I am new and need to know..........too. So if someone could shed some light on this for me...............I have been, for about three years, on occassion, waking up in the middle of the night, usually 2 hours after falling asleep, with a rapid heart beat that usually is about 115 beats sometimes with the feeling of nervousness, sometimes not, and the general feeling of not feeling good. No chest pains -just feel hot, blood pressure rises to high numbers and it scares me terribly. I also noticed that I burp alot too at this time. I do have stomach acid problems but am wondering if this is all anxiety. This only happens in the middle of the night. It has been gone for three months and came back in the past week. What seems to relieve me is 2.5 mg of xanax or valium. I want to think this is panic disorder related rather than heart. What do you think? Thanks for your replies.
Dr thinks it's panic attacks as EKG showed up nothing but tachcardia. I guess if it were heart related something would have shown up different. But nevetheless, these attacks are disturbing to say the least and I am afraid of going to sleep. I am wondering why blood pressure rises with the elevated heart rate. would you know?
When you are in panic mode, your whole body is working over time. Your blood pressure rises because your heart is working harder to supply all the necessary nutrients and hormones to your organs. It is pumping harder, causing more pressure in your circulatory system. Fortunately, high blood pressure due to anxiety is not a permanent condition. Once you calm down it should go back down.
It's the whole "fight or flight" syndrome. When you panic, your body puts itself in a mode to fight or run. With panic, you can't do either, but your body still does it. It dumps a ton of adrenalin into your bloodstream. This starts your heart pumping fast to supply muscles with needed energy to fight or run. Your respiration and BP increase as well. 115 BPM isn't really all that fast. You can get your heart to that walking fast for 2 minutes. As the panic peaks and begins to come down, your body is left shaking with the after effects of all the work it just did.
Those of us that have had panic attacks sympathize with how you feel. Once you accept the trigger that starts yours, you will understand the symptoms and how your body reacts and will no longer fall headlong into panic. It sounds easy, but I know it's not.
How can you figure out what the trigger is when you get into a panic mode, especially if it awakens you from sleep. I first thought a bad dream could be the cause, but then I read, not so. Also, last night I had a bad dream - Woke up upset - then I lied awake waiting for the dreaded heart pounding but it never came. Gee, I was lucky. So, what triggers these attacks. Can it just be anxiety that occurs during the day, or pent up stress, or none of the two? I live a very stressful life - every day brings something else. Years ago when I went for massages the masseuse would tell me they never met anyone with some much tension in their body..........and I keep remembering those words, but it wasn't until three years ago that I started to have this problem. I'm Female, as you may already have deciphered, and I'm 59 y/o. Thank you for your replies. I really do appreciate them.
A "trigger" does not have to be one specific, concrete thing. A trigger can be one of a million things. A stressful day at work can be a trigger, a bad dream, a scary movie, someone being mad at you...or it can also be a huge change in your life like moving, getting married, one of your kids moving out or getting married, changing careers. A trigger can also be not something that happened in your life but rather something you consumed like caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, medicine. Exercising can trigger panic attacks, as can being hungry, having a headache, not sleeping enough or sleeping too much, and health conditions like high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, etc.
Personally I prefer not to look for triggers, because they can be EVERYWHERE and in everything you do. I mean you should eliminate the obvious, really bad for anxiety things like caffeine, sugar, and make sure you get enough sleep, etc. But life itself is just a very stressful experience, full of "triggers". If you just start trying to take everything out of your life that causes you stress, you won't have any life left!
I think it is more productive to instead focus on recognizing WHAT your panic attacks are and what you can do to stop them or handle them better.
I am trying to handle the stress. The other night I got that feeling - the feeling like my blood pressure was high (it was because I checked) and I was awaiting the fast heart beat, but it didn't come. I tried some breathing techniques that I read about, took a few deep breaths coming out of my diaphram, told myself this is not going to get bad and it didn't. Living in NY with daughters living and working in NYC is enough to give anyone stress, combined with antics of ex husbands and daily life. And then we put on the news. Combined with problems of daily life and other medical problems, it's amazing more people don't have these attacks.
The trick is not to add the secondary fear which in your case is "oh no my heart is racing ... what's going on? etc.," this works us up into a panic. Your right on with the accepting it and letting it happen. Telling your panic that you are not scared of it, and it will go away.
Go buy the secret and listen to it. It can't hurt. Also, you can get this book Nutrition Tests for better health, read it and answer all the questions. Between the dvd, the book and the doctor I hope you can get it all under control. I believe you will, be patient with yourself!