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Dealing with chest pain

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Kitsune, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Just wondering if anyone has any strategies for lessening chest pain, particularly in the way of supplements? Or anything else?

    Heart palpitations, flutters, etc have been off-and-on symptoms of mine for a long time, even before the onset of CFS; and I've been to doctors, the ER, had ECGs, a heart monitor, tests for having had a heart attack, etc - but everything is always 'normal' (I'm sure you can all relate to how it feels to be told that!). So I don't think there's any need to look for medical help now either.

    It's just that over the past few months, chest pain has been an increasingly common symptom for me, to the point where I have been in debilitating pain today. Usually this kind of pain only comes with palpitations, which go away eventually. But I think this may be related to more stress on my system. In particular, I stopped bingeing on sugary foods about 3 weeks ago and started the Paleolithic diet, which always does good things for me when I can stick with it. But I also gradually lose weight on it - which I need to do, because I'm very big, and my weight has a negative impact on my life. However, I think the weight loss is a stress on my system. But I can't go back to eating how I was, so I guess I will need to find a way to deal with this 'new normal'. My brain is clearer, I'm less anxious, and I have more energy and motivation - but also this horrible long-lasting chest pain, which spreads up my neck to my head so that I have a headache to match. NSAIDs ease it a bit, though I know those put a burden on my liver, and I want to take as few of them as possible. And to be honest, when symptoms are this troubling, it's scary, especially when they have just popped up to be added to the mix that already existed.

    Does anyone else have this problem? If so, how have you dealt with it? Thanks!

    By the way, I take the following: 18g vit C in divided doses, Swanson B-50 complex, Solgar B12 1000 mcg, 800mg mag citrate in divided doses, krill oil, Himalayan sea salt (1 tsp in a glass of water in the morning), ashwagandha, and ginkgo biloba. Tried Fredd's methylation protocol, wasn't for me, but ended up with some good supplement ideas that do seem to help (the 1000 mcg B12 especially). I don't seem to do well on any kind of amino acid supplement, and most things that address mitochondrial dysfunction (e.g. d-ribose) don't seem to help either.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  2. Rooney

    Rooney Senior Member

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    You are lacking any folate, it seems. You might try 1/4 pill Solgar 400 mcg methylfolate 3 times a week.

    I say this as I had dropped the folate while doing 5000 dose b12 oil. My heart pain went away once I added the folate back in. I have POTS, so am seeing a cardiologist. All tests were normal, too. These supplements we take sure are an experiment that can go wrong.

    You may have read on Fredds protocol, not to take more folate than b12. I can't remember the ratio.

    Good luck! Angina is so frustrating.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
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  3. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Good idea, and thanks for that, but my B-complex contains 800 mcg of methylfolate. It's made a big difference. My old B-complex ended up overstimulating my system, so I came off it, but my symptoms worsened. It contained folic acid, so when I found out about the difference between that and methylfolate, I found a B-complex with the latter. No more overstimulation, and my body really needs those Bs.

    My 'core 3' supplements that I'd never do without, because they help me immensely, are the C, B-complex, and mag. I don't want to 'mess' with them too much and really muck things up for myself, but I began to wonder if I'd feel better if I changed my dosage a bit. I've taken several big doses of C today anyway because I'm fighting off a cold, but it made no difference to the chest pain. I then decided to try taking an extra B-complex capsule at about 2 p.m. - I know that if it makes me feel overstimulated, it won't be a good idea to carry on, but so far I seem OK. I also took a couple extra mag. Chest pain is not nearly as acute as it was. Maybe it's the mag in particular, which is very supportive of the heart. I certainly have nothing to lose by taking a little extra of those every day to see if it makes a significant difference. Once I took probably 2g or more of mag in a day under my naturopath's guidance to see how I reacted, and I never had symptoms of toxicity, which amazed her; she said my body must really need it.
     
  4. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Kitsune - I know you don't want to go to the doctor but that's my first suggestion since the pain has gotten severe. From what I understand heart problems can be difficult to diagnose. Hopefully nothing serious is going on but I had to say this first.

    The magnesium sounds good. Do you take potassium? Low potassium can cause heart palpitations and flutters etc. If you don't want to take a potassium supplement, I've found low-sodium V8 to be a good source of potassium. It's low-cal and one 8 oz. glass has 900 mg. of potassium chloride. I'm currently drinking 2 glasses a day plus taking around 800 mg. of potassium gluconate. I've been taking magnesium for years.

    Another supplement that's generally good for the heart is CoQ10. You might check this out:
    http://www.drsinatra.com/heart-health-2/

    It's very good you've stopped binging on sugar. Sugar is extremely hard on the whole body, including the heart. I am puzzled when you say weight loss is a stress on your system. Are you losing too much too fast?
     
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  5. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    I was going to also pipe in on potassium. I found that I had been getting tested low on it for years and the doctor wasn't treating it until I pushed and he pulled up my old labs and found that I had been low. They don't like to prescribe potassium supplements, but will if pushed. It would be good to check your labs before adding it on your own as there is some risk with too high of potassium.

    I know that I spent a lot of time going back & forth to ER with severe chest pain... it's backed off a lot now that I'm supplementing potassium as has it reduced the palpitations. I've complained about heart palpitations before and worn a heart harness - but they discarded all activity as normal - even when my pulse was racing while I was laying down and relaxing as "I must have been worrying about something" - when I wasn't. sigh.

    BUT... once I got him to treat my low potassium, I did see a lot of improvements - so it's something to look at as LONG AS you've already ruled out any other heart-related issues.
     
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  6. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Blimey, a heart harness? Never heard of that, but it sounds scary! And thanks to you both for suggesting potassium. On occasion when I've had palpitations that have gone on and on, sometimes it finally dawns on me that my electrolytes may be out of balance, and upon taking some potassium I've got quick relief. (I've still got jars of the stuff from doing the methylation protocol; that caused me to have a ravenous need for extra potassium, which was scary, and I didn't want to carry on like that.) I took some tonight after reading your posts, and while it obviously isn't a cure-all, it may have helped a bit. It might have been more sensible just to eat a banana, but that on its own as a snack is unfortunately very sweet.

    While the chest pain hasn't gone completely, it's ebbed into more of a mild ache that is easily ignored, which is a relief - though in the evening there's less pressure on the body to produce cortisol (which I know from a saliva test that I'm always low on), so I usually am able to relax more anyway. Tomorrow I will take the extra doses of my B-complex and mag again and see how I do. To be fair, I just simply need to be doing less work as well; but when you have to make ends meet, there's sometimes little choice (I do a lot of proofreading, which seems to put a strain on my system).

    Regarding CoQ10, I used to take it for quite a long time, but at one point I started eliminating supplements that seemed to be overstimulating my system (making me feel 'wired') and not particularly helping me. That's when I discontinued the first B-complex. I also tried stopping the CoQ10. Quite a while later, I wondered if maybe I'd made a mistake, and tried taking the CoQ10 again, but it just made me feel overstimulated. I've often found this - supplements that used to help me, or that I could at least take without any problem, my body can sometimes no longer tolerate later on (or perhaps what it needs and doesn't need has changed). I could always give ubiquinol a go, I guess, but I never found it to be different from ordinary CoQ10 in the past. It does seem to be one of those energy-giving supplements that I just don't get on with, though I wouldn't rule out trying it again. I'm not sure it would address the heart problem though.

    Thanks for the advice about going to the doctor as well - I suppose I'd suggest the same to someone else. But all the ones I've seen have been no help, or worse; I've got a new one now who, the first (and probably last) time I saw him, started from square one, trying to offer me antidepressants and CBT. I was so fed up. The last time I had bad chest pain, I went to the ER thinking I might have had a heart attack, but they couldn't find anything wrong. I think it's safe to say that whatever's going on in there, conventional doctors aren't going to be any use to me in addressing it.

    Finally, about diet. Interesting, that. I am a real foodie (as well as a sugar addict - in recovery I hope) and still cook and eat well, so I'm not rapidly losing weight; ten pounds a month or less, I reckon (though I've only been at it this time for three weeks so far). But when I first got CFS all those years ago, I had a combo of poor diet (rich in carbs and little else) and over-exercising, and therefore lost a lot of weight quite quickly. I do think the weight loss must be a strain on the system, even if it's done at a sensible rate. It would be interesting to read a thread about what other people with CFS have identified as strains that you ordinarily wouldn't think of as such. I'd add proofreading to the list, LOL.
     
  7. caledonia

    caledonia

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    When you're physically debilitated and add in B vitamins, which increase methylation, your body will start cell rebuilding, which requires potassium. The symptoms of potassium and magnesium deficiency are very similar. Heart palps, muscle twitches, etc.

    Many of us have adrenal fatigue which messes up how well the body regulates electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium etc.). We may already be deficient in these or borderline low, then you add in B vitamins (methylation supps) and you're into deficiency.

    So if you're craving salt, or salty foods, have heart palps, muscle twitches, restless legs, not sleeping well, orthostatic intolerance, etc. think electrolytes.

    In my opinion, getting your electrolytes balanced are one of the most important things a person with ME can do. It will help a lot of symptoms and help you feel more comfortable and sleep better.

    For potassium, many of us on here do well with Now brand potassium gluconate powder. I do that and Pure Bulk magnesium glycinate powder dissolved in water and drunk four times a day. I do salt when my adrenals are extra stressed and I'm craving salt.
     
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  8. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    This would be unthinkable for me. I watch what I eat every day extremely carefully and am lucky to lose 2 pounds a month because I am sooo sedentary due to CFS and the constant risk of PEM.
     
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  9. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Sorry to hear that :( Well done to you for eating a good diet and sticking to it. I thought that it was about average to aim for 2 lbs or so a week, though again, I don't weigh myself, and my main aim is to make sure I'm eating a healthy, varied diet with the healing nutrients I need. I'm not able to exercise much myself - partially a time factor, but also because anything aerobic does me in almost immediately - but I'm so overweight that I simply have to address it because it's having such an impact on my life.

    I was comfort eating, drawn to things that were fatty as well as sugary, so at least I never really got hypoglycemic. Aside from all the negative things sugar does, I think this must also have been having some positive effects as well, such as boosting certain neurotransmitters. I haven't had a single decent night's sleep since I re-started Paleo. But this is the path I have to take. I went on a plane a few months ago - a transatlantic trip to visit family - and couldn't even pull the tray in front of me all the way down to eat off properly. When I initially got in (window seat), I didn't have any room to put my tote bag under the seat in front of me either, so I sat scrunched in with it on my lap, with tears running down my face. There's a lot of physical pain I'll put up with not to have to go through something like that again.
     
  10. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Thank you. I've seen many of your posts here and found them very helpful. I think you're right about looking to electrolytes when there are heart problems.

    The extra B-complex I took yesterday ended up overstimulating me at night; I couldn't get to sleep until past midnight and had an extra-nasty time of it trying to stay asleep. Definitely won't be doing that again, LOL. Too much of a good thing.

    I probably don't get as much potassium as I should from my food, especially when my body needs support in methylation as you said, so I will look into possibly taking a supplement more regularly, as well as experimenting with how much magnesium I seem to need daily (I always thought 800 mg in divided doses was enough, but maybe not - I do seem to really need it for some reason). I don't take calcium at all because it just seems to make me feel worse. I wish there was an easy way to test whether my electrolytes are in balance without developing the heart symptoms, though in a way I suppose they're a good indicator at least.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  11. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Kitsune - well, good for you for sticking with the diet! When I quit smoking I used to tell myself every night that I was going to feel so well, have so much energy (this was pre-ME/CFS), my skin would look good etc etc etc, anything I could think of and by the time my quit date arrived, I was actually looking forward to it. I had read (and found it to be true) that positive motivation worked better than negative - e.g., I didn't say I'm quitting to avoid lung cancer or heart disease, but all the good things I could think of.

    I used to think I couldn't lose weight (I'd gained close to 50 pounds from a combination of quitting smoking and getting sick with ME/CFS) no matter what I tried it seemed - I couldn't exercise at all and was down so much with PEM and being sick, etc. and felt rather desperate and it was when I learned a couple of things: watch everything I eat, no eating after dinner (that was a biggie - no popcorn!) and no wine except rarely, and I began to lose weight, albeit very slowly, but at least it worked. It took 5 or 6 years to lose that weight so I am motivated. It was so hard and took so long to lose it, no way am I going back. So I'm just used to eating the way I do now.

    A couple of things that help me with sleep are GABA supplements (l-theanine and plain GABA - a good product is Source Naturals Theanine Serene), and niacin. The niacin stimulates the GABA receptors. The niacin especially has made a big difference in my sleep. The kind that makes you flush works best for me. I'm used to the flush now and actually look forward to it because I know I will be asleep shortly thereafter. I don't take niacin during the day, it makes me tired then. It does slow down methylation so probably that combined with increasing GABA effectiveness is what helps with sleep.

    l-glycine is helpful for me also - I take 2000 mg. before bed.

    One thing you might check out is resistant starch. Here's the thread:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...ge-is-it-the-key-weve-been-looking-for.26976/
    Don't be put off by its length (179 pages!) - if you just read the first post you can get the gist of it. It's something I'm trying. It's supposed to help all sorts of bodily processes, including neurotransmitters, losing weight and so on. It's too soon for me to tell if it will help but I think it will be good for me. I had a little on hand, had to order more which just came in.

    And again, you might try low-sodium V8 - low-calorie way to get extra potassium., plus some nutrients as well.

    Take care -
     
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  12. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Hi Mary, and thanks for all the advice. There's a lot here, so I may gradually try a thing or two. Well done for quitting the smoking too; my husband used to smoke and he went through hell every time he tried to stop. Turns out it was the whole ritual of doing something with his hands and putting something in his mouth that was crucial, rather than the nicotine. He started vaping and has just moved to zero-nicotine liquid quite happily - but don't ever suggest that he give up his vaping! LOL

    Anyway, I'd just like to add here that I've now been through the gamut of supplements I usually take when I get heart problems that are this persistent. I know when I've found the right thing because even a little of it usually starts to calm things quite quickly. Iron and potassium are big on my list. I tried taking extra magnesium and sea salt too, though really I think the doses I already take are probably adequate. I also upped my water intake considerably in case I was dehydrated, though I usually drink a fair bit anyway throughout the day. It's unusual for me to get so little relief from anything.

    Then I suddenly happened across a few websites saying that watermelon contains some compounds that, in excessive amounts, can cause the sorts of problems I've been having. Guess what I've been eating great big wedges of almost every evening this summer after dinner, as a treat . . . I ought to know by now that it's not a good idea to have too much of one thing, especially when you have CFS and a body that is so reactive to things. Imagine if this is the problem - and I only just finished eating a wedge. Well, I guess I'd better stop and see if it solves the problem, more's the pity. I guess I will also pick up some calcium citrate in town tomorrow, because it's always a good idea to have all the main electrolytes to hand in case anything needs tweaking. I know I said I've never done well on calcium, but maybe my balance between that and magnesium has got too lopsided for me; it should be easy to find out.
     
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  13. Horizon

    Horizon Senior Member

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    Coping tip for me is using my heating pad on my chest. I suffer severe pain and often think I'm having a heart attack. It's not a solution but definitely helps.
     
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  14. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Just thought I'd make an update here. It does seem that the chest pain was coming from ingesting too much of a phytochemical called lycopene in the watermelon I was having. Again, too much of a good thing (and not really what I should be having on Paleo anyway). Part of it was also down to overdoing things in general, I think. That's not as easy to address as the watermelon; and particularly when I've been doing a lot of proofreading, I still get the heart flutters.

    In the way of supplements, I did try one tablet of calcium, and it really made me feel bad for a day - sluggish and depressed. I'm taking iron (glyconate) again for a while, though I've never found an iron supplement I get on with very well; the ones that don't give me stomach cramps still lower my mood, but I know my ferritin is always hovering between 20-40 ug/l, which is low. I'm also trying zinc (citrate) for a while, though I've not got on with that in the past either; sometimes the form of the supplement you take makes a difference. Finally, in doing more CFS research, I came across malic acid, which is supposed to help clear lactic acid out of the muscles. I'm taking that twice a day, and while it's early days, it does seem to be helping with the overall nonspecified body pain that I get. In the end, though, it looks like I'm left with the core supplements that I know work for me, as far as they can - which is what usually happens. In the long term, in order to really get better, I think I'm going to have to continue to wait until certain stresses can be removed from my life, and that's not going to be soon :(
     
  15. JPV

    JPV ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹoıuǝs

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    I've also started having Angina symptoms over the last few years.

    @Kitsune, as you touched on, another thing to look into is Lactic Acid. Reportedly many of us with CFS suffer from Lactic Acid producing bacteria in our systems. Lactic Acid is a major Angina trigger.

    I actually had a severe bout of it earlier today. My girlfriend suspects that it may have been trigger by MSG that was very likely in some Miso Soup that I had for lunch. MSG is another known Angina trigger.

    Increasing Nitric Oxide is supposed to help with Lactic Acid hence the use of Nitroglycerin tablets. There are supplements that supposedly increase Nitric Oxide but I haven't had much luck with them yet. I think it's notoriously hard to get in into your system via supplements alone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  16. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    I certainly have to be careful of what I eat, because many things trigger my heart symptoms too. MSG certainly; also artificial sweeteners, lots of sugar after I've been on a clean diet a while, and basically anything else off the Paleo diet that I haven't been used to eating.

    I do think a buildup of lactic acid is a problem for me; my symptoms certainly seem to indicate so. If you haven't tried malic acid, you might like to give it a go. It's cheap, and I haven't had any negative reactions myself to taking it; it's part of the krebs cycle, so it's something your body needs when it isn't making enough. I'm feeling quite positive about this supplement and will try increasing my dose a little. Here's a link I found helpful: http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=16575
     
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  17. Justin30

    Justin30 Senior Member

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    I have POTS and do get the chest pains.

    I noticed supplement coq10, b complex and anything that had a high antioxidant capability other than Vitamin C resulted in more chest pain.

    I dropped all supplements accept high quality PURE Encapsulation Multi, Magnesium, L glutamine, vit C, zinc and injectable Methylcobolamin (every couple days). I also upped potassium, high quality salt and D Ribose.

    This made a big difference in flutters, skipped beats, tachy, heart palps and chest pain.

    That said pain management has been helpful as well.

    Med tapes to calm mind and body to. To help relax.

    Seems like over supplementing causes constant high level of detox which impacts the heart.
     

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