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Avatar universal

Light headed/dizzy, shaking, weak, numb/tingling on fingers and toes, flushed

Two weeks ago around 6pm I had an episode of multiple symptoms that precipitated very quickly, within about three minutes, without warning.  These included feeling very weak, shaking all over, light headed/dizzy,numbness/tingling on fingertips and toes, slight shortness of breath and chill.  I felt like passing out, flushed.  I figured it was from not eating so I grabbed a burger and it seemed to alleviate the problems.  Well, it happened again around the same time of day a few days later. But this time, eating didn't help as much.  Eventually the symptoms went away.  My colleagues observed that I looked very pale.  Since then, I have been experiencing episodes every day in the evening.  I keep a pile of energy bars in the office and gulp one down at the very first hint of weakness, shaking, which seems to go away in about ten minutes.  If I don't, the symptoms quickly intensify until I am so shaky and weak that I can't remain in a sitting position.
I've had blood/urine test and was told all is ok.  
Here's the curious part.   Last two days, instead of gulping down an energy bar, I've been taking Vitamin B-12 that dissolves under the tongue.  This seems to help alleviate the symptoms as well as the energy bar.
Any thoughts or guesses on this will be gratefully appreciated.
Thank you
230 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello!  I feel so much empathy for you.  My husband suffered from a wide array of symptoms (some similar to yours) for about 3 years before being diagnosed with Pheochromocytoma (you mentioned that blood and urine tests results were OK, but didn't say if that included a 24-hr urine test for cathecholamines and VMA's, usually used to screen for Pheo).

It is impossible to say if your symptoms are caused by the same illness but I see similarities that make it worth sharing his story:  My husband has always been an easy-going, happy, athletic man.  Changes started happening so gradually that we still cannot pinpoint when the whole thing started, but little by little he started losing interest in the things he used to love and entered a sort of mild depression, never crying of hopeless, but never really happy or excited about anything.  At times he would feel anxious without knowing why or would get angry about things that never would have bothered him before.   At any exertion, sweat would pour from his head and the rest of his body and he would continue sweating for a long time afterwards.  Heartburn and acid reflux, especially at night.  Flushing in the face, without apparent reason.

His doctor diagnosed him with depression.  Against his grain, he agreed to try different anti-depressants but things kept getting worse.  

Apart from all of the other symptoms, he started having some episodes that his doctor described as panic attacks.  They would happen without any apparent reason and the symptoms kept getting more pronounced over time.   By the summer of 2005, those attacks were very severe and we were terribly frightened, feeling that something was terribly wrong.  But no matter how much we researched information and argued and pleaded with his doctor, the diagnosis never changed.

According to the doctor, his blood pressure was always perfect and results of the standard blood tests were normal.

And the panic attacks continued.  They came out of nowhere, whether he was working, watching TV, etc.   Each episode lasted for about 1-2 minutes and included the following:  
*Shortness of Breath;
*Tunnel vision;
*Very strong heartbeat; he described it as if the blood had slowed down and was moving through his neck with extreme force;
*Tightness in upper chest;
*Mild headache;
*Lightheadedness and dizziness.

As the attack started to subside, he would feel tingling in his extremities and tremors in his hands.   After each episode he would feel completely drained and would yawns a lot.   Some days there were several episodes, and some days there were none.

One day he was hit by a sudden headache so strong that it knocked him to the ground and from then on, he started projectile-vomiting and was in and out of the hospital.  He was seen by various doctors and they would all agree with the original doctor's diagnosis of depression and panic attacks.  They would explain the horrifying headaches as migraines and send him home with loads of painkillers.  

Long story short, we finally ran into a doctor who dared to defy that diagnosis and order a 24-hr urine test for cathecholamines and VMA's.  The test showed that my husband had massive amounts of both in his system, indicating Pheochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal system).   A follow up CT-Scan confirmed it and showed that the tumor was located in his right adrenal gland and we immediately flew to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for surgery.  

The attacks were caused by a surge of hormone that this type of tumor excretes and the migraines were the result of his blood pressure shooting up.  

I realize that what I am saying is probably very scary, but the worst part is not knowing.  Wishing you a quick and positive resolution to the health challenges you've been going through.  
Avatar universal
Hi,
strangely I have the same symptoms that you have just mentioned and every one tells me its stress. Have you been able find out the realy reason. Please do let me know.
Avatar universal
I get the same symptoms. It's Hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. You need to eat regularly, I eat every few hours and exercise can bring on an attack especially if you haven't eaten for a while.
Avatar universal
Hello,
  I just found this location to post. I am 39 year old healthy vegitarian male work out 5 days a week. Seem to live  retty stress free and happy life have a wonderful kid wife and amazing daughter of 5 years. It started for me about 3 months ago I was at the gym just tsrting a work out and felt a little week so I went into the locker to try and get a energy bar out of my locker and when I found my self in the locker room I all of the sudden started to feel the strangest sensations I had never felt before my back stared to sweat I was feelign even weaker and I could think about was hwo I was goign to get out of that locker room and into my car to feel safe. I made it to the car and when I got there things got worse my hands and feet started tingleing my lips too and my heart started beating really fase and I was sure I was having a heart attack so I called the aid car. They arrivied and gave me oxygen because I was hyperventilating and asked me how I was feeling and asked me if I wanted to sit there with them for awhile but I kept feelign worse so they took me to the ER and I was shaking and terrified when I arrived there. They gave me an AKG and tested my blood ressure and told me I was fine and that I was having a panic attack. I had neverheard of a panic attack. So the put some ativan in my IV and I calmed down. They sent me home with 10 2mg pills of ativan and told me to take them when I felt an attack coming on. So the 1st thing I did was make an appointment with a doctor to gets some more tests doen as this didnt seem right to me. they did blood tests blood pressure etc.. and said I was fine and that I have anxiety and gave me something called EFFXOR FX and I took it for a week and it made me feel really strange and disconnected so I stopped talking it. And for about 2 weeks I was fine sleeping normal and feeling relitivily fine.. Then it started all over again. Usually at night I would lay down and try to sleep and I my heart would beat out of my chest and I was terrified so I took my ativan and it usually calmed me down and put me to slee that went on for a couple of weeks and again I felt better until last weekend I got an attack even more severe than the one I had for the very 1st time my teeth were chattering, my body was shaking, my heart was beating out of my chest, everything was tingling, I couldnt breath etc... so I took my medince and it didnt work. And again I ended up in the ER sure I was having a heart attack so this time they took x-rays and more blood work and said I was fine. And since that day I wake up and feel like I can barely stand up and have no energy and just take this ativan and try to stay sedated. It is has become a very miserbale way of life and when I go to doctors they dont have any advice other than it is a panic disorder. But I somehow feel that it has something to do with a lack of mineral or vitamin that I need. Has anyone else every been through this or have any suggestions?
Avatar universal
Oh, i feel so bad for you, i would ditch the doctors if they are not heloing and maybe try natural therapy, maybe naturopath or somethin.  I actualy had similar problems to what ive been reading but think its based around the adrenal gland.

I was on holidays in europe, im from australia, anyway i think my body was really run down from stressing out from trip b4, scared of flying, i was pretty run down, did london, did a bit of drinking and went to amsterdam, smoked a bit of marijuana, anyway it wasnt until a few days later when it hit me, i woke up really light headed, dizzy, my legs,feet,arms and hands were numb, couldnt really feel anything, i nearly collapsed in the street, everything was delayed, i was slow in the head, i would sweat really bad in my sleep, this lasted over 7 days straight, into the 3rd day i could barely stomach food, i would somethimes throw up when eating, no matter how much water i would drink i would barely go to the toilet, it was very scary, kinda felt like being stoned with a few extra symptoms, i wasnt keen on goin to a foreighn hospital so i came home.

I remember waking up everymorning thinking it will be ok today but never was, it felt like i was gong to be like this forever.

well i seen a nauropth today, she looks at your eyes and checks blood pressure and stuff like that, she said it was my adrenal gland,and a combination of other things, cant get into to much detail, but it sounds kinda right after reading a bit about it, im booked in to see my GP in a few days also. Ive been givin some b vitamins and other stuff to take so hope i feel i bit better.  But i feel really bad for you guys who are still experiencing the symptoms you mention, good luck with everything.
Avatar universal
Ive just searched my symptoms on the net and this forum came up. Im suffering from the same thing. Ive been a veggie for 24 yrs now and Im just about to hit my 35 birthday. I have 2 children who keep me busy and a partner whos even more demanding.

Anyhow, I can't put my finger on when I started to feel like I do. My cheeks are flushed most of the time, Im light headed, feel dizzy, feel cold at night in bed and have this shaking feeling inside me at night when I lay down. Sometimes, not often I experience like a heart rush where its beating so fast and my short of breath I think Im heading for a heart attack. This could happen in bed or just watching the TV?  To top it all off I have no energy and I mean no energy.

In terms of my personality and how I live. Im think of myself as very healthy not over weight, I exercise, and I love life. Im easy going and nothing bothers me in life and I wish everyone well. So depression is out of the window along with anxiety. Ive started to take a B-vitamin complex but I don't feel the symptoms are reducing quick enough! Has anyone got any other ideas on what I should do? My blood pressure is fine, urine fine and blood fine?etc

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