Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Fatigue, Cold-like Symptoms, Increased Heart Rate

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 6 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 8, 2007
  • 06:43 AM

I'm a 28-year-old female graduate student (in public health) who, until January, would have been classified as having "excellent health." I have a BMI of 20, eat healthily, and exercise regularly.

Around New Year's, I felt like I was getting a cold and decided to rest for a few days to shorten the duration of illness. Instead, I ended up staying home for two weeks due to fatigue and tiredness. When I finally tried to go back to work, I walked the 5 minutes to the bus stop. By the time I got off the bus and started walking around, I was lightheaded, so I went to Student Health instead and made an appointment for the next day. By the time I got home, my muscles were sore all over. I was told I was probably dehydrated, but to come back if my symptoms did not improve.

I went back a week and a half later because I was still tired, though the cold-like symptoms had subsided. After the first two days of class (just sitting there, with the exception of the short walk to the bus stop), I ended up sleeping for 14 hours that Saturday -- and I usually only need about 7 hours of sleep a night on average. When awakening, I still felt tired. At my next appointment, the NP noticed that my pulse rate jumped more than 30 beats per minute upon standing (from 72 to 104, no significant change in BP). She decided it was dehydration, but took some blood. Thyroid, kidney, and liver functions were normal. White count slightly elevated (possible viral infection), but no fever. ANA of 1:80.

Last week, I ended up having to skip a class because I was too tired when the alarm went off. I ended up sleeping 11 hours instead of my planned 8.5. The stuffy nose returned (though the weather's turned cold). I also felt like the sides of my neck (under my jawbone) were sore and tender to the touch. I went back to the doctor, and my pulse rate still jumped on standing, though only by 20 bpm (from 63 to 83). The doctor did an EKG, which was normal, and drew more blood. She said my lymph nodes weren't swollen, and I had no real signs of inflammation. Also no sinus pain or pressure. Still no fever. I'm awaiting the bloodwork.

Tonight, I felt intense pain in my right neck (lymph node?). It subsided to a dull throb after about 20 minutes, but the area is tender to the touch. It's not swollen.

I do have a family history of autoimmune disease (RA, Sjogren's, Hajimodo's thyroiditis -- just in the immediate family). My symptoms seem to come and go -- the lightheadedness is sometimes after I've been walking around a while, but sometimes when I'm sitting down. It seems to come and go in waves. The tiredness also seems to just catch up to me and overwhelm me. I've had problems concentrating in school and remembering things from lectures. At my exercise class, I tired easily and would get lightheaded after a few minutes. I did almost black out once walking up a flight of stairs. I've had to cut back my class schedule just to keep up with school.

Right now, the doctor is trying to determine whether it's a "viral infection" or an autoimmune disease. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on what else should be tested? I just want to get better, the sooner the better. Thanks for any help.

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  • P.S. I was tested for CMV (negative). I was not tested for EBV because they use the antibody test, and I tested positive for a previous (not current) infection when my brother had mononucleosis -- so a positive antibody test would not be conclusive. My vaccinations are up-to-date. I did travel in December -- to Florida and Virginia. The doctor asked about tick exposure (none that I know of), but there were mosquitoes around in December due to the mild weather.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 8, 2007
    • 06:46 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi. I came across your post and found it somewhat similar. Just recently I thought I was coming down with a cold (something has been going around where I work) on monday. By Tuesday when I went to work I was very light headed and would walk like 3 steps and my heart would start racing and I felt really tired. They sent me home early and I went into the doctor the next day. So Wednesday I went to my doctor and first they thought I was pregnant. That came out negative. They did and EKG on me and that came out fine. So they did some blood work all that came out fine. So now I'm on an Event Recorder to monitor my heart. So I've had this on since Thrusday. Again still feeling really tired even though it seems like all I have done is sleep. So Friday comes along and again I wasn't at work for more than 30 minutes when I could just feel myself getting tired and weak and my heart racing. My heart rate got up to 154. I laid down and it went down. But when I sat up to call the doctor it jumped from 80 to 115. The doctor had me go to the ER. Of course they found nothing and sent me home.So today (Saturday) I'm sitting here and even my boyfriend has noticed that my heart rate jumps when I stand up and walk around. But I'm fine if I'm laying down or sitting. I'm actually glad I came across your post... as is my boyfriend. Have you found anything out?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thorough check for thryoid...esepcially since you have family history...tends to run in family....FT3, FT4 and TSH and antibodies for Graves and Hashimotos autoimmune disease of the thryoid...also check out Mary Shomon's thryoid site for great info. and a forum...those ladies on the forum are really great and will help you in more detail....I have thryoid problems....sounds very, very similar and certainly worth the simple blood test entailed. Joan PS: fast heart rate with thryoid problem usually indicated hyperthyroid and sometimes Graves Disease (as was my case)...do your hands shake....that is a very typical symptom....I thought I was just nervous but it was the disease! You will be tired as all systems spead up.... Hypo: low thryoid..tired for lack of thryoid hormones which every cell in the body needs...many symptoms including weight gain and tiredness despite good sleep....with thyoid supplement you will be feeling better in a month or two if this is your case. Oh, yes, and both hypo and hyper will cause the lightheadness, lack of concentration and memory problems....it did for me! An endocrinologist is the specialist in this area. Joan
    Joan5555 316 Replies Flag this Response
  • Also, you should look into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome if all medical possibilities are ruled out. All the symptoms seem to match up. I was diagnosed many years ago with it as well and had the same episodes back then. It's actually very controllable.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_fatigue_syndrome#Signs_and_symptoms
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i know this post is over 3 years old but i am having very similar symptoms and i am curious as to what became of your ailments??
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 24, 2011
    • 04:08 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi. I came across your post and found it somewhat similar. Just recently I thought I was coming down with a cold (something has been going around where I work) on monday. By Tuesday when I went to work I was very light headed and would walk like 3 steps and my heart would start racing and I felt really tired. They sent me home early and I went into the doctor the next day. So Wednesday I went to my doctor and first they thought I was pregnant. That came out negative. They did and EKG on me and that came out fine. So they did some blood work all that came out fine. So now I'm on an Event Recorder to monitor my heart. So I've had this on since Thrusday. Again still feeling really tired even though it seems like all I have done is sleep. So Friday comes along and again I wasn't at work for more than 30 minutes when I could just feel myself getting tired and weak and my heart racing. My heart rate got up to 154. I laid down and it went down. But when I sat up to call the doctor it jumped from 80 to 115. The doctor had me go to the ER. Of course they found nothing and sent me home.So today (Saturday) I'm sitting here and even my boyfriend has noticed that my heart rate jumps when I stand up and walk around. But I'm fine if I'm laying down or sitting. I'm actually glad I came across your post... as is my boyfriend. Have you found anything out?I have a condition where my heart rate is okay when I lie down but when i sit and especially when I stand it jumps really high (over 100). I was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachychardia syndrome or POTS. There is medication you can take to help with this. Perhaps you should ask for a tilt table test or some other test to see if this is what you might have.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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