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I have been experiencing certain symptoms, is this heart problem or anxiety disorder ?

I am a 24 year old male . I have been experiencing certain symptoms for more than 10 years now that have had me worrying if I suffer from a heart problem for a long time. The symptoms have slightly changed over the years and over the last 4 - 5 years, I have been experiencing symptoms like random shortness of breath (fleeting, sometimes only for a second). I also feel my heart beat (slightly pounding feel) when I get anxious/excited such as attempting to sing in a party, etc. Once I relax myself, these symptoms dissappear and generally they don t last for more than a minute or two. The other day, I was trying to catch the company bus. The bus was about to start in 2 mins time and I grew anxious if I would be able to catch it in time. As I started walking fast, I experienced breathlessness for a fraction of a second (it was very scary at that moment though). As I took my seat in the bus and relaxed, I was normal again. I have had similar experiences many times. I also experienced palpitation once in July 2010 (I was having a headbath. I guess I exerted myself too much that resulted in breathlesness followed by the palpitation). The palpitation lasted for an hour and it only stopped after I distracted myself by watching some videos on the net. I had a similar experience in Dec 2005, but that time around, the palpitation lasted for only 15 mins. I also sometimes experience pain in (what I imagine) is my heart. Usually, it feels like a piercing pain in one side of my heart (either left or right). Whenever that happens I usually move to a place where there s no one around and ask myself to relax. (I sometimes start walking around as I believe it eases the pain). The pain usually subsides within 5 minutes but sometimes it has even lasted for about 30 - 45 minutes. After that I feel normal. I also experience fleeting pain in the chest occassionally that lasts from a few seconds to maybe a minute or two. I also occassionally experience what I guess is called a panic attack (I suddenly start feeling like having difficulty breathing, my heart rate getting faster, it feels like I am about to have a heart attack. It is a really scary experience but doesn t last for more than 5 minutes). I have had such an experience 3 - 4 times in the last 4 years. My other symptoms include frequent colds (I experience a runny nose for a day followed by a blocked nose for about a week or two. It is so severe that I get convinced that it s not the natural common cold that happens to everyone. It s sometimes accompanied by fever). Also, after I joined office in 2007, I started wearing socks and shoes everyday and I had skin eczema in my feet and had to take medication for that. It was initially itchy rashes and I kept scratching it which eventually led to eczema I guess). I occassionally also experience a hot feeling in my one of my ears. When I see myself in the mirror, I also notice that ear has turned red. It then becomes normal on its own. Sometimes, red (pinkish) spots appear on my skin that last for about 2 - 4 days and disappear of their own. I have never met a doctor in the last ten years fearing that I could be diagnosed with a serious heart problem. Off late, I have been reading on the net that there s something called an anxety disorder and the symptoms of that are very similar to heart related symptoms. It had me thinking if I too could be suffering from anxiety problem and not any serious heart trouble. Since I m 24 now, I feel the need to know my problem exactly so that I can plan my life forward. I have considered meeting a doctor but I am still apprehensive if the enormity of the situation would have me feeling breathless,etc. Based on what I have described above and considering the fact that I have been experiencing these for many years now, if someone can tell me the likelihood of it being one or the other, I would be very much grateful.
Asked On : Sun, 9 Jan 2011
Answers:  4 Views:  263
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  Anonymous's Response
I'm not a doctor, but I do have heart problems. I've had a quintuple (5) bypass 12 years ago, then 2 years ago I had a mild heart attack, that was fixed by angioplasty and 6 stents. Both procedures were cake to fix. They are the most common procedures done in the U.S. After the bypass I was back at work in 3 weeks, and after the stents, the next day. Let me tell you - you're most likely not having a heart attack. It's probably anxiety from worring about it. Palpitations happen to everyone now and then, and can be quickly alleviated, by a few coughs. A sharp pain once in a while could be a pulled muscle, or even acid reflex. When I had my heart attack, my pain began as a burning in my chest whenever I exerted myself. After a few days it began radiating into my jaw and left arm. Time to see the doctor. If you want to know for sure, see a doctor and take a treadmill stress test. Very simple - they but some sensors on your chest, and you walk on a treadmill. If you have a problem, the doctor will see it right away. And if by chance he finds something amiss, get a second test from someone else. Not all doctors were at the top of their graduation class, if you know what I mean. As far as your anxiety goes, have a glass of wine (or a shot of Jack), watch the Comedy Channel, and STOP WORRYING! You're young. Save the worrying for your golden years. Life's too short to go through it worrying about nothing.
Answered: Mon, 16 May 2011
  User's Response
hi buddy welcome to hcm,the way your history goes and symptoms u have it is looking like that u are having anxity neurosis but still i suggest get done some basic test like ecg,chest x-ray,tsh-for thyroid,biood sugarand cbc.if these test are fine then nothing to worry,build ur self confidence keep yourself busy.for a short span say 10 days u can take anxiolytic drugs.
Answered: Sat, 17 Sep 2011
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Psychiatrist Dr. Alok Ranjan's  Response
AS A MEDICAL STUDENT WHEN I FIRST CAME TO KNOW ABOUT CHAGS DISEASE I THOUGHT MY SELF AS A SUFFERER OF THIS DISEASE AS ONE OF MOST COMMAN SYMPTOM IN CHAGS DISEASE IS EXECESSIVE SLEEP OR SOMNIA,LATER THE DETAILS PROVIDED BY MY TEACHERS AND TEXT BOOK ALLOWED ME TO GET RID OF THIS BELIF.
IT IS NOT UNCOMMAN AMONG PEOPLE TO RELATE ANY CHEST PAIN WITH ANGINA ,AND INFREQUENTY MANY SUBSET OF PEOPLE RELATING EVEN PATHOLOGICAL ANGINA WITH ACIDITY.THE PROBLEM LIES IN UNAWARENESS.
THIS ERA OF MORDEN ADVANCES IN MEDICINE AIMS AT ROLE OF EVERY DOCTOR AS EUCATOR.HE MUST ERADICATE THE MYTHS BY SIMPLE EXPLANATIONS OF SYMPTOMS,HE SHOULD DESCRIBE BRIFELY TO A FRIGHTEN MAN THAT ANGINA IS USUALLY THROBBING OR CHACHING PAIN RADIATING TO LEFT HAND UPTO JAWS AND THEETH AND TIP OF LITTLE FINGER,HE MUST ALSO WARN HIS PATIENT AT THE SAME TIME THAT SYMPTOMS MAY VARY FROM INDIVIDUAL TO INDIVIDUALS.
PATIENT FREQUENTLY COMPLAIN OF LISTENING THERE OWN MURMURS,REPORT OF SENSE OF STOPPAGE OF HEART BEAT.THESE MYTHS MUST BE ERADICATED WITH GREAT CAUTION AS IT MUST BE TOLD TO THEM THAT MURMURSCAN ONLY BE APPRECIATED WITH EXPERT BY STHETESCOPE.HERE THE AIM OF EDUCATION IS TO PREVENT PATIENTS FOR UN-WANTED INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURE TO REDUCE BURDEN ON ALREADY LOADED HEALTH SYSTEM.
MOST QUESTIONS ASKED NOW A DAYS WRE ON SEXUALLITY,STDS ,AIDS,ETC.A GREAT PATIENT BY PART OF DOCTOR COMMUNITY SHOULD BE OBSERVED IN ANSWERING THESE QUESTIONS,NO QUESTION IS ABSURD,IT ONLY SHOWS IMPROPER EDUCATION ABOUT THESE IMPORTANT MEDICAL ISSUES.THESE TYPE OF QUESTIONS ARE OFTEN ASKED BY ADOLESCENCE AND REFUSAL OF THERE QUERY MAY LEAD TO ACCUMULATION OF INADEQUATE AND WRONG INFORMATION BY OTHER MEANS.
THE MAJORITY MASS OF PEOPLE ARE OVER FASTINATED ABOUT USEFULLNESS OF HERBAL MEDICINES AS THEY BELIVE ALL HERBAL MEDICINES HAVE NO SIDE EFFECT AND THEY WANT TO APPLY ON VERY SEVERE CONDITIONS LIKE CAD(CORONARY A DISEASE) AND EVEN IN CANCER.THEY MUST BE WELL INFORMED THAT LIKE ALL OTHER MEDICINES HERBAL MEDICINES HAVE THEIR SIDE EFFECT TOO,ALSO NO SCIENTIFIC EVEDINCE SUGGEST THEIR USEFULLNESS IN THESE PATHOLOGIES.THE PATIENTS SHOLD BE INFORMED OF LIMITED ROLE OF THESE MEDICINES IN PREVENTIVE PART .
Answered: Sat, 17 Sep 2011
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Psychiatrist Dr. Sudeshna Das Purkayastha's  Response
i m a psychiatrist.certainly the symptoms u r having r the symptoms of anxiety excluding the symptom of common cold n the skin problem. u dont seem to suffer from any heart problem.i wud suggest u to see a local psychiatrist so that u can be out of ur symptom.seeing u face to face,the doctor wud be able to suggest u regarding the neccessary treatment.u might improve only through psychological management and if the therapies work on u well,u may be u wud be out of ur problem without medication.all the best.for further queries,visit www.bestpsychiatristindelhi.blogspot.com
Answered: Sun, 22 May 2011
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