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  • 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

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    Old 03-06-2004, 04:49 PM   #1
    AmyRS
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    25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    This could get long but I'll do my best to keep it short as possible!

    Two weeks ago while sitting in a movie theatre I noticed my heart was beating really fast. When my husband and I came home I mentioned it to him and he listened and thought it was going twice as fast as his. We laughed, thinking it was nothing and decided to time it to see if he was right. His was 70 and mine was 130.

    After realising the "normal" resting rate is anywhere between 70-90 I started to realise something was not right!! We monitored it for a while and finally headed to emergency just in case. I spent the day there while they watched me go from 115 to 160 by simply lifting my arm to scratch my face. At this point I had no other symptoms besides my heart beating out of my chest. They released me that same night, under the impression that the medication I've been on due to some neurological problems (Nortriptyline) was causing my heart rate to be elevated. They made me stop cold turkey that night until I could talk to my neurologist.

    When I spoke to him, he said he has never had this happen before, only in elderly patients who had prior cardiac problems before taking the meds. Now we were getting a little worried, condsidering nobody knew why my heart was going crazy and it still hadn't slowed down.

    About 2 days later I was having trouble breathing and quite a bit of chest pain. Back to the hospital, where they admitted me for 8 days to run a bunch of tests. Lung scan to make sure no embollism which was clear, blood work for magnesium, thyroid, blood surgar all clear, echo showed no signs, and holter monitor that recorded beats up to 188. This is all laying in a hospital bed!!! They also had me do a 24 hour urine test which won't be back for 4-5 weeks.

    Because of the previous neuro problems I have a brain MRI coming up in 2 weeks to rule out MS. They released me thinking they'll know more when the urine test comes back and once we have the MRI as well.

    I visited my family dr yesterday and she is trying to convince me that this is generalized anxiety disorder and chronic panic attacks. I've only had difficulty breathing once, and I certainly haven't been anxious while watching a funny movie I'm starting to feel like they're putting me off because they can't figure out what it is and they don't want to take the time to.

    Should I just wait for the MRI and other results or should I be getting a referral to someone else? Should I just let this go? My heart is still pounding and my family isn't comfortable with me only being able to sit on the couch for fear of my heart going through the roof. Here is my big shopping list of symptoms:

    - Blue feet and toenails when sitting
    - Extreme fatigue - too tired to laugh or move at all
    - Irregular periods
    - Hair loss
    - Night sweats
    - Tingling in face, hands and arms
    - Headaches
    - Stiff feeling in eyes and vision problems - dyslexia with numbers and words
    - Out of body feeling - brain shutting off for a few seconds at a time - vision is shifty instead of smooth
    - Nauseous/no appetite
    - Vertigo
    - Sweating
    - Pounding head when first standing up
    - Chest pain
    - Pink rash on feet when in hot shower

    They tried me on 2 beta-blockers in the hospital and they made me feel worse - sick to my stomach and no energy, and they didn't do much to bring my heart rate down either!

    My blood pressure was all over the place as well - 165 over something - that one set off an alarm and they came running into my room, and as low as 80 over something and the nurse asked me if I felt like I could pass out! I haven't fainted (yet)!

    Another thing that was weird was they gave me Ativan and it didn't make me sleepy or make a difference with rate/pressure either.

    Maybe at least the tachycardia will leave as fast as it came on?

    Any opinions or advice are greatly appreciated!

    Amy

     
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    Old 03-06-2004, 06:03 PM   #2
    Martica
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Wow, Amy, I'm no doctor, but it sounds like a heath problem. I forgot if you said, but did they do and echo on your heart as well? What do they say about the blue feet? I hope you get to the bottom of this soon. Good luck!


    Cindy

     
    Old 03-07-2004, 04:52 AM   #3
    ogarchamplin
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    I have never heared of panic causing the symptons you have listed but i am no doctor. Please keep us updated on your condition. I hope and pray things will get better soon. Keep thinking positive!

     
    Old 03-07-2004, 10:17 AM   #4
    AmyRS
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Hey there, thanks for the responses.

    I did have an echo done, and he said my heart was under a lot of stress but there were no problems with my actual heart itself. When I show them my blue feet they don't know what to say. That is definately something that has started up since my heart has been racing - I've noticed definate color changes in my skin.

    My family dr. is the one really pushing the whole anxiety thing, which is driving me NUTS!! Why would I have a panic attack during a funny movie?! That just doesn't make sense to me!!

    Amy

     
    Old 03-07-2004, 10:51 AM   #5
    MKLowTone
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Can you see another doctor (one that's an equal to the family doctor I mean, not another hospital doctor) and see what they say?

    Sorry for the short answer and lack of anything else constructive to say but I can't help other than suggest that another family doctor might have the answers

    Something might trigger his brain in a completely different direction than the other guy's...

     
    Old 03-07-2004, 11:46 AM   #6
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    If I were you I'd see another Doctor.
    I've had panic disorder for 20 years and I've only had nine of the fifteen symptoms that you've had.
    I'm not a Doctor, but I sure wouldn't accept that it was panic disorder until everything else is ruled out.

    I just wanted to tell you something else, just for the record.
    Just because you were watching a funny movie doesn't mean you couldn't have a panic attack.
    They can come on you out of the blue for no reason at all, no matter what you're doing and even if you don't feel scared or anxious at the time.
    The first one I had came out of nowhere, I was fine one second taking clothes out of the dryer and the next second I was sure I was dying my heart was pounding out of my chest I was sweating and dizzy, it was horrible.

    But like I said don't accept that it's a panic disorder until everything else is ruled out.

    Good luck to you and let us know what you find out.

     
    Old 03-07-2004, 03:14 PM   #7
    hilery79
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AmyRS
    This could get long but I'll do my best to keep it short as possible!

    Two weeks ago while sitting in a movie theatre I noticed my heart was beating really fast. When my husband and I came home I mentioned it to him and he listened and thought it was going twice as fast as his. We laughed, thinking it was nothing and decided to time it to see if he was right. His was 70 and mine was 130.

    After realising the "normal" resting rate is anywhere between 70-90 I started to realise something was not right!! We monitored it for a while and finally headed to emergency just in case. I spent the day there while they watched me go from 115 to 160 by simply lifting my arm to scratch my face. At this point I had no other symptoms besides my heart beating out of my chest. They released me that same night, under the impression that the medication I've been on due to some neurological problems (Nortriptyline) was causing my heart rate to be elevated. They made me stop cold turkey that night until I could talk to my neurologist.

    When I spoke to him, he said he has never had this happen before, only in elderly patients who had prior cardiac problems before taking the meds. Now we were getting a little worried, condsidering nobody knew why my heart was going crazy and it still hadn't slowed down.

    About 2 days later I was having trouble breathing and quite a bit of chest pain. Back to the hospital, where they admitted me for 8 days to run a bunch of tests. Lung scan to make sure no embollism which was clear, blood work for magnesium, thyroid, blood surgar all clear, echo showed no signs, and holter monitor that recorded beats up to 188. This is all laying in a hospital bed!!! They also had me do a 24 hour urine test which won't be back for 4-5 weeks.

    Because of the previous neuro problems I have a brain MRI coming up in 2 weeks to rule out MS. They released me thinking they'll know more when the urine test comes back and once we have the MRI as well.

    I visited my family dr yesterday and she is trying to convince me that this is generalized anxiety disorder and chronic panic attacks. I've only had difficulty breathing once, and I certainly haven't been anxious while watching a funny movie I'm starting to feel like they're putting me off because they can't figure out what it is and they don't want to take the time to.

    Should I just wait for the MRI and other results or should I be getting a referral to someone else? Should I just let this go? My heart is still pounding and my family isn't comfortable with me only being able to sit on the couch for fear of my heart going through the roof. Here is my big shopping list of symptoms:

    - Blue feet and toenails when sitting
    - Extreme fatigue - too tired to laugh or move at all
    - Irregular periods
    - Hair loss
    - Night sweats
    - Tingling in face, hands and arms
    - Headaches
    - Stiff feeling in eyes and vision problems - dyslexia with numbers and words
    - Out of body feeling - brain shutting off for a few seconds at a time - vision is shifty instead of smooth
    - Nauseous/no appetite
    - Vertigo
    - Sweating
    - Pounding head when first standing up
    - Chest pain
    - Pink rash on feet when in hot shower

    They tried me on 2 beta-blockers in the hospital and they made me feel worse - sick to my stomach and no energy, and they didn't do much to bring my heart rate down either!

    My blood pressure was all over the place as well - 165 over something - that one set off an alarm and they came running into my room, and as low as 80 over something and the nurse asked me if I felt like I could pass out! I haven't fainted (yet)!

    Another thing that was weird was they gave me Ativan and it didn't make me sleepy or make a difference with rate/pressure either.

    Maybe at least the tachycardia will leave as fast as it came on?

    Any opinions or advice are greatly appreciated!

    Amy
    Amy,
    Hi, I just read your post. I am 24 and have had very similar symptoms for the last 9 months. I thought I was the only one out there who has a tingling face.lol My other symptoms include: tachycardia with little activity, hand numbness, constant headaches, occasional drops in bp, fainting episodes, neck stiffness, lightheaded, pressure/pulsating in head upon standing, hair loss(which could be thyroid related for me), and brain fog. I'm sure there are probably other symptoms I'm not thinking of. I have been from Dr. to Dr. having test after test(including MRI's, cardiac tests, and lots of labs). I was dx'd with thyroid cancer last summer and at first all of my symptoms were blamed on my thyroid, but I still have all of my symptoms. Now, they are blaming it all on anxiety. I do have an anxiety/panic disorder, but I no longer believe all of my symptoms are anxiety related. I am to the point where I don't know what to do next. My family wants me to go stay at Mayo's until they figure this out.

    Anyway, I'm sorry for rambling, but I just wanted to let you know you're not alone. I hope you find some answers soon. Don't let your Dr. blame this on anxiety before ruling everything else out, first. There are too many Dr.'s out there who are too quick to blame everything on anxiety.
    Good luck to you and keep us posted.

    BTW~ The same thing happens to me with my blood pressure. One day it will be as low as 85/50 causing me to faint and the next it will be 130/90. It's really strange.

    Last edited by hilery79; 03-07-2004 at 03:17 PM.

     
    Old 03-07-2004, 03:57 PM   #8
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Amy,
    I don't know if they've done labs on your thyroid or not, but you might want to mention this to your Dr. Hyperthyroidism can cause many of these symptoms. This is the first thing my Dr. thought of when I started having all of my symptoms.

     
    Old 03-10-2004, 03:41 PM   #9
    AmyRS
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Well, my MRI is next Wednesday, so the plan is that no matter what the results are we're going to head to the teaching hospital about an hour away to get a second opinion on everything.

    I have been tested about 4 or 5 times for thyroid and have always been negative.

    I've recently been researching a condition called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) that I have just about every symptom of. It's given me some hope that I might have a defense against the panic attack diagnosis. In everything I've read about panic/anxiety attacks the patient has something they are anxious about that they are aware of, even if the attack happens when they aren't expecting it. I don't have anything I am worried about - everybody gets stressed out and I KNOW that what has happened to me for over 2 weeks now is not due to stress. That's another thing - I haven't heard of panic attacks lasting over 2 weeks.

    I guess we'll see what happens with the MRI and then off I'll go for the 2nd opinion!

    Amy

     
    Old 03-11-2004, 12:33 PM   #10
    junglemonkey
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Judging from the symptoms, this is not anxiety, but like others said, I am no doctor.

    I have chronic GAD and frequent panic attacks and you sound nothing like me. The blue feet really got me, it sounds like a health problem rather than a mental problem.

    It is perfectly possible to panic during a funny movie, when I go to the cinema, I have panic attacks too. It doesn't make sense to me either, but thats just the confusing nature of panic attacks! But to be perfectly honest, your symptoms don't resemble that. Wait to get your urine and MRI scans back, then if they are all clear, talk to your doctor(s) again.

     
    Old 03-12-2004, 11:14 PM   #11
    BettyJP
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Hi,

    Wow you just described me to the letter. I have all of the exact same symptoms. I have had every test in the book. MRI for MS or other neuro problems....about 10 of them...Heart tests..EKG,Cardiac Enzymes, Stress Test, Stress Echo, All the blood work you can imagine....I get tachy at about 150 to 180 but even my resting heart rate is high at 85-100 all the time..BP is a yo-yo....
    Let them check you out well, and be careful of medications, then can make you feel worse.
    But I find mine may be panic attacks....I use ativan and vistaril at the onset of severe symptoms and it helps...But some of the symptoms are all the time, like the vision problems, rash and hair loss etc...Maybe I am ill, maybe not...I just know this is not right.....
    If you discover anything let me know....If not I am a friendly ear...Betty

     
    Old 03-24-2004, 11:30 AM   #12
    AmyRS
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    I'm back with good news!

    I had my dr's appointment yesterday to go over the MRI results, and they are clear! Also, the 24-hour urine test (to check adrenal function) has also come back clear!

    My dr FINALLY admitted that she didn't know what to do, so I suggested the whole POTS thing I've been researching. She agreed that would be worth checking out, and is going to get me a referral to have the Tilt Table Test (to diagnose it) done! And she thinks the wait will be fairly short since it isn't a "regular" test!

    The BEST thing about the whole visit was that she didn't mention anxiety ONCE! I think she has finally figured out like the rest of them that panic attacks are not what I've been experiencing. She also took my pulse and listened to my heart and my pulse was about 120 just sitting there. I think she gets the picture now! I feel so vindicated! LOL!

    Next step is the follow up with the neuro first week in April, and hopefully the Tilt test will happen even before that. Either way I'm thrilled!

    Amy

     
    Old 03-26-2004, 05:26 PM   #13
    tmosey
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    Question Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AmyRS
    This could get long but I'll do my best to keep it short as possible!

    Two weeks ago while sitting in a movie theatre I noticed my heart was beating really fast. When my husband and I came home I mentioned it to him and he listened and thought it was going twice as fast as his. We laughed, thinking it was nothing and decided to time it to see if he was right. His was 70 and mine was 130.

    After realising the "normal" resting rate is anywhere between 70-90 I started to realise something was not right!! We monitored it for a while and finally headed to emergency just in case. I spent the day there while they watched me go from 115 to 160 by simply lifting my arm to scratch my face. At this point I had no other symptoms besides my heart beating out of my chest. They released me that same night, under the impression that the medication I've been on due to some neurological problems (Nortriptyline) was causing my heart rate to be elevated. They made me stop cold turkey that night until I could talk to my neurologist.

    When I spoke to him, he said he has never had this happen before, only in elderly patients who had prior cardiac problems before taking the meds. Now we were getting a little worried, condsidering nobody knew why my heart was going crazy and it still hadn't slowed down.

    About 2 days later I was having trouble breathing and quite a bit of chest pain. Back to the hospital, where they admitted me for 8 days to run a bunch of tests. Lung scan to make sure no embollism which was clear, blood work for magnesium, thyroid, blood surgar all clear, echo showed no signs, and holter monitor that recorded beats up to 188. This is all laying in a hospital bed!!! They also had me do a 24 hour urine test which won't be back for 4-5 weeks.

    Because of the previous neuro problems I have a brain MRI coming up in 2 weeks to rule out MS. They released me thinking they'll know more when the urine test comes back and once we have the MRI as well.

    I visited my family dr yesterday and she is trying to convince me that this is generalized anxiety disorder and chronic panic attacks. I've only had difficulty breathing once, and I certainly haven't been anxious while watching a funny movie I'm starting to feel like they're putting me off because they can't figure out what it is and they don't want to take the time to.

    Should I just wait for the MRI and other results or should I be getting a referral to someone else? Should I just let this go? My heart is still pounding and my family isn't comfortable with me only being able to sit on the couch for fear of my heart going through the roof. Here is my big shopping list of symptoms:

    - Blue feet and toenails when sitting
    - Extreme fatigue - too tired to laugh or move at all
    - Irregular periods
    - Hair loss
    - Night sweats
    - Tingling in face, hands and arms
    - Headaches
    - Stiff feeling in eyes and vision problems - dyslexia with numbers and words
    - Out of body feeling - brain shutting off for a few seconds at a time - vision is shifty instead of smooth
    - Nauseous/no appetite
    - Vertigo
    - Sweating
    - Pounding head when first standing up
    - Chest pain
    - Pink rash on feet when in hot shower

    They tried me on 2 beta-blockers in the hospital and they made me feel worse - sick to my stomach and no energy, and they didn't do much to bring my heart rate down either!

    My blood pressure was all over the place as well - 165 over something - that one set off an alarm and they came running into my room, and as low as 80 over something and the nurse asked me if I felt like I could pass out! I haven't fainted (yet)!

    Another thing that was weird was they gave me Ativan and it didn't make me sleepy or make a difference with rate/pressure either.

    Maybe at least the tachycardia will leave as fast as it came on?

    Any opinions or advice are greatly appreciated!

    Amy
    Dear Amy,

    I was wondering if you coould tell me if the doctors have figured out what was wrong yet? You see, I have some of the same symptoms as you have. I literally woke up one day and was told I was suffering from Panic/anxiety attacks. I was also around your age at the time. I am now 36 years old and this has been going on for the last 8 years! Since the first attack I have had more health situations that I feel are related to the panic/anxiety problems. If you receive this please write. Thank you and have an awesome day! Tracey.

     
    Old 03-26-2004, 08:30 PM   #14
    emma72
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AmyRS
    Hey there, thanks for the responses.

    I did have an echo done, and he said my heart was under a lot of stress but there were no problems with my actual heart itself. When I show them my blue feet they don't know what to say. That is definately something that has started up since my heart has been racing - I've noticed definate color changes in my skin.

    My family dr. is the one really pushing the whole anxiety thing, which is driving me NUTS!! Why would I have a panic attack during a funny movie?! That just doesn't make sense to me!!

    Amy
    Well the panic attacks out of the blue have always been common for me. I would have them when I was just falling asleep or like you, watching tv or doing some other silly thing. That is why it was so hard for me to believe that it was actually anxiety and not a serious illness. I went through all of the tests you have mentioned - even the lung scan and MRI. They all showed nothing. Blood tests were all normal and the tachycardia was labeled "sinus" which means it just beats rapidly for no organic reason. I was passed from one doc to the next and they all tried drugs of different kinds. Finally I found a doctor that put a stop to all of that and just kept me on Klonopin for anxiety. That is when I got relief. I still have to take a beta-blocker everyday but that is small price to pay for peace of mind.

    I would agree with the other post that mentions getting another doctor in on the situation. I would definitely say an Internist or GP who can look at the whole picture and see what may be going on.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 04-11-2004, 11:56 PM   #15
    sugaredwillow
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    Re: 25yr old with tachycardia out of the blue - drs say anxiety?!

    I have had basically the same symptoms as you for 4 years. One morning I woke up with tachycardia and the rest is history. The doctors have finally narrowed it down to polycystic ovarian syndrome (pcos) I was shocked. I also have a pituitary adenoma. If you do a search on google you will be able to get more info but more and more this is coming out as a cause for unexplained tachycardia in women I hope this helps.

     
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