POTS or Anxiety? Tachycardia + ectopics

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Hello, I am 22 years old male and I need your HELP! I had to quit work, I did not leave my home for 2 and a half months, my family thinks I am crazy, I beg your help. I had lots of tests done that I will provide after I write my symptoms. My heart rate upon standing goes from 80 (sitting) to 120-150 (standing). I know about POTS but no one believes in this condition and everyone says it's only anxiety. Sometimes during the evening (never in the morning or early day) my heart rate upon standing can be normal ~100. I also feel at least few hundred ectopics beats daily. My hearrate during sleep is 60, and it's 70-80 when I sit relaxed at my home. Last 2 months I also experienced lots panic attacks where my hearrate can go as high as 180 (example: I was far away from home and I knew I had long way to walk but I already was out of breath and suddently felt fear that I won't make it, that's when I had to lay down not to pass out because of tachycardia, so I called my family to come and take me with the car). I also experience fatigue, sometimes it's even stressful to go to the toilet, because every time I stand up I hate that heart pounding feeling in my chest. I forced myself to do some walking every day so for the past 2 weeks I do 20-30 minutes of walking in the fresh air in my garden (I can't go far away) and I did help a bit. I have tachycardia and anxiety symptoms for 2.5 years (I was able to exercise a lot in the first 1,5 years) but it's only 2 months since when I can't do much at all and I feel like 80 years old grandma, sitting at home all day. When I wake up I feel no anxiety at all I just stand up I breath deeply with my belly, I think about good stuff and my heartrate is still at least 120. Also 90% of the time when I sit after standing or any exercise I feel lots of ectopic beats for the next few minutes. I have sweety hands most of the time and I started to be very very pesimistic about my life. Now I met 3 cardiologists and 1 pscyhologist and they all said I am fine. These are tests I had done: Echocardiography (mitral valve prolapse which is very small and they said I cant have any symptoms from it), thyroid tests (all good), blood tests (all good), 8 EKG (all sinus tachycardia, heartrate varies from 105 to 130), 2 stress tests - all fine except synus tachycardia and 1PVC+1PAC (I was anxious so resting heart rates were 110 and 130, BP 130-80 140-90, HR reached 170 and 180). My relaxed BP is 120/70. So cardiologsists said dont search for anything just live your life or try pscyhologist. Psychologists said I just need to live my life or try cardiologist again. Is it possible it's all anxiety? I can't live normal life, I feel like 80 year old grandma inside young male body. My symptoms started to appear when I was 19 and I had huge amount of stress constantly for a year.

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  • Posted

    There's one thing you need to concentrate on. The cardiologists say you are fine. Believe it, your heart is fine. You are so anxious, and anxiety about your health at any age, just builds up to the point where you feel defeated. When you say "deep breaths into your belly".......you don't have to deep breathe to get the benefit from this, and indeed, if you take too deep a breath, that's not good either. Put your hand on the top of your tummy, just under your rib cage. Breath gently but make sure your breath makes your hand rise and fall. Try to empty your mind, put a smile on your face at the worst times, this sounds wierd but our brains recognise a smile and you will get a release of good feelings from your brain, instead of the negative feelings you get when you look worried. You need some help with your anxiety. My heart goes out to you, you are so young. It sounds like you have a supportive family, which is great. A mild anxiety medication that can help you get a good nights sleep will help, but practicing the above methods will help you. I know they have helped me so much, and although I still get some ectopics, I no longer worry about them and their frequency has declined dramatically. Good luck to you, just please trust that the experts have said your heart is fine, and keep telling yourself that. Cheers

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  • Posted

    First of all, I thank you for your support, thank you for reading and understanding my problems and for your honest opinion, I appreciate that a lot, thank you thank you thank you!!! I remember myself few years ago when I was able to work all night and then without going to sleep I could play soccer for whole day and it was always fine. I was able to do everything that young people are capable of doing like walking tens of kilometers, working 24/7, I was junior world chess champion, one of the best students in the university, had a girlfriend, lots of friends etc. and then just like that it all switched to nigthmare, I dont have anything now, it's all lost. There are few things that do not give peace to my mind:

    Exercise intolerence: how is it possible that 22 year male (which is his prime years) can get out of breath only by taking shower and walking a little bit. My heart rate can get up to 150s 160s and higher just by making easy gymnastics for 1 minute. I can't stand still for longer time, I get so dizzy after standing only for 3+ minutes. After any exercise when make HR comes back to normal I get lots of ectopic beats. I agree that I have anxiety but I should be able to to walk long distances, I should be able to to stand for as long as I want even if I do have severe anxiety. I wish I never did read about POTS because I got lot of stress from it because - I did lots of my HR measurements with my iphone and my hearrate went from 80-90 (sitting) to 120-140 standing and then again it went down to 100s 90s after sitting down (I know that normal person would never do that, and they are not aware of their heart rates at all). I know I had 2 stress tests done which where totally fine except sinus tachycardia (anxiety can cause that, I agree), but there is no such a test like tilt table test here, and NO ONE knows anything about POTS in my country so I can't test it + my family doctor says that I have severe anxiety (I accept that). Whenever I read about POTS patients, their symptoms seems familiar. I remember the first year when I had this tachycardia all I did was walk walk walk, and whenever I had anxiety I would just go out and walk for hours. Now I think that I won't make it to the supermarket because that's too far away. Maybe that's because all I did for the last 2+months was laying in my bed, reading about different health conditions and walking 15minutes daily so I might be totally out of shape and maybe thats the cause of very high hear rates during the exercise. Maybe I just should ignore all my tachycardia and ectopics and just do lots of walking while I will get back into shape, but on the other hand this seems to be dangerous and those symptoms do cause anxiety + when I do feel tachycardia, diziness and ectopics it seems that I shouldn't continue walking. Conclusion: I know my anxiety can cause high heart rates but, I need someone to help me believe that this exercise intolerence, tachycardia upon standing, ectopic beats, diziness can be caused by my anxiety condition alone. Any opinion is appreciated.

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    • Posted

      You have obviously told your heart specialist and doctor all about these  episodes, and they have let you know your heart is fine. If you look up anxiety symptons, you will see the extent and severity of symptons it can cause. Stop taking your heart rate, keep up your walking. Breathe.....Try to cut down on coffee and tea, they are stimulants, chocolate, and anything with a lot of sugar isn't good either. Perhaps when you get up in the morning, sit and plan the food you will eat for the day, make  that your new concentration instead of your health. Before you go to bed, switch off your tv and cellphone. Ignore articles or programs that will upset you and make you think of your health. You are obviously intelligent, and right now, your negative brain is controlling you, but you can reverse that. Face your mirror, repeatedly tell yourself you will be okay. You can do it.... YOU CAN DO IT. Lizzie

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind words and wonderful advices! You really inspired me and I will give my best! One day I hope I will write a book about how I defeated anxiety and started to fully enjoy life again and inspire others to follow the same way!
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    • Posted

      With your intelligence and attitude, and your acceptance of anxiety as the cause of your symptons, I have no doubt at all that you will be writing that book. Keep practicing the right way to breathe, this really does work to reduce anxiety caused symptons. In fact, I heard on the news the other day that the authorities could introduce "mindfulness" training into schools. This is now a widely accepted, and acknowledged program that reduces anxiety dramatically, what a great idea to teach kids how to relax, in the current era of worried and pressured children. Get regular checkups, just to reinforce your doctors positive results of any heart tests. And go for it, YOU WILL DO IT! lizzie

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  • Posted

    I never reply to forums but if you are getting a consistent raise in heart rate upon standing in the absence of anxiety and you believe you have POTS, don’t give up until you see an autonomic specialist!! People who can help you definitively know are electrocardiologists who can do tilt table tests and neurologists who are familiar with autonomic dysfunction. MANY people with dysautonomia go years without a diagnosis because the docs all say it’s anxiety. I have POTS, they said it was anxiety and well, it’s just not anxiety to get up to use the bathroom and get to a heart rate of 160. I mean, yours could be anxiety, but if you have doubts about your diagnosis keep searching! 

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