I would like to extend a big thanks out to anyone willing to read and comment / offer any advice on this post, it is greatly appreciated!
I am a 24 year old male, 6 ft, 190 lbs. I exercise when I can, and have fair eating habits. I have smoked on and off since I was 19, and I consume alcohol on occasion. Also, my family has no history of heart disease, cancer, or any chronic illnesses. Last blood test from physical exam showed elevated LDL cholesterol = 152 mg/dl, so I began changing my diet and exercise habits in September.
For the past month and half, I have experienced breathing difficulties. My doctor suspected it might be asthma because I had more difficulty exhaling as opposed to inhaling, so he put me on a trial of Singulair. Unfortunately, it had no effect. I began having chest and back pains, so I went back to my doctor to let him know the Singulair was not working, and I had begun to develop new symptoms. EKG was normal. Spirometry test was normal according to him, I scored 83% when 80% and less is considered asthmatic. He told me it was probably anxiety related and I should just try to relax.
(NOTE: I have always been a classic over-thinker, but there was no reason for me to be over anxious at this time...I had even finished my Christmas shopping ridiculously early for once, lol)
In mid November, I simply could not catch my breath and my chest was killing me! So I went to the ER. Blood pressure was 142/100, pulse oxygen was 100%, heart rate was 64. Blood tests, including a D-dimer, and a chest x-ray came back normal. ER docs said it was a panic attack. I bought a home blood pressure monitor, and after some weeks of watching it, realized my pulse seems kind of low at rest (usually around 55, often in the mid 40's in the morning). Also at rest, my systolic pressure hovers around 135, and my diastolic pressure is usually between 70-75.
I began to notice my stomach felt bloated more often, and my bowel habits had changed a bit. Felt mild constipation, no serious pain.
(NOTE: In August I was hospitalized after what was thought to be intussusception, which consisted of abdominal distention, constipation, severe pain and no appetite. After a a CT and barium swallow, I was discharged and it cleared up on its own after a week).
I also noticed the breathing problems became worse during and after eating (the larger the meal, the harder it is to breathe), and when sitting in an upright position (driving a car, sitting at my desk.)
29th of November - back in the ER with chest pains, fatigue, bloating/constipation, and even worse breathing problems. BP, pulse oxygen, and heart rate were essentially the same from before. Same blood tests, EKG, chest x-ray...all normal. ER doc found strange (yet, faint) rash on my right arm I had not noticed, said it was probably ringworm (contracted after I started going to the gym more often) and suggested an OTC topical.
Saw primary Doc later that week, scheduled an echocardiogram for December 4. Just days before the test, I started having left ankle pain, thought I might have walked on it funny. Over a few days time, the left ankle pain progressed from occasional ankle aches to left calf, left forearm and left shoulder pain and slight tingling which will flare up randomly during the day, mostly while I am moving, walking, or exercising. Sometimes it just goes away while I am being active, sometimes it will not. Also, my feet have been sweating excessively the past few days. It feels like a cold sweat (probably since I am outside in Michigan during the winter) but when I take my socks off my feet are hot to the touch. All of these new symptoms (including worsening fatigue) have become progressively worse up until this point, while the breathing and abdominal problems seem to be happening less frequently.
I received the echocardiogram results Monday evening after my Doctor called to tell me it was normal. I was a bit concerned after the test, especially after the technician said my heart rate was only about 50bpm during the entire procedure. While I was initially relieved, after viewing the results for myself I am thinking about getting a second opinion, and / or a stress test. Below is an interpretation:
Intervent Sept - Thickness: 9mm 6 - 11mm
Left Ventricle - LVID (Diastole): 51mm 37 - 56mm
- LVID (Systole): 44mm 28 - 30mm
Posterior Wall - Thickness: 10mm 6 - 11mm
Aorta - Root Dimension: 31mm 20 - 37mm
Left Atrium - Dimension: 42mm 19 - 38mm
Right Ventricle - Dimension 28mm 7 - 22mm
AORTIC ROOT diameter is: normal (<3.5cm)
AORTIC VALVE is: normal with no restricted motion and no regurgitation
MITRAL VALVE is: normal with no restricted motion and no regurgitation
TRICUSPID VALVE is: normal with no regurgitation
PULMONIC VALVE is: not well seen with recorded views
PULMONARY PRESSURE is: not calculated
RIGHT ATRIAL chamber diameter is: normal
LEFT ATRIAL chamber diameter is: normal
RIGHT VENTRICULAR chamber diameter is: normal with normal systolic function
LEFT VENTRICULAR chamber diameter is: normal with normal systolic function and no evidence of LVH; left ventricular Ejection Fraction is above 55%
INTER-ATRIAL SEPTUM: appears intact
INTER-VENTRICULAR SEPTUM: appears to be structurally normal
There is NO PERICARDIAL EFFUSION
While you see the physician interpretation in pretty positive, the measurements for the left ventricle LVID (systole) showed dilation, and the left atrium and right ventricle dimension results were a bit higher than normal. Is this cause for concern, especially considering the symptoms I am experiencing? Show I receive a second opinion, or schedule a stress test?
If you managed to read through all this information, THANK YOU very much, and feel free to comment, ask a question, or offer any advice you would like to share!
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