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I had written a blog about Adrenal Fatigue and exercise and was just about ready to post it when I started having chest pains. I guess it really started a couple of months ago when I went to the dentist to get a filling. I had a very strong reaction to the shot they gave me to numb my mouth. I started shaking and my heart started pounding and it didn’t stop pounding for 2 days. I called the dentist and he said “yes, I probably had a reaction to the epinephrine, but it would have been out of my system in minutes, not days”. I later found out that B’s have trouble with epinephrine so I just chalked it all up to my blood type and of course being an explorer and a non-secretor.
Then I noticed that I was having trouble breathing when I lay down in bed and my heart would beat hard and fast from time to time. Sometimes when I exerted myself and sometimes when I just lay still. Then on a Sunday morning while making myself some lentils my heart started pounding pretty hard. I sat down on the couch to see if it would calm down. I suddenly felt very dizzy and weak and I told my spouse to call 911. Then my heart really started to pound. I was given aspirin by my spouse and nitro when the paramedics arrived. The nitro worked, but I kept having “episodes”. I was taken to the hospital where they ran blood tests and EKG tests. Everything looked fine, so the next day they sent me home.
I stayed home from work for a couple of days, resting. Then I tried to go back to work. I was at work for about an hour and a half when it hit again, another ambulance ride to the hospital. Everything looked good, to them again, so they sent me home after a few hours. I didn’t even make it home before we turned around and I was back in the emergency room again. This time I stayed for about a week.
Every test they made on my heart looked fine. Blood tests, EKG, Echocardiogram, CT Angiogram, Chest X-rays, and treadmill all looked ok. My cholesterol is great and I eat so well on the GTD that they just wouldn’t believe anything was wrong with me! There was just nothing to point to. I had a number of “episodes” while in the hospital; I had three emergency teams respond to my room one night. They put me on Beta blockers and Calcium channel blockers, shrugged their shoulders and sent me home again. Here I waited, very quietly, for more test results to come in.
Last Monday we were so happy, I had finally failed a test! My epinephrine and metanephrine levels were high, which point to a problem with the Adrenal glands. So off I went to an Endocrinologist. I told her my symptoms and she told me she didn’t think the problem was with my Adrenals, but that she would run a few more tests. The Adrenal gland tests take a week to run. In the meantime I failed a Pancreas enzyme level test, which sent me to a Gastroenterologist! He ran another blood test on my liver enzymes, which have come out fine, and ordered a CT scan of my Pancreas (and hopefully my Adrenals). Meanwhile my Endocrinologist went on vacation!
Then last night my sister called. We rarely speak but she had talked to my dad and he told her what was going on with me. She called me immediately to tell me she had the same symptoms ten years ago and they found (after much digging) that she had a condition called Hyperaldosteronism and she had to have one of her Adrenal glands removed.
So that brings us up to the present moment. I’m waiting for the CT scan to be scheduled and I’m laying down - a lot. Wish me luck!
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