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Anxiety and the heart.

Janette

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I am going to write a lot. I hope some of you will read and give me input.
I am a 48 year old female. I have definitely had issues with anxiety and disordered eating patterns for a long time. I can think back to childhood and recognize anxiety signs in retrospect. I have never been treated, but I know I need to be. I calling a therapist. But that aside....
From my teens on I can recall having trouble getting a deep breath now and then. It was like I couldn't fill my chest. So I'd try harder. Then focus on it. It would snowball into me gasping for breath. In college I broke out with psoriasis ( often due to stress). I've had what seem to be panic attacks in the past.
I was overweight most of my life. Tried everything to lose it. Starvation diets, overexercising, etc. My binge eating habits would always come back and bite me in the ass. Last year I was 325 lbs. I had paplitations. I made a cardiology appointment.. the doc had to cancel due to an emergency. My schedule is insane. I have two jobs, a family, community obligations, etc. I never rescheduled. I went on a diet and lost about 125 lbs. Palps stopped. I was cruising. Feeling good. In May o fell off the wagon and o gained some weight back. I yo.yo'd a bit. I noticed a lot of food and diet anxiety. Then heart palps came back with a vengeance. So my general symptoms these days are thus:
*. Heart palps. Far more than I .comfortable with
*. Disconnected feeling. Like brain fog. It's not true dizziness or a pass out sensation but it's generally disconcerting.
* Burping. I can bring up "empty gas" non stop. I call it empty because it isn't acidic or like I .bringing anything up
No taste, no scent.
* Constant preoccupation with my health.
* Somewhat blurred vision.

I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT with a cardiologist Tuesday.

This has been ongoing for four weeks. Is it normal to have anxiety be that non stop? While I have occasional.periods of relief , this has been every day for weeks now!

Two weeks ago I went to.urgent care because I needed reassurance I wasn't dying. My blood pressure was okay. The nurse called it good at 130/79. I call that okay, though I was worked up. They listened to my heart and carotid arteries. Sounded fine according to the doc. They did an ECG and they saw nothing alarming. They did bloodwork (CBC, metabolic panel, TSH) and bloodwork looked good.

Then I did bloodwork for my annual physical with my GP. Despite my weight loss, my bad cholesterol is super high. ( And.....trigger the anxiety). That said, my good cholesterol is great and my triglycerides were also great. My
sugar was 4 points over normal. ( This surprised me because it was fasting bloodwork and my prior blood test was non fasting and my sugar was 80). My mom had a heart attack and by pass in her 60's.
So....I am a mess over here. Palping on and off all day feeling generally out of it. Yes, i am getting checked out but does this sound like anxiety? Has anyone experienced similar feelings?
 

smilingsoul

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Not a doctor - but yes, it sounds like anxiety and the related symptoms from your body struggling with how to cope with it. One of the things you learn about your body when you go into therapy is how those symptoms are produced by your fight/flight/freeze systems. Especially the heart palpitations, the disconnected feeling, and the blurred vision. Those are all straightforward effects of adrenaline, which you're producing at heroic levels at the moment. The blurred vision is from your eyes dialating to let in more light to help you find the source of danger, for instance. If you've got insurance, it can't hurt to have a cardiologist take a look at you; I did when I first began suffering panic disorder in my 20's after years of occasional panic attacks and anxiety. They attached a Holter(?) monitor to me and I got to wear it around for a few days so the cardio could get a good look at how my heart behaved over time. Hopefully they're much less bulky these days (this was in the 90's). No heart problems found (aside from a minor murmur, which I already knew about). It was that doctor that made my first psych consult recommendation. I know they must see a lot of this, because its entirely natural for someone with anxiety to begin to worry about their health. After all that time with your body telling you "We're in danger!", and there being no obvious cause around - like a runaway truck, or a mugger, or a tiger - you would of course look within to find the source of the danger. Its entirely possible for anxiety to go on continuously for that long. It certainly did for me. Months before I got help. Be assured, there is a LOT that can be done to help you! By the way, if you have to pay much out of pocket for a cardio visit, I'd recommend spending it instead on psychiatry, probably with a referral from your GP. It will get you moving in the right direction faster.
 

Janette

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Not a doctor - but yes, it sounds like anxiety and the related symptoms from your body struggling with how to cope with it. One of the things you learn about your body when you go into therapy is how those symptoms are produced by your fight/flight/freeze systems. Especially the heart palpitations, the disconnected feeling, and the blurred vision. Those are all straightforward effects of adrenaline, which you're producing at heroic levels at the moment. The blurred vision is from your eyes dialating to let in more light to help you find the source of danger, for instance. If you've got insurance, it can't hurt to have a cardiologist take a look at you; I did when I first began suffering panic disorder in my 20's after years of occasional panic attacks and anxiety. They attached a Holter(?) monitor to me and I got to wear it around for a few days so the cardio could get a good look at how my heart behaved over time. Hopefully they're much less bulky these days (this was in the 90's). No heart problems found (aside from a minor murmur, which I already knew about). It was that doctor that made my first psych consult recommendation. I know they must see a lot of this, because its entirely natural for someone with anxiety to begin to worry about their health. After all that time with your body telling you "We're in danger!", and there being no obvious cause around - like a runaway truck, or a mugger, or a tiger - you would of course look within to find the source of the danger. Its entirely possible for anxiety to go on continuously for that long. It certainly did for me. Months before I got help. Be assured, there is a LOT that can be done to help you! By the way, if you have to pay much out of pocket for a cardio visit, I'd recommend spending it instead on psychiatry, probably with a referral from your GP. It will get you moving in the right direction faster.
Thank you for your response. I am seeing a cardiologist tomorrow. I have a number for a therapist and that therapist does psychiatric referrals should meds be needed.
I have had untreated anxiety my entire life. Incan think back to childhood now and see signs of it. I was anxious about elementary school. I forgot my homework once and I not only bawled when I realized it. I threw up several times. I used to chew things. For awhile I chewed wads of tissues.
My mom had heart issues as early as her 30's and 40's and while she did have a heart attack in her 60s, i.think her earlier issues were also anxiety based. She had tachycardia episodes with no known origin and had complete cardiac care. They out her on a drug called endoral ( sp?) for the tachycardia and sent her on her way. She took many ambulance rides with tachycardia followed by hyperventilation.( Probably anxiety). I recall going through a period at 9/10 years old where I would ask people to listen to my heart to " make sure it's beating".
I've had bouts of health anxiety through my teens, adolescence and adulthood. It's time to.tey and tame the monster now.
Glad I found this forum.
 

daughteroftheKing

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Oh how you sound very similar to me. I'm 39 years old and have had anxiety issues as far back as I can remember. It started as a child..I would panic if my mom would put a shirt over my head..I would feel like I was going to suffocate. Then it turned into a full blown panic attack when I was 14. As an adult I'm even more anxious but just recently have started feeling as if my heart is either beating too fast, too slow or palpitations happen. I'm medicated for the anxiety with anti depressants which can be a cause of palipations...but off of antidepressants is not good for me. I also have lost quite a bit of weight..I was 315-325 at my highest weight..I had vertical gastric sleeve surgery nearly 4 years ago. Anyway, I don't have any advice other than please seek medical treatment for your anxiety issues. If you ever need to chat send me a PM. Sorry you have to be here but glad you are.
 

Janette

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Oh how you sound very similar to me. I'm 39 years old and have had anxiety issues as far back as I can remember. It started as a child..I would panic if my mom would put a shirt over my head..I would feel like I was going to suffocate. Then it turned into a full blown panic attack when I was 14. As an adult I'm even more anxious but just recently have started feeling as if my heart is either beating too fast, too slow or palpitations happen. I'm medicated for the anxiety with anti depressants which can be a cause of palipations...but off of antidepressants is not good for me. I also have lost quite a bit of weight..I was 315-325 at my highest weight..I had vertical gastric sleeve surgery nearly 4 years ago. Anyway, I don't have any advice other than please seek medical treatment for your anxiety issues. If you ever need to chat send me a PM. Sorry you have to be here but glad you are.
Thank you for your response. I have a number for a therapist and I don't intend to get in touch after I see the cardiologist. It's time. I've waited too long .
 

daughteroftheKing

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Thank you for your response. I have a number for a therapist and I don't intend to get in touch after I see the cardiologist. It's time. I've waited too long .
You're welcome..yes that will be good. I would do the same if I could afford one. Take care.
 
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