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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Symptoms of Pregnancy

09/22/2006

Question:

I have had numerous symptoms ever since I became pregnant. I`m not pregnant now and they are still progressing. My daughter was born 2 months ago. I have been getting jitters at times,lower left swelling of the leg which just started, my pulse will start raising for no apparent reason, some trouble breathing at night mostly. This all started about a year ago. I have noticed that these symptoms mostly occur at night or when I am nervous or upset. Any suggestions on what might be causing this. The hospital just tells me I have anxiety attacks, but it seems like its something more. I have also had and EKG done and a stress test, both normal.

Answer:

I would recommend that you see your primary care doctor to talk about these symptoms, and also consider seeing a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or counselor to help you figure out what is going on.  Many people say it can't be  "just" anxiety because I'm not a nervous person or the symptoms are too bad.  But anxiety disorders are real diseases, and can produce very significant symptoms.

Take a look at the weblinks for the anxiety websites.  You will see that anxiety can produce everything from chest pain, sweating, palpitations, shakiness and shortness of breath to abdominal pain and nausea.  Anxiety disorders are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.  Sometimes these can be short lived, but sometimes anxiety disorders can be chronic problems.  The good news is there are excellent treatments - both medications and non-medications (usually a counseling technique called cognitive behavioral therapy, or a "thinking-acting" therapy).

I encourage you to see your primary care doctor who can help diagnose you, and consider treatment.

Good Luck.

Related Resources:

anxiety disorders of america
NIH NIMH anxiety

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Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati