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Q. I suddenly experienced palpitation and felt dizzy. Is this manifestation of panic attack?

Answered by
Dr. Sadaf Mustafa
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 26, 2019 and last reviewed on: Nov 30, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am 20 years old. At work, I had an episode of my heart started racing out of the blue. I could feel it pounding in my chest, and it made it feel like I was choking. I got very dizzy and thought I might faint, and started sweating. It only lasted about five minutes. I have issues with panic attacks, but this was an entirely new experience. Could it be another manifestation of panic, or might it be something more serious?

Dr. Sadaf Mustafa

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to

There are various reasons for having palpitations along with dizziness. The most important one is an abnormal heart rate or rhythm which starts suddenly and terminates abruptly. This could be detected by different monitors that you can carry with you, these devices can pick up the abnormal heart beats.

Second of all is a thyroid disease, excessive thyroid hormones can cause stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and you will feel hot, flushed with palpitations. Weight loss and diarrhea along with excessive appetite may also occur.

Last but not least, is the most common type and is called vasovagal phenomena that happens when you suddenly change position from sitting to standing. Your body does not have enough time to compensate and you may feel having racing heart beats with dizziness.

Panic attack is a diagnosis of exclusion and I would not jump to this conclusion as of now. I believe you experienced the last type I mentioned above (vasovagal), having said that if you have another episode, I would suggest seeing a cardiologist. Try cutting down on caffeine intake (including soda and other caffeinated beverages). Request your doctor to check your thyroid function test. I hope this helps.

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