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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Should anxiety causes heart palpitations?

I am a healthy 28 year old female and suffer from anxiety. I work the night shift at a hospital, and every time I come home from work, I notice I have heart palpitations. Once I go to bed and relax, they start to go away. And then I usually don t experience them again until I come home from work the next morning. When I have days off, I don t normally get them. Only when I work night shift. I get more intense palpitations when it s been an extremely stressful night. They aren t as bad when the night has been less stressful. I m thinking it s anxiety, but not sure.
Mon, 1 Sep 2014
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
I have heard similar experience in my practice from night shift workers. If they have no other symptoms, I just reassure them. Lack of sleep and stress both can cause high metabolism and palpitations. If you don't have any other symptoms of anxiety; if your 'anxiety' doesn't interfere with your work or social life; you should not worry about these palpitations. As you have noticed it is often a hectic night schedule that leads to palpitations. Only if you have other anxiety symptoms or if you have frequent problems with your sleep cycle due to shift work, you may seek psychiatric consultation.
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