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scared to excecise cause of my panic attacks
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scared to excecise cause of my panic attacks

hi im hoping for any advice im a 30 year old women ive had panic attacks and ocd since my early teens so I should be use to feeling tense ive had all the test done heart tests , lungs ect  to name a few every test came back fine my panic attacks went away  for about five years I never took any medication it just left until two years ago I was working out and I felt a bit dizzy it was a warm day so that was most likely the reason but I didn't think real clear and I had the worst panic attack my heart was beating so fast chest was on fire couldn't breath I honesty had to sit on the side of the road till it passed it lasted for about 5 mins it was very scary after it went away I felt so weak I walked home slowly at that time I didn't think it was a panic attack so I had a stress test and it come back normal the doctor just said that im over weight and unfit now two years later ever since that day I cant do any exercise even small things like if I park far away in a shopping center I panic I pretty much cant do anything that gets my heart rate up pver 100 because it always turns into a panic attack I cant take any medication as I also have a medication fear I think that's from my ocd I really feel so stuck I feel like im not really living I don't no were to start I mean what would happen if I had a major panic attack during a workout if my hearts already beating fast from working out then a fast heart rate from panic on top of a already fast heart can this kill me please someone help any advise would be great ps sorry for going on
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10894761_tn?1413641484

Hello there,

If it makes you fell any better, I know exactly how you feel, because I have exactly the same symptoms. My panic attacks (or pre-panic attacks) are so ridiculous that sometimes I'm sitting in a restaurant with friends and I start feeling my stomach a little heavy (because of the food, obviously) but I associate it with a heart issue, then I become anxious and my heart rate gets faster because of the anxiety, (and it's already a little fast because of digestion), so it goes to 100/110+ easily. Then I'm scared to stand up because I think it will make my HR goes even faster and I get "paralyzed". Most of my friends are not aware of my anxiety issues so they ask me if I feel well, and somehow I start talking to them and it makes me feel a little more calm.  Then I start thinking about the moment that I will have to stand up and walk and it makes me scared...

Yes I know it sounds crazy and it is! But I know exactly how you feel because your description of the problem is something that I could have said about myself. I'm often afraid that I can't control my heart rate and someday I will have a panic attack while my HR is already high, and it will kill me. Apart from that, I'm one of the "lucky" individuals to feel PVCs constantly.

But now I want to to tell you about the good part (yes, there's a good part):

It won't kill you for sure, and you know why I'm sure about it? I had a panic attack during my stress test (yes, amazing, I know). The screen was just near the treadmill and I was looking at the screen all the time to check my HR. I was already a little nervous, HR was 110 at the start. Then I watched it increasing, increasing,... and you know that's a nightmare for "us", at some point I was running and was extremely anxious, my HR went to 189 max  (according to them, that's 105% of maximum expected HR for my age). I was tired and asked to stop, and even if I was very anxious, the HR went immediately back to 150's in less than 2 minutes. Then I had a "new round" of panic and it went back to 170's again, so after that test I was pretty sure that panic can't make your heart go EVEN faster when you're exercising at the maximum rate. I'm not doctor, but I concuded that my heart just has a limit and that's it, it won't go faster than that, unless I have some arrhythmia. And even at maximum rate, you won't drop dead from that. Some people can keep that maximum rate for a long time, even hours without any problem!!  I must admit it was a good experience for me, even if it was scary at that time. After this episode I understood much better how my heart works and got a lot better from this insane panic thoughts.

So, if you have a healthy heart, don't worry! Just start exercising again, start it slowly, dont run - just walk, try to find some calm place to walk, keep the HR in the 110-140 zone for a start, it's perfectly safe, it will make you lose weight, it will make your heart beats slower when you're resting, it's good in so many ways. In my case it even makes the PVCs go away for a day or so! And remember if you have a panic attack during exercise, it will be just another panic attack, you've had it in the past, I had it too. We are still here.  

No, I'm not cured from the panic issues, I still have problems, but I can assure you that I'm feeling much better, I can control my thoughts much better, the panic doesn't reach a maximum level, I can control it!  And all of that because of my daily walks.

I hope you really start living your normal life again, because you can do it for sure!

14 Comments Post a Comment
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1423357_tn?1414258965
Just as a suggestion, sentence punctuation would help greatly to reader.

Explain to me what these panic attacks feel like.  How do they start?  What makes you feel that they're panic attacks, and not possible something else?  Have you ever measured your heart rate during one of these panic attacks?
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10894761_tn?1413641484

Hello there,

If it makes you fell any better, I know exactly how you feel, because I have exactly the same symptoms. My panic attacks (or pre-panic attacks) are so ridiculous that sometimes I'm sitting in a restaurant with friends and I start feeling my stomach a little heavy (because of the food, obviously) but I associate it with a heart issue, then I become anxious and my heart rate gets faster because of the anxiety, (and it's already a little fast because of digestion), so it goes to 100/110+ easily. Then I'm scared to stand up because I think it will make my HR goes even faster and I get "paralyzed". Most of my friends are not aware of my anxiety issues so they ask me if I feel well, and somehow I start talking to them and it makes me feel a little more calm.  Then I start thinking about the moment that I will have to stand up and walk and it makes me scared...

Yes I know it sounds crazy and it is! But I know exactly how you feel because your description of the problem is something that I could have said about myself. I'm often afraid that I can't control my heart rate and someday I will have a panic attack while my HR is already high, and it will kill me. Apart from that, I'm one of the "lucky" individuals to feel PVCs constantly.

But now I want to to tell you about the good part (yes, there's a good part):

It won't kill you for sure, and you know why I'm sure about it? I had a panic attack during my stress test (yes, amazing, I know). The screen was just near the treadmill and I was looking at the screen all the time to check my HR. I was already a little nervous, HR was 110 at the start. Then I watched it increasing, increasing,... and you know that's a nightmare for "us", at some point I was running and was extremely anxious, my HR went to 189 max  (according to them, that's 105% of maximum expected HR for my age). I was tired and asked to stop, and even if I was very anxious, the HR went immediately back to 150's in less than 2 minutes. Then I had a "new round" of panic and it went back to 170's again, so after that test I was pretty sure that panic can't make your heart go EVEN faster when you're exercising at the maximum rate. I'm not doctor, but I concuded that my heart just has a limit and that's it, it won't go faster than that, unless I have some arrhythmia. And even at maximum rate, you won't drop dead from that. Some people can keep that maximum rate for a long time, even hours without any problem!!  I must admit it was a good experience for me, even if it was scary at that time. After this episode I understood much better how my heart works and got a lot better from this insane panic thoughts.

So, if you have a healthy heart, don't worry! Just start exercising again, start it slowly, dont run - just walk, try to find some calm place to walk, keep the HR in the 110-140 zone for a start, it's perfectly safe, it will make you lose weight, it will make your heart beats slower when you're resting, it's good in so many ways. In my case it even makes the PVCs go away for a day or so! And remember if you have a panic attack during exercise, it will be just another panic attack, you've had it in the past, I had it too. We are still here.  

No, I'm not cured from the panic issues, I still have problems, but I can assure you that I'm feeling much better, I can control my thoughts much better, the panic doesn't reach a maximum level, I can control it!  And all of that because of my daily walks.

I hope you really start living your normal life again, because you can do it for sure!

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1756321_tn?1377771734
Anxiety, panic attacks and OCD are symptoms of serotonin deficiency. My OCD was particularly bad due to severe vitamin B12 deficiency but also showed up to a lesser degree with hypothyroidism and extreme stress. My anxiety/panic attacks were particularly of note with hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, magnesium deficiency. Exercise also helped drastically with my anxiety.

My heart rhythm issues were severe due to severe magnesium deficiency.  There are many reasons for serotonin deficiency. Figuring it out is another matter! I had more conditions on the list below including severe insulin resistance (eating too much refined carbs/sugars is the basic recipe for this condition) and for a while I had low estrogen levels.

Excerpt from Integrative Psychiatry: Don't Just Treat The Symptoms, Treat The Cause: Serotonin...

"The following factors can cause low serotonin levels:

Alcohol
Artificial sweeteners (aspartame)
Caffeine
Cigarette Smoking
Diabetes
Dietary deficiencies of nutrient co-factors
Ecstasy, Diet Pills, and certain medications
Genetic Predisposition
Hormone Imbalances (thyroid, adrenal, estrogen)
Hypoglycemia
Insulin Resistance
Inflammation
Infections
Poor Diet
Lack of exercise
Lack of sunlight
Problems converting tryptophan to Serotonin
Problems with Digestion
Stress and Anger
High Cortisol Levels

Low Serotonin Symptoms

Low serotonin levels are often attributed to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, obesity, fibromyalgia, eating disorders, chronic pain, migraines, and alcohol abuse.

Negative thoughts, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, PMS, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are also symptoms of low serotonin."
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Avatar_m_tn
Exercise actually will get my panic under control.
try walking if feasable, or even walking in place, or jogging in place if the panic gets bad. It will pass. You may want to try lopressor for panic attacks. I have taken it for years. It works fine in PREVENTING them. Not at all like xanax. Check with your doctor ... best to you.
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1807132_tn?1318747197
I am not a doctor but from what I understand there is a threshold for your maximum heart rate and it won't go over that unless there is a structural issue like extra muscle tissue causing the signal to get caught in a loop.  You can tell this type of svt by the fact it generally starts and stops in one beat for no reason at all.  You will be at normal rate below 100 minding your own business when all of a sudden in one beat be your rate will be at 230 or so.  It will stop just as quickly as it started.  If it is true panic it is likely to ramp up and down more slowly.  Regardless of the cause of the rapid beat exercising on a regular basis will actually help condition the heart so that it can handle the tachycardia a lot better.  Before I started to work out I would have to lay down when I had an svt attack but after I started a regular cardio routine I could almost function when the svt hit.  I believe exercise also helps relieve stress and anxiety when it hits.  The bottom line, and verify this with a doctor, but the bottom line is exercise is not made worse by panic and could help you condition your heart for when it does hit.  If you have panic often or simply find it hard to cope with fear you may want to consult a therapist to help you learn how to approach this in a proactive way.  Take care and stay strong.
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1807132_tn?1318747197
Though to clarify I would not recommend exercising when you are in the middle of an svt episode or panic attack.  But when you are not in svt it is a good way to strengthen the heart or if you sense anxiety creeping in it could be a good way to work off the excess stress.  
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1423357_tn?1414258965
If you are overweight.  If you are out of shape.  The elevated pulse and the labored breathing when doing anything strenuous are all symptoms of that.  I'd have to add that it's perfectly normal for your heart rate to increase upon standing or climbing a flight of steps.  It is normal physiology for a typical heart rate to jump into the low 100's as you climb a flight of stairs, or walk across a parking lot.  This would be especially true if you were a sedentary type of individual.  As Michelle indicated, and what I was trying to understand from you was whether your heart rate ramps up, of if it suddenly jumps in rate, as in one beat.  This is a key difference in whether you're experiencing a normal increase in heart rate, of if you're having some other kind of problem such as SVT.

You said something that I thought was key:
"...if I park far away in a shopping center I panic I pretty much cant do anything that gets my heart rate up pver 100 because it always turns into a panic attack..."

So I would interpret this as you're fine until you feel your heart rate increase, then you begin to have anxiety, and that feeds on itself until you're in a full blown panic attack.  If this is true, and you're frightened of an elevate pulse, then you need to address that issue.  Perhaps there's nothing physiologically wrong with you except being out of shape and overweight...... and I think the only way to clear that hurdle is not through drug therapy, but psychological therapy.  Psychological counseling in itself is powerful medicine.  I know as my beloved wife of 42 years went through a period of several years where the anxiety was so great that she rarely stepped outside of our house.  Counseling was key in her cure, and I would highly recommend it.
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you very much for your answer I found your comments really helpful
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks so much for your advice it made a lot of sense to me and I will start working out again now that I know the heart cant go past the max beats per minute thank you again for taking the time to help me
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you to everyone that took the time to answer my question it all helped thanks again
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Avatar_m_tn
your welcome.

This is a nice forum to come to when in times of uncertainty. I have received much support and good information here. God Bless
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10894761_tn?1413641484
You're welcome.

Try this little "exercise": measure your heart rate in the morning, before standing. It should be something between 65-90 now

After a few months of working out, and especially if you lose weight, measure it again.. I bet it will be a little slower than now, which is a sign that your health (and heart) improved

That's one of a lot of things that I noticed after I quit my sedentary lifestyle: My BP is normal  115/70, resting heart rate is 65 or less, I lost some weight, I have a LOT more energy, I feel more confident about myself and not checking my pulse all the time. I still have panic attacks, I've had 2 strong ones a few months ago, but after that I decided to walk even more, and it was a kind of miracle. Now I only have "pre-panic attacks", and I'm able to control them well. And believe me, that's all because of the physical activity. It's better than any medicine.
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you iam feeling a lot better after all this advice it helps when people understand what you are going though im going to start walking again try little steps and increase it thank you again  
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you
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