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Rapid HR, Faint, Tingling Hands
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Rapid HR, Faint, Tingling Hands

I would like to know how to tell the difference between "stress/anxiety" and heart arrythmia or disease. I experienced a scarry episode this morning and don't know if it's serious. I was pulling out of my drive way when I suddenly felt horrible - faint, things went darkish, I couldn't really figure out what was wrong, but it felt serious. I backed up slowly and honked the horn for my husband. By the time he got there my heart was pounding so hard you see my whole chest jerk and it did hurt a little. My pulse was to fast and weak for my EMT son to count. I was weak, and my hands were cold and tingling. My nailbeds stayed pink and I never lost consciousness. I am 41, maybe perimenopausal. Have 5 mostly grown children. I am happily married. My bills are paid. I do not feel stressed. Life is good and I want to keep it that way. The whole episode lasted about 20 minuets and has left me feeling weak and my hands feeling a little funny. This has happened one other time 3 years ago without the after effect.

Worry or Dont?

Thanks
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PS I have had flutters, sputters and flip flops over the years - I limit caffiene to 1 - 2 servings per week, do not smoke or use alcohol. Nothing seems to happen with particular triggers and I often go weeks/months without symptom.
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you been seen by your PCP reguarding these symptoms yet?? tingling of the extremeties is common of hyperventilation, which often manifests with anxiety..
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Avatar_n_tn
I called my PCP and the nurse was suppose to call me back. No call yet.

My son says my breathing was slow and controlled, I don't believe I was hyperventilating - the tingling hands came quite quickly with the onset of symptoms and lingered for a few hours.

Can I have anxiety and not know it?
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97628_tn?1204465633
The tingling in the extremeties is a common sign of a panic attack.

Many people with anxiety don't recognize it . If you haven't had a recent physical, maybe you should have one. Get the works stress test ekg, Holter, blood work etc etc. If it comes out okay you may want to read up on anxiety and stress.  

Anxiety/panic, as the CC doctor recently emphasized, is a medical condition that needs treatment too.

I hope you don't have anything more serious than that.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also agree on getting things checked out.  It does sound very much like an anxiety attack.    Those come on out of the blue to even the most serene people.  Female hormones can also do a number on you.  

However, it never hurts to be on the safe side.  Anxiety and cardiac symptoms do seem to mimic each other and one can often cause the other.  Quite a nasty cycle.   It's good to know which one (or both) is going on.  I feel like a very thorough medical exam is the only conclusive way to tell the difference.    

I was admitted for atrial fib, in my early 30's,  shortly after delivering my second child.  Doc said there was no way of knowing how long I had been having those episodes.  I was never checked for that.  Any symptoms I had, were explained away.  The classic "hormones or stress" theory.  Afterwards, of course, I insisted on MANY tests.  You will need this for treatment... or for peace of mind if it is anxiety.  : )

Also, as a woman, the medical community has historically ignored us with regards to cardiac issues.  Be firm.  It could be "hormone" related.  But you really should find out for certain.  Keeping you in my prayers!!  
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Avatar_n_tn
have to agree with lilCharlie.  you should get checked out, and if you have another event before then, get to the ER.
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Avatar_n_tn
Get a thalium stress test for sure.  Get a holter for sure.  Dont wait.  Make the appointment.  It's likely overkill, but "IF" you had some sort of cardiac event, you will want to know.  Living in ignorance is not bliss.  Dont panic, I dont mean to sound over the top, but.....something like this is worth checking out.  If something is wrong, it can likely be fixed or medicated.  

Good luck! :)
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Thank you very much for your comments.

Of course I was hoping for a tell tell sign like "if you get a red dot on your forehead it's nerves and if it's blue it's your heart" lol

I really dread going to the doctor (which, by the way, did not called back yet). I don't want to be told I'm a hysterical woman in my forties. I feel great today so far.

Can you feel just fine again if anything serious has happed in your heart? My chest felt "sore" through last night - but seems perfectly normal today. It seems like if it was anything to worry about I would still have symptoms.

Thank you all so much. Won't this just be a hoot if I - a pretty calm and peaceful person ( occasionally a pollyanna - have anxiety attacks!! No one will ever believe me. Do they go back away after menopause maybe?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi - I have had anxiety attacks since I was 11 or 12 (right when the hormones started kicking in!) and I definitely think they are tied to hormones.  Mine are always worse during certain times of the month.  It's possible it's perimenopause and what happened to you sounds a LOT like how my anxiety attacks feel.  I would still get it checked out just for peace of mind and to be sure, but I think it's definitely possible that you could be having anxiety.  I think anxiety is not really a feeling in the mind, and not necessarily due to something you are conscious of, but it's something in the body or the chemicals in your brain.  Also, sometimes I start feeling nervous and panicked and think "why am I feeling nervous, everything is going ok?" but then I realize there is some little thing that's bothering me or I'm about to go into a stressful situation or something.  Anxiety is weird and I definitely think that you could have had an anxiety attack.  They are scary but once you know what they are and can learn to deal with them it's not so bad!
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Thanks again,

I did want to accomplish several things that day. And we had plans that evening. So maybe I was a little stressed without realizing it. My doctor's office still has not returned my call. I'm thinking I will go see them just to make sure, my chest still feels funny when I bend over. It feels fine when I excersise, not that I do that often. It fluttered in my throat earlier today and I thought o boy here we go - but I was fine.

I really appreciate all the good advice and the reassurance. If I have another pronounced "spell" I will go to the ER. Although I really think they will just tell me it's a woman thing that's in my head.
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