I am in a high stress, long hour managerial position. In addition I am in a high stress, adversarial 15-year marriage with 4 teenage children. I have always had a calm demeanor and great health, great blood pressure and so forth. I have always carried a little too much weight, 5’9” at 200 to 220 pounds.
I have had an appendectomy after my appendix burst about 10 years ago.
I have experienced neuralgia in the back of my head every few years. I believe this is from a racket ball incident in my 20s. It responds to stress or oral pain in the back of my mouth.
From time to time I have felt a fluttering in my center chest directly between my nipples. About 10 years ago I had an EKG and full heart exam that showed nothing.
About 1 year ago I had an exam showing elevated cholesterol, 225. I went vegetarian plus fish and dropped it to 177 in 6 months. I continue to be vegetarian though I have not had my cholesterol checked in 6 months.
About a year ago my ears started ringing and have not stopped. I have been to an ENT doctor who noted I had little hearing loss and offered no other advise.
About 5 month ago I experienced persistence dizziness for about a month. I went to a doctor who referred me to a neurologist. After a sleep study, physical exam and an MRI I was told I have nerve root damage after the physical exam and told I do not have nerve root damage after the MRI. I was also told I do not have MS after the MRI. No explanation for the dizziness or ringing ears. Then they charged me $1,200 after insurance.
For a week now the fluttering in my chest, or palpitations, have been frequent and long lasting. I have no more money to chase answers that never seem to come.
As a person not accustomed to complaining about anything, I am starting to feel like a hypochondriac. Should I feel concerned about increased palpitations without other indicators of heart issues? Should I just chalk it up to my current stress level? Could this be caused by vegetarianism done wrong?
I'm definitely no doctor. The fluttering in the chest, however, I get frequently as well and I'm 22. I think it has alot to do with stress and diet. The only thing abnormal on my EKG was my T wave was higher than my R wave (supposed to be the peak wave in your heart beat) on one of the leads.
Do you take vitamins at all to supplement the nutrients your losing from not eating meats? If you have low potassium, magnesium, and/or glucose levels, this could cause palpitations, dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, nausea, and muscle spasms etc...
Since doctors are not any option anymore, maybe try weening back on the meat, but eat it in moderation. Meat cannot be the only thing that raises cholesterol. Make up a more balanced diet with meats, veggies (dark greens are packed with nutrients as you would know since you went veggie-tarian), fruits, etc. and get on a small regimen of exercise. Your high-stress office job cannot be helping you, it's why i'll never be a manager EVER haha. I always try to get up and walk around when stress gets to me too much (mostly because I have to considering I'll get terrible chest pains if I don't). Do a lap around the store/office/street whereever. walk in place if you have to! Walking even for 10 mins a day can help combat stress PLUS clear your mind better. You might even find yourself thinking a bit more clearly as well...lowering the stress-level of the job you're working on.
This is just my point-of-view and you don't in any way have to take any of the advice or do any of it. It's just habits my fiance and I picked up on.
First, congratulations on bringing your cholesterol down.
Four teenagers---Wow. (That makes me nervous just thinking about it.)
When it comes to palpitations, sometimes they are due to adrenaline overload (which can be brought on by emotional stress, excess caffeine, excess sugar for many people, etc.), but they also can be a warning sign or signal a problem that, if left untreated, can be dangerous or even life-threatening. Problem is, how does one know unless you get them checked out? (Remember, too, that stress itself, especially if long-term, can help bring on a heart attack.)
I'm not trying to scare you, and while tests are extremely expensive, with 4 teenagers depending on you, can you really afford not to check things out, just to be sure? Better safe than sorry.
As far as the vegetarianism, I agree with Becca323; it's possible you're missing out on some valuable nutrients. (Depending on what you eat and how much variety in your daily diet, it is possible your intake of vitamin B 12 is low. They can check your vitamin B 12 status with a blood test.) I'm not a doctor; my background is nutrition. I would take a good once-daily multivitamin, a magnesium pill (250-400 mgs. once daily), and a B vitamin tablet which has B12 and B6, but the lowest levels possible you can find (huge megadoses are generally not necessary and may be harmful.) Make sure you are also drinking enough water; sometimes when people are under a lot of stress and get really busy, they forget to drink water and that can bring on palpitations in some folks. Watch the caffeine and the alcohol if you tend to lean on them in times of stress (I have in the past, so I can relate...)
stress leads to anxiety the health anxiety i think you may have, you sound like you had an inner ear infection that causes ringing in the ears and dizziness, if untreated it may lead to deafness, you are worrying too much and this is leading to palps, ectopic beats, flutters = panic attack, if you've had heart tests leave it its fine, try not to worry as this will increase palps
My mom was just discharged from the hospital yesterday, thank goodness she is feeling much better!! After two visits to the ER and one visit to the doctor, I was at my wits end and my mom was giving up!! She had the flutter in her chest also...but that was just one of the problems...she had pneumonia in the beginning of April, so we didnt know if it was anxiety or not. During the 2 previous visits to the ER they had given her potassium and magnesium once. But we were never told that her potassium was low. Only that she had a severe UTI and that was why she wasnt urinating as much as she had been in the past. She had been having trouble digesting food also for the past couple of weeks...Sunday was the final draw...she couldn't swallow jello or chicken broth. Actually, she could swallow it, but it would just sit at the top of her stomach for hours and hours. After the 3 visit to the ER Sunday they admitted her to do some gastric test. They ended up giving her 700 cc's of potassium. Her potassium level was critically low!! After only 300 cc's she was able to swallow Veg. broth and dink a little tea. This was incredible to me. ALSO...the fluttering stopped. Come to find out...the fluttering was due to the potassium. It started throwing her heart rate off. Thankfully, someone finally paid attention and kept her alive. The abdominal ultrasound and endoscopy didnt show anything. All the signs and syptoms were there, but no one was paying attention. Guess they thought it was just some little ole lady complaining about reflux. Diarrhea and some medications (such as steroids) can reduce potassiums levels. Due to the pnuemonia she was given solu medrol so that's where the steroids came in. She's doing 100% better today. Her potassium level caused her to have trouble with her kidney's, digestion, and last but not least her heart.
I appreciate all the comments! I feel more comfortable that this is simply a symptom of the stresses in my life. I can choose to bare them and see my way through to a better situation or make changes it I sense they are too much. All of your thoughts helped, thanks again!
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