Hi there, I confess it took effort on my part to finish your long post because not even once you broke into a new paragraph Dude! Sorry for the complaint but with my short attention span it does make it easier to read to have paragraphs...
When I began to read about your walk I thought "Oh-oh!" because I pretty much did the same thing by getting carried away with my exercise "program" a few weeks ago and it caused me to crash, thankfully nothing as bad as yours but a significant setback. The peculiar thing is that either by God's guidance or some "cosmic coincidence" the very day I began crashing I went to Dr. Lam's site and noticed his article about Adrenal Crashes and Recovery Cycle and realized what I'd just done. I truly wished that I'd read that at least a year ago as I might've saved myself from the 2 major crashes I've had this past year and the mini-crashes I've experienced since the last one which came to a head on 4/30, I endured panic attacks, nausea, colics/diarrhea, crazy palpitations, feeling hot as hell, etc. for about 3 weeks. The last time I had a panic attack at the end of May it was triggered by eating heavy foods and forgetting my digestive enzymes, and after reading what Dr. Lam says about the body returning to a "simple state" which requires simple foods, it all made total sense to me. So read that and you'll save yourself future scary crashes.
By the way, I need to get in shape too, lose some weight, etc. so I started with Yoga, then walking around a trail in a park once, then the next day 2x and like each day I was adding a bit more distance despite my body giving me signals of discomfort, and I also started a light weight workout with 2 sets of 14 exercises each every other day. I now realize it was too much too soon, even the day before I crashed I'd done all 3 things! I now realize it was totally nuts! Now, for like 3 weeks, I've been so darn fatigued and depressed and again going to bed much too late that I haven't been able to go for a single walk because I really preferred doing it early in the morning to catch some sunlight while the temps were still not high. But I've been getting up no earlier than 12, and the reason for that is that I just couldn't get to sleep and now for about 2 weeks have been going to be after 3am. With me, when I get stressed out my already cronic nasal congestion becomes SO bad the nasal strip I wear every night is like nothing at all, so if I begin to fall asleep I have apnea attacks because I can't even breathe through my mouth, a total nightmare from the pit of hell! So you're going to have to take it easy and pace yourself whether you like it or no or you're going to hinder your recovery as a whole. While you're at Dr. Lam's site do a search for his article about exercise and you'll see what I mean.
From what I can tell, tired adrenals doesn't mean we can't produce hormones, we just have a terrible imbalance, and if anything we secrete too much adrenaline to keep us going, as opposed to Cortisol, the long-term stress handler. All of the exhacerbated symptoms you describe and which I have experienced to are nothing but out of control adrenaline bursts. This caused me to research what can bring adrenaline down, and that was very helpful, for me magnesium has probably been a life-saver more than once. I remember last year I was about to go to the ER because my rapid heartbeats/palps had worn me out and I felt so awful, but past negative experience of going to an ER in the past prompted me to do a search instead, I then ran and prepared an Epsom Salt soak and after the first 20 min. my hear began to slow down, I kept adding hot water and soaked for an hour which is how long it took me to go back to normal, it was like a miracle! I also began drinking ACV in water with some potassium bicarbonate and taking one home-filled capsule of Epsom Salt at ngith and had no further episodes until my next huge crash last Spring.
I guess you saw already that since AF causes trouble balancing our sugar fruit is not a good idea, at least right after a crash. I do eat some but not every day nor much, I usually stick to berries since they have a lower glycemic index. I think more important than following someone's rules blindly is to learn to listen to our bodies and then adjust any program to our individual needs.
During those attacks all minerals are difficult to balance and because I tend to eat kind of salty, sometimes by accident, I felt it was hurting me but fortunately I keep potassium bicarbonate at home. When I had my last crash I couldn't even get out of bed because I was so weak, I also felt nauseous, another symptom of potassium deficiency, so I went and had 1/4 tsp. mixed with citric acid in like 2 oz. of water and went back to bed, after a while the queasiness began to go away but it was not enough, so I repeated the dosage and was eventually able to get up, take a shower and go run an errand, and when I got home I took some more. I now have low-sodium V-8 in the fridge because it's high in potassium.
Not doing well on extra salt doesn't mean you don't have AF, that threw me off for a loop too, same with the low b/p most people have as mine has been high lately, but I think our need for most essential minerals when suffering from AF vary constantly anyway.
You're the first person I've seen that has so many of the same symptoms I've had, I guess it's kind of comforting for me to not feel like a total "freak", lol!
The palps and stuff will soon hopefully go away, becoming more conscious of your breathing will definitely help. If you've been reading Dr. Wilson's articles, like the one on copper toxicity, you'll know that this is a time when mineral balance is out of whack, so it's not surprising we have such ups and downs. But they had me totally confused, and it took some effort for me to remember what I knew about magnesium and potassium influencing heart rate to know which one I should take more of at any given moment because at first I think I may have made things worse by taking everything I could think of in the desperation that I felt. But here's the "rule of thumb": if the heart is beating very fast = magnesium. 2) If the beating is faint and you practically have no pulse and feel very fatigued = potassium. I couldn't believe that I could go from one to the other during the same day, it's enough to make someon looney, isn't it? They both interact anyway and if I remember correctly not being able to retain magnesium eventually affects potassium level.
In my case, because of all I'd read about nutrition I soon identified a tendency for my potassium to drop so I started taking it first in tabs and then in powder form and I swear it's saved my life a few times. Some people are deathly afraid of taking potassium because there are medical sites that have dire warnings about excess causing death but once you know how much the human body needs and realize that you're taking in more sodium than you should it's not rocket science to realize adding some is NOT going to kill you but could actually even save your life. So I began ordering potassium citrate powder from Canada about 4 or 5 years ago, then potassium bicarbonate from a wine making supply company, and if there's times that if I don't take it my hands will go numb while I sleep and that wakes me up.
Not to scare you but I think in our case, where the b/p rises all of a sudden, those "panic attacks" are not as innocent as they would like us to believe, they're like a power surge that sometimes burns the electric wires y'know, so it's in our best interest to learn how to stop them and/or avoid them.
But please, don't blame your body, it is not "stupid", just speaks a different language that we have simply chosen to ignore. Believe me, I used to feel that way to until recently, then I understood that the "divide" between our bodies and our minds, as if they were two entirely separate entities at war with each other, is NOT the body's fault, to the contrary, I now believe it's the mind's fault because it's with our mind we make all the DUMB and self-indulging decisions that end up hurting the body, and the only way it has to communicate what we've been doing to it is through PAIN and DISCOMFORT. But we just try to shut it up: with analgesics when we have an ache or pain, with stimulants when it's tired and wants to rest, with an antacid when we've given it food it cannot digest, etc., etc.
You sound like a smart guy so I know you're understanding what I'm saying, and if you want to completely heal you need to reconcile all parts of yourself. Personally, when I realized that I'd been placing the blame on the wrong side, I asked my body to forgive me, I told it I very much appreciate how it had served me all these years and that I love it and I'm very sorry I ignored it for so long. I promised it that from now on I would try to listen to it and give it all that it really needs instead of that which gives me momentary pleasure (at least most of the time...!). This more respectful and accepting attitude, I believe is going to help me in my healing process.
In order for me to post most of the times I have to write my reply in a draft document I've opened and then come back and paste it here because none of my browsers seem to work well with the reply formats here, so I understand you having that problem of everything jumbling together.
You don't have to be a “fan” of Dr. Lam to appreciate the value of some of the info he has on his site, myself I take from both him and Dr. Wilson what's useful to me and ignore the rest, but that article on crashes seems very good and useful to me so don't knock it, lol!
I'm really sorry to hear you had another horrid panic attack, I know exactly what you're going through because I too was very tempted to go to the ER but it was the memory of them not helping me at all and the bill I got later what sobered me up. I had some Xanax left so I had them a couple of times, like you, I gotta have them for times like that and I don't care either what anybody says, I've rarely taken them more than 2 days in a row so I've never been anywhere close to being addicted, and the only bad side effect for me has been feeling depressed (or more so...) after the 2nd day in a row, so naturally, that right there is a deterrent to abuse.
I observed that during my bad crash the “panic attacks” became gradually farther apart and started to decrease in intensity. The most important thing I did during an attack was to take additional magnesium, home-filled caps of Epsom Salt mainly, and I may have rubbed magnesium oil on; I probably did the E.S. foot soak once but most of the time I felt so hot and restless I couldn't even think of it. But E.S. really slows the heart down, it's what they used at the E.R. when someone had uncontrolled high b/p., so you should go get yourself a container of it, I get mine for $1 at the Dollar Tree (but you can get it anywhere).
I came around here then and someone suggested Buteyko breathing, and although I didn't exactly do that, I really appreciated the advice, wish I could remember who it was who mentioned it so I could thank them (but perhaps you know who you are) . Because I have chronic nasal congestion the Buteyko let too little oxygen in me that when I was lying down it actually made me feel worse so instead I just did deep slow breathing and I was able to stop a couple of those attacks on its tracks. I was trying anything, a couple of times I walked in place because some exercise will also “use up” the adrenaline, I also drank a lot of water, did O/P (oil pulling), you name it, I tried it, lol! What I know is that I don't EVER want to go through that again for the rest of my life!
But what really stopped my panic attacks for good was a supplement of raw adrenal that I'd forgotten I had in my supplement stash, I only took it (probably 2 caps/day) for 2-3 weeks because it's more like a crutch, and the few caps that were left only when I felt I needed a bit of help. If you feel like you want to try that check at a health food store or Vitamin Shoppe for Natural Sources All Adrenal, it'll be about $10 (much cheaper online).
It was around then that I decided to do Yoga again because I remembered that when I took Armour I began having panic attacks frequently and they lasted for days after I stopped taking it. And whether you like Dr. Lam or not, coincidentally, he recommends “breathing Yoga” for people going through a crash or recovering from a crash, and you have to admit it makes total sense because Yoga is very calming. That was a time when I developed a liking for Smooth Jazz (had disliked jazz in general until then...) because when I had to drive it turned out that it was the only radio station I could tolerate.
When I read I know there really isn't anything anyone can say, you or even doctors, I feel utterly alone and wish I didn't care if I died, but of course I do. I'm rambling and I'm sorry, I'm just effed up right now, with no where to really turn, people just don't understand. you've NO idea how that touched me, as that is exactly how I felt (and sometimes still do...). For years I've felt NO ONE has really taken me seriously and that's certainly a very lonely feeling, so any time you need to “talk” just send me a PM and you can ramble all you want with me.
Oh, another thing that helps ENORMOUSLY is humor! One night during my recent mini-crash I was beginning to feel my heart speed up and that familiar "sick" feeling sweep over me but right then I opened this Youtube link that a friend had just sent me and the moment I started to watch I began to laugh, and laughter counters stress phenomenally and instead of being unable to sleep for hours like I'd begun to fear I slept really well that night.
Wow, you're catching on fast! Rock music is definitely too stimulating for the recovery period, further on when you've stabilized you may go back to it (in moderation). At that time I also developed a taste for Rumba Flamenca, I discovered Jesse Cook, a Canadian artist, by being adventurous in borrowing one of his CDs from the public library, check it out, you never know, his music has never failed to this day to improve my mood, to me it's been like magic, lol!
If there's a next time, do take your buddy to his word, you never know when he may need you and then you'll feel good at having a chance to repay his kindness. Besides, I believe we should give others the chance to do things for others, after all that's what we're really for, to help one another.
I kind of suspected you didn't like Dr. Lam because of what you just said, I myself noticed immediately that while Wilson gives free recommendations and advice Lam tries to make people feel it's a huge mistake to try to treat oneself. I'm not saying he does it on purpose, it may be just what he believes, and certainly, after 12 years of this and not recovering because of all the wrong advice "out there" I know exactly where he's coming from, but I've been my own guinea pig for a long time so I'm not about to stop now (nor can afford to!).
I already addressed your pulse in my other post. Regarding Yoga, I made myself a little playlist of relaxing yoga videos from Youtube and if you're registered there maybe I can share it with you and that can be a place to start and then later you may choose to buy a DVD, just let me know. Take care!