A few days ago, I wrote about my experiment with trying to eat gluten, by eating a couple of slices of pizza.
I primed myself with Immodium, thinking the only problem would be my digestive system. Boy, was I wrong.
It took almost a whole day for me to experience symptoms, but that’s not unusual. The next night after eating the pizza, I was sitting watching TV-then about 11:30, I started feeling chest pain, which shot down my arm. After my husband’s recent diagnosis of heart disease, I was scared this was now happening to me. I felt a rush of adrenaline right before the pain started. I was more like a tightness in my chest, not really pain. Then my heart began to race. I could hear it beating in my ears.
I had a feeling of impending doom. I got up and drank some water. I went to bed and tried to sleep, which was utterly pointless. I had to keep getting up and going to the bathroom. All I could think about was Elvis Presley and how he died in his bathroom after being on the toilet. My heart continued to race. I finally fell asleep about 2:30. When I got up, the symptoms were still there. I had a racing heart and some chest discomfort throughout the day.
What I was experiencing was a panic attack. I have had these before-I have anxiety disorder. These can mimic a heart attack and they are terrifying. I looked up the symptoms to be sure:
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
- Heart palpitations or a racing heart
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Trembling or shaking
- Choking feeling
- Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Hot or cold flashes
- Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy
I had experienced most of these symptoms. The clue here is that if you are having a heart attack, you don’t hear your heart pounding in your ears. But you can see how you might think you are having one.
A few years back, my job was so stressful, I experienced these symptoms right on the work floor. I went out in an ambulance and was taken to the ER, where they checked my heart enzymes. This will show if you have had a heart attack or not. I didn’t. It was a full blown panic attack.
My symptoms continued throughout the day yesterday. Panic attacks tend to only last a short time, but they can last for days. But I wasn’t really upset about anything in particular. Over thinking about a situation and the impending possible worst scenario is what causes this attack.
Then I wondered, could it have been the gluten? I hadn’t eaten it in almost two years, and I ate a lot of it at one sitting. I saw online that others have this same experience. While it may not be scientific, we all have different reactions to being glutened. I can honestly say, my experimenting is over. It is not worth it to me to feel that way just to eat a dumpling or a piece of cake.
I feel absolutely fine today. I hope that by writing this post, I might help others who might have the same symptoms and not know why.
Please share your experiences.