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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Severe Headaches, sudden numbness, dizzness /vertigo


 TPUSA-QA - Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:45 pm

Hi,
Am a 20 year old female, and this started two years ago, when i had my first baby, I had falling asleep on the coach when i woke up my arms were numb and they felt real cold , i though it was going to go away, but it last for 3 to 4 days also that night i felt a rush from the back of my head all they way down. My heart and chest starting pounding really hard so eventually I went to the ER and they ran test they told me I was having panick attack and could not find nothing so they referred me to go see a neurologist. From then on i feel a sudden numbness on my left arm. As well severe headaches on both side very sharp pains. Now something the numbness starts from the back of my ear to my head and my cheecks and it goes away.
A few weeks ago all of sudden I started to feel really dizzy when i walk ,when am standing up, or when asleep i feel like am going to loose my balance and faint in some occasions a blank out for one second so i went to ER and they told me i had vertigo so they gave pills don't know what there really called.
Also my neck hurts alot i got really sharp pains and there really stiff i was in a car accident about whent i was in 7th grade. As well i did have surgery in my nose which i had a tumor and suffer from really bad allegry I have not been able to smell for quite a while.
But last week i had just gotten out of work and went to the store, i was buying something so went i bent over to grave something i felt all of suddent a hot burning sesation and i got really dizzy almost lost my balance so when i was paying i got this the burning sesation came back from my head all the way to my toes and it felt like my whole body went weak, i had diffuclty swallowing. I don't know if it was a panic attack of something else.
So when we were driving back home the senstation came back everthing went numb by feet felt really light, my face felt really occured like if i was not my self

But as well this all started two years ago i do recall we were horseing around and they dropped and my neck started to hurt or that night we had party and did use a little cocaine(that was two years ago) was i did it ,i had falling asleep and thats when i woke up with the numb arms as well i recall i had two big balls by wrist i don't know if it was because i had poor circulation.
I don't have high blood pressure usally it is always low, I have seen a nuerologist which diagnosed me with migranes, went to hospital they diagnose me with vertigo am fustrated i don't know what to do anymore but i don't have insurance and i can afford a nuero or all the test they done please i need some answer did i have a stroke? Because every part of my body is fine or is just anxiety attack that am having?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:59 pm

User avatar Hello -

The most likely explanation for most of your symptoms is generalized anxiety punctuated by occasional panic attacks and, I suspect, the panic attacks are dominated by hyperventilation syndrome. Unformtunately, as so often happens, you've apparently had a couple episodes of vertigo as well. There is a school of thought that some anxiety/panic attacks are actually caused by vertigo due to a problem with the inner ear, but this is controversial. It's for sure, though, that someone already suffering from anxiety/panic disorder will have episodes triggered by vertigo.

Hyperventilation, which often takes place during panic attacks or sometimes causes them, is caused by one of two sorts of faulty breathing: either deep sighing (which can trigger a panic attack), or deep breathing during a panic attack, which can make the extremities and parts of the face and scalp to become numb. This can even cause the hands and/or feet to go into spasm, all of which can make the sufferer feel he or she has suffered a stroke or other serious event.

Vertigo can happen to anyone, but in the anxious person it usually will trigger intense anxiety or panic. It is treated usually with meclizine, which is a pretty effective medication with very few side effects.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD) and both be managed medically and often can be virtually cured through a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It might be worth asking your doctor for a referral to a therapist who specializes in CBT.

I'm sure all of this has been very disturbing to you, and there could be some minor physical problems mixed in or being masked by the odd symptoms caused by anxiety disorder. It would be in your interest to first gain some perspective, get the anxiety managed, and then see if there's anything physical contributing to the rest of the group of symptoms.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please stay in touch.

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