Got a cardio-related question for you guys. Sorry if this is long, I would really appreciate some feedback, as this has been a persistent issue for me (Summary is available at the end).
Some background: I'm 26yo male with no allergies or medications, normal BMI, used to run frequently over the summer. At the beginning of September I was at a concert and took some (what I thought were) esctasy pills. Clearly bad idea in retrospect, have rarely done amphetamines and the pills were a little suspect. We soon leave the concert; that evening at my friend's apartment I had some overdose or other toxic type reaction... pre-syncope, dizziness/lightheadedness, increased thirst, increased body temp, loss of appetite, taking deep breaths, etc. I considered the ER, and probably should have gone, but rode it out with friends supervision. Mostly ice packs and water, although I felt absolutely terrible for a few hours, like I would pass out at any moment.
Fast forward 2 weeks of feeling mostly normal, I drink a '5-hour energy' on an empty stomach before work and soon have the EXACT symptoms described in the paragraph above. Feeling extremely dizzy, palpitations, about to pass out, etc. I decide to head back home and lie in bed most of the day. The symptoms would not go away, so that evening I went to the ER and told the doc about both episodes. They did ECG, blood test, chest x-ray, all normal. Went back home and was bedridden for a full 3 days. I was referred to a cardiologist where I did an echo the next week, which was rated 'technically difficult', but also came up normal. Finally after feeling better I had a follow up with my GP who reviewed the results, did a 24-hr holter (since I was feeling better, the GP recommended I try a bit of caffeine to recreate the symptoms, which I tried but was unable to recreate most symptoms that day). After reviewing results, GP said I'm fine and there's nothing wrong with me.
Fast forward to pretty much every day since the end of September, and I have recurring symptoms, although to a lesser degree. I have cut out all caffeine/drug/alcohol use from my diet and have made a concerted effort to eat healthier and continue my days as normal. I have not tried running again since these events. I'll randomly have dizzy spells for an hour, slight chest pain, general malaise, or my heart rate will be elevated for no reason (took a shower this morning and found it was 135. sometimes I'll be relaxing and notice my HR is 90+). These symptoms do not necessarily all appear simultaneously, and generally clear up within an hour or so, but may happen multiple times a day and are affecting my life. When they are not occurring I feel totally normal.
Although I am reassured by the test results and my doctor's conclusion, I'm clearly not 'fine' and I'm wondering if something could be missed by those tests. The closest diagnosis I can find online is cardiomyopathy (which lists amphetamine use as a possible cause), although obviously my GP would know better. Could that be missed by an ECG & Echo? Are there any other tests you would recommend to find the root cause?
Summary - Healthy 26yo male with recent stimulant OD experiencing lingering symptoms for 2 months (dizziness, palpitations, slight chest pain) despite normal ECG, Echo, chest xray, blood work. Currently avoiding all possible triggers such as caffeine and strenuous exercise.
I'm sorry that you haven't been feeliing great recently and you are right to wonder if the test that you had have missed anything...I have had a few experiences where GPs and other medical people have "missed" something. I don't know anything about cardiomyopathy, however can share my experience with you.
I am 43 years old and last year started to take chest pains on the Monday, on the Tuesday I went to a clinic and after having an ECG I was rushed to hospital in an amubulance. After more ECGs and other tests I was told my heart was fine. Wednesday was much the same...(full of pain)...and went along to my GP, he did another ECG and again was told I was fine. On the Wednesday night, I was in agony and called the paramedics out, they took yet another ECG and said all was OK. On the Thursday I went to the GP again...this time seeing the practise nurse and she basically said that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my heart and I was to stop being so anxious. I was told by her that it was probably an ulcer and gave me acid reflux meds. Friday I was still in severe pain but didnt see anyone about it...then on Saturday I started to feel dizzy, started sweating, still had chest pains though this time the pain travelled from my neck down my arm. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest! Paramedics came back out, took my blood pressure...it went of the scale!! They couldnt monitor it! I was rushed to hospital and told that I was having a heart attack!!! I waited 6 weeks for an appointment at the cardiologists. He took one look at me and took me straight into the cath lab for an angiogram. They found that 2 of my arteries were 99% blocked! The cardiologist told me if he hadnt intervined I would have been dead in a week!
The reason I am telling you this is not to scare you but to make you aware that things can be missed when having these tests. I had countless ECGs and other tests done the week prior to my heart attack and every single one of them missed 2 blocked arteries.
My advice to you is to keep on at the medical professionals until they find the cause of your problems, even when you think you are being a pain in the butt...still keep at them until you get answers.
I hope you get to the bottom of it.
Last edited by moderator2; 11-17-2012 at 08:10 AM.
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