Home from the hospital.

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  1. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 12 years ago

    Just got out of the hospital this afternoon. What did I miss? Early Sunday morning, I thought I was having a heart attack. Since I began dieting and exercising in January, I've been having scary bouts of tachycardia at night, along with terrible nightmares. Sunday morning, the tachycardia was followed by chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness in legs, dizziness, and left arm pain. One ECG in the ER was normal, and one wasn't. My potassium was low, too, and my blood pressure was high, which is out of the norm for me. I don't get it - I eat lots of potassium-rich foods, like tuna, nuts, paprika, chili powder, basil, and cocoa powder (in low carb chocolate milk).

    I received two injections in the tummy that are supposed to break up clots and thin the blood. They sent the "bad" ECG to the heart doctor, who said it was normal. After a few hours, my blood pressure dropped to 120/60. I'm wearing a heart monitor now. I have to have more tests.

    Anyone else ever experience constant nightmares, low potassium, or tachycardia from dieting? Hubby wants me to quit this diet, but I don't want to. I've lost 45 pounds now, and I feel better except for the every-night bad dreams and racing heart.

    1. lorlie6 profile image71
      lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Oh habee!  My GAWD, girl-it seems we're sisters in this department-please check out my thread:

      Sorry I can't help you with the diet questions, but congrats on the loss!  I have been having strange dreams, but I've been attributing them to the painkillers.

      All my best and take good care, sis!

      1. habee profile image92
        habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        OMG, Laurel! Hope you're doing better now!

        1. lorlie6 profile image71
          lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Believe me, I AM!  I'm almost off the walker, for God's sake, and it's only been 12 days-must be some sort of record, at least for me.  It's been a trip, literally, and I am ecstatic to be home.
          Now, YOU take care and heal well. wink

    2. paradigmsearch profile image59
      paradigmsearchposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Classic symptoms of sleep apnea!

      The rapid weight-loss could have triggered this. The same way that skin can't keep up with rapid weight-loss on the outside, there may now be loose throat tissue that couldn't keep up on the inside.

      This should be something that is easy for the doctor to confirm or refute.

      Take care,


      1. habee profile image92
        habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Hi, para. I used to have sleep apnea, but I've used a C-pap for years.

        I have a good friend who's a PA, and I spoke with him Thursday night about the nightmares/diet. He said dieting can affect body chemistry, including melatonin. His theory is that my nightmares may be causing my racing heart at night. I have the tachycardia only at night, so I'd already thought of this scenario. Hope he and I are right!

    3. Marisa Wright profile image85
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I'm with hubby!  If the problems started with the diet, then there's an extremely high probability the diet is causing it.  45 pounds is an amazing achievement, and I understand you want to go on losing weight, but is it worth dying for?

      Why not stop the diet just for one week, and see if the tachycardia and nightmares go away?  Then you could try a modified version of the diet, changing out some components to see which ones trigger the problem.

      For instance, you say you drink a lot - did you know it's possible to drink too much, and actually wash potassium out of your system?  My sister has a heart problem and has been told never to drink more than 2 litres a day for that reason.  And that's counting every fluid she drinks, not just water.

      You mention cocoa powder - do you take a lot of it?  Cheap cocoa can be high in caffeine.  Are you taking any diet supplements - often they have caffeine or guarana in them too.

      The other thing to look at is what's in your diet products - you mention diet juices and diet dressings.  You could be sensitive to whatever sweetener is being used?

      Finally, I agree with Marcy about the fat.  Without fat or oil, your body can't process some vitamins at all. A lack of good oils may be affecting your blood pressure too.  You don't need to add much - just a couple of teaspoons of flax seed oil or fish oil daily, which will also give you your Omega 3's.

      1. habee profile image92
        habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        No diet pills. I do take flax seed oil and krill oil on a daily basis. I don't drink a lot of the low carb chocolate milk - maybe a cup a day to help with my calcium requirements.

        Good point about drinking too much! I need to check that.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image85
          Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I just checked up on aspartame and apparently it's been shown to cause arrythmia.

          http://www.livestrong.com/article/49055 … rrhythmia/

          1. lorlie6 profile image71
            lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Marissa, I've heard that, too.  Also that overall, aspartamine is something else you should avoid.  Altogether.

    4. MelissaBarrett profile image59
      MelissaBarrettposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Atkins put me in the hospital for 3 days not with tachycardia but with arrhythmia.  Same thing, potassium imbalance.  I also had developed kidney stones.

      Shame too, I had dropped 32lbs in 7 weeks.

      I'm glad you are doing better and I'm sorry you were ill to begin with.  I would say to meet with a nutritionist/personal trainer for a diet plan that might be easier on your body... after all what good is dieting if it makes you ill?

    5. Shinkicker profile image54
      Shinkickerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I can't give you any advice Habee but best wishes to you and hope you're feeling better soon.

      All the best

    6. lorlie6 profile image71
      lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      habee-the injections you're putting in your belly area wouldn't be called Enoxaparin Sodium Injection USP, would they?  Blood thinners, they are, and I am using it daily.  At least it's only required once a day!!!!! smilesmile

  2. rebekahELLE profile image84
    rebekahELLEposted 12 years ago

    I hope things settle down for you, Holle. What kind of diet are you on? Was it ok'd by your doctor first?

    1. habee profile image92
      habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      My doctor approved my diet. I eat fish, beef or pork once or twice a week, nuts, cheese, and lots of broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, and tossed salads with zero calorie dressing. I drink lots of water, low carb milk, and diet juices high in vitamin C.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image84
        rebekahELLEposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Is your only source of fruits the diet juices? Often the ingredients in a diet drink are not healthy, even a juice.  Gosh, Holle, it sounds very limited. No grains of any kind?

        So you've had these symptoms since you began your diet?

        1. habee profile image92
          habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Once in a while I eat low carb tortillas or low carb, extra fiber whole grain bread. As for fruits, I rarely eat them, except for tomatoes. My diet juice has 100% RDA of vitamin C.

          1. rebekahELLE profile image84
            rebekahELLEposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Holle, just one more thought, as I agree with livelonger, consult with your doctor.
            It doesn't matter so much about the RDA, what is it that you're consuming in that drink? Juice has enormous amounts of sugar, in whatever form you're drinking. With a diet drink, it's even worse because of the non natural sweetener. It's better to eat a piece of fruit and benefit from the natural fiber.

            I truly hope you will feel better. xo

  3. IzzyM profile image86
    IzzyMposted 12 years ago

    I would look the (possible) answers up for you, but my internet is playing up.

    Google "what foods help my body absorb potassium?" or words to that effect.

    It might be magnesium rich foods you need to take in order for your body to get the use of the potassium, or it might be something else.

    I am pretty certain that taking potassium-rich foods on their own is not enough.

    These symptoms are worrying, I agree, but hey - well done on losing the 45 lbs! That is fantastic!

    1. habee profile image92
      habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Izzy. Good point about magnesium, but I started eating spinach just about every day. Maybe I need to consume even more!

    2. rmcrayne profile image90
      rmcrayneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with Izzy about the magnesium, and the kudos for the 45 lbs. 

      Are you sure it's the diet that's responsible for the changes?  I'm guessing you are and have been on multiple medications.  I'd look at the known and lesser known side effects of those. Maybe the weight loss timing is a coincidence.

      All the best in getting things worked out.  I for one want you to be around a long, long time.

      Consider seeing a Chinese medicine specialist...

      1. Marisa Wright profile image85
        Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        If you are on multiple medications, Habee, there could be interactions?

      2. lorlie6 profile image71
        lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        rmcrayne, this may, in fact be the determining factor in Habee's weight loss and 'heart attack' symptoms! 

        "I'm guessing you are and have been on multiple medications.  I'd look at the known and lesser known side effects of those. Maybe the weight loss timing is a coincidence." 

        I am also currently on multiple meds, and when I had my surgery 16 days ago, the docs flew me to Reno because they thought I'd had a heart attack during the operation.  It was not a heart attack, rather, some sort of infection they've yet to identify.

        1. Aficionada profile image79
          Aficionadaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Wow, lorlie!  I'm glad you're back.  Hope you keep getting better.

          1. lorlie6 profile image71
            lorlie6posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Aficionada-thanks!  Slowly but very surely my pain is lessening and the wound is healing.  Docs took out the 'staples' (literally bailing wire!) out last week, now I've got steri-strips over the incision.  Much better, I must say!
            Thanks for the welcome back and you take good care not to have this thing done to you!  smilesmile

  4. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image82
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 12 years ago

    Habee - please take care of yourself! Potassium is nothing to mess with - I don't know the details completely, but you don't want to get the level too far above or below what you need.

    I'm not seeing regular carbs in your diet (bread, etc.), or regular fats? I do know we need all the elements of a balanced diet, and cutting out a key element (fats or grains) can backfire. Some vitamins and medicines need fats to be fully absorbed. Also, if you're not eating enough energy foods, your body will start using other things to survive.

    I agree that 45 pounds is great - and what a motivator that will be. Just be sure the end result isn't that you end up weighing less for your pall bearers.

    1. habee profile image92
      habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Marcy, your "pall bearer" comment sounds like my hubby's comments. lol

  5. Scribenet profile image62
    Scribenetposted 12 years ago

    Hope your doctor locates the cause. That sounds scary. Are you losing the weight too fast? Seems to me, even that can stress your system. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of this and do not know of anyone else, but just wanted to stop by and give some moral support. Take care!

    1. habee profile image92
      habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Many thanks, Scribe!

  6. recommend1 profile image60
    recommend1posted 12 years ago

    Good luck with it all Habee, hope you escape the hospital with the right  answers soon.   
    Chinese diet would be critical of the things you mention as they are all 'heating' foods that should be eaten very much in moderation or in balace with 'cooling' foods, also none of those things would be eaten after lunchtime as they can interfere with good sleeping.

    1. habee profile image92
      habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I appreciate your input, recommend!

  7. livelonger profile image86
    livelongerposted 12 years ago

    Glad you're back, habee. smile

    I strongly suggest communicating everything you've shared here with your doctor, and see what s/he says about the symptoms you've been experiencing.

  8. Stacie L profile image89
    Stacie Lposted 12 years ago

    I was dieting last fall and lost weight as well...and ended up in the hospital. I had high fevers, become anemic and developed pneumonia.
    Therefore,I declare diets are bad for one's health....roll

  9. Nell Rose profile image90
    Nell Roseposted 12 years ago

    Hope your feeling better? Everything you said in your first post at the top sounds just like my brother. He has had palpitations for a while, and he doesn't eat properly. a couple of weeks ago he was rushed into Hospital with multiple palpitations, pain in his left arm and dizziness. At the time they couldn't find much wrong, which was strange, but he has to have a heart monitor this Wednesday, and keep it on for five days. It sounds like the food is the problem, you are dieting, he doesn't eat enough and so on. take care.

  10. wilderness profile image94
    wildernessposted 12 years ago

    Wow, Habee, that's scary.  Maybe you better back off a little, and certainly be talking with a doctor or at least a nutritionist. 

    Sure hope it works itself out.  You take care of yourself - part of you belongs to the hubbers here, you know!

  11. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 12 years ago

    You guys are da bomb...diggitty! I've discussed all my symptoms with 2 PAs, a nurse practioner, and four doctors, and they all seem to be clueless. Ugh. Hence more tests.

    I'm not taking any new meds. The ones I'm taking are the same ones I've been taking for years: Cymbalta for nerve pain and a drug for acid reflux. I also take krill oil, vitamin E, flax seed oil, and CoQ10. I've been taking those for years, too.

    I see my oncologist team tomorrow for my regular cancer tests. I think I'll see what their take on this is. One more opinion couldn't hurt. lol

    Aspartame gives me a headache, so I try to use drinks made with sucralose/Splenda.

    The strange thing about the tachycardia is that it's only at night. When I do stair stepping, weight lifting, or aerobics, I never get chest pain or unusual shortness of breath.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image85
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      ...which makes it all the more certain that it's the diet that's the problem, since you haven't changed anything else.

      I wondered about iron myself, since you've cut back on red meat.  I was assuming the hospital would've checked for that, though? 

      Interesting that Melissa got arrythmia on the Atkins diet, though - that also cuts out all major carbs like grains and potatoes. 

      http://www.nexuspub.com/articles_2004/i … 004_so.php

      1. habee profile image92
        habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Hi, Marissa. I don't know if they checked my hemoglobin at the hospital, but two weeks ago, it was fine. They'll check it today at the oncologist's office, for sure, as that's one thing they look at in my multiple myeloma tests.

        I agree with you - it just has to be the diet. That's the only thing I've changed, other than a regular exercise routine, and I don't think exercise could cause these symptoms.

  12. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 12 years ago

    For whatever this little shred  of "contribution" is worth, I have a friend who has nightmares all the time, and who also has episodes of what feels to him like a racing heart.  He has palpitations too.

    His heart tests came back OK.  He was prescribed iron for anemia, which is what his doctor said caused the palpitations (etc).  That worked for him.

    He's someone with acid "issues", too, though.  Gastric discomfort can cause nightmares.  I'm not sure if that's what causes his, but he's always in "gastic discomfort" of one sort or another.

    (Any chance you're taking in too much "fake sugar"?  I know a whole lot of people, including me, who get horrible, horrible, gastric "issues" from as little as, say, 3 sugarless mints.  I was just wondering if maybe something like Sucralose doesn't bother you enough to notice - until you're a sleep, or maybe unless you're taking in more than is great for you.)  (I won't touch that stuff.  If I do I end up feeling like I'm either having a heart attack or else a baby.)

    Just some ideas to maybe toss out at your doctor.   Sorry to know you've had all this going on.  Hope you feel better soon, habee.

  13. twentyfive profile image77
    twentyfiveposted 12 years ago

    Hope you're feeling better now. xx

  14. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image82
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 12 years ago

    How are you doing, Habee? You've been on my mind - hope you're recovering and feeling better?

  15. Journey * profile image67
    Journey *posted 12 years ago

    Hi Habee, congrats on the 45lb weight loss. That is very impressive but I am so sorry you haven't been feeling well. I hope you get well really soon!

  16. Aficionada profile image79
    Aficionadaposted 12 years ago

    I was out of town when you first posted this, habee, and so I haven't seen it until now.  Goodness, I hope you are doing better!!!!!

    I hope you don't need any more advice (I hope the problem is resolved), but here are two more things to think about, in addition to all the good, practical health knowledge that has been shared here.

    One - don't forget that individual bodies can be sensitive to foods that don't affect others.  It may be worth checking to see what items in your diet are now being consumed in larger quantities than before.  It's possible that a small amount of X doesn't bother your system, but a larger amount does. (I'll add my vote to encourage you to look at sweeteners. Even corn syrup bothers me.)

    And two - a body has to work harder to get the nutrition it needs when it's on a weight-loss diet.  That added strain may be another aspect of this problem, especially since you have been losing weight so fast.  (Even so, congratulations! It's quite an accomplishment.)  But I honestly think the most significant issue is the change in your electrolytes.

    The fact that you only have the problem at night (is that when you are lying down in a quiet room?) may possibly be related to your awaremess of it.  If you are lying on your left side, that can cause an increased heart rate too.  And it may be that you are lying down too soon after eating.

  17. prettydarkhorse profile image63
    prettydarkhorseposted 12 years ago

    I hope you are recovering fully habee, Take care and the baby is cute in your avatar!!

  18. profile image53
    Robertr04posted 12 years ago

    Hi Habee. Potassium helps regulate your blood. Are you eating raw, organic nuts? There is no nutritional value in roasted, salted nuts. I'm also wondering if the juices you are consuming are organic, fresh squeezed, and do you drink them immediately? If not they also lose their nutritional value.It seems you really need to add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. A few that are rich in potassium are honey dews, tart cherries, figs. Green beans are high in magnesium and potassium. Check this out about dates. They supply fatty acids for for energy and help make hemoglobin, your red and white blood cells, help metabolize carbs and maintain blood glucose levels, have magnesium essential for bone health. The iron in dates is essential to red blood cell production. I'm just scraping the surface with the benefits of dates. It has been said one date meets the minimum requirement of a balanced diet. If multiple myeloma is a possible problem, you should not eat cooked foods and no second hand protein(meat or fish). Maybe 8-10 almonds in the morning and noon along with your meals of fruit,veg.and whole grains should supply your protein needs. The 18hrs or so until breakfast will give your pancreas time to clear them from your system. Black Cohosh may give you relief from the palpitations. By all means organic food only. Chewing your liquids(swishing)and drinking your solid foods(more than 32 times),chewing until they become liquid, will mix in saliva to greatly aid in the assimilation of your foods. Only food that has been properly assimilated can be utilized for rebuilding and repairing cells and malfunctioning areas.The saliva mixed with the food in this fashion is the key to digestion. Without this mix with the food,the balance of the digestive juices are not activated for good assimilation. By gulping or inhaling our food we only get 8-10% of its value. By properly chewing we can get 40-45%, what's left is generally cellulose or indigestable fiber.By this uncomplicated method we gain better health and a happier life. And one more added plus for chewing, you may find that your acid reflux may be relieved. Also try not to drink anything 30-40min before meals, nothing during meals,and nothing 30-40min after meals. This way you won't dilute the digestive juices, also important in the acid condition.Get a good organic colon and liver cleaner. I hope I did'nt take up too much of your time. Praying you have a speedy recovery.


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