Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Anemia? Asthma?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 26 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • January 9, 2009
  • 01:37 PM

My problem has went on for about a year now. I started going to the doctor in early 2008 because I was having a variety of symptoms. I was having dizzy spells, headaches, trouble concentrating, fatigue, feelings of being out of breath, waking up short of breath and perhaps a few more that I forgot. I had been experiencing these symptoms for a little while but then I went three months without a period, and after 8 negative pregnancy tests I went to the doctor. Between my first visit with this doctor and my last, and finally began my period again, and it was very heavy and lasted 2 months. The doctor did a CBC and decided that I had "slight" anemia (and that I should have "no symptoms" from that) and that my liver levels were "up" but that since I was overweight, that was normal. I wrote him a complete list of my symptoms and he barely glanced at it, told me they were very general and all over the board. He then preceeded to tell me that I was "depressed" and sent me for an MRI and put me on iron pills. The MRI showed that I had a cholesteotoma (most likely congenital) on/near my right ear. He told me to stop taking the iron pills when my period went back to normal. He didn't explore the liver levels anymore. I also had elevated blood pressure which he chalked up to white coat nervousness and did nothing about that. I am a Psychology major in college. I know what depression is, and depression is not what I have. I was amazed at how fast a General Practitioner would "diagnose" depression, something so far out of his area of expertise. I continued to feel horrible yet the doctor bills piled up, so eventually I stopped going.


A few months later, I got bronchitis. I go to a different doctor, who then did another CBC. This second doctor also said something about the liver levels and wanted to keep a watch on them. Nothing else was done at that point but to treat the bronchitis (with antibiotics) and she gave me some meds for allergies, which she said showed up in my blood work. My blood pressure was elevated but she decided that is might be because I was sick and decided to keep an eye on it. Nothing was said about the anemia.

Last fall, I got a weird rash that covered probably 30-40% of my body (trunk, arms, legs). The doc gave me antiotics and prednasone. There was no known cause.

In late November, early December, I got bronchitis again. My blood pressure was still high (it has not been running extremely high, stays around 145/90). Bronchitis was treated again with antibiotics and prednazone was added. I was also given a Proventil inhaler. At my follow up appt, I was told to come back in one month, to give the Prednosone time to get out of my system, and they would check my blood pressure again.

One month later, I was put on Atenolol (25mg daily) for my blood pressure. I was also told that perhaps I had asthma. This doc decided that I needed to get another CBC (I am getting that on the 14 of this month). They now want to check my cholesterol and thyroid levels again (which were all fine before).

I went back to the doc yesterday. Again I have bronchitis. This is 3 times over the past few months. The doc looked over my records and decided to do a couple of Pulmonary Function tests. They said that one of their machines was running poorly so she needed to see the individual numbers to make a diagnosis. The second test they gave me, I had to blow in and blow around a 350, she said. I blew a 275 the first time and 300 the second two times. I have to go back today for the results. She did decide to go ahead and put me on a new inhaler, Singulair, and some more antibiotics.

My problem is...geez, are they ever going to conclusively decide what my problem(s) is? It just seems like they keep doing test after test. Some seem random and some seem like just repeats. What really upsets me is how they keep saying I may have a "touch of" or "minor" or "maybe a little" of something. I have felt horrible for a year and I don't like the constant attempts at placation when I am really wondering how some of these people got their medical licenses at this point. My dad died at 46 of a heart attack and both of my aunts have asthma. One has asthma so bad that she is on a breathing machine. Just like me, she never smoked. I am 32, and I am thinking at this point that I will be dead before they ever figure out what my problem is.

I think I have covered all the high points, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Anyone have any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Reply Flag this Discussion

26 Replies:

  • My problem has went on for about a year now. I started going to the doctor in early 2008 because I was having a variety of symptoms. I was having dizzy spells, headaches, trouble concentrating, fatigue, feelings of being out of breath, waking up short of breath and perhaps a few more that I forgot. I had been experiencing these symptoms for a little while but then I went three months without a period, and after 8 negative pregnancy tests I went to the doctor. Between my first visit with this doctor and my last, and finally began my period again, and it was very heavy and lasted 2 months. The doctor did a CBC and decided that I had "slight" anemia (and that I should have "no symptoms" from that) and that my liver levels were "up" but that since I was overweight, that was normal. I wrote him a complete list of my symptoms and he barely glanced at it, told me they were very general and all over the board. He then preceeded to tell me that I was "depressed" and sent me for an MRI and put me on iron pills. The MRI showed that I had a cholesteotoma (most likely congenital) on/near my right ear. He told me to stop taking the iron pills when my period went back to normal. He didn't explore the liver levels anymore. I also had elevated blood pressure which he chalked up to white coat nervousness and did nothing about that. I am a Psychology major in college. I know what depression is, and depression is not what I have. I was amazed at how fast a General Practitioner would "diagnose" depression, something so far out of his area of expertise. I continued to feel horrible yet the doctor bills piled up, so eventually I stopped going. A few months later, I got bronchitis. I go to a different doctor, who then did another CBC. This second doctor also said something about the liver levels and wanted to keep a watch on them. Nothing else was done at that point but to treat the bronchitis (with antibiotics) and she gave me some meds for allergies, which she said showed up in my blood work. My blood pressure was elevated but she decided that is might be because I was sick and decided to keep an eye on it. Nothing was said about the anemia. Last fall, I got a weird rash that covered probably 30-40% of my body (trunk, arms, legs). The doc gave me antiotics and prednasone. There was no known cause. In late November, early December, I got bronchitis again. My blood pressure was still high (it has not been running extremely high, stays around 145/90). Bronchitis was treated again with antibiotics and prednazone was added. I was also given a Proventil inhaler. At my follow up appt, I was told to come back in one month, to give the Prednosone time to get out of my system, and they would check my blood pressure again. One month later, I was put on Atenolol (25mg daily) for my blood pressure. I was also told that perhaps I had asthma. This doc decided that I needed to get another CBC (I am getting that on the 14 of this month). They now want to check my cholesterol and thyroid levels again (which were all fine before). I went back to the doc yesterday. Again I have bronchitis. This is 3 times over the past few months. The doc looked over my records and decided to do a couple of Pulmonary Function tests. They said that one of their machines was running poorly so she needed to see the individual numbers to make a diagnosis. The second test they gave me, I had to blow in and blow around a 350, she said. I blew a 275 the first time and 300 the second two times. I have to go back today for the results. She did decide to go ahead and put me on a new inhaler, Singulair, and some more antibiotics. My problem is...geez, are they ever going to conclusively decide what my problem(s) is? It just seems like they keep doing test after test. Some seem random and some seem like just repeats. What really upsets me is how they keep saying I may have a "touch of" or "minor" or "maybe a little" of something. I have felt horrible for a year and I don't like the constant attempts at placation when I am really wondering how some of these people got their medical licenses at this point. My dad died at 46 of a heart attack and both of my aunts have asthma. One has asthma so bad that she is on a breathing machine. Just like me, she never smoked. I am 32, and I am thinking at this point that I will be dead before they ever figure out what my problem is. I think I have covered all the high points, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Anyone have any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated. If you were to list 100% of all your symptoms, including the nonspecific all over the map ones, would be a good place to start.
    Freddd 3576 Replies
    • January 9, 2009
    • 11:04 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • First,without adequate pulmonary function studies they can't really diagnose asthma.Next,the atenolol can make wheezing worse so that you should not be on that for hypertension.Now,the liver function tests should be thoroughly evaluated even if they are just a ''little high.''A friend of mine,an ophthalmologist,had one enzyme a bit elevated but without symptoms.Finallyhe went to a liver specialist who diagnosed him with a case of hepatitis C.He was treated with interferon.Every abnormality needs to be explained if you have to fire one doctor after another until you get someone to take this seriously!
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 01:27 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Freddd ~ Thanks for the reply. I think that I did list all my symptoms when I stated, "I was having dizzy spells, headaches, trouble concentrating, fatigue, feelings of being out of breath, waking up short of breath and perhaps a few more that I forgot." However, if I think of anymore, I will be sure to list them. I did also list that I had and still have wheezing, I think. And that I have a rapid heart rate with moderately high blood pressure. I think that pretty much covers it.Richard ~ Thanks for the reply. Wow, that bit about hepatitis is scary! I sure hope it isn't that. Are my other symptoms consistent with that?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 02:04 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I thought about it and did think of a few more symptoms...perhaps...my ankles swell sometimes, but I have a desk job, so I figure that goes with the territory. Sometimes I get bluish looking swelled up spots on the outside/top of my feet. My husband says that they almost look like bruises. My ears stayed stopped up a lot now. I also have chest pains occasionally, but they seem to have subsided for the most part since the start of the Atenolol. The absolute worst of my issues is the wheezing/coughing/and tiredness. The wheezing seems to be the worst when I lay down at night, get up in the morning, and when it is rainy or really hot or cold outside. I went back to my doctor today and she said that my asthma test was "inconclusive" whatever that means. She did verify that I have bronchitis, however, to be honest, she gave me antibiotics and did nothing else to check me out except for listening to my wheezing (yesterday). I really think at this point she is just treating me like I am making this up. However, I was running a temperature and wheezing when I was in her office yesterday, so how I am making that up is beyond me.Thanks again.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 02:21 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • i'd be interested to hear what other symptoms you have if you think of more... have you got sleeping issues too?? memory problems??? One thing which comes to mind is the possibility of a minor case of chronic fatigue immunity dysfunction syndrome. Raised liver enzymes are common in this (my own were raised during the first year or two of having this.. so much so that doctors thought i may of had Hepatitis at first). and so are frequent infections common in it http://wwcoco.com/cfids/bernesx.html ... fatigue, headache and dizziness are well known symptoms of it. Breath shortness can happen with it.. we often refer to the issue in CFIDS as "air hunger". (it can feel like ones suffocating). Sometimes people with it are wrongly diagnosed as having depression (thou one can have depression with it too). CFIDS often affects hormones and can cause lack of periods. (I also suggest you see a womens specialist as lack of periods and being overweight could indicate an issue with polycystic ovulation syndrome.. the hormone issues can cause obesity). The CDC say that 80-90% of CFS patients remain sick and undiagnosed. CFIDS patients do get BP issues but your kind of issue does make it unlikely you are a canditate for CFIDS.. as most with it get low BP... only 2% get high BP issues with it (in my own case i get both high and low BP issues with it). I just want you to keep this illness possibility in mind if you get worst and still cant find out what is wrong with you.
    taniaaust1 2267 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 02:25 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Tania ~ Yes! I do have the memory issues and sleep problems...most nights I am up half the night and have a heck of a time getting up in the morning, or I wake early and can't go back to sleep, and feel exhausted. I looked at the sight that you mentioned and I have been experiencing the muscle and joint pain and sore throat. The doctor said that my tonsils were enlarged, so I didn't think much of the sore throat after that...but it is sore almost constantly, it seems. I chalked the muscle and joint pain up to being overweight. I have been told that I had fybroid cysts (in my breasts) before...could that be part of the polycystic ovarian syndrome?Thanks so much for your help :) This sounds so much like me.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 03:36 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have the same symptoms as you but also have had loose bowel movements too for seventeen years. I just found out that I am celiac about six weeks ago. I am feeling that the stomach problems and breathing problems are improving little by little as I keep to a gluten free diet.from Lynne
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 02:23 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • No,none of your sx is characteristic of hepatitis,but my friend had no Sx either.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 02:28 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Richard ~ That is true. I remembered that after I asked that question. I discussed this with my husband, and we think that perhaps I should get an xray of my entire trunk section (particular attention to lungs, liver and gall bladder)...does that seem like to you a good choice as to the next step?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 02:38 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I think you should have a hepatitis screen done first,assuming that you really do have elevated liver enzymes.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 02:46 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Oh,yeah,did you look up the side effects of atenolol?
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 10, 2009
    • 02:48 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Complications of Crohn’s Disease

    Recognize the risks associated with Crohn’s disease.

    8 Surprising Facts About Cholesterol

    Did you know that one in six US adults has high cholesterol?

  • NNELY ~ What is Celiac? Never heard of that?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 11, 2009
    • 02:29 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Richard ~ Yes, I am going to ask about the Hepatitis screen this Wednesday (my next appointment) and I saw where Atenolol was not something that someone with respiratory issues should take. The doc said that it could aggrivate wheezing but that it was a really low dose that I was taking so it was doubtful. I think I am going to request to be on something different on Wednesday anyway. Everyone ~ Thanks for all your help :)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 11, 2009
    • 02:32 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I'm really tired of being poorBlaze's apologist,but just ignore her ''spam.''
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 12, 2009
    • 01:47 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Tania ~ Yes! I do have the memory issues and sleep problems...most nights I am up half the night and have a heck of a time getting up in the morning, or I wake early and can't go back to sleep, and feel exhausted. I looked at the sight that you mentioned and I have been experiencing the muscle and joint pain and sore throat. The doctor said that my tonsils were enlarged, so I didn't think much of the sore throat after that...but it is sore almost constantly, it seems. I chalked the muscle and joint pain up to being overweight. I have been told that I had fybroid cysts (in my breasts) before...could that be part of the polycystic ovarian syndrome? Thanks so much for your help :) This sounds so much like me. in polycystic ovarian syndrome one has cysts in the ovaries.. on an ultrasound these will show up a (the cysts are just eggs that developed but werent released when they should of been, so these end up forming a certain look in the ovaries). It affects the hormones.. as far as im aware (but i may be wrong) that issue dont case fibroid cysts in the breast?......... Now that you've explained those other symptoms you have.. i can see that you do in fact have the symptoms of CFIDS, possibly enough to get a diagnoses here if nothing else explains your symptoms. The symptoms i asked if you had are the ones usually used for diagnosis eg the sleep issues, memory issues etc. Ones with CFIDS often have a like reversed sleep cycle (along with sometimes other sleep issues) and that stops one getting to sleep when one should be going to sleep. Many of us with this need to take melatonin for that symptom of reversed sleep cycle which it sounds you may have. (the various symptoms are all treated in various ways). http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/diagnosingfmscfs/a/cfs_canadian.htm the CFIDS diagnostic guidelines..
    taniaaust1 2267 Replies
    • January 12, 2009
    • 10:12 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I went back to give bloodwork on Saturday and the doc called me a few minutes ago and told me to come back this week. They have never called me back after blood work. They said that there were abnormalities on my bloodwork and I asked what they were. They said that my liver enzymes were up and that I was anemic. I said that both of those things had existed for quite some time. However, they said I was more anemic and that my liver enzyme level before was 48, now it is 80 and that it was important that I come in this week so that the doctor could me of my options.Any ideas?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 19, 2009
    • 06:45 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Don't forget the hepatitis screen.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 19, 2009
    • 07:03 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • No,I don't think you need an x-ray of your entire trunk,just the liver&gallbladder for now.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 19, 2009
    • 07:08 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Are you still having the lung trouble?If so,you should be checked for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency because you have elevated liver enzymes,too.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • January 19, 2009
    • 07:13 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Richard ~ I definitely won't forget the Hepatitis screen...however, what about Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency? That seems consistent with the repeated respiratory infections, asthma symptoms, wheezing, and raised liver enzyme levels.I am going to ask my doctor about that, too....I found it on the internet, and it seems to be me almost exactly.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 19, 2009
    • 07:58 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.