British Heart Foundation

Advice on symptoms please

Hello I wonder if anyone has any advice. I have had a very stressful few months in my life. Last week I had breathing problems a shortness of breath with no pain. I went to urgent care who listened to my lungs and heart and said it was an anxiety attack. I went to my GP next day who said it was an anxiety attack to.

Since then I have managed to ease the attacks but I've been experiencing some tingling of and on in left arm. Again a dull pain in left of chest just above the left breast. Again of and on . Does this sound like a heart attack is building ? Or could it. E the aftermath of anxiety .

I am worried to go back to gp incase I am getting on there nerves.

Also would listening in with stethoscope show if there was a problem with the heart ?

Thanks in advance

29 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi there,

You should never feel bad about going to your GP if you're worried about symptoms - it's much better to talk to someone, rather than worry in silence. Don't feel bad about taking up their time; if you're worried about your health, it's absolutely the right place to go.

Just wanted to reassure you on that point, because symptoms can vary so much from person to person, so the best thing you can do is have a chat with your GP. They may be able to support you in dealing with your stress and anxiety even if there's no reason to think it's heart-related, which could be really helpful for you.

If you'd like to have a chat with our helpline team, you can call 0300 330 3311. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, and it might be a good way for you to chat through your concerns.

Hope that helps a little!

Jo

3 likes
Reply

Thank you Jo I think I will go and have a chat with them tomorrow . Obviously worrying about the heart makes the anxiety worse . Vicious circle . Thanks for the advice :-)

1 like
Reply

You're more than welcome - you're right, anxiety can be a real vicious circle. Hope that you're feeling better very soon :)

2 likes
Reply

Hi there - and thanks for responding, Jo, I definitely agree a chat with your GP about your concerns is the right thing to do. It's very common for people having an anxiety attack to have similar symptoms to those classic symptoms we all know that can sometimes indicate a heart attack. It's encouraging that two doctors have said they don't feel as though your symptoms were related to your heart, but I understand you may still feel a little anxious about them.

One of the things you could discuss at your appointment is your overall risk of heart disease and if you have any risk factors like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. You can find more info on this here: bhf.org.uk/heart-health/ris...

Take care,

Chris

2 likes
Reply

Thank you Chris. I couldn't get an appointment today unfortunately but if it gets any worse I will dial 111 and seek advice . Otherwise there is a walk in tomorrow I will go to that I think. I appreciate your help thank you for the link I shall have a look now !

1 like
Reply

Hello just an update I felt like the breathlessness was getting worse along with chest pain. The heat seems to make it worse. I didn't feel anxious so went back to GP they have given me an inhaler said it might be asthma as heart and lungs seemed clear. I am not sure this helps but giving it a go. Was almost at the point of dialing 999 last night breathing was so bad. Managed to ease it was alone very scary

Reply

Ask to speak to a cardiologist. My heart disease was written off for months as anxiety and it clearly wasent. Pain from the heart is different for everyone. Although In my experience and others I know that have heart disease cold is an issue, not heat. A cold day, cold wind..having a window open, even the cold air opening a freezer door. The pain can be dull or full. It can even be in your abdomen. I passed 2 stress tests and was giving the all clear. Needless to say a few months later after months of pain I was referred to a cardiologist. Angiogram done and had a stent fitted. Also I had several hospital visits and was told I had an anxiety disorder. You don't mention your age? Do you have other health issues. I have schizophrenia and I was told it was all in my mind. Please push to see a heart specialist. Forgot to say angina(heart pain) can also feel like a tight feeling in your chest. I'm only 39 and nobody in my family has heart Disease. Both parents 70 and my mum smokes(alot) I've never smoked and I'm not overweight. Please ask for further investigation

3 likes
Reply

Thank you for the reply. My doctors are not really taking me seriously. I think the problem is in the last few months I have had a few health problems I am having a CT of the abdomen and pelvis next week and a colonoscopy for bowel problems . So they blame everything on this causing anxiety . I am 38 so again they say to young. I am only anxious when I get chest pain and feel breathless. Could heart disease cause breathlessness? Unsure if it's heart or lungs or neither !

Reply

Yes, heart disease can cause breathlessness. Sometimes it's the only symptom. Do you sweat when you have the breathing issues?

1 like
Reply

Not really but when I become panicked because it's not easing I become clammy.

They gave me an inhaler which doesn't seem to do much

Reply

They did the same with me. The inhaler didn't work for me either. Please ask your doctor for a referral to see a cardiologist.

1 like
Reply

I shall try get in this afternoon with the GP thank you I'll come back and update

1 like
Reply

Hello, wondering if you managed to see the GP yesterday? It's not easy living in limbo, it's also not easy living with heart disease. I really hope this turns out to be nothing!

1 like
Reply

No I didn't no appointments available will try Monday . Thank you for asking ! Hope you are doing OK :-)

Reply

I'm ok thanks. Are you allergic to aspirin? I take it the GP hasent prescribed a GTN spray?

1 like
Reply

No definitely not the gp thought it was in my head . Anxiety.

Nurse practitioner thought it was more respiratory like asthma.

I am having an CT OF abdomen and pelvis on Tuesday for an unrelated health concern . That wouldn't show the heart though I don't think ?!

Reply

No, sorry it wouldn't. You will probably be sent for a stress test. You will walk on a treadmill the nurses will check the blood flow to the heart. It's not very accurate though. If you are having symptoms then tell them. They can do an ultra sound to see if your heart valves are pumping ok. Finally is the angiogram. They inject dye into the arm and it circulates to the heart. They scan and check for blood flow. Any significant blockages will show on this exam.

1 like
Reply

I'll go back Monday and insist on a referral . Unless I feel unwell before then and I'll head to a&e or dial 111.although I went to urgent care a few weeks back and all they did was listen in and sent me away !

Reply

Also ECG can only find an arrhythmia. It can't diagnose heart disease. Gold standard is coronary angiogram.

1 like
Reply

Get yourself checked out, my heart disease got missed for the same reasons as yourself

2 likes
Reply

I will thank you what's best test to ask for ECG ? Or a referral to Cardiologist? Thanks for your reply

Reply

Ask for a referral to cardiologist, but I ended up going to casualty and told them my symptoms as there is often a wait for cardiologist, However, there is a fast track service to see a cardiologist so ask your GP for this if that is the route you go. Casualty did an ECG and mine showed up there was a problem with my heart. I ended up having a triple bypass, but I'm recovering well. Hope this helps. Panic attacks can have very similar symptoms to heart attacks, but trust your instinct, even if it turns out to be anxiety it best to know what it is than risk your health. I felt I was being too cautious, but I knew deep down I was ill.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you I definitely haven't felt it was a panic attack but as they can't hear anything when they listen in they think all is fine. I'll definitely go back to my GP and raise my concerns . Good to hear you are recovering well ! The heart is a complex muscle !

Reply

Just read your reply, Stethoscope does not pick up blocked artery sounds. And an inhaler will not sort a blocked artery either. If you feel ill dial 999 if it turns out nothing serious then that's great.

2 likes
Reply

Ah that's interesting I am keeping a close eye on things will definitely not e taking any chances! Thank you

Reply

As soon as you mention your symptoms to either 111 or 999 an ambulance old be sent immediately. Hope that's reassuring Take Care

1 like
Reply

It is thank you so much you take care to x

Reply

It is not generally realised that anxiety can mimic any known disease if the symptoms are in your mind. You may have read or heard of heart attack symptoms and your body will mimic those symptoms if you concentrate on them as we do in anxiety. You should always get medical advice however so any real physical problems can be ruled out. Never underestimate the power of the mind. It can lead us up some very blind alleys.

1 like
Reply

Thank you I have had a chest X-ray and having fun more tests. All seems normal so far. Never had anxiety before . Hard to believe it can do this to a person

Reply

You may also like...