I recently had a stress echocardiogram which thankfully came
Patient :I recently had a stress echocardiogram which thankfully came back normal. Prior to this I was exhibiting Angina like symptoms (although I'm only 43). My symptoms were quite strange. It started off with balance issues (which were ongoing for about 2 years), then this year the symptoms escalated/evolved.
Initially my Doctor thought it might be an issue with my Blood Pressue, (causing the balance problems), but when the shortness of breath and chest pains kicked in, it was uncertain.
Now that the Stress Test has come back negative, I'm wondering whether the issue still lies with my Blood Pressure? Normally my BP is on the lower side, (ranging from 90-110 on average). But at the height of my Ill phase, I had a couple episodes where I became hypertensive. I went from 90/71 to 141/124 within fithteen minutes, then the following morning 192/143 to 105/66, within 5 minutes.
I've noticed on my stress test that my starting BP was 107/71 and ended at 163/96, after 9 minutes.
I read somewhere that the Diastolic shouldn't change that much during exercise? Is a level of 96 a problem? Could it be that my blood pressure is an issue?
Symptoms: Started off with balance problems for about 2 years. In February I started to experience shortness of breath. Symptoms at this stage were always fleeting. In June/July I had an ongoing episode where i was Ill every day for 3 weeks. The breathless episodes were lasting 2-3 hours, combined with varying pains/sensations in my chest and the problems with my balance continued.
Thanks for writing to us.
I have read your case and can understand your situation.
looking at your stress echo and other cardiac reports , it is less likely that you have any cardiac issue .
The spectrum of symptoms described by you like sudden high Blood pressure, chest pain, breathlessness, balance issue (dizziness) appears to fit into criteria of anxiety disorder mainly panic attacks.
A full-blown panic attack includes a combination of the following signs and symptoms:
Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
Heart palpitations or a racing heart
Chest pain or discomfort
Trembling or shaking
Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
Nausea or upset stomach
Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
Numbness or tingling sensations
Hot or cold flashes
Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy
Panic attacks or other anxiety disorders closely simulate cardiac disorder with difference lying in pathology seen in ECHO in later one.
Anxiety /panic attacks can be treated by pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy.
Pharmacotherapy involves use of anxiolytics like SSRI (Escitalopram, Fluoxetine etc.) and benzodiazepines ( clonazepam, lorazepam)
Psychotherapy involves Cognitive behaviour therapy and Exposure therapy.
It is advisable for you to see your doctor who may start you with above mentioned medications.
Hope this helps.
Feel free to write back.
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