Anxiety, chest pains, a racing heart and a slow heart rate

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Q:

I am a 45 year old female in good health/weight with no outstanding health issues.  In the last year, I have noticed some bouts with anxiety (racing heart) and also chest tightness, uncomfortable feeling in left arm and “lazy” fingers (middle finger thru pinky).  I have not been to a doctor in 10 years.  Just went because of worrying about these symptoms and the Dr. did an EKG.  Reading came in at 58.  I am not by any means an athlete….I would say I am in “average” shape.  What would cause the reading to be low?  I understand younger people and athletic people have lower EKG’s but I am neither.  I am going for a chest X-ray next week….but can’t find a reason online why my reading may be low.  Any info would be helpful.
Thanks in advance!

A:

You have a couple of issues:
Heart rate: although a bit slow and if not caused by medication, your doctor needs to decide whether this is caused by heart block, or whether you have a natural slow rate (such as athletes). This one EKG serves as a comparison for others yet to come. He should however be able to tell whether you have some form of heart block, which may or may not require treatment.
Palpitations: read more about them here:
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/ca-blog/palpitations/
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/ca-blog/palpitations-and-pvcs/
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/ca-blog/i-am-worried-about-v-tach-ventric
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/ca-blog/what-are-some-of-the-causes-of-pr
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/ca-blog/palpitations-and-fainting/
Chest pain:
If not caused by your heart, the numbness in your left arm may indicate a problem with your Ulnar nerve. The first thing to determine however, is whether your may have angina type of pains:
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/heart-information/coronary-artery-disease

Women with coronary artery disease often have atypical symptoms:
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/heart-information/coronary-artery-disease
You can check your risk here:
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/app/risk-assessment.php
Hope this helps,
Dr T
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/

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