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Panic attack with heart rate above 190BPM?
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Panic attack with heart rate above 190BPM?

I had a pretty embarrassing day today. I was rushed to the ER twice today for panic attacks or so I think. My first attack was in the morning. I had the normal classic symptoms which included: Heart Palpitations, Sweating, Difficulty breathing, dizzy, spots in my vision. I was wearing one of those polar heart rate monitors when it happened and noticed my heart rate went up to 130, but as soon as the Paramedics got there, it went back down to 90. They took my blood pressure and it showed to be 190/90. They told me that the blood pressure was normal for someone who just had an attack. Anyways, I get to the er, they run the standard tests, give me a xanax and send me home. I get home and decide to rest. When I woke up three hours later, I felt really strange. My chest felt like it was on fire. I thought maybe it was the after effects of the xanax. I then notice my heart is racing faster then I've ever felt. I wasn't particularly nervous or anxious of this feeling, but felt very uncomfortable. I checked my pulse and I could hardly feel it. I put on my polar heart monitor again, and it showed my heart rate at 165. I sat back down and it shot up to 194 and stayed there for a bit. At that point, I got alarmed and phoned 911 again. while waiting for the paramedics it would drop down to 115 and climb back up to 190, then to 180, 150, 180 again. I felt so strange. It subsided right before the paramedics got there. When they got there, my pulse was between 90 and 110. They were very angry with me, and told me that I shouldn't abuse 911. I arrived at the hospital, but they said they didn't want to run tests because they came up negative earlier. They suggested that I get help from a Psychiatrist. I'm not sure what to do or whom to believe. I remember reading somewhere that your heart rate during a panic attack never exceeds 145BPM. Is there a possible heart problem going on, or can your adrenaline really kick up your heart rate that high? Again, I wasn't really nervous when I felt that happen, just uncomfortable. Any opinions?
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Avatar_f_tn
Take your heart rate yourself. Use your fingers on your neck and count for 30 seconds and then take that rate x 2.  That's your beats per minute. I wouldn't depend on a store bought monitor to be exact. You can often bring your pluse and blood pressure down yourself by deep breathing and other relaxation techniques.

abby
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672514_tn?1265658741
Nothing embarrassing  about going to the E.R. , you did what your body told you to do.
you did not give much info? are you on meds? seeing a Therapist? did you have blood test done?

I would really recommend because you have been to the E.R. x 2 they would not send you home unless they thought you was fine! with that being said, I would ADVISE you NOT to monitor you breathing or your pulse!

You state in you question that when you monitored yourself  your HR went up (TO MUCH FOCUS ON SELF) - turn that around (takes work) and focus on breathing BUT DO NOT monitor yourself again when you did that you only "ADDED" to the panic, I know (the closer I got to hospital the more worse I felt, so the second time I would lay back in Car and tune out the world and breath only, saying," relax, your ok, been through this b4, it will pass and most of all IT IS NOT LIFE THREATENING!".

you monitor yourself and the second your body changes, a message is sent telling your body to get ready for BATTLE...  your body changes BP, HR all the time, let it do its job!
I hope this helps please, keep us updated. things will work out with work, We have all been there.
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Avatar_m_tn
All my tests came back normal. I am currently taking Atenolol and synthroid. Atenolol was given to me reluctantly a while back when I first started having panic symptoms. Recently, I've been having New problems and sensations happen to me. I notice that my pulse rate goes up when I feel these strange burning sensations in my body. Also, when I stand up my heart races and I get very dizzy. This lasts for about 5 minutes. I wish I wasn't so intuned with my body and fixated, but sometimes I feel like checking myself is justifiable with the uncomfortable symptoms.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know this is hard to believe, but now I don't believe anything I feel until it stays with me for days.  I went to emergency once and ended up in intensive care.  My pulse was very weak and extremely slow.  I have been sent to the cardiologist twice for having a 42 bpm pulse rate. I felt terribly uncomfortable and was actually having my first panic attack when I went to the ER.  I couldn't get help for the anxiety until my Doc was done ruling everything out. I was glad when we finally started treating my panic disorder.  Now I first assume it's anxiety and let the Doc go from there. This could be dangerous I suppose, but it's better than trying to figure out every strange feeling I get.  That just feeds into the paranoia.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have attacks with a HR of 176... so it is possible!
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Avatar_m_tn
I wish tachycardia wasn't a symptom of panic attacks. I understand why it happens, but it just feels abnormal at times. I feel that if I didn't have the very fast heart rates, I would have an easier time getting over it. It's strange to me how when my heart is racing from exercise it doesn't bother me. But when I'm having an attack, it disables me.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
I sure can relate to your story.  I used to have massive panic attacks, around 2 years ago.  I called the ambulance a few times a week, the techs knew me by name, I was given my own oxygen mask, and after awhile, my own room in the ER, no kidding.  I used to have them a few times a week.  

It all began after I drank too much water, and flushed all the salt & potassium out of my system and passed out.  I stayed in the hospital 5 days, for a over working heart.  

Afterwards I began to monitor my heart, and every little abnormal experience, I had with my heart, I'd panic !!  To make a long story short, my cardiologist said, I was developing cardic neurosis.  

But my bp & heart rate would sky rocket, I've had heart rates up to 220 bpm, blood pressure 210/120 etc......  I was kept in a hospital overnight one time, on morphine through an IV to calm my system down.  My panic attacks were bad, and the most horrible feeling.    

But the great news is, panic attacks can be controlled and in time disappear.  It was alot of hard work on my part, and what helped me was to accept the attacks, allow them to scare the hell out of me, then self talk my way through them.  This may sound crazy, but I used to put cotton balls in my nose, to reduce hyperventilating, closing my eyes, and breathing slowly through my nose, it works !

Well I don't want to ramble on for hours, just wanted to share, that a person doesn't have to suffer panic attacks.  I honestly thought, I would have them the rest of my life, but in time, they became less frequent, and now gone.  Once I figured out what triggered my attacks, I worked on removing the cause.  I kept a journal.    

Such as if I felt a panic attack coming on, heart starts racing, I would get on my treadmill and start walking.  Then the heart racing, was there for a reason, I was working out.

And also do not monitor vitals.  Monitoring vitals alway's made my vitals skyrocket, first thought, Oh my God !!  something is wrong = Panic attack !!

Remember, when having a panic attack, get comfy on a bed or couch, just allow it to happen, and eventually it will subside.  When I used to have them outdoors, I would just lay down in the back seat of my car.

Keep a journal, after each attack, and in time, you will learn what triggers them, then you can start to work through them.  

Sorry I wrote a book !  

Good luck to you !  
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Avatar_n_tn
I was hospitalized 3 weeks ago for a week and it triggered MASSIVE anxiety...panic attacks like crazy.  Does anyone ever get them in the middle of the night???  I wake up or try to go to bed and my heart is 120 or 130....I take xanax and Inderal 20 mg. twice daily....also go to therapy.  Had a terrible reaction to Zoloft...don't want to do antidepressants now.   Is there anyone else who can relate..God Bless all those who suffer from this...it is one of the most challenging times in my life...thank you
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165308_tn?1323190145
There is nothing here I can add...I just want to say that I think it is a shame how the er treated you the second time around...there is nothing funny about panic attacks.
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Avatar_f_tn
Too many ER staff people just think panic attacks are "all in your head".  They also believe that you can control them.  It's like they think you are faking an illness for attention. The ER that I have gone to has a doctor that suffers from anxiety attacks, so he knows it's no laughing matter.
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Avatar_f_tn
I went to the ER with severe leg pain and was very frightened and was getting very dizzy, the nurse asked if I had panic attacks with a look of discust.  I don't, but decided to just shut up and hope that I didn't faint. It turned out that I had just started taking blood pressure medication and had forgotten that dizziness is a side effect of the "norsvac" for the first 2 weeks or so.  I figured that my old hospital records had shown phychiatric issues, due to a xanax addiction from a doctors prescription. I felt a double insult.

abby
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah, they're pretty bad. I've been threatened with being arrested by the police because I keep having attacks which i call 911 for. They give me the whole blow by blow about "what if we hit a kid while trying to reach you" or "what if someone else is having a real heart attack, but we came to you first?" It's awful being treated that way with this disorder. It's almost as if people think I'm faking this whole thing or purposely creating the symptoms.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi!

I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone and  I am dealing with the excact same symptoms!! They are the worst of the whole anxietything, and I am often tempted to call the ER if it wasnt for the safety of  my boyfriend who helps me calm myself down. Mny docs dont believe that panic attacks cant create a rate over 150 bpm....well, mine always goes that fast and many others have this as well. I guess our hearts are just supersensitive. The only thing my many hearttests like holters, EKG etc have shown, is sinustachycardia, which is a normal, but fast rate. I am also on betablocker, but it seems as if they dont work as good as they used to. I also suspect it lowers my blood pressure too much when I sleep, so when I wake up, my body just "hyperreacts" and shoots up my bloodpressure and pulse. My pulse can typically go up to 180, its hard to breathe, my fingers and hands start tingling, and I am sure I am about to faint or die. I manage to calm the rate down with holding my breath and press a little out (this is called vasalva maneuver or something) Its pretty uncomfortable at first, because it makes your heart bump a little before going into a slower rhythm.
The best to to is to take deep calm breaths from your stomach, and just let the attack ride it out itself. Acceptance and not adding second fear is the hye to recovery form panic and anxiety. Eaiser said than done, though. Have you read anything by claire weekes? She has the best books for nervously ill patients!

Best of luck to your recovery. Just hang in there- better days will come:)

Sandra
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been through these situations with the ER, the best thing you can do for yourself is be your own advocate. Your mind and your body will tell you when you need to push for further testing. I had severe leg pain a year ago, and the ER told me to basically go away, that the ER was meant for people with Life Threatening illnesses. Had I not pushed to stay there, I may not be here today, as I was diagnosed that day with a Pulmonary Embolism and a significant Blood Clot in my Leg. This is one of the most life threatening events out there and they tried to turn me away. Trust your instinct, you know your body and your body will tell you when you need to push for the answers you deserve. Since my ordeal at the ER, and with my health in general, I have suffered with anxiety, it is real,  it is not in our heads! Do whatever you need to do to make yourself comfortable. Talk therapy has helped me a lot and keeping busy, helps as well. I don't think about my anxiety half as much, and am doing really well.

But to reiterate, be your own advocate! Nobody knows your body better than you do! EMTs and ERs are here to help us!
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Avatar_n_tn
Just wanted to add that Inderal is great for panic attacks where you can't get your heart-rate back down. Mine has gone up to 180 something during panic attacks and I am sure even higher when I wasn't measuring. I now have Inderal, and it makes me feel safer having it now. Psychiatrists are terrible about not prescribing it. It took me having an emergency visit to my PCP to get a common sense solution. Not all the benzos in the world would have slowed my heart down. Sometimes when I get activated like that, no psychiatric medication can touch the physical symptoms, but the Inderal, at only 5-10 mg worked.

BTW, I have had normal EKG and echocardiogram. I still worry though when my heart goes up.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi my name is David and I am 28 Male from Malaysia, I have been having anxiety attacks for so many years, I am really glad that I am not alone in this. Its really difficult at times having this problem. People just dont seem to understand anxiety and the difficulties we face. I am currently on Beta Blocker (inderal). It really helps when I am having the panic attack. Good luck to everyone who has this problem. Stay strong.
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3121256_tn?1342099610
Hi i suffer too been yrs now , i feel like im dyin its scary my hearts goin so fast my  chest aches i cant breathe proply . Ive had a few ambulances been told my hearts ok and its anxiety but  im still tyhe same scared im gonna have heart attack the slightest pain i get.  its horrible i simpathise withj anyone who has to go through them.
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3121256_tn?1342099610
the guy that came out to me was horrid too, not very understanding , i was taken to hospital and given xrays bloodtests heart monitering but told i was havin panic attack again , i dont no wat to do im scared most of the time thinkin im gonna die , nothing seems to help me life ***** what i think but then im feelin sry for myself lol
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Avatar_m_tn
It is rediculous to suggest deep breathing during a panic attack or as a matter of fact at any time....deep breathing serves no purpose whatsoever....ever seen any animals (eg. dogs) doing any form of deep breathing?  why do you need to do it?  FACT:  The deper you breath the less the oxigenation at the tissue level...
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Avatar_f_tn
I just recently began having panic attacks & hyperventilation disorder. Or so they say. It's the worst feeling I've ever felt in my entire life. My heart rate goes 160+ with a BP of 157/112
It's the worst, most debilitating feeling I've ever had. I feel like I can't breathe, my chest gets this icy feeling all across it, my entire body shakes & tingles. I've had X-rays, blood work, blood gasses, ekgs....my blood work came bk with a low potassium level & an under active thyroid.... I've always been healthy & now I feel as if I'm going crazy :/
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1140115_tn?1348499315
Hi, folks,

Since this thread is old and the original participants are no longer taking part, we'll close it now.  If you'd like to ask a question or start a new thread, please click the "Post a Question" button near the top of this page.  Thanks!

Claire
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