Are you feeling stressed out? Worried about your heart health? Learn about anxiety and heart disease, the relationship, and how to get help.
Unlike regular stress, an anxiety disorder describes excessive worry or fear that doesn’t go away and gets worse over time. Moreover, many people with heart disease have anxiety disorders, which can have an impact on their health. The following is an overview of the connection between anxiety disorder and heart disease and how you can get help.
Anxiety Disorder and Heart Disease
According to research, anxiety disorders can lead to heart disease and vice versa. In fact, people with anxiety are 26% more likely to develop heart disease. Anxiety disorders can increase inflammatory markers and lead to endothelial and platelet dysfunction, which contribute to heart disease.
On the other hand, about 30% of people who have had a heart attack have elevated anxiety levels. Both heart disease and anxiety share similar symptoms as well. These include shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, vertigo, heart palpitations, trembling, numbness in the extremities, and fainting.
Because of the symptom overlap, it is difficult to diagnose anxiety disorders in those with cardiovascular disease. However, your doctor can perform an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, PET scan, stress test, or nuclear stress test to diagnose heart disease. Moreover, a mental health professional can use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) criteria to determine if you have an anxiety disorder.
Treating Anxiety and Heart Disease
Medications can help when it comes to treating both anxiety and heart disease. Some medications used to treat heart disease include beta-blockers, diuretics, and statins. Medications for anxiety may include antidepressants and those that help reduce anxiety symptoms like benzodiazepines.
In addition to medications, psychotherapy is also used to treat anxiety. The most common type of therapy for anxiety is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to anxiety triggers.
You can also manage both your anxiety disorder and heart disease by making healthy lifestyle changes. These include eating whole foods, limiting foods that cause inflammation, and managing your stress through relaxation techniques. If you need additional help, you can use resources provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness to connect with support groups.
If you have heart disease or an anxiety disorder, your chances of developing the other condition are higher. For this reason, it’s important that you get the proper diagnosis for each and get the treatment and support to manage these conditions effectively.
In addition to some of the tips mentioned, you can give your mind something less to worry about by using L-arginine Plus for your heart. As a heart health supplement, it effectively promotes circulation, blood pressure health, cholesterol health, and more. Give your health the support it needs by managing your anxiety and heart health and by taking L-arginine Plus.