Anxiety or heart rate problem ? - Arrhythmia Alliance

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Anxiety or heart rate problem ?

Westie2012 profile image
Westie2012

Last couple of weeks I’ve not been feeling quite right ,hubby recently got me an Apple Watch as he’s worried about me as I’ve recently started to have a few other problems & issues , had a couple of falls , nothing really bad but I’ve lost my balance and new dizziness since having my pm, my heart rate has started going much faster walking around at home , I’ve just walked 10/15 steps from one room to another and it’s gone over 100 pretty much straightaway and is staying over 100, not walking upstairs andI can feel it racing where I don’t unless I’ve been walking uphill ,I haven’t had this since before I had my pm . I’ve spoke to the pacing team and they said everything looks ok as I sent a reading from my home monitor . If I walk upstairs it goes up to 120/130 and I really feel it racing . I’m waiting to see my cardiologist in the next month or so . My gp thinks anxiety could be causing how I’m feeling , it took numerous gp appointments and visits to a&e before they ran tests and discovered I needed a pacemaker , I was told do many times that it was stress or anxiety , I knew it was more than that , it was a relief in a strange way that there was a heart rhythm problem , I was diagnosed with tachy brady and heart pauses, I’m now slightly cautious when they tell me it’s anxiety . I have a dual chamber pacemaker fitted last November . I’m now reluctant to get medical advice with any new symptoms as I fear I’ll be told it’s all anxiety 😢

5 Replies

Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety, the all too familiar clarion cry of, and “go to” diagnosis of the lesser skilled medic. I am tired of hearing it.

My faintness, weird chest feelings and intermittent palpitations was anxiety for years and years, no it wasnt, it was cardiac arrhythmia. My gastric issues was anxiety when i was in horrendous pain and bloods and ultra sound were allegedly clear was anxiety, no it wasn't, it was gall bladder, a cutaneous nerve entrapment and Gerd. My lovely young relative diagnosed with anxiety and exam stress going on for two years as she studies hard to get into Oxford uni to become a scientist, no it isnt, she has now been diagnosed with POTS, eventually, and only because her parents wouldnt take anxiety as the only answer.

I am not decrying anxiety as its a terrible affliction and can wreak havoc with our minds, body and spirit, but it isnt the catch all diagnosis when digging deeper reveals a physical disease or malfunction. Is it lack of time for medics to root further for their patients or is it the go to answer of our times, who knows, perhaps both and more.

As my excellent GP says, i am anxious because i have a current unresolved medical issue making me ill, not anxiety causing the currently unresolved physical symptoms. Something to reflect on.

In short, i wouldnt accept a diagnosis of anxiety unless and until a skilled medic has ruled out all other possibilities. Stay the course there are many excellent medics out there you can trust.

Westie2012 profile image
Westie2012 in reply to meadfoot

Thank you so much , it’s not easy to get tests done to rule out any other problems as too many of us have experienced . I’m waiting for my appointment with my cardiologist , I’m making a note if my symptoms , dates , times and what I was doing at the time,so I can ask him about everything , I know anxiety could cause some of my symptoms but with being fobbed off too many times only to finally have a cardiac problem diagnosed it has changed my perception on being told it’s anxiety. I hope you are doing ok now and glad that you finally got answers and a proper diagnosis . Thank you so much xx

TracyAdmin profile image
TracyAdminAdministrator in reply to Westie2012

Hello there and thank you for sharing your post, I am sorry to hear of your recent experiences, if the symptoms persist, we shouldn't ignore them. Do not hesitate in contacting the Clinic or out of hours 111 helpline for further advice. It is good to keep a diary of events when these episodes are happening and how often, but once again don't hesitate to seek medical advice.

belindalore profile image
belindalore in reply to meadfoot

Oh you are so right. I do have anxiety and stress. But what causes me anxiety worse than anything is the inept Drs who don't want to hear from you or allow you to be involved in your healthcare. It's easier for them to say you have anxiety. Plus if you are a woman and show one tiny iota of anger towards them then you are also hostile! It's an easy cop out for all these Drs so they don't have to deal with actually finding a cause. I dealt with Drs almost 30 years ago trying to find one who knew about Candida albicans (yeast overgrowth). After 7 years and numerous Drs I finally found one who knew about Candida albicans. He was newly in practice and told me it wasn't studied seriously until a couple years before he graduated from med school. And it was in the AMA Dr journals for all the Drs to read up on. Too many won't and don't read their journals to keep up on what's new. It was the same thing then for me as what I've been going through with Drs for the last 4 years since I have been on Medicare. You feel like you are wasting your time and the Drs make you feel you're wasting their time. 😠 I'm tired of it all.

Hi Westie2012,I'd be the last person to decry the iwatch in helping with diagnoses, having finally got my Afib officially diagnosed after 4+ years with its help. But they can feed your anxiety and for some reason are irresistible to most people for frequently checking their heart rates and possibly coming to the wrong conclusion with the results, than is good for us. They haven't been scientifically evaluated for accuracy and as such the medical profession can't and won't use results as an official diagnosis. (I believe there is a study underway at the moment to see how reliable they can be).

This can be frustrating, and then the more often we consult our GPs and say we know something's wrong, the more likely we are to hear that dreaded and annoying 'anxiety' word.

I'd say don't be put off by it. If your iwatch readings aren't being taken seriously, then just say that you aren't happy with the 'anxiety' diagnosis and ask for further help.

The relationship between you and your GP is supposed to be a partnership and you, as the end user, should end up being satisfied that the diagnosis you are handed down, is accurate.

But don't place too much faith in the iwatch for now. Although Apple quite obviously promote it as a good diagnostic tool, science isn't sure, as yet.

I hope you can persist and come to a point where you trust in your diagnosis, and certainly don't give up because you are fed up. You'll still go on worrying, until you feel comfortable with the diagnosis you receive.

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