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Thread: Ongoing heart worries

  1. #1

    Ongoing heart worries

    Hey everyone! I am new here but have been lurking for awhile.
    A little background about me. I just turned 30 last month. Been struggling with health anxiety since 2016 when my close friend rather unexpectedly died of cancer 6 months after her diagnosis. Cancer has been my biggest worry but in the last few months my fear has moved to my heart. It all started when I woke up one morning with a feeling of squeezing in my chest and a heart rate of 150. I was able to calm down from that episode but it was enough to set me into a bad spiral of HA. Since then I have been noticing palpitations more often and random chest and left arm pain. I do have issues with my shoulder so I try to rationalize that that's whats causing my symptoms and I was doing better for awhile. However yesterday at work I was getting really stressed out and suddenly got shooting pains in my left arm again. I am worried this is all pointing to an underlying heart problem and I'm terrified. Everyone tells me its just anxiety but its hard to believe sometimes. I have not seen a doctor yet because with covid its hard to get an appointment without waiting several months. Any advice or reassurance would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    12

    Re: Ongoing heart worries

    Hi there! It is anxiety. If you read back your post, you can see that it all leads to anxiety. I have had and am having the same symptoms as you. I have done for twenty years. You will be fine. I've just taken some Ibuprofen for chest pain. You need to go into yourself spiritually and find peace.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    3,904

    Re: Ongoing heart worries

    Everything you're experiencing is a selection of some of the most common anxiety symptoms.

  4. #4

    Re: Ongoing heart worries

    Thanks for taking time to reply. This site had really helped me in my darkest anxiety days. Its nice to know I'm not alone.

    I do have some other symptoms I forgot to include in my original post. I get lightheaded frequently, havr tingling off and on in all limbs, horrible back and neck pain and shortness of breath. I'm sure all of this can be anxiety as well but my brain just keeps telling me its my heart. Whenever I check my heart rate its rarely below 90 and often above 100.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    909

    Re: Ongoing heart worries

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuraimoar View Post
    Hey everyone! I am new here but have been lurking for awhile.
    A little background about me. I just turned 30 last month. Been struggling with health anxiety since 2016 when my close friend rather unexpectedly died of cancer 6 months after her diagnosis. Cancer has been my biggest worry but in the last few months my fear has moved to my heart. It all started when I woke up one morning with a feeling of squeezing in my chest and a heart rate of 150. I was able to calm down from that episode but it was enough to set me into a bad spiral of HA. Since then I have been noticing palpitations more often and random chest and left arm pain. I do have issues with my shoulder so I try to rationalize that that's whats causing my symptoms and I was doing better for awhile. However yesterday at work I was getting really stressed out and suddenly got shooting pains in my left arm again. I am worried this is all pointing to an underlying heart problem and I'm terrified. Everyone tells me its just anxiety but its hard to believe sometimes. I have not seen a doctor yet because with covid its hard to get an appointment without waiting several months. Any advice or reassurance would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading
    This reads as classic health anxiety which stems from the death of your friend. Heart symptoms are scary with HA, but the racing heart is also the most normal symptom because it's your body responding to fight or flight - and constantly. When your heart races, it's because you should be running away or fighting off whatever it is that's put you in danger. Your brain doesn't know the difference between what is actual danger, and what is an anxious thought - it will respond in exactly the same way. As you've said, you have issues with that shoulder, so your anxious mind is combining the symptoms of the heart to your normal shoulder aches and pains, and coming up with 'heart attack'.

    In my opinion, chest pain should be checked out if it's a new symptom for you, (I did, and I'm fine) but once you have the all clear, you must accept that your heart is fine and it is just trying to protect you. I know, from experience, that me saying you should get a symptom checked out is triggering, but it's also common sense to do so. We can often go the other way and totally avoid seeing our GPs, and that's as bad as going all the time. You get me?

    Causes of chest pain in anxiety

    Hyperventilation - taking too much oxygen in the lungs, and at a fast rate, will cause the muscles to contract faster. Blood vessels in the lungs also contract and this causes chest pain.

    Bloating - taking in too much oxygen bloats you up - increasing pressure on the lungs which causes chest pain.

    See how important breathing properly is?

    It's the first responder. Breathing deeply, and slowly, triggers the parasympathetic nervous system and it WILL slow your heart down.

    P.S, the more terrified you make yourself, the harder your heart will work for you - which means having to cope with those uncomfortable symptoms..
    __________________
    There is a light. There is. Look for it. Look for it shining over your shoulder, on the past. It was light where you went once. It is light where you are now. It will be light where you will go again. ~ Jennifer Worth

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    3,904

    Re: Ongoing heart worries

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuraimoar View Post
    Whenever I check my heart rate its rarely below 90 and often above 100.

    There's nothing better for increasing anxiety than constant HR checking. You need to stop doing that. It's a vicious cycle.

  7. #7

    Re: Ongoing heart worries

    Thanks Nora I never though about the bloating thing when breathing wrong. I definitely find myself going into manual breathing mode very often and when that happens I can never get a full breath and it kicks off my anxiety.

    Thanks Joe I definitely don't check my heart rate anymore because it scares me too much.

    I am setting up an appointment with a primary care doctor because I haven't seen on in a very long time. Hopefully if I get the all clear from them I can finally put my fears to rest

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