Panic Attacks and/or Heart Rate issue

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First time here.  In the last 3 weeks I have had 3 episodes that I'm not sure what they are.  The first 2 happened at night while watching TV, sitting on the sofa.  All the sudden my heart started this quivering inside.  Felt like it was located right behind the front chest wall.  I got dizzy, lightheaded, short of breat and felt I was to faint.  My bottom lip started going numb and tingling.  Getting scared by this I called my son and kept him on the phone with me.  Told him if I quit talking to send emergency help.  After approx 20 min I felt the quivering lessoning and after 40 min it was mainly gone.  I was just exhausted.  Again this happened twice in about 2 weeks.  The 3rd episode happened in the middle of a major city on a freeway during rush hour traffic.  Same quivering started, short of breath, severe headache at first that went away in a bit, right arm felt heavy and funny.  Pulled to side, called family but after 15 min of talking it was just getting worse and my left hand was ice cold.  I called for ambulance.  Ambulance personal diagnosed panic attack before I had been removed from the car.  At the hospital they treated it as a panic attack but I refused meds as I had to get my car off the freeway later.  They did 2 ecgs and both showed prolonged qt interval, which I have never had show up on ecg.  Now at home I am ok if I stay lied down but when I get up my heart rate shoots up and I get short of breath but no quivering again...yet.  This is causing my anxiety.  Wether I had a panic attack or a heart rhythm problem that caused me to panic I do not know yet.  Has anyone had abnormal ecg readings after a panic attack?  I

I will add I am a pretty intense personality, always have been.  Is it catching up to me?

Thank yu

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Linda, it does sound like anxiety, I often get fluttering heart, internal trembling, all sorts of weird and scary symptoms.

    I think perhaps you should have a chat to your doctor though, as its always wise to get a professional opinion, but please dont worry, as worry will only intensify your anxiety.

    Once you have been to the docs and had this confirmed, you may actually find it calms a little as you wont be worrying about whatever else it could be, and accept it is anxiety.

    Hope this helps a little.....

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  • Posted

    Hello Linda

    Yes it sounds like a Panic, Anxiety attack and there are medications that can help you.  

    Controlling breathing can also help as can relaxation Techniques can help.

    When you are at your GP Surgery he may have breathing exersises and som relaxation tapes.

    Your GP may arrange some CBT and the CPN can explain coping exercises that include the two above

    Mindfullness is the favourute Relaxation Technique at this time there are books explaining the exersises possibly on Amazon


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  • Posted

    Thank you for both of your replies.  It's hard to imagine anxiety can cause all of this! I have an appt coming up now with the Dr and will discuss all of this with her.  Hopefully she is well versed in how to help me with this.  If not I will look elsewhere.  I sure can't continue on like this.  I'm searching the web now to try to find some of the breathing exercises and came across some mindfullness stuff but have to research it all a bit better.  Thank you both SO very much.


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  • Posted

    What is prolonged QT interval? I have always had normal EKG's, but I have heart palpitations and fluttering in my chest and occasionally in my neck. I also have a heart murmur.

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    • Posted


      Prolonged qt interval is seen on an ecg. I don't really understand it myself but it can, not always, cause a heart rhythm issue. It can be genetic but it can also be acquired by certain medications. I'm not sure if I had a panic attack that caused the altered qt interval or if I had a rhythm disturbance that caused panic. From what I'm reading here it sure sounds like a panic attack though. I will update this once I see my dr and the cardiologist. I'm feeling less concerned from the responses and what I have read here. I hope this helps explain a little. I am by no stretch of the imagination a medical professional.

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  • Posted

    God your story is 100% exact to mine!! 

    I have exactly the same thing but mine only lasts less than a second or two, ill get a quiver/fluttering in my chest and my breath will go short, then thats it, gone..

    I have very very bad health anxiety, and it's centered around my heart for years now, first it was chest pain, now its decent quivers/flutters. Went to the doctors about it and he said ive had all the tests so its very unlikely to be a deadly arrythmia. 

    I also had a prolonged QT interval on my ECG, I've had like 20 ecg's in the past 4 years and it was only on the last two where I had it. Both the doctor and the cardioligists said it's nothing to worry about as mine was only just slightly over and the fact i've loads of normal ecg's before is a good sign.

    In the fact with the latest regulations for a prolonged QT interval, mine isn't even considered prolonged, i'm just unfortuante I had my ECG before these come into place so it's scared the crap out of me!

    And another thing, around 2.5% of the general population have a prolonged QT interval. Don't google it you'll only scare yourself. 


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    • Posted

      I'm glad to hear that Drs can see a prolonged QT interval and not be concerned about it.  I had another episode that scared me last night. I'll be glad for my appt to get here so they can tell me my heart is fine and what else I can do/try to help with anxiety.

      Googling health issues can cause anxiety of its own.  I swear I have had every health issue listed online...multiple times.  I just have to quit readingsmile

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    • Posted

      Hi @GYDA I discovered your comment from 4 years ago & would like to ask if you could give some more details regarding your comment about 'latest regulations for a prolonged QT interval'? Thanks.

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