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Avatar universal

Heart or Anxiety?

I have been suffering for weeks non stop now with some very concerning symptoms. I have been waking up with a very rapid heart beat, extreme light headedness and as soon as I sit up, nausea. I run to throw up, but nothing comes out. My heart rate elevates even higher and feels like it starts to skip beats and beat irregularly and quite weak. I feel EXTREME lightheaded all day. My limbs feel weak, long periods of time where it feels almost too easy to breathe and the air is thin. I see "stars" in my eyes. I am getting a burning sensation accasionally over my left chest and I feel as though my heart quivers when i sleep. The feeling wakes me up in the middle of the night and I cannot move in the morning because I am paralyzed with how weak I am and how rapid my heart is. I have been loosing weight and loosing hair. I get the spurts of intense shaking throughout my body. I have been to the hospital, I got 2 bags of saline to see if my blood volume would increase & slow my heart rate down, but it did not. I also got my bloods done and my TSH&checking for enzymes that cause heart attacks or organ failure or a blood clot, only thing they could not check was my iron levels and a few other tests that can are to be done by a GP. The doctor said all my bloods came back fine, no sign of inflammation or infection. My heart sounded healthy although he did say I have Tachycardia because my heart was resting at 139&my blood pressure was 118/51. When I stood it shot up to 159 BPM and BP of 140/68. The doc said I should see my gp because he said it is terrible anxiety. I have suffered from anxiety, but It has never felt like this before.  I finally got a cardiologist referral and he said my heart looked healthy, and that I am tachycardic and suffer from PVCs but i feel as though a lot of my sensations were missed with the heart monitor.. I am genuinely scared because This is a whole different kind of beast coming over me every day. I am scared I am going to die or not wake up one day. My life is ruined at the moment. Please help me, any advice would be amazing.
20 Responses
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear this! Have you tried going back to your GP and see if he would give you anti-anxiety meds? It might help. Good luck :)
Avatar universal
I don't believe it is anxiety though. I have suffered with anxiety my whole life and been on and off medication and it has never felt this awful. Even on medication my workouts were extremely limited due to the rapid heart beat and the palpitations. It seems that anytime they check for something the symptoms hide away. I am very scared I am going to go into cardiac arrest any day now because no one is listing to me or taking me seriously.
Avatar universal
You *are* being taken seriously.  The amount of testing you have undergone is clear evidence of that.

The problem is that you cannot accept what skilled, caring medical professionals are telling you.  

Bearing in mind that doctors have no reason to blow off patients who are genuinely ill (after all, a patient in treatment represents income), it would be a good idea to see your counselor to find out what your logical next step would be in dealing with your fears.
Avatar universal
I do believe I have anxiety, but i do not believe this is related, i cannot work out and my heart beats very fast, feels like it is fluttering and I am extremely dizzy constantly, my breathing is also quite weird - especially after sleeping or working out.
Avatar universal
You are describing classic symptoms of panic disorder.  I suggest you discuss this possibility with your counselor.
995271 tn?1463924259
sounds like panic/anxiety to me.   I hate calling generalized anxiety "anxiety" because some folks think this means the type of anxiety you can control or is the result of an outside stimulus.  It's not.

My body was triggering all physiological responses of a panic situation (adrenaline dump so fast heart, palps, dizzy, weird thoughts..all out of the blue), I wouldn't understand why, get scared, and there's this crazy feedback loop.

It gets fixed with cognitive behavior therapy, lifestyle modifications, and certain meds if you need them.
Avatar universal
As itdood says, it's important to understand that there is no blame or shame  associated with things like panic or anxiety disorder.  They are medical diseases as real as diabetes, often genetic and often life-long once they appear, and it's important to get the right kind of help for them.
Avatar universal
I have no situation to be panicked about, that is why i am worried. This doesn't feel like panic disorder as it is 24/7. I get not breaks, and the mornings are awful or when I work out. My heart races out of my chest, i feel flutters in my chest, hard to breathe, sometimes "too easy" to breathe. I can't walk for very long. If i run my heart starts to beat out of sync, and when i throw up, my heart beat goes extremely weak and my chest feels as though my heart is going to stop.
995271 tn?1463924259
"I have no situation to be panicked about,"

This is my point!!!  anxiety disorder or panic disorder have nothing to do with a stimulus.  Meaning, "it's out of the blue".

Your body is triggering the flight or fight response when it's not called for.  There's all sorts of reasons it can happen.  Seek assistance for this.
Avatar universal
What itdood says.

I can't tell you how many times I've been enjoying myself, doing things I absolutely loved, when I was suddenly disabled by fear, feeling most of the awful sensations you describe.

It ruined a number of years of my life, until I found a good shrink.  He tried me out on several different kinds of meds to help with the worst symptoms (and if you are offered medication, TAKE IT), and my life got a whole lot better.

You probably will not be offered the old-fashioned shrink sessions these days, because most physicians now believe they are dealing with a medical disorder.
Avatar universal
I also hear the "it anxiety" thing, and your case doesnt sound like it. Get it checked by a cardiologist.
Avatar universal
Anxiety is a horrible thing. I have had some good advice on here that has helped me but I'm sitting herein the middle of the night with palpitations every other beat, not sure whether to go to hospital, I'm so tired as been going on for days now, please give me some advice
Avatar universal
OK, having been there, I ask you this:

Can you get up, get a glass of water, walk around, play with the internet?  Could you make a midnight snack?  Can you walk up some stairs?  Could you go to the grocery store for something you needed? If you had to, could you run after your kid if she got out onto the street all of a sudden in the middle of the night?

If so, your palpitations are almost certainly benign.

If so, your emotional reactions to a heart-hiccup are the problem. There are specialists in anxiety treatment who could give you real help.
1807132 tn?1318743597
Have you worn a holter monitor?  You say you have daily symptoms this would catch them.  If however you wore a monitor and the concerning symptoms went hiding (this happens a lot more than you might realize)  then ask for a 30 day monitor to catch what is going on.  There are different kinds so it may not record automatically which might cause you to miss some of the stuff while sleeping but it would be helpful to catch the quivering you are sensing to know that that is.  At least if you had this all recorded you would know what you are dealing with.  

The things you can do that may help the situation is drink lots and lots of water.  Cut out all caffeine (especially energy drinks) and sugar and even cut back on carbohydrates and address any stomach issues as things like acid reflux can cause the heart to act up.  Once you can safely rule out that all your heart symptoms have been investigate and found benign then you can work on investigating other avenues to address the tachycardia because not all tachycardia is because of there being a heart issue.  Sometimes it is other factors outside the heart causing the high rate.  Best of luck sorting it out.  
Avatar universal
I too this past couple of weeks have been waking up in the middle of the night to my heart racing . it scares me ive been to cardioligst they claim its benign epotopic rhytm disorder cuased from stress...I just began taking generic Zoloft and on it for 10 days wondering if its making me worse.
I also suffer from the same fears you do but I never get it during the day only at night when sleeping or first awaking in the morning and its accompanied by shakiness sometimes..
Avatar universal
Most meds like Zoloft require TWO full weeks to get an idea of their effectiveness, and a full month to see the true effect.   Stick to the meds--but call the doc who prescribed it and tell him/her about your problems.

Occasionally, you need a short-term blip of something like Ativan to get you over the hump.

Bottom line:  Call the doc back and explain what's going on.  We think docs know it all.  They do know a lot, but they are not mind-readers.  They need feedback from their patients.
Avatar universal
I too suffer from anxiety and irregular heart beats, skipping, pausing, tachycardia.  Started with ectopic beats 21 years ago, the pausing beats are upsetting to me which does not help anxiety.  You can wear a heart monitor for a month, maybe longer, but if you are having tachycardia constantly doesn't seem it would take long to see whats going on with your heart.  There is a syndrome called Hyperadrenergic Syndrome you can google it.  Whatever is causing you to have a fast heart rate everyday needs to be taken seriously, that would make anyone dizzy.  You might need meds to slow down your heart and maybe something to relax you.  See a cardiologist that specializes in rhythm disorders.  Good luck, sorry you are going through this, hope you get help to feel better!!
Avatar universal
Can you get up, get a glass of water, walk around, play with the internet?  
It takes me a good hour to be able to have the strength to get out of bed, I usually get a glass of water before bed knowing I cannot get one in the morning for a while, I can go on my laptop but its usually sitting in bed.

Could you make a midnight snack? No, once I fall asleep it takes me a while to get the strength to move once I wake up.

Can you walk up some stairs?  not without a rapid heart rate and shortness of breath.

Could you go to the grocery store for something you needed? No, because the lightheadedness has prevented me from driving

If you had to, could you run after your kid if she got out onto the street all of a sudden in the middle of the night? No, i have no strength to run
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply! Just an update, my GP kept trying to "up" my dosage and giving me Benzo's, just masking the problem. I saw a cardiologist and he ran an echo, stress test and EKG holter (which i have on at the moment). He saw enough to want to refer me for a Tilt Table Test. I still have all the symptoms, but i am trying to deal with them. I am going to go to the USA and pay to get the tilt table test because the wait here is about 8-12 months. I also have been to a new GP as I have lost all trust in my one I have had for years and he is sending me for a huge panel of blood work and to a neurologist to look for something called Autonomic Neuropathy which can in turn tie in with POTS (the reason for the tilt table test). I am an anxious person, but i know this is not anxiety and I appreciate all the advice and support on here. Never give up on your gut instinct.
Avatar universal
Hopefully you will get some answers soon.  I also had 2 tilt table test done, years ago, 19 to be exact.  I was at a restaurant and after eating a meal and having a margarita I started feeling like I was going to faint, I got up from the table and with the help of my sister in law made it outside before I passed out and came to really quick.  I went to the hospital, they could see that my heart rate would go up and blood pressure would go down when they would have me lay , then sit up and then stand.  When I had the first tilt table test, they wouldn't give me the medication they normally give people for this test, which increases your heart rate and would make you pass out if you have the condition they were looking for, I didn't pass out, and my heart was already elevated to 120 at least.  The second time from a different cardiologist I had the same test, this time the Dr. told them to give me the medication that increases the heart rate, even though it was high already, I did pass out this time.  My diagnoses was I needed more salt.  I found it hard to believe.  I didn't think I was salt deprived.  Anyhow a couple more times of almost passing out, I layed down and that kept me from passing out.  Now I don't have that problem, over the years it stopped.  I've been told that I could have to much adrenaline, the test results were at the top of normal, Doctors call it the fight or flight syndrome (Hyperadrenergic syndrome).  What I do know as 21 years ago the ectopic beats didn't bother me the way the ones I have now do, the pausing, taking away of my breath, one time it got stuck for about 13 min. before it returned to a normal rhythm.  I see my cardiologist regularly, I've had all the test, I know anxiety doesnt help but it happens when I'm not feeling anxious.  I do take klonopin as needed, I wish I didn't take it, but it does help calm me when I'm having a bad one.  Haven't taken any thing else for it, the Dr. gave me metropolol, in case I want to try it.  I remember him telling me years ago that it could cause more  problems, so now that he is telling me I could try it, I'm a little afraid.  Oh well, just happy for the good days!  I hope you get the answers and help to make you feel better.  Keep me posted, take care!
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