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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Been to ER Twice and Nothing is Wrong, But...

04/30/2008

Question:

I still feel like my heart is going WAY to fast. I have stomach pains. My left arm usually feel`s numb but doesn`t hurt. I have trouble breathing comfortably like before. I had surgery about 2 week`s ago and I was given General Anesthesia. I`m not quite sure if that is why I feel like this but I feel so bad. I usually have mucus in my throat and chest area. When I went to the E.R. the first time I was given a Chest X-Ray, and a CT Scan. I also had blood tested. All came back good and they gave me an Inhaler called Albuterol. I took it once in a while and never over did it. I had taken once one day and I felt REALLY bad and went back to E.R. cause I thought I over dosed. They checked me with an E.K.G Machine and all was fine and the doctor thought I was just over reacting. I honestly don`t know what it is. They said it was a panic attack but I feel my heart rate pumping always around 105 to 115. I checked in the morning and it went down to 85 but that was still hight for me. I`m 6`0 and weight is 240. I honestly don`t know what`s wrong but I want it to go away. Any suggestions?

Answer:

It sounds like the physicians at the ER have suggested an important diagnosis and suggested you get this evaluated.  That diagnosis is panic and anxiety.  Panic attacks are very real attacks that lead to an increased release of certain chemicals in the body that lead to increased heart rate and breathing, sensations of pain, tingling and numbness, nausea, diarrhea and cramping, sweating, shortness of breath and other symptoms.  To say "nothing is wrong" is not correct -- there may be "nothing wrong" with your lungs or your heart or your stomach, but a severe anxiety disorder can lead to serious discomfort in all these areas. 

Check out the weblinks for more information on panic and anxiety, and make an appointment with both your primary care doctor and a mental health provider (like a counselor or therapist) as a place to start.  There are good treatments for panic and anxiety, but first you need to get care.

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