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1549643 tn?1495762953

Pounding pulse and widespread tingling

Where do I begin? High cholesterol for 20 years but it has never been treated with medications. Pulse so strong that it causes my legs to jerk, and strong muscle twitches under my skin. Strong pulses has caused pain in my neck, sharp pain in my abdomen, in my back left side, and in my leg. I have had widespread tingling for 2 years. Normal EMG. Sometimes I feel the tingling over top of my pulse pounding in a particular area. I believe I am having a form of hyperactivity from my pulse that I should not be feeling. All my grandparents had heart disease. Mom and brother has high blood pressure. My grandfather had blocked arteries. Well known in this family for high cholesterol. Last CT quite a long time ago, showed some calcification in my abdominal aorta though I wasn't being tested for artery calcification. I get abnormal PVC's (too many, too fast). I had my blood pressure elevating for a short while. It's fine now. Stress test normal, done maybe a yr ago. I hurt really bad in my legs if I take walks. I have generalized muscle weekness, a CTD I believe causes it. Other than the PVC's, I have had bigeminal rhythym show up on an EKG. Nothing else out of the normal. I get short of breath on exersion and chest tightness. Chronic fatigue, muscle pain, I just feel unheathly. I am pretty inactive. I have also smoked (2-3 packs a day) for 23 years. Is is possible all this tingling I am feeling is coming from my arteries or is widespread tingling not a symptom of a heart issue? Could I have blockages? I am a 40 yr old female. Could you recommend any tests I should have done if this tingling could be related to a heart issue? Thanks.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
14 Responses
1903111 tn?1333216654
I have an arrythmia called (blah blah) tachycardia.
There are triggers I have learned. Some are caffine, chocolate, anything stimulating and stress.  Stress is biggest trigger for me.
So since I hate feeling bad and having palps pacs pvs or whatever I would do ANYTHING to feel better.
I guess when we get sick and tired of being sick and tired we make a lifestyle change.
Oh yes I started yoga too which is not like me. I am a triple type A that does not like to sit still.
So I am encouraging you to "get healthy" stop smoking and feed your body what it needs. Good food, adequate rest, lots of water and even walking they say is the best exercise for us.
Get some support. We all need it. I do.
There are some good stop smoking hotlines out there.
You will get better if u try and someday you will be able to encourage someone else.
Take care of you and hangbin there.
1807132 tn?1318747197
Have you expressed these symptoms to your cardiologist?  Did you have a stress test or a stress echo?  The echo is important to see how your heart is behaving.  The pain is a bit concerning but from what I understand the pain from a heart attack is more sustained rather than sharp.  The rapid breathing and tingling could be from hyperventilation but it is also possible you have a spinal problem.  If a nerve is being pinched it can cause all sorts of havoc on the body.  I pulled my spine a bit out of line in my 30s and the numbness was all over but it would happen mostly when I would do a bending motion so it was fairly obvious to me it was a structural problem.  So is this numbness persistent or does it happen with physical movements.  If you have been for a full cardiac work up go see your GP about these symptoms.  There is a simple blood they can do to see how at risk you are at for heart disease.  The c-reactive protein test I believe.  But in reality this could all be totally unrelated to the heart so go see your GP and get this all figured out.  Good luck I hope you feel better soon.  
1124887 tn?1313758491
I read that you've smoked 2-3 packs a day for 23 years. That's fairly extreme and may of course cause problems with your arteries, and the first thing you should do is quit smoking immediately.

Your strong pulse is harder to explain but may have several causes:

First, it would be interesting to know what your blood pressure is and was before treatment. It wouldn't surprise me if you have a fairly high difference between systolic and diastolic pressure (example: 140/70 or 160/80) which may be experienced as a hard or pounding pulse.

If this is the case, you may have stiff arteries as cause for your hard pulse. You already found some calcification of the aorta (and still you keep on smoking?) and the abdominal aorta should be flexible to "soften out" the pulse wave when the heart is pumping blood. If not, the entire pulse wave hits the other arteries in once and you get a high pulse pressure and a hard pulse.

Other cardiac causes can simply be ruled out by an echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart). Causes can be a high cardiac stroke volume, leaky aortic valve (so the diastolic pressure is lowered and cardiac output is increased) etc..

But the most important thing to do: Quit smoking!!!!
1549643 tn?1495762953
Terrific advice, thanks. I am not ready to quit smoking, I did it before, and it takes a lot of willpower, but I may try to cut down. I have other habits I can try to change in the mean time.

I have never been treated for high blood pressure. I had random high readings with different doctors, and at home. I think the highest it ever went was 158/92. Stays pretty normal now. I have never been to a cardiologist, my GP did the stress test. Echo test?? I don't know. I walked on a treadmill, had pictures taken..

I saw the abdominal calcification on a CT scan where I was being checked for recurrance of kidney stones. A doctor never told me about it, so I assume it's not a big deal.

I do get stressed but this is random, not every day. I'm not hyperventilating or having anxiety attacks as a cause to this. My pulse pounds harder when I lay down. If I put too many blankets on me, and get too hot, these sensations worsen.

I just want to know what's wrong. Feels like my pulse but I am jumping over a cliff guessing. My neuro thinks my symptoms are exactly like MS.

It's not a pinched nerve. I had an EMG and it was normal. My back pain is arthritic/degenerative and I don't need an MRI to know that. I'm sure to the fact I have nothing seriously wrong there but my spine does hurt every day. It stinks.
1549643 tn?1495762953
besides back pain, a pinched nerve, cannot cause widespread tingling, this is all over for me, from head to toe, I am pretty sure it's my pulse, but i just don't understand why
1807132 tn?1318747197
All I can say is in my case it did cause wide spread numbness and tingling all over.  The doctors did test for MS and it was not it before I made it to see a physical therapist who saw straight away where the problem was.  The doctors likely did not think or were not fully trained to see the spine being out of line.  Well beyond that I do always say we know our bodies best.  Good luck in getting this figured out.
1549643 tn?1495762953
My neuro said your back wouldn't make it widespread, lol, I guess he doesn't know what he is talking about. He explained in detail to me where your nerves are and how that works. Well I get sensations in my back I know is coming from a nerve or muscle, like burning and cooling sensations. But the tingling, I know it's my pulse. It's made itself so obvious. And that scares me. My stress test was okay, but when people tell me they have that done, it comes back normal, and have a heart attack the very next day, it seems that test is useless. I am afraid my arteries might have build up of plaque. I have started getting short of breath again, and my doctor said if I lost weight and got back down to the size I normally was, that should stop, but it didn't. My chest doesn't hurt but it gets tight alot. Well I see my neuro on the 29th, I'll ask him what he thinks of all of this.
1807132 tn?1318747197
Yeah, doctors sometimes think just because it isn't suppose to that it is all in your head when you are in your body and are experiencing what you are experiencing.  So then it becomes a matter of finding a doctor who does not discount what you are feeling.  Well regardless, it sounds like you sense it isn't a back problem so now it is a matter of due diligence to figure out what it actually is.  If you are concerned about your arteries there is a simple blood test that can detect how your arteries are doing, the C reactive protein test.  It will help determine your cardiovascular risk.  I would see if your GP would be willing to do the test for you.  The one thing I will say is tingling can be associated with hyperventilation.  It's not that you are actually hyperventilating but with your heavy smoking habit it could be your lungs ability to take in oxygen could be a bit compromised.  Have you had your lungs checked?  Also, after a bad bout of pvcs my chest will hurt in various spots or all over but it generally feels better by morning.  Ok, good luck still hoping you get to the bottom of this.
1549643 tn?1495762953
I have chest tightness regularly, the nurse seemed concerned that I didn't tell this to my pcp. I had some irregular heart rhythyms during a colonoscopy/endoscopy. Is that normal?
1807132 tn?1318747197
The irregular heart rhythm is likely your pvcs which can flare up at any time or all the time. They are not normal persay though I have been told that everyone gets them, not so sure about that, but they are generally not of any consequence to the health of your heart.   If you are having a lot of them a day though it can cause chest discomfort but not likely tingling.  I would definitely push to see a cardilogist, to get a chest xray and holter to track how many pvcs you are having.  Getting some cardio in might help improve lung function and may help your symptoms ease up but if you haven't been to a cardiologist it is probably a good idea to go see one to get your heart and lungs checked out first.
1549643 tn?1495762953
If the irregular rhythms had been due to PVC's, I don't think she would have told me to tell my doctor. They consider PVC's to be perfectly normal and I heard them say so. Well what if if was something else? Is that normal. Just seems odd, the past couple of years, I am having various problems during surgeries and never did so in the past. Last one, I had constant PVC's and during recovery wake up, my oxygen kept dropping, and I would stop breathing, I was put on oxygen the rest of the day. I have also had some bigeminal rhythms early this year. I wouldn't worry but the pain and twitching, and tingling from my pulse, that isn't right. I am following up with my dr next week, I have to do what he suggests, if he wants to send me to a cardiologist, I would happily go.
1549643 tn?1495762953
PVC's aren't necessarily normal.. I had constant runs of them on my last EKG, now I have to go on a holter monitor.
Avatar universal
Sometimes tingling can be caused by anxiety.  If you're worried about your symptoms, that could be enough to cause the tingling.  At least that was the reason I had it.  

Avatar universal
Please check to see if you have taken cipro or levaquin, this happened to me and I am still ill. All over pins and needles. my heart pounds and have all over pain that comes and goes..
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