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Anxiety and heart rhythms.
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Anxiety and heart rhythms.

   I know I have severe anxiety problems.  I know I get weird heart sensations.  Sometimes I know my anxiety is causing them, other times its not so certain.  My question is how do you know or can rationalize what is a dangerous heart rhythm and what is not.  Can anyone explain the difference of what YOU feel or symptoms relating to a regular normal sinus tachycardia compared to something like ventricular tachycardia?  
My symptoms.  Sometimes I feel a quick flip flop sensation in my chest.  Sometimes its strong, sometimes is very faint.  Sometimes its stomach gas, sometimes i think its my heart.   Usually I just get one here and there, but sometimes a few will come in a row.

  Another symptom I get is a very fast heart pulse than my anxiety kicks in and its terrible heart just beats like crazy i feel nervous and shaky feel like i cant catch my breath with a full feeling in the chest.   Its like what hatched first the chicken or the egg,  What is anxiety what isnt?   I have no insurance right now so it is hard for me to get the tests.  One think i know for certain is that I DO HAVE anxiety problems. without a doubt.  So its hard to see past the anxiety to know if i am suffering from a heart problem or not.

Thank you to the kind people who are willing to help me
regards,
paulie
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Avatar_f_tn
I understand about problems with no insurance, but if you can afford anything at all, it's better than nothing, since there is no substitute here for your basic EKG.

I'm not a doctor, but I have a lot of experience with certified anxiety/panic attacks, as well as nicely-documented PVCs, so I'll give you my non-medical opinion.

No matter how cr*ppy your heart rhythm is, can you do your ordinary, daily stuff?  That is, can you walk around, do chores, go upstairs, work out or run, and can you do all this without literally fainting out cold, or truly having to lie down because you simply cannot do anything else?  Can you walk and so on without nausea, crushing pain in your chest, or breaking out into a whole-body unimaginably cold sweat?

If so, the chances are that you are merely dealing with ordinary PVCs and not something dangerous.

Still, the only way to be reasonably certain is to have the basic EKG. You say that it is "hard" for you to get the tests.  That implies that you might be able to, even if it were a little costly, but a standard 12-lead EKG by itself is usually not terribly expensive. I'd recommend asking your doc about the price for this simple test, just to ease your mind.

AND if you have it done and everything looks normal, the chances are great that it really is normal.  The trick then for anxious people is to accept this and NOT to second-guess.  Their innate nervousness makes this part difficult.
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Avatar_m_tn
    Well I got an EKG, basic blood work and a 24 hour holter monitor a few years ago.  Maybe like four years ago.  I got this done because of skipped beat type sensations. Unfortunately I  didn't get any severe symptoms  on the monitor.  He said everything looked ok.   The new symptom I get is the racing heart beat.  Sometimes I can catch my anxiety bringing it on.  Its a very fast what seems like a steady heart rate.  As far as symptoms go, its pointless because once that happens I am already in a panic attack mode and cannot function right.  one time it happened to me walking home in the snow and i felt my heart racing was so scared and paniced,.. horrible feeling iw as breathing heavy my chest was burning .. could have been from the anxiety attack, I like frantically almost ran home .  thinking i was about to die.  I was able to get home though without fainting or anything but i felt like i was gonna die.  I ran about a block back home through the snow.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I know what you mean.  The cognitive behavior exercises haven't ever worked for me because my panic attacks come on full-blown, with no warning.  I'm pretty sure this is just my genetic makeup, since I've never been able to identify a 'trigger.'  My shrink agrees, and for me, trying first one SSRI antidepressant and then another (four or five of them) led to one I use when I'm in these phases.  It absolutely prevents the attacks--and interestingly enough quiets down my heart.
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Avatar_f_tn
Panic attacks are a horrible experience.  They can definitely cause your heart to race.  And worrying about your heart racing can cause your heart to race.  It is a vicious circle, the worst the panic and anxiety gets the more your heart acts up which in turn increases your anxiety.  I have concluded that most of my problems are precipitated by stress.  Once I came to that conclusion it seemed I got better.  It would be a good idea to at least go to the doctor and have him take a listen or do an EKG.  I doubt it's anything but it would be good to have it checked out the best you can.  Good luck to you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Maybe if nothing else your doctor can give you something to try to control your anxiety.  Most anxiety medications come in generic form and they are very inexpensive.  Maybe that would do the trick.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks guys, yeah my life is going down the toilet big time.  Everyone had high hopes for me, and I feel like I have no control over anything.  My anxiety ruins my life, and like you said its a cycle.  One always feeds the other.  Either my heart causes anxiety or my anxiety causes my heart symptoms. I am at the point now where I don't even want to drive or go anywhere,  Its horrible.  So I know I do suffer from mental problems, I have no illusions about that lol.   But I am not sure if all my symptoms are only that. I live a terrible life style now for the past five years or so.  I am 30 now, i smoke a lot, i do hardly any activity. its terrible.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know how ou feel, I was kinda in the same place a few years ago.  You need to try to take control back, just little pieces at a time.  If you could get a doctor to give you something for your anxiety that would help too.  But..this hasn't killed you.   If it was going to kill you it probably would have done it by now.  So next time it happens recognize it for what it probably is..anxiety.  And it's happened before and you're still alive.  I have found the valsalva helpful in slowing down my heart when it takes off.  Bear down really hard (like you're having a bowel movement) for about 10 seconds.  Then let your breath out very slowly and relax.  Do this when it first starts.  If it doesn't work the first time try it again.  This will stop it a lot of times.  So there may be a little control there.  Take a walk, forget about your heart for 10 seconds, take a short drive and get some ice cream or something.  Just take baby steps. And force yourself  to not think about your heart and anxiety 24/7.  When you do that you are feeding the monster, believe me, I have done it.  And the more you feed it the bigger it gets.  Don't let it take your life away from you.  Fight..get it back.  I know it's really hard, I have been where you are.  And I couldn't believe that anxiety was causing all my symptoms but I really think it was.  Hang in there.
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967168_tn?1343732745
I always feel bad when I read others have anxiety over pvc's and the way they make them feel and questions.  I wish I could take everyone who has these feelings put them in one room and talk to everyone at one time...

I don't feel anxiety over pvc's themselves, but I do feel anxious over what will happen to my family when one kills me, but I don't let the dreaded things bother me, what bothers me worse is every day stressors.  Stress is a major contributor to my problems, I'm sure of it and I wish there were a little pill to take to make it all go away but there isn't.  So, I have to find a way to deal and cope daily with problems, symtpoms, stress and questions that churn in my mind - some days are better than others.

How do we as patients know if the rhythms are dangerous? we don't, dr's can do testing and find out where our problems start but even then sometimes something that looks seemingly easy & benign can be something more.

There's a 95%-99% chance that each of our pvc's are benign; that leaves 1%-5% chance that someone will have something dangerous and even then it doesn't mean it will kill you - I think our chances to be in a fatal car wreck is alot higher...but that's just my quirky sense of thought.

Each of us suffer symptoms differently and what someone may tolerate, another person may never be able to.  If you're suffereing pvc's anxiety symptoms etc you need to find a way to deal and cope with those things.  Find a dr or hospital that will treat you and get your test results and look them over for your peace of mind - see if they say you have anything dangerously wrong or just pin the dr down and ask.  

I will tell you this; I was walking/running 5-6 days a week sometimes more - twice a day, push mowing my yard (yes Im female) in the heat & humditiy here in FL, 2 businesses, running around with my kids, doing everything I normally did and had over 50,000+ pvc's sometimes more; VT runs daily, for years and nothing happened.  

I was quite shocked as well as my dr's when I had my ablation that they found malignant polymorphic vt's - none of my testing pointed towards them being deadly.  I've questioned so many dr's WHAT happened to me, what changed, what did I do or not do to have this problem, the list of questions go on and on and I still do not have answers after 15 months and many doctors.

I went from being able to do anything I wanted and being able to work through my symtpoms; shortness of breath, fainting, HR/BP rollercoaster rides; frequent pvc's & vt runs daily to being deathly sick in a very short period of time.

You need to find that place that you know is yours, peaceful and the strength inside to deal/cope with anything (we all have it) and learn to use it.  If you can't, you may want to find help through a doctor with therapy or meds.  It is possible to deal and cope with these horried things even if they are dangerous =)

good luck and I hope ya'll find the peace and comfort you seek
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi. I am new to this forum as my 18 year old daughter is newly diagnosed with a heart rhythm disorder.  So as I see it, this may help your anxiety. There are two options and you do need to see someone to get a medical opinion as to which.
Either it IS just panic attacks and people who experience panic attacks frequently report fearing they have a heart problem so you wouldn't be atypical. This really ***** but you are back to the territory you know and are familiar with.
If it is a heart rhythm problem this doesn't mean heart disease or that you are at imminent risk of a heart attack. My 18 year old has a structurally healthy heart so I know they don't go together. I have felt reassured by my readings in this forum that these conditions are largely lifestyle threatening more than life threatening. With this in mind you can take,hopefully some of the fear out of it as the "worst option".
On the issue of anxiety difficult as it may seem you should Not refrain from going out and living life normally. Panic attacks can lead to agoraphobia when people withdraw. I am a bit out of the loop for these things nowadays but used to work in the counseling field, so speak to your doctor, but sometimes antidepressants can have a specific effect in controlling panic attacks, better than sedatives for this type of anxiety disorder. Good luck.    
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Avatar_f_tn
Lol... That wasn't a bad word, unless I spelt something wrong! Promise.
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Avatar_m_tn
i also had a problem of anxiety and d same symtoms (symptoms) as u people have i have also have high b.p....i wud lie to tell u frens that its a cirlcle d more u worry d more d heart will race so first do all d test if they r normal ..dont do unnesseary worry...coz its human nature to worry unnessarally......belive me its alll in mind ...we search it on net n get more n more worry.....m a dentist from india    email id---***@**** thank you n no wories  have a grt life enjoy
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