Chest pain caused by heart problems and panic disorder

About 40% of people with panic disorder experience chest pain. Chest pain symptoms are listed under Panic Attack-related Symptoms in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. Whether you have panic disorder or not, chest pain will sound the alarm. The first thought is that you are experiencing a possible heart attack or other heart event, which is taken for granted. This possibility sent many people to the nearest emergency room for help. However, chest pain symptoms associated with panic disorder are usually not related to the heart and are usually not considered serious.

Typical and atypical chest pain

Professionals classify chest pain into “typical” and “atypical” categories. The typical chest pain is thought to be more likely to be related to a cardiac event. On the other hand, atypical chest pain is thought to reduce the likelihood that the pain originates from the heart.

However, there is no clear boundary between what is “typical” and what is “atypical”. Moreover, although atypical chest pain reduces the likelihood of heart disease, it is true that some people do experience atypical chest pain due to a heart attack or other heart attack. This may be more common in women, because the symptoms of heart disease in women are usually different from those in men.

The following provides a general overview of the characteristics of typical chest pain that is generally considered a heart problem and atypical chest pain that is often associated with panic disorder. It is not intended to be used as a self-diagnostic tool.

All chest pains should be evaluated by a doctor for a correct diagnosis. Even if you have had chest pain related to panic disorder in the past, remember this.People with panic disorder may suffer from heart disease just like people without panic disorder, and, as mentioned later, may be more prone to heart disease

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Typical chest pain associated with heart problems

“Typical” symptoms of heart-related chest pain include:

  • A few minutes later, the escalating chest pain reached its maximum severity
  • Persistent pain, pressure, or pain
  • Pain in the substernal area (under the breastbone) or in the left chest area
  • Pain that spreads or radiates from the chest to other areas, such as one or both arms, shoulders, or chin
  • Pain caused by exertion (although unstable angina may cause pain without exertion)

Atypical chest pain associated with panic disorder

“Atypical” chest pain may include:

  • Severe or stinging chest pain (please note that sharp or stinging chest pain may also be a symptom of serious diseases such as pulmonary embolism)
  • Short chest pain
  • Local pain
  • Unearned pain
  • Chest pain with anxiety or panic attack
  • Pain decreases or worsens when changing posture
  • The pain can be reproduced or aggravated by pressing on the painful area

Mitral valve prolapse and panic disorder

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a fairly common disease that affects approximately 4% to 5% of the general adult population. Basically, MVP involves an abnormal heart valve that “prolapses” or flips back, allowing blood to leak back through the valve opening. Many people with MVP have no symptoms. Some people may complain of fatigue, heart palpitations, chest pain, anxiety, and migraines. For most people, MVP will not cause lasting negative effects, nor will it interfere with any life functions.

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Studies have shown that there is some evidence of a correlation between MVP and panic disorder. Most studies have shown that MVP occurs more frequently in people with panic disorder or other anxiety disorders. However, there is some controversy as to whether this connection does exist. Hope that future research can give us a clearer answer.

Heart disease and panic disorder

There are several studies trying to prove that there is a correlation between anxiety and heart disease. A recent study conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative on postmenopausal women showed that those who report a full-blown panic attack within six months of being interviewed are at risk of heart disease, heart-related death, or stroke in the next five years Three times the year. The study also found that within five years of the study, people who reported panic attacks were almost twice as likely to die from any cause.

However, like other studies trying to prove the correlation between panic disorder and heart disease, this study does not provide the final answer. Participants in this study answered two screening questions about experiencing “suddenly feeling scared, anxious, or extremely uncomfortable” and “suddenly rapid or irregular heartbeat.” This led interviewers to ask these participants questions about the twelve panic attack symptoms in the past six months.

Some symptoms associated with panic attacks are very similar to heart problems, but have nothing to do with heart function. Participants in this study have reported these “panic attack” symptoms in the past six months, and they did not distinguish between a panic attack, several panic attacks, or repeated panic attacks that indicate panic disorder. Some people who answered yes to the panic attack screening question may actually be experiencing undiagnosed heart problems.

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At best, it is difficult to prove a correlation between heart disease and panic attack. According to statistics, patients with panic disorder have a higher incidence of smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. These are known risk factors for heart disease. Whether you have panic disorder or not, most professionals will agree: reduce known risk factors and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Bottom line

It is clear that panic disorder is related to chest pain, but it is not clear whether people with panic disorder are more susceptible to heart disease. Chest pain symptoms associated with a panic attack are usually different from chest pain symptoms associated with a heart attack, but there is a lot of overlap between individuals. At the same time, we know that immediate medical attention will help those who suffer from heart-related chest pain.

Before we know more, those with panic disorder should seek medical attention immediately for chest pain. This can sometimes lead to unnecessary emergency room visits, but it pales in comparison to the risk of ignoring the pain associated with a heart attack by treating it as a panic attack. In recent years, the medical care of heart attack patients has improved significantly, but it depends on people receiving timely treatment. Whether you have panic disorder or not, check out how to survive the first few hours of a heart attack.

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