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Author Topic: Worried About Heart!  (Read 2050 times)

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Offline fearnot

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2013, 10:20:56 AM »
Nobody with anxiety should be drinking alcohol if they can't cope with the symptoms. Why? Well, drinking alcohol temporarily raises serotonin levels in a burst, then lowers them. Trying to counter the sedative affects of alcohol, while you think you're relaxing, the nervous system actually puts the body into a state of hyperactivity. Along with a drop in blood sugar and dehydration (alcohol acts as a diuretic), this can cause palpitations, dizziness, confusion, nervousness, muscle weakness, shaking and sleep deprivation. Alcohol circulates in your system for around 12 hours... yeah, been through that experience a few too many times myself. Not fun.

Good news that your heart is normal from the recent ECGs. Actually, anxiety releases chemicals in your body during palpitations to protect your heart.. no damage happening. I had the same symptoms as you at 23, and 7 years later, even after literally days of non-stop palpitations, I'm still here and OK :D

If you want to look after your heart better, eat Omega-3 in the form of fish oils. You're doing Paleo, so that should be helping, right?
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2013, 07:42:26 PM »
Thanks for your response, fearnot. I stopped drinking alcohol altogether (it's off the Paleo diet anyway). I can have a drink or two (not more than that) every now and then but for now, I'll just be alcohol-free. I've been taking omega-3 fish oil capsules three times a day (what's recommended on the label). Paleo is helping. I also had a stress test and that was normal.

Let's just summarize this: I've had 3 EKGs, a chest x-ray and a stress test - ALL have come up normal. I think I can relax now!

I'm exercising regularly now (I was afraid for a while for fear that my heart would act up or something), especially since I got my HR up to 180 during the stress test and I was fine (and I'm a runner and never have had any issues during a race).

The main symptoms I have are brain fog (Paleo is helping this), dry eyes (it's frigidly cold here in Chicagoland), fatigue (weather/stress), tingling and sometimes some pain in my mid-back (not sure why that happens a lot), weight loss (most likely caused by Paleo, anxiety and exercise), and heart "flops" and very minor chest pains.
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Offline fearnot

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2013, 10:11:32 AM »
Besides the anxiety symptoms that creep up, I'm sure you're perfectly healthy. So yes, you can relax now. None of your main symptoms sounds anywhere near life-threatening. In fact, I've had all of them too, and eh, the heart flops are annoying but just remember whenever they happen that they're just normal and boring really. Taking slower, deep breaths helps them clear.

Also, I get it in my neck and shoulders, so you might hold a lot of tension in your back and shoulders. I suppose there's stretches you could do to release it.

I'm eat primal, but I know that going paleo has its own side-effects too when you start from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. More brain fog, anxiety, fatigue.. but I know that soon clears too.
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2014, 11:52:27 AM »
Thanks everyone. Just for the record, I'm 23 years old, 5'9", 150 lbs, somewhat athletic build, have a very healthy blood pressure, eat healthier than most people I know around my age, have never had any major health problems, and I exercise pretty regularly. I just got really scared when I had heart palpitations and tachycardia as my only hangover symptom on three separate occasions for 12 hours straight each. I've had all of these tests and they're normal. 2014 is going to be my first alcohol-free year.
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2014, 10:23:33 AM »
Hey guys,
Just an update since it's been a while. I had another ER visit (in mid-March)...this time because I woke up with heart palps/tachycardia, shortness of breath, and dizziness. They did a full check-up on me. Ruled out heart issues. Said I had a panic attack. I had NO IDEA that panic attacks could be that scary. I had taken 2 Xanax when it happened and it seemed to work (of course when I had already arrived at the hospital). The reason I had the attack is because I was terrified of flying to Washington, D.C. and with all the talk about the missing Malaysian jet, I internalized it all. HOWEVER, I STILL flew to D.C. and had an enjoyable trip there and back with NO Xanax! I'm definitely making progress on coping and identifying my triggers. Since then, I've been okay but as of last week, I've been waking up with tachycardia again. I eat the MOST heart-healthy diet you can imagine since I've been going through all of this but am still worried that I'm doing bad damage to my heart (even as a 24-year-old healthy male). Anyone have any more assurance/encouragement? I pray about this DAILY. I even cried just to get some emotion out on the way to work this morning.
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Offline wegngis

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2014, 11:38:54 AM »
Thanks for the update.  I wasn't familiar with your story, but I read the previous posts and got up to speed.  I can really relate to your struggles, even down to the D.C. flight (mine is coming up this fall, I've already got an Ativan prescription ready to go  :laugh3:).  I still wake up in the night with pounding heartbeats, shortness of breath....all that.  What I've learned to do is tell myself, "Well, this is that same anxiety beast that's plaguing me.  They are symptoms only, not indicative of anything wrong other than anxiety."  Truth be told, that anxiety energy will find a way out, whether that's through laughing, crying, stressing, muscle aches, headaches, nausea, twitching, heart palpitations, etc.  We are like sponges that can only hold 'so much' and after that point we start to leak.  They key for me has been identifying the beast and learning how to work with it's symptoms.

I have had many tests on my heart.  EKG's, blood work, echocardiograms, stress tests, 30-day event monitors.  It all checks out.  I will say that I was first diagnosed with atrial fibrillation about 20 years ago.  I've had my heart go into "afib" twice, and let me tell you, there's no mistaking when it does.  It's not subtle, there's no wondering, "Am I in afib or not?"  Meaning, even though your situation makes you feel like you're dying, you're not.  The reason I'm telling you this is that simply having a fast heartbeat does not indicate trouble (as long as you've been cleared otherwise) and even IF something were to be found, it doesn't mean it's going to kill you.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2014, 10:04:53 AM »
Thanks wegngis. I just keep having thoughts of "what if I get a heart condition or cancer from anxiety?" I've heard that anxiety with heart palps/tachycardia can wreak havoc on the heart and harden the arteries. I also know that a higher resting heart rate can increase the risk of heart disease. I eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free, refined/added sugar-free, lean meats only, water & tea only diet and take organic flaxseed oil capsules 3 times a day. I also eat a lot of veggies and go running on a weekly basis (as hard as that can be sometimes). Maybe I'm being too obsessive but I just don't want to get heart disease. My dad has had heart issues and my grandpa died from congestive heart failure. It only really seems that they had it because they weren't very active or ate very healthy (I eat WAY healthier than my entire family!). It's just frustrating when my resting HR is high and I get this tachycardia/heart so often. I want to be physically and mentally healthy; and be free of this stupid worry/hypochondria! I've never had a holter monitor or echocardiogram because the doctor says I don't need it (I've had EKGs, chest X-Ray, stress EKG test, blood work and all have been normal) which frustrates me. It's hard to let it go I suppose.
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Offline wegngis

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2014, 11:43:06 AM »
I eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free, refined/added sugar-free, lean meats only, water & tea only diet

Me too!  I changed my diet about 15 months ago.  No regrets, I love it.

As far as "letting go" I totally, completely 100% get it.  It's really a day-by-day thing we have to battle through.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2014, 09:07:42 AM »
Hey everyone, I'm really struggling again with heart worries. I just have a fast heart rate all the time (I think about it and feel my pulse constantly). I tried running on Saturday (I used to be an avid runner before anxiety) and had to stop because I felt extra heart beats in my throat (like a bunch of times) and earlier in the day too just sitting. Like I've said, I've had 3 EKGs, 2 chest x-rays, and a stress EKG with no sign of anything wrong. I'm so depressed about this because it's taking over my life again.
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Offline PsalmSeven

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2014, 10:51:39 AM »
snew13- Reading your original post, I'm amazed at how similar your story is to mine. When my heart arrhythmia first started (about ten years ago) I described it to my doctor as a "sinking" feeling. Those were my exact words. She said she'd never heard it described that way before, which scared me a little, but she didn't seem very concerned. Years later after a particularly bad episode my fear drove me to be tested by a specialist, and everything came back normal. The only thing they found was that I had occasional harmless PACs, premature atrial contractions, which are fairly common. No treatment needed.

You're going to be ok, you have a healthy heart that just changes beat sometimes. Fear is a liar: it's False Evidence Appearing Real. When fear starts to take over you life, that's when you need to dig deep into the Word and focus on Jesus instead of the storm. Also pray, tell Him your concerns. Completely unload and let Him carry the burden instead. Listen to worship music and sermons if you can. This is what gets me through hard times.

Praying for peace for you.
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2014, 11:57:43 AM »
Thank you, PsalmSeven. That's so encouraging for me to read. I have muscle twitches everywhere too so that probably just explains that it's all anxiety. I just worry that my heart won't be able to "take it anymore" and will just give up eventually or lead me to an early death of heart failure or disease.  I listen to Christian music EVERYDAY (K-LOVE radio) and am always praying (from the moment I wake up in the morning). I haven't been digging into the Word very much besides my weekly Bible study with friends. Maybe the Gospels will show me through all of this.
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Offline PsalmSeven

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2014, 12:27:55 PM »
Positive, Encouraging, K-LOVE! I listen to it, too. :happy0151: And I get the muscle twitches as well, but they've never really worried me... I guess I just assume everyone gets them. They're mentioned a lot on this forum so probably pretty normal. Especially with anxiety, like you said.

Your heart is strong, it won't just quit on you. That's a common fear with arrhythmia sufferers, but after a while it will diminish, because you'll grow accustomed to your body's way of working and know from experience that you're fine. I've had mine for so long that I don't worry at all anymore. Even when I do something I'm not supposed to, like drink a lot of coffee and send my heart rocketing and skipping beats, I know I'll be ok.

The Gospels are a great choice. As you read, let it remind you how much you mean to God and what He did to free you from all bondage--including fear. That's what I'll be doing today, as I deal with this nagging pain I have in my leg... You know, God doesn't promise a comfortable life but he can give us joy in all circumstances. Romans 8:28 is a promise worth holidng on to.
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2014, 08:47:06 AM »
Thanks. It's weird, today I have a normal resting heart rate this morning (usually I have tachycardia almost every morning). I had a high heart rate when I woke up and now it's down to where it should be. I feel like most of this stuff manifests in my sleep but I have no idea what I'm dreaming about. I'm REALLY hoping that my worry will subside too once I FINALLY, HOPEFULLY get used these feelings (I've been dealing with this stuff for over 3 years now). I want to become the best version of me that I can and anxiety has been holding that back.

I will say that where I was in August 2013 before I started my new job (gagging over the toilet every morning, losing a lot of weight, having lots of IBS-related symptoms, many random pains and twitches throughout my head and body, random adrenaline rushes, jolting awake panicked at 3am, etc.) and where I am now (mainly just heart worries) is pretty remarkable though. And I have not needed any medication (I refused) except Xanax as needed (I try not to take it as much as possible). That HAS to be God's intervention. I hope I can continue to make progress this way. I'm looking into some therapies I can do this summer. Guess I'm impatient.
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2014, 08:21:30 AM »
Woke up with pressure/air/weird feeling in my chest and throat every time I breathe in (throat doesn't hurt). I hate this! Feeling fogged and exhausted too (bags under my eyes). I'm SO tired of worrying about this stuff!!!
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Offline snew13

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Re: Worried About Heart!
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2014, 09:01:06 AM »
I've been eating Paleo (for the most part) since Tuesday so maybe that's it? I feel lighter and weightless too, ugggh! PsalmSeven, do you actually HAVE a heart arrhythmia or is it all anxiety? Just wondering.

I'm praying really hard today!!!
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