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heart problem or anxiety?
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heart problem or anxiety?

Hi
I am a 30 year old mother of five.11 years ago I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder,after fainting with seizure activity and then for an entire year I had anxiety out the yang.
Anyway,it comes and goes.Well I thought maybe the fainting was a one time thing.I was checked by doctors a neurologist and had a MRI,EEG,BLOOD TESTS,CAT SCAN.I was fine for about 5 to 6 years not much anxiety and no fainting.Then it hit me hard I fainted 4 times in a year and a halfs time.The first time I fainted before it i felt sick and then I just went out cold.The next four times it was HORRIBLE I felt sick so I just figured I had to go get sick and I wasnt worried.Well then my heart felt as if it skipped or dropped. I got very dizzy,vision got really blurry and out id go unconcious for about 3 minutes.Afterwards was the worst I was so weak I couldnt hardly move,sweat from head to toe,heart pounding,short of breath,and id lose my bowels or vomit.Of course I have been to the ER,and to a few different doctors.It seems I always get the same thing "anxiety and stress" After the fainting started again I have had an EKG,HEART HOLTER MONITOR (FOR 1 WEEK).I have also had palpitations and skippings and flip flops through the years here and there.Recently I have been kept up at night for a while because my heart seems to be beating irregulary I have a normal beat and then a slow odd one and then normal again.I am having a hard time excepting this as being anxiety.I have read to actualy faint is EXTREMLY rare. thanks Beth
Tags: Heart, Anxiety
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Beth,

You have several problems. Palpitations and syncope.

The fact that you are ok after multiple episodes of your syncope argues that the overall long term prognosis of your spells is quite good. Thats not much comfort though for someone who experiences 'spells'. You didnt mention if you had a tilt test. The nature of your spells might indicate that vasovagal symptoms be the cause. I would seek out a syncope clinic to further pursue.

With a negative cardiac evaluation, palpitations are benign. I would want to make sure the palpitations do not cause your spells with an event monitor, but after that would pursue anxiolysis and other methods to deal with the stress of your symptoms

Look back through the post to see how others have dealt with thier symptoms.
27 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I had similar experiences,but I didn't pass out, I had near syncope-usually while driving.  Which was very frightening. It didn't happen often. I had several types of monitors and also had the tilt table test-which showed nothing.  My doctor then decided to insert a loop recorder under the skin (just above the breast on the left side).  The loop recorder has a long life battery and any time you have an episode you click a button & the recorder picks up the event.  Your doctor is able to download this info. I found out I was going into unsustained v-tach. Hopes this helps.  Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, I just read your comment. Can you please tell me about your vtach and what you are doing for it. I too have nonsutsained vtach.
wmac
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Avatar_n_tn
How long were you having those near pass out spells,before the v-tach was found?The fainting and palps I have had started 11 years ago.Also I would like to have the insertable loop recorder done.I just dont know how though I dont have health insurance anymore. All I know is I just cannot accept the fainting as anxiety.I have found maybe 2 other people claiming to have fainted from anxiety in the last year of looking into this........their fainting episodes were not as bad as mine.I will mention the v-tach when I get a chance to see my doctor.


thanks for the responces
Beth
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Avatar_n_tn
My doc put me on a calcium blocker,as I have other heart related problems.  My near syncope was very sporadic,making it difficult to catch on the other monitors. It would happen several months apart w/no warnings.  If you have no insurance ck w/your docs about non profit organizations-United Way is one sug-that may be able to help or any state funded assistance.  I have not had the near syncope for at least a couple of yrs now.  A family member had sustained v-tach-who did pass out while driving, and an ablasion was performed on her.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am here to ask another question to whoever can answer...
Before I would faint I didnt have palpitations I just got a drop like feeling or stop feeling of my heart....isnt that normal before fainting because blood preassure drops? and if I do not have palps and thing before I faint would that mean it is possibly not from my heart?



still scared and frustrated making an appointment tomorrow the palps and irregular beats are still happening on and off for a week now.I know I am experiancing anxiety because I am very anxious and worried which may be causing the palps I guess.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the similar "drop" feeling followed by nausea, diarrhea and black outs or grey outs.  I often have these episodes at night.  I also have been told they were anxiety but found it strange that I would be woken out of a hard sleep      (when I'm clearly NOT anxious) by this feeling.  I now have sometimes constant PVC's and can say I am anxious as a result of all this craziness but am not sure what came first.  I am currently doing my best to relieve anxiety through Yoga, herbal supplements and exercise because I figure it can only help.  I thought it might be validating to hear someone else is experiencing similar symptoms. Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
hi!
Yes it does help to know I am not the only one! I have been checking into this for a while now.I do have anxiety idsorder for sure and can be an anxious person who doesnt always handle stress well.I have never believed the fainting and horridness after was all anxiety and stress.Now that I am having irregular beats when laying in bed at night and palps etc I am finding it even harder to believe.Like you I have this after even good days with not much stress.People with anxiety keep telling me they have felt they would faint but never really have which I have that as well ugh lol.Also site after site on anxiety will say people do not ever really faint from it ,or that it is extremly rare to happen.Ohwell, I hope I am not gonna just drop dead.I guess what I should do is just focus on my eating habits....I have stopped almost all caffiene (1 occassional soda or iced tea) mostly always water.I am trying to stop smoking,I have cut back.If it keeps up I will try anxiety meds again although I dont like how they make me tired all the time.
I have also talked to someone who had simular experiances as myself and they were diagnosed with Atirial flutter they said it is very hard to catch on the test most have to actualy be having a "spell" at the time of testing. VERY FRUSTRATING!
thanks for sharing with me though it really does help alot to know someone else experiances the same thing.Although it is unfortunate.

I hope all your doing helps you alot
Beth
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Beth,
I thought I would let you know what I am doing to help quell anxiety and support my heart.  I take supplements to support my nervous system- Adrenal glandulars, B- complex, vita C, Siberian Ginseng. And to support my heart, CoQ10, magnesium/calcium, and Hawthorn berry.  I try to get regular exercise like walking, biking and/or yoga.  I also limit caffeine and sugar, and make sure to eat lots of complex carbs and protein.  THese measures tend to help a lot.  
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Avatar_n_tn
thank you
I have printed that post out.I will look for those vitamins and ask about how to take them.It certainly cannot hurt me to live healthier.....ever since having my last child back in december I have slacked bigtime on excersice and eating right.I could stand lose some weight to like 20 lbs.


thanks again you have been really helpful
take care
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Avatar_n_tn
Did your palps get worse postpartem?  MIne sure did, I still feel like there is a major hormonal influence.  My palps also seem worse as I PMS.  I also just started working with a gyno to get hormones balanced and see if that helps with heart/anxiety.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes they did ....during one of my pregnancies I started having the real fast pounding beats that would stay there for hours and seemed they would start alot right after eating a full meal.
that was the only preg though that my heart acted up all the rest I felt good for the most part.When I was in hard labor and giving birth to my last child I felt my heart go nuts several times skipping,fluttering,racing.Then the day I brought my baby home I had to go lay down on my bed for a few hours because my chest felt sooooooo heavy I couldnt really stand it.I tried deep breathing and relaxing and it didnt help that much,it went away after a few hours.I used to have palps and skippings etc here and there when in my teens too but never for extended periods of time like now.I had my last baby 8 months ago and yes I have had two periods in the last month (on it right now) because my hormones I guess havent panned out.So maybe it does have something to do with periods.I think it would be a good idea for us to keep in touch like this and share whats going on with ourselves etc.My palps have settled some I dont know if the dropping caffiene and cutting back on smoking has done it or not but it would fit the timing.One thing I do notice that I believe my periods cause is swelling in my fingers and hands I wake up before a period starts and during a period with swollen fingers.Since I have drank ALOT of water before this period they havent swelled much this time.  I hope dont mind I always tend to have long posts lol.

keep in touch,take care.........Beth
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Avatar_n_tn
if you want to e-mail me ever my e-mail is
tn_momofive***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi
Have Long QT Syndrome ever been mentioned to you? You might want to check into this. A cardiologist who is an electrophysiologist will know what to look for on an ECG.
Kay
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks kay I will keep that in mind .
I went to my doctor the other day well a new doctor unfortunately the doctor I had is no longer there.Anyway,this new doctor there looked over my records as we spoke.I asked her about sending me to cardiologist for another event recorder,I told her I would like to have another done because the last one didnt catch any of the palps or skippings.....and that I am concerned that the palps are related to my past fainting.She saw I had already one which was 3 years ago.She then decided she didnt believe I needed another and she also said the typical " you are still so young" thing.She said "here is what we can do you can take a script for an anti depressant to take daily or a script for Ativan (benzo tranquilzer) and take only as needed.I chose the Ativan I dont like taking anti anxiety meds...eventhough I do have anxiety disorder and honestly with all these palps and fear of a heart problem im scared too.I havent taken any of them yet.UGH so today i did alot of cleaning around the house off and on all day felt fine not anxious or nothing.Then as soon as I laid down on the bed wham! my heart quivered like real big....i sat up fast and it was gone.  I am really scared all I keep thinking is what if this is not all anxiety.I just dont see how I have fainted 5 times over 11 years and these palpitations and its only anxiety? I wish all I had was typical anxiety attacks they are simple compared to this........I guess I just has to rattle on a bit......any thoughts? I really appreciate any responces I am a scared wreck
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Avatar_n_tn
I would definitely push for another evaluation by a cardiologist and as I said push for a cardiologist who is also an electrophysiologist. My daughter had several fainting spells last summer and was diagnosed with LQT. There were no previous symptoms. I have been evaluated in the past for nearly fainitng and palpitations and they have never been able to diagnose what is causing it so they always told me it was stress. They now suspect I too have LQT since diagnosing my daughter and have put me on the same medication she takes as a precaution. LQT is very serious and is sometimes hard to detect unless you have a doctor who knows specifically what to look for. I hope you get some answers soon. I know from experience how worrying it can be to not know what is going on.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi kay
Since I was told anxiety/stress as usual lol....I started walking today to lose some weight from having my last child who is now 8 months old.I have walked 2 1/2 miles today at a quick pace and I feel good even breathing better.I was wondering if I was to have long QT would I be able to keep excersing like this do you know? Also, I have had years 4,5,and 6 years at a time where I feel great for the most part,and no sikkiping or palps.
I have had little flutters and skips here and there since I was a young teen but not often it was a rare thing.This here with the nightly skipping and palps just started a couple weeks ago.
Doed that sound simular to you or your daughter? Also,my 9 year old daughter had pass out a few times in her life her results are different though afterwards she is fine she bounces right back and it has happened when she got pretty upset about something first. She has had an ekg,and a eeg both fine.
I am looking into any possibilities still......it is hard though I will be losing my health insurance by sept 30th I wont be able to afford any.....my daughter on the other hand will still have her insurance THANK GOD!As far as I know nobody else in the family has had fainting spells etc.....there is a long line of mental illness though also diabetes,cancer hard to say I havent been able to keep in touch with most family members which is a shame my grandad (moms dad) who i never got to meet did die of a heart attack he had bipolar disorder and when i asked why he died fairly young i was told he couldnt handle any stress and it worked on his heart ......that answer is kind of odd to me but anyway........I am trying not to worry too much I did take one of the Ativan last night and it did help alot....I will try to get into the doctor again before sept 30th and get a referal to a cardiologist ..after more testing if nothing shows I will have to move on my bigesst fear is dropping dead because of some unforseen heart issue.....thanks so much for your responces to my posts and I hope you and your daughter are doing well
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Avatar_n_tn
Now that I hear that you daughter has had fainting spells it worries me even more. My daughter had not had any symptoms until she passed out last summer twice in a period of two weeks. Her spells are brought on usually by stress or anxiety although  fainting with LQT can be brought on during physical activity and sometimes spells can occur while a person is sleeping. What brings it on is determined by what gene is causing the LQT. So you may be able to exercise without any problems but stress may trigger aa arrthymia and then fainting. They also suspect that overexerting herself may cause my daughter to have problems as well. I will also tell you the worst part of my story. I had younger daughter who died four years ago. She collapsed suddenly and unexpectedly while we were at the pool. She had no health problems that we knew of before this episode. It was determined at the time that she had something called Myocarditis. We now suspect that she also had LQTS since my older daughter was diagnosed. My younger daughter also fainted once about a year before she died. No tests were run at that time as it was decided that she may have been overheated. But we now believe that this faint may have been heart related too.  We have no other history of heart problems before this. If you would like more info on LQTS there are some good info sites. One is under the name SADS. I think the site is www.sads.org. But if you put LQTS into google it will pull up the site in the list of sites it gives you. Please check into this.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was wandering if someone could help me I have had chest pains for over a year now well actually its probally not chest pains cause its usually right on my breast bone or right below and I went to the ER last year cause I didn't know if it was a heart attack or not so they did an EKG, blood work and everything came back normal and they told my esphagus was irritated or inflamed basically acid reflux. but a couple of days ago I started hurting real bad in the same spot and then it would go away. Well the next night it started to feel like someone was pushing down on my breastbone and I felt like I was bloated it finally went away after about an hour or so. The next no pain or anything and then yesterday my left arm starting hurting but I had no other symptoms so I was wanting to know if what I had a couple of days could have been a light heart attack.

      Thanks,
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Avatar_n_tn
hi an update......I finaly got a doctor within the same office as my reg doctor to set me up for another 24 hr holter monitor .She said she is ok with making sure everything is fine one more time.I have now also been given Lexapro(anti depressant) which I started taking today .I still will take the Ativan when I feel its needed.I go to pick up the holter monitor on the 31st hopefully it will pick up some palps and skips etc and all will be well,or even if something is wrong I can get it treated .....either way I just want some peace of mind this is no way to live.



wish me luck Beth
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Avatar_n_tn
Beth,
I hope everything goes well and you get some answers. Let me know what you find out. Good Luck.
Karen
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 47 year old female who had cardiac catheter ablation a little over 4 weeks ago.  It scared the heck out of me, and still does.  I feel like I am walking on eggshells and will drop dead any minute.  I was on 50mg of Toprol XL for 3 weeks but then cut it to 25mg because it lowered my blood pressure too much and I often felt faint.  I thought I was doing better but a few days ago my skipped heartbeat increased in strength and frequency.  It happens most often when I am sitting or lying down.  I have a 30 day recorder which showes normal EKG's.  Needless to say, I am a total wreck, anxious and panicky, wondering when I will feel normal and healthy again!  I was always skinny, healthy, and fine.  This is putting me in a hole.  HELP!!!  It is all I can think about.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm 33 yo male, at ten years old I complained of heart pain stinging, sharp pains,. I would notice my heart when I would sit or stand up fast. In my 20s it became worse with pvcs at night. I would get out of bed and run around the house to stop them, and nibble on aspirin,for some relief. I always felt exausted, even as a teen and child. Doctors listened to my heart, used ekg and took xrays and did not identify anything wrong. Deep morning pain that was burning and aching, worsened and in June I asked for an echo, a acending (ascending) aortic anurism was identified 5.8 cm. I was put on metoprolol. blood preasure went down to 103/ 60. pvcs and some chest pain remained. added ramipril 5mg. pvc and pain went away. but then I had a new frontal chest pain with dizzyness, Doctor said it was anxiety reaction,
discontinued ramipril , started lysinopril 10 mg split pill in half take morning and noon. frontal chest pain gone but some tingling episodes in my left back remained for a few weeks . 200 mg metoprolol I split into 4 and take every two hours,. also I take lorazapam for anxiety, in the evening my blood preasure goes up to 140/ 90 Ive tried adjusting the timing of the pills and adding and subtracting but the evening blood presure increase always happens. I then I get a panick reaction with mild chest pain, burning and tingling in my left back,and I cant sleep.Lorazapam and sleeping pills put me to sleep I'm going to try a glass of wine tonight and see if that helps. Any thoughts? Shawn
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Avatar_n_tn
Aimdb11,  I know how you feel, it's hard to deal with this, I hope you feel better. Shawn
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Avatar_n_tn
I take Lexapro and Ativan as needed.The Lexapro is a SSRI that helps with the anxiety and Ativan a benzo that also helps. I take the Ativan before bed usualy because thats when I feel all the heart skips,flutters etc.I pick a 24 hour holter monitor up tomorrow morning.I had a holter done before for a few days like 4 yrs ago.Anyway,my story is above.I havent been diagnosed with any heart problems but it sure feels and seems like I have one........I hope im wrong.
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Avatar_n_tn
so i picked up the holter monitor today and have it on.I will let ya know what the results are not sure how long it takes though.




beth
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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like you are developing anxiety disorder over your heart condition.  I have anxiety on and off from high bp and heart pvc murmur and my dad died at 67 (2003)from aortica anurrism that tore/dissected and went undiagnosed in the hospital for over a day till they put him on a stress treadmill and he collapsed.
I have read into aortic annurisms and have read that you do need to keep an eye on them with the cardiologists  obviosly and it sounds like you need to educate yourself about anxiety / panic disorders and maybe start zoloft or some med. to ease your mind.  I think it has helped me.
I worry about aortic an. also with my dads history and my current cond. symptoms but in Jan. a stress echo was normal and the tech looked at my aorta caus of my dads hsitory and said he didnt see anything.  Ask doc. about anxiety med.
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