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Am I deconditioned or do I have a heart problem?

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Old 08-25-2011, 08:12 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: New York
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Am I deconditioned or do I have a heart problem?

I'm 24, female, 5'4'', and currently weigh around 137 pounds. Three months ago, I weighed 125 pounds, which had been my weight give or take a couple pounds for a couple of years. I have no idea how I've gained 12 pounds so quickly since I'm actually eating healthier lately, although I don't eat that much because I get full very quickly and haven't really had much of an appetite.

Three months back I started experiencing episodes of palpitations where I could feel my heart pounding very hard in my chest and shortness of breath. I saw a cardiologist who diagnosed me with mitral valve prolapse, however he claimed it shouldn't be causing any symptoms given it's just a trace. I wore a halter monitor which didn't pick up anything other than sometimes my heart would beat faster than normal. I saw a pulmonologist, who ruled out a lung problem but walked up three flights of stairs with me while I wore a pulse oximeter. My heartrate went up from 84 to about 150 and my oxygen saturation went from 99% to below 90%. I also became very dizzy to the point where he had to grab me because he thought I was going to faint.

That was over a month ago. Since then, my symptoms have gotten worse. If I walk for a few blocks while carrying something heavy, or walk up a slight incline or a couple flights of stairs, I feel crushing chest pain and severe shortness of breath. Yesterday I had to walk up five flight of stairs and by the end of it my chest was really hurting, my legs were cramping, and I felt so dizzy I had to sit down for almost fifteen minutes before I could stand up and walk again. I also have chest pain and shortness of breath just sitting down at my computer at work. I've noticed my abdomen has increased in girth but I have no idea how this has happened given my appetite has severely decreased. I thought I had symptoms of ovarian cancer because of ongoing pelvic pain, feeling full quickly, and the abdominal bloating, but I had a pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound two months ago and nothing was picked up other than calcification nodules in my right ovary.

My parents are both doctors and think I'm just deconditioned. This makes no sense to me because my lifestyle hasn't changed. It's not like I was extremely active and all of a sudden I'm not. I'm getting a second opinion from a cardiologist tomorrow but I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions for what might be wrong.

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Old 08-25-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
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Re: Am I deconditioned or do I have a heart problem?

Hi a fast weight gain is sometimes caused by water which is retained by the body. Sometimes it is said that the electrolytes such as sodium or potassium are out of balance.

I have noticed that many of those who have mitral valve prolapse also lift heavy things or are involved in the gymn lifting weights. I would not suggest lifting more than 10 pounds, the baby or the groceries. Even the groceries could have less in them and merely more trips or another person to help. Perhaps a move could be made to a different floor and brisk walks to tolerance daily for exercise instead.

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