Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

He's fatigued, lightheaded, dizzy.. can you help?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 17 Replies
  • Posted By: natjay
  • June 3, 2009
  • 08:56 PM

This post is for my boyfriend Jay. I just wonder if it might sound familiar to anyone. He's had these symptoms for 1-2 years. He has had many blood tests, doctors visits and everything comes up normal.

Symptoms:

Chronic Lightheadedness
Chronic Fatigue/weakness
Occasional Dizziness
One night of vertigo
Occasional Shortness of breath
Arm twitching/numbness in one arm one night (paramedics said it may have been related to his panic attack)
He usually has panic attacks when it gets extreme.
Fainted at work suddenly 2 times at 2 different jobs. Had no dizziness or feeling that it was coming. (that was before any other symptoms I listed began)
Lack of concentration

He just got over a cold (we think) that lasted a month.. he had a sore throat, coughing, runny nose etc. But when we thought he was over it, he has a sore throat again with no other symptoms.

He was mostly getting dizzy when he was smoking so he quit that and drinking just to be sure. It's been a year now since then. He also had a period of severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea which the doctors said might be an intolerance since it's the same as his lactose intolerance. So he thought for a moment and realized growing up he'd always get sneezy when he ate bread. So now he quit eating wheat gluten altogether in case it's a wheat intolerance.

He's been tested for diabetes, especially since his Dad has it, and it's negative.

We've just stopped rushing to the hospital since they don't do anything for him but order the same blood tests that come up with nothing. It's also just too hard for him to give blood because he gets extremely dizzy, gets chills and has a panic attack. The most recent doctor he saw said since he's fatigued he might not be getting enough magnesium. So he's been taking that but nothing's changed.

He can't go to work anymore because of this new chronic fatigue that seemed to settle in during his cold. He just can't concentrate on anything or do much activity. He feels exhausted saying a sentence. This month is going to be hard financially.. I just wish he was better.

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17 Replies:

  • He works at a computer and is usually at a computer at home. We have a cordless phone but he usually uses the corded one. He has a cell but rarely uses it. We have a wireless router.. that's about as wifi as we get.He says it doesn't sound like that's the problem. It lists so many symptoms though.. so who knows.
    natjay 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • Okay, first of all the symptoms would have absolutely no bearing on the use of a cell phone or lingering around the kitchen toaster too long. Pure nonsense. The symptoms, do in fact, suggest the presence of anxiety disorder, or anxiety with clinical depresion. Realize that physical symptoms can and do often arise in the presence of such disorders and they constitute more than 25% of all visits to the doctor's office. The reason for the light-headed sensations, dizziness or unsteadiness have to do with subtle changes in the balance of blood gases, such as CO2, which occurs because people with anxiety tend to breathe more shallow to the exent that they create mild hyperventilation. Breathing more shallow and rapid causes a person to expel too much carbon dioxide, thus inducing mild hyperventilation. This condition can bring about other changes in blood chemistry that can invoke a panic threshold event or attack, causing the sufferer to feel as though they are suffocating and can't get enough air. I don't have to mention here that smoking can easily tip the scales in instances where the prodrome is evident. Syncopal episodes, or fainting, most often occurs as a result of a rapid change in vagal tone. This phenomenon is most well-illustrated in soldiers who stand at attention for extended periods, a postural activity that over time will cause vagal tone to diminish to the extent that perfusion to the brain is mildly affected. The consequence is fainting. It is, however, harmless. In the person with anxiety disorder, the vagal tone becomes dysregulated such that it need not be affected by standing at attention, but can come about while pausing for more brief periods, such as standing momentarily at the coffee counter or water fountain. Most often, patients with anxiety can feel it coming on to the extent that something is just not right and fear begins to set in. Fainting can occur immediately or cause mere tunnel vision and weakness, with the need to lay down. Vertigo is often mislabled by persons describing their symptoms but in essence is the sensation that either the environment around a person is spinning or that the person themselves are spinning. Many people interchange vertigo with dizziness, which alternatively is unsteadiness that can cause a person to suddenly tilt or sense a shift in their ability to remain upright and balanced. It is far more common for persons to experience dizziness as a consequence of anxiety, with vertigo being far more rare in the clinical sense. The reason dizziness occurs is because the vestibular network is disturbed as a consequence of sensory dysregulation. The dysregulation is the result of intense anxiety, which can place the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system in a state of flux, the consequences of which produce all sorts of sensations that patients describe as symptoms but in reality are merely physiological responses to stress and anxiety. The GI symptoms are most likely related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, which very often accompanies symptoms of persons with anxiety disorder or clinical depression. Lactose intolerance tends to be characteristic over a broader range of time and patients so afflicted have a documented history of problems. People with anxiety disorder also tend to feel nauseated and sometimes burst out in a sweat with hunger pangs as though they might be hypoglycemic. In actuality, these symptoms are due to stimulation of the adrenal glands, which are introducing norepinephrine into the bloodstream. Many people mistake these symptoms for hypoglycemia, which in reality is extremely rare. Lack of concentration, anhedonia and other symptoms are quite prevalent among persons with anxiety or depression. The reason that concentration is difficult is due to constant ruminations about the underlying emotional issues which interfere with normal, sequential thought processes. Persons so affected often sigh or yawn a great deal, complaining of a heavy or tight chest, and feel absolutely drained of energy to undertake normal daily tasks. They don't necessarily lack the physical strength, but the inertia and momentum to perform tasks whether physical or otherwise, often retiring to a chair or the bed and claiming that they feel exhausted and need rest. Lastly, rhinitis is a constant feature among persons with anxiety and or depression, typically producing post-nasal drip or mild sinus difficulties, compouned by a chronic and mild sore throat which seems to linger. This mild pharyngitis is due to the sinuses weeping and draining into the pharyngeal region or throat. The person may notice the soreness appear intermittently and sometimes need to constantly clear their throat. The second reason that a sore throat can occur which lingers is due to reflux, which most often occurs at night due to the fact that people with anxiety or depression typically have poor quality sleep that results in increased stomach acid. The sore throat from this condition is typically worse in the morning and sometimes accompanied by hoarseness that subsides as well. My impression here is that your boyfriend is suffering from a clinical anxiety disorder or clinical depression with anxiety features, both of which are very treatable. You can forego the magnesium. It would have no relevance to his symptoms. Nor would his symptoms be consistent with celiac disease. The decision to stop smoking and drinking, at least for the time being, was a wise decision and will have beneficial effects far beyond a reduction in his present symptoms. Lastly, and again, the symptoms would not be due to electrosensitivity, which simply doesn't exist as having any type of negative impact on humans. Your boyfriend needs to perform some honest introspection to try and determine why he is so anxious and possibly depressed. Many times one's financial situation and occupational circumstances can cause a person to feel trapped and worthless by comparison to what they want to alternatively portray or achieve. In other words, they aren't at the point in life where they had anticipated and feel unimportant. They feel less confident and insecure, resulting in fear that often produces physical symptoms and panic thresholds. In sum, it is emotional instability that is being suppressed rather than openly dealt with which most often results in the anxiety and panic events, sometimes intense health anxiety or worries as well. This emotional position can lead to other problems related to insecurity such as fleeting spousal mistrust or suspicion, feelings that negative events are somehow pursposely directed toward them, and the development of emotional outbursts or intense frustration when their confidence is overly threatened. Very often, no suggestion or help is accepted and even thwarted, claiming that the person offering help simply has no idea or understanding of the real problem. Participating in social events or gatherings is often severely diminished, resorting to more habitual patterns that feel safe and less anxiety-invoking. I'm not suggesting that any or all of these patterns are related specifically to your boyfriend, but rather that they appear with great frequency among persons with anxiety disorders, panic disorder and or clinical depression. It's simply information for you and your boyfriend to consider to whatever extent it may be relevant. While seeking out a professional to help with this may be financially cumbersome at this point in time, you may try and encourage him to be more open about his true difficulties and help him realize that his fears are largely irrational in nature. This alone can help a person to develop a less defensive and more healthy perspective about their situation. The tests will continue to be negative because he has no underlying physical disease or condition which is responsible. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies Flag this Response
  • my girlfriend posted this, listing my symptoms - actually, there are completely unrelated things listed together here.over just the past month or so i have felt incredibly exhausted, often achy, sometimes getting sore throats and headaches. it's at the point where i haven't even been able to work.the lightheadedness/dizziness thing is more chronic over the past year and a bit, and there is definitely a link with anxiety there although i've had many times where i felt totally calm and yet really lightheaded and 'spacy'. sometimes though the feeling, especially when feeling faint, induces hyperventilation which just makes things worse. but actually as far as the lightheadedness goes i've more or less learned to ignore it and it's just like background noise at this point that i'm not tremendously worried about.the gastrointestinal stuff i'm not that worried about because i've switched to a gluten free diet and things seem to be pretty much fine now in that regard. i got allergy tests saying i'm not allergic to wheat which is good but even still, eating bread makes me feel sick. occasionally i've treated myself to some of the foods i love which contain a little wheat (mostly restaurant food with soy sauce, for example i really love korean food) to mixed results - sometimes i felt fine afterwards and sometimes a bit sick, and the sickness is pretty much the same as i would feel after drinking a glass of milk...what really has me concerned though is the sudden lack of energy to do anything. i feel tired ALL THE TIME. that's just something that has hit a little over a month ago and i actually feel it's quite unrelated to the other stuff, which has been bothering me undoubtedly but hasn't been so bad recently. a few days ago i looked up the symptoms of chronic fatigue and it seems like me to a tee - headaches, often getting achy muscles, recurring sore throats, and lack of energy. this is what i want to get to the bottom of. my family doctor referred me to an internal medicine specialist, and he was very thorough, detective-like, in his questions for me, but all he could think of was that it was some sort of viral infection and that time would make it go away. he told me to take a magnesium supplement because often in people with fatigue they are lacking sufficient amounts of magnesium, he explained.i don't believe that i have clinical depression at this time, but if something like this continues it is undoubtedly depressing because it has affected my work life, my social life, and my domestic life adversely for quite some time now.
    natjay 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • my girlfriend posted this, listing my symptoms - actually, there are completely unrelated things listed together here.over just the past month or so i have felt incredibly exhausted, often achy, sometimes getting sore throats and headaches. it's at the point where i haven't even been able to work.the lightheadedness/dizziness thing is more chronic over the past year and a bit, and there is definitely a link with anxiety there although i've had many times where i felt totally calm and yet really lightheaded and 'spacy'. sometimes though the feeling, especially when feeling faint, induces hyperventilation which just makes things worse. but actually as far as the lightheadedness goes i've more or less learned to ignore it and it's just like background noise at this point that i'm not tremendously worried about.the gastrointestinal stuff i'm not that worried about because i've switched to a gluten free diet and things seem to be pretty much fine now in that regard. i got allergy tests saying i'm not allergic to wheat which is good but even still, eating bread makes me feel sick. occasionally i've treated myself to some of the foods i love which contain a little wheat (mostly restaurant food with soy sauce, for example i really love korean food) to mixed results - sometimes i felt fine afterwards and sometimes a bit sick, and the sickness is pretty much the same as i would feel after drinking a glass of milk...what really has me concerned though is the sudden lack of energy to do anything. i feel tired ALL THE TIME. that's just something that has hit a little over a month ago and i actually feel it's quite unrelated to the other stuff, which has been bothering me undoubtedly but hasn't been so bad recently. a few days ago i looked up the symptoms of chronic fatigue and it seems like me to a tee - headaches, often getting achy muscles, recurring sore throats, and lack of energy. this is what i want to get to the bottom of. my family doctor referred me to an internal medicine specialist, and he was very thorough, detective-like, in his questions for me, but all he could think of was that it was some sort of viral infection and that time would make it go away. he told me to take a magnesium supplement because often in people with fatigue they are lacking sufficient amounts of magnesium, he explained.i don't believe that i have clinical depression at this time, but if something like this continues it is undoubtedly depressing because it has affected my work life, my social life, and my domestic life adversely for quite some time now.
    natjay 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • I agree with J Cottle MD's diagnosis. I have social anxiety disorder and I noticed these things when I was forced to do things that were uncomfortable for me. I was also very irritable on a daily basis. I'm now on citalopram 5mg a day and am much more amiable =) Have more energy too. And I don't get so mad at the stupid people who walk on the wrong side of the hall!I also focus so much better and am even able to study in the library, amazingly enough.You also might want to check out asthma as it can lead to anxiety symptoms.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • OMG that last post was such a typical Dr post... I suffered from the same EXACT symptoms as your boyfriend. You need to immediately go buy the book "Adrenal Fatigue" by Dr James Wilson. My symptoms were so severe that I was admitted to the hospital for a week and they performed every test under the sun and was told it was all in my head. This book changed my life and I'd bet anything it will change your boyfriends' as well. I've been well for many years now and even though I saw more Dr's and specialists than I care to remember I owe it all to Dr. Wilson and the knowledge I gained by reading his book.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • He could be anemic. Or have heart problems. Lightheadedness and dizziness could be due to lack of blood circulation to the brain.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • could be lyme
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • It could be Lyme Disease. It's very complicated to diagnose because it is the "great imitator" and often gets misdiagnosed for other illnesses. A lot of the blood tests are inaccurate. You want to test through a lab call Igenex. I had a lot of the symptoms you mentioned. GL on finding out what you have and getting well!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • We suspect it was cat allergies after he was getting hives, he took some cat hair to his arm and watched himself break out so it must be that. We found homes for our cats but still need to clean the place out.. so much cat hair everywhere, and with carpets it's even harder. Too bad we're too poor to move.. just gotta keep cleaning =/We need to wait for the allergy test people to call us now. They're taking forever -.-Thank you all for your replies.
    natjay 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • I agree with the person who said it was adrenal exhaustion. I have read this wonderful book by Dr. Cass Ingram (Eat Right for your Metabolic Type) and the symptoms you have fits adrenal problems. This book will help you eat the correct foods to rebalance your endocrine system.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • You may try researching parasitic or yeast infections (candida albicans), as well as the consequent 'leaky gut' in your digestive system. These infections can cause extreme fatigue, reactions to alcohol/gluten/dairy/sugar, environmental/food allergies, dizziness, emotional/mental confusion, as well as a host of other symptoms. Best wishes in healing, Beth
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ask your doctors to test you for Candidiasis! Insist on this.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 12, 2009
    • 08:00 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I myself have MANY of these symptoms, EXCLUDING sore throt and fainting. The lightheadedness I have learned to live with as well, although it still makes me wonder. My Doctor has recently found that something is not quite working right with my LIVER. In fact I also just found out that my family carries the alagille syndrome GENE wich affects the liver. I personally believe that the lightheadedness comes from the fact my eyesight is worse in one eye than the other wich messes with my depth perception, but have heard from others that it could be caused by liver. I am also an anxious person but can TELL something isn't right, probably much like yourself. I am also pretty sure that they would have checked your liver by now, but I'm just trying to lay something on the table for you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 13, 2009
    • 05:01 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • my girlfriend posted this, listing my symptoms - actually, there are completely unrelated things listed together here.over just the past month or so i have felt incredibly exhausted, often achy, sometimes getting sore throats and headaches. it's at the point where i haven't even been able to work.the lightheadedness/dizziness thing is more chronic over the past year and a bit, and there is definitely a link with anxiety there although i've had many times where i felt totally calm and yet really lightheaded and 'spacy'. sometimes though the feeling, especially when feeling faint, induces hyperventilation which just makes things worse. but actually as far as the lightheadedness goes i've more or less learned to ignore it and it's just like background noise at this point that i'm not tremendously worried about.the gastrointestinal stuff i'm not that worried about because i've switched to a gluten free diet and things seem to be pretty much fine now in that regard. i got allergy tests saying i'm not allergic to wheat which is good but even still, eating bread makes me feel sick. occasionally i've treated myself to some of the foods i love which contain a little wheat (mostly restaurant food with soy sauce, for example i really love korean food) to mixed results - sometimes i felt fine afterwards and sometimes a bit sick, and the sickness is pretty much the same as i would feel after drinking a glass of milk...what really has me concerned though is the sudden lack of energy to do anything. i feel tired ALL THE TIME. that's just something that has hit a little over a month ago and i actually feel it's quite unrelated to the other stuff, which has been bothering me undoubtedly but hasn't been so bad recently. a few days ago i looked up the symptoms of chronic fatigue and it seems like me to a tee - headaches, often getting achy muscles, recurring sore throats, and lack of energy. this is what i want to get to the bottom of. my family doctor referred me to an internal medicine specialist, and he was very thorough, detective-like, in his questions for me, but all he could think of was that it was some sort of viral infection and that time would make it go away. he told me to take a magnesium supplement because often in people with fatigue they are lacking sufficient amounts of magnesium, he explained.i don't believe that i have clinical depression at this time, but if something like this continues it is undoubtedly depressing because it has affected my work life, my social life, and my domestic life adversely for quite some time now.I am experiencing many of the same symptoms and my neurologist is currently checking me for adrenal insufficieny of better known as Addison's disease. Look it up because a large number of Addison's patients also have anxiety and depression, feel extremely fatigued, have fainting spells, irritability, headaches, inability to concentrate, insomnia, and gastrointestinal upset such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, changes in pigmentation of the skin and low blood sugar and b/p are major indicators. Good luck. I have had these symptoms for about six years and nobody seems to know what is going on and I just keep getting pushed from doctor to doctor and having every test and diagnosis under the sun. I hope you can find out what is going and get the right treatment.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 14, 2009
    • 03:33 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have alot of the same symptoms that you described and I am going to recommend something to try and I guarantee that it will take away some of your symptoms. It probably wont take away all your fatigue and anxiety but as far as the sore throat and some of the dizziness and such will. I had to figure this one out on my own as no doctor could help me as in your case. I have allergies. If I dont take a Claritin D (and it has to be the D part whether generic form or not) for more than two days I get real crappy feeling like I am coming down with something and my insides shake and I get real manic. I figured it out and when I take this I am better not 100% but worth the money and time to take this pill every day. Please try it and let me know how it works. I recommended this to someone else and they thanked me profusely. But it has to be a Claritin D brand I didnt like Zrytec D. Good Luck! Give it three days and u should feel some of your symptoms are gone.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • He s not taking a anti depressant by any chance along with ibroprufen, Advil, aspirin?
    davyboy1980 5 Replies
    • August 24, 2014
    • 05:34 AM
    • 0
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