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Numbness all over, tachycardia, arrhythmia, and other weird symptoms.
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Numbness all over, tachycardia, arrhythmia, and other weird symptoms.

This is a long story, but if you would be willing to follow it through to the end and offer any advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I'm a nineteen-year-old female, and have been a lacto-ovo vegetarian since the age of ten. I'm what you could describe as a "garbage vegetarian," more likely to eat corn chips and hummus for dinner than a proper meal. I used to drink at least two cups of coffee each day, but have since reduced my intake substantially, and have switched mostly to decaf. I'm not an athlete, but walk everywhere, and am in reasonably good shape. Onto the story...

In July of last year, I was rushed to the emergency room with a resting heart rate of 150 beats per minute. I was given an EKG, bloodwork, and a chest x-ray. The bloodwork showed low potassium and slight anemia, the chest x-ray was normal, and the doctor diagnosed me with sinus tachycardia. I was told that it was probably episodic, that it would eventually go away, and sent home to wait it out.

Not only did it not go away (my heart races every moment of every day), but it became such a source of anxiety to me that I began having panic attacks, and became profoundly depressed. It frustrated and frightened me that my symptoms hadn't gone away, and that nobody could tell me conclusively what was causing them. The fear that I was perhaps being misdiagnosed only exascerbated my anxiety. I made an appointment with a physician's assistant who diagnosed me with depression, prescribed me with Zoloft and Valium, and told me to see a therapist. He also referred me to a cardiologist, who gave me a 48-hour halter monitor to wear. The results showed no clinical abnormalities. He performed a second EKG, and it, too, was normal.

The Zoloft didn't improve my state of mind one bit, and the Valium only made me feel sluggish. Additionally, I noticed that my tachycardia didn't worsen only when I was anxious, but when I was physically active. If I ran, walked quickly, or even stood up abruptly, my heart rate would skyrocket.

At night, it would beat so hard that I could feel it. Sometimes I would hear ringing in my ears. It scared me so badly that I couldn't sleep at night.

For awhile, I had accepted that this was just something I'd have to learn to adapt to. Then, in October of this year, I began having even more strange symptoms, seemingly unrelated to my heart problems. Sitting in class one day, my face began to feel numb. Suddenly, I was numb all over. The feeling came over me instantaneously, like a wave. Every inch of my skin, from my face to the tips of my toes, felt numb. "Numb" isn't even the right word for it, because I could feel when I was being touched; it was more like my entire body was wrapped in something, and I was being touched through it.

I asked a classmate to drive me to the ER. They did bloodwork, an arterial blood gas test, and an EKG. All came back normal. I was diagnosed with acute hyperventilation syndrome, told it was probably nothing serious, and sent home. But the numbness didn't go away, and over a period of the next two weeks, it only became worse.

By this time, I was becoming extremely fed up, so I asked my aunt for help. She isn't a nutritionist, but is very well-versed in personal nutrition. She consulted some books, and told me that I had classic symptoms of B-vitamin and magnesium deficiencies (including a craving for avocados and chocolate, graying hair, tremors in the hands, and "brain fog"). I began supplementing with magnesium/calcium/potassium, as well as organic blackstrap molasses for iron (for my anemia), and a whole food-derived multivitamin. I've experimented with different brands of supplements, and different forms (liquid, tablet) and found that the whole foods are the most bioavailable, and make me feel the best. Since taking magnesium, I've noticed that my anxiety has decreased significantly, that the numbness has mostly dissipated, and that I have more energy.

I saw another doctor and told him that magnesium had helped me feel better. He agreed that if it was improving how I felt, that I should probably keep taking it. I told him about my other symptoms, and he did not advise seeing a neurologist. Instead, he referred me back to a cardiologist, who performed a cardiac ultrasound. He said he suspected I may have a mitral valve prolapse. I'm still waiting for the results.

None of my symptoms have gone away completely. The numbness will still recur at strange times, like just after waking up. Sometimes it will encompass my whole body, other times it will be isolated to just my face, or just my hands, or my arms and chest. It doesn't happen with enough regularity for me to have noticed a pattern of behavior that may be causing it. My heart is still fast, but it doesn't pound the way it used to, and I don't become short of breath.

I'm going back to the doctor within the next few days for the results of my ultrasound. When I do, I'm going to request a mineral test, to find out what my levels are and whether I'm deficient in anything else. It troubled me that my doctors never suggested this in the first place.

I was just interested to know whether anybody else has had similar experiences, whether you've had success with dietary changes or the use of vitamin supplements, and whether you ever received a conclusive answer from a doctor as to what could be causing it.

Thanks in advance for any possible help, and for reading this long, rambly post.
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7 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there, what you went through EXACTLY describes an episode I had about 3 years back.  I went to the ER with racing heard and shortness of breath, had many tests conducted by a cardiologist and nothing found.  They suspected Mitral Valve Prolapse but tests showed I did not have a prolapse.  I was diagnosed with anxiety but I believe my anxiety was a result of not knowing what was causing my racing heart and numbness.  My symptoms did eventually subside but seem to recurr every now and then, hence why I was searching the internet to see if I'm the only one!!  I can't offer any help other than to let you know you aren't crazy, which my doctor seemed to think I was when I tried to describe the numbness (which you described perfectly).  I think I may try the magnesium, thanks for posting!
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Avatar_n_tn
hi. Thank you for posting your story. That sounds exactly like what is going on with me. Several years ago the same thing happened and lasted a few weeks, then dissipated. Until recently I experienced only temporary, isolated feelings of "numbness". For the past three weeks, however, it has covered my entire body from head to toe, even my tongue. It is certainly one of the most frustrating afflictions I've dealt with and I sympathize with anyone who suffers from this. Again thanks for sharing your experience and I hope your feeling better soon. I will try the magnesium for sure!  
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow! What you were going through is exactly what is happening to me. I'm a 25 years old female. During August 2008 I got tachycardia just like you describe it and went to the ER. My resting pulse was 170. I got multiple EKGs and full blood profile and everything seemed well, sinus tachycardia was the diagnosis. Then I began feeling really really anxious about it too. My doctor sent me to the psychologist for anxiety, and I was on therapy for like 3 months. They put on xanax and a betablocker to prevent the tachycardia (which I really made me feel weak due to low blood pressure). When I stopped taking the medication I felt very panicky and was able to finally quit it all thanks to a chelated calcium/magnesium supplement.  Then on December I started to feel the numbness you are talking about, the same thing, you think it is numb yet you can feel your skin when you touch it. My numbness started on my face then spreading to my hands and legs. I went again to the doctor, they prescribed Xanax and sent me to the neurologist. I'm going to be getting a brain MRI and EEG.  The neurologist also sent me back to the cardiologist to check on pre-syncopal symptoms and arrhythmia. I'm now just waiting to get my tests done and see if there is any conclusion. It is really hard to believe it is just anxiety.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am glad to know that I am not crazy. I have had the EXACT same symtoms (symptoms) for about a year now. It started back in Nov 07 when I was talking on my cell. Went to the Dr. they thought it was Carpal Tunnel. Well after some months or so went by I notice it had gone to my left side, then down my legs. I try to explain to people that I can hold something and the only reason I know I have it is because I am looking at it. CAN'T FEEL A THING. When I scratch sometimes I have drawn blood from myself. The itch is still there but because I am scratching so hard I can't feel it. I had so many Doctor appt. going to the Neurologist and therapist until I couldn't afford my co-pays anymore. Then I was laid off my job so now I can't go for sure. I had the MRI done as well along with the EEG. Everything came out negative. The doctor told me he didn't know what was wrong but he could tell me that I didn't have Multiple Sclerosis. I felt good about that because when I went to the computer with my symtoms (symptoms), I became depressed. Everything that I was and wasn't feeling was under that catagory. I am going to try the magnesium. It is very frustrating. Thanks NOWGOESQUICKLY for sharing.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have been to 8 doctors with things, come to google and get really depressed scared and noone with answers. Getting a doctor to listen eventually turns into them thinking i am creating these symptoms due to my own stress about them. First started with heavy throbbing heart in sept. not flight or flight normal heart rhythm of 60 bpm with just heavy on the lower ventricle side. i was playing soccer 4 times a week. a healthy person. for 6 weeks i lived with this being told i was stressed. in nov. i had low grade fever then high bp then erratic arythmias every 5 beats i would have pacs and when exercising pvcs and double even. i was told to stop all exercise. demanded an echocardiogram and it showed mild dilation in the atria and lower right ventricle which suggested i had pulmonary hypertension. pulmonolgist says lung volume greater than normal all the tests coming out good for blood.
then they found cysts on my thyroid and went the whole route that way tests and all came out normal. now back to heart. but the most scary is now, got a virus for 6 weeks hacking and coughing and then began the pain in the costa in my chest, all of my trigger points were sore, my arms began to feel numb in the shoulder when i woke up. now when i go to sleep my heart beats like a trotting horse vibrating not only beating fast about 100bpm but feeling like a spasming. and then waking and feeling shoulders numb, no muscle weakness but heavy feeling. my head on the right side, face with phantom insect like tingles and my back behind my heart muscles. went to ER last night and they ruled out stroke and heart attack. neuro tested ok. how many of you had something viral happen before this occurred? i feel like i acquired a virus that got into the tissue and has been inflamming things for months if not a year. my body tries to fight it off with evidence of WBC being around 10, but docs all say we don't know what to do. We don't know what you have going on, and maybe its not just one thing. How many of you travelled out of the country? my work is on Easter Island, i was thinking i picked something up by my travels. they even tested me for chagas, a frightful parasite from the jungles in Belize. but negative.

if anyone has something in common lets chat. it seems we all have similarities but noone helping.

thanks
candace
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Avatar_m_tn
Has anybody here taken stacker 2 while dieting. I took it for 30 days back in 02 when it still had ephedrine in it and lost 30 lbs. During and after taking it I noticed my heart rate was uncontrollable at times. I could just be laying in the bed resting and have an extreme heart rate. I later noticed a tender spot on my temple that never goes away, and next I noticed the numbness. Just a little at first on my lips and head area sometimes, but now I get the spells of full body numbness and it feels like the numbness pulsates from my heartbeats. My girlfriend noticed that I stop breathing at night and my heart pounds as if I'm gasping for air. This condition scares me and I feel as if I will have a heart attack at some point and die before my time. Please give me feedback if you have had similar experiences taking ephedrine related products. ***@****.
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