Have you ever experienced discomfort in the pit of your stomach? Have you felt a rapid heartbeat without an apparent cause? If so, you may be experiencing anxiety-related symptoms. Anxiety has many physical and psychological effects on the body – in particular, the ability to cause an arrhythmia. The stress and emotional arousal associated with anxiety can cause changes to the electrical activity of the heart, leading to an irregular heartbeat. This occurs indiscriminately in patients who both have or have not had a history of arrhythmia.
It’s important to note that while anxiety can cause an arrhythmia, it is not the only potential cause. Other potential causes of arrhythmia include underlying heart conditions, certain medication, and other health conditions. If you are experiencing symptoms of arrhythmia, such as palpitations, chest pain, or shortness of breath, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat rhythm caused by disruptions to the electrical signals that control your heart rate. It can cause your heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or erratically (irregular rhythm). Arrhythmias can range from harmless to life-threatening in some cases. Common symptoms include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness, light-headedness, fatigue, and fainting.
Anxiety has been linked to arrhythmias due to its effects on the autonomic nervous system—the part of the nervous system responsible for controlling involuntary processes like breathing and heart rate.
When you experience high levels of stress or anxiety, the heart perceives it as an impending threat, which sets off your fight-or-flight response. This activates your Autonomic Nervous system (ANS). Both fight and flight responses result in release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into their bloodstream (Ref. Link). These hormones increase your heart rate and blood pressure, constrict your blood vessels, and can therefore lead to an irregular heartbeat. This is why people who suffer from anxiety are more likely to experience arrhythmias than those who do not.
When your fight or flight response is engaged, the body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline which can affect the electrical activity of the heart and lead to an irregular heartbeat. This can cause palpitations, skipped beats, or other changes to the regular beating of your heart.
It’s normal to experience anxiety every now and then, especially if you can pinpoint the source of your anxiety. Events like boarding an airplane or getting ready for an interview can cause a certain level of anxiety. You should see your doctor if you frequently feel anxious, or if you suddenly find yourself feeling anxious without knowing why. It’s possible that you have an anxiety disorder that can be controlled with a combination of therapy and medication.
Diagnosis of anxiety starts with a physical examination. A mental health professional will further evaluate your symptoms to help in diagnosis.
If your anxiety triggers irregular heartbeats or keeps you from functioning normally, you should see a doctor. After performing a preliminary physical examination, the following tests are done.
Treatment and management options for arrhythmia caused by anxiety may include:
Here are some steps you can take to unwind and calm your fluttering heart. Several tried-and-tested methods of relaxation are:
Anxiety is an extremely common affliction, and is one that is best handled by being cognizant of it. In the same way, keeping tabs on your heart is the best way to ensure its health. Purchase the revolutionary Frontier X2 to always stay on top of your heart health!
Feelings of tension, anxious thoughts, and physical changes like elevated blood pressure are all characteristics of anxiety.
Anxiety or stress release stress hormones which causes arrhythmias or irregular heart rhythm
Some of the symptoms of arrhythmia include a fluttering in the chest, a rapid (tachycardia) or slow heart rate (bradycardia), chest pain, and shortness of breath.
Other Heart Health Topics To Explore:
Heart Health Monitor Devices| Cardiac Arrhythmia | Heart Palpitations | Running Heart Rate Zones | Low Heart Rate | Heart Rate Monitor | Mental Stress | Heart Attack Symptoms | Heart Palpitations Causes | Increased Heart rate