Heart stops or panic attack ? - British Heart Fou...

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Heart stops or panic attack ?

Jrlt profile image


I’ve recently been having “episodes” and during these episodes I feel like my heart has stopped. I know it may sound silly but it’s very frightening.

This is what happens

I get a sudden rush of heat/a hot flash come over me I feel strange and numb so I immediately think my heart has stopped, at this point I usually start to panic and search for my pulse on a few occasions I’ve not felt it (I always find it easily) I start to panic and heart pounds and races I’m left very shaking and cold/sweaty.

Sometimes I do find my heartbeat but it’s quite weak until it starts to race and pound.

My gp believes this is a panic attack and that I can’t find my pulse because my body is in a distressed mode.

I’m terrified my heart is stopping.

I’ve had ecgs/bloods and echo in the past as well as a 24hour monitor (these episodes didn’t occur then) the monitor showed pvcs

I have health anxiety mainly about my heart so logically I can see that this is could be panic but my anxious mind is convinced my heart is stopping which triggers the hot flash and numbness as well as struggling to find my pulse my entire body just feels numb I’m so used to feeling my heart pounding if I focus on it but I’m that moment I can’t so i feel like it’s not beating.

45 Replies

Hiya. I get a similar experience. I also suffer from health anxiety which has been improving. But mines a little different sometimes I have this coughing sensation in my chest and when I check my pulse my heart has seemed to have skipped a beat which understandably is a heart palpitation but it still frightens me every time. I'm also terrified of passing out which sparked off my health anxiety my thoughts always are crap will my heart start again. Am I about to die. No doctor can seem to reassure me given the evidence but I'm still here and hopefully mine and your heart Are healthy.

Also iv noticed when we check our pulses sometimes if you swallow or move your neck slightly it gives the feeling that your pulse has disappeared when in reality your muscles are blocking it.

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Dogfc

Thank you for your reply. I to get the skipped beat (diagnosed pvcs) brought on by anxiety this is different when the hot flash comes over me it’s a “I can’t feel my heart at all” kind of thing like my entire body goes numb I even wonder how I’m breathing 🤦🏽‍♀️ All I can feel is the hot flash as it washes over me then after a few seconds the fear and panic set in which makes my heart pound and race.

I just wish I had some sort of monitor that would reassure me that during these episodes my heart hasn’t stopped that way I would know it was a panic attack for sure and I recon I would be able to deal with it a lot better and it wouldn’t cause as much anxiety as it is.

My gp and a nurse both said my heart won’t stop then restart 🤦🏽‍♀️ Skipped beats are different yes it’s a pause but it’s a pulse as the sinus node waits to push out the next beat when I feel what I assume is panic attack hitting me out of nowhere is nothing I literally feel nothing I can’t focus on my heartbeat until it starts to pound and race

I’ve come to two conclusions my heart either stops or as the rush of heat (adrenaline or whatever panic attacks cause) comes over me it’s so over powering I can’t focus on my heart if that makes sense

Being anxious anyway obv I’m terrified it’s my heart and I can’t shake it 🤦🏽‍♀️

Dogfc profile image
Dogfc in reply to Jrlt

Do you know what come to think of it iv had that happen once. I felt like my heart had stopped and my whole body felt cold and numb then I was certain it had stopped. But it didn't. The best thing I did is buy a smart watch mines called the OPPO band, it was £40 and i can track my heart rate for reassurance and if I was to have an abnormal heart rhythm my watch would tell me. Which reassures me as I have a more accurate and faster way of counting my heart rate and I can also check my SP02 levels for further reassurance.

Hope this helps some what. At the end of the day we're all in the same boat. I don't know about you but I'm absolutely terrified of cardiac arrests.

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Dogfc

Thank you, I have a smart watch to but had to take a break from it as I was so consumed by constantly checking my heart rate and worrying when it was high to the point I wouldn’t do much for fear of it going higher 🤦🏽‍♀️

Yes that’s how I feel it’s a sudden rush of heat like a hot flash, before I was unsure what came first the thought my heart stopped or the flash but I think it’s the flash first and the numbness which then instantly triggers the fear my heart isn’t beating I’ve tried to tell myself if my heart wasn’t beating why would I be hot 🤔 and on top of that when this happens I am completely aware of it although slightly unable to focus on anything or concentrate as the fear becomes so intense but I’m awake aware and breathing which I’ve been told I wouldn’t be if my heart had stopped google however tells me it can take 20 seconds before collapsing if your heart stopped so that really doesn’t help my fear at all 🤦🏽‍♀️ By about 10 seconds in my heart is racing and pounding once I finally locate my pulse and realise I am ok 🤦🏽‍♀️

Dogfc profile image
Dogfc in reply to Jrlt

Hmmm. If you live in Wales give parabl a call. They are so helpful. Im currently undergoing CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and it is working slowly but surely it's also free which is a big bonus or ask your doctor about CBT from what iv learned from my CBT sessions we need to try and replace the habit of checking our heart rates with something else, for me that's breathing in slowly for 4 seconds holding it in for 2 then breathing out for 6 and respect that about 5 times it should make you feel calmer as it stimulates the vagus nerve. Also try grabbing your head with one hand then pulling it down to your shoulder then look up towards the ceiling for 30 seconds it also stimulates the vagus nerve. What I do with my smart watch is j limit myself to only checking my heart rate when I'm really really worried because I'm a skinny guy I can feel my heart beat practically all the time which is reassuring but also worrying because it confuses me weather there palpitations.

But I can guarantee you that your hot flushes and numbness is your anxiety because you have a surge of adrenaline in the body your heart has to work harder so it pounds and your body creates so much adrenaline you sort of loose control and that's what probably causes the hot flushes and panic because it can also make us loose control on our emotions.

Try the breathing technique if that doesn't work alternatively try thinking of one thing you can see. One thing you can touch. One thing you can smell. One thing you can hear and one thing you can taste then take a deep breath. That helps me bring myself back to reality and focus on something else.

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Dogfc

Thank you, I’m not in wales but have an appointment with my doctors own mental health team in a week so hopefully cbt is on the cards, I have been referred for an online health anxiety course to but it’s taking forever to come though 🤦🏽‍♀️

I was thinking the hot flash my be a sudden adrenaline surge.

I’m like you fairly skinny can feel my heart pumping away all the time only when I’m distracted or busy at work etc so I get a break from it! When I have these hot flashes it’s usually preceded by a moment of calm where the pounding isn’t on my mind most of the time it happens at night in bed before I fall asleep, I’ve had it a few times during the day usually when I’m calm, today’s one hit me after cleaning windows (my heart rate was probably up) I sat down and was chatting with my sister when it came over me I felt quite relaxed before it happened.

Anxiety is an awful thing the physical symptoms are debilitating!

PVC s can lead to that feeling of your heart stopping - the pause between beats is longer with ectopics because it’s a premature beat, a beat that comes earlier than it should. That then leads to the sensation of missed or skipped beats, although they’re not actually missed or skipped at all. The lower your heart rate at the time, the longer the pause will seem, which is why ectopics when very relaxed or settling down to sleep can feel worse than those during the day. Sanjay Gupta is a consultant cardiologist up in York, and he explains that the more you are aware of having ectopics, the more the body becomes hypersensitive to having them, so you become even more attuned to noticing them where someone else wouldn’t. His videos regarding ectopics on YouTube are actually really informative and reassuring. Bottom line, though, is you wouldn’t be able to panic about not finding your pulse if your heart had stopped, because you’d be collapsed within seconds. That probably isn’t overly reassuring to someone with health anxiety, but it is the reality - if you’re conscious, your heart hasn’t stopped.

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Charlie_G

Thank you so much for your reply I really appreciate it.

I have become very aware of my ectopics and down a lot of research on them but they still give me anxiety.

What I feel when I believe I am having a panic attack is different I don’t feel my heart flutter then thump, I just feel the strange heat come over me and my head can feel weird not dizzy etc but I guess a similar odd sensation I don’t faint and don’t feel woozy etc but the rest of my body feels numb like all the sensations disappear and that’s when the “my heart has stopped” like it feels like it’s not moving or doing anything at all.

My gp told me something similar she said if my heart had stopped I wouldn’t be able to breathe or think and that I wasn’t to search for my pulse as that’s making it worse I was just to breathe until it passes I’ve done this a few times but I’m always tempted to check for my pulse because my fear is my heart isn’t beating 🤦🏽‍♀️

Charlie_G profile image
Charlie_G in reply to Jrlt

If you haven’t watched any, I would recommend looking at Sanjay Gupta’s videos about ectopics. He is very good. He explains that the awareness is a vicious cycle - noticing them makes you aware of them, and the more aware your body is, the more you notice them. We essentially tune in to having them. I was having hundreds of ectopics a day at one stage, but probably only felt a handful of them at most, and could occasionally go days without noticing any. Since a holter last year, we know I’m down to having around a dozen a day, but I still feel many of them in exactly the same way I did when I was having loads. I’m not medically qualified, but as I understand it from my own experience and from what I’ve seen others describe on here, the flutter-thump you mention is typical of noticeable PVCs. I can be minding my own business drifting off to sleep and suddenly feel a brief falling sensation followed by a sharp thump in my chest, startling me back awake and sending my heart racing as a result.

When our hearts stop beating, blood almost immediately stops moving, meaning oxygen doesn’t get to the brain. Without oxygen reaching the brain, absolutely everything stops - movement, breathing, thinking. Most sources usually say that happens within 4 or 5 seconds, and that’s why someone having a cardiac arrest often just suddenly collapses out of nowhere. Five seconds is the equivalent of a single breath in and out for me. When you consider it that way, the ability to breathe is a very good sign your heart is beating even if you can’t feel it. The sudden racing afterwards will likely be as a result of the additional rush of adrenaline that comes with the fear that your heart has stopped. I don’t have health anxiety, but I’ve suffered from quite severe generalised anxiety in the past, and I still get that rush of adrenaline with a particularly forceful PVC, because it’s not a ‘nice’ feeling - it’s understandable that it makes you feel anxious, but don’t let it take control of your life. My ectopics are the trigger to an arrhythmia I have, and for a long time I would live in fear of having an episode of arrhythmia whenever I felt an ectopic: it was also a completely understandable response, but it wasn’t helpful.

Have you looked into cognitive behavioural therapy to help your health anxiety? It’s the therapy of choice for anxiety generally and has a very good success rate - there are members here that have had CBT for health anxiety. It’s not even necessarily about getting ‘rid’ of the anxiety, but learning to live with and control it more appropriately. I still have some of the same anxious thoughts, I’m just wired that way, as are several members of my family, but I no longer have anxiety by virtue of dealing with those thoughts in a much more helpful way. Over time, it’s become automatic, I don’t even have to think about challenging them now, and life is very different for it.

Pollypuss profile image
Pollypuss in reply to Charlie_G

Sanja Gupta is excellent. Very reassuring . No hysterics and he really does his homework and keeps up to date

Boris789 profile image
Boris789 in reply to Charlie_G

Spot on Charlie,No way has his heart stopped. Reading some of the crap that's on Google , 20 secs before you collapse if your heart has really stopped is nonsense. It's literally a flash of a second. Severe dissiness then over you go. This really does fit the bill with VT's. The sweating is very common as this is your HR going so fast you can't feel it. He defo needs to get this checked.

VT's are a dangerous rythm.

I wish him all the best

Boris 789

ling profile image
ling in reply to Charlie_G

Touché !

Hi. By what you have said about your 'Health Anxiety', I think I your GP is spot on. Take her advice and, possibly, maybe she will prescribe you something for your Anxiety and maybe an Obsession/Phobia that you may have developed, if you haven't been given anything already that is. Other than that, she may be able to arrange Counselling for you. Good Luck!

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Snowflake20

Thank you, I was refused all meds 🤦🏽‍♀️ Apparently because I know what triggered my anxiety and what my fear is meds wouldn’t be any good for me, I waiting to do an online health anxiety course and have an appointment in a week with my doctors mental health nurse so I’m hoping she will refer me for cbt and also be able to reassure me that what I describe is panic, I’m sure she has dealt with many proper with so similar fears so will be good to get her thoughts x

Snowflake20 profile image
Snowflake20 in reply to Jrlt

That's great then, you're on the right road at least. Hope it goes well for you :)

Hi, I have had similar experiences, mine are still being investigated as I truly don’t believe mine are linked to anxiety or panic ( unless I’m in complete denial but I truly have little stress in my life).If you have the budget the new Apple Watch is great because it has an ecg function which u can activate during these episodes and can give you and your doctor vital information and reassurance.

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Dazza11

Thank you, If you don’t mind me asking can you explain your episodes to me ?

Does it begin with a hot flash etc ?

I’m just trying to figure out as much info as possible, a lot of people have said anxiety and panic but until I can confirm nothing is up with my heart I’m always going to be terrified when it happens. I have a fit bit with an ecg although not as advanced as an Apple Watch, the thing is these episodes last seconds before the racing and pounding kick in so I’m not sure I’d have time to capture it, I really want to push for another monitor but it would need to be longer than 24hours to capture it as it happens randomly sometimes once a day then nothing for a week etc 🤦🏽‍♀️

Boris789 profile image
Boris789 in reply to Jrlt

You need an event monitor as supposed to a 24 hour recording device.

The event monitor just basically does nothing and when you have an event you press a button and it records the previous 30 secs activity. You can only press the button about 4 times and then it needs to be downloaded at the hospital and given back to you. I was given one for a month. Rarely would you need to take it back after downloading because 4 presses and the event you want captured would of been.

They only need to see it once . Gr8 device.

Boris 789

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Boris789

Ah yes that sounds like a good idea, I just need to convince my gp 🤦🏽‍♀️ She believes it’s panic attacks. I do have health anxiety so my worry is always my heart.

When your vt happens does it start and stop suddenly or build up ?

When I have one of these episodes this is how I feel

Starts with

Hot flash and thought that my heart has stopped

Feel for pulse (sometime not all)

If I Find pulse - it’s pounding then starts to race.

If I don’t find pulse- panic even more racing kicks in even more intense

I can’t catch my breathe but some who manage to keep breathing

I’m shaking and suddenly feel very cold and shivery (the shaking can last 20-30mins after)

By this point my heart rate has usually started to come back down.

If I don’t let it get this far and as soon as the flash happens I tell myself to breathe, I can get the pounding heart but generally my heart doesn’t race or it will speed up slightly but only just and I just keep breathing until it all passes, the shaking etc doesn’t come either.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Boris789

Event monitors are a long wait. I was referred in March and still no sign. I brought myself a Kardia last week and it does capture suspected Afib. I had an event all day yesterday.

Boris789 profile image
Boris789 in reply to ETHEL103

Ethel,The wait is increased because of Covid, so much touching and fiddling about so the NHS had no choice hopefully they will be able to clear the backlog now

Hey,I had similar experiences as i had heart surgery and was coming to terms with this new valve replacement at 25 years old.

I know longer have these episode's and they used to happen every day.

It even got to the stage where i called an ambulance.

Smart watches i believe in my opinion make the situation worse as you will always rely on it and you will constantly be watching it and addicted to it. if this breaks etc this will cause your anxiety to spike.

Making sure you are getting enough Sleep and exercise is crucial with any form of anxiety.

I used to vape and drink coffee as well which also caused palpitations so it wasn't a good mixture.

It's knowing what triggers you and trying to limit this as much as possible.

I make sure i sleep well and exercise plenty. I no longer vape and drink 1 coffee a day.

With changing my lifestyle I know longer have these panic attacks.

It can be controlled but only by you

Good luck

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Jeddfrey

Im sorry you had to deal with that! I believe anxiety triggered by traumatic events is very upsetting and really unfair not only have we had to deal with serious issues we are left with the anxiety!

I’m trying to work on mine but it’s a slow processes some days I feel good and “on top of it” then on other days I just can’t shake it at all and feel there’s no way out! 🤦🏽‍♀️

Jeddfrey profile image
Jeddfrey in reply to Jrlt

You will get good and bad days to start with but the positive thing to remember is that there are good days!!

You are well and healthy. Its Just mind over matter with this scenario 😊

You've got this ❤️

Possible Ventricular Tachycardia.Your symptoms are common, especially when you describe sweating. You might not be able to feel your pulse because it's racing so fast. If these are VT's you need urgent attention. Do NOT take this as a diagnosis just one possible scenario.

Have you a pacemaker and if so what for?

What is your age if you don't mind me asking?

Take care Boris789

Your heart has not stopped that's for sure,you would hit the ground in an instant and be unconscious. You can rule that out however the sweating you talk of could be extremely high Heart rate. Do you find all goes back to normal after 20-30 secs. Is there any dizziness?As I said everyting you describe is exactly what I had and I was rushed into hospital immediately. VT's are an extremely dangerous heart rhythm.

Don't want to frighten you but your heart definitely has not stopped not unless you have blacked out. All this happens in a split second. You dont get time to wonder if your heart has stopped. So be assured on that front. How often do you have these events?

Boris 789

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Boris789

Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it and so’s prey you have had to deal with something so scary.

There are times I can find my pulse when the hot flash comes on but usually after a second or two I do I literally feel it start to pound it’s beating t a Normal pace then just starts to race faster and faster before slowly coming back down as I continue to breathe. it feels like it starts quickly (but always after the hot flash and pounding) but then ends by slowly decreasing,

There’s no dizziness etc and if I notice the hot flash and tell myself to just breathe the racing sometimes doesn’t happen at all.

It happened once months ago, gave me a fright but I ignored it and thought it was a one off thing, then it happened a few weeks ago again I got a fright was crying etc after mentioning it to my gp who said panic and to watch for it happening again of course it did I can have it for 3/4 days then nothing for days then it comes back again 🤦🏽‍♀️

I’ve read about VT it really frightens me.

Boris789 profile image
Boris789 in reply to Jrlt

Best to get checked out by a cardiologist sometimes GP's are quick to put everything down to anxiety and it's such a bitch but you also need to be sure everything physical is ok then you can concentrate on the anxiety.There is nothing I hate more when they say " stop worrying or try to relax" like it's a state of mind we have chosen. When are they going to get it that this " stop worrying and relax" is exactly what we want and we don't choose to feel like this. It just comes over us and engulph us. I don't think surfing the net is good anymore. End up being a nervous wreck. Even with a cut finger somewhere you will find you are at death's door lol.

Take care and as I said Cardiology is in my opinion your next stop. Once you get all clear you can work on anxiety

Good luck and I wish you well

Boris 789

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Boris789

Thank you you’ve been so helpful.

Yeah I hate that “just relax” to 🤦🏽‍♀️ It’s impossible.

I’ve had an echo which showed structure was normal.

The 24 hour monitor showed pvcs (which is the reason I had the monitor)

My biggest downfall is googling, like you said I’m at deaths door daily according to google! 🙈

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Jrlt

I'm the same. Dr Google is not great for heart issues. I had 5 strange events during a suspected Afib attack last evening. I was watching Call the midwife and my pulse was very irregular and I had the feeling of almost passing out briefly. Never happened before.

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to ETHEL103

I hope your feeling better today, I get pvcs usually just one or two and they feel awful, when I get this hot flash followed by the racing heat my heart feels like it’s beating regularly but very fast and forceful x

Debtyd profile image
Debtyd in reply to Jrlt

Do not Google your ailments🤤when I Google,it turns out that I'm just completely doomed to the point of being a snowman in August...😔I do know that if your heart stops you really wouldn't have a chance to know about it..i also know that we know our own body language and it tells us if something's not quite right.ive had panic attacks in the past due to a personal trauma and I've also had odd moments of something which aren't at all like panic/anxiety episodes...even though that's what I keep being told..im not a worrier at all usually and I'm scared of very little in life...im a 'if it happens,deal with it,get up brush yourself down n get back on with things'kinda person...and whilst I know not everyone is built like that,I'm a strong believer in listen to what your body tells you..if it's different get it checked or {from personal experience} before you know it you have spent your entire life wrapped in an unnecessary worry bubble, when you should've been enjoying or making the most of what you already have...take care and i hope you get sorted and get the reassurance you need before much more time goes by 💜.x.Deb.x

I don’t know whether this will help, but this is my experience. My heart did stop. It happened out of the blue....no chest pains, no previous breathlessness. I passed out cold immediately for a few seconds. I was diagnosed with 3rd degree heart block, and ventricular standstill. I was on ICU for a couple of days until I was then fitted with a pacemaker. I think when your heart does stop.....you become unconscious. Does this ease your worries at all? I hope I haven’t made things worse.

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Arrowe

Thank you, I’m so sorry that happen but glad you are here to share your story, yes it does help because it’s the hot flash that makes me think everything has stopped of that makes sense, if people like yourself don’t have this come over them then surely it can’t be my heart stopping and it’s my anxious mind thinking it is 🤦🏽‍♀️ I hope you are doing ok now, did you realise before passing out that your heart had stopped ? X

Arrowe profile image
Arrowe in reply to Jrlt

Not at all.....in fact, when I did regain consciousness I was flat on the floor. My husband said I was very confused and I was adamant that he should not call an ambulance. However I had a blood pressure monitor and it showed normal. What alerted me was the heart rate flashing.....it was 22. I then agreed to call an ambulance. I was making a cup of tea when it happened and I had no warning. I’m thankfully very well today thanks x

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Arrowe

Thank you so much for sharing with me, I’m so glad you are doing well now!

I believe I’m having some sort of panic episodes either it’s triggering a fear that my heart has stopped or the fear comes first it’s so hard to tell, I have heart health anxiety triggered by loosing my baby girl to a severe heart defect x

Boris789 profile image
Boris789 in reply to Arrowe

Great and correct advice Arrowe

Hi, as a fellow ectopic, anxiety and health anxiety sufferer I think you are definitely suffering panic attacks and as the person above explained the hot flush is adrenaline and cortisone being released at an almighty rate. This is our in built "fight or flight" response, designed to help us get away from an imminently dangerous situation. However in our case there is nothing to run from as these worries are usually self manifested.

I speak from experience as a sufferer for over 20 years, having suffered these exact same "panics" convinced I was going to drop down dead at any second. Feeling for a pulse was also some thing I did, and often felt nothing and panicked more.

These panics are often deep routed in an event from early life usually childhood but also from as an adult, usually trauma based and often now manifested as phobia or behaviour. It is triggered by something, which could be physical or mental and sets off a chain reaction in the body which releases the above chemicals.

The advice re CBT is excellent, however your referral will take a very long time, and given the pandemic demand on Mental Health resources is immense, I would have thought you will be looking at 12 months minimum, my referral was 8 months pre pandemic!

I ended up enrolling on an NLP course, which is useful in many ways and uses language and thought process to enable positive changes to behaviour using simple techniques, it is similar to CBT. Phobias and severe anxiety can be dealt with very simply and it usually goes away for good. I have seen people with severe phobias (shaking and crying at the mention of the phobia) being resolved in a short time (less than an hour) and it works very well. Just changing your thought process. Have a look at it if your CBT referral is taking time. It is not available on the NHS but it should be, equally it may not be for you so do some research. If you need any help with it PM me.

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Thecyclist

Thank you so much for this!

I know the trigger to my anxiety and what my anxiety is focused on.

It’s all about my heart and terrified something is seriously wrong or it will just stop.

I have a little girl born with hypoplastic left heart (only half of her heart developed) she was too poorly to survive. I ignored my grief for a long time didn’t want to accept it, and then one day I got chest pain (since been told it was either muscular or Gerd) but immediately I went down the rabbit hole and haven’t come up since 🤦🏽‍♀️ It triggered pvcs and racing heart etc so now I’m always on edge with the ectopics and racing.

I was referred for an online health anxiety course but it’s taking a while to come through. I have an appointment next week with my gp surgeries own mental health team so hopefully can get some more help.

Hi, this most deffinetly sound like panic attacks as I sufferd from them many years at time like you I couldn't understand what they were, I believe most likely it's panic attacks and more you get scared and worked up you get more frightening they become, next time when you feel one coming on sit down start taking deep breaths in and out slowly consetrate on the breathing how you doing it and within short time your panic attack will be over.

I wish I had time to post but I don't. If there is a way, search for my previous posts on PVC's. I've had them for about 25 years now and learned to live with them. If that is truly your only issue, thank your lucky stars! I'll try to get back to you on that. Good luck! Don't worry! It will only exacerbate it. Trust me, I know.

Oh how I understand how you feel,,,I experienced some episodes like this almost 20 years ago,,and they came and went for almost 5 years,,,I would not wish these feelings and experiences on anyone,,,they were always the same,,,heat rushing over me starting at my head and moving down right to my feet,,a rushing feeling,and seeming detached from my surroundings,,,I would reach for my wrist to check my pulse and could never find it,,,I was sure my heart had stopped or would in a moment,,,it would always happen while I was just sitting,,,,reading,watching tv,,,knitting,,,,when I wasn’t thinking much of anything,,,I was checked repeatedly by cardiology,my internist,a neurologist,,,,never had a diagnosis,,,I often went to the ER and was always sent home without a diagnosis,,,I began to hear the phrase panic attack although I was sure this couldn’t be what it was,,,I was given a small dose of Xanax to be taken only if needed and a small dose of AMBIEN to sleep through the night,,,there would be weeks when nothing would happen but then these episodes would show up again,,,,it’s been many years now with no issues,,,,I may never understand or know why they happened,,,in retrospect,,,I was in my early 50’s,happily married but with a son who was a very active drug addict at that time,,,,he was literally tearing our home life to shreds with his behaviors,,,,we no longer have contact with him and he has not changed ,sadly,,,,we say our prayers for him but no longer are involved actively trying to save him,,,,there is some peace in this,,,,whatever is at the bottom of your problems,I wish you well and hope they end,,maybe there will be answers for you one day,,, I pray you come out on the other side in peace,,,,

Hiya, I don’t wish to worry you, but I would ask to be referred to a cardiologist. At the very least it may help reassure you and so ease your anxiety. You don’t need to wait for your doctor to decide you can ask to be referred . For years I would have these ‘episodes’ where I felt like my heart skipped and I have to take some really deep breaths. All within seconds I’d feel like all my blood would rush to my head, my eyes would go blurry so I couldn’t focus and I feel dizzy. I’d have to sit down and put my head in my hands. The dizziness might have only lasted seconds but it would take minutes for eyesight to become normal. I’d also get a cold clammy sweat. Like you these episodes were sporadic, some weekly and then none for months. I have a number of other health issues so always put it down to those. But then last September I came over feeling very dizzy and the next thing I knew I was on the floor with my boyfriend trying to shake me conscious. Long story short I was diagnosed with heart failure. Severe left ventricular systolic disfunction to be precise. The consultant said the problem with my heart didn’t happen over night but had been brewing for years. Since being on my heart medication those episodes seem to have disappeared. I’m only 46 and have 2 children so was very angry at first, that it wasn’t picked up earlier. My point, I guess , is if you’re concerned about something fight your case and request a referral. I do hope you can get some answers soon, take care.

Dru75 profile image
Dru75 in reply to Dru75

Hi again, Sorry I just wanted to add that I also suffer with anxiety and panic attacks and these attacks are very different to the episodes I discussed above. In fact my panic attacks are a lot more scary then any of my other episodes. But I’d happily deal with the panic attacks and not have hf .

Wishing you all the best .

Jrlt profile image
Jrlt in reply to Dru75

Oh I’m so sorry you are going through this, I can’t believe it wasn’t picked up sooner!

I hope with meds etc everything stays positive for you from now on.

Spoke with my gp who was great and referred me for another monitor to see what’s going on during one of these episodes.

I had an echo last year which showed a structurally normal heart and nothing else was mentioned.

During my episodes I don’t get dizzy or atleast I haven’t noticed I do just a sudden hot flash.

A few nights ago I thought it was happening again but I quickly told my head I was ok and it stopped 🤔 I was laying in bed (seems to be where it happens most) this time it did seems as intense as previous episodes and I told my partner I got the same sensation over my body/chest etc but this time (because it wasn’t as intense) it felt like someone had just jumped out and frightened me except I was laying in bed no one was there and nothing frightened me.

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