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Help with long-term problems
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Help with long-term problems


First off I am a male, age 32, 6ft. tall, 160 lbs., very fit and very active.  Or at least I used to be.

Now here is what I believe to be heart involvement.  Around two months ago I started to have this feeling in my chest when I laid down like my heart was pounding really hard and at times I would get this feeling like a fluid was being squeezed out of something on the right upper part of my chest close to the middle but almost as high as my collar bone.  My left arm feels weak all of the time, my pinky and ring finger on my left hand are numb and tingly, my last two toes on my left foot are numb, I feel like something is always caught in my throat right where my collar bones meet, my face, neck, and head get a pressurized feeling at times and when that happens my vision gets blurry and my face and neck get REALLY red.    Sometimes at night I wake up and am gasping for air like I wasn't breathing before I woke up.  My heart pounds and it feels like it beats super hard a couple of times and then goes back to normal-ish.  I get a lot of pain in my left leg, left hip, and groin for days when the pressure builds.  My face gets swollen up on the right side and I can feel swollen vessels inside of my mouth on my bottom/top lips and in my cheek.  The tip of my tongue goes numb.   Almost unbearable pain in the center of my chest at times which last for weeks.  Loud ringing in my ears (mainly my left) that changes pitches and even wakes me up at night when it gets really loud.  My peripheral vision in my right eye is almost non-existant.  I have noticed recently that if I try to drink a beer or any type of alcohol I cannot finish one drink before my lips get tingly, my neck and face get pressurized and scarlet red, and I get very hot with these weird waves of heat running through my body.  This alcohol thing has never happened to me before any of this started.  I could go on and on here.  

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Avatar_dr_m_tn
You mention many symptoms, which might or might not be related to any single diagnosis.  I agree with earlier comments that these symptoms could be related to anxiety, especially since they are really all over the body.  This said, however, as a physician I would say we will need to try and eliminate more serious POSSIBLE conditions.  Focusing on the heart/chest -- I think that if you are having "almost unbearable pain in the center of my chest at times which lasts for weeks", and chest pounding at night, I think an echocardiogram and a holter monitor would be two safe and general tests to rule out fluid around the heart, arrhythmia, etc.  

Occasionally, a collection of symptoms like you've mentioned points to a general, systemic illness such as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or even pheochromocytoma (adrenaline secreting tumor, very rare).  So undergoing some blood work might help rule things out.

If after these testing return as normal, I would consider treatment for anxiety/panic attacks, since this diagnosis COULD explain most or all of your symptoms.  Again, we need to make sure nothing more serious/aggressive might be going on first.  Good Luck.
5 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I have undergone some testing and it is as follows:

CT of brain
MRI of brain
MRA of Carotids
Echocardiogram (Mitral Valve Prolapse)
Echo of my carotids
Cholesterol test (my cholesterol may be high depending on which doctor I talk with)
Testing for blood clots, testing for proteins found after a heart attack, CBC, Sed rate, HIV test, etc.

All tests came back clear except for what was mentioned above.

I have been to an ER three times with nothing more than elevated T waves on an EKG.  I have seen a neurologist who found nothing.  I have been to an ENT who found substantial hearing loss in my left ear in high pitch ranges.  I have been to two cardiologists who found Mitral Valve Prolapse and thickening of my lower left ventricle wall.  I don't know how bad the Mitral Valve problem is since each doctor just kind of blew it off.  Each of the cardiologists says everything else looks normal.  I have been to two different GP's and they have written me off as having some sort of psychological problem since their tests have not shown anything.  I have even been told that this may be panick attacks which is a flat out joke to me.  I am not under any stress other than what type of jelly I am going to put on my PB&J tonight and I have never been prone to any type of panick attacks.  

Any help would be greatly appreciated and if anyone has any unanswered questions to ask please feel free to pick my brain.

Charles
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Avatar_f_tn
In my considerable experience with panic attacks, I have found that they can come on without any stress or precipitating events--and without any warning, too.  

It doesn't really sound to me as though you are having panic attacks, though, at least as I know them.  However, you should be aware that nocturnal panic attacks (google the term), those that occur around 2am, are said to be VERY different in the way they feel.  Your nighttime experience does to some extent fit with that.

Loud ringing in your ears (tinnitus) is not a cardiac sign, though it is definitely associated with hearing loss, which you have.  I have had tinnitus since I was 34.  It came on suddenly one day, and has been constant for decades since then.  You get used to it; if you concentrate on it or are anxious, it seems to get louder.

If you have been seen by several cardiologists, a neurologist, and ENT, and several GPs, and have been found to be healthy, then it's a very good bet that your ticker is essentially fine.

There are people who used to be called 'neurasthenic,' a catch-all word describing those who were super-sensitive to bodily 'noise,' for want of a better phrase.  You can google that term also, to see if it describes you in any way.

Your list of symptoms is suggestive of hyper-awareness of bodily 'noise,' which can lead to a constant low level of anxiety, subtle enough that some people do not even realize it is going on.

If I were in your shoes--and please do not take this as an insult--I would make an appointment with a doctor who specializes in anxiety, just to be asked some relevant questions that might help clarify things for you.  There are mental exercises to help patients take their minds off worrisome but medically insignificant symptoms.
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Avatar_m_tn
Alright so here is an update.  I went into the ER early this morning because my heart wouldn't slow down and I kept vomiting every hour or so.  I was sent down to the cath lab and a tube was put into my neck to check things out.  The Drs. Quickly found that I have Pericarditis and that two of my heart valves are damaged.  They suspected a viral attack and checked me out from head to toe.  A sed rate test came back showing a slight inflammation and they found raised red dots in the roof of my mouth which I never noticed.  A spinal tap was done and I tested positive for viral meningitis.  The Drs. Even figured out what virus is doing all of this damage to me which they found out is damage to my liver, intestines, brain, and spinal cord, plus I think my kidneys are involved.

I have been told that the Coxsackie virus B strain is the culprit.  I had never heard of it but I definitely know what it is now!  I am sitting in intensive care right now with all sorts of crap being pumped into me to get rid of the inflammation and fluid build up in my lungs.  

I'll update this as time goes on.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow, you really are sick!  In other words, the symptoms you have had for several months are thought to be the result of a viral infection--which, oddly enough, sounds as though it went acute sometime in the last 24 hours, since the earlier sed rate was normal.

Good luck, and I hope you recover well.

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