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  • Trying to understand whats going on

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    Old 02-13-2010, 11:51 PM   #1
    Dave117
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    Trying to understand whats going on

    I am a 44 year old male who has been otherwise in great physical health other than ongoing sinus conditions. Against my better judgment, I have been surviving on Sinex nasal spray to clear my nasal passages. Approximately 2 weeks ago after taking a daytime over-the-counter medication and laying down for about 15 minutes, I was awakened with a racing heartbeat, asthma-like conditions (which I have never had) and lite-headedness. Once I stood up my condition got better although I was pretty scared. The second episode happened approx. 5 days later after I had fallen alseep, I was awoke with the same condition. I though I was having a heart attack and drove myself to the emergency room where they quickly determined that it was not my heart, lungs or blood clot, but that the shortness of breath may have triggered a panic attack. All blood tests were normal. The third episode happed approx 5 nights later where again I was awaken with shortness of breath and a racing heart. My wife drove me to the ER this time. Chest X-rays and arterial blood were taken and appeared normal. The doctor advised that it was acid reflux triggering all these condition and prescribed generic Prelosic 30 mg 1X/day and Sucralfate 1gm 3x/day.

    I am pretty confident that this may be the problem but why? Whenever I eat now, it is like the floodgates are open and I have to down Tums to get it under control. My biggest problem is that when I do any cardio training where my breathing is increased, my symptoms take off, such as tightness in chest and airways and throat. Should I stop working out? This is new for me and am trying to understand if I have some other underlying problem that needs to be checked out. BTW I have stopped all nasal decongestants. Please Help

     
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    Old 02-14-2010, 05:28 AM   #2
    gcsjr
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    What you're experiencing is a fairly common onset of acid reflux that is probably contributing to the asthma-like symptoms (and your ongoing sinus issues). It's not unusual for someone to have underlying acid reflux that is not particularly noticeable until they reach a point where it starts to get out of control. It may be that a small physiological change has triggered a more severe reaction or that things simply got bad all at once, but it is a fairly common situation that, unfortunately, usually takes several weeks to get under control.

    You really need to see a pulmonologist to have your lung function tested, and need to see someone to get you on a program to manage the acid reflux with medication and lifestyle changes.

    As for your exercise regimen, if you're breathing issues are exacerbated by exercise, you should probably take it easy until you see the pulmonologist and get on medication for the asthma (if that's what the doctor recommends), but it's certainly possible that all of this is reflux related.

     
    Old 02-14-2010, 10:09 AM   #3
    Dave117
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Thank you for the reply. Any chance I might have a Hiatal hernia? I don't necessarily have any chest pain, just tightness in the chest and esophageal spasms that come in waves. At first I thought these spasm were my heart but learned it was not.

     
    Old 02-16-2010, 04:26 PM   #4
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Hi Dave 117

    All my problems began with something similar i was taking decongestants and pseudoephidrine for a cold and sinus problems and then suddenly had heart palpitations and just a peculiar sensation all over that lasted about an hour- it scared the hell out of me, i had further incidents where i experienced tightness in my chest, palpitations etc. Had everything checked out and finally was diagnosed with acid reflux- with ongoing symptoms of chest tightness, lightheadedness post-nasal drip etc etc. I'm not quite sure how it all tied in with the sinus and the decongestion but i thought it might help to know that i've experieced something similar.

    Last edited by aoifeb; 02-16-2010 at 04:27 PM.

     
    Old 02-17-2010, 10:24 AM   #5
    Dave117
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Thankfully I think I have my problem under control. I think I have had reflux for some time considering the acidic mouth that I have woken up with for some time. The decongestants merely enhanced the situation. Prelosec 2x/day finally has calmed everything down. My Dr. prescribed me albuterol inhaler for the constricted airways and that seems to have opened them up. This has been a strange ordeal but to be expected I guess as I enter my mid 40's. Thank you for all your comments.

     
    Old 02-17-2010, 11:15 AM   #6
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Dave, I relate to your post. Last night someone mentioned feeling like this was all out of our control, and I almost cynically responded that you get used to this feeling as you age! LOL I, too, am mid-40s and see my body changing in ways that I know I have only limited control over. Things just don't work quite like they used to. However, I'm committed to controlling what I CAN control and hearing that you're in pretty good shape now with the Prilosec 2x/day is good news because that's also my current course. How long have you been on the Prilosec therapy and do you plan to continue it indefinitely? I'd really like to get down to 1/day and then back to just an occasional H2 blocker but don't think I'm ready for the step-down just yet.

    Oh - and I'm sorry to hear that your problems seem worse when you exercise. Is that getting any better? After the first couple of months of misery with this I decided I couldn't put off resuming workouts any longer; otherwise, I was going to end up on blood pressure medication because my blood pressure was starting to creep up. I was thrilled to discover that working out did not make me feel any worse; in fact, I felt better during and after workouts (probably those good ole' endorphins at work). I know how frustrating it is when you know you need to be working out but can't. Hope you get the problem surmounted soon.

    Last edited by abbydabbydew; 02-17-2010 at 11:23 AM.

     
    Old 02-17-2010, 03:57 PM   #7
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave117 View Post
    Thankfully I think I have my problem under control. I think I have had reflux for some time considering the acidic mouth that I have woken up with for some time. The decongestants merely enhanced the situation. Prelosec 2x/day finally has calmed everything down. My Dr. prescribed me albuterol inhaler for the constricted airways and that seems to have opened them up. This has been a strange ordeal but to be expected I guess as I enter my mid 40's. Thank you for all your comments.
    Had the same thing happen to me after taking Bendryl-D it's the Pseudoephedrine in the med that acts as a decongestant. It can sometimes make your heart race, raise your blood pressure, and cause you to become short of breath. Sometimes it takes a few days to leave your system.

    I was in the hospital over night until they figured out what it was that sped my heartbeat to almost 200 beats per minute while resting. Now I stay away from all decongestants. Makes it difficult to keep my sinues clear, but I don't want to go through that again EVER.

    Last edited by Indianmist; 02-17-2010 at 03:58 PM.

     
    Old 02-17-2010, 09:13 PM   #8
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Today is the best day that I have had in 2 1/2 weeks. No stomach issues and inhaler seems to have loosened the airways up. Did 45 minutes of cardio with no issues. I am planning on cutting back the Prilosec to 1x/day a soon as I can along with a few lifestyle changes.

     
    Old 02-17-2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave117 View Post
    Today is the best day that I have had in 2 1/2 weeks. No stomach issues and inhaler seems to have loosened the airways up. Did 45 minutes of cardio with no issues. I am planning on cutting back the Prilosec to 1x/day a soon as I can along with a few lifestyle changes.
    Be careful with cutting back the PPI to 1 a day. Some have found that when they do this, the GERD comes back with a vengence. Even while maintaining their current "GERD management" routine.

     
    Old 02-18-2010, 02:15 PM   #10
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Go for it, Dave, and let me know how it goes because I'm right there with you on this journey! And that's great about being able to do the cardio, too...

     
    Old 02-20-2010, 12:14 AM   #11
    Dave117
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    I unfortunately had another episode today. Felt fine all day and went to the gym about 7:00 PM. Before I went to the gym I took two puffs from my albuterol inhaler (ProAir HFA) Again, I walked 45 minutes on the treadmill as I did not feel like running. My heart rate ran from 112 - 121. My stomach has felt great.

    When I finished, I began to do some circuit training starting with my lower body I did two sets of 15 on each machine. I began to experience some breathing difficulty when I reached the upper body exercises. I did one set of 15 on military press and I began to feel lite-headed like I was going to pass out. My heart rate began to increase into the upper 140's and steady. I sat down for a bit hoping not to pass out. I became very anxious and a little panicky because of the condition. I could feel my stomach start to take off again with the spasms and I downed about 4 Tums.

    I made it home and it took me about an hour to get my heart rate down to 72/min. What the heck is going on with me? Have I developed some type of adult onset asthma or is it something worse? I am going to call my Doctor Monday and press him for a thorough exam of my stomach and lungs.

     
    Old 02-20-2010, 09:22 AM   #12
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave117 View Post
    I unfortunately had another episode today. Felt fine all day and went to the gym about 7:00 PM. Before I went to the gym I took two puffs from my albuterol inhaler (ProAir HFA) Again, I walked 45 minutes on the treadmill as I did not feel like running. My heart rate ran from 112 - 121. My stomach has felt great.

    When I finished, I began to do some circuit training starting with my lower body I did two sets of 15 on each machine. I began to experience some breathing difficulty when I reached the upper body exercises. I did one set of 15 on military press and I began to feel lite-headed like I was going to pass out. My heart rate began to increase into the upper 140's and steady. I sat down for a bit hoping not to pass out. I became very anxious and a little panicky because of the condition. I could feel my stomach start to take off again with the spasms and I downed about 4 Tums.

    I made it home and it took me about an hour to get my heart rate down to 72/min. What the heck is going on with me? Have I developed some type of adult onset asthma or is it something worse? I am going to call my Doctor Monday and press him for a thorough exam of my stomach and lungs.
    This can happen with Albuterol sometimes. You may want to ask your doctor to switch you to Xopenex. It's the same med as Albuterol but without the nasty racemic chemicals in it that causes your heart to race. You may suffer from an underlying heart condition(Supraventricular tachycardia) that makes using products that contain pseudo ephedrine, and Albuterol impossible.

    I suffer from Supraventricular tachycardia, so I was temporarily placed on Beta Blockers until things calmed down.

    Oh, and by the way, I'm 41 and never had a problem using these medicines before. It seems as soon as I hit my 40's things just started going haywire.

    Last edited by Indianmist; 02-20-2010 at 09:24 AM.

     
    Old 02-20-2010, 09:19 PM   #13
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Hi Dave:

    I am a user of nasal spray due to allergies (I have finally been able to cut it down to a little bit right before bedtime) but was told by my doctor that Afrin and other decongestant nose sprays can cause tachycardia. Same goes for decongestant meds like Sudafed. I have only taken Sudafed twice and experienced a racing heartbeat for a few hours. I thought I was having an anxiety attack, but it was the medicine. Same happened to me once when I took Mucinex for congestion. I guess some people are more sensitive than others. The rest of my family takes all these meds without any increase in heartbeat or "anxiety-like" symptoms. I guess it is a trial and error process.

     
    Old 02-21-2010, 11:49 AM   #14
    Dave117
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Indianamist,

    Thank you for all your comments. It is very helpful and gives me peace of mind knowing a little better what might be going on.

    This is a very unusual condition for me and very disconcerting. The symptoms have come on very quickly and are something that I have never experienced before.

    The experience that I had in the gym was very unsettling as I am not used to getting a rigorous workout in.

    One thing is definite. I have bad GERD and it seeps into my trachea at night causing a burning sensation

    I am hoping next week to start going in the direction of seeing what the underlying problems are. I will keep you posted as thing s progresses and thank you again

     
    Old 03-02-2010, 11:01 PM   #15
    Dave117
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    Re: Trying to understand whats going on

    Update: I saw a gastro specialist today to try and get to the root of what is going on. He prescribed me 40 mg Prilosec 2x/day and Reglan after dinner and bed.

    The first Reglan I took I could tell a difference. It somehow took the pressure off my esophagus and allowed the reflux to drain back into stomach. For the first time in a month I could now breath freely.

    We'll see how this goes. Don't want to jump the gun since it is my first day but I am optimistic.

     
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