Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Brain fog, sinus symptoms, chest congestion/heartburn for 4 years

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: SinusSufferer
  • March 13, 2010
  • 08:15 PM

So, it's really difficult to sum all this up in an amount of words that people will bother to read, but I'll try!

First off I'm now a 25 year old white male in Oregon, US. I was the pinnacle of health, despite some hay fever and such, for the first 21 years of my life.

Just over four years ago began the following symptoms:

1) First post-nasal drip & brain fog
2) A few months later the headaches started. Usually above my left eye but occasionally it spreads to the rest of my head and ears. Has been known to get REALLY bad when traveling/changing altitude/etc.
3) A little while after that a chronic cough and chest congestion.
4) I had very occasional bouts of heartburn for the first few years, and now it's become much more frequent in the last year (I've quite caffeine as a result).
5) Abnormal bowel movements - soft /w white spots for the last year. Not sure if this is related, but I also had occasional diarrhea for the first few years as well.

Most of these symptoms, especially the brain fog, has been 24/7 for the entire time. It doesn't let up. And the brain fog, by far, is the most crippling. I was able to muddle through the rest of my computer science degree, but I'm left with very little confidence in my abilities. I used to be pretty sharp, and now I've sworn off mental math and have become increasingly anti-social. I've finally realized in the last year that I simply cannot continue with my life as I thought it would be if I can't beat this.

And yep, I've been to doctor's. Just a lot of negative tests and no improvement. I've had numerous clean CT's, sinus surgery on my "deviated septum," multiple courses of antibiotics, anti-fungals, allergy shots and treatment, Nexium for a while for possible GERD/LPR (only made me bloated), multiple blood tests (not sure what they tested for - supposed to be broad), parasite stool screening, endoscopy, probiotics, etc, etc. I even had all 4 wisdom teeth out in vain hope that it would have something to do with it.

Speaking of which, for about a week after the wisdom tooth surgery I developed a pain under my right rib cage, nausea, and loss of appetite that prevented me from eating much of anything. I was taking large doses of ibuprofen which may have brought it on, but I'm not sure. Possibly not related... (it's hard to know!)

The only test that was ever positive was my skin test for allergies, but I've become convinced that allergies aren't my issue. I'm also on the 3rd month of a strict elimination diet to test for food intolerances/etc but I haven't seen any improvement yet.

I'm planning on looking a little closer at LPR and TMJ disorder if I even get health insurance again, but I'm become increasingly dubious that either of those are candidates.

So that's the whirlwind version. I guess what I'm saying is - "help!"

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5 Replies:

  • Wanted to add that the post-nasal drip that has been present the entire time is usually opaque/white, with occasional yellow when I get one of my occasional sinus infections brewing. Anyone heard of or have similar symptoms? I'm getting fairly desperate, so ANY comments are welcome!
    SinusSufferer 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • So, is this combination of symptoms just that bizarre? Any tests or anything that people would recommend?
    SinusSufferer 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • CANDIDA!!!!!! Im no doctor but it sounds as if you have a yeast infection also commonly dubbed candida. You did not include in your post so I thought I would bring up the possibility. White stuff in stool, brain fog, etc. are all significant indicators of candida which actually gets worse from antibiotics, poor diet, and unending stress. Research Candida and see if that might be your problem. If it is you will have to cut out sugars from your diet and add antifungals and high dose probiotics. When I say high dose probiotics I mean somewhere in the neighborhood of 400- 500 billion per day. Like I said I am no doctor but this is probably your problem.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • So, is this combination of symptoms just that bizarre? Any tests or anything that people would recommend?Try zertec -D - i was doubtful - it worked wonders for my sinus, chest mucus/phlegm issues.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi there SinusSufferer, It's been a while since you posted, I hope you've had some success in the past 18 months... I'm a 32 year old female in Australia and I've had a foggy head for nearly a year now. It's been accompanied by very thick phlegm in my throat and eczema among other symptoms. I began by treating the eczema, which is only on my face (not ideal)... but would now be happy to live with the eczema for the rest of my life if I could just have my brain back. I'd finally found a career I loved and have had to steer away from it for an easier job because I simply don't have the confidence to do as much as I used to. I'm trying to remain positive but it's difficult to have confidence in myself when my brain doesn't work like it did before. It's affecting my social life and relationships. Anyway... I've seen doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, a kinesiologist. I've had all sorts of tests, I did the candida diet strictly for about 3 months... and got much sicker. The candida diet was basically an elimination diet and I found my symptoms got worse during this which counts out most food allergies. The one thing which has given me some hope is my acupuncturist. I can recommend doing some reading on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) concepts of dampness, yin deficiency and others. Find a good Chinese doctor who does acupuncture and prescribes herbs. A lot of the reading I've done on these theories of dampness suggest that it is quite difficult to remove. Which strangely made me relieved because I thought yep, this must be it! I've been seeing my Chinese doctor for about 3 and a half months. My symptoms are slowly improving (not really my foggy head though unfortunately - but I have to live in hope it's on the way!) Apparently it can take a year or several years to get rid of dampness depending on how long the problem has been occuring. My doctor doesn't really provide me with much nutritional advice so I've adapted my diet from reading everything I can find on the net. It's important to also have your acupuncturist's advice. I would have simply diagnosed myself with dampness or damp heat after doing reading online but he is able to read other symptoms I could not. I've also just found a website on Greek medicine which outlines the same symptoms... http://www.greekmedicine.net/Principles_of_Treatment/Adjusting_and_Regulating_Phlegm_and_Serous_Fluids.htmlGood luck to anyone else dealing with this. If you have any information that might help me I would be so happy to hear it!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 16, 2012
    • 02:06 PM
    • 0
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