Medical Questions > Mental Health > Anxiety and Stress Forum

Extreme Dizziness During Exercise (Page 1)

Hi everyone,
lateley i've been very anxious and I have had a couple of panic attacks. At least I hope that's all it is. The cause of my anxiety is that I feel there is something wrong with my heart. I'm only 25 and I work out and eat right, but I have this irrational fear of having serious heart problems. What makes me think so is that throughout the day I experience high heart rate, punding heart, pain/discomfort in under my left shoulder blade, and other weird sensations in my chest.
The worst though is the extreme dizziness I experience lately when working out. Besides the dizziness, my heart rate more intense than usually (pounding really hard), and I don't seem to get as hot and sweety anymore (more like a cold sweet) I love to work out and fear that it's being "taken" away from me. Can anxiety and stress cause the dizziness and other things i'm experiencing while working out?
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First Helper LNSP
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replied November 29th, 2005
Chris, absolutely it is the anxiety. When I was 21 I experienced a period of time of myself several panic attacks. Ultimately one lead me to drive myself to the emergency room and delared I was having a heart attack. The doctors thought I was nuts. I just didn't know anything about panic attacks back then. They went away for 20 years, but i'll get them now from time to time. Research them and try to find a way to handle them that you are comfortable with. There is hypnotherapy, biofeedback, courses you can buy- dr lucinda basset and a variety of ways to combat anxiety/stress. I'm not one to do xanax or paxil, but these drugs would probably help.

I know I tend to get anxious in places where I might have had a panic attack. Seeing that when working out you were "stricken".... This might make you anxious next time you work out...Kinda like you are anticipating the panic to hit you.

Even go visit a cardiologist to check out your heart...Maybe this will give you peace of mind (maybe not). Panic/stress causes weird things..Your thoughts are very powerful.
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replied November 29th, 2005
Experienced User
Maybe you should go see a doctor to be safe,
but I have very similar symptoms to you and I have anxiety.
I've had several heart check ups and they have all been normal,
worrying about your heart a lot can cause these symptoms
with exercise...I'd check your breathing, as overbreathing
could be a cause, i'm only 16 and worrying too much about this
kind of stuff but now i'm scared to exercise due to these symptoms.
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replied November 29th, 2005
Thanks for the feed back. I was starting to feel a bit better until the dizziness in the gym. Of course when I looked this symptom up on the internet, it says it could be my heart. So I worry that it is. Now, I get anxious when I leave for the gym, or I am about to go for a run. I had no idea that anxiety could cause this dizzieness in the gym too.
I have seen a doctor, and she's convinced I have anxiety and panic. I haven't got my blood tests back yet, nor have I had the ecg i'm scheduled to have. Maybe once these check out, if they do, i'll feel better. This anxiety is just destroying my lift. I wish I could just turn it off.
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replied November 30th, 2005
Hey Chris
I do hope you go an d seek the help of a doctor........It sounds sort of serious to me. Hope all works out for you.

let me know how everything works out for you chris.


Scott
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replied March 11th, 2008
chris
can i ask you a question on this topic?
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replied July 14th, 2008
chirs
Chris, Im 27 years old, I have been getting the same thing lately. Every time I go for a walk, I feel dizzy, light headed, and that cold sweat feeling. The back of my neck muscles tighten up, so when I turn my head, it feels like I will lose consiousness almost, weirdest feelings. Doctors think its anxiety, after I thought it was my heart. had some tests, turns out heart is ok. But it didnt calm me down that much, with so many other things that could be wrong with a human, its hard to try and relax and just "settle" on it being anxiety. I wish it would go away too. I used to remember excersing and feeling great, having no worries what so ever. Now Im afraid to get my heart up at all...
scott
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replied July 15th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Have you taken you blood pressure when this happens. What does you pulse rate go up to?
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replied August 14th, 2008
Scott/Chris (and rest of forum)- it's comforting to ready other people's experience. I am 29 yr old male with some history of panic/anxiety attacks. First happened in 2001 after a holiday where I got real rundown- woke up one night with racing pulse and cold sweat- had all the holter checks and heart was fine but didn't feel comforted. Didn't have many again until last year- work took a toll on me and I would wake up feeling tired in the morning- get tired and panting from even walking 5 mins to the train station. On the train when sitting down would feel like I could not breathe and sleepy/light headed. Other times it was more intense - pains in my neck (like they were tensing) and inside my head felt like I was going crazy, racing pulse and whole body aches, feeling I could pass out but then would subside with some slow breathing/paper bag- but at the time it feels awful. I used to get some extra heartbeats now and again although thankfully that was when I was shattered and I don't tend to get them much now.

For a guy who used to go to the gym 3 times a week for a mix of weights and cardio I was pretty worried and had lots of checks- BP, ECG and even Ultrasound of the heart, Catacolymines (adrenaline levels) in urine, Thyroid checks, blood tests - I felt so unwell generally although all the checks showed I was otherwise healthy (resting pulse about 48 now- used to be 38 as a teen). I started seeing a pyschotherapist to discuss my panic/anxiety attacks and it did help a little . I am calmer and less stressed than I used to be but I still don't feel confident to exercise as I feel I have developed a phobia of getting exhausted or light headed or getting another attack at work or being convinced there is something wrong with my heart- I can always feel my heartbeat- sometimes its a real faint palpitation- other times its fast and pounding- especially after eating lunch- so I try to eat light and not drink too much water at once- as it feels like this amplifies the palpitations? Do any of you ever get this?

I might be exercising and I will feel a sudden feeling of the wind being taken out of me and I feel dizzy. It's irrational- everyone should exercise but I get light headed just thinking about it- want to go back to my old self....My therapist says its like you get stressed and you're stress levels are residually higher than normal although it may not show on medical tests. When you get frustrated or stressed it pushes it up and slowly it exhausts you. You need to rest well, eat good foods like fresh fruits, fish, and exercise slowly building it up- so your pulse is about 120 bpm for 20 mins with something simple like walking. I myself have been doing this with some success but lately I feel like I have regressed. On some days I feel fine and invigorated after exercise- others I feel totally spent and tight and dizzy even shaking. Part of me feels it is all in my head- I mean doctors arent always right but what is the chance of us all having serious heart conditions at this age- given history of exercise and otherwise active lifestyle... All I know is I never had this issue much before work got me stressed so it's all correlated to life changes and how we need to learn to deal with it better? Hope we can all beat this and get to our former selves.
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replied October 10th, 2008
dizzy too!!!
Hi, guys,
I am 3 months Post partum, and have been dizzy and anxious since I had my baby. Within 2 weeks of having my baby, I've been extremely dizzy. A sense of of off balance I would say. I've had blood tests done, and have been to the ENT. I feel nausea and have no appetite. The dizziness is what is killing me. It is like I am constantly on a boat. I also have extreme fatigue. Everyone says Post partum is what I have, but I feel like there is something else wrong. I also am getting anxiety attacks. I own a restaurant and the other night i had to deliever to the hospital where i had my baby, and deliver food to the nurses and doctors that helped me, and i had such a attack. It was crazy.
Any advice????
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replied December 23rd, 2008
maanam
I'm reading your post, and its almost identical to what i'm experiencing now. Did you ever find a solution/remedy? Did you decide to take medication for anxiety?
Thanks in advance...

awilli1
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replied January 29th, 2009
Anxiety During Exercise
It is such a comfort, if a crazy sort of way, to hear of others that are experiencing what I am. At the end of July 2008 I was in the gym doing my workout and had what I thought at the time, was a heart attack. Of course, it wasn't. It was stress or strain from the exercise which caused my heart to stop for just a second a.k.a. valsalva. Well as my body was recovering from the valsalva, I started to have my first full on anxiety attack which took on the symptoms of a heart attack and off I went to the hospital in the ambulance. Well, the rest is pretty much what everyone else is talking about. I've had every test done and I am completely well. Except that now, I can no longer exercise (even walking on the treadmill) without having an anxiety attack. Sometimes if I keep the pace slow, or only go for twenty minutes or so, I can go without one. But the other day I went past my twenty minute mental comfort zone and did thirty minutes. Well, I had a full blown anxiety attack but forced myself to continue talking myself through it. It took me nearly twenty minutes to recover once I finished and I felt like so tired and sore in my chest the rest of the day and night and woke up the next day still sore. I am seeing a therapist, and have Zanex to take but I hesitate to start taking it because I don't want to get hooked and I really don't think it will help, plus I can't imagine exercising while I'm all doped up. When I exercise I am extremely dizzy to the point where the room starts to spin, my chest hurts, its hard to breath, etc... I haven't been exercising regularly since my incident six months ago and I'm really getting out of shape which totally bums me out.

Kathleen
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replied March 2nd, 2009
Same shakiness and other anxiety/panic symptoms as many here
I'm just writing to say this is a common condition. My wife has had panic attacks for several years, probably stress from our children ... Wink ... and a number of people I've met have had them, so I think this is becoming an increasingly common condition.

I am a 43 year old male who has been having many of the same anxiety symptoms (racing pulse, dizziness, fear of dying or going crazy, tingling, chest and abdominal pain, etc.) as the people above. I have panic attacks or near attacks (extreme anxiety) for a little more than a year, with two trips to the ER before I finally started taking Xanax to stop the attacks. I've had lots of tests and there is apparently nothing physically wrong with me, except for whatever is causing the anxiety.

Anyway, I sometimes get weakness, dizziness, and shakiness after exercise and it was stressing me out and making me afraid to exercise. Xanax somehow helps get rid of the skaking and other symptoms. I just returned from shoveling snow for an hour and had the shakiness, weird sensations, and anxiety for the first time in a week or so due to exercise. My blood pressure and pulse are normal, close to ideal, while this is happening. The symptoms slowly subsided, but I'm working so I took a Xanax to be sure.

I'm very independent and against taking pills to solve your problems, but the ER visits convinced me I needed help while I work on whatever inside me is causing the underlying anxiety. Often a little Xanax helps a lot. For me, the smallest dose (.25mg) or even half that has a noticeable effect. You may want to see your doctor and give it a try.
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replied March 2nd, 2009
Update on my condition
Hi there anxiety-guy and everyone out there. I have gone through quite a transition since I last wrote on January 29. The huge difference is I have approached my anxiety problem from a metaphysical point of view rather than medical. I was sick and tired of trying to get inside my mind to try (try is a keyword here) and figure out what is wrong. I was sick and tired of being sick and came to a point where I was either going to take to my bed and die or change my life 180 degrees. About three weeks ago, a very dear friend of mine on the West Coast who is deeply into Chinese philosophy and Holistic healing gave me sage words of advice that I have been following. These words of advice are have become a part of who I am and will be for as long as I walk this planet. As a result, my life has completely changed in EVERY way.

Here are his words. He simply told me that I do not have to OWN my sickness. That it (the anxiety and all it's symptoms) is simply a manifestation of whatever is bugging me. Bottom line, I don't need to know what is bugging me or why. In fact, the more I concentrate on what is bugging me and why, the more I OWN the problem. I know this sounds too simple to work, too obvious to be true. And no matter how I attempt to explain it, you may or others may, think "this chick is nuts". I hope not because I am 90% + better than I was when I wrote the last time. At first, I kept having to remind myself of what I was doing . I don't use the word "try" to do, I just do it. I know longer have distorted thoughts about my body and what is going to happen if I push myself too far. And when I get dizzy, I just think to myself "oh I'm dizzy" and I continue on with whatever I'm doing. Every now and then I have distorted thoughts and when I do, I realize that this is exactly what they are and I continue on. I have tried Zanex in a low dose and all it does is make me sleep for an hour and I wake up with a hangover that lasts for the remainder of the day. My husband is a Doctor and he says that I have changed to a degree that he hardly recognizes me. I am happy, my eyes are bright and full of joy, and I am no longer dwelling on sickness and sadness and fright. When I workout on the treadmill, I am no longer dizzy and I push myself into physical situations when I'm on the treadmill that would have, in the past, made me very dizzy. Simple things like turning my head rapidly in one direction or the other, listening to the t.v or radio, reaching for a bottle of water, thinking and I mean thinking as in distorted thoughts, that the room is too hot, constantly checking my heart rate... You get the picture. I NO LONGER OWN ANY OF THIS BS. I look back on it like it was all a dream, it just never existed. Okay, there it is in a nutshell. Do what you want with the information. If you can really believe in yourself, and you know that there is nothing wrong with you, than you can get over this hump and have a normal life again.

Love and good health to you all,

Kathleen
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Users who thank redone1958 for this post: Anarka  livluv 

replied March 15th, 2009
anxiety is frustrating
it all started in july 2008.Nausea,virtigo,feeling sick,loss of appetite.Then i picked up other symptoms later, muscle twitching under my eyebrow,ringing in my ear,zig zag lines in my vision, anxiety. The symptoms would happen and id feel sick for 2-3 days, they id be fine for a week or 2 or 3, then it gets me again.Ive been to many drs and had all the tests, ekg,24 hr ekg,eeg,24 hr eeg,brain mri,neck mri,cat scan,corotid checked,ear specialist,eye dr,etc.every single test is "normal".i am 51 and in ecxeptional physical condition so i wonder what is wrong with me.as the last resort, im now seeing a therapist.also stopped taking vytorin, the only rx i take.could this be the cause?take 1/2 zanax, but only ehen absolutely needed.only taken 2 pills in many months.is this vytorin poisonig? or stress causing these symptoms?im frustrated and just want to be the old me again.any opinions?
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replied March 15th, 2009
Acupuncture
Hi there,

I went through all the same tests as you and tried drugs too. All my symptoms stopped after seeing an acupuncturist. The symptoms stopped after my first treatment. I highly recommend Eastern Medicine as an alternative to recommended treatments. Also, read my blog just above yours.

Many Blessings,

Kathleen
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replied May 27th, 2009
Something to point out
For those who have the following symptoms post or during exercise.

Sweating normally that turns to a cold sweat
Light headedness
Dizziness
Nausea
Mind numbing fatigue
post exercise irritability or zoning out.

Check your blood sugar at the time of these symptoms. After exercise I sometimes have all these symptoms, they arrive pretty much one after the other in a space of around 5 minutes.

I checked my blood sugar and it had crashed.

A quick fix is a sugar rich sports drink, these remove all my symptoms within a few minutes and I can continue exercising.
A better fix is to regulate your food intake.

Buy yourself a blood sugar monitor and try it, this could be the cause. Take readings before and after exercise over a week or so and especially if you feel these symptoms. Then visit a doctor.

Hope it helps some of you.
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replied June 9th, 2009
chest pain, headaches and nausea
hi everyone! i have some of the symptoms that you have all experienced but in not quite the same way. im a healthy 19yo female who eats well but have never been into sport, but can walk for hours. lately i have started exercising properly but cant even do 10 minutes of easy cycling without getting sharp pains in my chest (i cant even tell if its my lungs or my heart), blunt headaches and feeling like im going to vomit. ive only ever had 2 panic attacks at work which has nothing to do with exercise. please help!
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replied June 23rd, 2009
I suffered very badly from panic attacks a few months after I gave up smoking. It was really bad for about 18 months, I had them pretty much any time I was out of my house, but I refused to stop going out. That was 6 years ago. I still get them sometimes and exercise still sets them off. My focus is not that I am going to die, but that I am going to be sick or pass out and embarrass myself.

My Dad nearly died from a stomach ulcer bleed about 25 years ago and he said he suffered from them after that, thinking he was going to die. He had a friend that was diagnosed with cancer and her prognosis was not good and she had also suffered from panic attacks. Her advice to my father was this:

"You are going to die once... one day, this is inevitable. Don't die a million times. When you feel an attack coming just let it wash over you."

This helped him get through them. And when he relayed it to me it helped me come up with the method that helps me.

The method I use is to just say to myself "No, I am not going to do this anymore" as soon as I feel one approaching. I still get them sometimes but they last a max of 5 mins compared to hours before.
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replied August 7th, 2009
PlEASE HELP.
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