The relationship between anxiety and heart attack is a very close one. Being an anxious person can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Because the symptoms of chronic anxiety and heart attacks are similar, sometimes it is hard to tell which is the cause for your symptoms.
Anxiety can sometimes mimic heart disease. Your blood pressure will rise. You can have an abnormal heart beat. If your heart beats over 100 beats per minute then it is considered high. The medical term for this is supra-ventricular tachycardia. Sometimes, if you are anxious you may find yourself lightheaded. You may also notice that you have a shortness of breath.
For women, some of the symptoms of a heart attack may mimic anxiety disorder. One question that you should ask yourself is ‘Did anxiety cause the symptoms or did the symptoms cause anxiety?’ If you are anxious about having a heart attack then of course you will have a panic attack. Women should also take care if they notice pain in their back or their shoulders or their jaw. Sometimes, women notice abdominal pain or heartburn instead of chest pain. This can be accompanied by nausea or vomiting as well as fatigue. Try to remember if something triggered you to feel anxious, thus causing your heart to beat faster.
People who are under the age of 50 and suffer from chronic anxiety tend to be susceptible to having a heart attack. This is because your heart has had a lot of stress. However, there is not enough research to confirm that panic attacks are an underlying cause for heart disease.
Some factors that cause heart disease are also present in that of panic attacks. If you have a poor diet, do not get enough exercise, or have hypertension, you are at risk for both panic attacks and heart attacks.
One difference between having a heart attack and having an anxiety attack is that you will not pass out from an anxiety attack. If you do black out, seek medical help immediately. This may be a sign that you have had or are having a heart attack. The only way to confirm or deny that you have indeed had a heart attack is through a medical test.
Try not to worry about whether you will or won’t have a heart attack. Doing so will only cause a vicious cycle in your mind and keep your body from being at a relaxed state. If you notice any of these symptoms, document it and write down what triggered the symptoms, if anything. If they continue, or if you suspect that you are in fact having a heart attack, seek medical attention immediately. Many people suffer heart attacks but do not go to a doctor or hospital because they are unaware that the symptoms that they were having was truly a heart attack. By being able to differentiate the symptoms, your doctor can give you appropriate treatment. Remember, practicing relaxation techniques is beneficial for both your heart health and the treatment of anxiety.