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scared seventeen-year old
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An_250031 posted:
I'm really hoping to get some help on here-

I'm 17 years old and have been experiencing some worrisome symptoms over the past couple of months. I'll start by saying that I'm tall and thin, I avoid caffeinated drinks, and eat pretty well with lots of fruits and veggies. I don't exercise regularly because I'm so busy maintaining my high grades and working my job that I started this past summer. I do walk around the nearby lake on the weekends though, which isn't much, but is very relaxing to me. I've been experiencing anxiety for a good while now, maybe a year, but it has recently gotten worse (since about September when I entered my senior year). I started to get stressed out in the summer when I started my job, (which is also when I stopped my birth control). During my first week of work, I experienced the first and worst episode of heartburn in my life. Not only am I experiencing anxiety, but I've also experienced a racing heart and high blood pressure. I went to the doctor, who did a blood test to make sure it wasn't hyperthyroidism. The test came back fine, and we attributed the HBP to my allergy medicine. We kind of dismissed the anxiety since I was feeling pretty good at that point in time. Now, I'm a mess. I cannot sit through a class without experiencing a panic attack. I worry about having the panic attacks, and then I have one. My anxiety stems from worrying about my health and my anxiety...even though the doctor said I was perfectly healthy. I just recently went back on my birth control, something that I stopped because I thought it was causing my hair to change texture. My mother thought that going back on the hormone might help, since my anxiety gets worse around my period. My acne has also gotten significantly worse since stopping the birth control. However, I am still experiencing the anxiety symptoms, plus a feeling of a skipped heartbeat and palpitations that occurs randomly. I do suffer from many acid reflux symptoms, like tight throat, regurgitation, and esophageal spasms. Reflux runs in my family, and I've noticed that my reflux gets worse with certain foods and stress.. It is hard to decipher between the spasms and a palpitation though, and I tend to worry about my health because of it. I don't want to go on anxiety meds. because I've heard some horror stories about their symptoms. I feel so paralyzed by these symptoms, and cannot help thinking that someday, something bad is going to happen because I've ignored them. Does anyone think this is heart related? Or just stress? Any suggestions would be SO greatly appreciated.

FYI-
My father's family has a history of heart disease, my father has polycystic kidney disease (I have the blisters, but haven't had a check-up on that in years), both of my parents have reflux. I am taking claritin, doryx (acne drug), and ortho tri cyclen lo.

Please provide some insight for a hypochondriac seventeen year old.
(:
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cardiostarusa1 responded:
Hi:

......"and have been experiencing some worrisome symptoms over the past couple of months.

Medical rule of thumb, report any bothersome, concerning, troublesome, worrisome, worsening or new symptom(s) to a/your doctor promptly.

Additionally, pf the various types/kinds of heart conditions, some which may occur at ANY AGE, symptoms may/can be acute (occurring suddenly), be chronic (occurring over a long period of time), come and go (be transient, fleeting or episodic), or even be silent

"I've been experiencing anxiety for a good while now, maybe a year, but it has recently gotten worse (since about September when I entered my senior year). I started to get stressed out in the summer when......"

Stress and/or anxiety can cause various symptoms, even wreaking havoc on the entire body. The effects can still linger on even well-after after the stress/anxiety-causing events have ended.

......"plus a feeling of a skipped heartbeat and palpitations that occurs"

As applicable to the patient, the most common type of palpitations, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs, occurs even in many heart-healthy individuals), is described that the heart is flip-flopping, fluttering, jumping, pausing or stopping briefly (though it's actually not doing that), pounding, skipping, thumping, or strong, hard, or forceful beats being felt in the chest, neck, throat, and has various causes (cardiac and non-cardiac) or triggers, includes stress, even at the subconscious level (affecting the subconscious mind).

As applicable, some individuals have reported, palpitations (PACs, PVCs), being triggered off by GERD/acid reflux/heartburn, swallowing (food or drink), gas, bloating, belching, burping, or coughing, or after a heavy meal/on a full stomach.

These are known as indirect causes or an "reactive-arrhythmia". This may/can also be a side effect of some foods (which includes additives and preservatives), drinks, or drugs. On the flip side, in some cases, belching, burping, or coughing may/can terminate/relieve an irregular heartbeat/arrhythmia.

PVCs are typically harmless, however, the main problem or concern (even more so, much more emphasized for those with certain major or serious heart conditions) with PVCs is when sustained ventricular tachycardia (runs of PVCs over 30 seconds) occurs.

Symptoms that may/can occur wih PVCs includes none at all or chest pain/discomfort/pressure/tightness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness/dizziness, and in uncommon to rare cases, near-syncope or syncope (temporary loss of consciousness, includes fainting and passing out).

Best of luck down the road of life. Live long and prosper.

Take care,

CardioStar*

WebMD member (since 8/99)

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Be well-informed

WebMD

Heart Disease TYPES

Men and Women

Acquired in life or congenital (born with it)

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-disease-men

Heart Disease SYMPTOMS

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-symptoms

Mayo Clinic

Heart Disease

Heart disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affects your heart and sometimes the blood vessels......

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease/DS01120

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LEARN ABOUT the Heart


WebMD

The Heart: (Human Anatomy) Pictures, Definition, Location in the Body and Heart Problems

http://www.webmd.com/heart/picture-of-the-heart


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HeartSite

Heart info, cardiac tests (commonly performed, mainstream types) info, diagnostic images

http://www.heartsite.com

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Quote!

"Be a questioning patient. TALK to your DOCTOR questions and ASK QUESTIONS. Studies show that patients who and ASK the mostQUESTIONS, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

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An_250031 replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
Thank you so much for your insight.
 
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cardiostarusa1 replied to An_250031's response:
You're welcome.

Take good care.

CardioStar*



-

-

WebMD/WebMD forums DOES NOT provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

NEVER delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on WebMD.


IF YOU have a medical emergency CALL 911.
 
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ACerulean replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
I am hardly trying to tell you that you don't need to see a doctor by saying what I am about to. I am just giving my two cents. It sounds like you lead a rather healthy life and that means that heart problems are rather unlikely unless they were congenital. That's not to say that you might not have heart problems. There are all sorts of heart issues that can manifest at all ages. I can't really speak on whether or not your issues are hormone related because I am not a woman. I can say though that I also suffer from some pretty severe anxiety and it has caused chest pain. Granted I also have a congenital heart defect, but all signs point toward the anxiety as the cause. If you really are worried and you have good insurance, why not just go and see your doctor and mention your concerns. The worst thing that could happen is that they fix whatever is ailing you. I hope that made sense and wasn't just a wall of text.
 
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freckledlion replied to ACerulean's response:
Thank you so much! I actually went to see my doctor a few weeks ago, and he thinks that I am suffering from PMDD with some underlying anxiety as well. He prescribed Sarafem for me and we're hoping to get me back on track. He also did an Echocardiogram and an EKG just to put my mind at rest, and according to him, I have a cardiologist's dream heart! So I'm very reassured now. Anxiety I pretty much living hell, as you know. I just want to say that once we learn how to deal with and overcome it, we'll be so much stronger. After all everything happens for a reason!

Thanks again!!!!!


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