How to tell the difference between a heart attack and anxiety?

Please will someone advise to how you tell the difference between anxiety and a heart attack. Google doesn't help at all. I had an ECG done and all is fine but my heart rate is always in the 80s. Sometimes I wake up during the night and battle to go back to sleep my heart will be beating fast but then slows down. I have back pain from the tension but if you look this all up it says you having a heart attack.

Please help thank you

14 Replies

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  • Im dealing with the same problem but my left arm is starting to hurt im scared uhg i hope its nothing they say anxiety can cause your left your arm to hurt too its confusing its hard not to stress over it really is . I think of it if it was a heart attack our heart will be goimg super fast ? But still dont know .

  • Thank you

  • If your age is less than 30 and you've had these symptoms before with a normal ecg, you can be pretty (in fact definitely) certain that this is not a heart attack, especially if you know you are anxious.

    Work on managing the anxiety. Consider medication if this usually happens at night.

  • Thank you

  • can i ask how old you are as this is important in deciding how much to worry about this

  • I am 28 😊

  • So that makes it about 99.9999% certain this will not be a heart attack. If you get similar symptoms again, you can be pretty confident it is not a heart attack

  • I was rushed into hospital with a suspected heart attack My symptoms started with pain in my jaw which then went to the centre of my chest the pain was stinging and overwhelming it took my breath away and felt like I was being squeezed really hard I felt very faint I hadn't had a heart attack but a heart condition was found

    I've had pain from anxiety and this was very very different

    Obviously I'm no professional but I would guess if your heart is beating very fast but then slows down its anxiety

    Keep a diary see if deep breathing relaxation helps

    If you have had an ECG and all ok then try not to worry they take heart problems very seriously and wouldn't just send you away telling you all is ok if there was the slightest doubt it wasn't

    Hope this helps and all the best x

  • Thank you so much. Really appreciate your response

  • You are welcome I used to worry about my heart and was it an attack but having gone through my experience this year I don't pay any attention to it as it was such a different kind of pain and feeling x

  • Hi the difference of having a heart attack and anxiety attack are very different. I to suffer from anxiety and have had a heart attack just 6 weeks ago and have had a stent fitted, if your having a heart attack normally it would be after you have exerted yourself you would have a pain in your chest as though someone was kneeling on you, get back pain and not just one arm but both arms would get the tingling sensation as well as your legs too,

    What medication do you take for anxiety. I take propananol 160mg this can lower your blood pressure and you should get your blood pressure checked regularly if your waking at night and can't sleep are you suffering from stress as this can keep you awake

  • Just a thought could you suffering from trapped wind this can give you similar symptoms to a heart attack like pain in your back you have described aswell as your chest

  • I have ibs and now been told I have a gluten intolerance. I only take rescue for the anxiety. I am not on any prescribed medication. Thank you for your response I appreciate it

  • Oh Dear let me reassure you , if you were having a heart attack oh boy you would know it , if you have been checked over then I would think you are having panics &I we can all raise our Heart Rate , I have to do my sacs twice daily to go via hospital computer &I the other day I thought What's going on ! My heart rate was 145 & it's usually about 55/60 , so I sat down and took it again several hours later & it had returned to normal , theses things happen the more you worry the more tense you become .

    Personally I stay of the Web & trust in my health officials they know my compleat histori , So go back & share your concerns , write down all you want to ask , deep breath take someone with you to reinforce what the GP has told you &I if you are given a pill or whatever you are given , & see if it helps. ,I had a coronary 11 years ago age 49 and have angina , so I do know a tine amount . See your GP all working will do is make it worse . Stay in touch Be Calm ,Stay as Well As you, Can ,& Good luck. All the Best.

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