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  • Chest tightness.

    I've been experiencing lots of chest tightness and the occasional heart palpitations and "flutters" in my lower throat / upper chest for the last month or two. It seems to have become a daily thing. It's usually just discomfort, I wouldn't really call it pain most of the time, but it is prominent. The tightness usually occurs after eating a big meal or when lying or sitting down in certain positions, and the palpitations are much more common during the bouts of tightness. There is never any discomfort during exercise, which I find curious.

    I originally thought this might be some kind of digestion issue masquerading as a heart / chest issue, as the chest discomfort is often accompanied by a "tightness" and light, almost burning kind of sensation in my upper stomach area (NOT heartburn), but now I'm not so sure. I had my fair share of digestive issues before the chest issues started, and there do seem to be occasions where the chest discomfort will arise whether I've eaten that day or not.

    I'm a little pissed off, honestly. It seems like the harder I try to get healthy, the farther I get from actual health and the more bullshit problems I end up dealing with. I recently turned 18 but sometimes I could swear I was 50 judging by how my body feels. I don't think the primal lifestyle caused this, but I don't remember having this issue before starting it either, at least not to this degree. I did used to experience feelings of light-headedness and almost blacking out along with heart palpitations upon standing (almost every time), but that seems to have improved. I never used to get the fluttering sensation.

    Does anybody have any idea what might be the problem here? Also, I really don't need to be told twenty times to go to the doctor. Please. I know I need to go to the doctor. I'm just interested in hearing what you guys think about this.
    Last edited by Styrofoam Jones; 11-23-2010, 09:38 PM.

  • #2
    If I were a doctor, I would say you have heart trouble and should come in for a checkup immediately.
    Ancestral Health Info

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    • #3
      I have had palpitations in the past. Do you have thyroid issues? Do you think it is anxiety attacks?

      When I was eating very low sodium I had the worst palpitations, and the cardiologist told me to drink Gatorade everyday. We agreed I could try adding sea salt to my food, and it worked wonderfully.
      Meghan

      My MDA journal

      Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

      And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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      • #4
        I can get chest tightness and heart flutters from food intolerances. Previous long-term palpitations have pretty much been solved by magnesium supplementation.
        My primal journal
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        In Praise of the Primal Lifestyle

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        • #5
          Jones,

          You have not told us enough about yourself to make any kind of judgments.
          1) How much do you weigh?
          2) What is your Heart Rate & Blood Pressure?
          3) What is your typical diet?
          4) What liquids are you drinking?
          6) Are you taking any drugs?
          7) How long can you jog before stopping.
          8) Do you have asthma or any coughing?
          9) Do you smoke anything?

          Best to you,
          Grizz
          Last edited by Grizz; 11-24-2010, 07:00 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Follow your own advice---see a physician for a checkup. Be leery of walking out with a bottle of pills though. Investigate. Ask to read his or her copy of the PDR for the med that might be prescribed. Ask about options. Think of natural non-chemical sources of the imitation compound in the med.
            Tayatha om bekandze

            Bekandze maha bekandze

            Randza samu gate soha

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            • #7
              Definitely see a doctor (and I'm very slow to recommend that usually).

              The other thought I had....weren't you also the guy with the prostate issues? Seems to me that either:

              1) You're one unlucky 18 year old, with prostate cancer and heart disease
              2) You have some kinda funky systemic thing going on
              3) You have the tendency to focus on a twinge in one body part and then create a monster out of it. That's a particular issue with heart stuff, because as you get anxious, your body chemistry shifts to produce the very chest symptoms you are worried about.

              If a doctor gives you the all clear on the basics, I'd focus on the anxiety piece.
              Last edited by lizch; 11-24-2010, 09:25 AM.
              Liz.

              Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
              Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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              • #8
                Lizch,

                You have a great memory and good advice. Here is his message regarding prostate problems:
                Originally posted by msg 10/15/10
                I have the wonky prostate thing going on too, Grizz. I've noticed a definite decrease in how often I have to get up to piss in the middle of the night (sometimes I can make it through the whole night, something that was absolutely impossible before) after only about a month on PB, but I'm still dealing with those annoying, incomplete, stop and go urinations as well as occasional aches and pains "below the equator".

                Random question. I'm 18, is it weird to have prostate issues this young? I've been dealing with this for a year or so now. I know it's stupid to put off a doctor visit so long for something like this, but god I hate doctors (and the entire medical system, at that). Here's hoping PB can iron this out!
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...637#post239637
                Originally posted by msg 11/6/10
                I've been dealing with bloating, poor digestion, and a kind of burning sensation after meals (not heartburn) for what feels like forever. It has lessened on Primal and I am able to eat some meals without too much discomfort, but I'm six or seven weeks in and it still happens daily. My extreme gassiness and runny stools are completely gone, however, so I know I'm doing something right.
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...897#post220897
                From another message, Styrofoam said,
                Originally posted by msg 10/19/10
                I've been on the weight loss journey for a couple of years now. At my peak I weighed about 290, and yes, I did have a pretty nice rack. I'm 6'3" and 168 lbs now, so in the "healthy" weight range, but I haven't been there long. My man boobs are mostly gone from the fat loss, but are still hanging around a bit, unfortunately (I still have some fat to lose).
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...675#post243675
                Originally posted by msg 10/17/10
                I've been having constipation issues as well. Well, I don't know whether it's true constipation or not, but I can go days at a time without passing anything. I sometimes get a faint feeling of needing to go, but it never happens. I have to wait around for that feeling of REALLY needing to go before I can actually get anything out. It's a little harder, but I don't have to strain too much or anything.

                It's just now going on Sunday and I haven't had a bowel movement since Monday night / Tuesday morning, and that only happened because I dosed some 2C-E, which always makes me poop for some reason.

                My diet is basically chicken, eggs, bacon, fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, tilapia), butter, olive oil, guacamole and lots of vegetables (at least half my diet by volume is made up of veggies). I do a half to a full serving of fruit per day, which I'll occasionally swap out for a small sweet potato. According to fitday, I get 20-30g of fiber and 50-65% of calories from fat per day, so I know that's not the problem.
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...288#post241288
                Originally posted by msg 10/9/10
                I've been eating 1 or 2 large meals a day for a while now. I usually skip breakfast, because I'm just not that hungry in the morning. Lots of liquid consumption around this time though, mostly water, sometimes coffee or green / rooibos tea if I'm in the mood.
                I do fasted exercise at varying degrees of intensity every day, and my first meal always comes afterward. This is usually around lunch time. It's almost always a large salad with either romaine lettuce, baby spinach, or spring mix greens as a base and cucumber, carrots, avocado, red or yellow onion, bell peppers, and diced tomatoes to round it off. I dress it with olive oil and seasonings and throw some sliced up protein in there as well. Usually left-over pan-fried chicken or a bacon and hard-boiled egg combo. Sometimes I'll do a huge seafood and veggie stir-fry instead of the salad. I'll also have a bit of carbs on the side. A small sweet potato if it was a lifting day, a half cup to a cup of mixed berries otherwise.

                Dinner is usually a simple plate of steamed veggies and some kind of fish or marinated meat. When I'm not feeling lazy I'll try something a little more adventurous. One thing I love to whip up for dinner is a bangin' spinach omelet stuffed with bacon, italian sausage, and veggies on a bed of cabbage or sauerkraut with some guacamole on the side.

                If I'm not feeling satisfied after a meal I'll nibble on something like olives, hard-boiled eggs, coconut, and occasionally 85% dark chocolate until I feel full. And every few weeks I'll buy and dry-roast some almonds for snacking. I have no control when it comes to nuts, so I just buy them sparingly and gorge my face off.
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...303#post234303

                Originally posted by msg 09/25/10
                Hey everybody. I've been lurking these boards almost every day for the last few weeks and finally decided to join up today. This place has provided me with an incredible amount of sensible information, I love it.

                A little about me. I'm 18 years old, currently living in Connecticut, and I've been fighting the health fight for a few years now. Even from a young age I could feel myself falling apart. I felt like I was aging at an incredible rate. Joint pain, brain fog, major skin, hair and digestive issues, the whole nine yards. What the hell? Was I in my teens or my eighties? It was all very depressing, to say the least.

                The day came along when I had just had enough. I was very overweight and I saw weight loss as the magic bullet. I had convinced myself that all my problems would melt away as soon as I got to a healthy weight. I ended up losing well over 100 pounds over the course of a couple of years (was still eating the SAD at this point), and by the end of it I felt worse than ever. I had run myself ragged with chronic cardio and ridiculously long weight training sessions that I didn't allow myself the time nor proper nutrition to recover from, thanks to all of the conventional wisdom and broscience that I stupidly bought into.

                Frustrated and angry, I joined a forum dedicated to solving one of my largest problems (acne and other skin issues). From the nutrition / holistic health board there, I began to learn about the horrible direction that conventional wisdom was leading this country. Eventually, I came across a link to this website, and spent the next two weeks reading two to three hours worth of articles each and every day. I can not tell you how excited I became as I slowly worked my way through all of Mark's blog posts. Finally, information that made sense! Good ol' fucking SENSE! The more I read, the more things clicked, and I knew the primal life was right for me.

                I've been about 90% primal for two weeks, and I've already noticed an improvement in my skin, sinuses, sleep quality and mental clarity. There were a few headaches at first, but I had no other symptoms from ditching carbs. Even cravings were minimal. I went out to dinner with my family a few days ago and treated myself to a cheat meal which led to severe cramping and bloating that tapered off after several hours but was still present until I woke up the next day. Definitely won't be doing that again.
                I'm back on track and looking forward to all of the benefits this diet will bring, as well as being a part of the primal community.
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...897#post220897
                I recalled reading that Jones had lost a LOT of weight and a few other vague recollections. There they are.
                Maybe we can put all of this together with an accurate diagnosis.

                Grizz
                Last edited by Grizz; 11-24-2010, 10:12 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Styrofoam Jones,
                  Lets see if we can make something out of the evidence we have.
                  1) 18 yrs old, was about 290 lbs, now 6'3" and 168 lbs, but I haven't been there long. My man boobs are mostly gone from the fat loss, unfortunately (I still have some fat to lose).
                  2) bloating, poor digestion, and a kind of burning sensation after meals
                  3) Constipation, going 2 or 3 times a week
                  4) eating 1 or 2 large meals a day for a while now
                  5) Started Primal 9/7/10
                  Do we have these facts right?

                  IMO, you should NOT see a doctor yet. You are coming off a a HUGE weight loss over several years, ( congratulations ) and your poor body needs time to heal itself and adjust to healthy eating. I suggest staying on a strict PB diet for about 6 months and I will bet that all of your symptoms fade away. If any new symptoms or serious problems appear then you may want to see a doctor. It will take about 3 months for your arteries to clear & your liver to detox. So I say be patient for a while.
                  WHAT IS YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE & HEART RATE ? You can measure it in most drug stores. Take the measurement 3 times to get the average.

                  Best to you,
                  Grizz
                  Last edited by Grizz; 11-24-2010, 11:05 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I have been there, scared the hell out of me enough to go to the hospitol twice!
                    first time they thought I was having a heart attack and could come up with nothing, but I finally figured out I had the same reaction after eating things with soy and MSG.
                    Recently I have had the same problem but it has been after shedding alot of fat in a short time. Homones are stored in fat cells and the doctor told me it could very well be a 'flush' of hormones that causes the fluttery feeling, as well as hot flashes I am having too. Thyroid problems also cause the same reaction, this can be a pre-diabetic sign as well

                    His suggestions: eat slightly smaller meals to assure you are not creating an acid reflux type situation, never lie down immediatly after a meal until this problem is corrected, up the water intake a little but not enough to make you feel full before a meal, make sure you are taking enough Vit D3, and getting adequate leafy greens, and continue avoiding insulin spikes
                    Redflame
                    Started PB Aug 9, 2010 then let 'stuff' get in the way
                    Back to start and make a fantastic 2012
                    Goal of Significant Weight Loss
                    15 pounds down! with more to go!

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                    • #11
                      A cardiologist could fit you with a Holter monitor for 24 hours -- then you push the button whenever this happens and it highlights it in the monitor's records. Then they can use the data to figure out exactly what your heart was doing right around then.

                      (I just got Holter-monitored along with an echocardiogram the other day... very interesting process!)

                      I doubt they'd just say "here take these pills" without lots of testing first, so don't let that dissuade you from at least getting checked...
                      "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NutMeg View Post
                        I have had palpitations in the past. Do you have thyroid issues? Do you think it is anxiety attacks?

                        When I was eating very low sodium I had the worst palpitations, and the cardiologist told me to drink Gatorade everyday. We agreed I could try adding sea salt to my food, and it worked wonderfully.
                        Definitely not panic attacks. I used to get those a lot back in high school, what I'm experiencing these days is different. I'm not sure about my thyroid. I definitely have a lot of the symptoms of a messed up thyroid though. Just one more thing on the ever-expanding list of stuff I need to see a doctor about.

                        I use sea salt with just about every meal. How much did you have to add to your food to see the benefits? I don't use a ton, but I use a decent amount and I'm hesitant to raise it any higher, but maybe that's just old CW fear.

                        Originally posted by racingsnake View Post
                        I can get chest tightness and heart flutters from food intolerances. Previous long-term palpitations have pretty much been solved by magnesium supplementation.
                        I've heard about supplemental magnesium and potassium helping with heart problems. I'll look into that.

                        Originally posted by Grizz View Post
                        Jones,

                        You have not told us enough about yourself to make any kind of judgments.
                        1) How much do you weigh?
                        2) What is your Heart Rate & Blood Pressure?
                        3) What is your typical diet?
                        4) What liquids are you drinking?
                        6) Are you taking any drugs?
                        7) How long can you jog before stopping.
                        8) Do you have asthma or any coughing?
                        9) Do you smoke anything?

                        Best to you,
                        Grizz
                        1. Yesterday I weighed in at about 164 pounds.
                        2. Not sure about blood pressure or my "real" resting HR. HR throughout the day seems to sit around 60 - 75, even during the episodes of chest tightness. I will look into measuring my blood pressure.
                        3. Chicken / turkey, fish, bacon, eggs, lots of veggies, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado. Sweet potato on lifting days. Occasional piece of 85% dark chocolate.
                        4. Water. Sometimes I'll use coconut milk as a beverage, but not too often.
                        6. No prescribed medication. I take a couple of supplements (vitamin D and zinc) and I use recreational psychedelics once or twice a month.
                        7. No idea. I'm not a jogger. Back in my chronic cardio days I used to be able to knock out a thirty minute session of steady state cardio without much trouble, if that helps at all (this was about four months ago). Exercise in general has never seemed to give me any problems other than with my knees.
                        8. I don't really remember that far back, but I'm told I had bad asthma when I was really young. I guess it just kind of went away. I never have trouble breathing these days.
                        9. I used to smoke marijuana, but have stopped almost completely. It makes me way too sensitive to my body, which is a total piece of shit it seems. The only time my testicular pain ever hurts enough to truly worry me is while high. In fact, if I never smoked to begin with I might have never even realized something was wrong down there, but I know something's up when I take a couple hits and five minutes later feel like one of my balls is about to explode. I don't smoke anything anymore, and won't be until I can get all of these problems sorted out.

                        Those points in your other post seem about right, although I think I started primal around September 10th ~ 15th. It's been at least a solid two months regardless.

                        Originally posted by lizch View Post
                        Definitely see a doctor (and I'm very slow to recommend that usually).

                        The other thought I had....weren't you also the guy with the prostate issues? Seems to me that either:

                        1) You're one unlucky 18 year old, with prostate cancer and heart disease
                        2) You have some kinda funky systemic thing going on
                        3) You have the tendency to focus on a twinge in one body part and then create a monster out of it. That's a particular issue with heart stuff, because as you get anxious, your body chemistry shifts to produce the very chest symptoms you are worried about.

                        If a doctor gives you the all clear on the basics, I'd focus on the anxiety piece.
                        I know this is more than anxiety. Like I said above, I've had my fair share of anxiety issues in the past so I know what those feel like and this seems different. Plus I've tried all my old anti-anxiety tricks to no real avail.

                        That's why I'm so pissy about all this. It doesn't really seem fair that I'm seriously worrying about prostate or heart issues at all at this age, on top of everything else that's going wrong with me. But that's life I suppose. I know I need to go to the doctor. But, to be honest, I have some personal issues with doctors. Not just doctors, but they fit in with it. I don't feel like getting into it, and I don't expect anybody to understand, but that's basically where I am with that. I figure it'll work itself out eventually, whether I finally man up at some point and make an appointment, or my problems get so bad that there's no other choice, or I just keel over and die one day.

                        Originally posted by Redflame View Post
                        I have been there, scared the hell out of me enough to go to the hospitol twice!
                        first time they thought I was having a heart attack and could come up with nothing, but I finally figured out I had the same reaction after eating things with soy and MSG.
                        Recently I have had the same problem but it has been after shedding alot of fat in a short time. Homones are stored in fat cells and the doctor told me it could very well be a 'flush' of hormones that causes the fluttery feeling, as well as hot flashes I am having too. Thyroid problems also cause the same reaction, this can be a pre-diabetic sign as well

                        His suggestions: eat slightly smaller meals to assure you are not creating an acid reflux type situation, never lie down immediatly after a meal until this problem is corrected, up the water intake a little but not enough to make you feel full before a meal, make sure you are taking enough Vit D3, and getting adequate leafy greens, and continue avoiding insulin spikes
                        That makes sense. Would explain why I've been feeling worse and worse the healthier I try to get. I've been steadily losing weight for 2 or 3 years now. I just recently decided to stop focusing on fat loss and start focusing on healing. If that is the problem, I wonder how much damage those hormones and toxins could have done and how long it'll take to iron everything out?

                        Thanks for the help everybody, I really appreciate it. I'd still be interested in hearing any other ideas about this. I think I'll take Grizz's advice and just stay primal for now and see which direction this goes. If it gets much worse I probably won't have much choice but to get to a doctor.
                        Last edited by Styrofoam Jones; 11-24-2010, 06:15 PM.

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                        • #13
                          1) The heart fluttery thing typically indicates a need for more magnesium and/or potassium. Mind you that this is not the same thing as low serum Mg or K but rather simply insufficient Mg and K.

                          2) The rest of the symptoms are consistent with GERD.

                          Originally posted by Styrofoam Jones View Post
                          The tightness usually occurs after eating a big meal or when lying or sitting down in certain positions, and the palpitations are much more common during the bouts of tightness. There is never any discomfort during exercise, which I find curious.
                          It's really not curious. What you describe is one of the many common manifestations of GERD. It's not always the burning sensation mid-chest that people most commonly associate with GERD.

                          Try a few days of prilosec. If it helps, it was GERD. You can manage it probably quite effectively by tweaking your diet

                          I originally thought this might be some kind of digestion issue masquerading as a heart / chest issue, as the chest discomfort is often accompanied by a "tightness" and light, almost burning kind of sensation in my upper stomach area (NOT heartburn)[/quote]

                          Yup. Heartburn.

                          I had my fair share of digestive issues before the chest issues started, and there do seem to be occasions where the chest discomfort will arise whether I've eaten that day or not.
                          GERD can be a problem with or without a meal on board

                          Digestive enzymes and probiotics can help. Also may be worth getting checked for h. pylori.
                          Last edited by cillakat; 11-29-2010, 12:30 PM.



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                          • #14
                            Thank you, cillakat. That makes sense.

                            Back when I was eating the SAD I was struggling with low stomach acid problems, I guess it could be the other end of the spectrum now that I've been primal for a while. I've only had what I thought to be serious heartburn like twice in my life, and I don't remember it feeling like what I've been getting recently, but that doesn't really mean much. Just assumptions on my part. I'll give Prilosec a try and see what happens. Thanks again.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jenny View Post
                              A cardiologist could fit you with a Holter monitor for 24 hours -- then you push the button whenever this happens and it highlights it in the monitor's records. Then they can use the data to figure out exactly what your heart was doing right around then.

                              (I just got Holter-monitored along with an echocardiogram the other day... very interesting process!)
                              BTDT, got the sticker

                              Heart palpitations and arrythmias are so often nothing more than mg deficiency so that's a good first option.

                              Taurine and optimzing Ω3:Ω6 ratios may be helpful as well.



                              Originally posted by Styrofoam Jones View Post

                              Back when I was eating the SAD I was struggling with low stomach acid problems, I guess it could be the other end of the spectrum now that I've been primal for a while.
                              GERD does not = excessive acid production. It simply = poor functioning of the lower esophageal function.

                              Fwiw, my prilosec recommendation is just to help determine what's going on, not as something to take daily (aside from the trial).


                              K



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