Discussions By Condition: Cardiovascular disease

Chest Pains, EKG, Panic/Anxiety Attacks

Posted In: Cardiovascular disease 8 Replies
  • Posted By: ddovidenko
  • October 8, 2007
  • 00:54 PM

Hello,

I've been reading some of the posts on these forums and thought maybe someone has experienced what I am going through. Background Info:

I'm a 22 year old male, 283lb, 6'2". When the problems first began I weight about 305lb, but I've been working on losing the weight since then. At the time the problems occured I was going through some stress at work (I am a programmer/systems admin) as I am right now to a leser degree. My car was in the shop due to a screwup by an "oil change technician" resulting in me needing a new engine.

About 3 weeks ago I found it hard to fall alseep and my fingers and palms were going numb. I had some pains in my chest area that were hard to define, it was more like someone putting light pressure on spots around my chest on or under my ribs and I felt my heart racing. I also had to sleep with my upper body elevated (3 pillows.) I also felt like I would die or something horrible was about to happen. The next day after getting a few hours of sleep I made it in to work. After 2 hours I was feeling too freaked out with the same symptoms so I had my coworker drive me to the ER.

At the ER I got an EKG test and about 4 blood tests, I do not remember what they were. The EKG came out 'perfect' to quote the doctor and my blood work was all normal. My blood pressure I believe was about 150/90 when I came in, it was about 130/80 when I left. They told me I had panic/anxiety attacks and I felt better that night.

I saw my physician about a week later as I was still freaking out and having trouble sleeping without using a few pillows to prop my self up. He listened to my heart and checked my blood pressure and said my heart sounds fine and that I need to work on lowering my blood pressure by losing weight. After that visit I felt better and have not 'freaked out' so far after seeing the doctor.

I do have some concerns though. I feel some pressure in my wrists, shoulders, and all around my chest on both sides. The pressure is usually at night when I'm resting and not working. It occurs at times when im trying to sleep and after work. I do not get pains when I exercise however. I would give the pressure/pain a 1 out of 10 as far as pain level. It's more of a discomfort than anything else. While I'm not freaking out with worry of dying I do feel anxious at times. Some times when Im trying to fall asleep I get pulpitations and I can often feel my heart beat when I exhale after a deep breath.

I'm sorry for writing a whole essay, but I would like to get your opinion if I should:

1. Go to a different doctor? I'm not on an HMO, I'm on a PPO so I could see a specialist right away.

2. Should I just make my current doctor do an EKG? He didn't feel it was needed last time because the hospital said it was fine.

3. How long does an EKG typically take? When I was at the hospital they spent about 15 seconds actually monitoring my heart. Is this enough to tell if there is a problem? How accurate are EKG's, do they detect enlarged heart issues, angina and so on?

4. Is this just anxiety? Am I just insane? Should I just try to take some time off and see if I can get some sedatives to calm me down until my schedule is back to normal?

5. Can someone who has had known heart related pain describe what it feels like? Would I know it if I had it? Is it very painful or can it be mild like I described?

Thank you for your help in advance!

Reply Flag this Discussion

8 Replies:

  • The arms and fingers going numb have to do with your anxiety attacks. Comes from hyperventilation.The pain you are describing in your chest needs to be checked out by your Dr. ASAP. I applaud you for losing weight. You are really beginning to show a difference. As a programmer...and working under stress...I know you don't get adequate physical exercise. Walking for 20 minutes a day will help burn calories and also help with the stress. I would not advise you to do anything other than call your Doctor right away. Let him give you the All Clear...before you attempt an exercise program. Also, if you are not eating the things you should in order to lose weight, this can also be a factor.Let your Doctor assist you with finding a good plan for you. Good Luck Friend!A. Surratt, RN
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 10, 2007
    • 03:26 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hello,Thanks for your reply. I'm going back to my doctor on monday and making him do more tests :-/, another ekg, etc.. So if this comes back clean (EKG) like before do you think there is anything else this can be? Is EKG fairly much a definitive test for most heart issues?
    ddovidenko 8 Replies
    • October 11, 2007
    • 04:32 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • A stress test combined with a heart scan can show if there are any problems with your heart. BTW if you have ever have severe chest pain that does not go away quickly it may be safest to call 911. Paramedics can check you out right away and give you any meds right away if a heart attack is a possibility and help you determine if you need to go to the ER. Never drive yourself if you ever think you could be having a heart attack as that could put both you and others lives in jeopardy. Have you been tested for type 2 diabetes? If not, you need to be tested just to make sure that uncontrolled bood sugar levels aren't causing some problems for you.Keep up the weight loss; even a small amount of weight loss can make a huge difference in your risks for type 2 diabetes. Because of your weight; you are at risk for this illness. So many young people today are getting type 2 diabetes because of getting seriously overweight. Hello,Thanks for your reply. I'm going back to my doctor on monday and making him do more tests :-/, another ekg, etc.. So if this comes back clean (EKG) like before do you think there is anything else this can be? Is EKG fairly much a definitive test for most heart issues?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 11, 2007
    • 07:57 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • BTW if you have ever have severe chest pain that does not go away quickly it may be safest to call 911. Paramedics can check you out right away and give you any meds right away if a heart attack is a possibility and help you determine if you need to go to the ER. Never drive yourself if you ever think you could be having a heart attack as that could put both you and others lives in jeopardy.Yea I will definetly do that, makes paying for my insurance worth while ;-).I get elevated blood sugar when I wake up in the morning (110 max), but my 2 hour tolerance test is normal. Though I will talk about this with my Dr. as well on Monday.I am trying to lose weight. I stopped drinking soda all together, drink unsweatened hot tea or iced tea and water now. Mostly eating chicken breasts, fish, and mixed veggies, though I do have an off day once a week where I go out to eat, but that is usually Sushi so It's not like im eating beacon and bread by the pound on that day. I lost about ~20lb so far so I guess it's working.
    ddovidenko 8 Replies
    • October 11, 2007
    • 10:00 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • *Update:Well I wen't to the doctor. He did another EKG and listened to my heart/lungs. Everything came out fine but just in case he suggested going for an electrocardiogram so we will see what happens.
    ddovidenko 8 Replies
    • October 16, 2007
    • 09:25 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I can identify with you. I too suffered from anxiety and Panic attacks. In fact, I have been treated for about ten years along with depression. Finally, on medication and Xanex, I have been leading a normal life. I also have mitral valve prolapse (mild). I have been told that people with Mitral valve prolapse have panic attacks, and people that have panic attacks have mitral valve prolapse....figure that. Anyway, my heart pounds at night sometimes.....the doctor gave me beta blockers, that block adrenalen to the heart. It is quite unnerving to have your heart pound away. My heart also flips now and then. I have had an echo cardiogram (spelliing?), which gave me the info on the mitral valve (not life threatening, but you could check this out, also) I would be concerned with the numbness, however, and seek a doctor that can give you answers. Good luck!:)
    felicee 3 Replies
    • October 17, 2007
    • 02:45 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • @felicee:Sounds like we are going through the same kind of stuff. The doctors seem to think everything is normal. I have been feeling somewhat better lately and worrying a lot less. I think that working on managing stress day to day is helping me right now. Are you also under a lot of stress or pressure? If so finding an outlet for it by doing whatever you like to do may help you out. I have spent more time with my friends which has helped me out a lot I think, though most my friends are work friends :(.
    ddovidenko 8 Replies
    • October 25, 2007
    • 09:52 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • @felicee: Sounds like we are going through the same kind of stuff. The doctors seem to think everything is normal. I have been feeling somewhat better lately and worrying a lot less. I think that working on managing stress day to day is helping me right now. Are you also under a lot of stress or pressure? If so finding an outlet for it by doing whatever you like to do may help you out. I have spent more time with my friends which has helped me out a lot I think, though most my friends are work friends :(. I don't know if I'm doing this right. It's my first time to reply to one of these. Sorry, I didn't check to see if anyone replied until now. Yes, I do things I like, like my choir and guitar..and work...yes I put myself under pressure...but should be use to it by now. It runs in my family........panic, depression...but, I'm handling it. Thanks for the reply.
    felicee 3 Replies
    • December 12, 2007
    • 06:08 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.
Advertisement

Safe Sex With Hepatitis C

Prevent the spread of the hepatitis C virus.

Preventing Lung Infections

With COPD, it’s important to protect your lungs.

8 Health Dangers of Depression

Unmanaged depression can take a toll on your physical health.

Food Choices for Diabetes

What, when and how much you eat affects your blood sugar.

6 Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis

Ease your way into these stretching and strengthening moves,

Advertisement