The Connection Between Anxiety and Heart Disease
Posted by: Tampa Cardio
On: May 16, 2019
If you experience anxiety you know that it is heart center based. You feel it in your chest often in the form of butterflies and even heart palpitations. You may even have an elevated heart rate level during times of raised anxiety.
Anxiety is certainly not healthy, especially on an ongoing long term basis. Stress can make you ill physically as well as emotionally. Chronic anxiety can raise your risk for heart issues.
While small amounts of stress are healthy and even motivating, feeling worried or anxious now and then is normal. It’s when it becomes chronic that it may pose a negative threat to your wellbeing.
Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the USA alone. Generalized anxiety disorder is defined by at least 6 months of excessive worrying or feeling anxious about unrelated events. Approximately 5% of adults meet the criteria for this disorder. The incidence is higher, coming in at 11% among those with coronary artery disease and 13% of those with heart failure.
It has not been established whether anxiety sets off heart disease or vice versa. It is known that chronic anxiety can change the way the body reacts to stress. This happens via hormones and physiological reactions meant to keep us safe – known as the flight or fight response.
If your fight or flight response is constantly engaged it can lead to heart issues as well as adrenal burn out which may, in turn, cause other endocrine system issues.
Anxiety can masquerade as a heart attack
A panic attack is so very similar in feel to a heart attack people often mistake them. Upon a trip to the ER, you will receive a diagnosis of non-cardiac chest pain. As many as 1 in 3 people will experience this in their lifetime.
What’s the answer?
The best answer medical professionals have found so far is a combination of medication and talk therapy. A cognitive behavioral therapist will help you identify unwanted thoughts and establish what is anxiety based and what is something that genuinely needs to be looked at and considered.
Medications work as a temporary bandaid to allow you to get through tough anxiety-filled times while working through the root cause with a therapist or on your own using tools such as automatic writing, meditation, yoga, or other relaxation healing based activities.
The best advice is never to ignore chest pain of unknown source. It is far better to be safe than sorry. If you are in the Tampa Florida area and looking for a cardiologist we invite you to check out the physicians at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates. www.tampacardio.com 813-975-2800.
Posted by: Tampa Cardio