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Could this all be Chronic Fatigue?

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Old 10-12-2006, 02:42 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: England
Posts: 68
Hannigaholic HB User
Could this all be Chronic Fatigue?

Hi all, bit of a long one but I'll put up a small summary at the end

I've been having issues for the last 3 years, including panic attacks and a general lack of engagement with the world at large - it sucks.

It all started in November 2003 with panic attacks that lasted on and off for over a year, they kinda took over my life and I dropped out of my graduate diploma and stopped working and exercising regularly. I was doing karate and working security at the students' union bar and music gigs so I was relatively active at the time and for 3 years I'd been walking into Uni for 40 minutes most days so I'd been relatively active before then also

So I went to my GP and he recommended I try and keep up exercising, even if it was only a 30-minute walk every day, to keep my body ticking over. Fine, I did that and eventually got it up to 1-hour walks every day but feeling like that was all I could do (this was while still having the panic attacks)

Eventually the panic attacks laregely trailed off, leaving me with an underlying anxiety that could sometimes be pushed as far as another attack but only really while exercising (my daily walks)

When I came home from Uni it was so much easier to do less, since I was in a house of 13 people when I was there and I come back and it's just me and my dad in a house.

I still kept up the walking every day, but rather than make it a straight 1-hour walk it was broken up into walks to various shops and 1 walk in between the 2 of them (basically a 30-min walk, a 20-min walk and a 15-min walk every day). Even this started becomming harder and harder to maintain and eventually it slipped to the 30-min and the 15-min, then the 15-min and the 20-min and eventually just the 15-min walk. It all just started feeling much harder to do and I started feeling a strange feeling of pressure in my chest, mainly after I'd got back from my walks but sometimes while on them (this was part of why they'd started feeling so much more difficult)

I thought there could be something wrong with my heart but during the panic attacks I had numerous ecgs and eventually a stress test and echocardiogram (in fact it was June 2005, so just 16 months ago, and less than a year before I started feeling the chest twinges). I've also had a few chest x-rays over the time, the docs assure me that my heart and lungs are in perfect working order.

OK, so I assume that everything works fine and try to push on with things but over time I've found that even a 5-10 minute walk around the shops leaves me feeling absolutely drained and brings on a slight tightness/heaviness in my chest. It's not that I'm gasping for breath or sweating a lot while doing very little, it's just that doing very little low-intensity activity brings on feelings of tightness and tiredness

It's kinda there all the time, from when I wake up in the morning, and anything I do just makes it feel worse. Sometimes I feel like I can't take a proper breath - not like I can't brethe but like my lungs won't expand enough.

It's not anxiety-related, of that I'm pretty certain - I know what this feels like and I know how I feel when I'm anxious/panicky. I've been to see a neurologist and am having an MRI scan on my head on tuesday, but he doesn't expect anything to show up and thinks that if there is anything wrong that it is probably Chronic Fatigue.

There is something amiss and I just don't know what it could be if it's not 'just' Chronic Fatigue.

I'm actually getting to the stage where I'm scared to do anything for fear of the effect it will have on me.

I'm only 25 years old - such short bouts of low-intensity activity should not be having this effect on me, reagardless of the complete lack of activity I've done in recent months. My grandparents can get around more than I can, my cousin who has cerebral palsey can get around more than I can, and I don't think he's ever even been able to exercise properly in his entire life!

Thanks to those who made it this far

So, the promised Summary:

* Nov 2003 started getting panic attacks - stopped regular exercise/working as security
* Started making a point of going for walks every day, on doctor's advice, evenetually getting up to 1-hour walks
* After coming home from a University house of 13 people, being alone with my dad it was easier to do nothing
* Forced myself to keep up the walks (but as 30-min, 20-min and 15-min walks each day instead of just a single 1-hour walk)
* Eventually the walks started feeling harder to do, getting chest twinges, mainly after I finished the walks (IE during recovery time) but also sometimes during the walks themselves
* Now I find that even a short walk around the shops, though low-intesity (and no heavy breathing/sweating) leaves me drained and with 'tightness' in my chest - also my heart can sometimes go a bit nuts after the short walk (as it used to with my panic attacks), especially if there are hills involved, no matter how gentle a slope
* During the panic attack stage I had a stress ecg, an echocardiogram, resting ecgs and chest x-rays and have been assured that my heart and lungs and in perfect working order
* I'm 25, I shouldn't be this affected by such short bursts of such low-intensity activity.


I know that usually Chronic Fatigue is brought on by a cold or flu but is it possible that the sudden change in my life brought about by the panic attacks has triggered it?

Last edited by Hannigaholic; 10-12-2006 at 02:45 AM.

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Old 10-12-2006, 03:01 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dubai
Posts: 64
naomi81 HB User
Re: Could this all be Chronic Fatigue?


I just wanted to say that I feel the same.

Sometimes when I wake up I have this severe weakness, it is not like being tired it feels like you can hardly move. Mine also came on after getting panic attacks out of the blue. These have controlled my life ands meds have not helped, basically I have stopped having them now but I always feel that I am on the verge of one if that makes sense.

Also throughout the day at times I feel like I cannot get a breath, its not like hyperventilation its more like it is a huge effort to breath and you have to force yourself. I feel like my lungs don't inflate.

I don't know if this helps you but at the moment my docs have said that is seems like I have a cortisol problem, its worth getting yours checked out.

Best of luck,


Old 10-12-2006, 03:34 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: England
Posts: 68
Hannigaholic HB User
Re: Could this all be Chronic Fatigue?

Indeed the feeling of being on the verge of a panic attack is one I'm familiar with

Cortisol, eh? I'll have to bring it up on my next visit

Old 10-12-2006, 12:12 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5
Nakii HB User
Re: Could this all be Chronic Fatigue?

Hi there, first of all, I'd like to say I'm sorry to hear what you've been going through :/

Personally I can't say that I've ever experienced panic attacks although I do remember that during my early days of CFS I used to get really bad palpatations for no apparent reason at all, had many ecg's and monitors done and all came back "relatively normal"... I can't remember hearing whether or not panic attacks/palpatations are related to CFS or not but a good friend of mine who had (yes, had ) CFS used to suffer panic attacks all the time, it wasn't until her CFS was gone that they also finished.

The problem that you described about fatigue after excercising (no matter how small it may be) sounds like the main symptom of CFS, to me, spot on. That's pretty much exactly what I went through, in regards to walking a lot, finding it difficult, decresing the amount I walked, finding even that difficult e.t.c.

There is no official way to get CFS however you are right in saying that most patients that suffer this disorder usually noticed it beginning after having Flu (as well as some other illnesses). Other than that, CFS can be "brought" on by a traumatic experience in your life. Like I said though, neither of those are set in stone, they're just the most common. For me, it was the traumatic experience, although I didn't realise this until having CFS for about 6 months.

The only thing I can sugguest, other than what you're already doing, is getting on a waiting list to see a CFS specialist while in the meantime getting a set of bloods done testing your thyroid gland, adrenaline gland, B12 and also for anemia. Or at least discussing it with your doctor

Hope I was able to help at least a small amount - keep us all up to date on how you're getting on. Best of luck to you ^^


Old 10-15-2006, 12:45 AM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 33
bailey11 HB User
Re: Could this all be Chronic Fatigue?

Hi, I'm not sure if this info will help you or not, but it's worth a try. Have you looked into a possible food allergy? I know that some of the symptoms can be quite harsh from my own personal experience. I always suffered from fatigue until only about two months ago. My doctor told me to stop eating anything with wheat in it, and then see if my energy levels increased, or if there were any noticable changes in my health. I reluctantly got a new menu together where there was absolutely no trace of wheat whatsoever. My symptoms were aching muscles, stiff and tired body, no energy, and many more. Within two days of eliminating wheat from my diet I felt a new energy lifting into my body. Within a week I was bouncing off the walls with energy! Every since then I feel like a different person! It has renewed my life in so many ways. I am no longer restricted to what I can do. It's amazing just how wheat was holding me back from living a normal life. This was just my story however. I hope that it may have introduced a new path for your search if nothing has helped you so far.
All the best for your health.

Old 10-17-2006, 12:37 AM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Peterborough, South Australia
Posts: 3
junefitzs2 HB User
Post Re: Could this all be Chronic Fatigue?

I have had panic attacks and believe I may have chronic fatigue. I have never seen the two as linked in my case. I was doing a Master's Degree when I had a slight car accident. Shortly after this I was having accupuncture for migraine and the sister said that my pulse was missing beats. She sent me to the Uni Doctor and as there was heart problems in my family she sent me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist sent me to a driving instructor who taught me to relax more when driving. The arrythmia was noticeable to me by this time but went away over time. I do still have them sometimes such as when my difficult Granddaughter threw a first class tantrum. Very much later it was pointed out to me that I got breathless very easily and could not go very far without calling up a very bad migraine attack. Whether they are linked or not I am aware that the arrythmia will go away if I use a relaxation exercise. The migraine is worse than the fatigue so I just let the Doctor deal with this.
I do however believe that I am allergic to wheat as well. Look out for it in ice-cream and nearly all packaged food. I live in the country so I get Spelt flour delivered and make my own bread and ice-cream.

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