Anxiety due to health worries.

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi. I am in my early 50's and have suffered with panic attacks and anxiety for most of my adult life but have managed to 'cope' with it until now. My health has suffered more this last 18 months after having a severe chest infection which left me very breathless and no appetite  and when i visited the doctor back in January 14, I was shocked when he told me I had a heart murmur and was very anemic. I was put on iron tablets and had a heart scan which didn't show anything significant. In May last year I was called in for an 'MOT' to check BP, weight, etc and although my BMI is around 20, don't drink or smoke and fairly active, my cholesterol was over 6! I was a bit of a chocoholic so gave that up straight away plus cutting down on dairy products. Had another test in November and was dissapointed to find it was exactly the same. My Doctor wasn;t concerned though and said I only had a 1 in 20 chance of having a heart attack! Asked for another test this month as I found out my mother has been on statins for years but didn't know what they were for as she never told me but my Doctor said it wasn't necessary. The last few months have been very stressful for me regards close family and work and I had a bad anxiety attack which ended up in hospital recently as my heart was racing. Had various blood tests including a heart blood test which all came back negative though they said the heart murmur may need further investigation. Weht to the doctors the next day and saw a locum doctor and have been prescribed 40mg propranolol which I have been taking 1 a day but still feel very anxious with a slower heart rate. Can anyone relate to this please as my anxiety is based around the heart murmur and cholesterol level.

1 like, 12 replies

Report / Delete

12 Replies

  • Posted

    HI Karolin64  Isnt it crazy that we get ourelves into these situation.  I am sure you will be ok.  I had rheumatic fever as a child and was told that I would need to take antibiotics before every operation including dentistry as supposed to have scar on heart.  Years later they could not find scar.  Is the propramolol for the anxiwty.  I have anxiety for the last 2 weeks but used to have it when my husband pased away 5 years ago.  Had no idea it would come back.  Not on medication at themoment and dealing with it.  I also have cholesterol of 6 and GP put me on diet and have cut out everything that is bad for me.  Went back a couple of weeks later and level still 6.  Now I have lost weight with anxiety so hoping that will have done something haha.  Bottom line is that you have to get your mind sorted and try to stop focusing on it.  you are making it worse and making you so anxious. 

     

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for replying Joyce46400. That is my problem I know  that I can't stop thinking about it. The annoying thing is that I have completely changed my diet and have lost 10lb in the last 12 months by cutting out sats fat though I never ate a lot of fried food  and high sat food in the first place! Asked the doctor if it could be genetic but as my mother is nearly 90 and also has had high cholosterol for years he probably thinks there's nothing to worry about. I can't afford to loose any more weight as I will soon be classed as underweight! Also my father has heart problems with an irregular heart beat and is possibly going to have a pacemaker in the next few months. I keep thinking that my arteries are furred up with fat which is my I have a heart murmur. Paranoid or what! lol
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Karolin64

      Today I am in a positive place.  Had a great day out with girlfriend and although the anxiety is still there with raised shoulder my mind is in a better place.,  I had to take a sleeping pill last night as I had only been sleeping for 4 hrs and I feel that helped me a lot,  my headache gone, feeling brighter.  I got back to my thinking.....POSITIVELY......and felt like eating...really felt like eating and scoffed it down........ Now come on Karolin ...get in the act  xx turn this around.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Joyce. Glad you have had a good day. Mine hasn't been so bad today either and not felt too stress up to now. Yes the propramolol is for the anxiety and just been taking one dose of 40mg per day but it says on the prescription that I can take 3 a day. Going back to the doctors next week to ask more questions about it as I don't want to rely on them too much.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Try not to worry too much over a cholesterol level of 6, it is not very high and it is good that the doctor did not think it was necessary to give statins as they are usually keen to push them. I was put on statins for high cholesterol (over 8 at one point), they reduced the level slightly but gave me aching legs, headaches and made me feel generally unwell. I stopped taking the statins and lost about 3 stones by eating a low carbohydrate diet, and doing more exercise and my cholesterol level was lower than when taking the statins.

    Eat as much fat (meat, dairy) (and vegetables) as you want as it does not have much effect on blood cholesterol levels but cut down on processed food and carbohydrates (sugar, bread, pastry, pasta, cereal, fruit juice, potatoes) as they get converted in the liver to cholesterol. Eat plenty of nuts for snacks as they contain healthy fats and curb appetite.

    Doing more exercise will help reduce cholesterol and anxiety levels.

    Try to cut out coffee as that makes anxiety and heart rate worse.

    It is worth talking to your doctor again about the heart murmur for further tests or reassurance. I found diazepam helpful as a short term medication for anxiety but doctors are often reluctant to prescribe, propranolol reduces the physical symptoms of anxiety of tight chest and racing heart but doesn't help the anxious thoughts. It might be also worth asking about counselling through your GP to help with the anxiety.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Capodingos. Thank you for your reply.This is what I get so confused about with the good and bad fats. I didn't realise that nuts contain healthy fats and I have drastically cut down on dairy so will certainly introduce more of this back into my diet. I have recently been put  on propramolol and was offered diazepam a while  back but didn't want to get addicted on them so they are still in my cupboard untouched. Having a 24 heart monitor at some point to check on heart murmur as scan showed nothing 18 months ago. Still enjoy my one cup of coffee a day but use to drink a lot of cola and high energy drinks plus a daily bar o fchocolate up to 18 months ago. Going to the doctors next week to ask about propramolol as unsure if it's right for me. Thanks for all your advice as I have found it really helpful and hope things are still good for you at the moment
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I'm glad you found it some use, I spent a long time researching it all after being unable to tolerate the statins (several different types) and deciding to improve my diet.

    With diazepam it takes a few months of continuous use to get addicted. I take them just once or twice a week when very anxious (due to work related stress) and find them helpful, but get tired if I take them too often or when feeling more relaxed.

    Although it is cholesterol that forms blockages in arteries, the traditional view that cholesterol in the diet (from meat, dairy, eggs etc.) causes this is not supported by current research, and a low fat diet (where often fat is replaced by sugar or other carbohydrates) can do more harm than good. There is also research that suggests that we consume too much vegetable oils which can cause inflamation in the body and this could be why deposits form in the arteries. I have switched back to butter and use coconut fat to cook with. If you look at the ingredients for many products they now contain palm oil, which is used because it is cheap, rather than healthy.

    My levels of triglycerides (another fat carried in the blood) were 10 times what they should have been, due to an unhealthy diet and genetics (as other family members also had similar levels).

    A lot of foods advertised and promoted as being healthy are full of sugar, good examples are breakfast cereals and yoghurts. Checking the information label for sugar should aim for 5g or less per 100g.

    As you are not overweight be careful not to under-eat, but try to get a higher proportion of your calorie intake from protein and fat rather than carbohydrate. Obviously our circumstances and genetics are different and I am not medically trained, but I found I had a lot of misconceptions about food and reducing carbohydrates and exercise worked for me.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you again Capodingos. I have noticed that low fat foods do have a higher sugar content and it was also pointed out on a tv programme one morning a few weeks ago. I do eat  a lot of bread and occassionally potatoes and pasta but if I can't eat these what can I eat?  I still look at packages when I'm shopping though and use the traffic colour guide to try and keep to green and amber.Brought some prepared fresh fruit in a snack pot today from the supermarket not bothering to look at the label though but noticed afterwards that it had a red traffic warning to say it had high saturated fats! So confusing!  I was never given a breakdown on my blood test so not sure what good  and bad fats I have but will ask the doctor to explain it to me, Did try one of those home testing kits but with no success.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      It is OK to still eat bread but limit the amount to a couple of slices a day. I used to like to have 2 or 3 crusty bread rolls with soup, but they contain a much larger amount of carbohydrate than a couple of slices of bread.

      Instead of potato wedges, rice or pasta I now eat red cabbage, butter beans or lentils. It is necessary to still have some carbohydrate so you don't need to cut things out completely, just have less often or smaller portions, and eat plenty of vegetables and protein and some fat so you get sufficient nutrients and don't feel hungry.

      It is the hidden sugar and carbohydrates in foods like jars of cooking sauces and processed food that can be very high and all add up during the day. I thought the supermarket salad pots would be OK but they also have a lot of sugar in the dressing.

      Although fruit has quite high sugar levels, it contains a lot of fibre and vitamins and is overall healthy to eat, but fruit juice is not good.

      It is best to prepare food from fresh ingredients if possible so you know what is in your meals, I bought some cookbooks and started experimenting.

      Another family member has not altered their diet but taken up cycling and has reduced their cholesterol that way. A combination of diet and exercise is best but small changes can help.

      The cholesterol test done by the GP will have values for HDL (high density lipids) and LDL (low density lipids), the HDL are the 'good' type and the LDL 'bad'.

       

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi, I can contribute on the heart murmur but if your concerned about your cholesterol level then you could substitute dairy products for soya products. Soya contains a substance that makes the body think that you are producing estrogen and this helps as you go/or are in the menopause. It will help to lower your cholesterol. Also I have heard that there is a substance in the skin of tomatos  which keeps the arteries from hardening. I love cherry tomatos so eat loads in the summer and have been on soya for years because of intolerance. Hope this helps.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you Barbara. I'm not going through the menopause but take prescribed iron tablets as I became very anemic.  I do have mood swings every month which doesn't help my state of mind either so wish the menopause would kick in to stop the pmt but I realise that the menopause can start new problems too! Us poor women have to cope with hormonal problems too! frown
      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up