I'm 28 years old and have an irregular heartbeat and MVP. I could not tolerate any exercise other than walking since I was 23. If i exercise, I get squeezing chest pains, the palpitations get out of control and I am lightheaded.
At age 24, beginning of summer, I quit smoking and went on a diet. i cut out sugar, and cut back on carbs. I began drinking diet sodas. When I drank them, I would feel numbness/tingling in my feet, hands and head., but I thought this was normal. The sensation would start when I had drank about half the soda, and would go away about 10 minutes after I finished drinking it. About a week after I started drinking them, I noticed that the numbness would come even when I wasn't drinking them. And my legs would fall asleep if i had any pressure on them. Then I went off my diet (after I had lost about 10 pounds) and ate the way I did before...sweets, fatty foods, etc.
I then began experiencing crazy heart rhythms, even though I hadn't exercised. I also started having chest pains--for no apparent reason.
i went to a cardiologist. He told me i was imagining it, but offered me medicine.
I tried all the medicines they could offer me, and they only made my chest pain worse. (also made my blood pressure extremely low, then sky high when I came off of it)
My circulation became VERY bad after I tried all those medicines. I couldn't wear a purse on my shoulder without cutting off circulation on my arm. I couldn't read a book laying in bed because bending my arm up would cause the blood to stop flowing from elbow up. I couldn't drive because any pressure on my thighs would cut cirulation off down to my toes. I couldn't go to class because I couldn't sit in the seat. I couldn't wear socks because I would lose circulation in my feet.
All I could do was lay flat on my back on my bed. This lasted nearly a whole year.
At this same period of time, I couldn't walk fast or even go slowly up stairs without my heart racing. I would often have my heart rate stuck at 146 for 24 hours at a time. I had sharp pains that would flash in my fingers and my toes, and also in my head. They were almost constant.
I couldn't hang out with friends. (I was confined to my bed.) I couldn't make the drive or flight to see my family. I couldn't pay to go to a doctor again. (and I'd already tried all the medicine anyways) I couldn't listen to music or watch t.v. because any slight excitement would cause waves of adrenaline to shoot thru my body giving me butterflies in my stomache and a racing heartbeat that would last....forever it seemed.
But the worse part was...nobody could see that i was sick. I wasn't in a wheelchair. I looked healthy. And I had no diagnosis. I had no support. I had nobody who believed me. This was truly the worste year of my life.
I was planning on getting a gun...
Anyways, I started smoking again, and the symptoms immediately began to improve. It took another whole year before the circulation got completely better. My heart rhythm stabalized and I was feeling great. (I gained back all my weight though)
I had 1 year of awesome health. (but I continued to smoke) I even exercised with very few palpitations. I lost about 20 pounds in this year eating healthy foods and riding my bike. I treated this time as a 2nd chance at life. I couldn't believe my luck. I was out every day enjoying life to the fullest.
Then, one sad day, last June, I went off my diet and binged. I ate until I was going to pop...then some more. And i did this for about 3 days in a row. On that 4th day, I began having the sharp pains in my head, hands and toes. I must have knocked something off balance or triggered something. Anway, I have had those pains for the past year.
2 months ago I quite smoking for 15 days. My palpitations worstened each day and became absolutely horrible. I was also having very bad squeezing chest pains that got more frequent with each day i didn't smoke. So I began smoking again...and within just 1 day my heartbeat became normal again and chest pains went away.
But about 2 days after i began smoking again, I suddenly got very bad aches in my muscles and joint pain. So for the past 1.5 months my whole body aches so bad I cannot even go grocery shopping without using a wheelchair. I get intense headaches that last for about half the day. i still have the sharp pains in my head, hands and feet. I have extreme fatigue, especially in the morning.
And 2 days ago my circulation problem came back again too. I was driving and my legs began to fall asleep. So i put the car on cruise control and put my feet up on the seat to take the pressure off the backs of my thighs.
Yep, so this is my life. I've been tested for just about everything you can imagine during the past month. Everything comes back as negative.
How difficult life can be at times. How wonderful it can be with good health! What I wouldn'd do to have good health again. But it is impossible to figure any of this stuff out. Soooo frustrating. I won't live like this.