Is It Anxiety or heart disease? Sometimes It's Hard to Tell the Difference

Anxiety and panic episodes have specific symptoms with heart conditions like atrial fibrillation, which is why many people mistake them for what they are when they first experience them. Panic attacks and anxiety are adaptive responses designed to assist the body in avoiding or fleeing damage. As with atrial fibrillation, they rapidly raise your heart rate and the power of each beat. Anxiety can help you escape a bear if you encounter one while trekking. Indeed, this is a typical emotional reaction. In some cases, though, unusual reactions can cause worry in both the mind and the body.

Anxiety or heart disease in a Patient?

Anxiety causes tachycardia. Supraventricular tachycardias are characterized by a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute and start in the upper chambers of the heart (SVTs). Both healthy and unhealthy hearts are at risk for developing these conditions. Spontaneous ventricular tachycardias often occur for no apparent reason. Feelings of lightheadedness, dizziness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and fainting are all symptoms of SVT.

Mental processing delays may make it harder to deal with stress and anxiety. Most of my clients come to me after years of dealing with anxiety and the ineffectiveness of many medications their doctors prescribe.

These Are 5 Signs You May Have Irregular Heartbeats

  • Symptom cluster − This is the most specific piece of evidence thus far. Assuming that worry is the source of a rapid heartbeat, stressful emotions trigger this physiological response. Anxiety follows heart palpitations or a beating heart if the heart is the root cause. As anxiety levels rise, a speeding heart might make you dizzy or uncomfortable in the chest.

  • To collapse or have a seizure − Defeating anxiety or panic episodes is an unusual symptom. You may faint if you had your blood drawn or if you were exposed to a traumatic event. Yet, cardiac issues are more likely if there are no symptoms before fainting. Quickly standing from a seated or standing position can cause dizziness in many people, although fainting is far less common. Those who have fainted or had a seizure during physical activity should consult a cardiologist.

  • Breathing too quickly − Hyperventilation occurs at times of extreme stress. If this happens, you may have tingling and numbness in the lips, tongue, and tips of your fingers on both hands. Hyperventilation is a common symptom of anxiety. But if you're also feeling dizzy or faint, your heart rate may be irregular, and your blood pressure may drop.

  • An abnormal heart rhythm − A common cause is increased beats in the heart's upper and lower chambers. Sometimes, everyone experiences a heart skipping or a strong beat. But, those with arrhythmias can feel these other beats, and their hearts will begin to speed as though someone had flipped a switch. On the other hand, anxiety causes a steady rise in heart rate without any irregularities.

  • A weakening heart − Anxiety slows the heart rate down to normal levels. Heart failure may develop from untreated atrial fibrillation and irregular heartbeats. Edema may appear in the legs, feet, and abdomen. Additional pillows could assist if you have trouble breathing while you sleep. Neither cardiac failure nor edema is caused by anxiety.

You should monitor your heart rate if you suffer from anxiety or atrial fibrillation. Keeping tabs on your heart rate is the best approach to determine which comes first, the worry or the high heart rate. Your heart rate may be continuously monitored using a heart monitor. Some monitors record your heartbeat automatically, while others need you to manually press a button if you experience heart-related symptoms. Heart monitors may not give enough information for a diagnosis if you have no symptoms.

Smartphones have been widely used as activity and heart rate monitors in the last two years, but they have downsides. You should pay attention to your daily routine. Your resting heart rate may vary by as much as 10 beats per minute (bpm) regularly. To be flexible, we must cope with more blatant and quick changes while working out. The practice of adhering to regular routines may become second nature to you. This resting heart rate typically increases during the night, peaks during sleep, drops throughout the day, and then increases again during exercise.

Analyzing Normal Heart Rhythm to Detect Abnormalities and Take Preventative Measures

  • There are three distinct types of irregular heartbeats, the first being the most straightforward to recognize. When your worry levels rise, so does your heart rate. You'll see a sudden increase in heart rate on your monitor, and just as suddenly, after the symptoms subside, the rate will return to normal. When this occurs, the graph will indicate a more than 30 to 40 bpm spike.

  • Knowing your resting heart rate is crucial. The heart rate is abnormally high in this rhythm, whether at rest or after physical exertion. Suppose your nighttime heart rate generally ranges from 40 to 60 beats per minute (bpm) but suddenly increases to 70 to 90 bpm on a regular night. In that case, you may have atrial tachycardia, a kind of SVT. Atrial tachycardia is characterized by an irregular heartbeat that may occur suddenly and without warning. Atrial tachycardia typically causes a heart rate of 20 to 30 beats per minute (bpm) higher than what is considered normal for the patient's level of exertion.

  • Those with highly aberrant heart rates, such as atrial fibrillation, exhibit the final pattern, in which the heart rate varies rapidly from beat to beat. One person's raised heart rate may be barely noticeable, while another's may be over 100 beats per minute. The smartphone's graph displays a jumbled, irregular pattern with large fluctuations from one beat to the next. Those with highly regular additional beats from the upper and lower cardiac chambers also show this pattern.

  • When you're feeling fine, track your heart rate using your smartphone for many days or weeks to learn more about your heart. Go back and look at the smartphone graphs from before the problems started and after they started. Your doctor may be able to deduce from the data whether or not your rapid heartbeat is the reason for the alarm. See a doctor about anxiety and irregular heartbeat if you experience any of these.