Got a (Serious) Problem Here; Can You Provide an Opinion?
- 12-01-2008, 04:00 PM
Got a (Serious) Problem Here; Can You Provide an Opinion?
I wanted to get your input about a health problem I am having. It has been going on for 3.5 months now and I have been discussing it on a few forums for the last 2 months. I am providing a summary of what I have posted on other forums thus far. I apologize for the length of the post, but I feel it is necessary to provide all this info. I am posting in chronological order, starting with the first post I had originally put up and underneath that, you will find my additional observations since that first post.
I am posting in the SUPPLEMENTS section, because this is where most of the intelligent people hang out and IMO this is the most relevant place anyways. Please read on and hopefully you will agree with me.
Damn, something bad happened to me, that's for sure. However, I am not certain what the hell is going on.
Basically, I get hot extremely easily and cannot cool down once I get hot. This isn't my only symptom but this is how it all started. This all began ~5 weeks ago and as the summer came to an end and weather cooled down, it got better but did not return to normal. If I am exposed to heat in any way for more than 5-10 minutes, I sweat an excessive amount and feel extremely hot. Once this happens, I cannot cool down without the A/C, even if the ambient temperature is somewhat cool. Even with the AC it is quite hard to cool down. Especially my hands and feet get hot very easily and are sometimes hot all night long, albeit only mildly.
Secondly, I am very badly inflamed, or this is how it feels. My feet always gave me problems and hurt a lot if I walk more than 10-15 minutes. I had a thread about this and received a lot of good advice. This has gotten much worse. I also have a lot of muscle weakness and find it very hard to finish my weight sessions. After weight training, I get sore as hell -much more than normal. This is actually scary; I had a leg workout and could not get out of a seating position without supporting myself with my arms. It was a hard leg workout for sure but damn, this is way way too much (CLARIFICATION; I HAVE BEEN WEIGHT TRAINING FOR OVER 15 YEARS AND UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS, I WOULD HAVE VERY LITTLE SORENESS AFTER A WORKOUT)
I also get out of breath easily, much more so than normal. Even though I tend to have slightly high Blood Pressure, I get light headed quite easily right now. After leg presses, for example, I got pale in the face, which is the first time this has happenedin a very very long time.
I also gained some fat lately...
After I made the post above, I first suspected thyroid issues. I have had insomnia forever (really forever, almost as far back in my childhood as I can recall) and had slightly elevated Free T4 levels in some tests. So I went and had a thyroid panel done. The results were all normal and only T3 Uptake was outside of the range. Also free T4 was high but not above the upper limit of the reference range. To be absolutely and totally sure that thyroid was not the issue, I even took a low dose of anti-thyroid for 2 weeks (100 mg of Propycil) but saw no change whatsoever.
Furthermore, when I connect some other dots, I am thinking more and more that the issue has to do with vasodilation, which in turn is related to an imbalance between endorphins and -this is my very amateur hypothesis here, so just bear with me...
Why do I think that? Well first of all, I got some Lisinopril -an ace inhibitor- during my last visit to the doctor and that helped my feet tremendously. The extreme swelling and pain in my feet went down by 75% I'd say. I was not at all expecting that but the effect has been very reliable and consistent. (FYI, the doctor was an idiot and found nothing. All we checked was my thyroid, because I refused to get more tests done; I have no insurance and that was all i could afford. I know it sucks, but this is the reality of the situation, nothing more I can do on that front now. I am not sure what he would have looked at if I had all the money. He just suggested "doing a full blood test" but did not have any theories what could be causing the issue). In addition, the Lisinopril also reduced my Blood Pressure from around 89/169 to around 80/120 (80/120 is where it has always been).
Now, based on the many conversations I had with friends and intelligent acquaintances over the last 2 years, I have reason to think that my feet swelling have been due to vasoconstriction (again, just so it does not get too confusing: feet have been hurting for a while, the heating started only 3.5 months ago and together with that the feet swelling got worse) and the fact that the swelling of my feet got worse lately, makes me think that vasoconstriction is playing a role in this most recent episode. Also, and more importantly, I am often waking up with "pins" in my arms. Whenever I sleep on an arm, it gets completely numb, which happened almost never in the past. Also, I am getting redness in my skin during weight training sessions, which too makes me think vasoconstriction. In barbell curls for example, I have to stop after 7-8 reps because my muscles will get shut down and my skin gets all red, as if the skin is about to explode. It is not exactly "a pump", but more of a lack of circulation.
The fact that it is now taking me much longer to from workouts is also a sign in my mind that the blood vessels are constricted. Some athletes, for example, are reporting better recovery from weight session by using viagra. Viagra of course will cause vessels to relax, which is the opposite of what I think i am having, and the pieces seem to fit in perfectly.
Now, if we for a moment assume that vasoconstriction is the issue, I can come up with two ideas as to why this might be happening. The best candidate is excess adrenaline, which I think was caused by the very stressful event in my life (a very close friend passed away), a month or so before my symptoms began. Of course, the conventional explanation is that stressful events will rise your adrenaline in the short-term and if they persist for too long, cortisol will go up. But it appears that in this case, adrenaline remains high. My sleep is very bad, and breathing is very fast. My heart rate goes up pretty quickly and then takes a long time to come down. If there is a sudden noise, for example, my heart will start beating and it can take many many minutes to return to normal. Another very important reason I think that adrenaline is off (hihg) is that my appetite is completely gone. I used to crave lots of carbs and loved food in general, but now I can barely eat. If I do not force myself to eat, I actually forget to eat. If I eat my regular portions too quickly, I feel like puking.
Now, the increase in adrenaline may not be the only cause and I say that because I also suspect that something with my endorphin system may also have been screwed up. This is not so much something new and has been going on, well pretty much since birth. I have always been extremely sensitive to light and noise, which is one of the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Also, I have quite an exxagerated pain perception. I have been invovled with martial arts for a long time and do not consider myself a girly man as Arnold would say, but I also believe that I feel a more sense of pain when hit than my training partners do. The ever-lasting insomnia is another reason that makes me think I am having an endorphin problem.
That being said, both of the above theories have a weakness.
1- I had been prescribed PROPRANOLOL years ago to treat my insomnia and have tried to use it again recently. The result was the same as before: No relaxation or reduction of heart rate if I take only 1 tablet (10 mg) but when I take 2 tablets, on around day 3, I get extraordoinarily tired. Yet still at that extremely tired state, I am feeling equally hot... (earlier, when my issue was sleep, again, I saw no beenfit from 1 tab but was extremely fatgued at 2 tabs). So is the adrenaline theory out? I hope not... Maybe another beta blocker will work, no?
2- I also tried Xanax for this condition, which also had been prescirbed to me years ago for insomnia, but saw no benefit whatsoever. In fact, neither valium nor Xanax helped for sleep (in the past) and the reason I still have some of both left in my cabinet is that they did very little when I tried them for my insomnia (similarly Klonopin also had little effect. all 3 drugs do make me sleepy to varying extents, depending on how high a dose I use; but none really make me more relaxed). The doctor was amazed and after all these experiments, I am thinking that I maybe have too few opiate receptors all over my body... A very indirect piece of evidence for this hypothesis is that my Testosterone levels are off the charts. So high that in some tests it was slightly above the top number in the reference range. This is without touching any aromatase inhibitors, steroids or anything of the sort... We know that opioids play a role in LH secretion and drugs such as Naloxone can increase Testosterone. So naturally low opioid levels or lack of of opioid receptors may similarly have lead to high Testosterone.
So, what can I try next?
Before you make a suggestion let me clarify a few points:
I have never used an illegal substance and I am not saying this because I am scared that the police will read this post. I really wish to clarify that so that people who read this post do not try looking for answers in the wrong places. I understand that many opioids or items such as cocaine can make the body do bizzare things but those cannot possibly be the culprit here. I have used the benzos and other items described above but they were all prescribed by a doctor back when I had insurance and none helped me enough to justify their use for a long period. The only thing I used over the years with some consistency is Amitryptiline at a mere 10 milligrams - I would say 2-3 times a week for some part of the year. When I am able to get some sleep without it, I do not even use the A.triptiline.
I am generally in good health with the exception of the issues above. I weigh around 200 lbs but having trained with weights for over 15 years, I can confidently say that a great deal of this is muscle and my bodyfat percentage is not above 14% by any means. Not a bodybuilder in contest shape, but not a fatass either...
Please do not suggest that I should "just see a doctor" I fully realize that I should but I cannot right now. I am doing the best I can to straighten my financial situation and will see a doc as soon as I can. At this very moment, the money is just not there (no insurance either)
Please do not simply suggest that I do breathing or medidtation exercises. I am fully aware that relaxation techniques would help and I am doing some of those already. At the present moment, those alone will not solve my problem.
Thank you very much for your time
- 12-01-2008, 05:13 PM
you may have some heart problems. Sounds kinda like atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteris) could explain high bp, swelling in the feet sounds like constricted vessels and poor venus return. i dont think its just an "imbalance" between adrenaline. This sounds like a serious heart condition. But I am no doctor or nurse or have any sort of qhalifications to diagnoss any medical condition. You might want to getyour cholesteral checked when you can afford it. Things are hard finnacialy right now for a lot of people so try to save some cash or get insurance because you could be in for some serious **** if you dont get checked up. Sounds like you couldnt even pass a cardio stress test to save yourr life.
12-01-2008, 05:14 PM
12-01-2008, 05:18 PM
Addison's Disease: Adrenal Insufficiency
Addison's disease is a profound chronic adrenal failure caused by damage or disease of the adrenal gland, resulting in a deficiency of cortisol. This disease is sometimes called chronic adrenal insufficiency or hypocortisolism. The most important job of cortisol is to help the body respond to stress. Among its other vital tasks, cortisol is partly responsible for:
Maintaining blood pressure and cardiovascular function
Balancing the effects of insulin in breaking down sugar for energy
Slowing the immune system's inflammatory response
Regulating the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
Addison's disease is characterized by muscle weakness, reduced blood sugar, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and low blood pressure, which can impact the act of standing, causing dizziness or fainting. Skin changes also are common in Addison's disease, with areas of hyperpigmentation or dark tanning that are mostly visible on scars, skin folds, toes, lips, mucous membranes, and pressure points, such as the elbows, knees, and knuckles
12-01-2008, 05:24 PM
12-01-2008, 09:18 PM
I think high Cortisol is a better candidate -just my opinion
Thanks much Ladies and Gentlemen
12-02-2008, 12:51 PM
12-02-2008, 01:42 PM
Aren't there free hospitals in the US for people without insurance? Sure looks like there are in shows like ER but also they look crummy compared to ones supporting insurance.
12-02-2008, 03:00 PM
Well, if it were an adrenaline problem, the beta blocker would help becuase they block epinephrine from binding to the receptor. To me, this sounds like CHF, but I am no doctor. As far as some of your hypothesis, although possible, I'd say extremely rare. I've never heard of someone having too few opiate receptors. Most hospitals will work out a payment plan with you if you're hurting financially, and honestly I'd suggest you go to an emergency room immediately. The symptoms you describe: edema, weakness, flushing, rapid heart beat, ect sound pretty serious, I wouldn't dismiss them as a one in a million type of ailment. JMO.
12-02-2008, 06:26 PM
12-03-2008, 02:17 AM
CHF(sob), arrythymia, endocrine dysfuntion, renal artery stenosis (causes hbp), pulmonary hypertension (hbp,lightheadedness, fluid build-up)...you have so many symptoms sub7. It's your life. Find a great doc!
12-03-2008, 02:36 AM
I know you said don't tell you to just see a doctor, but you need to. Even if you're in a financial hell right now, your health is not something to mess with, and all these things you describe sound fairly serious. Please, take care of yourself.
Most medical institutions offer financial aid, Payment plans, discount for no insurance, ect. You most likely have options you don't even know about. I would suggest you call up a medical provider in your area and see if you can speak with a financial councelor about your situation if you have trouble paying bills.
You may not be able to "afford" it now, but if this developes into something even more serious or you arn't even around later, it won't matter that money was an issue.
I hope your situation improves man.
12-03-2008, 03:26 PM
1- I also have and always had some anxiety in public speeches and tried to utilize the propranolol for that purpose as well -long before these problems came up. Propranolol had no effect on public speaking performance either. So it may not be as simple as "prop. renders adrenaline ineffective". It is designed for that and is supposed to do that, but it may not do as expected -same as with many other drugs. I won't go into the many reasons drug act funny sometimes because I am sure you know those better than me, but I wanted to indicate one instance where propranolol failed to work for me. So maybe another beta blocker would make things better
2- CHF refers to chronic heart failure I guess? I forgot to mention one key fact: When I was at the doctor's office, I got an electrocardiogram (Spelling? LOL)
That is not sufficient to diagnose the problem I guess, but it looked pretty normal.
12-03-2008, 11:20 PM
I feel for you man. It sucks not to have health insurance in the US. You might be able to find some affordable alternatives in the form of cheap clinics that can at least run a few basic tests and then more importantly, refer you for further blood tests etc... Not quite the same thing as seeing the top cardiologist in town but I think that it would be better than posting & hoping for a detailed diagnosis.
That said, what's the family medical history? Any hypertension? Diabetes? Other fun stuff?
12-04-2008, 12:18 AM
Pay particular attention to the signs and symptoms portion. It almost describes you to a T. Its just a shot in the dark, but that is what came to mind when you described your symptoms.
12-04-2008, 03:22 AM
The hospitals are not free, however, they are required by law to treat you if you have a serious condition. There are request forms you can fill out to get financial aid from the government if you are unable to pay. I don't mean to use a petty situation, but my mother works in E.R. registration at a very highly populated and large hospital. She has to help people fill out this paperwork all the time... so it is possible to get health care like this if you actually need it and do have the funds.
Of course, if you can possibly pay for it, it is much more noble to do so... but man, if your health is at serious risk, IMO, there is no shame in going and getting checked out and applying for aid.
12-04-2008, 03:30 AM
12-04-2008, 03:32 AM
You're condition is serious, I don't know what it is or can provide any help but I will say that I have some similar problems.
The problems I have that are similar to yours are the getting hot very easily and excessive sweating and the tired feeling and getting out of breath much faster than normal. Its cold winter where I live already and just going up 3 flights of stairs I break a sweat.
Its really embarrassing and uncomfortable as far as the sweating goes and it definitely doesn't seem normal to sweat so much and so easily. When I get out of breath right in the beginning of my workout or other simple tasks I get scared and think its linked to my heart. I wasnt like this before, ive had this for about over 1 year.
I was going to get a cardiogram to check my heart but my general doctor thought I didn't need it at the time and that was 4 months ago.
12-04-2008, 03:39 AM
IF your body is too acidic you will have
1) elevated BP
2) flush hot skin
3) Gastic discomfort, gas, pain, diahreah and sometimes vomitting or a burning anus
4) pale skin blothchy and red in spots
5) eczema, dry scalp, dandruff, scoriasis and slow healing wounds
6) dark, smelly urine, dark feces
7) Bloating and slow digestion as well as impaired healing and energy storage.
8) delayed onset muscle soreness esp after excercise
9)Accumulation of pain and acid in the weak points of your body ie. feet, back, arms...
10) congestion, shortness of breath and chronic hearburn feeling in sternum area.
11) dramtically decreased cardiovascular performance, inability to catch your breath easily.
12) fat gain/ muscle loss
13) premature hairloss, accelerated hairloss
14) loss of muscle tone, fullness
15) weakened immune system and irritability
These are some of the symptoms of an acidic body. We are largely made of water and when our PH is off it can impair every function of the body and result in cancer or death.
You may experience more symptoms after a workout due to the increase of cortisol and lactic acids making your body more acidic for your effort.
Fat buffers acid so typically weight gain and muscle loss/ lack of strength come with an acidic body.
The delicate intestinal flora cannot survive in a acidic environment and digestion suffers. you have the chronic feeling of hunger most times and a lack of appetite when you consume certain food items as you can become gassy right afterwards.
You need alot more sleep....... and are always tired..... energy drinks dont help becasue they make you more acidic in the long term.
I may be waaay off but i see it everywhere as most illnesses and problems are nutrition related, you are malnutritioned and acidic that is my 2cents.
P.S emotions can cause the body to become very acidic. Typically people who are very stressed, nervous and angry are the most acidic. If you are thin you are at a higher risk because fat buffers acid and slim people dont have that luxury.
12-04-2008, 03:48 AM
If the above post sounds like you here is an action plan.
1) read about the acid alkaline diet.
2) eat more water bearing fruit and vegetables
3) eat less animal protein, less prescrip meds, coffee, pop, sugar and tobacco and alcohol products.
4) drink more water, stretch and laugh to lower stress levels.
5) carefully monotor how foods make you feel, for me dairy (animal protein) bloated me made me tired almost immediately and i limited it totally until i was more alkaline and now have it with low incidence. I suspect you have alot of these foods.
6) pesticides, herbicides and pollution can be in your food go organic if you can. if not wash it thouroughly.
As a weightlifter animal protein is a huge part of your life, but if you are as acidic as i think you are it will either give you cancer to where you are genetically most vunerable or make you live miserable until some other disease takes hold over your weakened immune system.
12-07-2008, 03:21 PM
I am back. Sorry for the delay in responding to your highly informative posts. First, with regards to chronic heart faliure... Well I do agree that the symptoms in the link provided previously describe me quite well. I will get that checked once again. My only consolation is that a fairly experienced doctor has checked the cardiac issues with an electrocardiogram and by looking at the physical signs. I understand that without ultrasound and further tests (such as stress test) a proper diagnosis cannot be made, and getting these tests is my highest priority at the moment.
However, I was shocked to see "somewhatgifted" post about acid / base balance. He almost read my mind because this is exactly what I had been thinking. For the last month / month and a half, I have been looking at this and RESPIRATORY ACIDOSIS is the leading explanation in my mind at the moment. I did not post it right away in order not to confuse the situation too much (as you guys can see, I already proposed several explanations and at some points it just gets too complex) but the more I think about it, the more I am leaning towards having an acid / base imbalance.
There are numerous reasons for this thought, but the most important ones are:
- my muscles start burning extremely quickly, literally within seconds. My legs were even burning last week when i tried to lean on the door in a crooked position with shopping bags in my hand for a few seconds. I had the same sensation in several instances where for some reason a stressed muscle would burn almost immediately. The burning happens so fast, that even in case of immediate switch to anaerobic as a result of inadequate cardiac capacity cannot explain this (during a heavy set of squats, you switch to anaerobic pathways almost instantly, yet even than I did not used to burn so quickly). So I am thinking that the muscles and blood are acidic to begin with.
- even if the above can be explained by an inability of the heart to pump enough blood, I am not sure whether we can explain the extraordinary delayed onset soreness by the heart's lack of pumping ability
- it is also interesting to note that ingesting baking soda prior to exercise has always had (going back a decade) very positive effects on my endurance. I have tried this last week and felt tremendously better during and after exercise.
So combining all this and some other pieces of information, I am thinking that the excess stress has lead to a surge in adrenaline levels. This has caused excessively deep breathing and hyperventilation (I was indeed gasping for air quite frequently), which has lead to reduced blood PH; i.e. classic respiratory acidosis. This explains many of the symptoms. No it is not a perfect fit, but if we consider that both blood PH was low and adrenaline remained high, many many of the symptoms are explained.
I will not stop looking into the health insurance and will take care of that as soon as feasible. However, I will try, for now, to reduce acidity levels to see if any progress can be made with that. I have increased my fruit and vegetable intake a lot over the last 2 days and also upped my calcium intake to 1,000 mg.
I am looking into the list of acid / base producing foods and am thinking of switching from pasta/rice to potatoes as my main complex carb source (as per the list provided in this thread).
In addition to that, I am not sure what else can be done. I have been looking at what the medical intervention is in case of acidosis and all I see is IV bicarbonate infusion, which I obviously cannot do at home. I can swallow baking soda as some athletes do prior to competition, and I have done in the past. Though I am not sure this is something you can do for more than a few days (will research this further)
If you have suggestions beyond these to reduce PH, please share. I will shortly post more and talk about protein...
12-07-2008, 07:52 PM
To balance out the acidity of one can of pop you need to drink 32 8oz glasses of water..... Its a slow climb back, but i had some of the symptoms you also share. I cut out chewing tobacco, coffee, alcohol and refined carbs and sugars. I eat celery, tomatoes and drink a wheatgrass mixture which is the most alkaline food above spinach. Drink lots of water and realise bottled water, due to being void of chems and minerals, is slightly acidic. So in summary most tap water is better due to the minerals making it more alkaline.
You will find that as you venture out into the world better for your changes regaurdless of the outcome, that many many of others illnesses and problems are deeply rooted in poor lifestyle choices and diets based upon lack of information and malnutrition.
It is sad that doctors push medications that never "fix" rather "treat" and you are coping your whole life until you hit the dead end, no pun.
Cancer rates skyrocket more than 33% in the last few years, diabetes, disease and heart related deaths, and we just dont recognise the trend with food regulation and lifestyle.
You may have an underlying issue but i promise refined, processed carbs and an acidic lifestyle will only allow these problems to flourish until cancer strikes as a result.
To feel sick and tired makes you shy away from excercise and then when you do your reward is more acid and pain.
Our produce has fertilisers, pesticides and other chemicals that make otherwise nutritious foods now toxic and potentially deadly.
I suggest trying to eat 70% alkaline foods on every plate of food you eat. Search "anthony robbins alkaline", its not the holy grail of this theory but he puts forward a well explained speech. i think the vid was part three of many that i found.
Also on Youtube there is vids about people using the alkaline diet to over come cancer because as with most illness cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment. That being said in the day and age we live in our increase in illness, death and disease is largely due to mans toxicity caused my Malnutrition.
It seems that if we were cared for by our representation that there would not be GMO foods (very toxic) and doctors pushing medication while our children die before us with cancer and overweight to buffer the refined sugars and carbs we feed/allow them to consume.
12-07-2008, 07:56 PM
Its tough at first to regulate your diet and reform your ways but it id life changing and to get back to "normal" is easily worth it. Keep in mind the mind can be acidic so i suggest watching comedic movies, stretching, yoga volunteering changing careers, and maybe turing to god or whatever your beliefs are for comfort and peace. Relax and enjoy life and your body will flourish back to life.
12-08-2008, 01:37 AM
12-08-2008, 01:48 AM
12-08-2008, 12:53 PM
What kind of diet do you have?
Can you post up your typical foods?
Seriously I would not try and chase whatever this problem is with more supplements (which it sounds like you are not doing anyway). Either diet works/helps somewhat or you will need some sort of pharmaceutical.
12-08-2008, 01:25 PM
12-08-2008, 05:33 PM
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