Anxiety or AFib please help

Posted , 5 users are following.

ive suffered from anxiety for a very long time but recently under tons of stress and i started getting shortness of breath and pounding heart.. if i work out or even laugh my heart pounds.. its only when im worked up and if i go walking it takes long for my heart to calm down.. im wearing a monitor now since i saw cardiologist & i do a stress test on the 13th.. my ekg was normal & she checked my pulse all over my body & it was normal.. she said it CaN POSSIBLY b anxiety but we will see.. someone told me it could b afib & im so scared!! ive worked out before and its never been like this .. i kno your heart rate goes up but even if i just laugh it pounds .. can it b anxiety?!

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Nicole. Can it be anxiety, by which I guess you mean JUST anxiety? Sure! But can it be something else as well? Sure! Can it be both? Unfortunately yes, when you get some of these various arrhythmias then yes, they can suddenly get worse if combined with anxiety.

    But also be ready for the doctors to look at all your tests and then just shrug, or pat you on the head, or treat the anxiety and say the rest is just "normal" - when it OBVIOUSLY is not normal. I've had some of this for some years now, and I've seen it all over the support groups as well, and tried to understand it. There's a wide spectrum of small disorders that apparently are very disturbing but are mostly harmless, they are not the dreaded "afib". They can sometimes be treated with a little beta blocker or something that helps, but is no cure. Only if they get really intense will doctors even acknowledge them, and the available drugs or surgical treatments for them are only appropriate for the very worst cases - they can be very invasive, and do not always work very well.

    So at this point, if you've already had some examination and nothing leaped out, the chances are you've got some of these disturbing but ultimately pretty harmless conditions, and you can join us all in finding ways to cope with it and reduce it as best we can.

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  • Posted

    How high does your heart rate rise to? when I first went into Afib my rate went to 190 plus, it was like this for a good 24hrs whilst the hospital tried to control it, try not to worry though I know that wont be easy, this will just make things worse.

    Phoebe

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    • Posted

      not sure! it only goes up sometimes and its not for long... its only when i get excited or worked up.. its mostly pounding ... i dont ever feel skips .. just racing and pounding ... my anxiety used to just hit randomly every now and then.... but now if i RUN... laugh... TRy to work out with heavy weights... it starts to pound and i lose my breath.. i feel like i cant catch up to it ..

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  • Posted

    Hi Nicole. I have Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation myself, where my heart goes ape about 4 or 5 times a year. It's not very nice, but it's not fatal and can be dealt with.

    To know if you are in AF, you need to be able to feel your pulse, or better still listen to your heart or get someone else to do that. Don't rely on a pulse monitor or blood pressure monitor, as they do not respond correctly to AF.

    If you have AF, you will know it by the erratic spacing of the beats. It's unmistakable, the beat is NOT regular, and is usually higher than it should b.

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    • Posted

      right now i have a heart monitor on and tomrw i take it off... had it on for a week and then on the 13th a stress test... i dont have skipped beats... my pulse is pretty normal besides the pounding and racing ... i cant wait to find out on the 13th so i can stop stressing... this is very hard and even harder to live with but thank you

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    • Posted

      Nicole, if it's "just" pounding and racing, it sure sounds like beta blocker time. My recommendation is start with a small dose, or a smaller dose.

      And, if you want to not wait - go get some dark chocolate, at least 72%, NOT milk chocolate, and eat about an ounce or so. Has natural beta blockers! Can feel the effects within about thirty minutes.

      Longer term, fewer calories in the pills, LOL.

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    • Posted

      well ive had anxiety for a long while and up until two months ago is when the pounding started and doctor said it could be stress and that my body is always in "fight or flight" because im atressed non stop along with my anxiety... BuT IF ITS MORE THAN ANXIETY i will find out on the 13th when i do stress test

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    • Posted

      Nicole, I presume you've also had blood tests and such to make sure the "fight or flight" isn't due to some totally organic problem - although even there, I suppose real-world stress and anxiety can make things look funny too.

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    • Posted

      ordinarily I'm quite sceptical about foods to control heart issues but I can get right behind this one.

      I live in Europe so don't understand ounces, I will just have to go for the entire bar, just to be safe.

      Do you have any information on the benefits of Red Wine as well? asking for a friend.

      Joking aside, @nicole101681 to my non medically trained mind it sounds quite normal, stress can have a significant effect on heart rate as the "fight or flight" reflex kicks in, you may find taking a couple of moments to eat some medicinal chocolate is enough to calm things down.

      I have been through the afib cycle, I had it permanently for around 12 months and once it was diagnosed and medicated I found my day to day working and home life could go on without too much in the way of compromises. I had to limit exertion but was able to travel on business in the UK and overseas, I could still walk a mile or two so shopping trips were well within the realms of possibility, and I could still mow the lawn.

      You are doing the right things by getting it checked properly, once the results are back you and your doctor can devise a treatment regime to address the results but whatever the outcome it can be managed.

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