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TIA vs. panic attack
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TIA vs. panic attack

Hi,

I'm a 25 yr old male, 5'8", slightly overweight (around 165 or so) and I'm pretty sedentary usually sitting on my computer for most of the day. (I work from home via the Internet and I'm a gamer)  I don't sleep well and am generally really tense physically for some reason.  I tend to not eat very well - quite a bit of fast food, restaurants, and frozen stuff from the grocery store though I do try to eat salads and good breakfast cereals like Raisin Bran.

I occasionally get these very strange "spells" if you will where I'll all of a sudden get very flush, my heart rate increases drastically, I get numbness or tingling on my left side (feels like what happens with hyperventilation), some nausea and loss of appetite, and I generally feel weak and sort of in a daze.  Often these events are triggered by some sort of pain I'll sense suddenly in my chest or head.  These kinds of symptoms will usually last for about an hour or two after the event.
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(cont.)


About a month ago I had a really bad one at around 4PM that just completely left me wiped out.  I play in a band and felt so bad after this that we had to cancel practice, I was just completely out of it.  Later that night around 12 I awoke and was unable to see out of the upper left portion of my left eye - there was sort of this bluish halo type effect where my normal vision should have been in that spot.  I called my parents absolutely freaked out and ended up going to the ER a few hours later.  My vision had returned but didn't feel 100%.  I told the doctors about the spell I'd had and whatnot.  I ended up several hours later getting diagnosed with an ocular migraine after an eye exam.  I was told that the spell was most likely a panic attack.

Does this sound right to you guys?  Is there any reason I should be concerned that these spells are actually TIA mini-strokes?  I'm just worried about stuff like clots & DVT because of how long I sit on the computer.  (I do get up and move around pretty frequently but still)  I know I've read about small pieces of clots breaking off and causing TIAs.

Thanks for any advice.
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Avatar_n_tn
too put yourself at ease go to a nuero and get ct scan/mri to see if a tia did occur.  
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Can they actually tell if it wasn't a full stroke?

Btw, I'm without insurance, which is the reason I didn't demand a CT or something at the ER...
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Absolutely they can tell even if its a ministroke.  I do know a CT Scan is much much cheaper than an MRI.  You can see if the facility you would go to can put you on a payment plan to pay off the bill instead of in one payment.  Most hopstials do put people on payment plans so this might even be an option.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have learnt not to interpret a general numbness on my left side as a TIA.

It has happened to me at moments of severe stress, I probably do have some physiological reason why this is always on the left side.

However I have had stroke scares on the other side too.

One morning I woke up with my right arm completely paralysed, and it frightened me no end.

At that point my mind said "stroke" and I did not know whether I could speak or not, so I went through a number of self checking regimes, determining that I could speak and count, and see. After that my reaction was to wait and see what happened, and gradually the use came back.

Having recovered use of the arm I decided since I was away from home to leave any mention of it to a Dr till I got home, I made the assumption that since I recovered the use it was down to nerve compression having slept in a bad position in a strange bed.

After I had discussed that with a Dr, the Dr agreed that from my description and the way the use came back quite rapidly, that it was not a TIA.

I also knew at that point that it would happen again, and indeed it did in rather similar circumstances but the feeling was exactly the same. The difference being this time that I did not panic and just waited for my arm to come back "on line"

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Hi~~
   What you are most likely experiencing is anxiety related.  You are very young, and it would be very unlikely to be experiencing a stroke at your age.  For some reason, it seems like these symptoms are a common thing for your age group, I had them at that time also.  I was convinced I had a brain tumor probably when I was in my early thirties, because I had the symptoms you describe.  There was never an explanation for anything, and they eventually became less of a problem for me, and then went away.  It's funny, because I have a brother who is seven years younger than I am, and he sort of went through the same thing when he hit that age.  By that time, I could help relax him about it, because I had been through it, and nothing ever came of it.  
    I really remember having everything, I had loss of balance, nausea, vision problems, you name it.  It's funny to think that there was nothing ever found, it sort of makes me realize what your body can do.  I guess I was anxious at the time, but no more than I've ever been in my life.  And, it seems like something that gets better with age.  I don't know if it's a hormonal thing or what.  As I said, I never got any answers, but getting reassurance helps with the part of the symptoms that can be due to anxiety.  I think, though, that there is a deeper reason for some of the symptoms, even though it's a benign one, it still is something that our nervous systems are doing, and I can only imagine how complicated that could be.  There are so many theories on panic attacks, anxiety, it's amazing when you start to research it.  And, I did later on have panic attacks, but I know what you are describing, and that is different, and that is also what I had years before any panic attacks.  You would think now, with my twitching problem, that I would be able to relate my experiences in the past with now, and try to relax about it.  But, I suppose, being a hypochondriac, there are always reasons why this time it is a serious illness.  For one, I haven't had these anxious symptoms in years, and why would they come up now, at 47?  So, it's easy to justify the fear.  
     Try to relax, but I know it's hard.  The symptoms can consume you, just try to be really healthy, eat and sleep right, and trade each bad habit in for a good one.  Drink alot of water, and don't drink cokes and things.  I look forward mostly every day to having a Jamba Juice, it makes me feel so good, it's like starting the day off right.  
     Try not to worry, your symptoms are very common, and usually mean nothing, especially at your age.  It's funny, there's this symptom in my family, my Dad used to talk about it, as did my brothers.  It's where they will get this vision disturbance, so badly that my Dad had to pull off the road with it now and then.  It only comes once in a while, and especially when they were young.  It's like flashing lights, and it totally blocks the vision.  I only had it once, I kind of woke up with it, and it really makes you panicky.  No explanation for that either!  So many weird symptoms your mind can do, especially neurological ones!  Good luck, Val
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Val,

I'm pretty sure it's anxiety too after reading about the things it can cause, but the problem is anxiety over WHAT?  I know I'm tense all the time - I'll wake up with my fists clenched in the middle of the night, I'll sometimes notice that I'm subconsciously breathing in short bursts etc.  I just have no idea what I'd possibly be anxious about - I'm a happy guy, just finished school, playing in a really good band that's trying to make it etc.  I just can't figure out why I'd be on edge like this all the time.
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Difficult situation and guess what you are experiencing fear all the time thinking you are gonna have a stroke. Well, Fear not but eat better. Stay away from alot of fast food. I had a stroke and they could not find it. It came on by a medicine Depo-medrol injection for back pain. What I do now is take fish oil and plenty of it. It keeps the arteries soft. It is working. I take almost six tabs or more a day. Try that it is cheaper than a doctors bill. If you can't pay to much medical try natural. It is best to get checked out no mistaken, they don't always find anything. They didn't with me.  Everything in my test says normal.All test mri, cat scan, blood test except for esr test a little elevated but it does not worry doctors. Anyway, try not to fear and take those fish oils it will make a difference.
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I also wanted to say if you eat alot of fast food do you also drink alot of sodas? Caffeine and to much sugar can be causing you to experience some things in your body. Anytime our bodies gives us warning signs we are doing someting wrong to ourselves. Check everything you are doing and one by one eliminate what your body don't need. Drink water, water ,water. Wear protective eye glasses even for the computer the strain we put on our eyes causes numerous headaches, and dizziness. Correct posture while sitting. Don't go to bed on a full stomach. Watch what you do. You see we all make errors so we have to correct the situation. Let your music be your solitude. Relax don't tense about it enjoy it. And don't let anyone control you. It also brings on stress. If you are having tia's they are warning signs that you could have a big stroke. But if you take precautions it won't happen. You are to young but not if you don't take precautions. Exercise slowly. Start by just walking slowly and with water and not alone. Don't take chances with your life we want to see you succeed with your music career. God Bless!
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