How Can You Tell The Differnece In Panic Attacks And Heart Attack?


4 Answers

Jo W. Profile
Jo W. answered
Hi Sillysyl!

I've had panic attacks, and they really almost feel like a heart attack. They are different though. My EKGs also came back normal.

Generally, if you have a pain that comes and goes or is gone in 20 minutes you should be OK. If you still don't feel OK though, don't be shy, call the paramedics!!!

When I was having the thyroid issues some years ago -- from a terribly overactive thyroid which gave me awful palpitations and chest pains which made me think I was going to die (I found out that my resting heart rate was at 109!), I left work and drove to our local Quick Care which was less than half a mile from my office. To this day I do not know how I got to the Quick Care or how I got home (1 mile away) that day!

They ran my EKG twice because the first one was a little funny, but the second one turned out ok. That's when this lovely young lady, Doctor Leeks, pre-diagnosed my thyroid issue and had the lab draw lots of blood!

When I still didn't feel well I had a very long talk with my Internist, who asked me a lot of questions and where my discomforts were.

The truth of the matter, Sillysyl, is that if you don't feel well go to your doctor and tell her! I did this maybe 2 time, I can't remember now, but then she suggested further testing because it was making me so uneasy (and my mom died at age 60 from hardening of the arteries of the heart).

Here's what I had done:

I went in for a dual isotope stress test (that's when they inject a very small amount of a radioactive isotope to monitor the movement of the heart about 1 minute before the end of the exercise portion of your test and then they have you rest until your heart rhythm steadies. They want to monitor the hear muscle to be sure it is beating properly before and after exercise);

I had an echo gram (where they do an ultra sound of the 4 heart valves to be sure they are beating properly);

And they administer a CAT scan of the heart (both before and after the stress test to monitor and compare the way the heart beats before and after), and everything turned out really well for me. It was a very small price to pay compared to the peace of mind it gave me!

Please see the doctor and let me know how it all works out!!
Sheila Byrd Profile
Sheila Byrd answered
Hi sillysyl..I had a heart attack last March.I did not know that is what it was at the time.I was just pain in my left arm.It was numb and hurt really bad.When I went to the ER they tested my blood.IF you've had a heart attack your blood can tell.There is a increase in the blood count .They kept me over night and then tested it again in the am.It was higher...So they did a heart cathe on me and I had 2 blocked arteries.
I've not had a panic attack that I know of.My husband has though and he experienced chest pain.Heart attacks affect people differently.Woman usually have arm ,shoulder or back pain.It just depends on what artery is blocked and how much as to what will go numb or give you pain.
I agree with jojoblu.You need to see your doctor and have tests done.It's the best way to know for sure.
Taylor Brookes Profile
Taylor Brookes answered

I've found that panic attacks are intense feelings of panic that make you feel like you're losing control a bit. You get lightheaded, sweaty, shaky and they often cause accelerated heart rate.

Heart attacks, however, are an actual problem with your heart. I think it's where there is a blood clot, which means that your heart can't pump blood around your body.

The main difference is that heart attacks can kill you but a panic attack can't. A heart attack would need immediate medical attention by paramedics or doctors (possibly surgery, but I'm not sure about that) whereas panic attacks can be treated by a councillor or psychiatrist.

Megan goodgirl Profile
Megan goodgirl answered

a heart attack is when you get chest pains and somewhere near your heart you feel pain. A panic attack is a sudden feeling as if you can't breathe but the panic eventually goes away.

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