Heart Rhythm Community
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229880 tn?1289932991

I'm scared that I have a serious heart condition ?

I'm not looking to be diagnosed on here, but hopefully looking to find someone who either has the same symptoms, or maybe has some insight on what the problem is? I'm a 26 yr old female, and i've had anxiety at least since puberty. It runs in the family because my mom suffers from anxiety and depression as well. I've always had random anxiety attacks, or spurts of anxiety from time to time.. but lately it is out of control, and I believe something else is wrong besides anxiety. I'll start by saying that everything seems to make my heart pound. Even though I only use to drink one cup of coffee a day, I stopped drinking coffee because it makes my heart pound and throws me into a full blown panic attack. If it's hot out, even being outside for a short period of time makes my heart pound. It's hard for me to do anything outside in the summer because of a pounding heart. I woke up this morning feeling perfect, heart was beating very normally/no weird feelings at all..I had no coffee, but a glass of milk and some apple&cinnamon oatmeal..not 10 minutes after, I feel my heart start pounding.. it's still bothering me now, although it's not that it's pounding very fast, it just feels like it's pounding hard and bothering me. I have gotten my thyroid checked a few times in the past and it has come back normal (although I haven't gotten in checked in probably 2-3 years) The last time I went to the doctor for my heart (I was getting skipped beats where it felt like I have to cough to get my heart going again) The doctor just listened to my heart, said it sounds fine and put it off as just anxiety. I know anxiety has a lot to do with it.. but I think something else is wrong. I also notice that while my heart is having one of its 'episodes', any kind of psychical exertion just makes it so much worse. Walking up even a few stairs will make my heart pound like crazy and almost make me feel kinda lightheaded/fatigue, and I have to sit down and relax for a bit. I just want to be normal. It's come to the point where I'm avoiding doing things because I don't want to be somewhere and my heart starts going crazy & I can't control it. I also notice that drinking alcohol helps my heart - at least while i'm drinking - but the next day my heart is pounding like crazy. I don't know if this is related, but lately i've also been feeling like I have to yawn all the time as well, like I can't get a satisfying breath. I am unemployed with no health insurance, and going to the ER w/no insurance complaining of heart issues when you're a young, otherwise healthy woman always gets shrugged off as anxiety. I want to add that i've been eating more fruit, and taking multivitamins, and trying to drink more water...which I think is helping a bit..but I am scared that I have a serious heart issue that I'm going to die of!  Please help!
7 Responses
612551 tn?1450025775
You are right that anxiety can cause heart rhythm problems.  Do you have/take an anxiety medication? If yes, does that help?  

Can you correlate anxiety with episodes of pounding?  Have you ever measured you blood pressure when your heart is pounding?  If not, maybe trip to a pharmacy or anyplace you can measure you BP would be worth the effort.  I can't relate high BP with a heart pounding (with I interpret to be beating hard), but it could be a helpful fact.  You heart rate in BPM would also be of interest.  Given you can feel the pounding all you need is a clock/watch to time an interval of counts.  I like to count for at least 30 seconds and double to average out any short term blips or extra beats, which I do have.

Hope others can provide more help, and conclude here with a try to get the anxiety controlled.  That may be the solution.
229880 tn?1289932991
No i'm not on any anxiety meds..although I know that I should be. Like I said, I have no insurance to go to the doctor and get meds or anything...so i'm just trying to cope as best as I can. I feel like I know when my heart is just pounding strictly because of an anxiety/panic attack... but then I have episodes when I eat, or if I do have caffeine, or after a night of drinking..where my heart is just plain pounding..and then it causes me anxiety due to the feeling of my heart pounding and me not being able to control it. Which of course then makes it worse, because then I start getting really hot, I start panicking, my heart beats even faster, and I feel like i'm going to die.  I have a friend who dropped dead while running of an undiagnosed heart issue... and with all of these symptoms I am scared it's going to happen to me..
Avatar universal
If you can afford a few bucks, there is a remarkable recording by a well-known therapist named Claire Weekes that is surprisingly effective in teaching you how to quiet down much of that panicky feeling.  You can find it at amazon:


You can get some idea of the effectiveness of her techniques by reading the reviews.

If you are broke, a former anxiety victim has posted free audio files of Dr. Weeke's relaxation techniques on his website.  Personally, I don't like his voice, and he takes up an awful lot of space with his own experiences with anxiety, but finally gets to the exercises here:

Avatar universal
yawning is def. a sign of anxiety
1182699 tn?1297578384
I know exactly how you feel. I have those symptoms and I do suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I always think I'm dying, and I hate that. I've been like this since I was 22 and I'm now 38. I honestly cannot remember not thinking I wasn't going to die because of my crazy arrythmias. My cardio just told me last week, that I had to start living my life again. My arrythmias were not going to kill me and that my panic/anxiety cause the vicious cycle to overtake me. He said he was sorry there was nothing they could do for me, someone with a normal, healthy, strong heart, who just happens to feel what everyone in the world has from time to time. Docs always make sense when you're sitting in their office, but that's not a lot of comfort when all this is actually happening. I would take yarrows advice on the wesite. Best to you and keep us posted on how you're doing.
Avatar universal
This is really similar to how I feel! I know I have a history of anxiety but I get symptoms when I don't feel particularly anxious. My heart doesn't tend to race, but it most often feels like it's just beating too *hard*, and it makes my head feel funny, like I feel clumsy and woozy. I'm really scared that one say I'll just drop dead! I get this feeling often after I eat or drink something hot, even if it's not caffeinated, but especially if I have to do irregular movements, like going up and down stairs rapidly or tidying up, eg picking things up off the floor. I totally know what you mean, because if my heart is in a bad phase anything makes it worse! Even standing up or moving around a little. And because it goes in phases, it's so hard to catch if I visit the doctor!

It's at least reassuring to know some other people feel the same, so I'll keep an eye on this thread! <3
967168 tn?1477588089
Have you tried your state medicaid/health department programs?

If you haven't, you may want to check into this that will help you get insurance since you're unemployed and need medical care.  Normally local (ran by each county) departments will see you and treat you on a sliding scale fee; I'm not sure what the lowest amount is, but it may be worth a call to them and at least ask how it works in your county/state.

For anyone with medical problems who can afford it, the new healthcare plans under the PCIP program have just revamped their system and made it a bit more affordable.

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