Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Does Stress Cause Heart Attacks

What Are The Symptoms

EP38: Does Stress Cause Heart Attacks?

Symptoms of stress cardiomyopathy include sudden onset of chest pain, sweating, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, and abnormal heart rhythms. These symptoms normally occur soon after a severely stressful event. Because many of these symptoms are also symptoms of a heart attack, it is easy to mistake stress cardiomyopathy for a heart attack.

Stress cardiomyopathy vs. heart attack Heart attacks and stress cardiomyopathy can have very similar symptoms but they are different conditions. Most heart attacks are caused by blockages or blood clots in the coronary arteries , resulting in a decreased flow of blood to the heart that can lead to heart muscle cells to die. This is what can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle cells.

On the other hand, the heart is not permanently damaged with stress cardiomyopathy. Stress cardiomyopathy does not seem to be a result of artery blockages or blood clots. For most people that suffer stress cardiomyopathy, the heart weakness usually stops within a couple of weeks and there is no permanent damage.

Lisa Tourountzas

What Are The Heart Disease Risk Factors That I Cannot Change

  • Age. Your risk of heart disease increases as you get older. Men age 45 and older and women age 55 and older have a greater risk.
  • Sex. Some risk factors may affect heart disease risk differently in women than in men. For example, estrogen provides women some protection against heart disease, but diabetes raises the risk of heart disease more in women than in men.
  • Race or ethnicity. Certain groups have higher risks than others. African Americans are more likely than whites to have heart disease, while Hispanic Americans are less likely to have it. Some Asian groups, such as East Asians, have lower rates, but South Asians have higher rates.
  • Family history. You have a greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.

The Role Of Genes In Anxiety Disorder

Just like a major heart attack, a burn is a horrible thing, says McCann. About 33% of patients who have really severe burns develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Which makes us wonder about the 66% who do not get PTSD. We think genes are a huge part of it. Were currently researching whether this same genetic vulnerability holds true for cardiac disease.

Johns Hopkins Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center

The Johns Hopkins Womens Cardiovascular Health Center provides education, comprehensive treatment and diagnostic services to prevent and manage heart disease in women.

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Coping With Life’s Pressures

Heart disease has many other mind-body connections that you should consider. Prolonged stress due to the pressures at home, on the job, or from other sources can contribute to abnormally high blood pressure and circulation problems. As with many other diseases, the effects vary from person to person. Some people use stress as a motivator while others may “snap” at the slightest issue.

How you handle stress also influences how your cardiovascular system responds. Studies have shown that if stress makes you angry or irritable, you’re more likely to have heart disease or a heart attack. In fact, the way you respond to stress may be a greater risk factor for heart problems than smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Anxiety Disorders In Patients With Cardiovascular Disease

Panic Attacks: Common Symptoms and How to Cope

While much of the literature to date has focused on the associations between anxiety as a symptom and cardiovascular health, it may be more important to examine the links between anxiety disorders and heart health. By definition, anxiety in the setting of anxiety disorders is chronic and persistent, and therefore it may have greater physiologic consequences than transient anxiety. Furthermore, effective treatments are available for anxiety disorders.

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Weight Loss Supplements Can Have Anxiety

Many over-the-counter weight loss supplements come with anxiety-producing side effects. Use of St. John’s wort may lead to insomnia, and green tea extracts contain plenty of caffeine. Guarana, an ingredient in some OTC diet products, can contain up to four times as much caffeine as coffee beans. And beware of any product containing ephedra it can cause increased heart rate and anxiety. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra in 2004.

What Can I Do Instead Of Drinking Coffee

Quitting Coffee?Try These Drinks Instead

  • Pero. If you want the coffee taste without the caffeine, try Pero.
  • Yerba mate tea. Yerba Mate Tea is very high in antioxidants and known as an overall healing drink.
  • White tea. Known as the least processed tea with the highest antioxidant levels.
  • Reishi mushroom tea.

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Can A Stress Test Cause A Heart Attack

Nuclear stress tests are extremely rare, but they may cause heart attacks. A low blood pressure is a sign of poor health. Exercise can cause your blood pressure to drop, possibly making you feel dizzy or faint. Once you stop exercising, the problem should go away.

Ways To Manage Stress And Help Your Heart

Stress and Heart Attacks | Causes of Heart Disease

Want to turn your stress around and help your heart in the process? Try these five simple tips.

  • Stay positive. People with heart disease who maintain an upbeat attitude are less likely to die than those who are more negative, according to research. Just having a good laugh can help your heart. Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.

  • Meditate. This practice of inward-focused thought and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Anyone can learn to meditate. Just take a few minutes to sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Meditation’s close relatives, yoga and prayer, can also relax the mind and body.

  • Exercise. Every time you are physically active, whether you take a walk or play tennis, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. Exercising not only melts away stress, but it also protects against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart muscle, and helping you maintain a healthy weight.

  • Unplug. It’s impossible to escape stress when it follows you everywhere. Cut the cord. Avoid emails and TV news. Take time each dayeven if it’s for just 10 or 15 minutesto escape from the world.

  • Find your own path to stress relief. Take a bubble bath, listen to music, or read a book. Any technique is effective if it works for you.

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    Mind/body Health: Heart Disease

    You might think heart disease is linked only with physical activities, but your thoughts, attitudes and emotions are just as important. They can accelerate the onset of heart disease, as well as get in the way of taking positive steps to improve your health or that of a loved one.

    Mind/body health: Heart disease.

    You might think heart disease is linked only with physical activities a lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking and excessive drinking. While these habits do heighten the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems, your thoughts, attitudes and emotions are just as important. They can not only accelerate the onset of heart disease, but also get in the way of taking positive steps to improve your health or that of a loved one.

    Is Broken Heart Syndrome Dangerous

    Broken heart syndrome can be life threatening. In some cases, it can cause severe heart muscle weakness resulting in:

    • Shock
    • Potentially life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities

    The good news is that this condition can improve very quickly if patients are under the care of doctors familiar with the syndrome. Even people who are critically ill with this condition tend to recover.

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    How To Reduce Anxiety And Chest Pain

    The best way to manage chest pain is with prevention and by reducing your overall anxiety symptoms. The less you experience anxiety, the less risk you’ll have for chest pain.

    If you’re currently experiencing anxiety and chest pain, the best things to do are the following:

    • Control Your Breathing Recall that this type of chest pain is often caused by hyperventilation, and even if you’re not hyperventilating, getting your breathing under control is a great way to calm the nerves. Take slow, controlled breaths using deep breathing techniques that take at least 15 seconds and you’ll quickly see a difference. Try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, breathing deep from your diaphragm rather than shallow from your chest.
    • Control Your Thoughts One of the reasons I recommend going to a doctor first is because understanding that your chest pain is anxiety related reduces the severity of the experience. If you know that your heart is in good health, don’t let your thoughts spiral out of control because that may make the chest pain worse.
    • Control Your Environment Chest pain caused by thoughts or anxiety is often made worse when you sit and focus on the experience. See if you can give yourself a healthy coping distraction, and much of the chest pain will fade away. Some suggestions for this include changing your location , listen to relaxing or happy music, talk on the phone with a trusted friend, or use grounding techniques to focus on the present.

    Emotions Behavioral Traits And Heart Disease: Some Historical Highlights

    Dont Panic: Breaking down my high functioning anxiety ...

    The appreciation that different emotions could have powerful influences on the heart and the recognition of some intimate but poorly understood mind-heart connection is hardly new. Aristotle and Virgil actually taught that the heart rather than the brain was the seat of the mind and soul and similar beliefs can be found in ancient Hindu scriptures and other Eastern philosophies. Some 2000 years ago, the Roman physician Celsus unwittingly acknowledged this mind-heart relationship by noting that fear and anger, and any other state of the mind may often be apt to excite the pulse. Our earliest uses of the word heart clearly indicate its conceptualization as the seat of ones innermost feelings, temperament, or character. Broken-hearted, heartache, take to heart, eat your heart out, heart of gold, heart of stone, stouthearted, are just a few of the words and phrases we still use that vividly symbolize such beliefs.

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    Looking To Manage Stress Better

    There is no way to completely eliminate stress, but there are strategies people can use to manage it.

    Relaxation techniques such as yoga, massage, deep breathing and meditation have been shown to help. So can journaling about your thoughts or the things you are grateful for in your life. Making time for enjoyable activities, giving back to the community and good sleep habits also can reduce stress. Professional counselors can help people develop healthy coping strategies.

    The researchers advised anxious and worry-prone people to pay extra attention to their cardiometabolic health by having routine health check-ups, eating healthy, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.

    Anxiety Disorders Are Linked To Alcohol And Drugs

    There is a strong link between alcohol and anxiety. Research shows that people with anxiety disorders are two to three times more likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol at some point in their lives than the general population. But that’s not all: Alcohol and drugs can often cause panic attacks, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America .

    People with social anxiety, in particular, may turn to alcohol in order to lessen their symptoms, but alcohol can actually make anxiety worse. About 20 percent of people with social anxiety disorder also have an alcohol or substance abuse disorder, notes the ADAA. No matter which problem comes first, the combination of drugs, alcohol, and anxiety can become a vicious cycle.

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    What You Can Do

    Although heart disease is a serious condition that requires constant monitoring, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk for cardiovascular problems and live a full, active life, even if you should suffer a heart attack.

    The American Psychological Association gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Sara Weiss, PhD, and Nancy Molitor, PhD.

    Anxiety And The Development Of Heart Disease

    Stress, Heart Attack, and Stroke

    Its my view and my personal clinical experience that anxiety disorders can play a major role in heart disease, says McCann. I believe that a really careful look at anxiety would reveal the ways it can severely impact heart disease, both as a contributing factor and as an obstacle in recovery.

    A natural reaction to a sudden heart attack can be similar to post-traumatic stress disorder:

    • Youre likely to be shocked by your near-death experience and extremely hesitant to do the things you used to do.
    • You might constantly relive the life-threatening event, and avoid the activity or place associated with the heart attack.
    • Recurring anxious thoughts may impede your ability to get regular sleep.
    • Your thoughts about what lies ahead may be extremely negative and cause a drastically foreshortened outlook of the future.

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    Can Stress Cause Heart Disease

    As humans, we all stress and worry. We stress about our family, our job, our financial situations. Moderate stress is normal, but sometimes we get so overwhelmed it can feel like we are on the verge of a heart attack.

    Is this possible? Well, technically, yes. For more than 100 years, it has been thought that stress plays a role in heart disease and multiple studies today prove this. That fact alone makes it crucial to understand the link between stress and heart disease and know how to manage stress effectively.

    How can stress cause heart disease?Chronic stress leads to a 40%-60% increase in cardiovascular disease, said Cardiologist Ray Georgeson, a physician at Piedmont HealthCare.

    Stress can lead to a cascade of events in our hearts and body. A stressful situation can cause heightened central nervous system activity, which causes an increase in adrenaline and, ultimately, a high heart rate and blood pressure.

    Additionally, stress can cause a plaque rupture, which occurs when cholesterol builds up on the artery wall. According to Georgeson, a small fibrous cap inside the artery keeps the cholesterol and plaque from entering the bloodstream. However, this cap weakens and ruptures after time, causing all the plaque to enter the artery, leading to a blood clot. This blood clot can then lead to a heart attack. Emotional stress, natural disasters, and even intense sporting events can cause stress and trigger plaque rupture.

    How can I reduce my stress?

    What Anxiety Chest Pain Feels Like

    Anxiety symptoms are rarely the same from person to person. Some days, symptoms arent even the same for the same person. Anxiety presents itself in a variety of ways, and that makes detecting or understanding symptoms difficult.

    Chest pain associated with anxiety feels different for each person. Some people may experience chest pain on a gradual basis. For others, the pain may be sudden and unexpected. Anxiety chest pain can be described as:

    • sharp, shooting pain
    • an unusual muscle twitch or spasm in your chest
    • burning, numbness, or a dull ache
    • stabbing pressure
    • chest tension or tightness

    If you dont have a history of chest pain with anxiety, you may be alarmed. Many people assume theyre having a heart attack and go to the hospitals emergency department for treatment.

    An estimated 25 to 50 percent of patients who come to the emergency department with low risk chest pain experience moderate to severe anxiety, according to 2018 research.

    If you visit a hospital emergency room and the doctors dont find a specific cause for your chest pain, consider consulting with your doctor about other possible causes, including anxiety.

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    Women’s Health: Can Holiday Stress Lead To A Heart Attack

    It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and chaos that accompany the holiday season each year. For some women, their busy lives become even more hectic, as additional shopping, cooking and spending combine to add even more anxiety. The result can be overwhelming. In addition, women often ignore the symptoms of heart disease and put the health needs of friends and family before their own.

    Take a moment to view this American Heart Association video about what may seem like a typical morning family routine:

    This portrayal may seem a little over the top, but many people take pride in being able to accomplish a multitude of tasks and trying to be everything to everyone. However, this can negatively affect physical and mental health, especially if one’s personal health is ignored.

    Heart disease is the No. 1 killer for men and women. More women die of heart disease than of breast cancer. Taking care of heart health is important, and that includes avoiding risk factors or behaviors that lead to heart disease, recognizing symptoms of heart disease and seeking treatment for heart disease.

    Risk factors for heart disease

    Traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking cigarettes and obesity. In addition, nontraditional risk factors, such as stress, anxiety and depression, also affect heart health.

    How does stress lead to heart attacks?

    Research is ongoing in other heart disease risk factors in women.

    Managing holiday stress

    Is It Normal To Pass Out During A Stress Test

    Proof that stress really does cause heart attacks

    In syncope, i.e., you can sync your data. The occurrence of passing out during treadmill stress testing is rare, but it is possible. In most cases, it is listed as such in the informed consent that the patient signs before the test. This would not suggest a deviation from the standard of care, therefore.

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