Discussions By Condition: Nerve conditions

Sudden collapse, few seconds of loss of control of balance and of body - muscles etc

Posted In: Nerve conditions 27 Replies
  • Posted By: tether
  • March 7, 2008
  • 05:52 PM

Hi,

I have had some infrequent 'attacks' and I have no idea what it is. The first time it happened I went to hospital but they couldn't find anything.

It happens very suddenly - there is no warning. I lose sense of what direction is up and what is down. It feels like the room or street is tipping (not spinning - it is more like the tipping I would expect from a severe earthquake).

I collapse to the ground and it lasts for a few seconds.

It is difficult to tell, but I think I lose control of my muscles. It happened today when I was sitting on the bus: my head tipped over to one side and I couldn't move for a few seconds while it lasted.

It has happened 4 times in my life. One time when I was standing, once when I was walking, and twice when I was sitting.

I was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I was not particularly hot or cold, and one of the times I was outside in the fresh air. There is no pain.

I am male, 33 years old.

The first time was approximately 8 years ago, the second time approximately 7.5 years ago. Then the third time wasn't until about 2 months ago. And the fourth time was today.

If anybody has any ideas about what this could be, or ideas on what area I should research to try to find out, I would be very appreciative of any info.

Thank you very much, Richard

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27 Replies:

  • Do you eat meals regularly and drink lots of water daily? Could be hypoglycemic episodes? A fasting glucose tolerance test would be helpful. Do you take any vitamins or supplements? Are you taking any medications currently? Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks very much for your reply Dom. I have a healthy appetite and I drink quite a lot of water. When the 'attack' happened yesterday I did notice that I was hungry, but I don't remember being hungry on the previous occasions (I don't recall fully - I may have been, though I think I would remember if there had been a long period without food or water.) I usually take a multivitamin, vitamin C, and calcium supplements. I'm not on any other medications. I don't remember if I was taking those supplements around the times of the episodes 7 or 8 years ago. I was thinking that perhaps it was a stroke. Do the symptoms I described match with that? Or is it more likely something else? Again, thanks for the input.
    tether 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • Your symptoms match quite a few things, like epilepsy, hypoglycemia, stroke or TIA, and others...have you had a brain scan? Do you have slurred speech after the episodes? Do you have any incontinence of urine or stool? Have you had your blood pressure checked recently? Do you skip meals? This is important because if you do, then I would say it is more likely a hypoglycemic episode. You mentioned you felt hungry before the last one. Hypoglycemia can cause exactly the episodes you are describing. Do you ever feel shaky or irritable if you go without food for any length of time? DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Dom, I haven't had a brain scan, but I will try and schedule an appointment with a neurologist and see if s/he can do that. I don't have slurred speech after an episode, nor do I have any other major symptoms other than feeling a little shaken and just a little unsteady on my feet. After the third episode, I recall that if I moved my head quickly, then I would be a bit kind of 'wobbly', though I didn't really get that in the latest episode, or if I did, then only minimally. I don't have incontinence of urine or stool either. Yesterday, I went to Accident and Emergency, and they did blood tests and tested blood pressure and there was nothing out of the ordinary. (Though this was a full day after the episode.) I also had these tests a few hours after the first episode, and there was nothing out of the ordinary. I generally eat quite well, and I usually eat pretty much whenever I feel a little hungry. If I do go for a longer time without food, then I don't feel shaky or irritable - just hungry. Would this suggest that it is not hypoglycemia? If there still is a possibility that it is hypoglycemia, then I'll make sure I don't go more than a few hours without eating, as a precautionary measure. Thanks again for your input Dom.
    tether 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • have you been tested for seizures? seizures that affect brain regions involved in vestibular function (balance, sense of direction in space) could explain your symptoms. are you very tired after these episodes? hope you figure out what this is.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • If there still is a possibility that it is hypoglycemia, then I'll make sure I don't go more than a few hours without eating, as a precautionary measure. It is ALWAYS wise to eat frequently and not go long without food, so your blood sugar can stay on an even keel. If you go longer without eating, your blood sugar can spike and this can eventually contribute to a "prediabetic" condition. So keep healthy snacks on hand just in case. I agree to get checked for epilepsy... and they would need to do a fasting glucose test for your blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is harder to diagnose than diabetes tho I am not sure why that is. A good idea is to keep a food log immediately after you have an episode and see if there is a food connection (high carb meal the night before for instance). Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for those ideas. I've started carrying food with me and I have a bite quite frequently to try and keep everything on an even keel. I need to get an appointment for a test relating to seizures. I don't really feel tired after an episode - I just feel a little shaken and a little wobbly, though not excessively. I can't think of any electromagnetic or microwave radiation source nearby on any of the episodes, and on two of the occasions I was in an area that I frequented regularly without any problems. It all seems quite strange to me as I've never heard of anyone having similar experiences. I need to keep on hunting for possiblities and get tested etc. Many thanks for your input. It is appreciated very much.
    tether 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • Do you have a headache after these episodes? Or may even think sometimes you have a sinus headache or just a headache after. You might could check out Bisilar Migranes when you go to a neurologist. I also have spells of passing out mine is due to thyroid disorder, but before i would pass out i would zone out like a zombie. But males can have thyroid troubles too. So dosen't hurt to check things off your list. Take care.
    foxylovesred 12 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks Foxy, I'll look that one up, though i don't have headaches after - I don't recall having, anyway.
    tether 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi i've been experiencing almost the exact same thing. I'm 23 years old this all started only when i smoked, i'd smoke a cig the first couple drags i would what it seemed like lost control of every muscle even my breathing muscles so it felt as if i wasn't breathing for that moment. It is very scary cause your mind is aware of what is going on but have no control of your body, i have developed a lot of depression and anxiety because of this because i have found no answers to why this happened. This all happened to me several years ago i quit about 3 years ago and just recently i've experienced it even without smoking! It happened in stressful situations, for example there was a bat in my house hovering over me and i felt like i could not protect myself because i lost that control, when i my body snaps out of it i am very shaky and scared. People keep telling me its anxiety, well ive seen 3 therapists 2 psychiatrists i have taken zoloft, paxil, xanax, prozac, colonapin over the past years.Nothing is helping a few months back i started developing heart palpitations after a month they disappeared.This past month i started developing muscle spasms in my feet,hands,face, mouth,stomach throat,thighs.. basically everywhere they are happening as we speak and they are very annoying. Sometimes i have the feeling like it is going to happen.. the losing control all day long whether i am at home relaxing to helping pt's at work. I am currently seeing a neurologist and taking colonapen which isn't doing anything. I had a emg and nerve conduction test, i called for the results and the ma said my lower extremities came back abnormal..? what does that mean i'm scared.I have an appt for him to explain results but i know hes gonna says everything is fine because he has his mind set on anxiety after only speaking to him for 5 mins the first appt. I've tried everything i still have these feelings i feel like i am running out of time and my muscles are just wasting away. I just feel so hopeless the pain and feelings are so strong. I cannot go on living life like this. My other symptoms are aches in upper arms and both thighs, buzzing in the back of my head crackling noises when i turn my head, stiff joints, extreme difficulty breathing like i need to make myself breath and forget to breath, my brain feels as if it is weak or being lazy and my throat, i also have memory problems and trouble talking. Sometimes the light in the room would get dim and slowly it would adjust back to normal lighting.I've told the neurologist all of this and it still did not strike him as abnormal. i just went to the hospital a couple days ago my blood results came back normal they did a ct scan and that came back normal.I'm not sure what else to do i thought of everything and seen so many dr's about this and nothing. I would just like to know what other people with the same problem have be diagnosed with and some insight on what else more i can do.Thank you so much for your time in reading this.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 30, 2008
    • 10:11 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi,It sounds like there are some differences - your thing sounds like it occurs more frequently than mine (Mine has only happened 6 or 7 times in my life, and I'm 34.)I don't get palpitations or muscle spasms - I just lose my balance 100% and fall to the ground. I have no sense of what is up and what is down. I'm not sure if I'm paralysed also for a few seconds. Mine lasts only a few seconds then it's completely over.The thing in your joints and breathing and other things I don't get either.Do you fall to the ground when it happens?
    tether 11 Replies
    • November 30, 2008
    • 11:29 PM
    • 0
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  • @tetherI would rule out a central nervous system disease:1) Its not Epilepsy (no prodromal symptoms, no other symptoms in your life)2) Its VERY-VERY unlikely to be a temporary brain dysfunction, caused by a structural damage (ie stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumor). An MRI can exclude these.3) Some atypical forms of headache is also unlikely.It is very likely it is one of the following non-neurologic causes:1) Some type of vertigo --> go to an ENT2) Cardiac dysrhythmia --> 24h cardiac-rythm-test3) orthostatic dysregulation --> tilting-test3) Sugar levels disturbancyPractically as the episodes are rare I wouldn't suggest an exhaustive diagnostic search.
    tsoukase 18 Replies
    • December 1, 2008
    • 09:46 PM
    • 0
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  • @JilliankmaYour symptoms do not remind of a typical neurologic disease. An "organic" component could be:1) neuropathy --> E.N.G.2) muscles --> E.M.G3) paroxysmal brain "dysfunction" --> electro-encephalo-gram4) non-neurologic disease (for example an auto-immune?) --> internist
    tsoukase 18 Replies
    • December 1, 2008
    • 09:55 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi Tsoukase,Thanks very much for that - lots of leads there for me to look into - and lots more information than my neurologist or other doctors I've seen have been able to tell me.Very much appreciated.
    tether 11 Replies
    • December 2, 2008
    • 09:51 PM
    • 0
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  • over the last 2 years this has happened to me 3 times. I did not feel particularly tired or stressed. Had eaten breakfast and lunch on both days. Had not been drinking etc.Afterwards other than worried had no real side effects other than a headache today as I banged my head as I fell. The whole thing lasted a second or two and was able to call for help by the time i hit the ground. I lay there for a few moments as i was worried i might fall again but was generaly ok. I noted my diet etc each time and found no links.I'm also in my 30's fit and have no history of illness. I used private health care to go through every possible test the first time it happened and they found nothing. Did you every get the situation resolved?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 12, 2010
    • 09:11 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • over the last 2 years this has happened to me 3 times. I did not feel particularly tired or stressed. Had eaten breakfast and lunch on both days. Had not been drinking etc.Afterwards other than worried had no real side effects other than a headache today as I banged my head as I fell. The whole thing lasted a second or two and was able to call for help by the time i hit the ground. I lay there for a few moments as i was worried i might fall again but was generaly ok. I noted my diet etc each time and found no links.I'm also in my 30's fit and have no history of illness. I used private health care to go through every possible test the first time it happened and they found nothing. Did you every get the situation resolved?Hi,I didn't discover what it is. It hasn't happened in quite a while.It might be a good idea to keep in touch in case one of us finds new information or discovers what it is so we can inform the other -- as well as anybody else who experiences this.I see you posted as 'unregistered' -- I think I'd prefer to exchange email addresses in private messages rather than on the board -- any chance you'd be able to register, if you're interested in exchanging emails?Thanks for posting :)
    tether 11 Replies
    • November 18, 2010
    • 10:27 PM
    • 0
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  • Right before Thanksgiving, my wife had two spells similar to what you two experienced, one in the morning and one in the evening. In both episodes she had no dizziness and was fully conscience, only loss of body control causing her to fall. After the second one I took her to the ER where they took a brain scan and found nothing. The next day she went through an MRI, the results of which she will get on Dec 8 when she sees her Neurologist. She is being treated for loss of memory. She has not experienced any more spells since. Please let us know if you come up with something as we will do the same for you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 3, 2010
    • 02:35 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Right before Thanksgiving, my wife had two spells similar to what you two experienced, one in the morning and one in the evening. In both episodes she had no dizziness and was fully conscience, only loss of body control causing her to fall. After the second one I took her to the ER where they took a brain scan and found nothing. The next day she went through an MRI, the results of which she will get on Dec 8 when she sees her Neurologist. She is being treated for loss of memory. She has not experienced any more spells since. Please let us know if you come up with something as we will do the same for you.Hi Bawlmer,Thanks for posting.I will post any info I get. Up to now I don't know at all what it is.I hope all turns out well for your wife. Is the loss of memory a direct result of the falling episodes? Did she have a head injury?I didn't have any loss of memory after it happened to me.
    tether 11 Replies
    • December 3, 2010
    • 08:40 PM
    • 0
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  • Thanks for replying. No, her loss of memory was not a result of the falls. She has been seeing a Neurologist for her memory loss and the doc had set up a date, Dec.12 for a MRI to see if there was anything wrong with her brain. Meantime she had these spells. Because of that, we were able to get the MRI right away. However, they would only send the results to the doc who ordered it and not to our family doc who we could see right away. So, in light of her having the spells our meeting with the Neurologist was moved to Dec.8th. Too much red tape for me but never the less we still have to wait it out! These spells are a first for her and hopefully the last as she has not experienced any since.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 3, 2010
    • 10:22 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi, I have had some infrequent 'attacks' and I have no idea what it is. The first time it happened I went to hospital but they couldn't find anything. It happens very suddenly - there is no warning. I lose sense of what direction is up and what is down. It feels like the room or street is tipping (not spinning - it is more like the tipping I would expect from a severe earthquake). I collapse to the ground and it lasts for a few seconds. It is difficult to tell, but I think I lose control of my muscles. It happened today when I was sitting on the bus: my head tipped over to one side and I couldn't move for a few seconds while it lasted. It has happened 4 times in my life. One time when I was standing, once when I was walking, and twice when I was sitting. I was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I was not particularly hot or cold, and one of the times I was outside in the fresh air. There is no pain. I am male, 33 years old. The first time was approximately 8 years ago, the second time approximately 7.5 years ago. Then the third time wasn't until about 2 months ago. And the fourth time was today. If anybody has any ideas about what this could be, or ideas on what area I should research to try to find out, I would be very appreciative of any info. Thank you very much, RichardHello! I have had two episodes which sound so similar to yours-injuring myself badly on both ocasions. I had no warning, no symptoms, no affter effects- i simply fell with no control- as if switched off and then straight back on again! got back up imediately both times. had enough to eat, drink etc- felt normal and well-then just thudded to the pavement. having tests but anxious to have any guidance or help as tests seem to takeages. is there any chance of this being an allergy or something breathed in? eg.fumes, etc? thanku! Ellen
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 28, 2011
    • 03:37 PM
    • 0
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