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Left arm tingling, short of breath, feeling sick

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Chrissie, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Chrissie

    Chrissie

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    Hi I just wondered if anyone had any advice. Last night I felt really strange became really short of breath, was sick and sweating and my left arm felt really numb and tingly.

    I know these are symptoms of a heart attack but is that possible in someone my age? I'm only 22 and am not overweight.

    Any advice would be great as I don't want to march into my doctors looking like a drama queen!
  2. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Nobody will think you are being a drama queen with those symptoms. Get down to the ER right away, please!!! They'll do an ECG right away and find out what it going on.

    You don't "wait and see" with a heart attack.

    Good luck. I hope it's nothing serious. Probably isn't, but don't take a chance.
  3. Chrissie

    Chrissie

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    Hi Athene thanks for your reply. I don't have the symptoms at the moment but if they happen again I will definitely go and see a doctor quickly.

    A heart attack must be unlikely surely? 22 year olds don't normally have heart attacks do they?
  4. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    I don't want to be scary but when I had my heart operation I was in a ward with a 17 year old and a 26 year old who had both had heart attacks. The 26 year old had had her second one. Heart attacks kill more women than men nowadays - little known fact. Many women fail to go to the ER because the early warning signs are often milder and different from the well-known ones for men.

    Check out these sites
    http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/actintime/haws/women.htm
    http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/healthmedical/a/womensami.htm

    When people have heart attacks they often get the warning signs you describe and then they go away, then they come back etc. This can happen for a number of days or even weeks before the actual heart attack comes. If you go the ER now and describe what happened, they can do a blood test which looks for tissue damage and will tell them if there was any damage to the heart muscle going on while you had that episode. It could even have been a tiny heart attack that took place. (I just learned recently that you can have a heart attack so slight you don't realise it, sometimes preceding a major one.)

    Here's a web page which explains it:
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...ood test indications&cd=1&hl=it&ct=clnk&gl=it

    I know I come across as a scaremonger but honestly, why take the risk?
    I sincerely hope a trip to the ER will turn out to be a waste of time for you, but still think you should go there and I think you should go now.

    Good luck, sending you lots of good wishes.
    Athene
  5. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    YES, go to the doctor or ER, don't play games

    Yes, 22 year olds do have heart attacks and they do have ruptured or torn aortas that would cause shortness of breath. You would not be considered a Drama Queen with these symptoms. Go to the DR or ER, better safe than sorry esp. at your very young age.

    CFIDS and FM have all sorts of odd symptoms that mimic other diseases and conditions. That's the big problem with CFIDS. We and the doctors have a hard time teasing out CFIDS from another disease/condition. YOU can NOT tease medical things out but the doctor(s) should be able to.

    It could be something as simple as a nerve that is pinched and the breathing does come with CFIDS (I have it often) or it could be a heart attack. Never, never let any doctor say to you that you are too young to have anything - you are not too young to have a heart attack, torn/ruptured aorta, cancer, stroke or anything that is more commonly seen in older folks. The fact that you are thin means nothing.

    I knew a 19 year old girl who died in her sleep from a stroke. They think it was from birth control pills. Apparently she was not too young to die from a stroke. My GI doctor told me a sad story about a young lady who just graduated from medical school and was having GI problems. She went to her family doctor who told her it was stress and that she was too young for colon cancer. My GI doctor took a look and almost fell on the floor. The girl had full blown colon cancer at age 24. She died from it and all because some idiot doctor told her she was too young to have colon cancer and she believed him.

    You are NOT too young for really anything. I have been told many times that doctors and the ER people would rather see you and you not have major problems than for you to dismiss the problems and not go to the DR/ER and then get worse or die. That's from THEIR mouths.

    Have them check your lungs and heart. Heart esp. given the shortness of breath. Ask them to cheeck the aorta. Really, ask them to take a good hard look at your heart generally. You may have a tiny hole that is causing problems. Or you may have any number of other cardiac issues causing problems that you are not aware of. Check that heart out really good. INSIST they pay attention to your heart and not dismiss you as having Mitral Valve Prolapse or some other typical heart issue. It may well be MVP but the tingling in the arm doesn't usually go with MVP, just the odd feeling and shortness of breath. Never allow a doctor or the ER people to dismiss you due to your young age and thiness.

    My internist had a young woman who could not breath for two weeks. She went to the pulm doctor and they gave her antibiotics and still she had shortness of breath. She called him, barely able to speak, and he told her to run to the ER. When she got there the ER docs called him and he barked at them that she prob. had a torn aorta. Well, she was short and did not fit the pattern for Connective Tissue disorders (Marfans/EDS) where the aorta will rupture without warning or start to tear and can be caught. He fought with them over the phone and in the end, after now THREE WEEKS she did have a torn aorta. They operated and she took a long time to recover. She prob. did not die as she should have because of the low circulating blood flow in CFIDS.

    GO TO THE DOCTOR OR BETTER YET, THE EMERGENCY ROOM NOW!!!!! YOU ARE NOT TOO YOUNG FOR ANYTHING TO HAPPEN.

    UPDATE US AFTER YOU HAVE GONE TO THE DR/ER PLEASE.
  6. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    Bumping for the 22 year old to see. Go to the er now!
  7. Chrissie

    Chrissie

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    Thanks for your advice. I'll go to the hospital this afternoon just to be on the safe side. I'm sure I'll be fine bit I probably should get checked out.

    When I know what they've said I'll come back on to let you know. I always thought being laid back was a good thing but maybe not in this instance!

    Thanks guys X
  8. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    Laid back is a good thing but not when it comes to your health. That's when you react quickly before it gets worse. Sorry, but you have a disease that can and will do some heavy damage to your body even though you are young and thin. I know a 17 year old boy who has heart damage now due to CFIDS. He is not fat, just has CFIDS. Go and don't worry about what others say. You are NOT a drama queen.

    Remember, if it turns out to be "nothing" than be happy. The Doctors and ER people really don't want to see a 22 year old having a heart attack. Would you???
    Might think about getting in to the doctor or ER sooner rather than later.
  9. Chrissie

    Chrissie

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    I just had a call from my doctor, he basically said it was a panic attack. I'm pretty certain it wasn't as I was not stressed out at all not even when I was getting short of breath and was totally relaxed when it came on.

    I'm pretty sure he is a non M.E. believer so probably thinks I'm nuts anyway and I guess panic attacks fit into his mould and he mentioned I was probably too young for a heart attack.

    Anyway thanks for your advice, I'll just see how things go. Uk doctors certainly suck!
  10. bakercape

    bakercape Senior Member

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    I'm not a doctor

    But allways better to be safe then sorry. Your not a drama quenn if you go to the ER.
    I've had all kinds of wierd nuerological symptoms with my cfs. Sweating, dizziness, numbness, Panic attacks, strange headaches. They come and go sometimes suddenly.
    What your explaining could be CFS nuero symptoms but not a bad idea to go to and ER.
  11. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    I have had similar symptoms (except tingling was in the right arm) from either severe post-exertional effects, or from "overloading" (relative to ME/CFS sensitivity thresholds, not normal healthy threshold) the body with too much fat or medications (with additional strange sensations in the "liver area"). Like you, "panic" and "stress" doesn't seem responsible. So I ask, is there anything you overdid or consumed recently that may explain it?
  12. Chrissie

    Chrissie

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    No I didn't go overboard with anything. I'm actually detoxing! So I have no idea what it was about. I'll definitely see my normal doctor see what she thinks.

    The neuro stuff is interesting, I've never been to a neurologist but its probably something I should consider. Thanks so much for the advice I do feel like I'm walking around in the dark at times!

    Chrissie X
  13. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Chrissie just to say its always a good idea to get down to A&E if you get symptoms like that, they will just check your heart and perhaps keep you in overnight, I went 3 times in the first year of having ME, had a lot of funny heart flutters palpitations etc, pain in chest and left arm, never tell them you have ME though, just let them get on with the checks after telling them your symptoms. It probably is just some weird ME thing but never take a chance with something that could be as serious as a heart attack,
    ps my ex just had a stent fitted was rushed to hospital after going to see his GP with a funny pain, turns out he had had at least one if not more heart attacks and didn't have a clue when they had occured.
  14. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    I just want to echoe everyone in saying that if ti happens again that you have tingling/numbness in your left arm combined with shortness of breath, you should go to the ER. In fact, it's often recomended that you call an ambulance to take you for two reasons:

    1. If you're driving with a heart attack you could cause an accident or not make it to the hospital at all, and
    2. Arriving in an ambulance ensures that you get in right away, without any delay in te wiating room

    I get not wanting to go in, I get doctors diminishing symptoms....when I first got POTS my heart rate was so fast I couldn't walk and could barely sit up for a second or two because it would skyrocket even higher. Having been sent home from the ER with "nothing's wrong" several times before, this time we caled the triage nurse and asked them if I need to come in or not. She said to get there right away. So in I went. They monitored my heart rate, did an EKG, and then pronounced that although my heart rate was unusually fast, there was nothing wrong with me, and sent me home. I remained unable to stand for weeks.

    So really, with this experience and everal others, I get not wanting to go through that. And I've had heart flutters and such too that I've chosen to not look into. But if you think even the tiniest bit that symptoms might be from a heart attack, do not hesitate to go in, prefferably by ambulance, or the next best option is to have a friend drive you.
  15. kat0465

    kat0465 Senior Member

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    also chrissie, if you go to the er, and complain of symptoms like you have. you will probably be seen asap! it's the heart thing that usually gets them hopping.
    i agree your not too young to have anything wrong these days, they can also do a simple blood test to see if you have any heart damage. easy enough and you will have a littl peace of mind knowing what it is.

    I also agree with the person that said DO NOT tell them you have ME. after all, theres nothing they can do for that, and they wont look at you like your from outer space( been there)

    Kat
  16. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I dont want to scare you but you obviously dont know about "Casey Fero". He was the son of the one who ran the Wisconsin CFS support group, his mother had CFS while pregnant with Casey and sadly Casey got CFS too. Casey was just starting to get his life together again but ended up dying of CFS one night in his sleep (no warning). His autopsy showed inflammation around the heart and of scarring.. which showed past viral infections must of occured.

    I cant find Casey's story online right now but its online and it's a sad one.

    So please get new heart symptoms checked out. My own CFS specialist when I got heart symptoms.. send me to a heart clinic and i got all the tests done. exercise stress tests, ultrasound, EEGs etc. Dont panic as CFS DOES cause many heart symptoms which arent serious, but you just dont know when something is going on when it is.
    ............

    We must never let the CFS deaths be forgotten, this illness can be fatal. RIP Casey
  17. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Chrissie,
    The doctor who told you you were having a panic attack.... did he do an electrocardiogram first? The blood test I mentioned? An ultrasound scan?
    Because if he didn't, then how the hell does he know?

    I am sure you've got the message by now, but...
    I saw no less than 4 cardiologists who said my funny episodes were, or probably were, panic attacks.
    Then I saw a cardiologist who said I was so lucky to be still alive it was like winning the lottery twenty times over, she arranged for me to have heart surgery.
    Since that operation I have never had a "panic attack" again, not once!

    Nobody can tell what your heart is doing unless they use the right tests. They can tell very little with a stethoscope. Don't accept the brush off from any doctor who hasn't actually checked.

    Remember that, if you live in the UK and have a diagnosis of CFS, then it will be written in your medical notes that you are a hypochondriac with psychosomatic illness symptoms. Everything you say to your doctor will be considered in that light and any response he gives you will be tainted with that prejudice.
    If you go to A&E, they won't have your notes, you DO NOT tell them you have CFS, and then you will get the appropriate investigations done.
  18. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    Chrissie,

    I second everything Athene just said. No need to say word one about CFS. My cardiologist doesn't believe in CFS but he just sent me a reminder for my upcoming visit. He could see the cardiac problems, the autonomic dysfunction was clear and he even referred me to a highly specialized endocrinologist (with strong recommendations to keep fluid intake and electrolytes up in the interim) that has now been treating my diabetes insipidus for almost 2 years.

    Unless you are talking to one of the dozen or so CFS specialist in the US to whom the term CFS/ME means something, saying you have CFS just confuses the issues. The issues are that you are having these symptoms that are known to be associated with life threatening heart problems. My endocrinologist asked me if he could go back through my records and clean them of any mention of anxiety or panic. He said my records were replete with erroneous comments (doctors making s%%t up) from earlier visits that could delay critical care if an emergency were to arise.

    And yes, all of my "anxiety" and "panic attacks" cleared up immediately once I was on the right heart meds.
  19. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    You have been given some of the very best advice on CFIDS/ME and doctors/ER

    Listen to all that has been said here.

    I would also not mention that I had CFIDS/ME either since they label you and don't give you the time, energy or respect that you need - and there are going to be times that you are indeed in big trouble and need someone to jump and disregard the CFIDS/ME tag. Leave that diagnosis out when dealing with doctors.

    Never assume that any new symptom is just part of CFIDS/ME. Never. Have it checked out. And yes, we all have been to more doctors and ERs with nothing that could be found BUT, I have been to doctors and ERS with something very real and that would have killed me had I not gone. So go and don't worry about it not being anything. Go. Your life may well depend upon going as many of our lives did depend on sucking it up and going to the ER.

    The panic attack comment from your doctor got to me also. How DARE this fool make a diagnosis over the phone like this to you when you have some very real and dangerous sounding symptoms -to me. Tingling arm? Panic attack? I would get another doctor and stay away from this guy. He's dangerous and may well get you killed. What doctor makes a diagnosis like that over the phone? No tests, no physical, nothing and he says it's a panic attack? He's insulting you so get another doctor asap. Boy that really got me when I read that one. This guy needs a malpractice shot across the bow.

    NO MORE OF THIS DOCTOR. FIND ANOTHER ONE AND DON'T TELL THEM YOU HAVE CFIDS/ME - unless they really do understand and believe in CFIDS/ME, then you can tell them.

    You know that you could have MS instead of CFIDS/ME? Or you could have other diseases/disorders along with CFIDS. Learn early at age 22 to believe in yourself and to protect yourself since no one else will do that for you. CFIDS/ME sucks but I do think we are making headway now. So hold on and be smart and take care of yourself so that when they get this thing figured out, you will be in good shape and able to move past this period of your life and onto a good, long, healthy period.

    Thus ends the lecture from an old lady!!! :sofa: Hugs!!!
  20. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    The XPR1 receptor for Polytropic Murine Retroviruses, (which includes XMRV) have been
    located in the heart and other viruses such as the Cocksakie virus can cause heart problems.

    This means people with ME/CFS of any age can have heart problems. It isnt worth taking a chance.

    Infection of Cardiomyocytes and Induction of Left Ventricle Dysfunction by Neurovirulent Polytropic Murine Retrovirus

    http://jvi.highwire.org/cgi/content/full/81/22/12307

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