Advice?

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Hello everyone!

I'm here looking for a bit of advice since I'm not all that knowledgeable on the subject of natural medicine. I apologize in advance if this is too wordy or posted in the wrong place!

About a year ago, I suddenly started having all these disconcerting symptoms at once. My heart beats really hard, but not all that fast - it pounds so hard inside my chest that it's uncomfortable and makes it hard to sleep (which is why I posted in this section). It's especially bad right when I wake up. I have headaches most of the time - it feels like all the blood in my body has migrated to my head. These are also horrible right when I wake up. I sweat. A LOT. Feet, armpits, hands - always drenched, to the point that my skin is constantly pruned up and my skin is peeling off. I even leave soaked places on my sheets at night through my clothes. Lastly, I feel fidgety and trembly, which isn't very fun.

Nothing happened when these symptoms started - no lifestyle changes, nothing at all changed. I just woke up one morning and there it was. I'm a very relaxed, happy sort of person, so I don't think anxiety is causing this - I never worry or feel stressed at all. I don't drink alcohol or caffeine or smoke. I have been to the doctor about this, and have had all sorts of tests done, like a thyroid panel - nothing. My blood pressure is normal. He seems most worried about the sweating and gave me a prescription antiperspirant to use - it did less than nothing (I still sweat like crazy and my skin cracked and bled), so now he wants me to have surgery to sever the nerves that trigger sweating. :\ I'm more worried about the heart aspect (I can't help but feel like it's going to wear out from beating so hard all the time!), but can't seem to find any help.

I'd like to try something - anything - natural, to see if it can settle my heart down, if only to be able to get a good night's sleep. Anything that could curb my flood would also be a miracle! I really hate taking prescription drugs and sure don't want to have a very expensive, unnecessary surgery, and would love to find a bit of natural relief. Like I said, I'm not all that up on the ins and outs of natural medicine, but I'd be grateful if anyone could recommend something to try or do. I don't even know if folks are allowed to recommend things on this forum (I just now thought of that, but I'll still submit my post for what it's worth).

I'll be grateful for any kernel of advice I can get! Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this!
 

liverock

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Location
Out of sight
Hi Alabaster

Welcome to the Forum, sorry to read about your problems.

From all your symptoms it sounds like you may have a growth on one of your adrenal glands, a condition called pheochromocytoma.

The adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline and normally are under the control of of our neurons, which control the "fight and flight" response when we are alarmed.

A growth interferes with this action and it causes excess adrenaline even at rest, which brings on the excess sweating and pounding heart.

The excess adrenaline also causes high blood pressure(which can be intermittent), which could be responsible for your severe head aches. If you note from this chart the high blood pressure spikes appear to occur early in the morning which appears to be your worst period too.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/medical/IM01062

The fact that you are also jumpy a lot would also be another symptom.

These sort of tumors are usually benign and when removed most people experience a normal return to health.

I would ask your doctor to run tests ASAP as wild flucuations in blood pressure are a strain on both your heart and arteries.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pheochromocytoma/DS00569

.
 

Arrowwind09

Standing at the Portal
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
I agree with Liverock... get this test. If its negative come back and we can discuss further options but this shoudl be ruled in or out.

Although surgery is never pleasant the outcome sounds just like what you are looking for!
 

kind2creatures

...elusive dreamer
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Location
USA
My heart beats really hard, but not all that fast - it pounds so hard inside my chest that it's uncomfortable and makes it hard to sleep (which is why I posted in this section). It's especially bad right when I wake up.

I'd like to try something - anything - natural, to see if it can settle my heart down, if only to be able to get a good night's sleep.
I'll be grateful for any kernel of advice I can get!
Hi alabaster, welcome. Supplementing with Magnesium (citrate or malate), may help with your heart palpitations.

https://www.natmedtalk.com/wiki/Magnesium
 

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Thank you all so much!!
I looked at the Mayo Clinic info and it sounds spot on. It will be a couple of weeks before I can get to the doctor, so in the meantime, I'm going to try the magnesium and I'll also try taking my blood pressure right when I get up in the morning and seeing if it's high. The headaches are worst right when I sit up in bed in the morning - like I said, it feels like all the blood in my body is trying to go through my head at once. Also, I tremble very badly right when I get up. The heart aspect to this whole thing has me worried since there is a very high incidence of heart problems - heart attack, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes - on my late fathers side of my family.
As soon as I can get to my doc, I will have the tests done to see if this is my issue, and I will definitely let you wonderful folks know what I've found out. Thank you again!!
 

liverock

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Location
Out of sight
Alabaster

Pheochromocytoma is a rare form of tumour and most doctors will never come across one in their whole career.

Because of this it might help if you made copies of the diagnosis I made as well as the the two Mayo Clinic links referred to and take them with you when you go to the doctor.

If the doctor refuses to do the test for whatever reason go to another doctor who will.

Keep us informed on your progress, we like to hear how people contacting the forum are progressing.:)
 

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Oh, I will certainly give all the information I can to my doctor. I just hope he listens and is willing to do the tests. I live in a tiny town in the rural deep south - doctors are not easy to come by and most here aren't taking new patients or don't accept patients without insurance (which I don't have).
I have had so many tests done and everything, but each time the results have been negative for whatever it was. I don't know if it even entered into my doctor's mind to test for this at all. I did see that this is rare, so I know that the odds are against me having this sort of tumor, but at least if I have the tests done, I can rule it out and try to keep looking at what may be causing my symptoms. It is scary to think that I could have a pheo though, because my husband and I were thinking of trying to start a family. I read about the grim prognosis for women who are pregnant and have them - frightening!
I will let you all know what goes on with my doctor - and again, thank you all so much for your help!
 

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Hello everyone! I have been taking magnesium as per your suggestions, but I can't tell that it does anything to calm my heart down. However, it does make me fall fast asleep, so that's a good thing!
I've finally gotten an appointment with my doctor for Friday, so I'll let you all know if he agreed to do the test or not and all of that.
Thanks for everything, and I'll be back Friday to let you all know how the visit went.
 

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Hi everyone,
My doctor did agree to the test but he told me that I would absolutely find out that I don't have a pheo. He kept saying that pheos are so rare and that I would just ultimately find out that there is no medical reason whatsoever for all of this stuff going on at once (which I find hard to believe) and that there is basically nothing that can be done. Hmm, being miserable is not my forte. :\ I turned my pee in on Saturday afternoon (13th) and also had blood drawn, so I should be able to call tomorrow (22nd) and find out the results.
He did put me on metoprolol for the heart palpitations (25mg twice a day) when I saw him on the 12th and said that if in a week or so, there was no change, he'd up the dose. I don't know, he seemed surprised that I asked him for something to settle my heart down and said, "Well, I guess we could try metoprolol..." No change at all as of yet. :\
Well, we'll see tomorrow what the test says! Keep your collective fingers crossed for me that I'll eventually get this figured out. :)
 

liverock

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Location
Out of sight
Alabaster

Well at least he agreed to do the test.:roll:

Sounds like your doctor thinks your symptoms are due to anxiety
which explains why he prescribed the Metoprolol.
 
Last edited:

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Hmmm - that's weird. Can you have anxiety without worrying? :) I didn't figure that was it because I don't feel worried or nervous or upset or anything, just physically trembly sometimes - shakiness sort of similar to low blood sugar or something. Well, it doesn't matter to me, just as long as I eventually get this mess remedied, lol!
 

Arrowwind09

Standing at the Portal
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
You probably have already been to a site like this...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000795/

If you decide to stop taking this drug gradually taper off over the course of 1 to 2 weeks, for the body can react with cardiac symptoms if you just stop.

metroprolol is used for irregular heart beat and headaches... headaches which you do have but no one has said anything about irregular heart beat., which is different from racing heart and pounding heart , in my opinion. I is also used for hypertension. If you do not have elevated blood pressure there is a chance that it may become too low for you. Watch for dizziness and weakness. Check your BP if you can.


If your test comes back negative then perhaps we should discuss taking supplemental iodine. Did you know that iodine is a part of some heart medications? The heart really needs iodine. I had racing heart before iodine supplementation and now it is gone. Racing heart is not a typical sign of deficiency. Sometimes iodine causes racing heart in a very few people, so you will have to figure it out, an likely due to a sensitivity or allergy to the iodine, or perhaps detox symptoms that the iodine is bringing about, for iodine will facilitate detoxing some bad stuff people tend to accumulate.

Racing heart can bring on a sense of anxiety without any psychologial component.

I use to have this symptom and since iodine supplementation it is now gone. Lugol's iodine or iodoral tablets is the type you want. Many people here on this forum supplement with iodine. You would have to learn about it, as there is a learning curve regarding its supplementation.

Do not supplement with iodine if you have a known allergy to it.
 

liverock

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Location
Out of sight
Im actually surprised your doctor prescribed Metoprolol. It is supposed to be withheld from patients who may have a pheochromocytoma because it could actually increase blood pressure surges. :shock:

http://www.druglib.com/druginfo/metoprolol/warnings_precautions/

Pheochromocytoma

In patients known to have, or suspected of having, a pheochromocytoma, metoprolol tartrate is contraindicated (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). If metoprolol tartrate is required, it should be given in combination with an alpha blocker, and only after the alpha blocker has been initiated. Administration of beta blockers alone in the setting of pheochromocytoma has been associated with a paradoxical increase in blood pressure due to the attenuation of beta-mediated vasodilatation in skeletal muscle.
 
Last edited:

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Well, I tried to call my doc today and could never get through to his office - I'll try again tomorrow.
Liverock, I asked my doc for something that would slow my heart down and make it not beat quite so forcefully, as that tends to keep me up at nights. He is absolutely, 100% convinced that I don't have a pheo, so I guess that may be why he gave me metoprolol. *shrug* I can't tell that it's done a blessed thing yet!
Arrowwind09, can something be termed "anxiety" without a mental component? I mean, I tremble and shake sort of like someone with low blood sugar (that's the only thing I can think to compare it to). I can be just as happy as a clam and relaxed as all get out (I am 99.9% of the time) and still trembling physically. Would that still be termed anxiety? I just want to be sure I have my terminology straight! :)
Thanks everyone, and I hope I'll find out tomorrow what my test said.
 

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
I just talked to a nurse at the doctor's office, and she said that everything they tested for (I don't know what) was right smack in the middle of the normal range. I guess I need to start looking at other things now! I'd like to try to find other things that could cause my symptoms - I know it's possible, but it is hard to believe that all this stuff started happening out of the blue with no medical cause at all. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them!
 

liverock

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Location
Out of sight
Alabaster

Do you have the pheo symptoms all the time or do you have periods of no symptoms?

How high is your BP during the worst symptoms and how long do the symptoms last?

Did you have the test during a no symptoms period?

There is a condition called Pseudopheo which you can check out. Most people classified with this end up on a combination of alpha and beta blockers.

http://pheochromocytomasupportboard.yuku.com/search/text/forum/16?q=&submit.x=62&submit.y=39&page=1

http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4ADFA_enGB439GB439&q=pseudopheochromocytoma+symptoms#sclient=psy&hl=en&rlz=1T4ADFA_enGB439GB439&source=hp&q=pseudopheochromocytoma+treatment&aq=1&aqi=g4g-v1&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=80fad60aa434c2fd&biw=853&bih=402
 

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Liverock, I guess I have symptoms all the time - I sweat (heavily) constantly no matter if I'm cold or hot or working out or halfway asleep (though I used to be able to tolerate heat fine - I do live in an extremely hot place - but now, anything above 65 or so, and I'm panting and feel like I'm going to spontaneously combust). My heart always beats a bit fast and really, really hard, and I'm always very aware of it. I don't know what it's called, but my heart will beat "normally" (ie. pretty hard), then all of a sudden it seems to ... catch, or something. It seems to contract super hard and holds for a split second, then I get a little breathless. I feel like my heart beating so incredibly hard is what's causing me to be trembly and shaky. I mostly get headaches early in the mornings, right when I wake up, but sometimes at other times. I haven't been able to test my blood pressure - I thought I had a cuff somewhere, but I don't. It's always a hair on the low side of normal at the doctor's office.
I'm wondering if this could be hormonal in some way since my skin has changed a lot since this started (it was always a little oily before, but now all over my body it is super greasy, very rough and coarse, and breaking out a lot). Also, before this, my periods were always extremely irregular (maybe 1 or 2 times a year), but now - starting maybe a month or two after all the sweating and everything else - they have been coming like clockwork every single month.
I honestly don't know - I have no background in medicine (chemistry, rather), so I really can't think of what could be wrong. Could it be that all this has no medical basis and is just all a big, uncomfortable coincidence (which is what my doctor seems to think) or that I'm just being a big hypochondriac?
 
Last edited:

Arrowwind09

Standing at the Portal
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
I would recommend that you seek out a doctor who does bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Dont even broach the subject with your current doc. YOu need to be tested properly and if you need hormones you need bio-identical hormones and nothing else as all else will just screw you up. This very much could be female hormone related and would be what a doc into bio-identical hormonal therapy would call premenapausal symptoms.

As I said before I had the heart beat thing as you did and iodine helped me. When my periods when wacko a couple of years later the bio-identical hormones seemed to fix all things... I think I am on my 4th year with them.

Anxiety can have absolutley no mental symptoms. As a hospice nurse we treat anxiety quite a bit and often the patient will state that I have no reason to feel anxious. All things are well... well, as a hospice practitioner we know that a decline in systoms and a change in hormones and even systemic toxicity especially during the dying process can cause anxiety. It is purely physiological. Now Im not saying that you are dying, but I am saying that things are shifting around and causing a hormonal and perhaps other chemical imbalance.

Initially the iodine was enough for me. Iodine has a very important role to play in hormones, especially with the ovaries and breast tissues.

Something to think about anyway. I would get off of that blood pressure medication as soon as you can. It is not addressing the cause most likely. Sounds like you are in an almost perpetual hot flash.
 

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Arrowwind09, you know, hot flash seems to describe the feeling!
Several years ago (maybe 5-6) I had my hormone levels checked because of hardly ever having a period. The only thing that I can remember my doctor (not my current one) saying is, "No estrogen showed up at all on the test!" I thought that was a bit odd since, as far as I know, I am 100% female! :D
Also (I didn't think about it earlier), but another thing that leads me to think this may be hormonal is that besides the period and skin issues, I've sprouted a rather manly batch of facial and body hair. Unless I take the time to sit with tweezers every few days, I literally have to take a razor and shave my face like a man (how attractive!). I've also grown caterpillar eyebrows, furry arms, a furry lower back and fur on my buttocks - not...ahem, in between, but actually *on* my butt.
I'll have to wait a good long while to see another doctor, I think. I live in a teeny tiny rural town and there are no doctors in my town but "good ol' boy" GPs. I'm living away from my husband because of his work and I don't have a car at the moment, having to depend on friends to take me hither and yon. I wouldn't feel right asking someone to drive me at least 3 hours both ways to a doctor who may or may not know what's wrong. Ugh.
I don't want to sound like I'm not accepting your advice, it's just pretty crappy to think about how long it will be before I can see another doctor. Do "normal" doctors do the bio-identical hormone thing, or would I have to see an alternative practitioner? If "normal" doctors do do it, would I see a GP or a endocrinologist or...?
Thanks very much for pointing me in the hormonal direction, Arrowwind09!
 

liverock

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Location
Out of sight
Alabaster

I agree with Arrow. Now you have amplified your symptoms they all point to a hormonal cause.
Low estrogen can cause increases in testosterone which would increase your body hair levels as well as cause the varying periods and hot flashes. Lack of estrogen will also cause heavy night sweating as well thinning of the skin.

You could be going into (early?) menopause or have some other condition such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS).

http://www.livestrong.com/article/236679-female-hormonal-imbalance-symptoms/

http://www.digitalnaturopath.com/cond/C485625.html

Check with your doctor to see if he did a Hormone Panel Test and whether estrogen was low, although it may not be definitive as women with estrogen problems who have headaches usually have flucuating estrogen problems, so it may not show on just one hormone test.

http://digitalnaturopath.com/cond/C327561.html

For the nearest Bioidentical Hormone Practitioners in your area Google 'Bioidentical Hormone Practitioners'. Usually women who have found a good one will post a recommendation.
 
Last edited:

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Thank you for the links, Liverock!
I guess if I was going into menopause, it would be a bit early - I'm 30. I had honestly forgotten about having that blood test years ago - when Arrow mentioned hot flashes and hormones, I thought about it and everything seems to fit a hormonal cause for all this.
OK, I do have a couple of questions for you and Arrow (and anyone else that's reading this!):
Should I go to my doctor and ask for a hormone panel? I'd rather not take synthetic hormones, which I know will be suggested if my hormones are out of whack, but should I just have my hormone levels checked to see where they are?
Is there anything at all I can take and/or do to help this until I can get to someone who can prescribe bioidentical hormones if I need them? In my town, there's a WalMart and a GNC - not exactly a treasure trove of supplements. There's a health food store about an hour from here, so I might could convince someone to take me there - they also will order things they don't have in stock, unlike GNC and WalMart.
I've seen things like Estroven - could anything like that, or any herbs (I'm thinking I've read about black cohosh) be of any use?
Thank you all so much! I've got my fingers crossed!
 

liverock

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Location
Out of sight
Theres all sorts of things you can fiddle around with such as USP Progesterone cream, Estroven, Inositol and Iodine but PCOS is far more than just balancing your hormones. If you want to try anything probably USP progesterone cream is the one you could try first.

http://www.iherb.com/Source-Naturals-Natural-Progesterone-Cream-4-oz-113-4-g/6050?at=1

Most PCOS sufferers have prediabetic insulin resistance( high blood glucose) and if they are overweight need to reduce or the hormone treatments are less effective.

This means for most a change from the normal junk food diet. On top of this they usually have high LDL and low HDL cholesterol which needs addressing.

Low progesterone can also be due to a pituitary gland tumour which requires checking out. Thats why its important to be checked out by a Bioidentical Hormone practitioner, have you googled to see if there is one in your area yet?
 
Last edited:

alabaster

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Location
Over yonder...
Original Poster
Thanks Liverock!
I have Googled, and the nearest Bioidentical Hormone practitioner is about a 4.5 hour drive from me, so it will have to wait a while, unfortunately, but I will most certainly go as soon as I am able!
Hmmm...so I'd need to be checked to see if I have PCOS, also? Eeep, that doesn't sound like a nice thing to have. Would it be a good idea to go to my regular doctor and have a hormone panel done and maybe my cholesterol checked?
I'll definitely give a progesterone cream a try - it will have to be better than the metoprolol! That stuff has made me feel horrible, never helped, and I've stopped taking it. Would it be OK/a good idea to take Estroven and/or Black Cohosh until the cream comes in? They have both at the local pharmacy (I called), so I could do either or both.
Thank you so much for your help!
 


Top