First, to give you a little background, I am 22 years old and have "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", which is, in my opinion, a cruddy name for "We don't know what's wrong with you." At the age of 18, I was a fairly healthy girl who loved to exercise, work out, and was generally very active, although I was a smoker. I came down with the flu and then pleurisy after partying on New Year's Eve, and was never so sick in my entire life. At this point, I quit smoking because I couldn't for the life of me breathe. I never really recovered from this illness when a few months later, I developed severe vertigo. The vertigo was constant spinning day and night and lasted for NINE STRAIGHT MONTHS. It was hellish, and I was at first given tons of antibiotics in case it was bacterial, and then just Valium and meclizine to help control the nausea associated with the dizziness. My ear, nose, and throat doctor had no idea what was wrong with me, and I waited six months to get into Yale New Haven Hospital. By then, much of the spinning had decreased, and I was diagnosed with a viral Meniere's like illness. This whole thing pretty much resolved itself very slowly as time went on.
Then, I developed a million other symptoms like food allergies (which are much better now), severe, debilitating fatigue, stomach problems, etc. This has progressed for the last few years, and I just started treatment and unique testing with a naturopath who practices with an MD. Anyway, over the last few months, I have developed strange heart symptoms that are very, very frightening. Just recently, my MD has suggested that I may be experiencing atrial fibrillation, and she suggested that I go to the ER for an EKG when the symptoms occur.
The symptoms always, always, always start with exertion. The exertion can be mild exertion for only a couple of minutes, such as cleaning the kitchen or attempting to vaccum one small room. First, I feel very short of breath, like I'm not getting enough oxygen. That feeling progresses, along with weakness, an irregular heartbeat, and a faster heartbeat. It lasts for SEVERAL HOURS and sometimes an entire day. My symptoms are not immediately relieved by lying down or sitting down, and the only thing that helps is lying completely still for about 24 hours. During this, I do not experience coughing or wheezing. The shortness of breath feels so bad that I feel like I'm going to die, and my stomach also swells up and becomes bloated, which I know sounds very strange. Sometimes, I also experience mild sweating and a feeling of discomfort in my left chest region. These episodes are terrifying, and I avoid any physical activity because of this, which is depressing since I am the type who always wants to be on the go.
Does anyone else experience similar symptoms or know of any conditions that would cause such symptoms? I know that "heart symptoms" are a part of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in many cases, but I refuse to accept this all-encompassing diagnosis and want to get to the bottom of things. Thanks so much for listening.
Katalina, I don't know what kind of words that I can use to comfort you. Just come in my boat.... We sail together. We're sitting in the same boat.
I have a lot of yours symptoms. Dr told me is anxiety and anemia. Have you checked you blood count yet?
I wish someone will come in and give you some answers. It is not an easy life. It should not be counted as how old or how young. All should enjoy their life in this world. That's why the doctors born and appear in this world!
Thank you, Pika, for your kind words. :-) Actually, I may be anemic, as well. I haven't had bloodwork done in over a year, and just yesterday I got blood taken to be tested for a whole slew of things, so I shall find out. In addition, I've always had anxiety, too, but my heart symptoms only come on when I physically exert myself in any way. Other than that, I just feel general fatigue. Thanks again for your prompt response and support.
I don't know if you have seen any of my posts, but I have also been experiencing similar symptoms.
Recently I have been experiencing these episodes that come out of nowhere, where I will have shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, and just a feeling of being disassociated, if that makes sense.
Just last week I was getting ready to go to a dinner and was getting my hair done when all of a sudden my heart started racing, I felt disoriented, hot, extremely short of breath, I felt like I couldn’t speak, and I felt like I was going to pass out.Oddly enough, the hair spray that she was using seemed like it was aggravating my symptoms. I have no idea if certain chemicals or sprays can make you feel like that, but I just noticed that I had to cover my mouth and nose when she was spraying my hair, or else it made my shortness of breath worse.
The episodes don't normally last too long, but while they are happening they are completely disabling. Does this sound like what you're experiencing?
All my Cardiologist has said thus far is that he believes I have Mitral Valve Prolapse, even though 3 Echocardiograms don't show it. My regular doctor thinks I have Fibromyalgia.
Recently I've thought that maybe I've been experiencing Atrial Fibrillation, but my Cardiologist hasn't said anything about it. Did your doctor say who he/she thought that you were experiencing A Fib?
I wore a 24 hour Holter Monitor and it didn't show anything except for an occasional rapid heartbeat. Of course, I had no palpitations while I had the monitor on. Just my luck.
The disassociation you are feeling is ANXIETY! I have done it a few times. It is the most horrible thing in the world. It is a form of Panic Disorder....feeling hot or warm around your head and neck area is another symptom. Read up on Panic or go to that board here, you are not alone. I know how scary those attacks can be. God Bless.
Thanks for your reply. I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing symptoms similar to mine. However, while your heart issues and episodes "seem to come out of nowhere", mine are ***ALWAYS*** caused by exerting myself physically. Examples can be walking up a couple flights of stairs, vaccuming my kitchen (which is a small space), wiping down countertops, trying to do crunches, etc. I am absolutely unable to exercise whatsoever because my heart symptoms are very severe, and tend to last for days of lying flat on the couch, hardly able to breathe.
I am not saying that the symptoms/episodes you experience aren't as severe, but ours seem to be triggered by two totally different things. You know, if you look up multiple chemical sensitivity, it IS totally possible to have cardiac symptoms/other symptoms simply from things like perfume, hairspray, cleaners, gasoline, etc. There is emerging research stating that Multiple Chemical Sensitivity actually starts in the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM, and due to bowel dysbiosis or lack of good bacteria, one develops sensitivities that they never had before. The sensitivities can be quite severe, as well.
Anyway, while I am waiting for my bloodwork to come back, I am going to try to get a referral to a cardiologist, or I may visit the ER as soon as possible, as my doctor suggested. Thanks again, Robin, for replying.
Where are you from in Connecticut. What kind of stomach problems do you have? I have IBS and a defibrillator. I have had a ICD ever since I was 21 now am 26. I have an ICD with a pacemaker too. Write Back Soon,
You're too young to have that much of health problems. Do you like your PCD? Do you still need to take any heart medicine? Beta blocker can cause my bowel a lot, a lot of problems!
One thing is very hard, when you know you've something wrong in your body and every dr seem to tell you is anxiety, is depress, is too much in your head..... etc. Keep us posting. Have you had your blood results back yet? My stomach also has some hicups. I took Nexium and Tazac. They're not working. My mouth still very sour... full of acid. My poor teeth got suffer!
I live right near Danbury, CT, and see a doctor in Bridgeport, CT. Actually, the doctor that I see in Bridgeport is a naturopath in one of the U.S.'s leading naturopathic clinics, and there are also regular MD's there, as well. Before finding this clinic, I have had so many doctors tell me that I am "too young" to have significant health problems. Since seeing this doctor, I have so far found out that my adrenal glands are not secreting enough hormones, and that is causing *some* of my fatigue, but not likely the cardiac symptoms that I have been experiencing. This was found through salivary cortisol testing.
As for stomach problems, they still exist but they are so much better. I had chronic and severe constipation no matter how much fiber and water I consumed for TWO YEARS, along with severe acid reflux and severe gassiness. You know what essentially CURED my stomach problems? I found out, through allergy testing AND allergy elimination diets (look that up, it's great) that I am gluten intolerant, allergic to dairy, eggs, and soy. After I stopped eating these foods, almost *ALL* of my stomach problems disappeared like magic. It was amazing. I still have poor, sluggish digestion at times and experience some gassiness, but vegetable-based digestive enzymes (that I buy in a health food store) work wonders, and have made me so much healthier, at least regarding my digestion.
Pika--I took Nexium and a whole bunch of other drugs when I had stomach issues, too! They didn't help me, either, and I realized that I had acid indigestion because I was eating foods that I was sensitive to. You might be interested in research allergy elimination diets and also acid reflux and TOO LITTLE hydrochloric acid. While most conventional doctors believe that too much acid causes acid reflux, it can actually be that you have too little to digest your food, which therefore causes you symptoms because the food is essentially just sitting and fermenting in your stomach and small intestine.
Anyway, check it out, and thanks for your replies!