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Brea0510, April 19,  2020  9:41am EST

Afib with anxiety


I am 45, 4years ago I had a horrible anxiety attack I struggle with daily. December of 2019 I went to ER with Afib had a echocardiogram week later all good no issues till end of March 2020 had another Afib, both episodes I was able to go back in sinus at ER with medication. Last attack doc put me on 25 MG metoprolol twice day been on for 7days I assume take time to adjust and low dose aspirin. Since my last attack I noticed I am very nervous especially in morning. Everyday check heart rate, blood pressure every pain in arms or chest I freak out does not help. Currently all I have for the anxiety is Xanax been worried taking with metoprolol, I was not big fan of lexapro or any other anxiety meds, prior to last attack I was starting to get anxiety under control. Any advice on dealing with both these conditions together will be much appreciated. 



  • Spencer
    Spencer, April 19,  2020  10:49am EST

    Geoff - I have a similar story; well... my anxiety and stress caused my AFib.  Anxiety broke nearly every primary system in my body, so I understand your position.  Do you have a therapist or psychologist?  The TDoc (therapist) can teach you mindfulness that can help to quiet your mind and reduce your anxiety.  There are several tools and techniques that a TDoc can help you with.  I am using one myself (exposure therapy), and it is helping to reduce the overall anxiety.  

    Anxiety is something very real, and the connection between your mind and body is also very real.  Panic attacks are also very real and cause a whole host of issues.  My advice for dealing with both is to get someone to talk with, a TDoc, learn some techniques to deal with anxiety, also work on the right combination of drugs for your condition.  These techniques require practice and work.  They are not a panacea; they will work with practice.     I would also talk about getting a "break glass" drug from the PDoc.  This is a pill that you take when you. are about to go into a panic attack (mine is a strong dose of Advan).  

    Now is the time to take your anxiety as something very serious.  Get the drugs right for the condition and also learn techniques to deal with the anxiety.  This is will to reduce your AFib and it will also make the treatment of your AFib to be much more successful.

    If you need any help or advice, please reply.  I have been there.

  • Brea0510
    Brea0510, April 19,  2020  11:16am EST


    Thank you for your advice. I will definitely go to a therapist. I thank you again for your encouraging words. I will post my progress. 


  • Edhammer
    Edhammer, April 19,  2020  11:28am EST

    I truly believe that anxiety is a product of afib. I've been episode free for awhile. Back when I was experiencing paroxysmal episodes, anxiety came first. Spencer is providing good advice. Are you seeing an electrophysiologist for the cardiac issues? They are cardiologists specializing in afib. 
    A note of caution, baby aspirin is not a recommended drug anymore. There have been issues with it. I believe it is the society of cardiologists who have recommended not using it. 
    Are you in an anticoagulant?

  • depotdoug
    depotdoug, April 19,  2020  11:28am EST

    Spencer and Geoff, I can relate, probably not as much as the experrt, Spencer. I mean the experiences he's been through and going through. Patience is kind of four letter word in my vocabulary. I requested XANAX max and got it for 60 days about 4 years ago from my PCP Dr. I wanted more but I'd reached med limits, he said. I've been on Buspirone 7.5mg 3X daily. Those anxiety meds dont do a thing for me anymore. But still taking them. I too am looking for a good TDoc, with these qualifications. 1] undestands me 2] is a healthy food behaviourist 3] encourages exercising 4] listens well and understands that we all have different medical problems and issues. Is that asking a lot? 

    A Doug(depotdoug) profile: May 2011 Had SCA(sudden cardiac arrest) 12 days in CICU. inherited my 1st ICD/Pacemaker device, now on my 2nd one. AFIB Dx since 2013, when i had developed symptoms while inside a Med/Maximum Prison, Finish reading this sentence please. I was on a Christian KAIROS inside Prison Ministry inside MCF in Central Indiana for 3.5days. Not a good place to be with AFIB and did not even know that AFIB existed or what those 4 letters meant. That's 7 years ago. Now since 09/2019 I've been re-Dx'd with Advanced Prostate Cancer, Stage 4 Metastatic. Yes, on 3 different cancer meds and being treated at the best place I know of IU Simon Cancer Ctr Indianapolis.   Do I continue to have Anxiety issues, yeh you bet. 

    I'm trying to control mine with Exercise and Breathing, with being in Persistent Constant AFIB since March 21st. After a short lived Cardioversion on Valentines day. On schedule for RF Cath Ablation May 6th, 16days out. It could not be any sooner. Try walking, slight jogging in AFIB and have a nose bleed from Xarelto blood thinner.

    Keep us updated Geoff.


  • Brea0510
    Brea0510, April 19,  2020  1:24pm EST

    I am only taking 25MG metoprolol 2x and one low does aspirin. I do have Xanax but am reluctant to take it. I bike and run, I noticed it's been challenging since I started the metoprolol. Few of my friends that deal with these issues have said that foods, alcohol, caffeine, ect... can trigger the Afib sometimes. The anxiety come at me with no notice then the Afib years later with no warning.  Completed all the test for the doctors to tell me nothings wrong. How do you have heart flutter, spike in heart beat, chest tightness, sweating, pounding in chest, signs of heart attack symptoms all the doctors say is take these meds and see me in three months, with no mention of all the symptoms that scare the hell out of you daily. This is all new to me, I appreciate all of the help it definitely helps understand a lot of the symptoms that go along with these two horrible conditions. 


  • Shanfraz
    Shanfraz, April 19,  2020  3:35pm EST


    Just to throw in my two cents for what it’s worth.  I take magnesium and for some it helps and maybe not for others.  You can take dr. Best chelated or as I combine with dr. Deans liquid magnesium daily. I take up to 400 mags a day.  Itnhas also helped my panic attack’s.  Dr. Carolyn is her website.  If anything it’s another place for good information on a fib and our hearts. Good luck and as everyone has stated breathing techniques to combat the panic are a great tool.  


    your not alone......

  • Spencer
    Spencer, April 19,  2020  3:37pm EST

    Geoff - Let me take each in order...  You do not need to take any anxiety drugs unless you agree.  I do and I see that they do help but I am comorbid with bipolar, and anxiety goes hand in hand it.  Tell your PDoc (do you have one of these) what you are comfortable with in terms of medication.  Some things that would help and require no doc is working out, having a proper healthy diet, exercise, and a good attitude.  Your attitude drives a great deal of your health.   Triggers for AFib, everyone is different.  Some have triggers others do not (like me).  If you can find a reliable trigger that is a good deal for you and you can help to reduce your AFib.  Do you have an electrophysiologist (EP)?  This is basically an electrician for your heart.  They specialize in AFib and it is the type of doc that can help you the most with your AFib.  Sometimes when you are in the doctor's office, your heart stays in rhythm, and you have nothing to show the doctor.  This is frustrating.   One thing... when you are feeling the symptoms of AFib is to go into the ER and have then look at you. for the chest pains.  Another idea is to purchase a Kardia pocket EKG (about $100).  This would give you an EKG anytime you want in something about the size of a pack of gum.  Record your AFibs and show those to your doc.  Many of the docs will take these EKGs as evidence of AFib and it can help you spot if there are any triggers.

    I hope this helps - good diet, enough exercise, good attitude.  Try and find your triggers and get to an EP that can help solve your AFib, and find someone to talk to about the anxiety.  

  • depotdoug
    depotdoug, April 19,  2020  3:48pm EST

    Same as Shanfranz,  I take Dr's Best magnesium. Two 100mgs AM and two 100mg PM, I've had the best Magnesium blood labs for the last four years..

    I just got back an hour ago from 30 min power walk, fresh air, wind, fresh air breathing good. It did not convert me back to NSR bet I feel greattttttt breathing wise.  Fresh air does a body good exercise enhances it.

    i vote for magnesium, walks, and lots of Gerolsteiner mineral water


  • Brea0510
    Brea0510, April 19,  2020  6:41pm EST


    I took Zoloft for a year then switched to lexapro, I was ok with lexapro. I started working out on a regular basis felt so good decided 4 weeks ago to stop taking lexapro (not one of my best choices) then I hade the second Afib attack few weeks after that. I am very stubborn want to think it will all go away on its own. I can't thank you all enough for the help I will definitely take all your advice make a plan start tomorrow. Thanks Spencer. 


  • Spencer
    Spencer, April 19,  2020  9:49pm EST

    Going off your meds can cause a lot of problems.  I did onetime and found myself in bipolar mania and hospitalized.   This is something you will need to take care of it will not get better on its own.  Keep us up to date on your progress.  If you need anything or have any other questions... just ask.

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