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Chiari Malformation Community
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Avatar universal

Panic attacks? Or chiari symptoms

I have chiari 1 malformation and have been having these episodes mostly when I'm out and about where I have this feeling of wanting to suddenly pass out, my heart starts racing and I start to sweat I don't know if it has to do with CSF flow or its a panic attack. I don't even want to go shopping anymore as this is when it seems to strike. Has anyone had this problem?
9 Responses
620923 tn?1452919248
COMMUNITY LEADER

  Hi yes, Chiari can have an affect on us  and cause anxiety issues  and panic attacks....

I also hated shopping as the florescent lights  always made me feel off and sick....I always have to locate the closest bathroom as the effects were on my GI track ......\

I also would get very light headed.,& sweat...not that I wanted to pass out....but just off....not right...and I just wanted to get out of the store the more people in it the more anxious I could get.

We are all different so take notice to if you feel off b4 going into the store and then track what symptoms you have at different stores to see what the issue could be linked with...the reason you are at the store...sometimes we can be a little stressed over locating the right size or item in time ....so then the lighting etc...can add to that stress and bloom and become a lot larger...

999891 tn?1407279676
The best advice is to talk to your family doctor, if it is a panic attack he/she can help with therapy or medecation. If it is a Chiari related then you may need to see your NS or NL I think we all deal with feelings of anxiety, it could be due to many causes including side effects of medication so start with your Doctor.
Avatar universal
Thanks Selma and Rod44. I always wondered if it was the fluorescent lights or just the crowd of people and when this happens its almost like I want to run out of the store or lay down. Thanks again.
620923 tn?1452919248
COMMUNITY LEADER

  As rod pointed out., always tell your Dr ALL your symptoms and issues...they may not feel they are Chiari related, but far too many of us do share these so I wonder if they know ALL the symptoms we deal with....

4816750 tn?1368808270
I do have anxiety, I had it before diagnosed with CM.  I have let me DR's know and I am on meds that are very low.  Another thing is you tan talk your way of becoming calm.  The way I do it is you can feel you attack coming on. I start by thinking a calm place.  Then try to control my breathing.  Cause you are not going to stop breathing "just feels like it".  Next is to remember that your heart only seems to beating faster and harder, cause your breathing.  I know it is hard to do and learn cause I have had to be knocked out a few times cause mine got so bad.  This does help, cause I haven't had a full blown attack in over two years.  The medication I take is Lexapro .5 mIl
Avatar universal
Thank you for the advice.

Avatar universal
Good morning VMZ14, how are you today? I am fairly new here and this is the first time I ventured off my threads and noticed you and I share the same symptoms. I was diagnosed about a month ago or a little bit more with CM1, before I was diagnosed or even went to a neurologist for headaches I saw a cardiologist because I kept getting what I thought was heart pains or palpitations with sweats, a rush and nausea, I passed out once last year in May and hit the floor pretty hard had a huge face bruise for over a week, so I kept getting these heart palpitations and I get sweaty and hot and sometimes I see stars, as recently as Monday and yesterday, and my heart feels as if its going to come thru my chest, I get so scared. I too wonder if its Chiari related, Selma has spoken about drop attacks, different from passing out, the cardiologist gave me a heart monitor for 2 weeks, all normal and then an ultrasound, all normal, he originally thought it was SVT but he cleared me.. so maybe this is Chiari related. my body goes limp as well, luckily recently ive been sitting down watching tv when this happens, just my upper body goes limp. Are you looking into any Chiari Specialist? Surgery needed? do u get the headaches when bending down, brushing teeth, etc?
Avatar universal
Hello Frankie, With your attacks do you also color, as in do u get pale? My husband takes my pressure when this happens, like yesterday  he did every 1/2 hour and my pressure was normal, but sometimes he says I get pale, this happens to me a lot, the attacks of whatever sort they are, i see stars, i get pale, body goes limp, my heart feels like its speeding out of my chest.. just wondering if i could have Anxiety now or maybe this is related to GERD and Chiari, i do have GERD but watch very carefully what i eat to avoid getting the sharp chest pains.
Avatar universal
Hello,

Thank you for responding to my post. Today I saw my PCP as I have been doing really well with headaches, but have lost too much weight and so I went to have a complete physical. Sometimes when I eat my head hurts not so much a true headache but pain in my skull. I originally went in to see neurologist for headaches and an episode of numbness to the right side of my body that thought was a stroke. When I went in the NL ordered an MRI MRA of brain and neck with contrast and without. That was on June 14th. On June 18th she gave me results which she said no signs of stroke, I do not have MS, Brain was basically great except she said I had low lying cerebellar tonsils compatible with borderline Chiari 1 malformation. She basically dismissed the chiari and said if Advil helps to just take that. She said I did "not truly have chiari". Well when I got home I started researching it and realized I was having symptoms of chiari. In the past I have had neck pain, dizziness, somewhat problems with balance which started after March 19th. I totally feel that after working out on treadmill for more than an hour at a gym after not having worked out for months really wrecked havoc on my body. After getting off treadmill I sat because I couldn't stand then I continued to walk and had to stop at another machine I never got help which I think I should have as I felt I should have passed out. Well I was able to walk downstairs lay down and then proceeded to get a membership but I was really out of it. I never replaced lost electrolytes but only drank water. I feel like I am still paying for it now. Anyhow I did fine until March 27 when the very first episode of feeling like I would pass out occurred while out shopping at Marshalls rushing during my lunch hour one day. (not to mention I had a scare 30 minutes prior to that at home with my alarm system) Then is when I decided to go visit PCP the next day. She ran blood work for VIT D, b12, and thyroid. Vitamin D was very low 9 and also she found a heart murmur and referred me to cardiologist. I saw the cardiologist April 16 and he scheduled Ultrasound and stress test for June 23rd. He did not find a heart murmur on April 16 but I still had ultrasound and stress test on June 23rd.
My first headache that was significant was May 23 where I actually had to take Advil and I never ever take meds.. I continued to have to take them here and there and then had another episode of heart racing, sweating and feeling like passing out on June 1, July 12, and most recently July 19. These episodes are always when I am in public never at home so wondering if they are panic attacks. I'm sorry for being so long winded. Also todays headache is like the ones I had before having to start taking advil almost like zaps in my head.

I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon on August 5th I do not know if he specializes in Chiari but he is a very good surgeon according to my boss. And I have watched some videos as well. I do not know if surgery is in my future. I am scared about it since it is brain surgery. After finding out about my chiari I was very very depressed so down I could hardly fall asleep at night and then just to wake up hours later and not be able to go back to sleep and that really made me dizzy the next day at work. Also when I would lift the lead apron at work to take xrays and bend my neck to make sure patients were positioned correctly I noticed that's when I would get dizzy and just off. I hope I didn't miss anything.
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