*This post is not to be taken as medical advice. This information is based on personal experience only, and may contain inaccurate information regarding health conditions. I have done research and spoke with professionals, but your research could find different results.*
It all started in June, the month I got engaged. I started feeling intense palpitations in my chest several times a day, distracting me from work and overwhelming me in everything I would do. Sometimes the palpitations would wake me from my sleep, or start when I was relaxing with G in a calm environment. How could I be feeling so overwhelmed in such a relaxed state? I wondered, is this stress I am feeling? Am I feeling pressure? Am I nervous about being newly engaged, stressed about planning a wedding? Thinking that this was my bodies reaction to stress, I tried to ignore the symptoms by coaching myself into relaxation.
It wasn't long before I realized I couldn't talk myself out of these episodes. I'd feel overwhelmed with anxiety each time the phone would ring, or when it came time to pay a bill. I'd even wake up in the morning with a racing heart, worried that I wasn't going to be able to live up to anyone's expectations at work that day. Normal things that stressed me became huge things I felt I had no control over. Money, my relationships and my future. I'd start thinking about something and immediately my heart would start to race, my adrenaline would start pumping and I would be fighting an anxiety attack.
What did an anxiety attack feel like? Intense heart palpitations, chest pain, a feeling of restricted breathing, hot sweats and an upset stomach that often lead to vomiting.
I finally went to see a Doctor who referred me to a specialist, and after several special tests I was diagnosed with a minor heart condition that makes my heart race abnormally fast at times, starting and ending abruptly. Whether it's stress induced, caffeine induced or brought on by intense activity - it's extremely alarming. When your body naturally produces adrenaline in a "fight" or "flight" situation, mine produces an abnormal amount which triggers the palpations and anxiety.
What helps? Bisoprolol.
My way of treatment is currently taking a medication that stops the heart from responding to these extra, unnecessary messages to work faster. I have felt no side effects from this treatment and don't mind taking the tiny pill once a day.
What doesn't help?
Too much coffee, tea, wine or sleepless nights. Limited your intake of caffeine loaded drinks and avoid tiring yourself out. I learned quickly that long nights with little sleep are your worst enemy.
If you're experiencing a irregular heart rate, anxiety or stress, call your Doctor.