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Getting anxiety, panic attack and irregular heartbeat. Is this related to snoring problem?

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I'm a 45 year old male, not in shape. Lately I've been getting several heart palpatipns a day I have had anxiety and panic attacks in the past, but I don't think these are related. Ihave no symptoms like dizziness or chest pains. I recently started sleeping again with my wife (long story) and she says I snore like a bear. Never been checked for sleep apena, but was wondering if I could have it and if it is affecting my heart in some way??
Posted Tue, 29 Jan 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Anantharamakrishnan 21 minutes later
Hi friend,
Welcome to Health Care Magic

Snoring and sleep apnoea are not necessarily related.
Still, it is wiser to have it checked, in view of your overweight.
Irregular heart beats need to be DOCUMENTED by ElectroCardioGram (ECG / EKG).

Apart from Anxiety, Alcohol / Tobacco (smoking, chewing) / Caffeine (too much coffee, cola) are common causes. Medicines may be responsible – like phenlephrine, pseudoephedrine used for ‘cold’ / salbutamol, salmeterol used for asthma / Illicit ‘drugs’ like amphetamine are notorious to cause abnormal beats
Occasionally, there are abnormal nerve paths (bypass tracts) in the heart.

They are common and often may be normal.
Yet it is advisable to have it investigated.
A thorough history and physical examination is the first step -
Routine 12-lead Electrocardiogram (ECG) is part of clinical examination.
If a routine ECG does not show, 24 to 48 hour ambulatory monitoring (Holter) is done to analyse and plan for further management
ECHOcardiogram is necessary to see the heart valves (Mitral Valve Prolapse) / heart muscle (Cardiomyopathy) and heart function (Ejection fraction, wall motion abnormality).
Treadmill exercise ECG (TMT) is done to exclude Ischemia (reduced blood flow).
Laboratory work-up is routine - like blood counts, sugar, urea, electrolytes (potassium in particular), thyroid (over-active) and so on. Your Internist shall suggest based on the situation.

     If there are no clues and if you are still bothered by it to the extent of interfering with life style, there are more tests. The treating doctor may suggest them depending on need, based on his assessment of the situation. They are advanced techniques of investigations of increasing complexity (and invasive) – like Electro Physiological Studies (EPS) > it resembles angio / a catheter is put inside the heart, electrical activity recorded, stimulation and suppression tests are carried out, suitable medicine tested and so on. Though the test is the gold standard, it is invasive and has a minimal risk and is not generally done unless there are compelling indications. This super-speciality expert is called ELECTRO-PHYSIOLOGIST.

Take care
Wishing speedy recovery
God bless
Good luck
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