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Heat sensivity or anxiety?
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Heat sensivity or anxiety?

I have been struggling with anxiety and panic, on and off, for the last five years.  It all started when I was working out in the gym and experienced an irregular heartbeat.  Since then I have become sedentary and the doctors say I'm ok.  But I often panic when speaking in public, and I do a whole lot of it as an attorney.  Despite significant discomfort from a racing heart and fear of heart disease, I do not avoid public speaking and very slowly am becoming accustomed to it.  Lately I've experienced a major setback however, and I don't know if it is another form of anxiety or a medical problem.  But when the temperature and humidity is high, over 90 or so, and I am outdoors for more than 15 minutes I sometimes feel like I can't breathe.  My heart starts racing and I feel dizzy and I keep thinking that unless I get indoors soon I'm going to collapse from the heat.  I'm 29, 6 feet, 185 lbs., don't smoke or drink.  I am getting married next month and my fiance talked me into booking a caribbean trip despite my feelings.  Does this sound like anxiety or heat exhaustion?
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242532_tn?1269553979
It sounds like anxiety, in fact like something called somatization, and the best cure for that is to challenge the symptoms, work through it, and prove to yourself that you are okay and can go back to full activities.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Just so you know, I don't like the hot weather too much either; especially the humidity, because YES, sometimes it's hard to breathe. My oldest son (who is 17) complains about it too. We have a pool, so we swim a lot and that helps us stay cool, but I think that high temps and humidity affects lots of people in the same way, most people will complain about the breathing and feeling yucky (so that's pretty normal)

I hope you feel better soon, but I just wanted you to know that I feel heavy in the chest when its hot and humid, especially when its in the 90's.
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Avatar_n_tn
I get the exact same symptoms from extreme heat and humidity. I too suffer from anxeity and panic and an irregular heart beat. Basically, people with an irregular heart beat are often impacted by heat as it puts more pressure on your heart and therefore starts the irregular beats not to mention panic because of it. Its a painful and dreadful way to live but that's what's happening to you. Don't despair although its hard not to feel this way. I am an investment banker and the pressures of work don't make either panic or the irregular beats easier.... Good luck and stay positive.
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Avatar_n_tn
Try hydrating more (with water, not soda). When I am not hydrated enough and spend time in the heat I feel way too hot, dizzy,and sick. Water does the trick for me.

And please get a physical to make sure it's not really heart problems. I know it's hard to get to a doctor but it's your life at stake if you do have heart problems that go untreated, and it's worth the relief if nothing's wrong.

If it ends up it is anxiety (in your line of work you may build up stress without realizing it, which can cause anxiety) ask your doctor about paxil. It has worked for me.
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Avatar_n_tn
I get the exact same symptoms from extreme heat and humidity. I too suffer from anxeity and panic and an irregular heart beat. Basically, people with an irregular heart beat are often impacted by heat as it puts more pressure on your heart and therefore starts the irregular beats not to mention panic because of it. Its a painful and dreadful way to live but that's what's happening to you. Don't despair although its hard not to feel this way. I am an investment banker and the pressures of work don't make either panic or the irregular beats easier.... Good luck and stay positive.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have Mitral Valve Prolapse which can cause irregular heartbeats (feels like heart skips a beat and makes you feel like you have to cough) and anxiety. The main thing is to stay hydrated in hot/humid weather. Stay away from caffeine because it has a diuretic effect and is a obviously is a stimulator that will worsen anxiety. The doctor told me to drink as many ounces of water each day as the temperature outside is. So I have been drinking at least 100 ounces of water a day. It seems to help. Also, ask your doctor about toprol xl for public speaking....it helps to control the heart racing and you can take it before speaking. It is a beta blocker to control heart rate. Hope you feel better soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
i cant beleive the things i read on this site its me to a tee. i find it so hard to believe that other people feel the same way i do.i am frightend all the time and think i am dying. but speaking of the heat issue this summer i found it very hard to be outside in the heat and sun . i would get so hot and start sweating like crazy my hair was soaked. i dont drink or smoke but i am overweight i think that why i always am sure i am going to die . i have had alot of tests done and they all come back good which i am glad. but how can you feel so crappy and have nothing wrong with you. i feel so alone with this
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Avatar_n_tn
I can relate to a lot of these posts and, too, am at a loss with my issues.  I may just be ignoring the fact that there might be something more to it.

I have the same issues with heat and humidity.  I am 28, 6'1, about 215.  I am chubbing up a bit this past year with less activity, but I am still in pretty good overall health.  I just feel like total garbage when I am out and about (I live in the deep south no less) and it's creating a vicious cycle of nothing.
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Avatar_n_tn
Heat stimulates the nervous system, this is why people with MSor other neurological disorders/diseases see a worsening of symptoms when in heat ,especially humid heat,but it will make ANYONE feel like junk , trust me i know i live in arizona it gets up to 115 degress here in the summer for a couple months straight and it DOES get humid, even the little humidy we have in comparison to where you may be at is enough to make it feel like you cant breath, look up diaphramatic breathing online it will really help, lets you get a much better lungfull of air also helps with anxiety.
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