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Skin problems, fatigue, bruising, weight gain: I do not think it is dep...
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Skin problems, fatigue, bruising, weight gain: I do not think it is depression.

I am a 48 year old white male that used to have a lot of energy, loved to laugh, exercise, tell jokes, etc.  I have not had operations, broken bones, or any other kind of health problems.  Before the last 5-6 years my health had been excellent.  In 1994, I was laid-off and had some problems with my family, which sent me into a depression.  By 1998, I was in fair condition and met a married woman that had just been hired by the company.  After a while, she started to make sexual advances, repeatedly talking about giving me "three chances", that she had gained some weight that could not get rid of, and that if I did not change my ways with women, I was going to contract HIV.  In September 1998 I had unprotected sex with her in two different occasions and started to wonder what she meant by "three chances"; did she mean "three chances" to contract something from her? Soon after the sex encounters, the woman's husband showed up at my cubicle asking where his wife was.  After a brief reply, he took off and never saw him again.  Later I learned that he was unemployed taking care of three kids at home while his wife worked.  Contrary to what I assumed, they had a strong relationship.  Two weeks later, hard white excretions appeared on my tonsils.  After that, I started to think about the whole thing and got worried about having contracted HIV. During a period of more than one year, I was tested three times for HIV and the results were all negative.

After that, I knew that it was not HIV, but I noticed some symptoms that I could not fully attribute to depression.

One night I had sex with my girlfriend.  Except for a brief period of oral sex, when I realized that there still was a possibility of a STD, I have always had protected sex with her.  Despite having protected sex with her and her not knowing about my previous encounters with the married woman, she has gained 30-40 lb., has skin problems (scalp and face), and is tired most of the time.  

Currently my symptoms and condition include:

1. Tongue coated with a thick white/yellow film
2. Pain on right side of the neck and right shoulder blade.  There is a very tender spot at the edge of the shoulder blade closer to the center of my back.
3. "Bruising" that for no apparent reason appears on my arms but does not hurt.  Today I have a "donut" shaped brown bruise on my left arm 1.5" in diameter with a 0.5" circular center of normal color skin.
4. My blood pressure has gone from 135/85 to 150/100 in the last year.
5. At the same time that my blood pressure went up, my heart rate went from 70 to 80-90 pulses per minute.
6. My weight has gone up from 150 to 170 lb. (currently at 160 LB)
7. I have miscellaneous skin problems that include: scabs and pimples on the scalp and skin blemishes on the face.  Scratches, small cuts, insect bites, and minor burns on the arms turn into dark skin blemishes that do not go away.  I did not have any of these problems before.
8. Despite sleeping fairly well and taking at least a half-hour nap at lunch, around 4 PM I get extremely sleepy.
9. Have minor pain and stiffness in the arm and leg joints. My arms and legs get numb (go to sleep) very easily.
10. I took 30 mg of Prozac for a short time according to a doctor's recommendation but it did not help.
11. My new family doctor put me on 75mg of Effexor XR buy it did not help either.  I consulted with a psychiatrist that increased the dose to 225 mg.  He said that 75 mg do not do much and in the last two months the Effexor has made a significant difference with the depression.
12. My family doctor put me on 15 mg of Altace to control the blood pressure and a week ago increased the dose to 30 mg.  Altace does not seem to do anything for me.
13. I have had one blood test per year in the last 5-6 years and all have come back pretty close to normal. However, the last blood test showed recent exposure to hepatitis A; I was traveling abroad recently and ate seafood that was not fully cooked, I bet that that did it.
14. My urine has a particular different smell.  It never smelled like this before.
15. When working in the garden or exercising, if the sweat from my forehead gets into my eyes, it is so irritating that I can barely stand it and have to wash my eyes immediately.  This never happened before either.

Could anyone shine any light on the cause of my problems?

I would like to give my sincere appreciation to everybody participating in this forum.  Yesterday, I spent quite some time reading your questions and answers and got the impression that the information conveyed is honest and truthful (beside been free to the general public).  So far the answers that I have gotten from "real life" doctors and institutions like the CDC have been, at best, mediocre.

Thank you.
242532_tn?1269553979
I hope someone else on this forum has some experience with this syndrome. I don't have any experience and have never seen a case like this, nor have some colleagues that I have talked too.

You might consider seeing an infectious disease specialist.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I just realized that the information on my original message, point 12 is not correct; it should say:

12. My family doctor put me on 5 mg of Altace to control the blood pressure and a week ago increased the dose to 10 mg.  Altace does not seem to do anything for me.

Sorry.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Dr. Gould:

Thank you for your response. I really appreciate your effort.

I already talked to an infectious disease specialist.  His analysis of my problem was very superficial and brief (about 10-15 minutes), charged me $302, and said that I was OK.  Sometimes I wonder about the training that some doctors get as scientists; they seem to be quite good at money and law issues though.

Any other options?

Thank you again.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't know of a "syndrome" for this... but the 10 lbs you've gained over the last few years isn't unusual for a guy who's 48. Have you tried something as simple as diet and exercise? I'd recommend adpoting a healthy and properly balanced diet with daily exercise for the next six months and see what happens. Drink lots of water... this will help the sking problems. I bet some of these symptoms will get better.
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Avatar_n_tn
This is precisely one of my concerns. I have always maintained very good eating and exercising habits but weight loss has become very difficult.  I have accumulated approximately 5-10 lbs of fat around my waist that despite of walking , lifting weights, riding my bike, etc., etc., etc. do not go away.  This is basically the only fat that I have in my body and before my problems started I could get rid of such weight in less than four weeks.

I do not think that it is a diet and excersice issue.

Thank you for your comment.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hyper- or hypothyroidism?  Sweating, weight gain, etc might by hypothyroidism, although the increased blood pressure doesn't fit.

Get your TSH and T-4 levels checked, it's a simple blood test.

Good luck!

Helen
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Avatar_n_tn
The thyroid function has been checked and it is OK.

TNKS for the comment.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would definitly get checked for Hepatitus (hepatitis) C. A lot of what you are claiming sounds like it. I Have watched family and friends have a lot of the same symptoms. When you first get it, you get pretty bad then it levels off. It's kinda tricky. Most people get it from shooting drugs. Most people claim you can not get it from sex, but I have known several people who have. Some from just 1 or 2 encounters. I pray that you do not have it. I'm guessing that your doctors have tested you already. But don't worry, there is expermental treatments out there, which can be spendy with out insurance. Please use a condom with your girlfriend. The test (blood test) usually taked about 5 days. Good luck and GOD bless.....
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Avatar_n_tn
i am not sexually active and haven't been for almost four years... i have skin problems (new to me), fatigue, depression, weight gain, and severe pain below the rib cage (right side).  i always run a low grade fever... i have been tested for Hep C, had a liver panel, CBC, thyroid (which is slightly outta whack), AIDS test-- and all comes back normal.  i see a doctor october 11, and am gonna ask for another hep C test.  

yes, i know what you mean-- it so very frustrating to see doctors who don't even know where to start with your problems-- and don't really seem to care-- especially when you don't have much money.

i am going to the mayo clinic soon (if i can scrape up the money)_ to find out what is happening.

wanna go with me?

:)

be cheaper-- but i won't have sex with you ;)

as for hep c-- it is contracted the same way aids is-- unprotected sex, dirty needles, tattoo needles, cocaine use (including snorting-- not just freebase)-- and you can have it 20 or 30 years before it shows up.  liver panels can look normal when something is really going on.

were you in vietnam?  they say vietnam vets are in the high risk group as are people who have spent time in jail/prison.





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