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Southwest Daily News - Sulphur, LA
  • WCCH Healthy Advice: Anxiety attacks mimmick heart symptoms

  • Anxiety attacks are quite similar to heart attacks in that they can cause chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and sweating, among other symptoms. Diagnostic tests at the ER can determine the exact cause.
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  • Question: I've had anxiety attacks that feel like I'm having a heart attack. When I go to the ER, they tell me it's not a heart attack. Is it all in my head?
    Answer: Anxiety attacks are quite similar to heart attacks in that they can cause chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and sweating, among other symptoms. Diagnostic tests at the ER can determine the exact cause. Rapid muscle contractions and excess air in the lungs can cause hyperventilation, which constricts blood vessels and causes considerable chest pain. Always seek immediate care for any type of chest pain.
    Syed Shah, MD, medical director of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital's Emergency Department
    Question: Can I crush drugs that I have difficulty swallowing?
    Answer: It's best to ask your pharmacist. Extended release medications are designed to release the drug over time or at certain time intervals. Crushing these medications can result in the release of the active ingredient all at once, resulting in a dosage that is greater than recommended. Some drugs are available in liquid or tablet form that easily disintegrates. You can ask the pharmacist if there is a formulation for you that would be easier to swallow.
    Damian France, R. Ph., director of pharmacy at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital
    Questions may be submitted to: Healthy Advice, 716 E. Napoleon St., Sulphur, LA, 70663 or by emailing healthyadvice@wcch.com. Questions cannot be answered individually, but will be considered for publication. Please check with your physician for specific recommendations concerning your health concerns. This information is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Healthy Advice is a weekly column from West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.
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