Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Spells...dizzy, sudden hi bp, nausea, vomiting

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: glmk43
  • January 19, 2008
  • 05:07 AM

My dh has been diagnosed with Meniere's disease and I'm not convinced that's what it actually is. He has spells, and lately they've been on the increase. First, he gets a dizzy, unbalanced feeling in his head. Then, he gets nauseous, then his bp gets really high, then he vomits harshly for about 10-15 minutes. He'll relax after the spell is over with, if during the day he could lay down an hour or so and then be as good as new?!? He has been diagnosed with 75% hearing loss in his left ear and the Dr says he retains water in his left ear thus putting him on a diuretic. Everytime he has frequent spells, the Doc puts him on prednizone to hopefully heal the hearing deficiency...never seems to do anything.

I don't know what it could be. I've noticed sometimes when his bp gets really high first, then he'll start feeling dizzy-->nauseous-->vomiting.

It's really scary and even the Dr says very little is known about Meniere's so he's not forsure that's what it is. He went through the fasting bloodwork before being diagnosed with Meniere's. His cholesterol was semi-high but everything else was normal.

He has never had blood drawn or any tests actually during a spell. Sometimes I wonder if he is coming down with diabetes or having some type of reaction. We almost wonder if it's related to sodium somehow as we've placed sodium close to a pattern with these spells.

Don't know. Very frustrated. If anyone could lend any expertise, I'd appreciate it very much.

:confused:

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  • Maybe an acoustic neuroma?An acoustic neuroma is a benign, noncancerous, often slow-growing tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain (8th cranial or auditory) nerve.Causes These tumors are thought to arise when there is a defect in a certain tumor suppressor gene, which normally prevents tumors from occurring. The cause of the genetic defect is not known. However, acoustic neuroma is often linked with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2).Acoustic neuromas are relatively uncommon, but they are one of the most common types of brain tumors. They affect approximately 1 out of 100,000 people per year.The tumor is most commonly located at the base of the brain, where the auditory nerve leaves the skull cavity and enters the bony structure of the inner ear.Symptoms The symptoms vary with the size and location of the tumor. Because the tumors grow so slowly, symptoms usually arise after the age of 30.Common symptoms include:Tinnitus (ringing) in the affected ear Hearing loss in the affected ear Vertigo (an abnormal sensation of movement)Less common symptoms include:HeadacheUpon awakening in the morningWakes patient from sleepWorse when lying down, reclining positionWorse when standing upWorse when coughing, sneezing, straining, lifting (Valsalva maneuver)With nausea or vomitingDifficulty understanding speech (out of proportion to total hearing loss)DizzinessLoss of balanceNumbness in the face or one earPain in the face or one earTransient vision abnormalitiesExams and Tests The health care provider may diagnose an acoustic neuroma based on the history, neurological examination or testing of the patient. The results of a physical examination are often unremarkable, except for the following signs:Facial drooping on one sideUnsteady walkDroolingIf the tumor is large, there may additionally be signs of increased pressure on the brain (increased intracranial pressure), including the following:Nausea and vomitingUnilateral (one side only) dilated pupil -- see eyes, pupils different sizeSleepinessThe most useful (i.e., sensitive and specific) test to identify acoustic neuromas is an MRI of the head. Other useful tests used to diagnose acoustic neuroma and to differentiate it from other causes of dizziness or vertigo include:Head CTAudiology (a test for hearing)Caloric stimulation (a test for vertigo)Electronystagmography (a test of equilibrium and balance)Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER, a test of hearing and brainstem function)Treatment SurgeryGoals of surgical treatment are removal of the tumor and prevention of facial paralysis. Preservation of hearing is more difficult. If a tumor is removed when it is very small, hearing may be preserved. Any hearing that is lost prior to surgery will not be regained. Large tumors usually result in total loss of hearing on the affected side.Large tumors may also compress nerves important for facial movement and sensation. These tumors can typically be safely removed, but the surgery often results in paralysis of some facial muscles.Extremely large tumors may additionally compress the brainstem, threatening other cranial nerves and preventing the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This can lead to a build-up of fluid in the head (hydrocephalus) which can cause potentially life-threatening increased intracranial pressure. Goals of surgery in these cases are treatment of the hydrocephalus and decompression of the brainstem.Stereotactic radiosurgeryThe goal of radiation therapy is to slow or stop the tumor growth, not to cure or remove the tumor.Radiosurgery is often performed in elderly or sick patients who are unable to tolerate brain surgery.Sometimes during brain surgery to treat acoustic neuromas, not all of the tumor can be safely removed, and some residual tumor must be left behind. Radiosurgery is often used post-operatively to treat residual tumor in these cases.Radiosurgery is only appropriate for small tumors, so that radiation damage to surrounding tissues can be minimized.Like brain surgery, radiosurgery can sometimes result in facial paralysis or loss of hearing.ObservationSince these tumors usually grow very slowly, small tumors that have minimal or no symptoms (asymptomatic) can be safely observed with regular MRI scans and left untreated unless they grow dangerously.Very often elderly patients will die of other natural causes before small, slow growing tumors become symptomatic.Outlook (Prognosis) Acoustic neuromas are benign and noncancerous. They do not spread (metastasize) to other body systems, but they may continue to grow and compress vital structures within the skull.Possible Complications Brain surgery results in complete removal of the tumor in greater than 95% of cases.About 95% of patients with small tumors will have no permanent facial paralysis following surgery. However, roughly two-thirds of patients with large tumors will have some permanent facial weakness following surgery.Approximately one half of patients with small tumors will retain useful hearing in the affected ear following surgery.There may be delayed radiation effects following radiosurgery, including nerve damage, loss of hearing, and facial paralysis\Hope this helps.
    rad-skw 1605 Replies
    • January 19, 2008
    • 11:14 AM
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  • Thanks for your reply. He had yet another spell today and he's out of town so I've been a bundle of nerves. I spoke to his Dr (who was skiing in Denver and didn't even want to spell Meclizine for me) and he told me to have him take that otc every day until he was able to get in and see him. The Dr was a total ***k so I spoke to a pharmacist who gave me a couple of good Dr's to get him in to see. Things like this are so scary to wait on, and it's so difficult being the person that's not having the condition and not being able to help. Thanks so much for your guidance, I'm going to print it and take it with us to see the Dr. Lulu
    glmk43 2 Replies
    • January 20, 2008
    • 05:04 AM
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  • Hi,i'm 15 and i go through the exact same dizzy/nausea spells as you described. they happen at the same time in the morning (between 10-12), last about an hour, and my blood pressure skyrockets prior to and during the spells. i feel lightheaded, fever-ish, shakey, and sick to my stomach. its usually followed by a few minutes of violent stomach lurching/vommiting, and after an hour of down time i can bounce back with no troublei have no history of hearing problems. i've been tested for diabetes, hypoglycemia, and anemia with no diagnosis, no tumors in my brain or endocrine system, and my doctor can't figure out whats going on.they dont bother me very much, especially since its been over a year now and the spells are just a weekly thing i go through, but its started to affect my school work and i'm desperate to end them. i know it might not be the same problem, but if you find anything out, i'd love to hear from you.hilynsie@aol.com
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 28, 2008
    • 01:59 AM
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  • Hi Lynsie, My husband went to a couple more Dr's. He went to a Balance Specialist. He didn't start out with hearing trouble either...it just progressed as the hearing got worse. If you drink/eat a lot of foods with caffeine and/or salt, cut them out for about 10 days and see if you notice a difference. My husband is on a couple of diuretics which have helped tremendously, though, now, over 2 years into this disease their effects are waning. He is having an endolymphatic shunt put in behind his left ear that's supposed to drain the fluid that naturally flows through your ear. Apparently that is what causes this whole thing. His Dr said it's smaller than 1 drop of water and can cause that much misery. Anyway, good luck. Make sure you have a full set of CAT scans/MRI's of your head to ensure there isn't any type of tumors, if you haven't already. If you have done that, I'd HIGHLY recommend calling around to Ear, Nose, Throat doctors and ask if there's a specialist in Meniere's disease. You may even only have the syndrome rather than the disease. But, being so young, you definitely need to take care of this. You've got a LOT of fun years ahead, and soon :) Take care, Lulu
    glmk43 2 Replies
    • February 29, 2008
    • 01:59 AM
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  • hi Lulu,One thing I was going to suggest was to make sure these weren't transient ischemic attacks, which can produce similar symptoms and may be warning signs for future stroke...It sounds like they already checked for this and your husband is getting his Meniere's properly treated. My mom also has Meniere's and really struggles with it. Hopefully the surgery will work (my mom does not want surgery and just takes valium for her attacks, which are sporadic).Best Wishes!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 29, 2008
    • 10:50 PM
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