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Avatar universal

What's wrong with me? Short breath, chest pain.

Okay so I'll try to make it short.

3 weeks ago I started to get really bad short breath and chest pain when inhaling deep. I waited a day and it didn't get better so I went to the ER and they checked my vitals and did 3 chest x-rays. They said everything was perfect... They said that it could have been a pneumo thorax, and that is wasn't asthma, then kicked me out. So now 3 weeks later I still have it and don't know what to do... It's not near as bad as it was that one day but it still hasn't improved much since. It's starting to really annoy me and keep me from getting outside because it makes my chest uncomfortable.  

So here is some more detail:
-I've noticed a poping sensation in my rib for years now. Lately it's been doing it more often.
-It was mostly on my right side but now it's on both sides.
-when doing physical activity my heart will race, chest will ache, and short breath will get worse.
-sometimes I will feel faint when standing up or when trying to catch my breath.
-seems to be worse at night.

I think it's a spontaneous pneumothorax but shouldn't it have healed by now?

Then again it could be a pulled muscle because right before this happened I started to lift weights.

I'm 15, weigh 140, 5'10.
Ive been REALLY stressed out too for the past 8 months if it matters. 

Please Someone answer... I don't really have any help with this and its stressing me out way more than I can handle... Any info/opinion is greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance!
7 Responses
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Avatar universal
ALCAR is acetylcarnitine, not to be confused with l-carnitine.  

They are different molecules and do not have identical effects in the body.  Especially in the brain and heart.  

L-carnitine is a naturally occurring nutrient found only foods from the animal kingdom - ALCAR is not, it is something that your body synthesizes using the l-carntine you ingest.

These are not the same chemical.

For example l-carnitine does not increase your acetylcholine like ALCAR does, and ALCAR does not have the exact same heart-supportive effects l-carnitine does since it does most of its work in the brain while l-carnitine does most of its work in the rest of the body.  

The dietary supplement industry is poorly regulated and gets away with making all sorts of ******** claims about their products.  This is why a lot of people think ALCAR and l-carnitine are the same thing when they're not.  Read only the medical literature on these drugs.

Do not play with ALCAR if you do not understand what it is.  High acetylcholine activity can cause symptoms that mimic anxiety and depression; chest constriction feeling, muscle tension especially about the jaw, neck, shoulders.  It can make your breathing unconsciously very slow and shallow --  and this by itself can cause your heart to palpate suddenly, in complaint of low oxygen, which will cause a small adrenaline rush and get you breathing deeply again, for a short time.

Your problem was your combo of drugs that strongly elevate your acetylcholine (ALCAR + alpha GPC + DMAE), AND you took something that inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine (bacopa).  

Bacopa not only inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, also increases serotonin, which you helped by also taking tryptophan.  Tryptonphan in high doses by itself is known to cause heart palpitations, and so does elevated acetylcholine.  

You did both, but you really overdid the cholinergics and semi-cholinergics.

Piracetam DID NOT cause the heart scare.   Everything else did.   You overdid the acetylcholine regimen.  Leave it alone.  The Piracetam + choline nootropics combo is myth, piracetam works just fine on its own.  

Don't play with cholinergics - try them only one at a time.  Don't play with herbs like bacopa because they are actually extremely complex compounds that have all kinds of different effects in the body - it's difficult to predict their interactive potential.

I would suggest in the future trying piracetam by itself, leave the bacopa alone.  If you take ALCAR, don't take DMAE and Alpha GPC.  If you take Alpha GPC, don't take DMAE and ALCAR.  And so forth.  And don't mix any of these with bacopa. All of these combined together means that if you have too much acetylcholine, your body can't even break it down properly because the bacopa inhibits the enzyme that does this.    

Don't do both - either try something to enhance acetylcholine production, or try something that inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine so that what acetylcholine you naturally produce stays active in your body a little longer.  But I suggest leaving your acetylcholine alone - full stop.

Bacopa actually caused symptoms of sleep apnea in me, at just half the recommended dosage - I would explode out of bed from a dead sleep gasping for breath.  Scary stuff.  All of it stopped immediately as soon as I stopped taking bacopa.

Good luck with your ADD.

One last thing:  your reactions to caffeine and alcohol during this time strongly suggests that you became temporarily hypokalemic (low potassium).  The exact same thing happened to me when I was first experimenting with these drugs.  Something I was doing made my body more sensitive to potassium loss, and they detected this in the ER when I went in one night with palpitations and atrial fibrilliation.  They assumed I was having anxiety attack and gave me a benzo (ativan) which did not stop the arrhythmia.  My electrolyte test eventually came back with dangerously low potassium, and a big fat potassium pill fixed everything within just a half hour.  

For about 6 months after that I took daily potassium and noticed that I had developed a new and rather extreme sensitivity to caffeine or anything that dehydrates the body or causes the body to start dumping potassium and magnesium out of the body.  I'm fine now, the sensitivity seems to have gone away and have gone back to my coffee habit.  I threw out the bacopa, ALCAR, citicholine and DMAE.  But not the piracetam.  It doesn't bother me so I kept it even though I don't take it much anymore.  

However, I do take hundreds of milligrams of l-carnitine  (remember, NOT acetylcarnitine) daily because it supports mitochondrial function and I need that as part of a migraine prophylaxis regimen.  Without messing with my cholinergic system.

People like us, with ADHD symptoms - the way we react to these particular drugs - indicate that our unique biochemistry may have more than enough acetylcholine activity as it is.  I've done a lot of reading on the subject since then and have learned that high acetylcholine pushes down dopamine and serotonin activity.  

High acetylcholine activity can actually be an underlying cause of depression and anxiety symptoms, which is one of the reasons traditional antidepressants can sometimes help these people for a time (all of those psychiatric drugs are anticholinergic in varying degrees).  The medical community is just beginning to realize this and has recently begun exploring imbalanced acetylcholine as a cause of psychiatric problems.  Excess acetylcholine can also cause impaired motivation and cognition.  

Some people benefit from a cholinergic-supportive regimen - but not us - it hurts us.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Good idea, I was going to say get to the doctor period.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks guys for the info!

I think it actually could be costochondritus. Just a minute ago I wanted to test my breathing so I sprinted as fast as I could in one direction. At only like 100 yards my chest started to get this horrible pulsing aching pains!!!! Like really bad! It really scared the crap outta me. I'm going to go to a doc as soon as possible. I hope it's nothing bad :0
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
"Then again it could be a pulled muscle because right before this happened I started to lift weights. "

You are pretty much in the right age group--and the right activity group (weightlifting)--to be having what is called costochondritis.  It's an inflammation of cartilage at the front of the chest, and although it is painful, it is also benign.  If the medhelp site allows me to post this, here is more info:

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/costochondritis

If that doesn't work, google costochondritis.

When you breathe deeply, your chest wall and ribs move a lot.  That will irritate costochondritis, but it is not dangerous.

Hard exercise will normally increase your heart rate and breathing.  If you are one of those people unusually sensitive to your body, you will notice these things more, and it may make you anxious.

Feeling faint when you stand up is very, very common in normal people, but more so when they have rather low blood pressure (as kids and athletes often do), or after exercise.  Try not to worry too much about this.  Low blood pressure is a healthy thing to have. Just be aware of the tendency and stand up more slowly.

I suggest you buy a very inexpensive, small paperback called "Hope and Help For Your Nerves."  Claire Weekes, the doc who wrote it, provides some info on what kinds of sensations it is normal to feel, as well as some little mental exercises to help calm you down when you are stressed.

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi im reaally scared im not feeling good i have chest pains and i have a short breath and theese thing you have or had if you know what this is please anwer me ibeg you im 14 years old and my name is Írena,
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
ALCAR is acetylcarnitine, not to be confused with l-carnitine.  

They are different molecules and do not have identical effects in the body.  Especially in the brain and heart.  

L-carnitine is a naturally occurring nutrient found only foods from the animal kingdom - ALCAR is not, it is something that your body synthesizes using the l-carntine you ingest.

These are not the same chemical.

For example l-carnitine does not increase your acetylcholine like ALCAR does, and ALCAR does not have the exact same heart-supportive effects l-carnitine does since it does most of its work in the brain while l-carnitine does most of its work in the rest of the body.  

The dietary supplement industry is poorly regulated and gets away with making all sorts of ******** claims about their products.  This is why a lot of people think ALCAR and l-carnitine are the same thing when they're not.  Read only the medical literature on these drugs.

Do not play with ALCAR if you do not understand what it is.  High acetylcholine activity can cause symptoms that mimic anxiety and depression; chest constriction feeling, muscle tension especially about the jaw, neck, shoulders.  It can make your breathing unconsciously very slow and shallow --  and this by itself can cause your heart to palpate suddenly, in complaint of low oxygen, which will cause a small adrenaline rush and get you breathing deeply again, for a short time.

Your problem was your combo of drugs that strongly elevate your acetylcholine (ALCAR + alpha GPC + DMAE), AND you took something that inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine (bacopa).  

Bacopa not only inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, also increases serotonin, which you helped by also taking tryptophan.  Tryptonphan in high doses by itself is known to cause heart palpitations, and so does elevated acetylcholine.  

You did both, but you really overdid the cholinergics and semi-cholinergics.

Piracetam DID NOT cause the heart scare.   Everything else did.   You overdid the acetylcholine regimen.  Leave it alone.  The Piracetam + choline nootropics combo is myth, piracetam works just fine on its own.  

Don't play with cholinergics - try them only one at a time.  Don't play with herbs like bacopa because they are actually extremely complex compounds that have all kinds of different effects in the body - it's difficult to predict their interactive potential.

I would suggest in the future trying piracetam by itself, leave the bacopa alone.  If you take ALCAR, don't take DMAE and Alpha GPC.  If you take Alpha GPC, don't take DMAE and ALCAR.  And so forth.  And don't mix any of these with bacopa. All of these combined together means that if you have too much acetylcholine, your body can't even break it down properly because the bacopa inhibits the enzyme that does this.    

Don't do both - either try something to enhance acetylcholine production, or try something that inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine so that what acetylcholine you naturally produce stays active in your body a little longer.  But I suggest leaving your acetylcholine alone - full stop.

Bacopa actually caused symptoms of sleep apnea in me, at just half the recommended dosage - I would explode out of bed from a dead sleep gasping for breath.  Scary stuff.  All of it stopped immediately as soon as I stopped taking bacopa.

Good luck with your ADD.

One last thing:  your reactions to caffeine and alcohol during this time strongly suggests that you became temporarily hypokalemic (low potassium).  The exact same thing happened to me when I was first experimenting with these drugs.  Something I was doing made my body more sensitive to potassium loss, and they detected this in the ER when I went in one night with palpitations and atrial fibrilliation.  They assumed I was having anxiety attack and gave me a benzo (ativan) which did not stop the arrhythmia.  My electrolyte test eventually came back with dangerously low potassium, and a big fat potassium pill fixed everything within just a half hour.  

For about 6 months after that I took daily potassium and noticed that I had developed a new and rather extreme sensitivity to caffeine or anything that dehydrates the body or causes the body to start dumping potassium and magnesium out of the body.  I'm fine now, the sensitivity seems to have gone away and have gone back to my coffee habit.  I threw out the bacopa, ALCAR, citicholine and DMAE.  But not the piracetam.  It doesn't bother me so I kept it even though I don't take it much anymore.  

However, I do take hundreds of milligrams of l-carnitine  (remember, NOT acetylcarnitine) daily because it supports mitochondrial function and I need that as part of a migraine prophylaxis regimen.  Without messing with my cholinergic system.

People like us, with ADHD symptoms - the way we react to these particular drugs - indicate that our unique biochemistry may have more than enough acetylcholine activity as it is.  I've done a lot of reading on the subject since then and have learned that high acetylcholine pushes down dopamine and serotonin activity.  

High acetylcholine activity can actually be an underlying cause of depression and anxiety symptoms, which is one of the reasons traditional antidepressants can sometimes help these people for a time (all of those psychiatric drugs are anticholinergic in varying degrees).  The medical community is just beginning to realize this and has recently begun exploring imbalanced acetylcholine as a cause of psychiatric problems.  Excess acetylcholine can also cause impaired motivation and cognition.  

Some people benefit from a cholinergic-supportive regimen - but not us - it hurts us.
Helpful - 0
1807132 tn?1318743597
We aren't doctors here so we can't diagnose you but it does sound a little like you my have overdid your weight lifiting and pulled a muscle.  I do hope you have a spotter when you do it?  Pains related to the heart are more sustained than being tied into your breathing in and out.  That said, considering this is going past 3 weeks I might make an appointment with a GP and get checked out.  If you tore something you may need some assitance to get it repaired.  Take it easy on the lifting until you get this worked out.  Good luck and keep us posted on how you are doing.
Helpful - 0
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