Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Muscle wasting, fatigue, chest pain, itchy skin.

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 88 Replies
  • Posted By: Tigernike23
  • December 31, 2008
  • 04:59 AM

I'm a 23 year old male. I'm really not sure where to start. In January of this year, I started having intermittent chest pain. I brushed it off for a while, then in February, it got really bad. I went to the ER, had an echocardiogram done, and a chest x-ray. Everything fine. Went back to the Doc in March, had another chest x-ray done, everything again fine. I need to mention in April I was on lithium for bipolar, and had an overdose. I went to the hospital and had everything done, dialysis, etc. Got out of the hospital 3 weeks later. No longer on lithium. After I get out of the hospital, I have bowel problems. I had the chest pain on and off. In June, went back to Doc and had a MUGA scan done for my heart. Everything again, fine. I find out I have peripheral neuropathy from the lithium overdose. Doc rules out something wrong with my heart. I start noticing my muscles on my arms and legs wasting away in August, I immediately go to the Doc, have blood tests ridiculously done. Everything again fine. I notice a feeling of something in my throat, Doc tells me its anxiety, but its here all the time. I go on anti-anxiety meds. Heart rate cut in half. He also diagnoses me with GERD, refers me to a GI (gastrointestinal doctor), and I get an endoscopy done, again everything fine. The GI doctor says I don't have GERD. In October I had two "spells", on two different weekends; in which I was nauseated and incredibly tired, sleeping 16 hours a day. Saw the Doc again, had me do tests for MD, MS, ALS, mono, and others, again everything fine. My muscles have pain on and off, they're very tired. I start having pressure, in my head; along with nausea. I mention to my Doc that my lymph nodes in my armpits, neck, and groin are swollen. He brushes it off. So then I demand a CT scan. I get a full body ct scan. He says its all anxiety. They find something in the urinary tract, and see something on the chest part, but say its GERD. (The GI doctor said I don't have GERD.) I've had breathing problems on and off with the chest pain, and the Doc doesn't bother to look, says its 'allergies'. This Doc has been my Doc since I was a kid, but I think I'm seriously being misdiagnosed. Money is starting to become an issue. So here's what I have:

Itchy skin, sometimes feels like burning; whole body
red lumps around
Testicular pain
Lower back pain
Middle back pain
Muscle wasting, I'm pretty much bones now
Muscles are tender
Long time for bruises and sores to heal
Sore throat
Chest pain
Nausea
Head pressure
Swollen Lymph nodes
Chest tenderness
Bowel problems, bowels are in little round balls or pellets...and sink


I'm 23 years old, male, slightly overweight, do not smoke, and I try to be active.
I have no idea what I have, but I'm just plain scared its cancer of some kind. At some times, I feel like I am dying. Doc told me that I'm over-reacting but I'm afraid he's misdiagnosed me. One thing I like about the internet is this site, but everything is telling me I have something serious, and my parents and Doc are telling me I have nothing wrong with me. Any help would be appreciated. I am thinking of getting a second opinion.

Reply Flag this Discussion

88 Replies:

  • Reading this a several weeks after the fact. Hope everything is okay with you. I know how scary not knowing can be. Definately get second opinion, get a third too. But most of all, try to relax your mind as much as possible and stay positive!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 5, 2009
    • 02:26 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • You need to rule out several things....Hiatal Hernia, H-Pylori infection, other gastro issues which require you to be scoped. See an ENT for thatYou may also need to see a gastroenterologist to rule out other possible gastro issues, and might want to look into have a gastric emptying study done to be sure your stomach is emptying like it should.If that does not show anything, you should visit an endocrinologist to be checked for a thyroid disorder, autoimmune like Hashimoto's or Grave's or possibly a hypothyroid issue caused from the overdose. Tests for thyroid antibodies need to be run not just TSH, but thyroid peroxidase antibodies and thyroid globulin antibodies.If that shows nothing.....see a rheumatolgist for a possible connective tissue/autoimmune disorder. They will run several more specific tests based on your sypmtoms.Unfortunately you do have to keep going from one specialist to another until you find a cause because they all know a lot more about their specialty than they do about each other's specialties so it has to be a process of elimination.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 6, 2009
    • 08:05 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • You need to rule out several things....Hiatal Hernia, H-Pylori infection, other gastro issues which require you to be scoped. See an ENT for thatYou may also need to see a gastroenterologist to rule out other possible gastro issues, and might want to look into have a gastric emptying study done to be sure your stomach is emptying like it should.If that does not show anything, you should visit an endocrinologist to be checked for a thyroid disorder, autoimmune like Hashimoto's or Grave's or possibly a hypothyroid issue caused from the overdose. Tests for thyroid antibodies need to be run not just TSH, but thyroid peroxidase antibodies and thyroid globulin antibodies.If that shows nothing.....see a rheumatolgist for a possible connective tissue/autoimmune disorder. They will run several more specific tests based on your sypmtoms.Unfortunately you do have to keep going from one specialist to another until you find a cause because they all know a lot more about their specialty than they do about each other's specialties so it has to be a process of elimination.Thanks a lot to both of you guys. Go ahead and check off full body CT scan, and I also had a neck scan, everything is fine. I did a CT scan of my neck, everything was fine. I demanded a biopsy, and it was all good. Along with my other symptoms, I've developed red rashes on both arms with flaky skin, like its dried up. I'm itchy all along my arms and upper back. I'll go investigate autoimmune disorders. I've got an appointment with my psychiatrist, and I'll ask him what exactly a lithium OD can create.
    Tigernike23 26 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi there.Sounds like me..think you should check out Morgellons disease. Here's my website, but there's loads of other places to find out more if you google:http://www.morgellons.org.ukAll good wishesJo
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Get checked for celiac disease.
    aquila 1263 Replies Flag this Response
  • Everyone has given you some really good advice. The only other thought that I have is do you know what your blood count is? Blood is formed in the bones. So if no one has done a complete blood test on you lately, get one done and look at the results. Is both your white and red blood count normal? If yes, move on. If no, see a hematologist.
    halal37 96 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am getting checked tomorrow for thyroid; T3, T4, and TSH. I've had my arms looked at, along with basic autoimmune blood tests, all came back normal. I was treated for eczema, but the treatments aren't working, so I'm going back to the dermatologist.Halal37, I had a CBC done when I had the basic autoimmune blood work done, and all was well, or so they told me. I had a CBC done back in July of 2008, and my white cells were a little low, but nothing alarming (.01 off from normal).
    Tigernike23 26 Replies Flag this Response
  • Some people develop Celiac or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity after stress or illness (i.e. overdose). And, Celiac can cause depression or irritability as it is a GI problem and you don't absorb nutrients properly (muscle loss, depression). Seriously, for people with Celiac something as simple as a piece of wheat bread is poison. I have had a skin rash, swollen lymph (for years), abdominal pain, moodiness, fatigue, hair loss etc, and I'm feeling much better on a gluten-free diet. Please learn a bit about this disease - the symptoms vary from individual to individual. It goes un diagnosed too often because the pharmaceutical industry has nothing to gain, but some say it affects over 3 million people. Dr. Peter H. R. Green is an authority.
    lucky1 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Actually, my breathing has gotten worse, and my mouth feels swollen. Saw a dermatologist, and he did some more tests, all negative for ANA etc. I see my main doctor on Thursday, I've been looking at Scleroderma and Polychondritis. My eyes have become bloodshot red and I'm seeing more floaters. I have pressure up and down my head. When I see my doctor Thursday, I am going to demand to see a rhuemetologist, or get a second opinion. This idiot thinks its allergies and I have something serious, and its scaring the ***l out of me.
    Tigernike23 26 Replies Flag this Response
  • Well, allergies can cause a host of major problems...so don't discount that there may be an allergic component going on here. But please answer a few more questions: How is your digestion? How frequent are your stools and do you suffer from either constipation or diarrhea? You mention your breathing has gotten worse - are you coughing? Do you have any phlegm? If so, what is the color of the phlegm? Do you have wheezing? Do you have chest pain still? Please list ALL medications you are currently taking. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • My stools are either 1 huge sometimes painful stool, or its pellets. Both the pellets and the 1 stool just sink to the bottom of the toilet. I do have a lot of flatulence.As for my breathing, its constriction or inflammation, no phlegm. Yes I wheeze alot, I do have chest pain, and it is in the lung area, both left and right side. Its also tightness in the windpipe area, like the feeling I'm not getting enough air or somethings blocking the airway.Seroquel 100 MG nightlyToprol XL 25 MG twice dailyLisinopril 20 MG twice dailyIbuprofen 800 MG as needed
    Tigernike23 26 Replies 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?

  • You mentioned you are seeing more floaters. How long has it been since you have been to an ophthalmologist? The eyes are the only way to see a person's brain without surgery. I have seen ophthalmologists on TV diagnose folks with rare conditions. If it has been awhile since your last eye exam, you might want to see an ophthalmologist and share what you have been going through.
    halal37 96 Replies Flag this Response
  • Seroquel side effectsGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.Other serious side effects include:fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats;jerky muscle movements you cannot control;sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;increased thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, or weakness;feeling like you might pass out; orurinating less than usual or not at all.Less serious Seroquel side effects may include:dizziness, drowsiness, or weakness;dry mouth, runny nose, sore throat;nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation;blurred vision, headache, anxiety, agitation;breast swelling or discharge;missed menstrual periods; orweight gain.This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. How long have you been taking this med? DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Toprol-XL (metoprolol) side effectsGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects: slow or uneven heartbeats;feeling light-headed, fainting;feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;swelling of your ankles or feet;nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);depression; orcold feeling in your hands and feet.Less serious side effects may include:vomiting;decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm;sleep problems (insomnia);tired feeling; oranxiety, nervousness.This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Both of the above meds cause shortness of breath, breathing problems and swelling of the mouth. Have you talked with your docs about possible side effects and/or interactions with your meds? It is often the last thing a doctor will look at, and would explain why your other tests were clear. I really think this is causing your current symptoms - please talk with your docs about this and visit www.drugs.com to look up ALL the side effects of your meds. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Floaters can be a sign of liver toxicity. DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've been on Seroquel going back to 2007. After the lithium intox in April 2008, I was taken off of it. I had trouble sleeping, and after putting me on Trazodone, my (new, at the time) psych took me off that and back on Seroquel. Prior to any of this (since summer 2008), I had no trouble with Seroquel.I've been on Toprol since maybe July 2008.I have an appointment with a rheumatologist on June 11. However as of late, I've developed a sharp pain in my lower left side of my back, at waist level. Also, both left and right sides of my middle back are very tender, around the kidney areas. My arms have become tender and weak, so have my legs, every once in a while I'll get the pins and needles feeling. But another thing... my joints have started hurting, like my lower back, my knees, wrists, and ankles.I know there's something wrong here, I'll see if I can get moved up with the rheumatologist. Just some terms I thought I'd throw out here:ANA Negative LupusSclerodermaAutoimmune HepatitisRelapsing PolychondritisCeliac DiseaseVasculitis-----EDIT------I forgot to mention I saw my family doctor on Thursday, and he said I definitely have conjunctivitis of the eye. Now, he thinks its allergies, but I think it may be a reaction to an underlying problem.
    Tigernike23 26 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, I'm so sorry that you have had to go through having so many tests done and I know from experience that some of them are very uncomfortable. That may be why you have the fatigue. I know, that was pretty bad, but I'm sure you know all about taking humor where you can get it, that is, if you're anything like me and have been through all the things you have.I have some of the same symptoms. First, I have COPD and have to use Oxygen 24/7. I got that from the radiation I had to have when I had Hodgkin's Disease @ 26. I'm 55 now. I also have Hepatitis C that I believe I got from a blood transfusion in 1980. I, also have Hypothyroidism, Peripheral Neurapathy, problems with my Esophagus (swallowing) again, because of radiation. I have muscle loss and have lost a lot of weight, from 150 to 112 and I'm 5'8". I have a lot of illnesses.Right now, I have been dealing with fatigue, difficulty breathing, nausea, severe anxiety (I've always had anxiety but not this bad), trouble swallowing, same kind of stool as you described and I only go about twice a week.I've just had a general bad feeling all the time. I've had problems sleeping. I have to sleep in a chair so that the contents of my stomach don't come up. I haven't been able to sleep in a bed for about a year now. It's very depressing and I can't go outside because the Pollen can get in my system and cause Pneumonia, plus I don't have the energy to go out and I live a block from the ocean. I tell you, if there is a God, he's playing a mean joke on me.But, here's the good part. Lately I've changed my diet. I've cut out all Wheat, strawberries, peanuts and peanut butter, milk products, including cheese. (I do use soy milk or Silk with cereal but I don't have much cereal) and my life has changed a lot. I can breathe better. I'm not depressed like I was. I feel better in general and I'm sleeping better. Soon, when my son and I can arrange it, we're going to change my room into a den (we live in a small apt.) and we're taking the bed out and putting a comfy sofa in and I'm going to sleep on it. It may not seem like much but it will be a big change in the way I feel about my life. I feel like there is hope.I hope you can figure out what's going on with you. Have you changed your diet? You could have an allergy to something as simple as wheat or strawberries, like I did.
    katwoman 29 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm such an idiot. I just re-read my post and it seems like it's all about me. I apologize for that. I was just trying to let you know a little about me so you could think about the possibility of your problems being related to an allergy.Now that I look at your symptoms more, I see that it probably IS a lot more serious than that. You should, indeed, see a Rheumatologist. My son has a lot of the same symptoms as you and he is undiagnosed. I will try to get him to read your post. He's done a lot of research on his symptoms.Again, I hope you get to the bottom of it and get an answer. You're too young to be having all these problems.Carol/katwoman
    katwoman 29 Replies Flag this Response
  • Okay, I saw the rheumatologist today, and I'm not sure he knows what's going on either. He's thinking fibromyalgia, but with the rashes on my arms, he's not too sure. He put me on Lyrica, and he's ordering the following:ANAAnti-centromereAnti-DSDNASCL-70CBCCMPESRUA testHe's also doing some nerve test to see if I have peripheral neuropathy in my legs. I'm pretty sure I do, because my family doctor said I could have it as a result of the lithium intoxication. However, he said it should go away in "3 to 6 months after the intoxication". It's been 14 months.I'm supposed to see him again in a month. As I walked out, I forgot to ask him about vasculitis, and when I mentioned my breathing problems, he asked me if I'd seen a lung doctor, and I said no, I couldn't get a referral from my family physician (who says it's anxiety). So, apparently, I have to go back to my family doctor, and plead for a referral to a pulmonologist, and a vascular surgeon.
    Tigernike23 26 Replies Flag this Response
  • Your fears of cancer could be correct,m do not waste time... go now and be checked! you seem to have all of the symptoms of leukemia or hodgkins.. please do not wait go to the doctor!
    MK1987 35 Replies Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.