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Anxiety

Hello,

I am a 21 year old male, in alright shape, weigh in at 200 lbs.  Since i was about 18 years of age, i have been experiencing problems with my heart. I can hear my heart beat all the time, and iam very aware of  my heart beating. My heart feels like it shivers, like when you are cold, it dowsn't feel good.  My heart feels like it is not attached to anything, what i mean is when i jump up and down, it feels like its just moving around in my chest, when i lay down on my back, it feels like it is touching my ribs in the back, when i am on my stomach, it feels like it is resting against my skin. My heart beats regulary 99% of the time, but occasionally feels like it is filling up with too much blood, then it has to pump it out in one shot.I am not very active and when i am active, like playing hockey, it feels like my heart is dropping into my stomach, and beats weird, fast and hard, and i feel weird, not to the point where i would pass out, but my body feels very drained, and shaky, weak, and i always have to catch my breath.  After my activities i still feel weird, for hours after, to the point where i should go to the hospital, and it makes it very diffucult to fall asleep, but then one second later, it stops, or when i have a bowel movement, but i don't feel quite normal.  My doctor said i should take my puffer before activities, but i don't, should i?? do you think it is my lungs??, even the smallest activities make me feel weird, like jumping on a trampoline for 5 minutes.  After i eat, my heart feels weird, like its full,and going to stop beating, and i feel shaky, and sweaty, then i take a deep breath and it slows it down temporarily, to i take my mind off of it.  If i don't pay attention to my chest, then i feel fine.

I have had all the tests, and nothing showed up except for my heart beating one time at 180, but i was playing baseball. my doctor diagnosed me as i  have anxiety, and prescibed me with ativan. it works, because it calms me down, i was also prescribed paxil, but i have never taken it.

Everything else is normal (blood pressure etc..)  I admit i have poor habit, i smoke (less than half a pack a day), drink (ten beers a week), and don't drink caffeine, or drink pop, because my doctor told me to stop.  I have poor eating habits, fast food,and i eat once a day.

Should i be very worried??, or start working out, and excersise regularly.

I have had to go to the emergency room,  beacuse my heart was pounding out of my chest, my heart rate was fast like 140bpm, they hooked me up to a few heart monitors in the ER, with leads all over my body, and they said all they could find was my heart beating fast, but i wasn't having palpatations, my oxygen level was 98% but i felt like i couldn't catch my breath, they gave me six ativan to slow me down, and it worked eventually.  I haven't returned to the ER lately, like two years.

Thank You Very Much

Bryan McEachern
Georgetown, ON
Canada
Tags: Anxiety, Heart
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Mackker,

What an ordeal. I cannot comment on your fast rhythms unless I was able to see your EKGs. However, Im assuming they were unremarkable since no other intervention took place.

A few points. An even monitor could measure your heart rhythm during an episode. This would essentially rule out whether a rhythm abnormality in your heart was causing your symptoms.

Given the length of duration of your symptom occurence I would start looking at other causes for your symptoms.

A good internist should look you over. If you are in ok shape, you should hit the bricks. You are still relatively young and should optimize your conditioning.

good luck
27 Comments
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You wrote:My doctor said i should take my puffer before activities, but i don't, should i??

You are a silly goose, you been given various treatment instructions and don't follow through. Kept that up and you can only have more of the same. Nothing changes- if nothing changes.

good luck, some things are easier said then done.
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Sounds like anxiety to me...I had brutal chest pains and strange feelings and was convinced for months that I was going to have a heart attack.  Ended up in the emergency room a few times.  Therapy helped me get out of the cycle that makes it happen.  Like you said, when you don't think about it, you're OK.  But if you are like I was, you think about it ALOT.  My anxiety was not connected to any particular life situation...it was just there, and I had to learn to live with it and manage it so it didn't take over my life.

Go to your doctor and get referred to a clinical psychologist.

And start treating your body better!  Good nutrition and exercise is one of the best medicines your can give yourself.  The half a pack of smokes and 10 beers probably doesn't make things worse, but you should definitely try to eat 3 square healthy meals a day and get some exercise.

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Hi Brian,

I am really sorry to hear about how you feel. I know it can be very distressing to feel like something is wrong, but the doctor tell you that you are just fine. Sounds like your symptoms are from anxiety. I have dealt with anxiety for a long time ( I am 34 years old) and over time it has gotten better and then sometimes it gets worse during stressful times in life.

What I can recommend is a book that I bought recently. It is called "Hope and Help for your nerves" by Claire Weekes.
You can buy it at amazon.com for $ 6.99
The author decribes all kinds of symptoms people get from anxiety and gives excellent advice on how to deal with the anxiety. It won't go away overnight, but time will heal.

For all of you out there with PVC's, this book might be for you too. The book talked a lot about not paying so much attention to our bodies etc., I really think this book is a winner.

Also I am from Germany and there is actually a medication given for Heartarrythmias which contains high levels of Magnesium and Potassium (Galacordin forte). My mother send me some and I will try it next time when I get too many PVCs. In Germany doctors don't usually offer you a betablocker right away when you have PVCs. There is a lot more emphasis on Homeopathic Medicine.
So now I have given my 10 cents worth. I hope it helps.
Anja
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Did I read your post correctly? You are supposed to use your "puffer"? So you have asthma?

IF YOU DO, PUHLEAZE check out the ingredients on your "puffer" and the side effects, as well as the side effects of any other asthma meds you are taking. Asthma can be very serious and I am not suggesting for a moment if you have asthma that you should not take your meds. But I AM suggesting that some of the meds can cause anxiety, racing heart, palpitations... so you might want to check into this.

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Can anxiety cause pvc's?  I'm an extremely anxious person and get pvc's/pac's a lot.  Also, I have the book Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes; she makes a lot of sense.  Just wish I could apply it to myself :)
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Thanks alot,

This post has made feel better, knowing that i am not the only one with this problem.  I keep telling myself that it is anxiety, but sometimes when the symptoms feel different, i think that something is seriously wrong.

I don't officially have asthma, but my doc said i have a trace of it when i am sick, because i was born with bronchitas.  The puffer he gave me was plain old ventolin.

Thanks

Bryan M
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I took ventolin and it caused very rapid and unusual heartbeats.  I know how you feel.  If you concentrate on your heart you will notice every f@#%ing beat, disturbance etc...When I played hockey outdoors, I foud that the cold air is what caused an asthma episode.
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My heart has always skipped beats since I was 19 (1993)now I'm 29. My doctors all say I'm fine and it's anxety and I'm on Celexa for depression..Dr. said it would regulate my heart also. And it did for a while...but I've been out of work since May and about 2 weeks after I left my job my heart just started to flip out! It is mainly at night when I'm laying in bed and starts as soon as my head hits the pillow. For a while I just blew it off but it's starting to bother me...I can be taking my pulse at night and it's fine then all of a sudden it just stops for a beat and the next beat is real strong (and hurts)..it does it until I fall asleep and then in the morning it will do it for a period of time and stop. Lately, I've been worried more about it and it's increased (John Ritter dying didn't help). I've had bouts with this on and off for years but not this bad. I don't get very much exercise and since I'm not working it's all I think about (which makes it worse). Do you guys think it could be related to not having a job and having an idle mind? Thanks! Rick
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You sound like me...always taking your pulse.  If you've been checked out and told your skipped beats are from anxiety, believe it!  I'm a terribly anxious person and I concentrate far too much on my heart and it does weird things.  Scares me half to death and yes, since John Ritter's death I too have been worse.  Anybody -- how do I break the cycle of checking my dang pulse?  I'm obsessive about it.  I exercise (I'm a walker) and that brought my heart rate down which was good since it had been beating too fast (I'm also on tenormin for rapid heartbeat and it works).  FloppinHeart, get out there and WALK; it's very good for you.
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Hey man i feel for ya bro...i am 27 and right now on a event recorder and a betta blocker,,,ive been to the ER twice the last 6 weeks for fast heart rate, they did all the test and are okay..mild MVP..and little off tyroid level low end..i am going nuts, i think its anxiety but also something abit off..hope you get your healing
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I had a "follow up" with my doctor today (after having an event monitor) and he told me that he thinks my symptoms are just anxiety and stress.  I was so nervous when I went in, my heart was beating so fast adn my blood pressure was 150/70!  It has never been that high!  It just made me feel worse, until the doc came in and said that it was probably just nerves.  He checked it again at the end of the visit and it was 130/70 - I was still a bit nervous.  Even though I know he said it was okay, I'm still thinking about it.  I, like some of you, can't stop checking/feeling my pulse, it is like an obsession and I can't shake it.  The doc offered me anti-anxiety meds, but I decided to see if I can feel better on my own.  It is driving me nuts.  I think that maybe I might try counseling and eventually may have to take something for a while.  It helps to see that I am not alone.  There should be a support group for people like us!
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Sounds very similar to my experience:

For the past five months now, I have been experiencing chest pain and a numbness sensation in my left arm. Most of the time, I can feel my heart racing. My resting heart rate was well over 100 bpm before I was put on a beta-blocker. With the beta-blocker, my heart beat is around 90 bpm.

At first, we were all concerned that I had some type of heart condition. After going through many tests, my doctors have ruled out any type of heart abnormality. It should be noted however, that my EKG was
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Help!  I'm obsessing over my heart AGAIN...so tired of this!  All of my tests have come back fine, but the pac's still scare me.  Doctor wants me to ignore them, but I can't help panicking when I feel them.   I want to be happy; I have a great life but can't enjoy it lately to depression/anxiety over my heart.  Feel free to email me:  ***@****.  Thank you and I wish all of you good luck!
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hi everyone.  i'm 29 years old and have been experiencing heart palps since i was 19.  sometimes it beats 120 bpm while im doing nothing, which really scares me cause im afraid its going to stop:(  
  i also am always checking my pulse (something i promise myself every day i'm not going to do but always wind up doing.)
i've an an echo, event monitor, several ekgs and blood work.  they were okay.  my doctors think its anxiety. (they haven't convinced me yet.  i went to my cardiologist yesterday and mentioned that i feel flushed when my heart races and now he wants me to go get a 24 hour urine test to check for carcinoid syndrome???  i was just wondering for everybody here who gets palpitations, do u guys feel flushed?  i would appreciate any response.  thanks!
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Hi...I used to get palpitations but did not feel flushed; however, I know a person who does.  In my case and her case the palpitations were caused by anxiety.  I take xanax.  Also, my resting pulse used to be 120; I was put on tenormin which slowed my heart down to a very comfortable rate.  Perhaps you'll want to ask your doctor for that medication.  Good luck.
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thanks, sheryl.  i too have xanax, which are not always helpful.  my doc gave me toprol to take for when it beats really fast.  i just wish i could feel normal :(
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Just eat fish at least twice a week. Take magnesium and vitamin supplements if you think you're not getting enough in your diet.

Omega-3 acids in fish oil is very potent and reduces heart attacks by up to 60% by stablizing the heartbeats. If you have a skipped heartbeat, it doesn't mean it will go astray. In rare cases if they do go astray, omega-3 acids can be released from heart cells and stabilize heartbeats which is exactly what reduces the risk of heart attacks.

Eliminate partially hydrogenated oils from your diet as best as you can. They contain transfat acids that can interfere with omega-3 acids (also omega-6 acids) and they are dangerous to your heart.

Get plenty of exercise. You don't have to be vigorous. Just be active for at least 30 minutes a day such as walking, gardening, mopping, swimming, etc. Vigorous exercise does somewhat increase the risk of heart attack but overall, it actually reduces risks of many dieseases such as many heart diseases and cancers.

Get enough rest and be sure to have a normal sleep pattern. Sleeping during the day and staying up during the night is not good for your heart. If you still have PVC's despite normal sleep pattern, you may actually not getting ENOUGH rest while you sleep. If you move a lot while sleeping, you are probably not getting a good sleep.

Sheryl, I've seen your postings and you have unhealthy obesssion about your heart. Please stop! That's driving me nuts! You're still alive after 9 years! Get over with your obession! :-)

I get occasional PVC's. Drinking green tea and eating chocolate doesn't seem to affect my heart significantly although some report that anything containing caffiene makes their PVC's worse. The more fish I eat, the less frequent my PVC's are.

-jeff
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Hi Jeff -- Sorry I've driven you nuts!  I am in counseling for my obsession and just got started on a new antidepressants (I've been on several different antidepressants over the years.)  Your post actually helped me and I thank you.
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OK -- here goes ---  first time posting a thought and a problem.  My wife will wake during the sleep mode as if in an axiety attack.  After taking blood pressure -- immediately -- the BP is normal 90/65.  But, she continues to wake during the night.   Changed eating habits so as not to eat so late -- but the systoms are as follows:

Numbness in right hand only
She feels her heart beating / but this is normal as well -- registers 60 per minute
Chest pain / pressure.
Sensation of very strong fast heart beat.
Last from a few seconds to several minutes

EKG is normal

Please any thoughts

Thanks in advance
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I am 26 years old and have been suffering from anxiety and heart palpitations for 5-6 years now.  I remember always being axious as a kid but seemed to have gotten worse due to these heart palpitations.  One day I felt as if my heart had stopped and started again.  I thought that I was having a heart attack so I rushed to the hospital and they said that it was due to my anxiety.  I have had several ECG's and holter monitors.  I have never had any extra beats or weird sensations while wearing the holter.  And the ECG's all have been normal.  I still get extra beats every day and it scares the hell out me.  It seems like they are getting more frequent now.  Are these extra beats normal?  How many time a day is considered frequent?  I wish these beats went away or I didn't notice them because I feel that they have interfered with my life.
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does anyone ever experience their heart pound really hard (almost painfully) after standing too quickly??  not so much a rapid beat, but more like a pounding?? does anyone ever feel this??
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I am 35 year old male and for the past three months have had several physical symptoms occur.  My first bout was while sittin on the couch one night.  My head felt hot and I became sweaty and clammy and felt as though I could pass out (I did not).  I fell asleep and everything was fine.  A few days later it occurred more regularly.  I took myself to the emergency room where they gave me an ekg, and an iv and sent me home.  Everything was normal and I felt great afterwards.

I awoke the next morning shaking and feeling like I could pass out.  Everytime I have this feeling, I feel like I could have a bowel movement, but cannot.  I took myself back to emergency.  Ekg, iv everything normal.

With 3 months gone by, I have had a couple of ekg's, a stress test, a heart monitor and a cat scan of my chest.  All were normal.

But lately, like so many of you, I feel my heart skip.  It used to only happen at night, but now it happens in the day as well.  I don't think I am thinking about it, but sub-consciously I probaly am.

I am also not sleeping right.  I go to bed early, wake up a couple of hours later.  I lie in bed with my eyes closed trying to follow asleep, but don't for a couple of hours.  When I finally do, I have to get up an hour later.  This has been going on for three months.

The doctor told me my chest pain has nothing to do with my heart and that it is stress/anxiety.  Whenever I tell the doctor about my skipped heartbeat, they say that they don't hear it, they have even gotten sarcastic about it.

I was prescribed Zoloft, but have not taken it, because I am not a big pill taker.  I have one cup of coffee in the morning, don't smoke and I am fairly active since I have two boys.

Is it possible to have pvc's and not have any of this show up on the tests I've mentioned?  Do these symptoms sound like anxiety?

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Yes, it is possible to have PVC's that the doctors don't catch- because you have to have one with a monitor on.  They occur randomly.  But it isn't something to worry about, if you have a normal heart, and most people have occational PVCs.  Some people just don't feel them as much- or at all.  It took me several holter monitors to get a diagnosis of PVCs and then an explaination similar to the one I gave you.  They are not life threatening and don't require medication.

It is funny, but I have been having symptoms very similar to yours for several months as well.  Always at night- about 2-3 hours after I fall asleep.  I spent an entire month with an event monitor and only recorded "panic attacks"- or what looked like panic attacks.  I would wake up (usually from a strange dream) and my heartrate would be elevated and I would eventually shiver like I had a fever for 10 or 15 minutes.  Sometimes I felt sick as well.  My doctor said that since all the tests came back "normal" that I could try an anti-depressant or an anti-axiety medication if I wanted to, but I said no for now.  But, I am starting to think that the anxiety is a result of the symptoms and not the other way around.  I am thinking of going to a regular doctor to seek out some other cause.  I still worry about it though, and I do think that the worry is sub-conscience a lot of the time.
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Hi, Erica.
I'm a newbie to this forum so let me first say what a help you've all been to me during my late night panic-riddled readings. I feel like I know most of you, and have decided to jump in and share. I'm a 39-year old married father of 3 from Cincinnati.
For years I've jerked awake in the middle of the night with my heart racing. Even had the exact same "shivers" you desribe. And I, like you, think the anxiety is a result of the symptoms and not the other way around. But, I took an anti-anxiety pill for the first time last night (Xanax) and I can tell you this; whether my crazy PVC's happen or not, I felt better psychologically -- and that's the biggest part of the battle for me. I've been on Atenolol for years. Rarely any PVC's at all. Then one morning about two weeks ago, I had several. Then a bunch more that evening. It freaked me out and I went to the ER. Same story -- you're okay, they're normal, see ya. My Holter was fine. My EKG was fine. My stress test went fine. But, I'm still anxious. Frightened. Scared. (I've got just enough hypochondria to convince myself I'm dying, by the way ;-) It's just really hard for me to accept that they just showed up -- in full force, no less -- after so long. Now they suspect sleep apnea. I had a sleep study and should get results tomorrow. (Anyone else have sleep apnea related PVC's or arrythmias?)
Anyway...
My support, compassion, or encouragement you want or need is yours whenever you want it. In the words I long to hear from family, friends, and physician/s... "I understand."
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HELLO, I AM A 35YR OLD WOMAN. I FEEL THE SAME WAY AS YOU. I SMOKED POT FOR 8 YEARS STRAIGHT, EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK. THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN IN JULY 2003 I WAS HEADING TO  EMERGENCY WITH A RACING HEART, CHEST PAIN AND IT FELT LIKE MY CHEST WAS ON FIRE BURNING ALL THE WAY UP TO MY NECK. I WAS SO WEEK I COULD BARELY STAND UP HAD TO GO POO TOO. HOT FLASHES, CHILLS, PAIN IN ARMS, BACK NECK, LEGS. I THOUGHT FOR SURE IT WAS A HEART ATTACK. EMERGENCY SENT ME HOME WITH MALOX. I ENDED UP IN EMERGENCY 3 OTHER TIMES WITH THE SAME SYMPTOMS. FINALLY WENT TO DR. AND CARDIOLOGIST. I WAS TOLD I HAD ANXIETY-PANIC DISORDER. THAT SEEMED STRANGE TO ME BECAUSE I NEVER HAD ANY THING LIKE THIS HAPPEN BEFORE. THE DR'S ASSURED ME THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY HEART. I HAVE HAD SEVERAL EKG'S,CHEST XRAYS,SCAN,HEART MONITORS. (I HOPE THEY ARE RIGHT) I TOLD MY HUSBAND TO SUE THEM ALL IF I DIE OF A HEART ATTACK..ANYHOW AFTER DOING MY OWN RESEARCH I GOT MY PANIC DISORDER FROM SMOKING POT. I DO NOT SMOKE ANYMORE IT HAS BEEN ALMOST 5 MONTHS NOW WHEN DIGNOSED.THE THING IS I AM TAKING MEDICATION EVERYDAY AND I STILL FEEL LIKE ****...I HAVE NOT FELT NORMAL IN MONTHS. I HAVE CHESTPAIN EVERYDAY.ALONG ARM PAIN, LEG PAIN,BACK PAIN, HEADPAIN,NECKPAIN,
NAUSEA,HEARTCPALPITAATION, WEEKNESS.DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE THIS MUCH DISCOMFORT ON A DAILY BASIS? PLEASE LET ME KNOW? DOES ANYONE HAVE SYMPTOMS LIKE THIS? ARE CHEST PAINS NORMAL EVERYDAY WITH ANXIETY-PANIC DISORDER? I CONTINUOUSLY FEEL NERVOUS,I THINK I AM GOING TO KILL OVER AT ANYTIME.I AM TAKING 20MG PROZAC,1/2 TABLET 25 MG ATENOLOL, 15MG BUSPIRONE 2X DAILY AND .25 ZANAC WHEN NEEDED (WHICH IS EVERYDAY JUST ABOUT) ANYBODY WITH COMMENTS PLEASE SAY SO...I GET NO RESPONSE FROM ANY OTHER WEB SIGHT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME
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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR OPINION. I WILL DEFENITLY GO FOR A SECOND  AND THIRD OPINION OR MORE TO GET THIS THING RESOLVED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.
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