Hi guys, thanks in advance for taking the time to read my post.
I'm 22 years old, about 110kgs, not fit, obviously overweight, non-smoker, seldom drink alcohol, and the only drug i've ever taken is caffeine.
For the past 3 years or so I've been battling with anxiety over my heart. From what I remember, I've always been able to feel it pounding even when I was barely a teenager, but for some reason I have come to notice it more these past few years. My resting heart rate right now is around 75-80bpm but just standing up and walking a few paces will make it jump to 100-110bpm.
The first time I went to the doctors for my heart was when it just wouldn't stop beating so hard, and at about 100-110bpm. I had an ECG and blood tests, and was told everything was normal. My anxiety continued and with the onset of chest pain (not in relation to exertion), I took myself to A&E where I was gicen several ECGs and blood tests, but again all these were normal. The only test that was abnormal was a 24hr urine test for cortisol, which was high due to anxiety (I assume).
Basically I have not done much exercise the past year. After graduating from university, I was unemployed and due to complicated circumstances I could only either work full time or not at all. Hence, I spent a lot of time on my posterior doing nothing.
Last month, I started a postgraduate course, and everything seemed better. Until I had to start walking regularly from the bus stop, up a gradual incline up to the university (about 1 mile away - 10 minutes).
I'm worried that I have something wrong with my heart. Worried that I didn't get myself fully checked out at the time, and it has worsened over time and has damaged my heart - hence the fears about heart failure.
I get out of breath and get a tight chest when walking to and from my university (granted, it's worse when I go uphill...), and my heart is pounding really bad and fast. When I go up 2 flights of stairs, it's the same. I once had to go to the fifth floor of the library, which I did via stairs without any break in between - I was gasping for breath at the top, and my heart was really pounding heart and fast, too.
I'm scared to go out, to do any walking or activity - because it will only provide further evidence that there is something wrong. I don't get any chest pain when I'm walking, just tight chest. There are even moments when I am tight-chested when I'm walking, but then I take an even deeper breath and it momentarily improves before going back.
Also, in the past few weeks (probably more like 5 weeks), I have developed a bit of a cough. It's not a dry tickly cough, but a chesty one. Where you need to cough to be able to breathe in deeply, but there is never any sputum. This also happens after I have eaten.
The other complaint I have is I get pins and needles quite easily. Even sitting on the toilet for more than 5 minutes and I get pins and needles in my feet (which are often cold), and I often wake up in the morning with a numb limb (though sometimes I realise I have been laying on it.)
I don't have any swelling in my ankles, but I do have a visible pulse in my neck, below my adam's apple. It is strong enough that my shirt moves.
I sincerely apologise for the long post, but I live alone away from my family and I have recently broken up with my girlfriend. I don't have anywhere else but here to express what I'm feeling.
Could it be possible that I have CHF at such a young age? Or is this all a sign of needing to do a lot more exercise after being sedentary for a while? I have had the heart symptoms on and off for a while as I said, but the getting out of breath easily is something new.
Finally, I have recently had a bout of cellulitis in my leg, and it is taking ages for the pitting edema to go down, but at least only the one leg is affected. However, I feel like I have cramping in both my calf muscles (the right one especially). I went to my doctor today, who said it was likely being caused by cellulitis. But it feels like a cramp, not a muscle pain, and I've had it since Sunday (two days ago)!
I'm worried this is another symptom of chf, especially when I read that I could have poor circulation in my legs. I have the weird stasis pigmentation, the cramps in my calves when walking for more than 10 minutes, the lack of hair growth on my right calf... Surely I can't have athesclerosis at 22 years of age? :( or heart failure for that matter :( but my symptoms indicate otherwise...don't they?
I mentioned the shortness of breath to my doctor who didn't seem concerned, and I believe she ruled out a blood clot too.
One final thing: thank you. Sincerely.