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Enlarged Heart
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Enlarged Heart

I am a 21 year old male and over the last year I have noticed that I had slightly elevated systolic pressure and on some occasions the diastolic was high. Typically the readings were 140 / 80, where some times diastolic was 90 or 95. I attributed much of this to stress with university, I am under a lot of pressure. On some occasions my blood pressure was normal i.e. 120 / 80 or 120 / 70.

Subsequently, I went to my GP in June, he performed an ECG and blood tests, he said the ECG showed "a prominent peak" and that he was referring me to a cardiologist. I saw the cardiologist in August, he listened to my heart, took my blood pressure and gave me an ECG. The pressure was 130 / 80 which is good considering hospitals make me really anxious and I was very nervous that day. In his report he said " heart sounds were normal althought a faint systolic and diastolic aortic murmur could be heard". He also said the 12 lead ECG was normal. He said in light of the above he was referring me for an echocardiogram, another ECG and a 24 hour blood pressure monitor.

During the process of waiting for the tests from the cardiologist, I began to suffer from bad panic attacks. When the panic attacks first began I went to hospital thinking I was having a heart attack and the doctors took an ECG, both the charge nurse and the doctor (registrar) said the ECG was normal, they sent me home.

Two days later, I had another panic attack and couldn't breathe so I went back to hospital, where another GP took an ECG and said it showed I had cardiomyopathy. I should note that he took the ECG during the panic attack, my pulse was 120 and my blood pressure went up to 200 / 110 during this attack -  it has never been that high before. I was then transffered to the A & E where another doctor (registrar) took an ECG and said it could suggest a possible thickening of the left ventricle but that he would not make a diagnosis until I had the echo done.

Sorry for the long post, I am totally lost and scared. I am getting mixed messages from the doctors, the cardiologist told me back in August that his feeling was "there would be nothing of significant pathology to note" and now I am being told by a GP that I have a serious heart condition. I had the echo done 5 weeks ago and still am waiting for the results, I don't know if this means there is nothing wrong or what. It seems I have one ECG and it is normal and I have another one during my panic attack and it says I have a heart problem. The anxiety issues I am having are only clouding the problem as it is difficult to differentiate between whether this is stress related or heart related, I am seeing a councillor for the anxiety problems. I should also mention that since the anxiety began 1.5 months ago, I have been having palpitations every day.
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159619_tn?1318997813
First off, relax. Anxiety attacks will only complicate your condition. I too had  issues with heart anxiety and I could bring all these symptoms on when I got to thinking too much or reading too much on the Internet. There is no sense in worrying until you know what's going on with your tests. It sounds like you are in England? After 5 weeks, I'm sure someone has looked at your echo, normally it is looked at right away for obvious issues with your heart structure,  and if there was anything serious you would know by now, they can't and won't risk keeping this info from you. Secondly, even if you have some thickening of your left ventricle, it can be reversed by taking care of the underlying condition causing the issues, normally high blood pressure.

I know it's hard, but try to relax. I know first hand that anxiety attacks will raise your blood pressure, cause SOB and palps, don't do that to yourself. You need to track down the doctor and get your results. The fact that you have not heard anything yet is most likely a good thing, I think you'll be OK, just relax and get the facts.

Good Luck and reach out if I can help,

Jon
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Thank you, it's hard not to worry.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,

Just wanted to chime in with Erijon - hang in there.  You're getting the right care and while ECGs are a great tool they are not reliable on their own to diagnose issues like cardiomyopathy, cavity thickness etc (and often give false positives etc).  The echo will tell you what you need to know and, with 5 weeks gone by, I'd be calling to find out what it says - even in the Brisith system you should have your results by now.  Keep working with your "councillor", consider looking into meditation or breathing techniques (fastest, cheapest method for managing stress for most people from what I can tell) and let us know about any changes and we'll do our best to offer info.  Best of luck.
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