Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Alcohol and Exertion cause Right shoulder, arm, chest, bone pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Fantasia1900
  • October 27, 2010
  • 03:39 PM

Hi, I'm a 25 year old female and my symptoms started at the age of 15. I've been told I could lack the enzyme that allows the body to break down alcohol because my great grandfather was Cherokee, I've been laughed at by a cardiologist, and told that if I was 60 and it was on the other side I'd be having a heart attack, and the multiple symptom checker says its Hodgkins. I'm lost. Please help if you can, even though it's long.

-Triggers are Extreme physical exertion or Alcohol consumption
-Please bear in mind that these bring the episodes on 9 out of 10 times, but that means not every single time, and there are times when there is no apparent cause.
--Within between the first sip and 5 minutes (though generally the first 10-30 seconds) of alcohol (beer, rum, vodka, wine) I have sudden onset of severe right shoulder pain
--The shoulder is the center point of gradually spreading radiating pain into the right side of the neck, jaw and teeth. Also down the right arm all the way into the fingertips, which sometimes tingle. Also down the right side of the chest, into the center and the upper central abdomen, which feels slightly swollen.
--The chest feels as if someone grabs the center and rips it to the right side. If I try to open my chest, like press style with the shoulders it's almost impossible, feels like I'm being stabbed in the center of the chest. Bowing shoulders forward doesn't affect it though.
--In my right arm it is painful to move it, though not in a muscular way, I can feel my muscles, but they don't hurt...not sure what hurts, except that I can also feel what seems like severe bone pain, which also occurs in the jaw and teeth.
--Shortness of breath...It feels as though I can't get enough air in my lungs. Like they won't expand enough to take more than a very shallow labored breath.
--Immediate drenching sweating. Within a minute to two minutes I am soaked head to toe and completely flushed like I have a fever.
--Lightheadedness coupled with vision loss, either partial or full, and there have been occassions of loss of conciousness though very rarely. It usually gradually patches out either in black patches or bright white light patches.
--Sudden extreme fatigue and muscle weakness
--Heavy thudding and extremely fast heartbeat. I haven't timed it, the doctor asked me if I had and it hadn't even occurred to me for some reason.

Random other symptoms and conditions/diagnosis that may or may not have anything to do with it

-Occassional palpitations or heavy thudding or extremely fast fluttering, passes quickly.
-Trouble with temperature changes, almost always either sweating or have cold extremeties.
-Intense shortlived migraines. Also occassional ocular? migraines (those can last up to a half hour). Sudden onset, generally lasts only about a minute, though I had severe migraines that could last for days until the age of 17. Seems hereditary, as all females on maternal side as well as my brother have them.
-Unexplained brain and scalp tingling...kinda like brain shivers almost. Probably from Effexor taken at 15 for Depression.
Note: I do not currently have depression, though I know it can recur, I am positive, and have spoken to my doctor about the possibility and he is confident that's not it as well.
-Occassional recurring pain and sensitivity just under the skin in small patches (between a quarter to palm size) on the right arm, leg and buttocks, but rarely on the torso. Passes within hours to 2 days.
-Drenching night sweats alternated with chills unrelated to house temp or blankets, comes periodically usually lasts no more than a few days in a row before going away again.
-Intense full body itching, again, no apparent cause or rash, flares up on and off for a few days, then goes away for a while again.
-The wrenching pain in the chest and shortness of breath by itself. No specific trigger, sometimes just sitting around.
-Stabbing shoulder and arm pain (right side) when I cough, laugh or sneeze especially hard. Passes almost immediately, but is prone to occur repeatedly after the initial occurance for a few hours.
-Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndome at age 12
-Irregular menstrual cycles (one episode of bleeding lasted for 6 months, and went a year without any at all while off of birth control at age 16-17)
-2 miscarriages and 2 live births. One MC was at 22 weeks, one at 13, no reason found, other children are healthy. Maternal grandmother had 5 miscarriages, mother had one, sister had one.
-Diagnosed with Angioedema at age 11, although it didn't fit classic pattern. Severe swelling of right arm and leg only accompanied by severe knee pain, no hives, and recurring episodes, no apparent trigger.
-Mother has MS, Fibromyalgia and Tachycardia
-2 Maternal Aunts died of Heart attack before age 40
-Maternal Aunt still living in remission from Throat cancer
-Maternal Grandmother died of cancer, but I dont recall what type, but it was in the upper torso I remember
-Maternal and Paternal Grandfathers and Maternal Great Grandfather all died of Heart Attack

With the alcohol the shoulder pain starts the episode, but with Running, jogging, fast dancing etc my heart begins to race extremely fast, immediately...there is no working up to it, and the vision loss and shortness of breath are almost instant. I work out 4-6 times a week, and as long as it's mild aerobics, etc I'm fine. It's only when it's really fast that it occurs. I haven't timed my heartbeat, don't know why, guess I was just too freaked out to think about it. Thank you if you got this far, I know it's a lot.

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3 Replies:

  • So, alcohol and exercise cause those symptoms?Based upon your childhood symptoms listed, in addition to your reactions from alcohol and strenuous exercise, I'd like for you to read into a disorder called System Mastocytosis.Read over these Mast Cell Degranulators, as you might find them interesting:Allergens and other immunologic stimuliExercisePhysical stimuli (heat, cold, sunlight, friction, pressure, vibration)Bacterial toxinsVenoms (snake and insect, especially bee and wasp stings)Biologic polypeptides (released by intestinal roundworms, jellyfish,crayfish, and lobster)Polymers (Compound 48/80, dextran)Drugs: Aspirin, alcohol, narcotics (codeine, morphine), polymyxin B,amphotericin B, D-tubocurarine, quinine, iodine-containing radiographic dyes, scopolamine, gallamine,decamethonium, reserpineNow I know this might seem cruel, but based upon the listed degranulators above, try taking aspirin and seeing if it has the same effect. If so, then you have a pretty good indication of what is wrong.Hope you feel better.
    keanhe 86 Replies
    • October 27, 2010
    • 06:40 PM
    • 0
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  • So, alcohol and exercise cause those symptoms? Based upon your childhood symptoms listed, in addition to your reactions from alcohol and strenuous exercise, I'd like for you to read into a disorder called System Mastocytosis. Read over these Mast Cell Degranulators, as you might find them interesting: Allergens and other immunologic stimuli Exercise Physical stimuli (heat, cold, sunlight, friction, pressure, vibration) Bacterial toxins Venoms (snake and insect, especially bee and wasp stings) Biologic polypeptides (released by intestinal roundworms, jellyfish,crayfish, and lobster) Polymers (Compound 48/80, dextran) Drugs: Aspirin, alcohol, narcotics (codeine, morphine), polymyxin B,amphotericin B, D-tubocurarine, quinine, iodine-containing radiographic dyes, scopolamine, gallamine,decamethonium, reserpine Now I know this might seem cruel, but based upon the listed degranulators above, try taking aspirin and seeing if it has the same effect. If so, then you have a pretty good indication of what is wrong. Hope you feel better. The aspirin doesn't bother me, most of the triggers listed I don't have any problem with. Unfortunately I can't take it right now either way because I'm exclusively breastfeeding my 3 month old. I took codeine cough syrup while I was pregnant with no problem and have had morphine multiple times in the hospital with no ill effects. The physical stimuli and the exercise are problems, but that seems to be the only major link. Thank you for your reply though. I'm still stuck.
    Fantasia1900 1 Replies
    • October 28, 2010
    • 08:48 PM
    • 0
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  • Oh my God - that's so weird. I am off the the cardiologist this afternoon. My doctor has refered me after an episode last month. I was sitting eating tea with my family, suddenly got awful thudding in my chest - heart palpitations. Called out to hubby - he could see them from across the room! Have been short of breath for a couple of months, despite giving up smoking last year. Should be better - not worse!?Anyway, did a triathlon (not full length one) yesterday and got the hear palpitations as I got off the bike. First time it's happened during exercise. Thought I was going to pass out, arms went tingly. My friend did it with me, she's a first timer and not a runner (I am) and she kicked my a**.Was talking to hubby last night and said I think there's something wrong - I cannot run for more than 10 mins (max) before I have to stop and get my breath. I have had night sweats (not so bad lately) all last year - soaked the bed several times a night for most of the year. Have had that right shoulder pain since I was 15 like you! Was just saying last night, it was the first time I had told anyone but I used to drink a lot as a teenager and would sit down, my first drink would always send these shooting pains through my right shoulder. It would take about 15 mins for them to go - would be better by the time I was onto drink number 2. Never got it checked 'cos it wasn't my left shoulder so didn't worry.The shortness of breath is bad now, even when I am sitting down - but not all the time. SO many of your symptoms sound just like me. BTW, I am only 28.Will Google the thing the other poster suggested. Let me know if you have had any luck with a diagnosis.Take care, Beth.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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