Medical Questions > Mental Health > Anxiety and Stress Forum

Need Some Answers From Someone Whos Been There....

Hello, I was diagnosed a month ago with panic/anxiety disorder. I had gone to the emergency room with a heartbeat of 168 but no panicky feeling.They wanted to give me a drug to slow my heart(something about resetting it I think. They gave me a shot of atavan first and that worked within 10 min and heart was back to norm)went to my doc next day and she diagnosed me and put me on zanax and paxil. I get lightheaded ,pains down my arms ...In fact last sunday my whole left arm went numb(doc said it was nerves in my shoulder that caused that) anyway, chest pains which are mostly a stabbing feeling and chest pressure.Also tend to get indigestion? I have had about 10 ekg's done and enough blood work to supply the blood bank. I have also had chest x-ray and they say they cant find anything. Now,these sharp stabbing feelings and the pressure in my chest are almost constant and it hurts badly. I am having a hard time believing that it is anxiety (wouldnt I get an upset stomach like I used to when I was under pressure) I dont feel upset at all or worried so whats the deal? I mean, I do have 4 little kids (ages 9,6,4,1) and money is way tight but other than that I am ok. What I am asking is can this really be a sign of anxiety or should I keep bugging the docs about my heart. Im 30 yrs old so they really arent paying me much attention anyway...Lol.Any info would be great. Thanks alot!!!
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 5th, 2004
Maybe I should back up a little....When this first started my husband had brought up some past issues that had happened before we were married(10 yrs ago)they were things that were really very painful for me and I kinda pushed them back and never delt with it. Within 3 days of that I had a panic attack. That was when all these things started to happen to me. It has just seemed to keep progressing.Before I had gone to the er with that attack I had taken a half a valium(enough to take away panic but leave the rest of the symptoms??) anyways the attacks only used to last a few hours and I would feel better. Now its like the panic is gone but the chest symptoms keep getting worse. Thanks, traci
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 24th, 2004
Stress Test
Well,finally had my stress test and that came back just fine....So now they are positive that this is anxiety related. I have one question though that I keep forgetting to bring up to my doc's ...Maybe someone out there knows this...My problems seem to run along with my period. Within the week before ,during or after it seems alot worse...Can hormonal changes effect this? Thanks for the help.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 25th, 2004
Chest Pains\cold Hands And Feets
Hi blueangelz;

gee I hope I can be of some help here, I have had chest pains in the same order as you have for two years with both hands and feet cold and numb and thingling and yes it is a form of anixty or panic attach, in some cases, I am diagnose with cronic anixity since twentyfive, and I too have been test for my chest at the [emr] three to four times a year, but their was also a hidden reason for my chest pain also, it is call peptic ulsur I think its call, and I guess I am lucky I have four kids too 16 \ 7 \ 6 \ 5 ... So part of my reason for the ungoing chest pain was a peptic ulsur [iretated stomach lineing] when I did not have anixity, I guess knowing the different between anixity and another symtoms is your first step so to speak, I know longer eat spicy foods nor coffee cholate and beer, instead fruits vegees, and wine chicken all okay and encluded a multivitamin a day also encrease your water a day to five or six cups a day, I wish you all the best blueangelz and I hope I was some help, good luck anthony ............
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 5th, 2005
I too have had the same feelings in my chest and I know that they are related to the time that I am to start my period because usually the only time I get chest pains and heart flutters is around the week before I am to start. I'm 40 yrs. Old and I listen to my body now! It does some crazy things......I take 40 mg. Of celexa for deppression/anxiety and it helps alot. But also my blood pressure goes up during this time and the acid in my stomach is unbearable. I get extreme heartburn so i'll take zantac to help ease it, only this time i've taking it and it didn't help. I've had diarehea and severe heartburn, been throwing up too. I sometimes drink an entire bottle of wine, used to drink beer alot, stomach felt sick so I tried wine, well now the wine is affecting me the same way! Guess i'm just going to have to stop drinkin.........Lol.......But seriously! I haven't had a period in over 2 months now, this happens frequently to me.......So now I can't even tell what's going on and i'm sick of doc's trying to "guess"!!!! Maybe try another doc if your satisfied with what this one has diagnosed you with!!! I sware, it's like they just look at you and say whatever they think could be wrong with you instead of finding out physically what is!
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 13th, 2005
Hi, first I will say that I am not a physician.
The good news is that it sounds like your condition is not caused by heart problems. That does not mean that you heart/chest is not effected by something else that could be going on medically. If you want to press the issue then meet with your physician again. They work for you. There is a heart monitor that you can wear discretely for a few days that will track the changes in its rhythm. The device records the information and is read at your doctors office.At the end of the test it is up to you to keep a diary of your diet, in take of caffeine or other stimulants, stress level and activity minute by minute. Then they can track a cause and effect. I am not sure how much this costs or when it is considered covered by insurance, but its worth a try.

If you find that there is a pattern that is related to your menstrural cycle, you should insist that your doctor (gyno) run checks on your hormone levels. Thyroid condititions can cause palpitations. The other thing to think about is dehydration or water retention related to your period. It is relatively normal for women's brains to swell a little because of water retention it sometimes causes headaches and occasionally, can cause the body to go "crazy" (ie pms) and shoot off adrenaline, or other "stress hormones" for no reason. Also, you have a one year old, talk to your gynecologist about hormone changes after birth or breast feeding.

It could be anxiety, but it is better to check everything and have an answer, so you know that you can cross off the possibility of heart attack off of your list during these attacks. If you know what I mean. It will save you the $800 bill at the emergency room once a month. You can tell yourself, "ok, I am going to live, I need to breathe and eat something." that always works for me. I also, call my mom or my husband until the feeling passes, so I dont run to the people in the grocery store and tell them to call an ambulance anymore. : )

just so you know, hyperventalation causes numbness and tingling in your arms and hands. It also causes tightness in your chest. You can start to feel palpitations and then, think "well thats weird" so you start thinking about it and start breathing short quick gasps then.......

I am your age, so I understand the look that you get from doctors when you are worried about your health and they think you are stressed out. But the symptoms are scary and you want them to stop occurring. Once it happens once you worry about it happening again. It is hard to accept that it is anxiety because it seems harder to control. Understand that anxiety is a natural reflex that fires when its not supposed to. You can read about the physiology here somewhere here, but essentially, your brain says "we are in trouble". You blood rushes to organs that need it most to survive, heart, lungs and brain. There are a ton of other chemical changes during panic attacks.

Ok, I have yapped enough. Can you tell I have been there? Take care.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 18th, 2005
Experienced User
It is always a good idea to have a thorough medical check-up to exclude any medical condition that could account for these anxiety attacks.

Anxiety attacks are caused by excess adrenaline production, because of some internal biological abnormality.

Adrenaline functions to shift biological energy away from less important bodily functions such as digestion, to those organs in the body that need to be energized in cases of crises, such as the heart, muscles and brain.

Thus a common symptoms of anxiety attacks are heart palpitations.

Adrenaline functions to increase blood sugar levels when the brain senses a possible energy starvation. All energy is ultimately derived from glucose in our food. Thus if we have insulin resistance, it means that the receptors for insulin - that pushes glucose across cell membranes into cells - fail to supply cells with appropriate amounts of glucose. Blood sugar levels go up (not absorbed) and the body produces more insulin into the system trying to push glucose into cells. This is then followed by a sudden drop of blood sugar levels (called hypoglycemia) and the brain is momentarily starved of energy. The brain then releases stress hormones - adrenaline- to increase blood sugar levels quickly from sugar stores in the body (glycogen stores). And voila we have an internally driven fear response without an external source of fear.

The non-drug treatment is going on a hypoglycemic diet.

Jurriaan plesman
Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
Learn how doctors clinically diagnose one of twelve kinds of anxiety disorders...and which doctors you should see for an anxiety diagnosis....
Anxiety disorders can affect anyone. But do you know the common signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders? Learn more now....
Anxiety is a normal, healthy emotion when experienced during specific moments. But do you know the signs that anxiety has gotten out of control? Read more here...