Hello, I'm a 46 year old male cigarette smoker and live in upstate New York. About 5 months ago I had an "episode". While visiting my friends mother in the hospital I experienced a sudden rapid heartbeat, palpatations, and profuse sweating. It scared me very much and felt as if getting up from the chair and walking around would help. It did not. A nurse came into the room and saw my dillema and quickly brought a wheelchair to take me to the ER. I declined because I started to feel better within minutes. Subsequently while leaving the hospital I experienced problems with my balance, almost a vertigo type feeling.
I went to my family doctor and explained what happened at the hospital. The first word she said were, "sounds like you had a panic attack". She sent me for an EKG which was normal. Blood glucose normal. Blood pressure and heartrate normal. She then sent me off with a prescription for a bllod test and a stress test. Due to the fact that I am self employed I have no medical insurance. I did not go for the stress and blood test. I have not been to my family doctor since my intitial consultation.
I informed my mother (who is a clinical nutritionist) and she indicated that she had these same symptoms at about age 40. As it turned out she was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia. She indicated that I was probably hypoglycemic as well. I purchased a blood glucose monitor and measured myself closely (every hour)for about a month. My blood sugar is stable and holding steady at around 100-120.
I have changed my diet to a low glycemic diet. However I don't get much exercise and smoke cigarettes.
Since my first "episode" as described above I went about a month without another episode. For the past couple of months a have experienced these episodes of varying intensity multiple times daily. Sometimes abruptly woken by a racing heartbeat and palpatations (of course panic ensues because I feel like I'm having a heart attack). Other symptoms which have manifested are dizziness or a feeling like I'm going to pass out, an urge to flee, an urge to urinate, feelings of unreality, fear of imminant death, occasional ringing in my right ear, occasional sweating directly after a meal, chills, and weakening of my legs. These episodes happen at all times of the day and night and I have no warning when they will strike.
Relief is sometimes obtained by getting up and moving around and calming myself down.
Generally after these episodes I am exhausted, forgetfull, fatigued, and I get headaches and sometimes will sleep during the day.
Due to the fact that I never know when an episode will strike, I have been avoiding certain situations. Work is one of the biggest problems for me. Eating out at restaurants, and driving are some things I have been avoiding due to the fact I'm embarrassed by my symptoms in public and afraid I'll cause an accident while driving.
This problem is very real for me and making me very unstable. I'm hoping someone will identify my symptoms and guide me in the right direction for appropriate treatment.
Thank You All in advance for reading my story.
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