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What causes high heart rate when i am anxious?

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Posted on Wed, 13 May 2015
Question: Hi Doctor I have anxiety and sometimes when I get anxious my heart rate will go up to 160 BPM. Is this normal. I saw a cardiologist and did all test on my heart and everything came back normal. I was just wondering if anxiety can really do this? Cardiologist says I get occasional benign PACS due to anxiety and stress not originating from my heart
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Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi (24 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Racing heart can be seen in severe anxiety

Detailed Answer:
Hello thanks for asking from HCM for your health related queries

I can understand your concern. Anxiety is nothing but unpleasant state of inner restlessness which usually occur due to some anticipated events or some times without any reason. If we go in some more medical details then in anxiety individuals body secretes nor-adrenaline which is a neurotransmitter. The neurotransmitter is thought to be responsible for fight-flight response of body.

The neurotransmitter results in increased heart rate apart from other sympathetic responses like tremors, sweating, unknown fear, slurred voice, chocking sensation in neck etc. The heart rate in anxiety can go even up to 180 BPM. So even if you have racing heart even then you are not at all at risk of any cardiac illness.

Your heart tests with cardiologist came normal so as per my opinion no need to fear. Occasional PACS can be seen in anxiety also and should be ignored completely.

So please don't get stressed and remain relaxed. You are absolutely normal.

Thanks, I hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask a follow up if you have more doubts. Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi (33 hours later)
Hi Doctor Thank you so much for your detailed answer. I have one m9re question. Today I had an episode where I felt anxious and my heart rate went up to 165 bpm again. I did some deep breathing and it passed in 3 minutes. Is that normal for anxiety to pass that quickly? Sometimes this can happen a few times per day but my CBT therapy has been helping me shorten the episode
doctor
Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Breathing exercises can bring heart rate to normal

Detailed Answer:
Hello thanks for asking again

Yes by breathing exercises the heart rate comes to normal range in a short time. Yes its normal for anxiety to pass that quickly. Continue to attend CBT sessions and the frequency of episodes of racing heart would decrease.

Thanks, I hope this helps you. Still have more doubts please ask again.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 5187 Questions

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What causes high heart rate when i am anxious?

Brief Answer: Racing heart can be seen in severe anxiety Detailed Answer: Hello thanks for asking from HCM for your health related queries I can understand your concern. Anxiety is nothing but unpleasant state of inner restlessness which usually occur due to some anticipated events or some times without any reason. If we go in some more medical details then in anxiety individuals body secretes nor-adrenaline which is a neurotransmitter. The neurotransmitter is thought to be responsible for fight-flight response of body. The neurotransmitter results in increased heart rate apart from other sympathetic responses like tremors, sweating, unknown fear, slurred voice, chocking sensation in neck etc. The heart rate in anxiety can go even up to 180 BPM. So even if you have racing heart even then you are not at all at risk of any cardiac illness. Your heart tests with cardiologist came normal so as per my opinion no need to fear. Occasional PACS can be seen in anxiety also and should be ignored completely. So please don't get stressed and remain relaxed. You are absolutely normal. Thanks, I hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask a follow up if you have more doubts. Take care