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Old 06-15-2003, 12:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,156
hilery79 HB User
Question can anxiety cause arrhythmias?

Hi everyone
Can someone please tell me if anxiety can cause heart arrhythmias? Also, does anyone else feel faint or actually faint with their anxiety? I have been suffering from what doctors are calling anxiety for a month now and it is 24/7 (is that possible?) I am constantly dizzy,I faint every now and then,feel like I'm going to faint several times a day, have a very fast heartrate, have chest pressure sometimes, headache, tingling sensation in my head and face, and lately I have been feeling my pulse and notice that my heart will skip a beat or two every now and then....especially when I lay down to go to sleep at night. I feel like I'm going crazy! I have seen several doctors and been to the er about 10 times in the last month. Every time I go they keep saying its anxiety and last night they said it may be an arrythmia. But, everytime they do an EKG it turns out normal. Can anxiety really cause all of this? How can I get my life back to normal?!!!

Old 06-16-2003, 05:17 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13
cgreg HB User

When I first started experiencing panic attacks I believed I had a heart problem. It would start with my feeling warm in the face or like I was faint, then I'd get scared and my heart would start beating really fast. I'd have to go to the bathroom and I felt hot and cold. I got shaky. It was terrible. I had blood work done, ekg, 24 hour holter monitor, and an echocardiogram done. All were fine. The cardiologist told me I was suffering from anxiety and palpitations. He said my heart speeds up a little, but it was nothing to worry about.
My heart skips beats sometimes and then speeds up and I am convinced I'm going to faint. I get really scared, but from everything I've read, it's okay as long as you've been checked out by a doctor.
Hang in there - and go to the panic disorder message board. You'd be surprised at how many symptoms you will have in common with others.

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Old 06-16-2003, 01:44 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: melbourne, vic, aust
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hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User

anxiety or stress often causes 'heart attack' symptoms with many visits to hospitals and much testing done

a beta blocker med such as inderal, taken as needed will calm the heart
learning relaxation and stress reduction also helps

anxiety never causes heart attacks, it only seems that way....
Life is not a dress rehearsal

Old 06-17-2003, 11:13 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 36
LindaG HB User

I'm another one who was convinced I had a heart problem. I spent endless hours reading up on heart conditions and then lung conditions. When someone said my chest and throat tightening and palpitations could be stress-related I almost felt insulted! But sure enough, the more I learn about stress and anxiety symptoms the more I fit the bill. I haven't gone for the official diagnosis because I'm not at a point where I need meds to cope. The thing that is the most bothersome for me is the choking feeling in my throat. I'm always hoping someone will post some great new over-the-counter drug or herbal remedy that will stop the feeling. As I type this I'm waiting to see if the several Kava pills I took earlier will help. No such luck yet. I'm surprised to see that a visit to the panic site might be helpful. Think I'll join you over there to see what they know! Our physical conditions suck but I'm trying to find comfort in the fact that at least we don't have a life-threatening disorder. The chest symptoms sure can feel like it though. Best wishes to you!

Old 06-19-2003, 01:19 PM   #5
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hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User

some are very insulted and offended when told their problems are caused by anxiety and stress
Life is not a dress rehearsal

Old 08-11-2003, 08:05 AM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2
Poison HB User

OMG! I can't believe so many people here are describing my exact symptoms. Although I've had a couple of panic attacks over the years, this sense of absolute dread is new to me. Maybe it's because I'm 45 and because my father had bypass surgery last year. I suspect that my symptoms are stress or anxiety related, but that doesn't make things easier in the middle of the night. Last night was terrible; you feel the skipped or fast beats, you check your pulse, you lie on your right side, then your left...I finally got up for a hot cup of milk, in lieu of something stronger, lol, and it helped a bit, but the feeling is still with me even as I type.

I had an EKG done, which was normal, as was my blood pressure and pulse when checked by my doctor. I wore the holter monitor on Friday, and will take a stress test tomorrow, but I think they will be normal. I don't have actual pain, I take care of myself and exercise, and have a positive outlook, but it seems I'm not immune to fears of my mortality and sudden death.

I have a lot going on...son headed to college, a trip to China next month to adopt a little girl, and my work situation is very shaky. (Probably out of work by the end of the year.) But, I have a great wife and son, and a supportive family and friends. I want to avoid medication. I feel if my mind can make me sick, it can heal me too.

I feel for everyone here. Let's try to stay busy and distracted, and focus on the positive things. A long stretch of rainy weather hasn't helped, because I like to walk and clear my head. I highly recommend walking, yardwork, and other exercise. Posting here can't hurt. Anyway, thanks to all for sharing, it makes me feel less alone.

Old 08-12-2003, 01:39 PM   #7
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Location: melbourne, vic, aust
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hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User

stress and anxiety can make the heart skip beats, jump around in the chest, thud, hammer and race, monitoring the heart always makes things worse, ignoring the heart helps, it knows how to beat without any help from you
agree that walking exercise, housecleaning, etc are all relaxing
Life is not a dress rehearsal

Old 08-12-2003, 10:36 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: houston
Posts: 39
jc001 HB User


I can relate to everything you say you suffer from except for the heart skipping a beat.

Besides the symptoms you suffer, I also feel very tired and sleepy.

I had an MRI done, EKG and a tilt-table test table all which came back normal except for the tilt-table test. My cardiologist thought I had "Neurocardiogenic Syncope" (because of the tilt table test) and prescribed me an adrenaline blocker (norpace).

Norpace didn't work at all and I'm sure its not Neurocardiogenic syncope.

He did tell me in several ocasions it was anxiety but I fail to believe that ...

I'm still waiting for a more "reasonable" illness to be found

Old 08-13-2003, 06:35 AM   #9
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2
Poison HB User

Originally posted by jc001:

"Neurocardiogenic Syncope"

He did tell me in several ocasions it was anxiety but I fail to believe that ...

I'm still waiting for a more "reasonable" illness to be found [/b]
"Neurocardiogenic Syncope" (I had to look that one up.)

Anyway, I had a little episode that fits the description, and my family MD noted that my pulse rate is relatively slow (58-60 BPM). I read that it may help to increase salt and fluid intake, which makes sense.

As for refusing to believe that your ailments are stress or anxiety related, or waiting for a more "reasonable" illness, I can certainly relate. I've never been the type to fret over life's problems or challenges, but the mind is a very powerful thing. As I tossed in my bed I remember saying to myself, "45 years of being "normal" and now I'm turning into a nut job." For most of us I just think it's a fear of the unknown.

I agree, for the most part, with the previous post from our Aussie friend who suggested that the heart should be ignored, not monitored, but would take that a step forward, during the quiet times when the heart refuses to be ignored, and try to accept the little "bumps" and "flips" as they come and realize that they're not life threatening.

[This message has been edited by Poison (edited 08-13-2003).]

Old 08-14-2003, 09:54 AM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Sugar Land TX USA
Posts: 16
Cidney HB User

I have a follow up appointment with the doctor next week after being on Zoloft for 4 weeks and I am convinced I have a heart problem. It is so scary not to mention aggravating and weird. My heart feels like it skips beats or too fast, too slow and real hard. Lately, I wake up from a dead sleep wondering if I am going to have a heart attack or wondering if I have a clogged artery or something. Its enough concern that I am going to discuss it with my doctor. I can see if I had this happening to me druing waking hours but when I am asleep???? Last night I dreamed I went to the doctor and he did some test and said "yep, you have a problem, plaque is trying to break off and it keeps getting pushed around inside your heart and thats what you are feeling" and then the next thing the nurse gave me a shot in my face to knock me out so he could do more test. Every time I woke up, the nurse was giving me something to knock me out! Now I am dreaming I have a heart problem!!!!

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