• 9 months ago

    Heart problem or anxiety?

    Hello everyone,

    34 years old male
    Work in IT
    Musician/teach music
    Play video games (long gaming sessions).

    I will just list the things that I am experiencing.

    Heart palpitation
    Some feel like a big thump on my chest, I describe it as a blip in my whole system. I feel like if for a second I am about to pass out. Heart beats fast and then goes down. These are not too often but definitely more often than years ago.

    Heart "twitches"
    Just a like a muscle twitch.. at times my heart twitches. It doesn't feel bad like the palpitation but it just odd and not fun.

    I'm 5'8" and weight around 190-195.

    It's okay, I drink water like 98% of the time. Very rarely I would drink juice, soda etc. I avoid most junk foods but still eat at some restaurants.

    Breakfast sandwiches (ham, egg and cheese) 2-4 times a week.
    Coffee but not every day and never full 8oz.
    Burgers and fries (perhaps once every 2 or three weeks)
    Pizza (maybe once or twice a month) if that.
    I do eat salads with grilled chicken breast but I have been hating chicken for a while now. I stop believing that chicken, specially these days, is good for you.
    I some times snack on almonds or walnuts.
    Some times salmon for dinner.

    Very little these days. I work in the IT field and spend most of my day sitting. I used to exercise a lot more in my teen's and 20s. I was very skinny.

    Married but very little sex drive and poor erection. This is been causing problems in my marriage of course.

    My job is somewhat stressful as so many other jobs but I never consider myself a stressful person. After talking with some people and general doctor they think I do suffer from anxiety.
    The following are things that I have experienced related to anxiety.
    At night I have a hard time falling asleep especially after my heart palpitations became more frequent.

    The thought of death comes to my mind. The fact that at one point in time I will die, just makes me anxious for a few minutes. Enough to get me from falling asleep. This doesn't happen often but I don't know why I think of that.

    I have become a lot more conscious about my heart specially when I go to bed. I just hear it really loud and become aware of every beat making it difficult to fall asleep.

    Lots of debt. This is something that for a whatever reason doesn't worry me like it should but I think it definitely affects my mental health.

    Twice now I have noticed my heart at around 100-120 bpm for no reason. First time I was going to a weeding (I have gone to many weddings in my life) and I just couldn't feel at peace. I never figured out why my heart was beating fast for the majority of that afternoon.

    Another night my heart was around 100bpm while I was trying to fall asleep. I have recorded those bpm with the Apple Watch and showed them to the cardiologist. They said I'm fine. Of course I don't believe them.

    Some nights when about to go to bed I become cold to the point I am shivering. AC in the room 62F, outside 80sF. This is very worrying to me because then I feel like my heart takes a beating when this happens. I have to shut off the AC and take a hot shower to lower my body temperature. This has happened to me around 3 times in the past 6 months. The 2nd one was the reason I went to ER at midnight.

    Visit to ER and Cardiologist
    After 8hrs of waiting. They said I was fine and referred me to a cardiologist. Cardiologist gave me heart monitor for a week.
    They were looking for those palpitations which I had to do a "manual entry" to the monitor whenever I experienced those and I did. But they said my heart was fine. I did recommended me to exercise and eat small portions. I had told them than some times I do feel fatigued and even have felt the palpitations after eating. I thought it was because perhaps I ate too much fatty food or something. They think it's related to eating large portions. But again these heart palpitations have happened to me even when I am sitting in front of my computer.

    I visited new primary doctor and told him about my recent events with my heart. He asked me some questions and after telling him that me and my wife are expecting our first baby he thought I was just anxious about it. And honestly it very hard for me to make that the cause of what's been happening to me. Yes, things will change when our baby is born but I don't even think about it too much. I'm not going crazy about it. I am happy about it and can't wait too meet our baby but I don't think about it 24/7. Is it really affecting me without me being aware?

    Around 7 years ago my old primary doctor told me my cholesterol was borderline high. I started exercising/moving more but have not been consistent. Back then I was having some asthma episodes triggered by dust mites. Those are not as present anymore but if I am exposed to dust or start running I may get asthma.

    The heart situation have made me start researching about heart disease, heart attacks, high cholesterol, etc. Many doctors on YouTube talking about the dos and don'ts. Things to eat for a healthy heart. I have implemented some foods into my diet that are good for lowering cholesterol, help with arteries etc. Apple cider vinegar, turmeric, walnuts, lemon juice, raw honey among others.

    Anyway, I now constantly live with the thought that at any moment my heart will just stop. I try to not feed that thought of course but then I am reminded every time I get heart palpitation (not everyday ), it twitches/flutters (almost everyday now), or when I start shivering when going to bed, for whatever reason (doesn't happen often).

    I'm posting this not expecting a magic solution. Mostly to share my experience and get some feedback from some of you. Thanks in advance!


  • 9 months ago

    RE: Heart problem or anxiety?

    Hi 0rpheus - I'm experiencing your story almost word for word, same symptoms - same stress level. Just finished my stress test and echo cardiogram. I don't have results yet but the technicians did a pretty good job of telling me not to worry without actually offering a diagnosis, and they made it clear everything looked good.

    Do you vape, and if so what's your nicotine level? I assume not because you didn't post that but I wanted to make sure.
      • 9 months ago
        No, I do not smoke. I should look into getting a stress level done. Didn't know that existed.
      • 8 months ago
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  • 8 months ago

    RE: Heart problem or anxiety?

    I went to ER again because I was feeling pressure on the bottom part of my heart. And they just couldn't find anything. Blood pressure is great they said and then I asked them if there was a way to check my arteries for blood clots etc. They said that, that would be a complicated procedure and will have to talk to my PCD first.
  • 8 months ago

    RE: Heart problem or anxiety?

    I sympathize with you completely. I am a 62 year old female and have the same feelings of fear and dread when my heart is racing or my blood pressure is high. I take medications for both but still have issues. The doctors just throw more medications at me when I call. I feel that something is wrong to cause my blood pressure and my heart rate to be high but the doctors tell me it is essential hypertension possibly related to age (huh?) My symptoms definitely affect the quality of my life as I have trouble sleeping and doing fun things. My husband passed away 10 years ago and I still miss him terribly. It sounds like you have a lot to be grateful for in your life. And you are too young to be feeling so crappy.
  • 8 months ago

    RE: Heart problem or anxiety?

    At 40 years old I had my first experience with panic attacks and anxiety. My stress level at work had increased since my financial situation was always tenuous being self employed, I had increased my work load outside of my comfort zone. My chest pain was excruciating and I thought I was having a heart attack while on vacation. I had had chest pain almost daily for a few months prior but this was the worst. I waited till I got home. Before seeing a doctor.

    The first doctor a cardiologist did an EKG and a stress test. They stopped the stress test in the middle because my blood pressure was so high. The guy put me on monopril and said come back in a month. I asked why high blood pressure was giving me chest pains when it was the silent killer with no noticeable symptoms. He seemed unconcerned so I went to another doctor this time an internal medicine specialist. Same diagnoses. High blood pressure but no explanation for chest pains. So I went to another doctor. This time to another internal medicine doctor that actually talked to me for an hour the first visit and he was the one that diagnosed me with anxiety. He was the same guy that diagnosed me with IBS when I was 28 another symptom of anxiety.

    21 years later I have it pretty much under control. Once I realized it wasn't a heart attack or any other medical condition and went to work on controlling my stress levels and finding ways to deal with anxiety when the attacks almost always at night would come. Falling asleep was never a problem but staying asleep was. I had to learn to not allow my work problems home with me at night. I developed hobbies to occupy my active mind. I had to start exercising again. I was a runner in my 30's but constant injuries made it impossible to continue. My financial stress levels decreased as my kids grew up and left the nest and my business became more profitable. Do not underestimate the stress money issues have on you.

    You just have to learn what works for you. Doctors like to prescribe anti depressants for anxiety but I would stay away from them if possible. There are other options. A glass of wine, a beer or two in some states other substances are legal. A Xanax may be all you need on occasion. I'm just saying anxiety is a common problem and there are many ways to deal with it you just have to find what works for you. Your doctor can help but at the end of the day you will have to find the right method to help control yours.
  • 7 months ago

    RE: Heart problem or anxiety?

    Hi Orpheus, I am not a man but have experienced similar symptoms. Three years ago, my heart would flop around in my chest like a fish, skip beats and start beating rapidly but faintly out of the blue. I have an excellent cardiologist by accident ... he was my doctor in the ER when I went in 13 years ago with what turned out to be a panic attack. I had panic attacks regularly throughout 2006. I was then 45 years old. He recommended that I visit a psychologist for a few sessions. He explained that I was probably in peri-menopause and that hormones can do weird things to one's body. He also said that new dietary additions could be a factor. I eat no processed food, drink only water, no caffeine, fresh veggies, little fruit and little red meat. I have always been of normal weight, get 8 hours sleep a night and never get sick. I had been a smoker, however, for 26 years. He admitted me for five days and fitted me with a halter to monitor my heart. Nothing. It was fine. Fast forward to 2016. I saw him again about my flopping heart, skipped beats, etc. He did an extensive blood workup and found that my B12 levels were in the basement. He specialises in women's health along with heart health and believes that most ailments are due to nutrition. He treats what he can naturally. He said that my adrenal glands were shot due to long-term stress (my husband died after a tramatic 10-year case of a rare dementia called Pick's Disease. It was extremely stressful for me as I was putting two kids through university on a below-average paycheck) and that my ovaries were now 'dead' so my hormone levels had gone over the cliff. He put me onto a B12 injection every two weeks, a Solal product called Burnout for my adrenal glands that I took every second day, vitamin D3 daily, Homocysteine-lowering tablets daily, DHEA hormone every second day, Flaxseed oil capsules daily and a tablespoon of chia seeds daily. ... I already took vitamin C and curcumin. I had just stopped smoking when I saw him and he warned that I would probably experience anxiety due to that, which I did. He said that the palpitations and heart flopping were due to my hormone levels having dropped. He went on to explain that 1 in 4 women die of a heart attack and that our hearts are at risk after menopause. My heart went back to normal fairly quickly after I started following his regime. I still suffer from anxiety but my heart is normal and my resting pulse rate is down into the 70s. What helped a lot with the anxiety was transcendental meditation for 20 minutes twice daily and going to the gym for 30 minutes daily. Meditation lowers blood pressure and heart rate and helps with anxiety, as does exercise. I can't recommend psychotherapy enough. Just being heard is the most healing thing. I wish you well.
  • 7 months ago

    RE: Heart problem or anxiety?

    Are You taking medications, if so what kind, try using something different.
    Is your Blood Pressure under control ? Get a machine, measure it , take steps to keep it low.
    Avoid caffeine , did it Help?
    Use deep breathing exercises, attempt to exhale longer than inhaling, try Youtube for a guide on doing this, Inhale 1,2,3,4, Exhale 1,2,3,4,5,6.
    Use relaxation techniques, close eyes then mentally relax muscles, group by group , legs, arms, hands, neck etc.,
    Use the HALT technique, when the attacks occur are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, if so take steps to alleviate the situation.
    When attacks happen talk to someone, listen to music, redirect you’re attention, cook, go for a walk, play a musical instrument or even play a video game.
    When do the incidents occur, are they worse during activity or exercise.
    Try a low dose benzodiazepine , does it help, if so for long term control try medications such as Lexapro for a month or two.
    You must 1st , rule out Heart disease which seems like you are looking into.
    Sounds like you may suffer from anxiety.
    Good luck , you are not alone a lot a people are dealing with the same thing including Me.
  • 4 months ago

    RE: Heart problem or anxiety?

    After the first read, it seems anxiety to me, but just to be sure, you should check a doctor. You should also know (although you must know) that a lot of heart problems are caused by long term anxiety. And it's your heart that will suffer, the whole body will do it, starting from the brain.
    I have read an article not that long ago. There was a study on kids and the doctors have reached the conclusion that the ones who have anxiety during their childhood are the ones prone to heart disease at maturity. Pay attention to that.
    If you have some more questions about your health, find me or one of my colleagues at https://www.patientscommunity.org . Our community will be happy to help you.