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Avatar universal

Anxiety or heart?

I have been battling chest pains for going on two years now. I have had the full run of tests (twice over) and all have come back clear (have not had cath). I am have been told anxiety and have fought that diagnosis for a long time. I tried Lexapro which did nothing for the chest pain.

Anyway, I have not been feeling 100% for a while and have just "dealt" with it because I knew I've had a really good workup by more than one cardio. Today is different. I have the chest pain, as usual, but I have a tightening up my neck and into my jaw (which I've had before too). I am pretty scared but can't tell if I am getting panicky about it or if it is really something this time.

I feel nauseous and am fighting to stay "sane" if that makes sense.  I don't have any other symptoms except those that are heart related.  (I posted in the heart forum too because I am so freaked out now!).

I don't know if I have a specific question, just wondering if anyone has this weird stuff too.  I don't have a long history with anxiety but I am quickly getting one.

10 Responses
Avatar universal
How do you KNOW when the symptoms are IDENTICAL?  This is crazy!!  I feel fine for a few minutes and then it creeps up on me again.  My pulse is regular and NOT fast.  That would be a sign of anxiety/panic right-a fast heart rate??  I would be in the er right now if I didn't think it would send my family over the edge!  (They've been very supportive through this stuff but it is getting old!)
212161 tn?1537898045
wow ryan you are awesome
Avatar universal
I know what you are going through I do the same thing, it is so insane,
I just got out of the hospital a few weeks ago with the full, stress test stuff.

Everything came back great,, but I still have the symptoms. I ask the doc,how do I know if it is anxiety or really heart stuff, he said you dont, you have to come in and get checked out,,, I know if I went in every time I had a symptom it would be every other day,,, I say if you cant get control over your panic,, and the symptoms keep coming I would go get checked out... Its better safe then sorry.
I am sorry you are going through this,, it is hell,,
I hope things get better,,,
Avatar universal
Ryan sums it up.  I have chest pain (right now actually), PVCs, faintness, and to sum it all up was diagnosed with a mild mitral valve prolapse only to get another opinion that says I have absolutely no prolapse.  Soooo, long story short - I've seen many cardios, had many work-ups over the years echos, monitors, stress tests) and all are FINE.  It is anxiety for me, that's for sure.  I take Toprol (beta blocker) and Valium as need for anxiety.  Works for me.  
Avatar universal
Ryan,

Thanks for your very detailed response.  For those who are reading this I must sound like a complete basket case but I assure you, I'm not.  I guess that is what makes this so hard for me.  I didn't have any problems until Nov 05.  An out of the blue panic attack sent me on a cardiac rollercoaster that has lasted this entire time.  It took me a good year to see that panic attack as just that---a panic attack and not a heart attack.  I still don't have a reason for that panic attack and that, too, bothers me.

I agree though, it is highly unlikely that I have a cardiac condition that was missed by FOUR cardiologists and two rounds of thorough testing.   After many other doctors as well, I finally went to a psychiatrist who was to say the least, very unhelpful.  Within 8 minutes he wrote a prescription and by 20 minutes I was out the door with an Effexor prescription in hand and appointment for 30 days.  I cancelled the appointment and shredded the prescription.  I know I am not doing well but I know that THAT wasn't the answer.

I don't have a rapid resting heart rate and rarely, even though I think I am panicky feeling, does it go over 100 (except exercise and exertion).  I do, however, have quite a few of the other symptoms.  I don't know what to do now.  I could go back to my first cardio, he is willing to prescribe anything.  He gave me xanax the first day and Lexapro within a month (back in 05 when this started).  Neither helped and the xanax was a complete nightmare.

I deal with chest discomfort daily in some form.  Yesterday and today seem different but I don't know really if they are too different.  They are more heightened though and that scares me.  I don't feel like I am getting a deep breath and the chest is achy now, probably because I was tense in my sleep.  

Thanks for responding.
Avatar universal
I went to the cardiologist yesterday.  They did an EKG and, of course, it was identical to the one they did initially back in 2005.  I asked about klonopin and a bb and he was really, really reluctant.  Instead he wants me to see an internal med doc that is also a naturpath.  He said that he believes that cardiac wise there is nothing else that can be done and a bb isn't going to be the answer.   We did agree that anxiety is gaining control of this situation.  

I appreciate your help and advise.
Avatar universal
".....and Cardiac Neurosis is a long term disorder"

Can this come out of nowhere??  I mean, I have never been a worrier and especially not a health worrier.  This all has come on after that first panic attack in Nov 05.

Does this type or similar disorders EVER go away?  Like I've said before, I left the Mayo Clinic feeling pretty good about my health.  I felt I had the top notch checkup and I thought that it would be enough to put all this craziness to rest.  Still the physical symptoms persist and they are quite honestly, frightening.
Avatar universal
I'm not sure if you'll see this, especially because it's on page 2 now, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

I just had a 24 hour urine for catecholamines and metanephrines.  I got a message yesterday that it was normal.   I did have bananas, citrus fruits and 1 diet dr. pepper that day and have since learned that these can interfere with the results.  Can't find out much info on that though, even by calling the lab.  Anyway, those results were normal.  That confuses me because I feel like the craziness that comes on after some of the chest discomfort is so misplaced.   I was in the pool today with my kids and feeling pretty relaxed and bam, it starts again.

Also, I have said from the start that it feels like there is something stuffed inside my left chest.  When I lay on my stomach it feels like something is in there pushing that side up and making it very uncomfortable.  I have noticed it feels a little like if you were to pinch a hose in half and the pressure of the water builds up.  It is very odd.  

Believe it or not, I do feel very comfortable with my workup.  Well, most days.  If the horrible heartburn, chest, jaw or neck issues are persistant, I get scared.  The panic attack still confuses me but I could almost get past that if this nonsense would just stop.  I walk regularly, at least 4 miles a day most days.  I take a great multivitamin and eat pretty good.  

If anxiety has quick shots of a dread feeling, like your going to die.  And a jittery, crazy feeling in the head that makes you think you should be trembling all over, but your not.   And if you feel like you are going to throw up and swallow hard to keep from doing that at times.  And lots of little things too.  If that is what it feels like, then I have to throw my hands in the air and accept that I have that too.  If the chest pains, neck and jaw and heartburn symptoms are all part of that, then I MUST be causing them and so far, no amount of positive thinking and self talk is working on getting rid of those.

Wow, that really didn't make sense.  Well, it feels better just to get it out.  Thanks for responding and advice.  I do appreciate the time.
Avatar universal
Thyroid did come back normal.  I did see an endocrinologist at the Mayo too but it was not a very good visit.  It was about an hour after my stress-MRI where I was injected with adenosine.  Not a very pleasant experience and I was VERY "out of it" for the visit.  I felt drugged and I think it was just the "stress" of the MRI injection.  Anyway, he did an exam but the internal med doc is the one who did most the lab work (all normal results) or it had just recently been done by my local doc.  I had a blood cortisol level but not the 24 hour one.  

I appreciate your thoughts and opinions and the time it took to write them.

Thanks.
Avatar universal
I had exactly the same for 2 years. Started The Linden Method from an online resource and although I still feel some of the anxiety symptoms (which I now know to ignore) I am now getting back to normal life. In fact I've taken up mountain biking and I'm 44 years old. In fact every Sunday my wife, the children and I all set off for a 10 mile bike ride.
Go to http://www.charles-linden.com/
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