Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does an anxiety attack cause physical symptoms?"
Other day I was really stressed and then couldn't catch my breath and my mind was racing. Now my body just feels ?jumpy?, like shaky and stuff. Is this an anxiety attack because I don't know what one feels like. Do they cause physical problems like this?
The short answer to your question is that, yes, anxiety attacks can indeed be associated with physical symptoms. In fact, many people who have an anxiety attack will mistake it for a heart attack or other serious medical emergency. Symptoms of an anxiety attack can include heart palpitations, trouble breathing, sweating, blurry vision, and dizziness or fainting. If you are still having these symptoms, I would strongly recommend that you seek medical attention. The first step, when dealing with a presumed attack of anxiety, is first to rule out other, more serious medical problems. For this reason, your doctor will want to examine your heart, lungs, and other major organs. They will look for any evidence of a heart attack, blood clot, chemical imbalance in the blood, or other major problem. As part of this investigation, they may want to perform some simple blood tests or other tests, such as an electrical tracing of the heart (electrocardiogram). If all these tests check out as normal, then the likelihood that these symptoms are from anxiety goes up. If your doctor diagnoses you with an anxiety attack, they will make recommendations to you as to which medications you should take to help with the symptoms.