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Anxiety and hypochondria. Fear of heart attack. Have breathlessness, back pain had GERD. Am I okay?.

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 540 Questions
hello i want to ask a question. i suffre from very bad anxiety, hypochondria. my fear is dying from heart attack or dvt. i have had numerous tests, in 2011 i have had echo , ekg, blood work chest xray, it was fine my cholesterol in september was 204ldl 147 hdl49 try 68 sugar was 84 . i dont exersise , i dont smoke dont drink,my mom is healthy, my dad had catherization last year had one stent put in he is ok he is 56. last time i asked i wasnt too spesific. i was in er numerous times in the last year due to be out of breath . last time was in october i had ekg, chest x XXXXXXX blood work, it was all ok. also 2 years ago i had stress test i did only 75 percent i stopped the test because i thought i was goint to faint even though doctor told me everuthing looked fine they wanted my heart rate to be 138 i did 122. i laso had event monitor it was fine. i laso was dignosed with gerd in november of 2010. i constantly have this feeling my back hurts, i burp, i am out of breath . i dont know what else i can do. i even did autoimune tests 2 month ago it was all good. i wrote to u about my dad. my moms cardio testys were all good, she does have slightly elevated cholesterol. she takes meds for and blood pressure meds. mine was allwys good.i constantly live in fear i will die . i cant exrsises because i get out of breath i was told its deconditioning what can i do .
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Heart Attack
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 28 minutes later
Hello and thanks for your query.

I shall make an effort to provide you with good professional recommendations specific to your questions.

I want to start by saying an age old saying for you - "Fear is worse than actual disease."

Apart from the 147 mg of LDL into the 'at risk' reading level, I wonder what more tests are left that you have not done in order to convince yourself that you are perfectly normal.

I have the following advice for you now:
1. High LDL values may have to be reviewed if you are a candidate for therapy. Your doctor who has seen you should be saying this for you.
2. GERD is a lifestyle disease and hence lifestyle needs changes if therapy has to work.
3. Back pain sometimes may be the outcome of GERD. But, an examination would help if any other causes exist.
4. Breathless episodes can be a result of panic and fear, apart from GERD.
5. Lifestyle modification - diet/exercise. You will have to adopt a healthy choice now. Dump junk food; eat lot of fresh veggies and fruits. No oily/late timings of food/reclining immediately after dinner. Reduce body weight if excess. Exercise - you seriously need endorphins for overall well being.
6. Get some help with a good psychologist to allay your fears one by one. And follow their advice. Sit for all sessions and get to the bottom of each of your fear, that's the only way you can come out of fear.
7. Start to believe at your age of 33 - these are perfectly fine to live with and can be well controlled by right therapies.

The day that belief comes to you, would be the first day of improvement in your health.

Let me know if I have missed out any other concern in your question.

Yet again, I duly appreciate your query to me, I do hope that you have found something useful to help you and I shall be glad to answer any further apprehensions.


Dr Sujeet N Charugulla,
Consultant Physician.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Anxiety and hypochondria. Fear of heart attack. Have breathlessness, back pain had GERD. Am I okay?. 1 hour later
so after my long query u dont thing i need any more heart tests done. i forgot to also mention i also had chest ct scan with a XXXXXXX to check the lungs. i did head ct . i want to start doing zumba but how slow should i start. 2 years ago i lost weight and my ldl was vety good . this past 2 years was very bad for me . my doctor doesnt think i need madicine at this moment , i have to reatake my chole3sterol test in march and will see what it will show. i go to doctors more then i have to . last year was 15 times . i dont want to have a repeat this year. thats why i am asking all this question.
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 30 minutes later
Thanks for the further information.

Yes, I think at this stage my advise above is more important for you than going for more tests. And as your own doctor echoed my voice, you got to start believing in yourself and move on.

Wish you best of health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Anxiety and hypochondria. Fear of heart attack. Have breathlessness, back pain had GERD. Am I okay?. 44 minutes later
ok can u please answer regarding the exresise how should a person start if he doesnt exerses.sorry to write so much its very hard to believe when u have a panick disorder for so many years u live in constant fear. and when i hear that someone young dies it maskes me so scared
Follow-up: Anxiety and hypochondria. Fear of heart attack. Have breathlessness, back pain had GERD. Am I okay?. 2 hours later
also let me ask one more thing i sit a lot for now and the other thing i am afraid is dvt. i even had 3 dopplers they all were ok. how can u prevent it. i dont smoke. my parents never had dvt . m,y late grandam did have dvt but it was treated
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 2 hours later
Hello again XXXXXXX

Thanks for the follow-up.

Regarding starting the exercises, You can start with a normal paced walk for about 15 to 20 minutes to start with. Then gradually increase the duration and speed over 2 to 4 months period. Increase your speed every week and also the duration every week by about 5 minutes so that by the end of 4 to six months you should be able to walk at a brisk pace or even jog for about 45 minutes daily, covering a distance of about 5 miles in that time.

This way you will not get too tired when you start off and you will gradually build up your stamina and be healthy.

As for your anxiety issue, yes, you need to believe in yourself. You need to let go of the fear and start working your way towards a healthy lifestyle and a happy life.

Fear in itself makes everything look gloomy, so do not let your fears spoil a beautiful life you can have. Think about it and seek help from a counselor to help you overcome your fears, there is nothing wrong in getting help.

And your worry about XXXXXXX vein thrombosis, is also unnecessary. you won't get DVT just by sitting around. You need to have a predisposing condition to develop DVT, which I do not think you have.

I can safely assume that, you do walk around in your house at least. And if at all you have any predisposing factors for DVT, it would have been picked up by the innumerable tests you have have got done.

So please let go of the fear and go forth and enjoy your life.

Walking or jogging and swimming will make sure that you never develop DVT even if you have any predisposing condition.

Hope my answer has been of some help in alleviating your fears.

Please accept my answer if you do not have any more concerns.

Wishing you a great life ahead.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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