Is That Heart Thump Anxiety or a Heart Problem


If you are an anxiety sufferer, sometimes the symptoms of an anxiety attack can mimic heart problems. Which, for an anxiety sufferer, that usually compounds the problem and makes you worry more! If you don’t know or have never been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, a heart palpitation might be a scary thing. How do you determine if you are truly having a heart problem or if you are simply suffering from excess anxiety or stress causing the problem?

Have you had heart problems in the past?

Typically, an anxiety patient has had their heart tested before. A doctor will initially (usually) run tests such as an EKG, an ultrasound or other such test to check the rhythm of the heart and make sure it is normal. Heart problems might have been ruled out at that time. If you’ve never had your heart vitals checked to even get a baseline reading, your doctor might suggest doing so now.

Anxiety can cause your body to do strange things. Your heart can have what you would call a heavy beat. Are you thinking about something stressful, worrying over money or fretting about something the kids are doing? Did your heavy heartbeat happen during that time?

You can also have what are called heart palpitations, where the heart has an extra beat in it. Worrying excessively can also cause your body to do that in times of stress, when the adrenaline is built up in your system.

The doctor might have you go through a few tests to make sure you don’t have a genetic heart problem or some kind of murmur, hole in the heart, etc. If the doctor doesn’t suspect there to be a heart problem, they might prescribe you with some anti-anxiety medicine to see if that helps your situation.  The anti-anxiety medicine usually takes a couple of weeks to get built up in your system where you will notice a difference, so you may still continue to have some types of heart “issues”. If after several weeks and they have not gone away, check with your doctor.

The doctor might also offer you a beta blocker. The beta blocker is a medicine that works to block the effects you are having, such as the heavy heartbeat, racing heart, etc. You shouldn’t feel any pain associated with a beta blocker either, but if you do, consult your doctor right away ad get in for a checkup.

Lastly, the doctor might ask if you can change what is potentially causing you stress. Is it a job? A home situation? Is it something that can be easily remedied? Certain situations can be easily changed, but others cannot, so you will have to modify what you can. You can also modify your response to them, which is what might be causing the problem. Avoid yelling, cursing or whatever works you up. Skip out on the caffeine or alcohol if that triggers your episodes. Be open and honest with your doctor so you can decide what is anxiety or if you truly have a heart problem.


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