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Cardiology

Anxiety Attack or Arrhythmia? It could be the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic!

Have a constant feeling of danger, your chest hurts, your heart beats too fast, and you can't catch your breath... you could be having an anxiety attack

Anxiety Attack or Arrhythmia? It could be the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic!

While we all agree that confinement is one the most important weapons in stopping the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), it has also brought with it costs to the emotional and mental wellbeing of many people around the world. 


Distance from loved ones, uncertainty about the state of the disease, changes in routine, boredom, "loss of freedom" and the daily news about high rates of infection can become a mental health problem for many, regardless of whether or not they already had a diagnosed mental illness, by increasing catastrophic thoughts, symptoms of depression, and feelings of distress and Anxiety.


Even though experiencing occasional Anxiety is common, it happens to most people at least once in their lives. It is essential to learn to recognize Anxiety, to differentiate it, and to know when its effects can lead to an Arrhythmia that affects your cardiovascular health.




What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a useful form of natural adaptation of our body that helps us to remain alert or more careful in the face of unknown experiences or events where our integrity is compromised.


However, when these episodes of Anxiety stop being natural and moderate, there is a deterioration in the person's psychosocial functioning, when feelings of Anxiety and panic start interfering with your daily activities when they distort the real danger of a situation are difficult to control and last a long time, that is when Anxiety is considered a disorder.



Symptoms of Anxiety:


  • A constant feeling of being in danger or that misfortune will occur

  • Feeling nervousness and tension

  • Significant increase in heart rate

  • Sweating

  • Problems sleeping or concentrating

  • Speedy breathing

  • Tremors

  • Weakness or fatigue




What is an Arrhythmia?

An Arrhythmia is a disturbance in the heart's rhythm resulting from the electrical impulses that properly, synchronously and rhythmically coordinate the heart's beats not working correctly. This causes the heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly.



Types of Arrhythmias:

  • Tachycardia: Occurs when there is a resting heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute.

  • Bradycardia: Occurs when the resting heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute.


It is important to point out that during exercise it is normal to have a high heart rate and at bedtime and to remain in a state of the deep relaxation it is usual for the heart rate to be slower, so don't be alarmed - not all tachycardia or bradycardia means you have heart disease. 



Symptoms of Arrhythmias:

  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing

  • Chest fluttering sensation

  • Dizziness, vertigo

  • Sweating

  • Fainting



Relationship between Arrhythmia and Anxiety: 

There is a close relationship between Anxiety disorders and Arrhythmias. 

While most people relate Arrhythmias to patients who have cardiovascular disease, overweight or hypertension, Anxiety or other strong emotions also produce an alteration in the rhythm of the heartbeat, resulting in an Arrhythmia that will naturally pass by itself after the stimulus caused by the strong emotion has passed. Still, when these episodes are prevalent and excessive, they can trigger more severe and careful Arrhythmias. 


Remember that your physical health is also a reflection of your mental health, so in these times of crisis and pandemic, try to take care of your mind as much as possible and enhance those things that make you happy. If you have already had regular anxiety episodes, they may not go away on their own, so ask for help. Visit your doctor or a mental health expert. It will be easier to treat your Anxiety if you seek help soon.


Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety


  • Establish daily disconnect schedules

  • Learn to breathe properly to relax

  • Stay active

  • Discover your creative side

  • Keep a routine

  • Keep in touch with your family and friends


Finally, don't forget to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. This is good for your heart and also helps calm your nerves and improve your mood by generating endorphins.


Many of us may find that we need help from a Psychologist or Psychiatrist if we recognize that our thoughts, feelings, or behaviors make us feel like we can't get through the day. Don't hesitate to seek professional help.


If you have a heart condition, take your precautions, stay informed, follow the measures of confinement, social distancing, and frequent hand washing and you will be fine. At BlueNetHospitals we can help you, count on it.

 

 



And remember:  Get tested

Where can I get a test for COVID-19 in Los Cabos?  Visit our link to find more information about it. 

Why is COVID-19 testing important?  COVID-19 testing will help you protect your family, your community, and yourself.

It will save lives!

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