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Anxiety, heart attack symptoms.

#1
Hope this is the right place for this.

Not looking for people to diagnose me, just want to vent. I've been having heart problems on and off for pretty much most of the year. It started with random small pains in my heart, jaw, back and left arm. I went to the doctor in march who did an ECG and it was normal so they just said it's probably anxiety. But since when does anxiety cause such specific symptoms like this? Everything I have read says these are the warning signs of a heart attack. I went to the hospital last friday to get another ECG and it was normal. The doctor again told me it's probably anxiety but I don't believe it. I'm convinced these are the warning symptoms of a heart attack because they never go away and they get worse when I'm physically active (even just moving my body slightly causes pain). I've never heard of anyone with anxiety describe pain that goes into their jaw, left arm and back. I also get a weird feeling in my throat like burning/indigestion. This is driving me CRAZY and making my depression extremely bad. I've stopped exercising completely and am basically just sitting in my room afraid to do anything while I wait for this heart attack to happen. It's ruining me. I'm only 31 and I'm probably going to have a heart attack and there's nothing I can do about it but sit and wait for it.

For the record I also suffer with severe mental illness, had anxiety since I was 15, suffered with brain fog and disturbed sleep for the past 6 years. I believe all of this building up to a heart attack.
 

Acy

Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense
ADMIN
#2
Hi @LadyLottie. Wow I’m sorry you are that anxious and feeling unwell.

I think that the “good” things are that your ECGs were normal, and you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety issues in the past. You are young and don’t have a history of heart problems.

Have you made an appointment with your family doctor to follow up this episode? S/he can give you a complete physical. I would mention the specific symptoms that are worrying you that you feel are not associated with anxiety. The doctor can then assess you and offer you tips on what to do.

I do know that for me, the more I read Dr. Google and try to match my symptoms, the more worried I become. The snag is that I am not a doctor, so a lot of the info for doctors is based on years of medical practice (which is not necessarily stated in the article). Since I’m not a doc, I’m missing info/knowledge so my interpretation is not necessarily correct.

However, all the stuff on anxiety and heart problems that I read, suggested that if we have chest pain that moves into the arm or jaw, or that is different than we’ve experienced in the past, then getting it checked is a smart move. In your case, to help remain calm for now, I would also keep in mind that a recent ECG while you were having pain was normal, but I’d probably get it checked.

Maybe see your family doc if you can. Anxiety magnifies everything in my experience - worries, physical symptoms, fears. The doctor will likely be able to offer you a lot of reassurance, and if needed, further investigation or tips on what to do.

Be well!
 

emily91

Well-Known Member
#3
I have been to hospital before because I convinced myself it was a genuin heart attack

just my anxiety though, and afterwards I felt so bad for wasting their time

thankfully I have not had a repeat of this for some time
 
#4
Sorry that you're going through this @LadyLottie

At the beginning of this year, I started having chest pains whenever I would walk or exert myself. The pain would also go down into my left arm. It became really debilitating at times. I once walked about half a mile, and the pain got so bad I think it took me over an hour to get back home. I could only take a couple steps, and then I'd have to rest. I even felt like I was going to vomit at one point.

Because of Covid, I held off on seeing a doctor until July. I had the ECG done, which was normal. I told my doctor that I wanted to try getting it treated with acupuncture first, but I knew if I told them I had symptoms that sounded heart-related, they'd tell me to see a doctor. My doctor agreed that I should try acupuncture for about a month, and that I could come back and get a treadmill stress test if it didn't work. He told me I could tell the acupuncturist that the symptoms were not heart related.

When I got the acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist said, "Oh, it sounds like your triple burner meridian". I wasn't completely cured after the first treatment, but I tried looking up the triple burner meridian online, and there was a website that recommended tapping a particular acupuncture point between the knuckles on each hand.

So whenever I'd go for a walk, I started tapping that point. I found that massaging the point with a small stick worked even better.

Pretty soon, I could just do a little bit of massage on the point, and then I could walk with little or no pain.

I still get a little bit of pain now and then when I walk, but it's maybe 98% improved.
 
#5
Maybe see your family doc if you can. Anxiety magnifies everything in my experience - worries, physical symptoms, fears. The doctor will likely be able to offer you a lot of reassurance, and if needed, further investigation or tips on what to do.
I'm scared to go back to my doctor because I've been to see him about this multiple times, I'm afraid I'll just be wasting his time. I've had 2 ECGs and both were normal. My blood pressure is low but that's because of my medication that I take for my broken sleep pattern which is Mirtazapine (Remeron).

I went outside today for the first time in a week. It was awful. In pain and under constant anxiety all the time. Same pains in my heart, jaw and middle of my back. And all the while I'm walking around trying to convince myself it's just anxiety but I don't believe it.

I hate this so much. 😞
 

Acy

Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense
ADMIN
#8
I'm scared to go back to my doctor because I've been to see him about this multiple times, I'm afraid I'll just be wasting his time. I've had 2 ECGs and both were normal. My blood pressure is low but that's because of my medication that I take for my broken sleep pattern which is Mirtazapine (Remeron).

I went outside today for the first time in a week. It was awful. In pain and under constant anxiety all the time. Same pains in my heart, jaw and middle of my back. And all the while I'm walking around trying to convince myself it's just anxiety but I don't believe it.

I hate this so much. 😞
I’m sorry it’s still so challenging and scary for you. You have had two normal ECGs. Does the doctor understand how anxious these symptoms make you? Anxiety can trigger physical responses that are like symptoms of serious things. I think that’s why it’s best to see the doctor. Perhaps you could mention that you understand the previous ECGs were normal...yet these various pains worry you a lot. Maybe the doc can offer you some reassurance and some tips for managing the anxiety.

The good news is that the other ECGs were normal, and from what I’ve read, panic attacks (severe anxiety?) can make people feel like it’s hard to breathe and their chest is tight. Those might be things to talk over with your doctor.

I doubt that an empathetic doctor would think you are wasting his time. If you are worried, I’d say see the doc and make sure you are not having heart issues, and do talk about the effects that anxiety is having on you.
 
#11
Really can't take this anymore. It is just making me want to die all the more. Been suffering with this all year and it isn't going away. Every doctor just says "it's anxiety, go home". How am I supposed to believe that when even just sitting up from my chair makes my heart hurt? I have every single warning sign of a heart attack. Pain that radiates from my heart, into my jaw/tooth, my collarbone, into my shoulder and back, and right down my left arm into the tips of my fingers.

I can't exercise anymore. I'm too scared to even walk down the street. I'm almost bedridden. I can't do anything with my damn life anymore.
 
#12
Every doctor just says "it's anxiety, go home"
I think the doctors are wrong. I don't think it's just anxiety.

The question is, where do you go from here?

This is what I'd recommend.

This diagram shows a point labeled as "TH2"
https://d1dvupm0dmwrkj.cloudfront.net/assets/files/2037/th_meridian.gif

If you take an object, like a retractable ball point pen, with the point retracted, you can massage the TH2 point on both hands. The diagram probably shows where the point is best, but it's between and slightly behind the knuckles of the pinky and ring fingers on each hand. You may have to poke around to find the point exactly, but it should be sore, and may require a fair amount of pressure to locate and massage it. Maybe a minute or more on each hand at a time.

The reason why I'd recommend this is because I had nearly the exact same problem, and this fixed it. It's also really easy to do.

If you try it and it works, everything will instantly get better. If you try it and it doesn't work, you really haven't lost anything.

If it doesn't work, I can try to make some other recommendations, but this is a good start.

Hugs
 
#13
I think the doctors are wrong. I don't think it's just anxiety.

The question is, where do you go from here?

This is what I'd recommend.

This diagram shows a point labeled as "TH2"
https://d1dvupm0dmwrkj.cloudfront.net/assets/files/2037/th_meridian.gif

If you take an object, like a retractable ball point pen, with the point retracted, you can massage the TH2 point on both hands. The diagram probably shows where the point is best, but it's between and slightly behind the knuckles of the pinky and ring fingers on each hand. You may have to poke around to find the point exactly, but it should be sore, and may require a fair amount of pressure to locate and massage it. Maybe a minute or more on each hand at a time.

The reason why I'd recommend this is because I had nearly the exact same problem, and this fixed it. It's also really easy to do.

If you try it and it works, everything will instantly get better. If you try it and it doesn't work, you really haven't lost anything.

If it doesn't work, I can try to make some other recommendations, but this is a good start.

Hugs
So this is a type of Chinese medicine that involves massaging pressure points. I just sat and did it for 5 minutes but nothing has changed.

Now it seems I'm getting a sharp pain directly from my heart into my breast/nipple, which is also a warning sign.

My life is over.
 
#14
Sorry that it didn't help. I did it when I'd walk, so I could feel the pain while I was doing it, and I could feel the pain diminish. Could you feel a point that was sore when you did it?

You may want to try doing the same massage for a few days to see if it eventually helps.

Another thing you can do is try seeing an acupuncturist. The link in my signature has some information about finding affordable treatment.

An acupuncturist may say "I think I know what the problem is, and I think I can treat it", or they otherwise might be able to give you a better idea of what's going on.

If you have a lot of cholesterol in your diet (foods like eggs, dairy, certain meats), you might want to try experimenting with reducing those.
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#17
Just want to put this out there, but anxiety can lead to symptoms such as pain in the arm chest and jaw to be experienced. If it was of a cardiac nature, then it would've been picked up by an ECG. Blood tests would also be able to pick up the presence of biological markers indicative of a cardiac event.

So perhaps @may71 the doctors may not be wrong. Howevever, I would question their attitude in just dismissing it as anxiety and not addressing it with a view to reducing such levels currently being experienced.

@LadyLottie , I'm sorry you are currently experiencing so much distress at the moment and I hope that a clinician will be able to pinpoint the exact cause and deal with it effectively for you.
 
#18
I had many of the same symptoms, plus heart palpitations. Like you, I was really worried that I had a serious heart condition.
Howevever, I would question their attitude in just dismissing it as anxiety and not addressing it with a view to reducing such levels currently being experienced
@Ash600 makes a very good point here. Even when my doctor said my symptoms weren't heart related, he still wanted to get to the bottom of them, since it was a barrier to my getting exercise. He recommended that I get a stress test if acupuncture didn't clear things up.

What you've got sounds very much like what I had, only much more severe. I hope you'll keep trying the massage, and maybe try seeing an acupuncturist.

I also found that massaging a point called "PC6" helped too (like the other, massaged on both sides).
 

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