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Weakness feelings
Posted by: Kevin
Date: April 2, 2004 8:35 PM

I am a 37 year old man. Every now and then I get a feeling of extreme weakness in the core of my body, near the stomach region. This can happen at any time and I sometimes yawn or feel winded when it does. I tried to tie it to eating and it does occur an hour or so after eating sometimes but the pattern isn't consistent. I take multi-complex vitamins, HGH supplements, Calcium and Vit. D supplements and Vit. C pills on a daily basis. I was wondering if perhaps the vitamins had something to do with this sensation and did notice on a business trip when I forgot to take them, I didn't seem to have any episodes. When I got home and began taking my supplements again, I started getting the weak feelings again.

The feeling usually goes away in about an hour or so and if I were to begin exercising or working out, it seems to go away as well. I have had a complete heart work-up with EKG, echocardiogram at rest and under exertion. All tests were normal with a ejection fraction of 68 which I am told is quite good. I do have PVCs but they seem to be under control now with exercise and stress management. I also had a complete pulmonary work-up with chest x-ray and breathing tests. These were all normal. I was taking medication for GERD but have been able to come off it now since dropping 20 pounds in body weight. I had the weak feeling even while on GERD meds so it obviously wasn't that.

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: April 3, 2004 2:44 AM

Can you characterize your experience in different terms? It is a little hard for me to imagine what weakness in the stomach feels like.

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Kevin
Date: April 3, 2004 6:06 AM

The weakness can come over me suddenly and feels like I have a hole in my chest or hollowness. Like all the energy has been drained out of my chest. It seems to be in the stomach to heart region. I had it today about two hours after eating. I felt the weakness coming on and starting to feel winded, almost like I needed to lay down. When I feel this way, I seem to get out of breath easily. Even taking a shower can get me winded. The shower is a good example because the feeling I get is very similar to the feeling one would get after soaking in a very hot bath or spa. A weak, tired, lack of strength feeling. The difference with this is that it seems to center itself in my chest instead of the whole body.

I actually had this sensation for a long time today - about 5 or 6 hours. And here's the interesting part. It only departed when I began to clean house and got my blood pumping a little with the exercise. Exercise always seems to make the weakness go away. It seems to "wake up" whatever it is that causes the sensation.

Do you have any idea what this could be?

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: April 3, 2004 6:59 AM

This sounds like the discharge of adrenaline from the adrenal medulla in the absence of an external threat. This occurs in some people when under chronic stress from which they cannot escape. Is that your situation?

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Kevin
Date: April 3, 2004 8:24 AM

I am undergoing therapy for anxiety disorder at the present time and learning to cope with stresses and anxieties which have gotten worse in the past few years. A side symptom of this disorder is a frequent feeling of shortness of breath and hyperventilation if I become stressed or anxious. Is this what you are referring too? Why would anxiety cause weakness in the chest? Why would exercise relieve the condition?

Part of my therapy is exposure therapy for panic attacks and breathing exercises, both which are working very well. The latter has helped me to get off of Xanax and GERD meds.

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: April 3, 2004 3:31 PM

Adrenalin is designed to enable a person to produce extraordinary energy. It is supposed to be released under external threat so one can deal with that threat. Think of primitive cirsumstances, perhaps something like encountereing a lion on a stroll to see Grandma's new thatched roof. You think to yourself "I can't survive this." But then comes a large shot of adrenalin from your adrenal medulla which enables you to run faster (and breathe faster) than you ever did before and climb a tree you didn't know you could climb, at least not at that speed. All that muscular activity producees a dramatic increase in metabolic rate and that helps use up that dose of adrenalin.

OK, so now let's say you are back to the modern world. Your boss gives you a very hard time at work, your wife is on your case at home, the kids are super-demanding, Grandma calls to tell you her roof is leaking again and you better got over there and fix it right away, and so on. Deep in your brain all this gets translated into some kind of primitive unclear thought like "I can't survive this." Well, your adrenal medulla knows what to do - produce a dose of adrenalin. But you have nowhere to run to get away and no tree to climb so you don't burn up the adrnealin; you just live with the physical effects with no way to burn it off. You are trying to burn it off by breathing hard and deep, but that gets rid of it at a snail's pace. If you add to that a good hard run, the stuff is metabolized in your muscular activity and you are OK again.

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: April 3, 2004 3:32 PM

Adrenalin is designed to enable a person to produce extraordinary energy. It is supposed to be released under external threat so one can deal with that threat. Think of primitive circumstances, perhaps something like encountering a lion on a stroll to see Grandma's new thatched roof. You think to yourself "I can't survive this." But then comes a large shot of adrenalin from your adrenal medulla which enables you to run faster (and breathe faster) than you ever did before and climb a tree you didn't know you could climb, at least not at that speed. All that muscular activity produces a dramatic increase in metabolic rate and that helps use up that dose of adrenalin.

OK, so now let's say you are back to the modern world. Your boss gives you a very hard time at work, your wife is on your case at home, the kids are super-demanding, Grandma calls to tell you her roof is leaking again and you better got over there and fix it right away, and so on. Deep in your brain all this gets translated into some kind of primitive unclear thought like "I can't survive this." Well, your adrenal medulla knows what to do - produce a dose of adrenalin. But you have nowhere to run to get away and no tree to climb so you don't burn up the adrenalin; you just live with the physical effects with no way to burn it off. You are trying to burn it off by breathing hard and deep, but that gets rid of it at a snail's pace. If you add to that a good hard run, the stuff is metabolized in your muscular activity and you are OK again.

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Kevin
Date: April 3, 2004 7:21 PM

Why would the weak feeling come from adrenalin though? I would think the adrenalin build up would make you feel more hyper and anxious, not tired and weak in the chest. One last question, do you have any suggestions on how to make this better? Suggestions other than the anti-anxiety course I am taking with the breathing exercises?

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: April 3, 2004 7:51 PM

The surge of adrenalin must be accompanied with a stimulus to activity for it to have its full effect. Since there is no lion present the stimulus to activity does not make use of the hormone and this is just how it feels to have unused adrenalin in your system. Now, as to cause and cure. I suspect that heavy metal toxicity is behind most cases and the most common source is dental amalgam. How many fillings do you have, anyway?

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Kevin
Date: April 3, 2004 8:09 PM

No fillings or dental work whatsoever. My problem seems to be centered around anxiety disorder which has intensified greatly in the past month or two after coming on slowly for years. I am attempting lifestyle changes and adjustments in thinking patterns to combat the anxiety but days can still be challenging, especially when I have to deal with social situations. Any advice you have to help me with is greatly appreciated.

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: April 3, 2004 9:34 PM

I may be stuck in a rut, but when I hear stories similar to yours, I always think in terms of toxicity. Is it possible that you have been exposed to a neurotoxin which could have triggered all this. Think long and hard before you answer. Thank of any industrial exposure you may have had, exposure to pesticides, or other exposures.

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Kevin
Date: April 3, 2004 10:00 PM

I can't think of anything I might have been exposed to outside of the normal cleaners and lawn pesticides. I have also used insect pesticides like raid and did get some on my hands while using but I washed it off quickly. I was exposed to mold last year when we had some mold growth in the house and had to have it all removed. The mold gave me a headache and made me dizzy until we removed it but that was months ago and I had anxiety before that. The mold wasn't the toxic variety. If we assume that I have come into contact with something toxic, what would be the treatment for this? Is there a detox I can take?

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: April 3, 2004 10:24 PM

You have definitely had exposure. All it takes is one good exposure to do lasting damage. There are many ways of detoxing, but I suggest you be under a doctor's care, one who is experienced in detoxification. One way to find such a doctor is on this website: "Find A Doctor" above.

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Kevin
Date: April 4, 2004 12:33 AM

I will check into the detoxification. One last point, I just had my typical meal today consisting of chicken (broiled) and spinach. Within 30 - 45 minutes I was hit with that same sensation of weakness and just general blah feeling. Is it possible it could also be blood sugar related?

RE: Weakness feelings
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: April 4, 2004 2:06 AM

That sounds like a food sensitivity.



This Thread has been closed

 




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