Hey there my fruity brethren,
This is my first post on 30BAD and while I want to introduce myself and get chatty with all of the wonderful people I know I'm going to meet here, but my health comes first in this situation. I know it's a long read but please bare with me.
I've been vegetarian since I was 13, vegan for two years, HCRV since early this year, and recently 80/10/10 but for the past couple of months, I've had a strange feeling in my head. At first, I didn't pay any mind to it because the symptoms were common to me and it didn't seem all that threatening but now it is a full-blown nightmare that I just want gone immediately. The biggest issue I have had is a sucking feeling/feeling like there's a lack of oxygen in my brain. Everyone I've talked to calls it a 'headache' but it isn't one, not to me at least. There is very little pain, it just feels like my brain is swelling or in serious trouble, I know it is because it is so severe now and it affects everything. The next biggest issue is the fact that I've had many heart palpitations within the last five or so months. This was diagnosed firstly as stress/anxiety/panic attacks, since I've been prone to them in the past, but it's gotten increasingly worse over time and completely uncontrollable, I never know when my heart is going to self-destruct next. I'm just going to cut to the chase with the other symptoms I've been experiencing on & off during each day and list them here as there are too many:
If I left any out, then so be it, but you can get the general idea as to why I'm freaking out here. Last night I felt like I was going to faint, like literally faint because this brain issue got so bad, it's getting worse and worse every night. Something interesting here is that when I eat large fruit/green meals, the symptoms seem to be weakened for a few hours but then return immediately afterward and they are worst at night, before bed. It's worthy to note that I do have a vitamin D deficiency but I have been supplementing for almost a month now with 10,000 IU vegan D3 daily and getting sun whenever possible (it's cloudy as hell here for some reason this year). I recently had extensive blood work done to check on my current health. I have improved leaps and bounds going HCRV and the results proved it with everything reading perfect EXCEPT for my vit. D, however upon leaving the doctor I also noticed that my b12 was quite low at a score of 205 and even though I know the proper test to figure out my real b12 levels was not performed, I feel as if low b12 might be playing a role in all of this.
Late last week/early this week, I've had some scares with all of this. First, I woke up to heart palpitations (not out of a nightmare, just a strangely peaceful dream), which has never happened before and I immediately began breathing exercises to try and quell them. They did not improve, only worsened doing this and I got up to walk around and calm myself down. At this time, my left arm went numb and began to spasm. I thought I was having a heart attack but convinced myself it was just a severe palpitation and that everything was going to be alright but then my body went into chills and I started having tremors. So I drank some water and laid down flat, with everything off and the window open. Within around two hours, it was completely gone. The next incident was just that night as I was sitting in bed talking to my mother about what had happened that morning. Without any warning, I felt a lightning bolt (this is what it felt like to me) pierce my brain, then my heart and fizzled out down my lower abdomen. It was there and gone in an instant, but the pain I felt in that instant was unlike anything I had ever felt, it was so severe and scary. The last incident was two days ago when I went with my grandmother to an Asian buffet (they have raw fruit there) and right when we were about to pull in, my brain felt as if it were going to explode. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I don't blow things out of proportion or exaggerate in regards to my health. I am honest in saying that my brain felt as if it were swelling and my head was going to explode. I never, ever want to feel these things again and just thinking & typing about them is making my heart beat faster.
I have this eerie feeling that this has been going on for years but is just now coming to a head, due to the fact that I've been experiencing toned-down versions of symptoms like these on and off for many years, though they've always been passed off by doctors as panic attacks, anxiety, vertigo, paranoia, etc. I can tell you that the doctors where I live probably should not be practicing or considered professionals. I live in the south (U.S.) and here doctors are very quick to pass off symptoms as meaningless or they will generalize them. It's a "get 'em in, diagnose 'em, give 'em the latest drug, then get 'em out" type of medical environment here and I've had to go to Nashville (capital of my state) to get anything done in past years. My doctor didn't even pay attention to me when I visited him last week regarding this issue and was expressing my concerns and symptoms. His assistant even went as far as to argue with me about how I was wrong and had generalized anxiety disorder (don't get me wrong, I know it may look like that from a distance but it isn't if you bother stepping close and examining me). He insisted I see a cardiologist, even though in his words "There's nothing wrong with your heart." and I had to insist many times on seeing a neurologist until he caved. It's no surprise that I had to make the neurologist appointment myself and that he is taking his time on the referral for that particular appointment only. I never get angry but these 'doctors' are pissing me off. You can mess with me all you want, but messing with my health, especially when I'm in such a vulnerable position right now. I can even tell typing now that something is wrong with me. I used to be so articulate and now my words just seem jumbled together and dumbed down.
Anyway, I won't go any further and will leave it at that. If you read through all of this, major kudos to you and I love you for it. I will try and respond to comments but all I feel like doing right now is lying in my bed. Thank you for your help.
just the other day, I came across the connection of allergies and their various symptoms apart from the typical sneezing or swelling. I was searching if there is a connection of being allergic to birches and having a depression and I was very, very surprised what I found. Yes, there actually is. A lot of people having depressions are also allergic and these allergies might manifest in change of behaviour and emotions etc. I found this on environmental medicine:
http://www.drrapp.com/2010/02/12/clues-that-you-might-have-a-food-a... (of course the reaction might not be to only food but to practically anything....).
Thank you for sharing, evchen, that is an interesting connection. I used to suffer from severe allergies myself but since going purely plant-based and cutting out artificial/overcooked foods, they've all but disappeared now. :)
just a clue, I got same "disapearance" so as balancing my hormones of thyroid(autoimmune) and so on, suspection on CRON and much more, but i dont care, it calm down if your have chance, just relax, eat mono like blended bananas or dates and walk all day long. I do this my way and it helps and also I got most, but mostly on cooked carbs even, in one phrase" I struggle same way". I eat about 2kg of greens dayily and juiced and it actually cause me iron defficiency, ha...so now I supplement. I believe raw helps us to balance out again and slowely with activity it detox the organs, but I suffer the same, after a 7year or so high raw, I go depression here and then. What helped me is to get in life with friends(even I am busy with my study), have dreams focus on them, go in cinema, take care of my self(if no partner do it now) and simply get active 20+minituse a day hard core running and sun, and hydration and keep it very, very simple(I dont like bananas, so I go dates(10-20days) with cinnamon and apple(1-2) a meal and blend in water. I used to undereat a lot even on raw, coz my appetite and vitality is compromised and I used to have metabolism double the man, so I am bigger than most of man, but I thoug it is bad, so I went calorie restriction to look smaller, ha... now I see that long term it simply dont work, the body knows(in my case the starches cooked do me same problems of mood and ekzema and other stuff again, so I am hardcore raw and now simplicity and blending help me). Also juices could do the trick, you probably are haveing swollen intestine and dont absob nutrients right like me. +B12 i do(even there are discussions if it is good), I do also vit. D in winter, but I am recommended even by my doctors to move in sunny country, to do this diet, coz simply it works, unless some crazy fruit allergy(me watermelons, tomatos, celery, grapes, unripe fruit and unripe(kiwis, oranges and citrus) all do me swollen or pain in intestine and compromise my digestion and get me dehydrated even watery, same as spices.
and yeah no more allergy whatso ever on raw "medically" same for my mum. but still tomatos do her sports even the test improve on high raw. so really dont believe the test much, do follow your body, but I am sure raw is possible to work and in the long term you will tolerate everything raw, easily.
Sorry to hear you are hurting so bad, I hope things improve.
Just to offer my suggestions- as I have suffered from strange undiagnosable symptoms that have looked a bit like your list from time to time. I have narrowed it down to the following....
#1 Some metabolic disorder, that is, not a disease per se, but as a former restriction zealot, something connected to less than adequate metabolic overall metabolic function (leading to digestive issues, maybe fungal overgrowth, fatigue etc). As far as I see it, being in calorie excess is one of the only ways to remedy it.
#2 Hormonal imbalances- e.g. aldosterone, related to sodium and potassium balance (that will undoubtedly give you odd muscle symptoms, headaches, palpitations etc), potentially related to #1.
#3 Environmental allergies, that could, theoretically, diminish if #1 is resolved
#4 Something else.......e.g. methylation issues, liver enzyme issues, selenium/iodine/b12/magnesium deficiencies, likely in cohort
They are my theories. The product of too many hours wasted feeling rubbish. I've missed things for sure. But, sleep and sugar are for sure two important remedies. And lots of it.
Thank you for your informed reply, Abbie! It's good to know that I am not alone in feeling this way. Your findings seem to be in line with mine so far as I'm discovering the connections with my symptoms. I used to restrict and took on many eating disorders in the past so #1 is a good assumption. I've been doing my best to eat in excess recently but I am going to have to find a better supplier, definitely. #2 is really interesting, I often wonder if I have hormonal imbalances but usually just shrug that off. #3, see my post above, though cats still bother me from time to time. #4 I'm in agreement with, I'm almost certain this is a vitamin deficiency issue based upon how I feel but I'm not going to try and diagnose myself just yet.
I'll stick to your advice for certain, sleep+sugar+prayer is all that's keeping me together long enough to avoid the E.R. and wait on my appointment.
Everything Abbie said plus check for autoimmune disorders.
I am new to this, so I can’t advise you on what to eat different. But one thing I think is important always is the mental and emotional state of a person.
So maybe if you share with us or reflect for yourself:
Maybe you'll find some answers there. Or at least if you find that everything in your life is all right, then you can safely say that the mistake is in your diet. (that neurological examination will also be very useful to rule out any physical deficiencies)
Hope you get better soon!
I appreciate the thoughtful reply, Callas. I agree with you on emotions, even though I have emotional support from people in my life, physically, I've been going through this mostly alone so it has been difficult emotionally and I've had to adjust but I think I am doing well so far. I will look into myself on those points and reflect, anything to relieve more stress on me can only help at this point until I get an appointment filled. :)
do a search for Shanna Banana she did some blood work, what the Dr had to say about her results was very interesting....basically although she was getting in 4000cal per day somehow her body was starving especially her brain.
just wondering you might want to extend your blood work and do further investigation.
Hey, lily! I appreciate linking me, very interesting. I feel like I've read this before but never thought to maybe compare my situation to hers, though this could possibly be one explanation. I definitely plan on having more tests done if this doesn't clear up with the methods I'm pursuing at the moment.
Shanna Banana had a HISTORY of adrenal, thyroid issues etc. It can literally take years to clear that stuff up. Its rare for someone to heal that much cos only few are willing to change their lifestyle AND diet.