I've been experiencing something that isn't right for at least 2 years now. Been to so many doctors & no one's had any answers. I do have an appointment with my GP to talk about my most recent test results, but at this point I feel like giving up on trying to find out what's wrong & continue to live with my symptoms.
I'm a 26 year old female, 5'1", 123lbs, vegetarian, no drugs/drinking/sex, fairly active, with no known family history of anything. I eat fairly well & drink plenty of fluids. Right now, I'm not able to be as active as I'd like to be since I don't feel well enough. If I over exert myself, it can take several days for me to recover.
My skin is more dry than normal & no amount of moisturizing seems to help for very long. Normally, I don't need moisturizer during the summer, but I've needed it this year. I also have a rash that comes & goes on my left shoulder, left side of my neck & left side of my stomach. My GP thought it was ringworm, but the treatment didn't work. Its usually quarter sized, dry & flaky & sometimes red. No itching. I've also been having a lot of trouble with getting a lot of pimples on my face, more so than normal. I get facials once a month, and that & my regular skin care routine (gentle cleaner/exfoliant & moisturizer twice a day) don't have any impact. Within the last month or two, I've noticed that I've gotten some pretty pronounced bags under my eyes, too. I've also noticed that I get bruises on my legs & arms & can't remember having done anything that could have caused bruising. Also have more black hairs coming out of my chin, & hair over upper lip is darker than normal. My sweat also seems to have a stronger, sulfur-like odor.
The symptoms that bother me the most on a daily basis are the shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain & palpitations. The palpitations can happen at any time (at rest, active, very active) & are worsened by lying on my left side, heat (weather, bath, shower) & very strenuous activity. Sometimes, the palpitations make it difficult to go to sleep. It can feel like my heart is racing, stopping & then starting, or quivering like jello. Not influenced by hydration, food intake, or salt intake.
The chest pain also comes & goes, while at rest & while active. I remember having multiple instances when I was a child where I'd get this sudden, intense squeezing pain where my heart is that would stop me in my tracks. I'd rest & then it would go away. I had a very bad episode a couple months ago. I was sitting in a recliner working on my computer when I experienced this sudden, intense squeezing chest pain that made it impossible to breathe. Once I sat up it went away, but it was very scary. After that, my GP ordered an echocardiogram. It showed a significant difference in the speed that different areas of my heart were beating at, PVCs, PACs & regurgitation through my pulmonic, tricuspid & mitral valves. So, I was sent to a cardiologist. Stress test- PVCs & decreased ejection fraction. It took me 2 days to recover from that, since I felt very weak & tired. Holter monitor showed a lot of PACs & some PVCs. Cardiologist said I had a lot of PVCs, more than normal, but that that was normal (?). Since the results of the stress test & Holter monitor contradict what she said, I'm not going back to see this cardiologist. But I don't know what to do next, or even if I want to do anything & just learn to live with my symptoms.
I also had an episode of SVT in February 2009. I was sitting & reading when my heart just started racing & wouldn't stop. Went to the ER & they gave me some medication that brought things back under control. Also have a history of low blood pressure (90-100/50-60), not impacted by hydration or salt. CBC totally normal, no anemia. Symptoms occur independently of any stress, & my life is pretty low stress now. In fact, things can be worse when I'm relaxed & better when I'm stressed.
I also fainted suddenly a year ago. Don't know why. I also get very dizzy sometimes, at rest or while active, especially if I move too quickly or am in a hot environment. Usually, a hot bath makes me very dizzy, but recently I got very dizzy after a warm shower. Took me over an hour to recover. Most of the time, it feels like the dizziness is coming from my chest, not my head.
I usually get nosebleeds during the winter, when its very dry out. Recently, I've been getting spontaneous nosebleeds, which shouldn't be happening now. I feel like I need to blow my nose, but instead of normal mucous its blood.
A lot of the time, my mouth feel very dry, but it isn't relieved by drinking water. I can get hydrated to the point where my urine is clear, but my mouth still feels dry. I also think my heart symptoms are better when I don't drink a lot of water or juice.
I've also experienced some strange stomach symptoms I've never had until this year. Sometimes, I shiver violently after a meal, regardless of what I ate. Then some days, I'm barely hungry at all & have to force myself to eat. Other days, I literally cannot eat enough. I've been absolutely ravenous after large meals, even an entire whole wheat vegetable pizza.
Until the past month or 2, my bowel movement have been completely normal. I've been constipated to some degree, with some bloating & pain. Sometimes, I feel like my intestines are blocked & I can't swallow normally (feels like food gets stuck). Diet hasn't changed. Been vegetarian for 5 years. Last night, the pain made it difficult to get to sleep. Today, I was constipated all day, but I had explosive diarrhea at night.
I've also experienced several menstrual irregularities in the past 6 months. Never had sex in any form. My normal period is 6 days every month. I skipped my period in March, though it came again in April. Since then, I've had several episodes of spotting between periods, which has never happened before. Then, I bled for 9 days in August, and I had a normal 6 day period 2 weeks later.
I feel more tired than usual, and it takes me a couple of days to recover after a day of intense physical activity. I also often feel like I can't think clearly, like I'm not getting enough oxygen to my brain. Mood is pretty good, except when I'm feeling bad & can't do things. No anxiety at all. Sometimes my hands swell up for no reason I can figure out. I've noticed a swollen lymph node in my neck. I've been suddenly waking from sleep. Sound asleep then wide awake & can't go back to sleep. Usually happens several times a night.
I've also been having some strange body temperature variations. I often feel like I have a fever. Today my temp fluctuated between 96.3F to 101.4F. Lost about 5lbs without trying to, also.
I've lived through a lot more stress previously in my life, with none of these symptoms. So I do not think any of this is stress related. Saw a therapist, which didn't help with any of these symptoms.