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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest remedies for severe anxiety

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Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2014

Answered : 2243 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 3 Nov 2017 in Mental Health
Question: I thought I was having anxiety attacks that always hit right before a bowel movement. ..I'd get hot or cold, spacey head feeling, increased awareness of heartbeat etc...but got a fit bit for my birthday with a heart rate monitor so ive been able to track my HR and right before I get the feeling of having to "go", my heart rate drops to 47-55 and then slowly goes back to normal 74ish, or sometimes will increase to 90'110 then go back to normal. If I can't "go" bc I'm at work and too many customers, this process will repeat for a few cycles or until the urge to defecate goes away. I've had heart tests and Holton monitors done before, my heart is perfectly healthy. What could possibly be causing this before a bowel movement? .
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Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 21 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Consultation

Detailed Answer:
Hello, and thanks for your question.

Bowel movements activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers the heart rate to engage in "resting and digesting." It is perfectly normal for the heart rate to drop and this is not dangerous at all -- most likely you are just having anxiety about it. Over time this will pass. You may need to see a therapist to discuss your anxiety, preferably using a CBT approach.

Please rate and close your answer when you are finished and satisfied.

In the future, for continuity of care, I encourage you to contact me directly at my private web address below. After you ask a direct question, it would be my pleasure to be your dedicated personal physician on this website. My name is Dr. Sheppe, and I am an XXXXXXX doctor working in New York City at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, ranked #1 for Psychiatry in the United States (tinyurl.com/psyrank). For a personalized comprehensive evaluation, treatment recommendations, and individual therapy, ask me at HealthCareMagic at this private web address: tinyurl.com/DrSheppeAnswers
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Follow up: Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 10 minutes later
ooooh, is that what they meant when he said vasovagal reaction?? I thought vagals made you faint? is that the same thing as what you're describing?
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Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 27 hours later
Brief Answer:
Followup

Detailed Answer:
Yes these are the same, and while vasovagal reactions can sometimes cause fainting it is relatively rare.

Please rate and close your answer when you are finished and satisfied.

In the future, for continuity of care, I encourage you to contact me directly at my private web address below. After you ask a direct question, it would be my pleasure to be your dedicated personal physician on this website. My name is Dr. Sheppe, and I am an XXXXXXX doctor working in New York City at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, ranked #1 for Psychiatry in the United States (tinyurl.com/psyrank). For a personalized comprehensive evaluation, treatment recommendations, and individual therapy, ask me at HealthCareMagic at this private web address: tinyurl.com/DrSheppeAnswers
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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