the anxiety gets worse and I end up back in the ER two more times thinking I'm having heart attacks both times. Again they did ekg's which came back fine. On my own I went to see a cardiologist. He did an ekg, stress test, and a 2D echocardiogram.., all came back fine, and he said he thought my heart looked perfect. Well, two months has gone by, and I'm still having the chest pain, now in my right chest as well, and the shortness of breath, but now I'm also feeling dizzy sometimes and fatigued. Within the last couple days I've been back to my GP and cardiologist. GP seems like he's at a loss for what it could be other than anxiety although he suggested maybe mold in my house so now I'm staying at my parents to rule that out. Cardiologist still doesn't think it's a heart issue but scheduled me a CT angiogram for my peace of mind(which probably won't help).

My GP seems convinced its anxiety, and did give me celexa, but I didn't like the flush feeling it gave me so I stopped taking it. Now they've given me 5mg diazepam, but i have only taken a couple of those when the symptoms were the worst. I have a had time believing this is all anxiety related as my issues last all day, and don't happen only when I'm feeling anxious or nervous. I even spend multiple hours a day googling my symptoms, and reading about different ailments.., can't seem to stop thinking about it.

Does this sound like an anxiety issue to you guys? Any help/advice is greatly appreciated. Also, do you think I should take the diazepam more regularly until they symptoms decrease? The doc said to take 3 a day, but I hate meds!

 
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:37 PM   #2
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Lightbulb Re: Anxiety?

Your Doc said you have high blood pressure at 120 -130, 80 - 90??? My Doc says anything under 140/90 is OK.

Anyhow, it's sounds like anxiety to me. Anxiety can do crazy things. I've had a lot of the chest pain/heart beat issues you mention and of course my tests all came back normal too. I was convinced I was dying. LOL That was back in the 1990s and I'm still here. Sometimes we've been anxious for so long that we don't realize we're anxious. We get used to it. Anxiety can make you feel absolutely horrible...but it's harmless. I would take the Valium if I were you. It will calm you down. An SSRI antidepressant is better. That will help you more in the longterm.

Good luck.

 
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
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Re: Anxiety?

Thanks Frank! Yeah, I dunno about the high blood pressure either.., I actually attribute it more to the frequent use of my albuterol inhaler that anything since that can raise your blood pressure. I've even got one of the home electronic BP cuffs, and the only time I've ever seen it higher that 130's/low 90's is after I've done something strenuous, like yard work or something.

The only thing that really keeps me from believing the anxiety diagnosis is.., well two things actually. That fact that my symptoms are constantly intermittent if that makes sense. They come and go all day long, with no particular trigger, and the fact that my dad died when he was 36 of a heart attack. I know that weighs heavily on my mind, as I constantly think I'm gonna to end up the same way when I'm having these symptoms.

How'd you deal with it, and accept that youre not dying? That my biggest hurdle now.., I don't want to do anything because of the fear that it'll kill me, or make my symptoms worse..., this is pretty much hell.

 
Old 10-20-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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Re: Anxiety?

Anxiety/Panic Disorders are very uncomfortable. Most people having their first attack will go to the emergency room thinking it is a heart attack or stroke. I have had GAD and panic Disorder for over 25 years now, I tend to have extreme bouts of health anxiety related to my heart. Always thinking there's something horribly wrong that the doctors MUST be missing. I was just in the ER about a month or two ago thinking there was something wrong again. You'd think after all this time, and tests coming back fine, I'd realize that it was just panic, but it's very hard to tell yourself there's nothing wrong when you have all these physical symptoms. In all actuality, an anxiety or panic attack CANNOT kill you, but it sure feels like it sometimes. I have recently gone back to taking Zoloft again, and it works great. I'm a little over two weeks in, and I already feel a major difference in my thought process. I tend to recognize the symptoms for what they are and just blow all the other things out of my mind now. I went from having panic attacks every day, basically all day, down to maybe 1 or 2 a week, and the longer I take my Zoloft, the less this will happen until eventually they go away all together. If you decide to take an SSRI med, I'd strongly recommend some type of benzo, like xanax, to help you through the first few weeks though. You tend to get increased anxiety as your body is adjusting to the med. But don't worry, if you get more anxious, it typically means that your condition will respond very well to the med. Good luck with whatever you decide to do to help you get rid of these attacks. Fox

Last edited by Foxxii; 10-21-2011 at 05:11 AM.

 
Old 10-20-2011, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: Anxiety?

Do you have heartburn or acid reflux? I experienced heartburn for the first time and it happened two days in a row. I thought I was having a heart attack. The pain radiated to the back as well. It happened after I ate salad, followed by orange juice. It got better after I had a couple of Tums. So, my doctor put me on Prilosec. The reflux also caused shortness of breath and anxiety. I also have cough variant asthma, so the reflux doesn't help either. It also feels like I'm just going in a circle with the asthma-anxiety-reflux problem. It's just aggravating. Like you, I hate taking meds. Ask you doctor about acid reflux. Good luck.

 
Old 10-21-2011, 06:19 PM   #6
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Re: Anxiety?

Thanks for all the feedback guys! It's really nice to hear from people with similar issues!

 
Old 10-22-2011, 12:10 AM   #7
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Lightbulb Re: Anxiety?

Quote:
How'd you deal with it, and accept that youre not dying? That my biggest hurdle now.., I don't want to do anything because of the fear that it'll kill me, or make my symptoms worse..., this is pretty much hell.
Just having 2 or 3 doctors tell me there was nothing wrong with me was a big relief in itself. They put me on an SSRI [Zoloft] and a Benzo [Xanax] and...eventually...my anxiety lessened and I just basically forgot about my heart. I didn't get the heart symptoms anymore after I'd been on the medication for a while. Occasionally, I'll have a pain or a "skipped beat" or something but I just ignore it and it disappears quickly.

Since your dad died from heart trouble at such a young age that should be a BIG red flag for you. You're still very young though. You should probably have a physical once a year just to be safe. If the doctors say you're OK just trust them and try to forget about your heart. Stay busy. Exercise is great for both your heart and anxiety. You can't hurt a healthy heart by "overdoing it".

 
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