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Potential Meniere's Symptoms?
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Potential Meniere's Symptoms?

Hello, everyone!

Personal Information:
I'm a female, 25 years old, in relatively good health. I'm 5'5" and weigh 98 pounds (I've always been very slim, same as my mother and siblings). I usually avoid going to doctors because I cannot afford it and have been in good health for the most part. I moved from Central New York to North Carolina to Boston within a few years. Moved to Boston in September 2011. I have a moderate diet, lots of water (it's cheapest!), chicken, beef, potatoes. Haven't been exercising as much as I'd like, but I do walk upwards of a half hour every day.

Medical History:
Severe asthma, eczema, and ear infections throughout childhood. Had tinnitus (constant, high-pitched) for as long as I can remember. I haven't had an asthma attack or an ear infection in over 10 years. My eczema had gone away but came back with a vengeance about 4 years ago, I am now using a topical steroid cream and it is well under control (thankfully). I had a lot of environmental allergies growing up while in CNY, but for the most part I haven't been experiencing that lately.

Current Situation:
In December, my right ear became plugged up with earwax and I lost most hearing in that ear (save for the tinnitus, which about drove me nuts since that's all I could hear!). Being fairly anti-doctor, I tried to wait it out. Late December, I also began having breathing trouble. I knew they weren't asthma attacks, but no matter how deeply I breathed or what position I was in, I felt that I could not fill my lungs 100% - I was hitting between 60 and 80% depending on the episode. These episodes would come and go and last for a half hour or so. Concerned due to my asthma history, I went to the urgent care and they had me do a breath test. They said it was normal. I asked for an inhaler prescription just in case, and have used it a few times but it doesn't seem to fix the issue. They also irrigated both of my ears at this appointment. Thankfully, the hard-to-breath episodes have faded and I haven't had one in a few months.

In January, I began burping a lot (which is not normal for me). I also had a few spots of body acne, which is also not normal for me. I started feeling dizzy and nauseous most of the time and had horrible headaches with a lot of pressure along my hairline and central forehead. I had a lot of abdominal pain - although I was in the middle of my cycle, I felt like I was having cramps. I also had stabbing pain above my left hip as well as pain concentrated underneath my lower rib cage on the left side. Sometimes the rib cage pain would encompass the entire lower portion around my body. At this time I finally got a PCP and went to see them. After an ultrasound in late February, they determined that I had a burst ovarian cyst. They weren't sure why I was still feeling dizzy and nauseous, or why I continued to have the abdominal pain. I kept returning for appointments throughout March and April, and ended up being told that it was anxiety (even though I told them that this is the least stressed I have been in years, save for this medical issue) and/or acid reflux (which I have never had an issue with before). I have never taken Tums before January, but have been taking them several times daily for the past 6 months to help cut the nausea. I have also had to irrigate my ears twice since December due to excessive ear wax (I've never had to get my ears irrigated before). I have been taking Meclizine to help with the dizziness, and though it seems to help, it makes me so tired that I cannot do anything. I am usually fatigued regardless, and the medication just turns me into a zombie.

Overall Symptoms (all began in January unless stated otherwise):
Dizziness, Nausea, Sweating (when severe nausea/dizziness), Tinnitus (long-term), Fatigue (long-term, worse since January), Abdominal Pain (cramping, also stabbing above hips, concentrated on left side), Rib Cage Pain (a feeling of soreness underneath lower left rib cage, does not get worse with pressure, sometimes feels sore throughout lower rib cage), Excessive Ear Wax (since November-December), Headaches (feeling of pressure along temple/hair line, also pressure concentrated in center of forehead), Burping, Canker Sores (long-term, worse since January)

Current Treatments:
Tums (nausea/burping), Meclizine (dizziness/nausea), cold compresses (headaches), Ibuprofen/Alieve (headaches)

To Note:
The worst symptoms are undeniably the dizziness and nausea. Sometimes one starts and then the other starts. I am a big coffee drinker and went without it for a few weeks at the doctor's advice (for possible acid reflux) without any changes whatsoever. These symptoms come on seemingly with no regard as to what I eat, what time it is, or what position I am in. Also, even though I have been experiencing abdominal pain/cramping, my bowel movements have been absolutely normal. Too, my hearing throughout the years has been above-normal, despite the tinnitus. I have tried several decongestants thinking that may relieve the pressure headaches but it doesn't help.

Questions:
* After 6 months of this, I have been doing a lot of digging into the symptoms. Some of these seem like Meniere's Disease symptoms, but not completely. What does everyone else think?
* Tinnitus is one of the symptoms of Meniere's, but I have had that since I was a little kid. I don't remember a time when I didn't have it. Is it possible for a symptom like that to start so early without any others?
* Other than the ear wax blockages, I do not have any alterations to my hearing. Too, I don't have ear pressure. These are both symptoms of Meniere's, but I am wondering if the overall head pressure took the place of the ear pressure?
* Although my breathing trouble seems to be resolved for now, being a fairly healthy person it concerns me that I was inundated with so many symptoms at the same time. The doctors and specialists don't seem to think there is a root cause for all of it, but I don't ever remember having so many things go wrong at once.
Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Only a complete evaluation can help to diagnose Meniere's Disease or inner ear problems. An MRI test show help detect any structural abnormalities. Hearing test or audiogram will show the hearing loss. A procedure called caloric stimulation tests eye reflexes by warming and cooling the inner ear with water. Abnormal results on this test can be a sign of Meniere's disease. Other tests are Electrocochleography (ECOG) and videonystagmography (VNG). These help diagnose inner ear problems. Please discuss this with your doctor am sure he will provide further assistance.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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