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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Dizzy, cant consentrate, feeling faint and occas. headache

 edna112674 - Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:32 pm

My symptoms started about 2 1/2 years ago when I was 8 months pregnant with my 3rd child. Up until the night my symptoms started I was pretty healthy, other than dealing with excessive sweatiness almost my entire life. It all started when I went to lie down to go to sleep. I turned the light off and I laid on the bed and immediately started to spin as if I were going to fall of the bed. I grabbed ahold of the headboard and stabilized myself and laid down. After a few seconds I started to feel better and I was able to go to sleep. From that point on I had occassional bouts of vertigo but I almost always had a dizziness feeling and a feeling of I couldnt focus or concentrate on anything. I would get headaches at the base of my neck through to behind my eyes. I also had a very heavy feeling in my eyes. After I delivered my son I made an appointment with a eye, ears, nose, throat doctor and he did all his fancy tests but everything came back negative. I saw an audiologist and she tested my ears and everything checked out fine. I had blood work done, for whatever reason, and it came back fine. My doctor ordered an MRI of the brain and it came back fine. I was at my wits-end...all these tests and they cant find anything! It has been 2 1/2 years and I still have NO answers and I still deal with the symptoms. I have conditioned myself to deal with them but I am tired of this feeling daily. More recently I have started noticing that when I get up from sitting or laying down I start to feel very dizzy and see "stars". I havent actually passed out but I have felt pretty close to it. I just don't know where to turn anymore...I am going to see a Neurologist and just PRAY he has some kind of test that nobody has thought of and maybe he can find something out...but I am sure I will walk away with no answers. Can you help????
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:44 pm

User avatar Hello --

You're in good company, for what it's worth. The syndrome you describe is fairly common, although it often is difficult to pin to a specific diagnosis. The neurlogical consult is a very good idea, and possibly a cardiology consult would be appropriate as well. The reason I say this is that there are several overlapping syndromes that involve both areas. For instance, there is neurocardiogenic syncope, which is a tendency to faint or feel lightheaded without actual fainting, and it is rooted in a malfunction of a nerve (the sinus of Valsalva primarily) but is usually best diagnosed by certain specialized tests done in a cardiology lab (such as the tilt table test). There is also the possibility of partial or focal seizures, which are nothing like what we think of when we imagine "seizure," but much more like what you're describing. A neurologist should perform both an electroencephalogram (EEG) brain wave reading test that can often discern even vague sorts of seizure activiity; he also could do an electronystagmogram (ENG) which helps diagnose disorders of equilibrium. The two of them might consult over the possibility of dysautonomia, a disorder of the autonomic nervous system which can often cause odd, vague symptoms similar to what you've described.

You mustn't become discouraged. While the ENT exam was entirely appropriate, the neurological one is even moreso. Cardiology may also get involved. These are difficult and sometimes quite disabling syndromes, even though they are not life-threatening, and they need and deserve the attention required to get to the bottom of the problem so you can have your normal life back again.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you and please keep us updated.
 edna112674 - Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:32 am

Wow, thank you so much for the advice...I will definetly take the tests you mentioned into account when I meet with the Neurologist. Another thing I wanted to mention that I don't know if it has anything to do with my "problem" is for the last 2 years if I drink, which is VERY rarely, I cant drink more than 2 beers or the next day I feel as if I drank a gallon! I get so hung over and havent actually thrown up but have felt nauseas and had terrible headaches plus the dizziness increases tremendously....needles to say I do not even have 1 drink anymore out of fear. It doesnt happen so much if I drink vodka or something other than beer, its strictly happening if I drink beer. Could my symptoms be a terrible allergy of some sort??? Maybe to yeast??? Just a thought.
 billy01986 - Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:50 pm

For the last week and a half I've been on medication for vertigo and it seems to be doing little to improve my condition. I experience extreme dizziness when walking down even slight slopes. I am now walking with an impairment and experiencing severe anxiety over the condition. How long are symptoms known to last? I got blood tests back and everything is fine. What advice can you give me?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:36 pm

User avatar For Edna: While there could be some connection between yeast and your next-day problems, it's generally acknowleged (and now proven) that alcohol-containing beverages which are darkened by yeast, rye or other colorful substances do tend to cause hangovers (neurological next-day issues) that are not generally seen with vodka, which had been the conventional wisdom for decades but now has been studied and borne out scientifically. Also, different forms of alcohol, just like medications, will have different effects on various people. If beer disagrees with you to that extent there's a likelihood most whiskies will as well, but vodka seems to enjoy, due to its clarity, an advantage in far less day-after complaints (hangover, headaches, dizziness, balance problems, etc.).

Good luck to you and please keep us updated.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:40 pm

User avatar For BillyO1986: Persistent vertigo can be pretty stubborn. Mild, benign positional vertigo can usually be managed with meclazine (as Bonine or Dramamine non-drowsy formula) but if these don't work you may have a more complex vestibular problem. It's time to see a neurologist about this, who may, in turn, refer you to an ENT specialist if your tests come out negative. There are several other areas where this problem can originate, but usually it's inner ear/eye, and quite benign. If it's affecting your ability to move around normally and the OTC medications aren't helping, the next logical step is consult with a neurologist.

Good luck to you. Please let us know how things go.

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