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Can anxiety cause heartrate problems in a healthy person?

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Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 1279 Questions
How do you help people with "white coat syndrome"? I went to ER 6 months ago from dehydration and norovirus. I had to be kept overnight because my heartrate went to 160 for about 12 beats. my husband told the doctors there was nothing wrong because he knows Mr. My primary care physician was upset about this but after an awesome ecocardiogram at my age she was surprised. Can anxiety cause heartrate problems on an otherwise healthy person? How do I stop this? my heart is in 90s at doctors, 70 at work and low 60s at home.
Posted Sun, 23 Mar 2014 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Arif N Khan 19 minutes later
Brief Answer: Kindly reply few questions.. Detailed Answer: Hello, I have analyzed your question, yes definitely anxiety of any reason could increase the heart rate, but usually it will settle down once the anxiety agent is removed. In your case the TACHYCARDIA was present up to considerable amount of time. Kindly reply few questions so that I can guide you further: Do you have any associated chest pain or breathing difficulty or palpitation? Do you have any history of sudden wakening up during sleep with any complaints? Are you stressed out or nervous due to any reasons? Have you ever consulted a cardiologist for the same complaints? Have you undergone any other blood investigations, especially Thyroid function test?.. Please ask if you have more questions, and do write back with the answers so that I can guide you further. Awaiting your response. Regards Arif
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Follow-up: Can anxiety cause heartrate problems in a healthy person? 5 minutes later
My blood workup was fine. My eco-cardiogram came out great. No chest pain at all. had an Atrial Fibrilation attack at age 29-30 but cardiologist said to go back to normal life. Primary care doctor said the afib and tachycardia was caused by dehydration low potassium. In my 20s a psychologist said I had PSTD (not the Vietnam vet kind, but post trauma depression, anxiety). I don't have thyroid problems. Have moderate hi cholesterol a few years ago. I was a runner all through my 20s with no heart problems. Stopped running for year then had a trainer at gym train me too hard age 29. I drank caffeine and took Alleges and a Zoloft. I was low on potassium and got the afib. The cardiologist said it could have happened to anyone the worked out too hard and got low on potassium. The ER doctors thought I had major anxiety. At age 41 the ER visit was tachycardia. I had no chest pains, had stomach problems worse than ever and couldn't drink water. After testing my primary care doctor said every family has trigger: heart, migraine, back. In my family its heart. My aunt, uncle, grandpa had non life threatening heart arrhythmias, but mine is nothing. My doctor has seen me for 12 years and said I have too much "adrenaline" in my system, too much fight or flight. Sorry if I asked this question and you are an OBGYN, not cardiologist. After the ER visit in September, I got called back for 2nd mammogram and ultrasound. I only had lots of cysts and adenoma, not cancer. My question is mainly how to get over fear of doctors and tests. I stopped caffeine altogether.
Answered by Dr. Arif N Khan 9 hours later
Brief Answer: Your symptoms seems to be chronic Panic attacks. Detailed Answer: Hello, I apologize for the late response; I was away from my computer due to unavoidable reasons. I can understand how you are feeling....I am sorry for your present situation. Coming back to your question, Tachycardia often causes a considerable amount of fear because when it occurs randomly it makes you think that something is wrong with your heart. But often times it's anxiety that causes the tachycardia, and in most cases the tachycardia is completely harmless.As your doctor rightly said its your bodies "fight or flight system" and adrenalin rush which is causing all these problems. Tachycardia as such is not XXXXXXX but if a person is having some underlying heart disease then its XXXXXXX Once your body is exposed to too much adrenaline your heartbeat won't slow until it gets back to its normal balance. The best thing you can do for yourself is learn to control your anxiety and stop your anxiety from getting out of control. There are many relaxation methods to calm your body, for example: 1)Breathing exercises 2)Yoga 3)Meditation 4)Body massage 5)Progressive muscle relaxation.....etc Along with that I also advise you to get Thyroid function evaluation done (mainly to rule out Hyperthyroidism) which can present with similar symptoms.In serious situations your doctor might even put you on antianxiety and beta blocker medications. It is good that you have stopped taking caffeine. Please ask if you have more questions. If you are satisfied, please make sure that your ACCEPT my answer so that I receive credit. Good luck!!
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