Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease? | TigerDroppings.com

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Govt Tide
Member since Nov 2009
6843 posts

Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


I had a couple of strange and very scary episodes in the past month that sent me to the emergency room. I was admitted to the chest pain center as a precaution both times due to the heart palpitations I was having. In both instances, I was diagnosed with anxiety/heart palpitations which is apparently the go to diagnosis for when blood tests and EKG show nothing out of the ordinary. Although, I have dealt with anxiety my whole life and even significant depression at times, I've never ever experienced anything like these 2 episodes which were actually triggered by happy excitement. In other words, I was actually quite content and generally happy when this struck so the suggestion by the doctor to my 2 ER visit that I was having a panic attack seems odd given the lack of anxiety at the time. I always dismissed the whole idea of "panic attacks" as silly and simply a purely mental inability to cope with stress. Having experienced what I experienced, I have a completely newfound respect and empathy for people that suffer from these horrible attacks assuming what I experienced was in fact a panic attack.

I guess I should explain my episode. The "attack" was totally physical and out of nowhere. I felt an alarming lightheaded feeling like I was literally about to leave my body, I had to sit down and my heart was pounding out of my chest, I broke out into a sweat, and couldn't control my heart rate, and I felt like I could pass out at any second. I literally felt like I might drop dead and leave my body. The scariest physical sensation I've ever experienced and if this was a panic attack then panic attacks suck and they suck bad. I've also dealt with some faintness in the knees/legs, slight lightheadedness, and constantly having to take a leak (twice as much as normal) since these "attacks" occurred.

The question is was this a panic attack or possibly a result of a serious heart condition. The doctor at the ER suggested seeing a cardiologist to rule out a heart rhythm issue. I should note that my mom was diagnosed with Grave's Disease (Hyperthyroidism) about 20 years ago and had treatment to basically remove her malfunctioning thyroid so there is a family history of that and I've heard that unregulated thyroid disease can produce these kinds of attacks as well.

Anyone on the O-T experienced something like this before? I've gone over 37 years without having something like this happen and it's literally happened twice in the last month.







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CommunityCollegeFTW
Nebraska Fan
Member since Apr 2011
17150 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


quote:

The doctor at the ER suggested seeing a cardiologist to rule out a heart rhythm issue.


go do it. Today.

quote:

(Hyperthyroidism)


definitely puts you at a predisposition for it, so get that checked, too.

If you're EKG showed nothing, though, I wouldn't be as concerned about it, but it's still something you need taken care of as you don't want to have one while performing a serious task.







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1MileTiger
LSU Fan
Denver, Colorado
Member since Jun 2011
804 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


I get pounding heartbeat randomly out of nowhere. It happens often after I bend over which I hear is semi-common with acid reflux. I will also feel a pressure in my chest that is relieved by excessive burping. I can usually catch the beating heart as it starts and force it not to somehow. I should also get checked out, but I'm too stubborn.





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1MileTiger
LSU Fan
Denver, Colorado
Member since Jun 2011
804 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


Also, from what I've read, the light headed can usually come from the anxiety that is caused when your heart beats irregularly. IE. you get a heart palpitation, get extremely anxious over it, and your anxiety issues worsen to the point of feeling faint.





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Winkface
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jul 2010
26475 posts
 Online 

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


You need to go to an Endocrinologist. Panic attacks and thyroid disorders are highly related.





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tiger114
Auburn Fan
Mobile, AL
Member since Sep 2009
2935 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


Yours sounds more serious than mine, but I had some fainting spells a few years ago and they prescribed beta blockers for me. Works great. Haven't fainted since.





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CommunityCollegeFTW
Nebraska Fan
Member since Apr 2011
17150 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


Acid Reflux is easily treatable.

Go get it fixed!






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Govt Tide
Member since Nov 2009
6843 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


quote:

go do it. Today


I go next Monday for an echocardiogram (sp?) so I'm on it.

The one crappy thing is that I'm totally gun shy about exercising at all since this happened and I think brisk exercise would probably help. I'm waiting until this appointment before getting back into it though.

EKG looked good both times. I just really hope this isn't a new medical reality for me because it's some scary s### particularly with how it can literally strike out of nowhere. I question whether it's a panic attack because I always thought those were associated with intense mental worry and extreme mental anxiety and not out of nowhere events. I stress the word "mental" because what I experienced was 100% physical and totally involuntary. Once the attack started I had no more control over it than an epileptic has over their seizures.






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Zappas Stache
Snotterburgh
Member since Apr 2009
8920 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


quote:

I felt an alarming lightheaded feeling like I was literally about to leave my body, I had to sit down and my heart was pounding out of my chest, I broke out into a sweat, and couldn't control my heart rate, and I felt like I could pass out at any second. I literally felt like I might drop dead and leave my body. The scariest physical sensation I've ever experienced and if this was a panic attack then panic attacks suck and they suck bad.



This describes a panic attack. Problem is, people with normal nervousness claim anxiety and/or panic attacks and it diminishes what really is a panic attack.






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papasmurf1269
LSU Fan
Hells Pass
Member since Apr 2005
13742 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


One word.Klonopin.






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Me Bite
LSU Fan
A.K.A. - Bite Me
Member since Oct 2007
6578 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


Look up SVT... You might have that. It's an electrical problem with the heart, but can be fixed. Good Luck!





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CommunityCollegeFTW
Nebraska Fan
Member since Apr 2011
17150 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


quote:

I question whether it's a panic attack because I always thought those were associated with intense mental worry and extreme mental anxiety and not out of nowhere events


not necessarily, which is why many people write it off as nothing, so good on you for getting it checked out.







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Govt Tide
Member since Nov 2009
6843 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


quote:

This describes a panic attack. Problem is, people with normal nervousness claim anxiety and/or panic attacks and it diminishes what really is a panic attack.



Very true. I've dealt with anxiety issue for as long as I can remember and even when I've been my happiest and most content I'm still just naturally "jittery". I don't mind that at all but this was new and very unpleasant. The strangest thing is that I've been about as content and at ease as I've been in a long time the last several months yet these attacks occurred. This is why I think there is more of a physical than mental component to my "panic attacks".






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Govt Tide
Member since Nov 2009
6843 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


quote:

Look up SVT... You might have that. It's an electrical problem with the heart, but can be fixed. Good Luck!


I really hope it's not a heart issue because of the unpredictable of attacks. Like a lot of people on the O-T I like to get a nice buzz every now (I drink socially but don't smoke) and I'd imagine a diagnosis of a heart condition or thyroid disease would seriously crimp that activity. Having said that, the 2 epidoses DID occur the day after I had a bit too much to drink so maybe my body is trying to tell me something.

Even slight dehydration seems to be a major trigger.






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ThePoo
LSU Fan
MR. LAKEVIEW
Member since Jan 2007
56798 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


similar story to me


dealt with major anxiety and panic attacks

Had irregular heart beat, PVC's is what they cardiologist called them. Went to 3 different cardiologists, EKG's, Echos, Stress tested...all the docs said not to worry about it, that the irregular beat was a nuisance, and can be treated but doesnt have to be

sometimes it is just a side effect developed by stress. I am somewhat over my anxiety now and the irregular beats are far less frequent almost non existent

your heart doesnt now the difference, anytime i had a rapid heart beat i was susceptible....Whether it be excitement, nervousness or fear.


control your anxiety and eventually even when stressed the incidents will be less wants you get a grips on the reasons






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dengle
Columbia Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2007
4897 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


quote:

If you're EKG showed nothing, though, I wouldn't be as concerned about it, but it's still something you need taken care of as you don't want to have one while performing a serious task.

An EKG is just a picture in time, and is pretty much worthless to rule out most tachyarrhythmias unless it's done at the same time as symptoms (save WPW and a few other rare ones). Hyperthyroidism is a cause of tachycardia and can be ruled out by simple blood tests.

How often are you having these events? You may need a 24 hour Holter monitor in order to get the correct diagnosis. In any case, you should seek expert consultation with either a general cardiologist or EP specialist.






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ThePoo
LSU Fan
MR. LAKEVIEW
Member since Jan 2007
56798 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


quote:

You may need a 24 hour Holter monitor in order to get the correct diagnosis.
wore one of these for 30 days

I think some people have trouble coming to grips with the fact often times irregular heartbeats are benign and in fact are quite common

But because our mind sees it as such a delicate place, it is hard not to fear irregularity. Especially if you are predisposed to anxiety and are a "what if" thinker...even DR's opinions can be question to no end in your mind.

Thats why i went to 3 separate ones






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Ric Flair
LSU Fan
Charlotte
Member since Oct 2005
7137 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


Possibly Wolfe-Parkinsons-White syndrome?





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Govt Tide
Member since Nov 2009
6843 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


The ER doc at the chest pain center suggested wearing a Holter monitor for a period of time so I could end up doing that. To be honest, the lightheadedness/dizziness/out of body sensation was BY FAR the most disconcerting thing about each episode. The rapid uneven heart beat was unpleasant but wasn't the worst thing about the whole thing.


quote:

I think some people have trouble coming to grips with the fact often times irregular heartbeats are benign and in fact are quite common

But because our mind sees it as such a delicate place, it is hard not to fear irregularity. Especially if you are predisposed to anxiety and are a "what if" thinker...even DR's opinions can be question to no end in your mind.

Thats why i went to 3 separate ones







This really describes me. I'm a bad "what if" thinker. I can't help it as it has always been my nature. I don't worry anywhere close to as much as I use to though which is why a diagnosis of "panic attack" just seems like out of character to what I've been experiencing. Granted, there was probably some panic involved when the involuntary lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness or breathe, and heart palpitations hit me and from that standpoint, yes, I did panic some. However, the physical symptoms came on first and THEN brought on a sense of panic and not the other way around. Either a panic attack is an involuntary physical/physiological thing that causes panic or what I experienced wasn't really a panic attack.



This post was edited on 5/1 at 6:45 pm


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ThePoo
LSU Fan
MR. LAKEVIEW
Member since Jan 2007
56798 posts

re: Anxiety/Panic attack, heart rhythm problem, or thyroid disease?


quote:

However, the physical symptoms brought on a sense of panic and not the other way around.
it's really an endless cycle

when it happens enough your body begins to anticipate and wait for the symptoms...to the point where you are subconsciously creating them

thats how it was for me...then the symptoms cam and then they fed even more anxiety...it is an endless cycle

I would get an irregular beat or a weird feeling at the most random times..no explanation why. People would say occupy your mind, well even that didn't help because of the reason I mentioned before...it is always in the back of your mind

if after enough DR's visits and enough times not dying you eventually come to the realization that perhaps what everyone is saying is right...things get better








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