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Chronic sinusitis and Extreme Fatigue
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Chronic sinusitis and Extreme Fatigue

Hi.
I am an 18-yr old male and I have recently been experiencing some unusual symptoms. I went to my primary care physician about a week and a half ago because of headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, and eye-twitching. I had never had such a combo of symptoms, so I assumed the worst, of course, something neurological maybe (especially because my mother passed away from brain cancer two years ago). However, all tests appeared fine: EKG, normal; blood work, normal (aside from slightly high potassium, but was retested in another lab and everything was perfectly fine); and MRI without contrast, normal EXCEPT for inflamed sinuses. Doctor diagnosed sinusitis and put me on 10-day regimen of Augmentin (I am due to finish this weekend). The lightheadedness has improved and is almost completely gone, but I still do not feel right and other symptoms remain.

My biggest problem right now is extreme fatigue. I seem always to be tired, and I have been getting plenty of rest, usually at least nine hours a night. The other day I had a 10-hr night of sleep, woke up, and three hours later, was extremely drowsy again. Took a three hour nap and still felt so lethargic. Oddly it seems to improve at night, but I have hypothesized it might be because that’s when I’m “supposed” to feel tired so I don’t notice it as much. I mention this because I have read many articles about how chronic fatigue and sinusitis have recently been linked, and that it is believed by many physicians now that fatigue may be one of the best indicators of a sinus issue. I have no problem believing this, and all my symptoms seem to fit sinusitis: headache (always on the right side of my head), dizziness, even the eye twitching because of nerves which run through/near the sinuses and which, if irritated, can cause muscle spasms. The headaches haven’t been too bad lately, but when I have them, I almost feel like they may be originating from the right side of my neck and radiating towards my right temple near my ear (I had an ear infection a couple of months ago, put on z-pac, don’t know if it ever went away). I find myself cracking my neck a lot, and also cracking/popping my jaw to alleviate some pain (which is more annoying than excruciating). Also, and this has been happening for a long time so I don’t know if it’s connected, I have been having lots of random muscle twitching in basically any and every part of my body. I’m actually not too concerned about this because I understand benign muscle twitching is quite common, and plus it seems to get worse or become more noticeable if I think about it deliberately (may be related to anxiety?) However, it’s hard to put my finger on it, but I still don’t feel right. Sometimes it feels that my whole body is vibrating, though I am not visibly trembling. Often my brain feels like it’s shaking inside my skull, odd as it sounds, and I feel like my head is pounding, as if I am suddenly VERY aware of the blood pumping through my head. This is usually the worst when I am relaxing or about to sleep. Sometimes I wake up suddenly and feel like my body is trembling but it’s not. It’s quite scary, not painful, just disconcerting. In addition, and I don’t know if this has any relation, but for the past 2 weeks I have been having very loose stool, sometimes diarrhea, 4-5 times a day. My appetite is maybe a little less than usual, but still pretty good, and I have been staying very hydrated. (Could the loose stool be in response to antibiotics/ anxiety over my symptoms?)

Oh, and about two weeks ago, I noticed I kept smelling this sort of grape scent, but it seems to have gone away oddly, and now my nose trouble is a constant stuffed feeling, almost like extremely narrow nasal passages and difficulty smelling things.  

Basically, it seems that my symptoms could very easily be due to CHRONIC sinusitis, especially considering my past (allergies since I was very young, always have had a kind of “clogged” nose but never thought it was abnormal). However, if this is true, I fear that the antiobiotics may be doing nothing because of the scarce blood supply to the sinuses, AND because it may be fungal or viral. I am strongly considering seeing an ENT, but I also still have fears that it may be neurological, and all sorts of crazy thoughts have gone through my mind: MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain infection (can that spread from sinuses?), a missed growth?? Could it even be Chiari malformation? (nothing said after MRI examination but could they have missed it?) I just am very stressed about this, slightly paranoid, especially because I move into college in a couple days and do not want to deal with all these symptoms (in fact my doctor suggested a lot of my symptoms may be in response to the difficult transition and anxiety about college, but I don’t know, these symptoms are very real to me). Is this all psychological, partially, or completely physiological? I would appreciate ANY advice you can give. I just want to feel like me again! Thanks!

(just a random thought, can a growth spurt cause one to feel out of whack like this? Because I just recently grew more, as in while I have been feeling this way, and I haven’t grown in over a year)
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8 Comments Post a Comment
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402205_tn?1230484605
Hi Jason,

I really think a lot of your problems are because you are not getting sleep from your sinus infection. When you have a sinus infection, it feels like you may be getting restful sleep but you're not. That could be causing anxiety as well. Your body needs sleep to heal and rejuvenate.

My advice is go to the ENT. Due to all the other tests being negative it is most likely chronic sinusitis. If you look up all the symptoms you can get, you would be shocked. I get an upset stomach from the post nasal drip.

good luck Jason and keep me posted on how you are doing,

Melissa
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Avatar_n_tn
Just doing some searching on this site and found someone, around my age, ho has very similar symptoms to me. Any suggestions? Anyone else with strangely similar symptoms who would like to post? Any advice/information is helpful!
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Hello. :)

I'm 15 years old, and in the last couple weeks I've been having some worrying symptoms. A little over two weeks ago I began having some trouble with my sinuses (after having a cold the week before), such as pressure in my forehead, lightheadedness, headache, and dizziness. Chronic sinus problems run in my family, so my parents didn't think much of it. We went on a week-long trip over the Christmas holidays, and my sinus symptoms persisted. I also began having sharp pains in my head lasting about 2-5 seconds each, and not in the same spot each time. (they aren't very severe, just annoying). After returning home, my doctor diagnosed me with a sinus infection and gave me azithromycin to get rid of it.

I still feel pressure in my forehead area when bending over after being on azithromycin for a week, and the following symptoms that really worry me have been going on for about a week now as well:

1) shaking/tremors - I've noticed very slight shaking in my hands, and even more noticeable is shaking of my head- it's hard to see, but when I rest my head on something I can feel it.
2) muscle fasciculation - mainly in my thighs (top and bottom), I've  been getting muscle spasms in small areas that go away when I voluntarily flex the muscle.
3) tingling sensations - I've read that these can be a part of benign fasciculation syndrome, but I get them on the top of my head also, often in the same places that I have the head pains. It feels sort of like ants crawling around.
4) weakness - in addition to the fasciculations, my legs have felt weak.
5) ringing in ears - I've read that this can be a side effect of azithromycin

I still get occasional head pains and headaches, but not as often. I also have a history of anxiety/panic attacks, although I haven't been having problems with it recently.

I've talked to my parents about these symptoms, but they don't think it's anything serious. I'm just wondering if I should insist that I go to the doctor, or is it nothing to be worried about?

(from the neurology forum, coincidental because I fear my troubles may be neurological as well)
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524020_tn?1223164605
Having suffered from chronic sinusitis for a very long time, 15 years. I know the symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness, things like that. I would also get very tired during an infection. I never believed my dr. that a simple sinus infection could be causing these symptoms. So I saw a neurologist. They found nothing, it caused a great deal of anxiety for me because I would always think there is no way that this could be from a sinus infection. Especially since they never presented like that in the beginning. But I will tell you what has worked for me. I tried all of the prescription and over the counter, claritin, zyrtec, sudaphed, actifed, nasonex, singular, the list goes on. The only thing that has worked for me was a NETI POT. It's a simple salin rinse. I'ts cheap, and effective, I haven't had to use any medication since. So good luck , and if you haven't tried the neti pot ask you'r dr. or ENT.
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402205_tn?1230484605
I use saline but not a neti pot, great idea. Great post as well. So many people don't realize the effects having a sinus infection can have.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi...this is a quickie, but have you asked your doctor about having an EEG to test for epilepsy? A lot of people don't develop seizures and symptoms until 18....I wasn't diagnosed til then. A lot of your symptoms sound like mine. I have TLE (temporal lobe epilepsy) and suffer with simple and complex partial seizures. Check out the Epilepsy Foundation Website...! It still gives me tons of info, and I'm 36!

Seriously, make sure you tell your doctor EVERYTHING, including the grape smell. That is one thing that a lot of epileptics can experience!

Hope this helps!

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Avatar_m_tn
I have had chronic sinusitis for 4 years and you will for sure suffer from chronic fatique when you have sinus problems. Sometimes you can even feel like a really bad flu is coming on with muscle pains all over etc......
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Avatar_f_tn
I have chronic sinusitis and my worst symptom is extreme fatigue.. I found the more I slept the worse it gets.. recently I had another allergy test but this time they tested for dust mites and I had a reaction.. I'm now beginning to take allergy shots. I recommend getting a test.. dust mites are at their worst in bed..
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Avatar_f_tn
I am in the same boat...what do you do to relieve the symptoms, or prevent them?   You illustrate the symptoms exactly...L
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