ZocdocAnswersDid I have and anxiety attack (or a heart attack)?

Question

Did I have and anxiety attack (or a heart attack)?

Chest sore , dizzy, finger tingling , shortness of breath.

Answer

It sounds like your symptoms are significantly affecting your life and may represent a dangerous condition. I strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician, as it is not possible to provide a diagnosis without an in-person evaluation. Heart attacks, or myocardial infarctions, typically occur when a cholesterol plaque in the arteries feeding your heart muscle ruptures. This leads to a blood clot, which causes a blockage of the flow leading to a portion of your heart muscle. Patients often experience chest discomfort that can radiate to the arm or jaw, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, sweating, and nausea or vomiting. Risk factors for a myocardial infarction include smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, age, gender, and family history. It is important to have this ruled out by a physician, and I encourage you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. During episodes of severe anxiety or a panic attack, patients often experience similar to a heart attack. It is not possible to distinguish between the two without performing a thorough history, physical exam, and EKG. Depending on these findings, you may need to undergo a stress test or ultrasound of your heart. I strongly encourage you to see your primary care physician to determine the cause of your symptoms.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.