Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Several Unrelated Conditions, or One Overall Disorder?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 10 Replies
  • Posted By: hobbitatheart
  • August 1, 2007
  • 07:48 PM

Hello all. Thanks in advance for reading. I have in the past been diagnosed with several different disorders, including a few that are generally rare in someone my age. Now I'm developing new symptoms, so I am going to the doctor once more, but in the meantime I'd like some opinions. It seems to me that it is unlikely that I have many unrelated disorders, and it makes more sense to me that I actually have only one, or maybe two, conditions that are causing all of the symptoms. I'll give a simple list of all symptoms toward the end of the post so if you don't want the in-depth details you can scroll down.

I am a 22-year-old white female (mostly of Irish, Scottish, and Welsh ancestry), occasional social drinker, smoker, not sexually active. The following symptoms began in childhood; depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic constipation, recurrent ear infections and sore throat (which did subside when I had my tonsils removed at age 17). In adolescence and teenage years I developed some mild euphoria, paranoia, and other symptoms of mania, and was diagnosed with bipolar. I am on Lamictal and Cymbalta (the combination is working well for the bipolar symptoms). I also have chronic heartburn, diagnosed with acid reflux. I also developed hemorrhoids in late adolescence, along with abdominal pain, and symptoms of irritible bowel syndrome. I've been diagnosed with rosacea, with the facial redness and burning beginning in adolescence. It's growing more severe. Recently I've begun reacting to sunlight on any exposed areas, not just my face. After 10 minutes of sun the exposed areas turn bright red. It's not painful, just warm and uncomfortable. I avoid prolonged exposure so I don't know if the rash would get worse or more painful with continued exposure. I am also very sensitive to heat and humidity, and if I stay under these conditions too long I feel lightheaded, nauseated, and generally ill. Recently I have developed small sores inside my mouth, particularly toward the back of my throat. They're white-ish with a red border and aren't all that painful, just uncomfortable. That's most of the background, and now I'll list all of my symptoms.

-Bipolar symptoms; depression, anxiety, insomnia, hypomania, memory problems
-General fatigue, sleepiness, even if I sleep 9 or 10 hours
-Chronic constipation
-Abdominal pain
-Chronic, severe heart burn
-Recurrent nausea without vomiting
-Sun sensitivity
-Heat sensitivity (taking a hot shower causes flushing and itching on my chest and legs)
-Rosacea symptoms; facial flushing, heat, pain
-Mouth sores
-Poor circulation; fingers and toes sometimes cold and white, other times hot and red
-Swollen finger joints, but nowhere else

Many of my symptoms are those of Lupus, but I don't have much of the joint pain present in Lupus, so I don't know what else to think. Any ideas, guys?

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10 Replies:

  • Hi I am a 24 yr old white female with lots of diagnosis as well. I have taken Cymbalta before for Rheumatiod Arthritis and alot of my pain went away while on it. I wanted to let you know, because it may be hiding some of your joint pain and you not know it.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • That is true. I was actually recent in a car accident, which caused an episode of depression, and Cymbalta was chosen for my anti-depressant because of its benefits for managing pain. I have mostly muscle pain (the accident tore muscles and things) though it has also done permanent damage to the joints of my left arm, so they're kind of weak and easily knocked out of place, causing hand tremors. It's kind of difficult to separate the symptoms explained by the car accident from the symptoms that are caused by the unknown underlying issue.
    hobbitatheart 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • Canker sores are NOT contagious and can appear as a single pale or yellow ulcer with a red outer ring, or as a cluster of such lesions. The cause of canker sores is not entirely clear, but may be related to:A virusA temporary weakness in your immune system (for example, from cold or flu)Hormonal changesMechanical irritationStressLow levels of vitamin B12 or folateFor unknown reasons, women seem to get canker sores more often than men. This may be related to hormonal changes. EAt well, take some B12 or folate, take plenty of fiber etc. It sounds like your immune system is taking a hit. Are you on birth control?Also, go on walks every day til you are physically tired. This will help the constipation a lot.
    rad-skw 1605 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi,It sounds like you are totally out of whack... I suggest the following:Go to a good nutritionist - your diet seems to be lacking some serious nutrients and it needs to be looked at asap.Cut out any fatty, processed, sugary foods - stick to wholefoods, veggies, fruit etc. Organic preferably. Be really careful about what you are eating. Get probiotics - your medicines are messing with your insides...Do exercise - start gently but build up as much as you can and stick to it. Don't overload then do nothing. Also do yoga.Go to an acupuncturist. Make sure it's good.Start with that and see if a difference occurs... Take an umbrella out when it's even vaguely sunny. It sounds like the medicine is making you sun sensitive. PS. I apologise if you are already doing all of the above.Good luck
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Below is a list of symptoms for CFS/ME. When I was diagnosed, the first question I was asked by the neurologist was..."Were you involved in a severe trauma, like a car accident?"I see that you were and you are having many of my symptoms. Mine was not from an accident, but rather post "flu" episode which is another consideration with this disease.Your sx are highlighted in red... Sore throat, chills, sweats, low body temperature, low grade fever, lymphadenopathy, muscle weakness (or paralysis), muscle pain, muscle twitches or spasms, gelling of the joints, hypoglycaemia, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, chest pain, cardiac arrhythmia, resting tachycardia, orthostatic tachycardia, orthostatic fainting or faintness, circulatory problems, opthalmoplegia, eye pain, photophobia, blurred vision, wavy visual field, and other visual and neurological disturbances, hyperacuity, tinnitus, alcohol intolerance, gastrointestinal and digestive disturbances, allergies and sensitivities to many previously well-tolerated foods, drug sensitivities, stroke-like episodes, nystagmus, difficulty swallowing, weight changes, paresthesias, polyneuropathy, proprioception difficulties, myoclonus, temporal lobe and other types of seizures, an inability to maintain consciousness for more than short periods at a time, confusion, disorientation, spatial disorientation, disequilibrium, breathing difficulties, emotional lability, sleep disorders; sleep paralysis, fragmented sleep, difficulty initiating sleep, lack of deep-stage sleep and/or a disrupted circadian rhythm. Neurocognitive dysfunction may include cognitive, motor and perceptual disturbances. Cognitive dysfunction may be pronounced and may include; difficulty or an inability to speak (or understand speech), difficulty or an inability to read or write or to do basic mathematics, difficulty with simultaneous processing, poor concentration, difficulty with sequencing and problems with memory including; difficulty making new memories, difficulty recalling formed memories and difficulties with visual and verbal recall (eg. facial agnosia). I can also tell you that from my research your other symptoms likeBipolareuphoriaparanoiamania(agitated exhaustion)GERDabdominal painfatiguefacial flushing(my first symptom)sensitivity to heatsores in mouthare all indicative of this.Please visit www.ahummingbirdsguide.com there you will find info on ME which is the same as CFS which we call it in the US.I hope you are better everyday..wishing you well...mommy catYou can also search this forum for threads written by me. There are a few and they contain alot of information. Hope this helps.
    mommy cat 1654 Replies Flag this Response
  • I highly suggest NAET or Bioset therapy to help resolve symptoms. I have attended 5 treatments and am getting better everyday. I know Acuann, Eayafruit78 and I all recommend it highly. It works!!.Best of luck...mommy cat
    mommy cat 1654 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for the replies. I'm looking into some of the suggestions. However, I'm pretty certain these are not canker sores. I did some looking into different kinds of sores and the images of cankers are not like the ones I have. Also, cankers are generally painful and last from one to three weeks. Mine appear and are gone within a few days, without the pain, burning, or tingling that cankers usually have.I'm pretty certain that my sun sensitivity is not being caused by my medication. I've been on the Lamictal for over a year now with little to no side effects, and I've been on the Cymbalta for about five months. I know it's possible that the side effects didn't manifest immediately upon taking the medication, but I think it's unlikely, especially given that I've always been sensitive to sun and heat.
    hobbitatheart 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • Oh, and I am not on birth control.
    hobbitatheart 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • i was diagnosed with lupus about three years ago, and when i was reading through your symptoms, many things sounded like lupus symptoms. you had mentioned that you don't have joint pain, but with lupus, you just usually have a combination of different symptoms, which may or may not include the joint pain. basically, you only have to meet four of the eleven criteria in order to be diagnosed. i have cut & pasted more info below...also, the mouth ulcers that i get that are related to my lupus are not like canker sores at all, either. i used to get canker sores all of the time, but the mouth ulcers i started getting with my other lupus symptoms are (like you described) smaller, heal faster, and definitely do not hurt and ache as badly as regular canker sores. if i were you, i would see a rheumatologist, who can run blood work to start figuring out what is going on with your body. even if you don't have lupus, it could be that you have another autoimmune disorder. my rheumatologist diagnosed me after running an ANA tither (tests for antinuclear antibodies), complement levels (C3 & C4), and an antiphospholipid antibody test, which also came back positive. good luck on your search! my best advice is finding a good doctor who is dedicated to answering all of your questions and also to running bloodwork & other testing in order to find out what is wrong with you.Many physicians use the American College of Rheumatology's "Eleven Criteria of Lupus" to aid in the diagnosis of lupus. The criteria include symptoms as well as specific laboratory findings that provide information about the functioning of a person's immune system. In most cases, the diagnosis of lupus is made when four or more of the criteria have occurred at some time.The "Eleven Criteria"Malar rash: butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and noseDiscoid (skin) rash: raised red patchesPhotosensitivity: skin rash as result of unusual reaction to sunlightMouth or nose ulcers: usually painlessNonerosive Arthritis (bones around joints do not get destroyed): in 2 or more joints with tenderness, swelling, or effusionCardio-pulmonary involvement: inflammation of the lining around the heart (pericarditis) and/or lungs (pleuritis)Neurologic disorder: seizures and/or psychosisRenal (kidney) disorder: excessive protein in the urine, or cellular casts in the urineHematologic (blood) disorder: hemolytic anemia, low white blood cell count, or low platelet countImmunologic disorder: antibodies to double stranded DNA, antibodies to Sm, or antibodies to cardiolipinAntinuclear antibodies (ANA): positive test in absence of drugs known to induce itA Positive ANA Test: Should You Worry?If you have positive antinuclear antibody (ANA) test, it does not automatically mean you have lupus. Your immune system is your body's natural defense against disease. A positive ANA blood test shows that your immune system is making an antibody (protein) that reacts with components of your body's cells. This is called autoimmunity and may or may not be harmful to your body.While a positive ANA may be associated with an autoimmune illness like lupus, it does not mean you have the disease. Approximately 20% of the normal population will have a positive ANA test; positive tests are also seen in other conditions, such as thyroid disease, certain liver conditions, and other autoimmune diseases.Before making a diagnosis, your doctor should be able to find objective physical or laboratory evidence of the condition, such as swelling of your joints, protein in your urine, fluid around your lungs or heart, or a positive skin biopsy.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i have been on lamictal and cymbalta for over a year. i have developed the oral lesions and i had an acute sun reaction despite judicious use of high quality, high spf sunscreen. i was in the carribean. i am attributing both to the cymbalta. at first i was quite frightened with the dermatological problem and naturally linked it to lamictal and was terrified. by process of elimination, i found the symptoms to be cymbalta related. i hope that this validates your findings.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • February 1, 2015
    • 05:29 AM
    • 0
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