I am in my mid-twenties and for the past 3 months I have experienced symptoms such as sudden bouts of light-headedness, severe, constant heartburn, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, hot flushes & extreme tiredness. The symptoms vary in degree and some days are better than others, but along side these symptoms I have experienced a general feeling of unwell. I also feel extremely full after eating anything and need to burp alot & I need to remain inactive for approx 30mins after my three square meals a day. I feel very uncomfortable in my chest area, sometimes just a general discomfort (of varying degrees), and other times tightness and a sort of pins & needles sensation. Sometimes I get a short, sharp pain when taking an intake of breath in a band like distribution around my chest. My whole system seems to be upset but I can’t seem to find out what has been the initial cause of my symptoms. My doctor did a full blood count and gave me Nexium for the heartburn which I took for a month and a half and I’ve not since experienced heartburn since. The blood count didn’t indicate the cause of my symptoms (helicobacter and thyroid problems have been ruled out) and my blood pressure is normal.
I’ve altered my diet to exclude citrus fruit, spicy food & alcohol, and I don’t drink fizzy drinks or tea or coffee and I avoid chocolate. I am now also taking an aloe vera & st johns wort supplement. I did a 10 day detox and did not eat dairy, wheat or meat but I did not notice any difference in my symptoms or my general wellbeing during this time or when I slowly re-introduced wheat, dairy and meat to my diet.
My doctor seemed to think that my symptoms are stomach related and so I’ve seen a gastroenterologist who performed an endoscopy which did not reveal anything. My specialist did diagnose me with costochondritis, for a pain I was feeling in my chest when I pressed between my breasts and stretched, which I did take short-term medication for, and they have worked.
My mother did have heart problems which were quite serious but my doctor sent me for an ECG which he has said has ruled out possibilities that my symptoms could be from my heart.
My main concern is the shortness of breath I experience. It is not related to exertion or stress as far as I can tell. It can occur on & off all day, and can last from 10 seconds to approx 3 minutes and seems to come out of nowhere. It can occur when I am seated and inactive or when I can doing chores. It is not like an asthma attack (I suffered from asthma as a child but have not had an attack since my mid-teens). It comes on suddenly and it’s a struggle to take a breath and I find it easier to not talk and be inactive while I wait for it to pass, otherwise it feels like trying to hold a conversation while running a marathon. I used to be a fairly active person and although my doctor has said I can slowly resume my exercise routine I am uncomfortable doing so until I have been diagnosed so I have only taken to 20 minute walks around the park at a fair pace (and this does not seem to exaggerate my shortness of breath symptom)
I’m not sure what the next step should be in getting a diagnosis. Should I seek advice from another specialist, as my symptoms are so vague sounding I’m not sure where to head to next. I am desperate for a diagnosis.