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Old 06-27-2009, 07:06 PM   #1
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Heart murmur/hands go numb when above heart

Hi- I've been reading the posts here and was hoping I could get some of the good advice/wisdom I've seen shared with others. I'd say I'm nervous, but I'd be lying...I think I'm at that "I'm scared as he**" place. Thanks in advance for your help--and sorry if this is long.
Numbness in hand(s) if held at or above the level of their heart--a wave of numbness that begins at my fingertips and spreads down my fingers, palm and wrist if I don't "shake it out." Gets worse until I change position. The only thing that makes it better is shaking it out--and waiting it out. When it started a couple of months ago it didn't happen too often and was easy to shake out. It was mainly my left hand-then the right began to be a problem. Then it became a daily situation--all of my fingerstips on left hand are now permanenty numb-my entire index and most of my ring finger are numb-the other three just to the first joint. My feet have now joined the party--he numbness/tingling--that falling alseep sensation-it's easy to bring them back to normal feeling. I can't sleep laying(lying?) down flat b/c my hands immediately go numb, so I have resorted to sleeping propped up on pillows with my hands down at my sides. If I've slept longer than abt 1-1/2 hrs, it wakes me up and takes almost an hour to get back to the "pins and needles" stage. I was getting abt 2-2 1/2 hrs of sleep til about 2 weeks ago, now I'm down to abt 1hr 15mins. Try that night after night--sitting up....it stinks and the lack of decent sleep is starting to affect me badly.

I saw one doctor who immdeiately jumped on the Carpel Tunnel bandwagon--it's not CT. It involved all of my fingertips at first, not just the thumb, index and middle as is symptomatic of Carpel Tunnel. I don't work on a computer daily, I don't do anything that is repetetive. (plus--my feet?) A friend I go to school with is a Cardiac Care nurse, and he thinks it's heart/circulatory in nature. I'm mid 40's, 5'4", 130lbs, fairly fit. He noticed I get winded a LOT--just walking across a few parking spots takes my breath--it makes my chest hurt. It's the kind that makes my hand go right to my heart and push--I've never experience chest pain before. I thought I was just out of shape. When I was a little kid I was diagnosed with a heart murmur-but they only heard it when I was lying down, not sitting or standing up. It seemed to go away-family doctor didn't mention it for abt 10 yrs. Abt 5yrs ago I was in the hopsital and upon discharge the Hospitalist doctor asked me if I had ever been told I head a heart murmur. I told him the story and he confirmed that is when he heard it-not when I was sitting/standing up. He decided to keep me another day and again, same thing when he listened to my heart. He let me go home and my family doctor "kept an eye on it" but it seemed to have gone away b/c it hasn't been heard in abt 3 yrs. I am on no prescription meds, altho I have taken a few ibuprofen to help ease this pain I have in the middle of the night.

Thanks again for any help, i really appreciate it.
1spicymeatball

 
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:07 AM   #2
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Re: Heart murmur/hands go numb when above heart

Pain, tingling, numbness in the extremities (neuropathy) are strong symptoms of metabolic problems, like Insulin Resistance or Diabetes, or pre-Diabetes.

If left untreated it can lead to damage to all organs, glands, nerves, etc., including the heart.

It can be improved through healthy diet and exercise.

How healthy is your diet? Are you overweight? How many calories do you consume each day, or with each meal?

In other words, how many spicy meatballs do you eat each day?

Have you ever had your blood sugar tested?
__________________
Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

 
Old 06-28-2009, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: Heart murmur/hands go numb when above heart

Machaon-Thanks for the reply. I appreciate your help and knowledge. (I read a lot of posts before I got up the courage to post...so I'v every happy to see you replied.)

I can only WISH I ate a lot of spicy meatballs!! I am 40+yrs old, fairly fit-exercise a few times a week at the club and walk daily...whether it be in the neighborhood or on the treadmill. I'm the person who parks on the outskirts of the parking lot instead of driving around 10mins looking/waiting for a close spot, thus guaranteeing myself 10+ mins walk a few times a day. I'm a pretty healthy eater--I watch my carbs, fats and when I do "indulge" it's in moderation. The only time I've had a sugar/diabetes problem was when I was pregnant. I had Gestational Diabetes w/both my pregnancies (one was with multiples) and each time I controlled it very well with my diet. It went away both times--th last time I had it was 10yrs ago. My paternal grandmother developed diabetes in her 60's--and while I know it doesn't necessarily have to be "in the family" for one to develope it, she is the only person on both sides who had it. Since then I've never had a problem and all blood work has been normal--nothing even borderline. We have MS on my mother's side of the family. Her sister had MS-and her smptoms 40+ yrs ago- began with her not being able to move her foot fromt he brake to the gas in ehr car. She had foot numbness, then a few months later it was mouth and tongue. I know MS symptoms manifest themselves in many different ways and usually no two people are alike. I've also heard that a trauma to the body--sometimes pregnancy or illness-can "bring on" the symptoms. Well, nothing like that for me. One thing I noticed the past few weeks was that if I wore a ring my finger broke out in a type of dermatitis--red, itchy, bumpy,and just not attractive. I'm talking about good gold--not costume jewelry. I've never had that happen -ever. My sister gets that on her ring finger if she gets soap caught in her wedding ring, but I've never had that. I wondered if that had anything to do with it or was it just a coincidence?

Thanks again for your help-your wisdom and knowledge are greatly appreciated.

1spciymeatball

Last edited by 1spicymeatball; 06-28-2009 at 10:13 AM. Reason: add'l info

 
Old 06-29-2009, 02:17 AM   #4
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Re: Heart murmur/hands go numb when above heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1spicymeatball View Post
Machaon-Thanks for the reply. I appreciate your help and knowledge. (I read a lot of posts before I got up the courage to post...so I've every happy to see you replied.)
Welcome to HealthBoards! You can meet all kinds of nice, informative fellow patients here. I hope that you can get some answers here!

Now that you've got the courage to post, you've got to be very careful. It can become habit forming!

I have no medical training or education, but what we can try is to list all of your symptoms, and information, here for discussion. I've also noticed that you've also posted under the Multiple Sclerosis and Neuropathy Boards. Good idea, especially considering your symptoms.

I've re-listed your info in an easier format for discussion, if you don't mind. I always hope that the law of unintended consequences proves true, and that something "beneficial" comes out of a discussion like this.

OK? I don't know how all this is going to play out, but perhaps through discussion, and input from others, who are suffering similar symptoms, you can get something positive out of this.

To continue:


What we know

  • mid 40's
  • 5'4", 130lbs
  • on no prescription meds
  • occasionally takes ibuprofen for pain in the middle of the night.

Is there a symptom link to Insulin Resistance or Pre-Diabetes?
  • Implications for:
    • Gestational Diabetes during two pregnancies
      last time was 10yrs ago
    • Paternal grandmother developed diabetes in her 60's
  • Implications against:
    • Grandmother only person on both sides who had Diabetes
    • all blood work has been normal--nothing even borderline
    • fairly fit-exercise a few times a week at the club and walk daily
    • pretty healthy eater--watch carbs, fats, "indulge" moderately

Is there a symptom link to MS and/or other Immune System disorder?
  • Neuropathy in hands and feet.
  • MS on mother's side of the family.
  • Mother's sister had MS-and her symptoms 40+ yrs ago
  • ring on finger caused red, itchy, bumps, not attractive (Not sure if this is symptomatic of MS??)
  • Numbness in hand(s)
    At first, when held at or above the level of their heart
    started a couple of months ago
    at first, it didn't happen too often and was easy to shake out
    numbness that begins at fingertips and spreads down fingers, palm and wrist
    improves by "shaking it out." and waiting it out
    began infrequently in left hand-then spread to the right
    became a daily situation
    Gets worse until changes position
    all fingerstips on left hand are now permanently numb
    entire index and most of ring finger are numb
    the other three just to the first joint.
    feet are now feeling numbness/tingling--that falling asleep sensation
    it's easy to bring them back to normal feeling (What does this mean?
  • can't sleep laying(lying?) down flat b/c hands immediately go numb
    eased when sleeping propped up on pillows with hands down at sides

    If sleep longer than abt 1-1/2 hrs, wakes her up
    takes almost an hour to get back to the "pins and needles" stage
    was getting abt 2-2 1/2 hrs of sleep til about 2 weeks ago, now down to abt 1hr 15mins.
  • the lack of decent sleep is negatively effecting

Is there a symptom link to Heart Disease?
  • gets winded a LOT
    Any link to Asthma and/or Pericardial Effusion related to Immune/NeuroHormonal System problems??
  • walking across a few parking spots takes breath
    it makes chest hurt
    It's the kind that makes hand go right to heart and push (WHAT'S THIS MEAN?)
  • diagnosed with a heart murmur as child
    only heard when lying down, not sitting or standing up
  • 5yrs ago, heart murmur while lying down noticed in hospital
    not when sitting/standing up
__________________
Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

Last edited by Machaon; 06-29-2009 at 09:45 AM.

 
Old 06-29-2009, 02:49 AM   #5
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Re: Heart murmur/hands go numb when above heart

I did some basic research into Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I was interested in finding out how this disease effects the metabolism of calories, and it's link to Immune System Dysfunction and NeuroHormonal System Dysfunction. My uneducated theory is that over-reaction, and over-production by the Immune and NeuroHormonal systems is what causes the progression of many diseases, such as Heart Failure, MS, CFS, Fibromyalgia, among others.

So...... to slow down, or prevent the progression of these diseases, both the Immune System and the NeuroHormonal System have to be calmed down. The first step, IMHO, is by getting one's metabolism in balance through diet and exercise. If one's metabolism is imbalanced, then it makes for less predictable reaction to medication and treatment, and causes progression of disease.

I've got Heart Disease, specifically Heart Failure, Atrial Fibrillation and Chronic, but controlled, High Blood Pressure. I also suffer from Pre-Diabetes/Insulin Resistance and Immune System/NeuroHormonal System Dysfunction. These multiple diseases fit together to make for some pretty miserable and confusing symptoms.

I have found that, for myself, the most healthy, most curative diet, is one of frequent, low calorie, small balanced meals. I eat 7-8 times per day. It is quite a lot of work, and most people are not able to eat as often. But it has worked wonders for my health. In my reading about MS, a similar diet is also recommended. I found that interesting.

With Heart Failure, and other heart disease, the body has problems converting calories to energy. This same thing is true of Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes and Insulin Resistance, and probably relates also to MS and other Immune System diseases. The patient, therefore, has to limit the amount of calories consumed at any one meal, and for the day. In my case, I am constantly altering my diet. As my health has significantly improved, I've been able to consume more calories. But I keep on hitting a calorie thresh-hold, every time that I increase my calories too much. I find that I've got to constantly back down my calories. It's a constant battle to make my diet more enjoyable and tasty without negatively effecting my blood pressure, my blood sugar, my neuropathy or my breathing, etc.

The second step, towards calming over-active Immune and NeuroHormonal Systems is discovering the triggers, or irritants, that over-activate these systems, and/or through inhibition or blockade of these systems through medications.

Do you have allergies? Do you find that certain chemicals, or odors, or foods or pollutants worsen your symptoms, or increase your breathing difficulties?

Do you have high blood pressure? Have you had any heart tests, like an EKG or an Echocardogram?

You are already looking at multiple possible causes for your problem, like Heart Disease, MS, Diabetes and Neuropathy. In ways, they all tie in together, and have overlapping symptoms and causes. When there is a NeuroHormonal/Immune System disorder, it can lead to Neuropathy, Heart Disease, Diabetes and problems involving organs, glands and nerves.

Let me know if any of this relates to you, or if it is of little value to you. I am just a fellow patient, without formal medical training or education, so I expect many of my posts to be discounted, or ignored. Tis OK with me.

I hope that you can get proper treatment, relief and reversal of your nasty symptoms.

Take care...........
__________________
Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

Last edited by Machaon; 06-29-2009 at 09:19 AM.

 
Old 07-13-2009, 04:05 AM   #6
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Re: Heart murmur/hands go numb when above heart

Hi Machaon!!
Thank you SO much for your help!! I am so lucky to have had you reply--you are wealth of information and have posed a lot of good questions I needed to ask myself. I also feel better prepared for my doctors appointment this morning. I thank you for that--because without your posting, I may not have considered much of the info you suggested. I'm sorry it took so long to respond-I've had a sick child (well, two--since w/twins share everything!!) so 've had very little time to even think about myself. However- I'll answer your post--and give you an update on my morning appointment later today. My symptoms have become more pronounced and have intensified in the past week to 10 days--and I have kept a little bit of a log to help the doctor make heads or tails out of this mess.
Thanks again for your help!! I really appreciate it! Have a super day!!
1Spicymeatball

 
Old 07-14-2009, 09:41 AM   #7
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Re: Heart murmur/hands go numb when above heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1spicymeatball View Post
... I also feel better prepared for my doctors appointment this morning.
Well...... How'd it go? Any news (hopefully of a positive nature)? Did they decide to run some more tests?

Quote:
I'm sorry it took so long to respond-I've had a sick child (well, two--since w/twins share everything!!) so 've had very little time to even think about myself.
Sick twins, all at the same time that your symptoms are getting worse! I am sorry to hear that. I hope that they, and you are doing better by now.

Quote:
Thanks again for your help!! I really appreciate it! Have a super day!!
1Spicymeatball
One would think that, with your symptoms unfortunately getting worse, that your doctor would be able to make a meaningful diagnoses.

Best of luck and health to you and your family!
__________________
Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

 
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