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Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Carcinoid Syndrome or heart disease?


 ECC - Sun Mar 06, 2005 8:05 pm

"Your symptoms of sudden flushing, sweathing, tachycardia and rapid breathing makes me think of a rare disorder called carcinoid syndrome. This is in combination with the tricuspid regurge. "

Dr...Could you possibly give me some more information on this problem? At the onset of my problems, a little over a year ago, I started having "anxiety attacks"...and these are the EXACT same symptoms I had, but I also usually have to take a bowel movement...or two, when they occur with me. I was told that they were anxiety attacks, but I'm not so sure this is the case. For at least 10 years, leading up to this, I had "spells" where I would get weak, disoriented, and my feet would sweat. I usually had to sit down and wait till the spell passed. I did not have my first true "anxiety attack" until a little over a year ago when I started having these other problems (high blood pressure, tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, etc). My doc's at VA treated the anxiety attacks with Clonazepam...which has seemed to work about 45 minutes after taking it. I too have trouble sleeping, and I have had this problem since the Gulf War (1991). Recently, however, I keep getting awoken by my arms being asleep (tingly, unable to move them well)...EVEN if I'm laying flat on my back or stomach. I would not think there should anything restricting circulation (with the way I am laying).

Could you possibly give me some more info on this Carcinoid Syndrome? I saw that you had asked one poster if they had diarreaha (sp?) with these symptoms. I usually do. Thank you for your input Doctor! I sincerely appreciate it!
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:49 pm

User avatar Dear Eric,

Carcinoid syndrome is a rare syndrome caused by substances secreted in the blood by carcinoid tumours which mainly arise in the gastrointestinal tract (gut) and the lungs.

Clinical manifestations include:
1. Flushing: Occurs in 85% of patients. The typical flush involves the face, neck and upper chest, which become red to violaceous or purple, severe flushes are accompanied by a fall in blood pressure and rise in pulse rate. Most flushing episodes occur spontaneously, but they can be provoked by eating, drinking alcohol, having a bowel movement or emotional events.
2. Diarrhea: Occurs in 80% of patients and is often the most debilitating component of the syndrome. Stools may vary from few to more than 30 per day, are typically watery and nonbloody, and can be explosive and accompanied by abdominal cramping.
3. Bronchospasm: 10-20% of patients have wheezing and dyspnea, often during flushing episodes.
4. Heart valvular lesions: The valves of the right side of the heart are most often affected
5. Venous telangiectasia: Purplish vascular lesions that appear late in course of the disease and are due to prolonged vasodilatation, and most often occur on the nose, upper lip and cheeks area.

The growth of such tumours is slow. Prognosis depends on the size of the tumour and the presence or absence of metastases.

Thank you very much for using our website http://doctorslounge.com and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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