Heart Problems Associated With An Anxiety Attack

by : Tony Jacowski

Anxiety or panic attacks can heart problems which is anything related to the cardiovascular system of your body. The leading causes of heart attacks or other cardiovascular issues among North Americans today is anxiety attack heart problems which is not surprising given the nature of a panic attack. It is easy to measure the effects a panic or anxiety attack has on the heart and blood flow which is why it is more noticeably dangerous than the effects on the other systems of the body.

A person in the mood of the moment can be paralyzed during the sudden onset of a panic attack when the fear or other terror causes frightening symptoms. To a large degree an anxiety attack resembles the notion many people report of being "frozen by fear". The great difficulty of a panic attack causes symptoms that the patients discuss as being shaking, trembling, chills, numbness in extremities, heart palpitations and trouble breathing.

Since heart problems are closely associated with stress it is common to have anxiety attack heart problems. Because of a close relationship in bodily functions and systems any heart disease or cardiac condition that causes a drop in blood pressure can accompany anxiety. In fact this causes a sudden decrease in the amount of blood being pumped by the heart which is a decrease in cardiac output. A condition called mitral valve prolapse or MVP is also closely related to anxiety, but it is not the cause.

The "fight or flight" response is a common human response generated by panic attacks. Early human types either fled danger or took it on if they could and it is said our current response evolved from this. Because of the energy the body needs to perform either task there are a lot of biological processes involved in the fight or flight response. Typically when the body experiences this reaction the heart races, the blood quickens, the eyes function differently, senses are heightened and other parts of the body begin to react in other ways such as muscle tightening.

If the heart is being told to work too fast by the part of the brain that is in charge of the "fight or flight" mechanism, then anxiety attack heart difficulties can arise. Since it's easier on the systems involved, at this time the body often decides simply to shut down. As a result the virtual gamut of both beating faster and beating slower is run by the heart as it attempts to calm the body down and slow blood flow one moment and then speeding the body up and creating more blood flow next.