Our wacko autonomic nervous systems Do you have a fix?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Suze, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Suze

    Suze New Member

    A lot of us have them--super-sensitive to stimulation of any kind, easily startled, prone to experiencing fight-or-flight symptoms.

    I discovered last year that a simple video game (believe me, it was simple--I am NOT a gamer) triggered an irregular heartbeat that lasted for days (and nights). This summer, after a wonderfully active few months in the garden, I've developed shortness of breath. I'm not wheezing; it doesn't feel like an allergic reaction. It feels like a tight chest. It feels like my autonomic nervous system is on overdrive.

    I could be wrong about that. It's possible the breathlessness is caused by something else. After more than two weeks of this I reluctantly saw a doctor about it. He said he doesn't think it's my heart. I don't think it is either. I more-than-reluctantly agreed to a chest x-ray, pulmonary function test, and a stress test, none of which have happened yet.

    If my suspicions are correct, I need to calm down my nervous system somehow. I'm happy to take supplements, but not prescription meds. Has anyone experienced shortness of breath as a result of FM, and does anyone have any suggestions for me?

    I appreciate your help--thanks!

  2. meditationlotus

    meditationlotus New Member

    (An irregular heart beat should be looked into, especially if it lasted for days. Also the shortness of breath. Please have all of the tests, including heart.)

    A wacko autonomic nervous systems can affect your heart. POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)comes to mind. It can cause irregular and rapid heartbeat. Usually it is triggered by standing upright or being in a vertical position, but can be triggered by other things as well. Also along with the irregular, rapid heartbeat, there can be a significant rise or fall in blood pressure. Do you ever experience blood pooling in your feet when standing? That is another symptom that sometimes occcurs with POTS.

    Usually cardiologists test for POTS and similar autonomic nervous symptom problems. You might want to visit the forum message board at "ndrf.org" where they discuss POTS and other problems. The symptoms you describe are very similar.

    The "easily startled" and prone to "flight-or-flight" are anxiety symptoms, and anxiety goes hand-in-hand with POTS. These two things are also symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    Hope this can help you.[This Message was Edited on 08/12/2008]
  3. momof4kids68

    momof4kids68 New Member

    actually it is true that those games can trigger certain reactions. i had a bad reaction to watching my son play a game once. i got dizzy and threw up from the effects of the 3D graphics. i thought i was just nuts as usual until i saw the warning label inside the game that states persons with known seizures should use caution or not play the game, something to that effect.

    i don't have any suggestions on the shortness of breath. i know that some of us experience a tightness in our chests muscles called costochondralgia, which mimics heart disease. i had all the stress tests, xrays, and even saw a heart specialist due to these "mimics", everything turned out normal for me too.

    take care
  4. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    It feels strange "talking" to you on this forum, instead of our usual method.

    Yes, I have similar symptoms, usually when I've tried to keep doing things all day long, like a normal person. Towards the end of such a day, I start panting from even the most minor exertion, and people ask me what is wrong.

    Most likely, IMO, provided your heart checks out OK, you have just run out of ATP, the "gas" that makes our cells run. FMS patients make 30% less of it on average, and when it runs out, you feel like you just can't move anymore and any exertion makes you short of breath. This is why pacing is so important, although being very Type A myself, I have no right to tell anyone else to pace, when I am so bad at it myself!

    I find that after going all day, I can't "come down" and I stay short of breath and tight in my chest muscles. I also tend to have insomnia with this, even though I'm very tired. It feels like my ANS has only two speeds: full-tilt boogie and dead exhaustion, with nothing inbetween.

    I have two suggestions for you.

    1) Go to YouTube and put "Mickel Therapy" in their search engine and watch the video of Dr. Mickel explaining exactly how our ANS is out of wack and how to fix it.

    2) Then, Google "alpha-stim 100". Go to any of the sites that sell it, and read about what it does to the ANS.

    I think a light bulb may go on over your head at this point. With a script from any doctor, you can rent an alpha-stim for a month for $119-132, depending upon which company you use, to find out if it will work for you.

    I am about to do this myself, and will let you know if it works for me. There is at least one thread about it here as well that you can look at. There are also programs that do this brain retraining without any machinery, but take much longer, such as the Gupta Programme, also on YouTube and discussed here as well.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/15/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/15/2008]
  5. Suze

    Suze New Member

    Klutzo!! How very cool to see you here!

    Yes, let me know how it works for you. Meanwhile, I've been checking out EFT after seeing it mentioned on this forum. I have a LOT of tapping to do! :)

    I found out the stress test my doctor ordered was a four-hour nuclear thing. I cancelled it. I had one of those 20 years ago when anxiety produced heart symptoms. I thought all that was behind me, but what do I know? Anyway, for now, at least, I really really do not want to get sucked into the medical system.

    Thanks for the tip.

  6. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    About the stress test:

    1) Your doc is no dummy (for a conventional doctor anwyay). Women's hearts are different than men's, and stress tests without the "nuclear thingee" are useless in women. It also helps a lot to be hooked up to an echocardiogram machine rather than an EKG during the stress test, if you are female.

    2) Stress tests cause a dramatic increase in heart attacks during the two week period following the test, even in people who pass the test!!! I personally know two people this happened to.
    For this reason, I have refused to ever do another one. Instead, I have an ultrasound of the peripheral arteries in my legs, and one of my carotid arteries (neck) every 3 years, and an echocardiogram every two years.

  7. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    Certain 3d games can give you carsickness/seasickness. It's what made me give up Doom.

    If I play The Sims, I get get super dead tired the next day. Too much of an energy drain.

    I've tried alot of things for calming the nervous system. The only stuff that seems to help me is Valerian/Skullcap tea or a benadryl/tylenol combo.
  8. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Suze & Klutzo,

    Suze, when you say, "It feels like my autonomic nervous system is on overdrive", and Klutzo, when you say, "I find that after going all day, I can't come down... I also tend to have insomnia with this, even though I'm very tired. It feels like my ANS has only two speeds: full-tilt boogie and dead exhaustion, with nothing inbetween."

    This all describes me to a tee, which is why after resarching microcurrent therapy, I purchased a refurbished Alpha Stim 100 about 3-4 weeks ago for $580 (from an authorized dealer in Corvalis, OR). So far, I've only used the ear clips which affects the ANS, but have not used the probes which are used more specifically for pain syndromes. The regular Alpha Stim with only the clips runs $380 refurbished.

    I have found the Alpha Stim to be an extremely helpful tool for me. All the symptoms above that you described have been helped. Some other symptoms such as sensory overload, exaggerated startle reflex, etc. have also improved.

    The serious to severe symptoms of POTS or NMH that I've had for may years have been really improved. I marvel every morning how well I'm able to take a shower, and also how I'm able to move around in general for the rest of the day.

    For perspective, I started noticing some modest improvements after starting my experiment with MMS back in April, which I've written about on this board. But it wasn't until I added the Alpha Stim that I noticed even more significant results.

    For additional perspective, I also had POTS/NMH improvements after having done the Atlas Profilax treatment and starting the MCB protocol last year. I suspect all of these together have brought me where I am today; still dealing with symptoms, but much more manageable. I'm feeling optimistic how this regimen might be able to further modulate my nervous system as I go forward.

    So, I would also recommend researching the Alpha Stim to see whether it might be a worthwhile health investment. I'm really glad that I did.

    Regards, Wayne

    P.S. Suze, regarding the EFT tapping: My partner, a long-time professional counselor, took some EFT training and uses it in her practice working with abused children. She claims to have had remarkably good success with them and also with other friends who have been getting a free introduction to EFT. I have just started to do some of the basic tapping of the meridian points, and have found it to be helpful as well, though not anything close to the results I've gotten from the Alpha Stim.

    I wish I could use a Star Trek type transporter and send this to both of you for an hour or so to see how it might work for you. :) This actually brings me to one last point. My initial reactions at a very low setting and short duration were actually quite uncomfortable, and so had to learn to take it very slowly. It felt like I had taken too much of a tranquilizer and even though it helped me sleep, it also felt like I had a bit of a hangover the following day. Once I learned to avoid overdoing it, these symptoms went away completely.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/20/2008]