Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Doc wants me to do treadmill stress test

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by ScottTriGuy, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    Hi all,

    Hoping someone will have some knowledge about my conundrum:

    I went to my doctor's office this morning to pick up requisition forms for blood work - the admin person couldn't find all the req forms so suggested I speak with the nurse, perhaps she could help.

    The nurse looks at me and says - "You don't look well" - I tell her I've lost 8 pounds this month as I sat shivering under my multiple layers - she says "I'm going to have a doctor see you".

    The doctor on call asks some questions, I tell him my appetite and libido have totally disappeared this month - I tell him my post exertional malaise has gotten worse in the last 2 weeks, the farthest I've walked is 10 minutes.

    He listens to my heart and says he wants me to do a treadmill stress test. I told him that would mess me up for weeks and weeks. He said they could give me medication that increases my heart rate without me having to move.

    So my question is - if I take this medication that increase my heart rate for their stress test, will I not have post exertional malaise?

    Thanks.
     
    alkt likes this.
  2. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    Here's what Byron Hyde has said about it:
     
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  3. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Can you ask him what specifically he wants to learn from this? Sometimes there might be an alternative test that would give similar information--and, personally, I'd want at test that has potential side effects to have the possibility of leading to useful clinical protocols.
     
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  4. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    @halcyon
    @Sushi
    Thanks to both of you - I sent that quote to my own doc and suggested we could chat about alternatives next time I see her.
     
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  5. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

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    About 7 months ago, I had infection in dental implants that had gone on for about 3 years. It was making me really ill. Hated to do it, but decided they had to come out (after listening about the hideous operation that could be done in lieu of removal : involving a sinus lift and bone grafting.) The oral surgeon would not consent to working on me unless I first had heart tests. I was very ill from the infection + everything else that we have going on, so he was afraid I would die in his chair I guess. Long story short, I had the freaking heart test involving the chemical speed-up, after first flunking the walking test. It is one of the scariest procedures I've ever had. I can not emphasize enough how out of control I felt as my heart went up to 130 beats/minute while I lay there on the table, just anxiety-ridden.

    I was so sick then, but needed to get that infection source gone.
    I'm not yet feeling back to "normal" such as it is for me. True Normal went away 25 years ago.

    And the PEM resulting from that episode increased, without a doubt.
    I still feel bad. I can walk 10 minutes, at a slow pace. But not every day.
    Sometimes we must do things that aren't necessarily good, in order to gain results in another important area.
    There was no other alternative explained. You might look into that claim of more options. For me, it was either This or That, 2 choices.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
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  6. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    Jesus. I don't need any of that seems-like-trauma.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Your unfortunate experience is doing good: giving me, and others, a heads up about this procedure. Much appreciated.
     
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  7. DeGenesis

    DeGenesis Senior Member

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    I had a severe crash lasting several months after a treadmill stress test. What really devastated me was that I performed PERFECTLY during the test, but almost immediately afterwords (after the doctor said his goodbyes) I collapsed on the ground from sheer exhaustion and could not move for almost half an hour. If he had asked me back to do it again the next day I am positive that I would have failed it almost immediately.
     
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  8. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    @DeGenesis
    My fear exactly is exactly your experience.

    Definitely does not seem worth the crash - and possible permanent damage - the mere fact that they are pushing this on m.e. patients speaks volumes about the large gaps in knowledge dissemination within the medical system.
     
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  9. panckage

    panckage Senior Member

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    Most people here seem to report that high heart rates are a cause of PEM. There also seems to be a consensus that the exercise test needs to be taken 2 days in a row to be of any diagnostic value for ME.

    For me personally though, stimulants help me to exercise in the near normal range without PEM, but I think if I took them during exercise tests they would at least partially hide the ME symptoms :p
     
  10. JKN

    JKN

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    Scott,
    i took regular stress test in 2005. I had mild case of ME/CFS for many years before stress test. After stress test i had permanent severe disease progression. The test caused permanent heart damage, and systemic mitochondrial damage. Dr. Cheney warns not to do any cardio exercise, i.e. it can cause disease progression and heart and organ damage. That stress test destroyed my life, and I found no warnings on any of the CFS websites like this one. I've read about stress test studies for ME/CFS patients since, and think anyone participating is crazy. I guess most people don't have the serious reaction I had, but we really don't even know who has ME/CFS and who doesn't. Based on my exp. I would strongly warn you against taking any form of stress test. Hope my post isn't too late.
     
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  11. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    I had to see a cardiologist as a condition of my application to a CFS clinic being considered, to exclude heart problems being the cause of my symptoms.

    My GP wrote on the referral "echo and stress-ECG". I went back to him and asked him to remove the "stress" (I'm translating from German - Belastungs-EKG), which he did.

    I then went to the cardiologist, who did the echo thing and then said "right, let's get you on the exercise bike for the ECG". I just flat refused, explaining why. He wasn't happy, even threatening me with / saying the only alternative was to shove a tube all the way up me to my heart, but as far as I was concerned he could take it or leave it, I definitely wasn't going to do the stress test, and he could keep his tube to himself too.

    In the end we did a resting ECG (no stimulant), the fact that my referral didn't say "stress-ECG" gave him a way out, and I told him I was happy for him to write that I had refused the stress ECG in his report if he wanted, as I felt I could explain that to any doctor who knew about ME at a later stage. In the end we shook hands and said goodbye, and his report was fine.

    In the end it's your body and your decision, no matter how much pressure a doctor puts on you. No way would I do a stress test that could (and probably would) ruin my health further for months, if not permanently.
     
  12. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    @JKN
    @TiredSam

    Thanks for your input - I made it perfectly clear - in writing - to my doctor that a tread mill stress test would cause me harm and referenced Dr Hyde's work.

    Hyde also has cautions for m.e. folks around Hep B shots and I'm due for one, so may have another conflict in the near future.
     
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  13. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    I've always had those, although for some reason I'm a non-responder.
    I'll be giving the flu shot a miss this year though.
     
  14. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    I had a stress echo a few months ago, which involved mounting on a weird stationary bike and pedaling while they increased the resistance; I checked out at 6 1/2 minutes as I was beginning to feel stressed, and that was respected. No serious PEM. I think that in any stress test one does have that option, and should exercise it when needed.
     

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