Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Years of nausea, joint cracking/pain, headaches, and postural/orthostatic hypotension

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 17 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • January 7, 2007
  • 00:19 AM

I am an 18 year old female with no past or present physical medical problems, but I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and mild Depression. I saw a gastroenterologist when I was around 16, and had an Upper GI series done, with no visible problems. My previous lower GI problems (bouts of constipation and diarrhea) pretty much cleared up when I eliminated all beef/poultry/pork/fish from my diet. I have no idea which, if any, of my symptoms are related. I'm hoping that someone can point in the the right direction, because I can't afford to see every kind of specialist out there.

Here's what I've got going on (sort of in order of onset):

1. Knee joint "crackling." When I squat, bending my knees more than 90 degrees, and come back to a standing position, my knees make audible cracking noises. I can feel it, and while it doesn't hurt tremendously, I really wish I knew what it was. Symptom duration: 10+ years

2. Headaches. Extreme tension headaches. I started getting these in 4th grade after carrying a lot of heavy books and hunching while I walked, as well as a lot of anxiety and stress of being in a special school program. I got terrible headaches almost daily, and continued to get them frequently for 3-4 years. Headaches have slowly spread out, from 2-3 days a week, to 2-3 days a month. While no longer a prevalent symptom, my tendency to get severe tensions headaches, that cannot be completely rid with ibuprofen, aceteminophen, naproxen sodium, OR aspirin, may be a symptom. Symptom duration: 9 years

3. Nausea w/o vomiting. What I can only describe as "waves" of feeling ill. Imagine a rollercoaster. The peaks are a feeling of wanting to vomit, the valleys are feeling fine, even hungry. That's what I get. The whole thing usually has a rapid onset (5-15 minutes, sometimes a bit longer, after eating) and peaks within 10 minutes, and slowly dissolves to hunger within 30-60 minutes. I can recognize the different types of nausea (that's how long I've dealt with it) and can prevent it sometimes (not drinking fruit "drinks," eating a non-sugary item after consuming a lot of sugar.) I was treated for Acid Reflux, but found very little improvement. Nausea has improved in the recent 2-3 years, but had extremely rapid onset. I was sitting in class one day and all of a sudden felt very sick to my stomach, and it faded after sitting in the nurses office for a bit. Symptom duration: 6 1/2 years

4. Orthostatic/postural hypotension. Honestly, I don't recall when I first realized that my "head rush" was out of the ordinary. I believe it used to be only when I got up really fast, but now, sometimes I'm a bit dizzy just sitting at my desk. I'm not diabetic, to the best of my knowledge, and I'm not on any medication that would cause this. When I sit up from lying down, or stand up from sitting, I get very dizzy, a little unsteady, and I have to close my eyes because of the dizziness and seeing spots before my eyes (sometimes my vision almost blacks out for a second.) All I can do is grab ahold of something and wait it out. Symptom duration: ??? at least 6 years, probably more, though.

Other, possibly significant sypmtoms:
-Balance problem. I can be standing, and all of a sudden I'll sway or start to fall to one side. I usually just say I'm a "spaz," but I started to notice, about a year ago, that I cannot walk a straight line unless I'm walking ON a line. Even then I wobble a little. I just assumed I was a little spastic, but this could possibly be an inner ear disorder? And I've been a "spaz" for my whole life, probably, but it's only been apparent over the past 6-7 years.
-Hot flashes/irregulation of body temperature. I've had no other problems that would point to a hormone imbalance (I have a regular menses) but over the past 2-4 years I've been having hot flashes. Almost always at night, I have to open a window and throw off my covers. Over the past month or 2, it's been very bad, and happened multiple times every night for about a week before I came home from school.
-Insomnia. Most likely unrelated to anything physical. Psychopathological insomnia. I think too much, end of story.


So that's it. Hope I haven't bored you to death. Thanks if you actually read it all. Even bigger thanks if you have any idea what's wrong. I know I should probably be tested for a lot of stuff (diabetes, hormone imbalances, etc.) but I've never shown problems on fasting bloodtests, and show no other symptoms that point to such conditions.

Hopefully I'm not the hypochondriac my mother thinks I am. And yes, I watch too many medical shows and know more medical terminology than most pre-med students my age.



Thanks for any help!!
--Sarah
deadlysauce@aim.com

Reply Flag this Discussion

17 Replies:

  • Please, any information you may be able to give me is appreciated. Post here, or email me!--Sarahdeadlysauce@aim.com
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 7, 2007
    • 00:40 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I just registered, so any responses under this name is the OP :)
    deadlysauce 67 Replies
    • January 7, 2007
    • 01:06 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • wow I have many similar symptoms you have!!!!!!!!! The headaches, lightheadedness/blackspots when standing up (isn't that just the wierdest feeling. You feel like your about to pass out), nausea, constipation, hot flashes, joint pain!!!!I have the same feeling of dizziness and lightheadness when standing up from a sitting position. look up the condition POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) it gives you the general symptoms and sounds exactly like what we both experience. Also the term for this passing out feeling is synocope. Look up other Autonomic Diseases to find other conditions that you might have that could do with your lightheadness when you stand up!!For your GI problems I would HIGHLY reccommend getting tested for Celiac Disease!! It's only a blood test or biopsy and with a simple diet it could help you fell loads better!!I also experience the joy of turning purple. (cold hands and feet/ like raynards) I was diagnosed with antiphosphilphid antibody syndrome. This also has the causing the symtom of headaches. The only treatment for this is really taking an asprin every day. So when I experience my awful headaches I take 2 (360) asprins extra strenghs. You might have some luck taking hihg dose asprins as well!!If I knew what was wrong with me I would tell you, but I have been to about 12 doctors and they all through there hands up and have no clue!! Good Luck!!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 7, 2007
    • 03:11 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • wow I have many similar symptoms you have!!!!!!!!! The headaches, lightheadedness/blackspots when standing up (isn't that just the wierdest feeling. You feel like your about to pass out), nausea, constipation, hot flashes, joint pain!!!!I have the same feeling of dizziness and lightheadness when standing up from a sitting position. look up the condition POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) it gives you the general symptoms and sounds exactly like what we both experience. Also the term for this passing out feeling is synocope. Look up other Autonomic Diseases to find other conditions that you might have that could do with your lightheadness when you stand up!!For your GI problems I would HIGHLY reccommend getting tested for Celiac Disease!! It's only a blood test or biopsy and with a simple diet it could help you fell loads better!!I also experience the joy of turning purple. (cold hands and feet/ like raynards) I was diagnosed with antiphosphilphid antibody syndrome. This also has the causing the symtom of headaches. The only treatment for this is really taking an asprin every day. So when I experience my awful headaches I take 2 (360) asprins extra strenghs. You might have some luck taking hihg dose asprins as well!!If I knew what was wrong with me I would tell you, but I have been to about 12 doctors and they all through there hands up and have no clue!! Good Luck!!!I looked up POTS, but I don't feel a heart rate change, so I don't know. I thought Celiac's was more intestinal than stomach...I only get the nausea, and occasional, mild constipation. I'll look more into it then. I'm attributing the joint pain and hot flashes to Fibromyalgia, which my mother has been diagnosed with, and is hereditary. I won't know if I have it until I get checked out this summer. I luckily don't have a major problem with circulation. I never change color (blue, purple, etc) even though my hands and feet get cold when it's chillier out, even if it's warm indoors.Thanks for your help :)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 7, 2007
    • 03:17 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • The postural hypotension is a classic sign of adrenal fatigue. What state are you in ? Looking for possible Lyme connection.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 7, 2007
    • 03:30 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • This sounds alot like what my daughter had and still has. The major difference was she was also exaused, extreme fatigue and as the years went on, memory loss. After seeing 15 doctors we finally got a ID doctor to start treatment for lyme, and that what it was. Unfortunetelly she was misdiagnosed for so long that it affected her thyroid and she will never be free of the disease, but is able to go to school, freshman in college, and doing well after 2 years of antibiotics. She had 5 negative lyme tests, they are not very reliable, only 67 percent accurate. Best of luck to you, hope this might help in persuit of diagnoses. Don't give up & let the doctors tell you're nuts. I knew my child well enough to fully support her & help find someone to help and are we glad we did.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 13, 2007
    • 02:59 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Could also be connected to indoor mold allergies. Symptoms are a mix of mine and my teenage son's.
    jeff88 15 Replies
    • January 14, 2007
    • 02:12 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Ok...i debated whether or not to even post a response of any kind as i am here looking for answers rather than for giving them. Honestly, i have none. But i'll tell you what symptoms i have and some of the doctors i've seen, as well as what they've said. i'll do my very best to leave out any unneccessary details like..."ohhh, the pain!". That would doubtfully be productive and a waste of your time and this space. i'm 42 years old. As a child i was sick alot mostly with the regular stuff like colds and flu, but more often so than most of my peers. About the time i began menstration, if not before, i started having chronic episodes of yeast infections. (Unlike you,Sarah), my periods were extremely irregular. Eventually,i was diagnosed with endometriosis which ultimately ( approximately 16 yrs from original diagnosis) led to a complete hysterectomy. Being about as tomboyish as a girl can be, i had multiple self-induced, (all-be-it accidental), head traumas resulting in mild to moderate concussions. The 1st was as an infant falling out of my crib onto a concrete floor head first. There were several more between that time and the time i was 16 yrs old when i began experiencing fainting spells. Very honestly, i have lost track of all the doctors i've seen. You name it, it's more likely i've seen that kind of doctor than not. Along the way, there were some things discovered that helped, such as the importance of a healthy diet. Each doctor has been like a stepping stone in my quest for better health. Overall, with headaches/migraines, joint and muscle pain ranging from 1-10 on the pain and funtioning scale, anemia, hypoglycemia, insomnia, diahrea/constipation (sometimes at the same time!),weakness, chronic fatigue, weight-loss, weight-gain, memory loss...ok i think i'll stop there. All that and more finally, doctor after doctor after doctor, led me to a neurologist who said with absolute certainty and authority that he knew what was my primary problem and better yet, it was "fixable". Hallelujah!!! What did he say, you may be asking? POTS. Whoever is reading this, if you don't have a clue what that is. Neither did i. You'd be better off researching it yourself than for me to try to explain the little i know of it. Lately life has distracted me from persuing it's cure. That's mostly why i'm here. i hope to gain the help, support and information i need to make the rest of my life, the best of my life. Sarah, and all who share similar issues, i wish the same for you. Thank you for reading. i do look forward to replies from any willing person. ~~~Irish
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 16, 2007
    • 08:56 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • It's me, Irish. It's official. I'm registered.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 16, 2007
    • 09:25 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Celiac starts in the intestines but it doesn't stop there. From brain & nerve abnormalities to joint arthritis, it can cause it all. Nausea, dizziness, symptoms that look like diabetes, actual diabetes, insulin resistance, symptoms of hormonal imbalance and/or thyroid malfunction - and we're still just scratching the surface.It could also be a non-gluten food intolerence, or a mis-shaped digestive system, or maybe your spine is slightly off center and putting pressure on a nerve or blood vessel. Or maybe its lyme...Unfortunately, whatever it is, its in the realm of copy-cat conditions. Since the symptoms present with digestive discomfort and you've actually done your research, a lot of doctors are going to have the instinct to treat you with anti-anxiety, anti-depression, and pain relievers :(
    Azaral 152 Replies
    • January 16, 2007
    • 10:22 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Celiac starts in the intestines but it doesn't stop there. From brain & nerve abnormalities to joint arthritis, it can cause it all. Nausea, dizziness, symptoms that look like diabetes, actual diabetes, insulin resistance, symptoms of hormonal imbalance and/or thyroid malfunction - and we're still just scratching the surface.It could also be a non-gluten food intolerence, or a mis-shaped digestive system, or maybe your spine is slightly off center and putting pressure on a nerve or blood vessel. Or maybe its lyme...Unfortunately, whatever it is, its in the realm of copy-cat conditions. Since the symptoms present with digestive discomfort and you've actually done your research, a lot of doctors are going to have the instinct to treat you with anti-anxiety, anti-depression, and pain relievers :(veryy true!!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 17, 2007
    • 01:24 AM
    • 0
    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?

  • Hey, my name's Emily.I have all those symptoms and more. I have a hormone imbalance which i figured out causes all of that. It is hereditary as my mom has (and we think my dad but it didn't afftect his day to day loife... only in stressful situations) it although, she is not as bad as me. I also have ehlers danlos syndrome--google it---it could be responsible for your knees popping all the time. It makes my blood pressure/heart rate go crazy because of the flexability of my skin/tissue cells which causes irregular vein contriction/dialation. I have neurocardigenic syncope (fainting) .... google that too. if you think you have it, ask your doctor/cardiologist for a tilt table test. if you have it, you will faint on the table HAHA (my tech said i was the fastest one she'd ever done lol so i am a spaz as well. The sum of all my symptoms fits under one big umbrella-- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome brought on my hormone imbalances and a weakened immune system due to illness as a very young child. OH and if you have P.O.T.S. there are many triggers or things that may make it worse such as illness, being dehydrated, different foods, and STRESSSS which may explain why some of your symptoms get worse during school (especially exam time!! ) this is what my symptoms are: head ache.. almost constant, dizzyness/fainting, bad periods and tons of issues more specific to my reproductive organs, occasional depression, BAD insomnia, lots of hot/cold flashes, swelling of my legs/ lower extremeties, numbness/tingling of upper extremeties especially when playing sports/ in shower washing hair/ other things with hands in the air etc... bouts of either extreme constipation or diarhea, almost constant nausea that is almost unbearable at times, constant thirst, heart palpitations, loss of hair, shaking/trembling, intolerance to extreme heat/cold... i know that's not all but it's the majority.this is what helps me: -tons of water/gatoraid.. just staying hydrated watermelon and oranges are great too -eating regular smaller, healthier meals.. not alot of chemicals/preservatives... especially msg which i've found out is in alot of canned food.. so eat frozen or fresh!-avoiding heat/extreme cold weather (even a really hot shower affects me) or a tonnnn of physical activity in the morning-no diet products... the imitation sugar kills me! haha! as well as caffein!-elevating the head of your bed.. it reduces that dizzyness in the morning when you first get up-avoiding stressful situations or preparing for them ahead of time and taking deep breaths.. one day at a time ya know?-exercise... preferably swimming or walking or biking... less stress on your heart and less chance of over heating-a regular sleep schedual... even if you just lay there for a while bc if you change it alot, it takes a lot of energy to adjust. also, i've found that a power nap in the afternoon and a protein filled snack afterwards helps alot!God bless, I hope this helps!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Joint popping and cracking is a big sign of joint hypermobility (joints that move too far out of position). You may also have Ehlers Danlos syndrome (hypermobile type) which also causes hypotension (low blood pressure). I have this disease, and it is caused by a protein lacking in our collagen, so our skin, tendons and ligaments do not function normally. This means the bones and joints move too far and pop/click. It can cause chronic pain in some people (like me) or very little pain in other people. Also, the hypotension is from highly elastic veins and arteries that allow blood to pool and it can make you feel dizzy or black out if standing too quickly. Check it out on the internet and go see a geneticist. Also, major headaches are a symptom, too. Good luck.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Worth getting checked for Lyme disease. (from a tick bite). My sister didnt have or didnt notice the typical mark from a bite, but had very similar symptoms. Especially the spastic type walk/gait. She went on to get bells palsy and her arm was then affected and other and it was not picked up by several doctors - they even said she was depressed! It was myself, who knows her and knew that she wasnt mental, who sat and read more medical books than anyone should have to and told her to get tested. The doctor said not likely but she pushed to get the test. She then received a call 2 days before xmas to go to get treatment as an emergency.....this was 6 months after first asking for the test and 2 years after the initial symptoms. She is doing fine now.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 14, 2008
    • 04:58 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • This thread sounds so familiar! I have always had the worst balance, get awful migraines, nausea for no reason, & get really dizzy sometimes. I always have. I noticed today that I almost passed out when walking up some stairs. Recently, I've noticed that if I extend my leg and stretch out my toes, it hurts really bad and my toe next to the big toe will go purple and try to go underneath the toe next to it! We have diabetes in the family and I am dealthy allergic to milk (b/c of the growth hormone). I find that if I cut out all artiifical sweeteners, preservatives, etc, I start losing weight and am fine. Otherwise, I start to gain and get sick. My neck is always in pain and I do have a spinal curvature. WOW. Hey, my name's Emily.I have all those symptoms and more. I have a hormone imbalance which i figured out causes all of that. It is hereditary as my mom has (and we think my dad but it didn't afftect his day to day loife... only in stressful situations) it although, she is not as bad as me. I also have ehlers danlos syndrome--google it---it could be responsible for your knees popping all the time. It makes my blood pressure/heart rate go crazy because of the flexability of my skin/tissue cells which causes irregular vein contriction/dialation. I have neurocardigenic syncope (fainting) .... google that too. if you think you have it, ask your doctor/cardiologist for a tilt table test. if you have it, you will faint on the table HAHA (my tech said i was the fastest one she'd ever done lol so i am a spaz as well. The sum of all my symptoms fits under one big umbrella-- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome brought on my hormone imbalances and a weakened immune system due to illness as a very young child. OH and if you have P.O.T.S. there are many triggers or things that may make it worse such as illness, being dehydrated, different foods, and STRESSSS which may explain why some of your symptoms get worse during school (especially exam time!! ) this is what my symptoms are: head ache.. almost constant, dizzyness/fainting, bad periods and tons of issues more specific to my reproductive organs, occasional depression, BAD insomnia, lots of hot/cold flashes, swelling of my legs/ lower extremeties, numbness/tingling of upper extremeties especially when playing sports/ in shower washing hair/ other things with hands in the air etc... bouts of either extreme constipation or diarhea, almost constant nausea that is almost unbearable at times, constant thirst, heart palpitations, loss of hair, shaking/trembling, intolerance to extreme heat/cold... i know that's not all but it's the majority.this is what helps me: -tons of water/gatoraid.. just staying hydrated watermelon and oranges are great too -eating regular smaller, healthier meals.. not alot of chemicals/preservatives... especially msg which i've found out is in alot of canned food.. so eat frozen or fresh!-avoiding heat/extreme cold weather (even a really hot shower affects me) or a tonnnn of physical activity in the morning-no diet products... the imitation sugar kills me! haha! as well as caffein!-elevating the head of your bed.. it reduces that dizzyness in the morning when you first get up-avoiding stressful situations or preparing for them ahead of time and taking deep breaths.. one day at a time ya know?-exercise... preferably swimming or walking or biking... less stress on your heart and less chance of over heating-a regular sleep schedual... even if you just lay there for a while bc if you change it alot, it takes a lot of energy to adjust. also, i've found that a power nap in the afternoon and a protein filled snack afterwards helps alot! God bless, I hope this helps!
    jenb73 2 Replies
    • August 27, 2008
    • 04:23 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi! I am so happy to have found more people like me! I have figured out the reason to my ploblems, hopefully you will do it too. My reason is an overgworth of candida. All of our symptoms and more are symptoms of a candida overgrowth. I have had cracking joints as long as i can remember (at least since i was 12), i have trouble with my balance just like you described, i can stand and all of the sudden begin to tip to the side. I also get dizzy when getting up too fast or really dizzy when i eat sugary things along with fat. I had a period this summer when i was eating lots of fruits and nuts at the same time and started getting dizzy and blackness before my eyes all the time and also got pain / tightness in my chest / rapid heart beating. I notaced after some weeks that it only hurted when i ate fats and sugars too close together (fat makes sugar stay in the blood for too long a.k.a. lots of food for the fungi) Sometimes i have trouble digesting foods and i think that might be part of the reason why you feel sick after eating, cus i do too when i have these digestion problems. Candida can cause digestion problems since its toxins destroy our digestive enzymes. I also am constantly constipated as long as i eat meat and have started eating bean sprouts instead. I have been depressed forever it feels like and also have had very bad memory and a little foggy feeling sometimes. Social fobia is another symptom on my list. I have notaced that the cracking goes away completely as long as i stay off milk, grains, vinagre, mushrooms, glutamate (taste enhancer E620, 621, 624 i think the numbers are) Glutamate is made out of yeast, and all of this problem is yeast related for me. It is added to lots of meats and ready-made products. My joints start cracking a few hours after ingesting these things, espesially the 3 last ones. Milk and grains does not contain as much spores as the others does. However, when i eat grains with gluten i get very strange mood-swings, crying for no apparent reason for 3 days. I can be sitting and watching a romantic movie and start sobbing because it is all sooo beautiful. I also get spasms in some of the blood vessels in my brain some times after eating gluten, causing wierd feelings of my brain "tipping" to the side or backwards in my head. This is a common symptom that people get when they go off antidepressives as zoloft and such, and means that the level of serotonin has decreased in the brain. serotonin is importaint for the contractions of blood vessels. I am on an anti-candida diet now and taking some herbs that kill it. All of the herbs make my joints crack, increasing with the dose i take. I see this as a little proof that i am not imagining this. My joints crack when i eat yeast and when i kill the yeast inside me, making yeast particles through my body. Please try staying off these foods to see if the joints stop cracking and then eat lots of vinager to see if they crack more.
    Angellore 13 Replies
    • December 14, 2008
    • 08:42 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Just wondering--I also have a lot of these symptoms. Did your daughter have any positive tests for anything like high white blood cell count or anything like that before she was treated for Lyme disease?Thank you.This sounds alot like what my daughter had and still has. The major difference was she was also exaused, extreme fatigue and as the years went on, memory loss. After seeing 15 doctors we finally got a ID doctor to start treatment for lyme, and that what it was. Unfortunetelly she was misdiagnosed for so long that it affected her thyroid and she will never be free of the disease, but is able to go to school, freshman in college, and doing well after 2 years of antibiotics. She had 5 negative lyme tests, they are not very reliable, only 67 percent accurate. Best of luck to you, hope this might help in persuit of diagnoses. Don't give up & let the doctors tell you're nuts. I knew my child well enough to fully support her & help find someone to help and are we glad we did.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 17, 2009
    • 11:23 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.
Advertisement

8 Health Dangers of Depression

Unmanaged depression can take a toll on your physical health.

Best Cough & Cold Meds for Kids

Help your child feel better, faster.

What HIV Positive Women Should Know About Sex

You can have sex after an HIV diagnosis.

Food Choices for Diabetes

What, when and how much you eat affects your blood sugar.

6 Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis

Ease your way into these stretching and strengthening moves,

Advertisement