Fighting A Losing Battle Still - And Ruining My Life!
Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:50 PM
That was Friday. Sunday, after hauling in groceries, I'm struck with extreme fatigue, chest pains, and a feeling of a high pulse. The symptoms were so bad I had to sit down like a blob of Jell-O for 15 minutes. Dismissing it as overexersion as it passed, I got up, rather sleepily, and continue on my day. It happened again that evening I thought it was weird but again dismissed it as overexersion as I was again hauling things out of my car. Yesterday it happened about 6 or 7 times. But I couldn't ignore it any longer. The episodes lasted 30 minutes to an hour during which my pulse was not exceedly high. 90-95 bpm sitting and oddly it would jump, when I'd pry myself up to standing, to 115-125bpm. My normal resting pulse is around 80 bpm. But during these episodes I would become so tired I'd barely be able to stay awake - try being in the middle of class when these happen. And that's the thing too - they happen after exercise (walking up to the 3rd floor, walking across campus, etc) but also when I'm just sitting in class or watching TV.
I've read some articles on how gluten intolerance is linked to pericardial arryhthmias. The problem is...there's absolutly no gluten in my diet. So my question is, can the problems that can be caused by gluten be delayed? I haven't actually knowingly consumed gluten - as in, I haven't gone out and had a piece of cake or pizza or bowl of pasta or what not. I'm actually terrified that this will not ruin my college career - I can't get any work done, between my neurological problems with memory, concentration, etc and the fatigue from the cardiac problems leading to my sleeping all the time - but this is my heart and brain. I feel like my life is literally deteriorating and I can't stop it.
So, my thought process is this: that my symptoms are a delayed effect from years of gluten consumptions while being gluten intolerant and not knowing. OR that something in my diet contains gluten - possibly my medications, the brand names are said to be gluten free but I take generics and I cannot find info about these specifically being gluten free or not. OR my electrolytes are off causing the heart problems (hypo or hyper), I've already discontinued my calcium supplement out of fear of hypercalcemia. OR I'm moderately/severely dehydrated without knowing it which may or may not be related to kidney problems - I have noticed for the past month that I only urinate 2-3 times a day. OR there's something wrong with my brain structurally like a tumor which is completely unrelated to gluten intolerance.
I just don't know what to do at this point. I've got a team of doctors but they seem puzzled by some of my symptoms. I want to be in college desperately, I love it, but I'm barely functioning work wise - however, the work I do complete is always of good quality. How do I cope with a life that is literally falling apart? Maybe some of you guys and gals with experience could advise me on how to handle the situation? I'm really confused as to my next step. Seriously was debating just going to the ER tonight after one of my heart episodes lasted 1.5 hours. I don't know...help/advice on the general situation?
Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:12 PM
Who is on your team of doctors? What kinds of things have they looked at so far?
If you are having arrhythmias that cause you the kinds of troubles you are having, it really is something that needs to be urgently evaluated by a doctor. Do you have a cardiologist?
It would not be wise to play guessing games here.
All of your suggestions are valid. Yes, gluten can cause neurological problems. Yes, electrolyte or other nutritional imbalances can cause arrhythmia. You could have a systemic infection, that can cause arrhythmia. You could have a thyroid problem. You could be suffering an adrenal malfunction.
There are so many things, and none are do-it-yourself.
I do pray you get connected with the right doctor, one who is curious and caring, and a real detective.
This sound like it has been a recent change in your health, not long-term. How long have you been having this?
What is your age-range?
Best to you.
2003 - Hashimoto's Disease
2008 - Diverticulitis
2009 - Significant Vit D Deficiency
2011 - Diverticulitis again
2011 - HLA-DQ2.2
2012 - TtG IgG positive... I am now, finally, Gluten Free - 5/16/2012
Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:04 PM
What kinds of doctors have you seen? Have you seen a neurologist? Have you seen a cardiologist? Are you still covered under your parents' insurance? If so, and you have not had either of these evaluations I think it is important that you do both right away. And it is important that both know that you suspect these symptoms come from what you are eating.
Now the tendency for most doctors is to laugh that off, so you must do your research and spell it out to them. Gluten can cause symptoms that mimic MS, and cause lesions on the brain that show up as unidentifed bright objects (UBO's) which are like MS lesions but different. There are other posters here on the forum who will tell you about these.
For myself (and this may not apply to you at all, I just throw it out there because otherwise how would you know about it?) I have discovered that what happens to my heart is caused by lectins which are glycoproteins. There is a lectin glycoprotein in gluten called wheat germ agglutin). Lectins are found in varying quantities in all plant based foods -- they are the plants' natural protection against predators -- and I am sensitive to many of them. This may (or may NOT) be true for you. If you are sensitive to them, they bind to sugars on the surface of cells and cause havoc in your body. Not saying that this is your problem, mind you, just alerting you to a potential source of trouble.
I think the first thing I would do is consult a cardiologist and ask to wear a Holter monitor which will record for 24 hours what is happening with your heart rate and rhythm. If it does not happen that frequently you can get one that runs for longer.
And I am sure you have seen a neurologist. Ask for an MRI of the brain and see if you have any of these UBO's.
That would be where I would start.
Good luck with your detective work and I hope you find some doctors who are receptive to food-based physical problems.
"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein
"Life is not weathering the storm; it is learning to dance in the rain"
"Whatever the question, the answer is always chocolate." Nigella Lawson
Caffeine free 1973
Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004
Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
Nightshade free Feb 2009
Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose
Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator
Posted 02 October 2012 - 06:15 PM
Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:46 AM
Despite all, remaining positive!
Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:25 AM
Please let us know how you eventually resolve this problem, okay? Good luck!
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