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vertigo

in 1995 i woke one day with vertigo.  kept me in  bed for two weeks.  i finally went to a specialist.  they told me it was meniers disease.  i did some therapy.  i worked.  never had a problem until august 2007.  i woke again with vertigo.  was in bed/at the doctor every day doing some head rotation therapy.  on the 4th day doing this, i felt something pop in my ear.  then i was fine.  about two weeks before christmas 2007, it happened again.  i went back to my doctor.  he sent me to the specialist again.  the specialist asked me a few questions, then scheduled an mri.  the mri came back normal.  so, a few days later, i was back at the specialist office for more testing . . . hearing, visual and some other testing where i would lay down quickly, sit up quickly, etc.  and finally a test where they blew hot air into my hears to test my dizziness.  every time i get this vertigo, i also have a severe headache with it.  actually, i've had the headache since the second time i came down with it in december.  ibuprofen dulls the pain for a while, but it never goes away.  i also have this constant pressure/pain in my right ear.

anyway,  after the final tests, i asked the audiolgist what he thought.  he said he would have to speak to the doctor and get back to me.  two days later i got a message on my answering machine, from the dr's office, stating they diagnosed my with inner ear weakness and they were calling in a new prescription for me (acetazolamide).  no other explanation!  why the headaches and constant pressure/pain in my right ear!

has anyone else ever experienced this?  and if so, was there a different diagnosis?  therapy?  anything?  i am just not satisfied and am thinking of going to another doctor for a second opinion.  i have been on this new med for a few days and do not feel any different!

Thank You!
Tags: vertigo
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14 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Greetings,

I too lived on ibuprofen and coincidentally was on acetazolomide ( made me sick). Click on my profile and see my posts. Perhaps you were going to the wrong eye specialists. My headaches went away right after I was treated. It is called "vertical heterophoria syndrome" and can only be treated by one of three specialists in the USA.Let me know how you do.

lognum
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152264_tn?1280358257
Look up "migraine-associated vertigo." This is actually very common, although many doctors aren't familiar with it, not even all ENT doctors. Otoneurologists (neurologists specializing in dizziness/hearing) will know about it.

Even if you think your headache isn't a migraine, it might very well be.

See
http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/central/migraine/mav.html

and

http://www.robbmd.com/links.php?sectionid=2804

Good luck!

Nancy T.
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427784_tn?1224973122

A close neighbor just sent me this info about Janet Jackson, as her vertigo symptoms do sound similar to mine.  

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=6043241

I don't have the spinning vertigo as others describe.  Janet J's vertigo symptoms of feeling as if she's on a boat or floating mirrors my experience.

I just got back from a week long process workshop in Mesa AZ and each day was torturous.  I tried not to panic when the motion I felt sitting in a conference room all week just would not ease up.  I could really feel every "bob and dip" movement - fortunately I was able to get up often to take breaks.  I'm curious to find out how Janet Jackson's symptoms have been treated.  The article doesn't say if she's back on tour yet.

I have never heard of - and not one of the doctors I've seen have ever mentioned - " Mal de Debarquement or Floating Woman Syndrome" - I'm printing this out to take to my PCP, EN&T, and Naturepath.

I'm hoping this dizziness is just hormonal and related to the onset of menopause.  I've been battling this for a year now and I hope to find out how Janet Jackson was treated - I do feel hopeful!  I also just bought Suzanne Sommers book "Breakthrough" to read on the plane.  Very interesting and insightful.  She confirms the aspects of poor "gut / intestinal / digestive track" health as the root of all health problems.  Her book is getting good reviews.  I will share more as delve deeper into her book.

At the advice of the Naturepath I've been working with, I've been off of wheat and gluten for more than a month.  Unfortunately I had very painful inflammation of my mouth tissue two weeks ago, so she recommend removing processed sugar from my diet as well, to speed the healing process of having thrush/candida. I've never had that before - I thought it was a condition that just affected children - my mouth is fine now.  She said to keep up these diet constraints until she sees that my compromised immune system has improved.

Celiac Sprue runs in my family (cousins) and recent blood work showed I had sensitivity to wheat, almonds, dairy, pineapple and kidney beans.  With supplementing Vitamin D, my levels have been elevated to 23 - I was at 15 or 16.  I take 2000 units each day and try my best to get a little sun each day - not easy to do in this Seattle weather.   I'm hoping these diet adjustments will help lower my high thyroid antibodies as my Naturepath explained poor nutritional / gut health causes autoimmune problems. I'm off of Thyroid hormone as I reacted badly to the low amounts of Synthroid my PCP prescribed.   In a few months I return for more blood work to check levels.

Even with diet changes I'm still dizzy each and every day, still have tinnitus buzzing in my left ear for more than 4 years now.

Hope all are doing better, I welcome any thoughts you may have.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi twintwo and All,

I can tell you this. I have tried all the so called resrtictive diets, like , no sugar, no gluten, etc. The only thing that worked, for me, and others that have figured it out, is a low histamine diet, which includes cutting down your salt intake. I went to every top specialist in Canada and the US and no one could figure this disequilibrium and "drunk felling" out. Some even thought it could be semi-circular canal dehiscience. I bet none of your doctors heard of that. I went for that test also and it proved negative. I know of the anxiety whilst anticipating being "dizzy" in public and can say "that" was the worst part. Non-drowsy antihistamines is the only thing that helped. If you have the time, and I would think anyone in our situation would, query "goldbaum histamine" in google. Read his story and also query "histamine restricted diet" (I know I mentioned trying all diets, but this worked). There is also a supplement to be released soon in the US called Tolerase, it will help everyone with this same condition to eat as you wish, without any "dizzy" symptoms.

I say all this because I know the torture anyone with vertigo goes through and what a feeling of exuberance it is to finally feel like yourself again. We stumbled across the histamine theory when we noticed we felt better during allergy season, because of the antihistamines we were taking. We then researched all to do with dizziness and histamine. You will have to do the same, espacially if you are getting no where.

ps. If anyone diagnoses you with MAV (like Janet Jackson) then the antihistamines should work great.

Good luck
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449909_tn?1233413497
Incidentally, a patient reporting with a complaint of dizziness takes away the charm of the day for the doctor. Sometimes the diagnosis is obvious, but not always. The history taking, examination, investigation and the conclusions are exhausting and may not give a clue. The doctor has to wade through a lot of junk (but important in the patient's viewpoint) in the narration by the patient before he can narrow down the possibilities. Then the physical examination, and then the investigations. This field is largely shared by the ENT and the Neurologist.

There are many look-alikes; like a fainting (an entirely different ball game!).

In Mal de Barquement, it is reported usually in women, after a ship cruise, or flight. Very rare. It is generally agreed that treatment is difficult.

We have what are known as "organs to sense the environment' (to smell - nose; to see - eyes; to hear - ears; to taste - tongue and touch - sensory nerve endings in the skin) there is a sixth one called organs of balance: The vestibular organ. This one is to keep the body in equilibrium, on two or one feet, while standing or dancing.

The vestibular organ is situated in the "inner ear" in the skull-bone, between the ear and brain, on each side. In this special sense organ are deployed micro-structures to sense gravity, movement (both vertical - as in a lift, or horizontal as in a train,  and also angular - eg.,merry go round) There are nerves from this conveying such sensation to the brain. As the hearing organ 'cochlea' is a neighbor, the 'plumbing' communicates, the nerves travel together; so do the blood supply to these organs.

The 'balancing function' of the vestibule is helped by the eyes (sight), and sensations coming from the various muscles and the skin of sole (when standing) and buttocks (when sitting).

A snag in any of the above 'centres' can cause 'vertigo'. Sometimes it is very difficult to locate the problem and then understand what the problem is, and a third to know what caused it !

About Acetazolamide (Diamox): This medicine is used to reduce the pressure in the eyes (a condition called glaucoma) and that in the inner ear (called Menierre's disease) Usually they don't occur together.

Hope this helps (?!)

Best,

Tomsant
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the information Tomsat. Most of us who have the "dizzy" spells, only know to well of the intricacies of the vestibular system. We research and learn daily. The problem with the medical community is that most patients are treated as a "consultation", especially in Canada. There is no eagerness to investigate and find the cause for a sysmptom in a particular patient. What you need is someone with the disposition of the doctor, "House" (the series on T.V.) without the arrogance, but I'm quite sure both go hand in hand. What the dizzy community needs is an answer and genuine application of the "hipocratic oath", applied individually.

Kind Regards,

lognum
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449909_tn?1233413497
You have touched some touchy issues. I will give my thoughts.

Most of the doctors are not confident in handling a vertigo patient. For reasons I have already described. One can only 'look for' causes already known, and look out for any other 'illness' in the person and then feel relaxed, if there is nothing really bad. Even with a 'diagnosis' on, he will be uncomfortable. He may be eager to ward off an allegation of missing something. (Lesson of the 20th to 21st century: "Every patient is a future enemy" - all because of lack of trust and litigation; it is a sad reality)

Just writing a prescription after listening to the patient's complaint without examining may be done at the first visit, to avoid lengthy work up for something that may pass off. Not at the next visit, if the 'illness' is not resolved.The eagerness may be relative. An expert may consider further investigations are unnecessary. I can't believe someone not doing the necessary investigations out of arrogance.

I am sorry I'm not familiar with "House". You have given some wishful thinking too. It is everyone's wish, including doctors, that the doctor should not be arrogant. (I will not say every doctor is arrogant) But one can see that too is relative. A doctor may be arrogant to others in the field. He/She may not be arrogant to all patients, may not be arrogant always. And the amount of arrogance in the doctor-community may be of the same level as that in the general society (or is it different?) Or is it that any hard job with a lot of tension will make one arrogant? (studies show longevity in doctors is comparatively less) Only psychologists can tell.

Best rgds,
Thomas Antony
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Avatar_m_tn
Thomas,

I did not mean to say doctors are arrogant. It was my intention to say that with "brilliance comes arrogance". It was meant as the two go hand in hand and that is good. What I "did" mean to say is that not all doctors are brilliant. I do not wish to enter into a discussion of how the system should run, although a database (shared), only accessible by docotrs, of patient sysmptoms, would greatly help. I have spent the last two years researching my condition because of the lack of answers. Now I am trying to help others. What I can tell you is that I have come across countless hundreds(there are tens of thousands if you extrapolate) of people with the same condition, on all kinds of related forums. They are not getting any help and just want their "normal" lives back. Look at all the comments in this forum wishing everyone "luck". They have no answers, yet we/they pay out of pocket and are left on our own, or told it is only in our minds. Keepng in mind that I am only versed in this condition because I have it, my knowlegde has helped other "doctors" with this same condition. Why must the patient do all the work? Isn't that why we look to the medical community, for answers. They are supposed to be the ones that have the education and resources to figure this out. Can you think of any other industry where you have a problem, request a professionals help, and have to pay though the exact condition still exists? As you can tell, it is extremely frustrating and won't be cured until a "brilliant" doctor, with a spouse or child, that unfortunately has the same condition,  inspires them to get to the bottom of this. Sorry if this sounds like a diatribe, it is not meant to be. We just need answers!

Maurice      
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449909_tn?1233413497
Hi Maurice,

Glad to have your reply. Your letter is amusing. I will attempt a reply with candor.


Nobody cant tolerate arrogance even if paring with brilliance. What should prevent you from giving your opinion on how the 'system should run'? The 'net' is a free world.

DATABASE of patients' symptoms: Such databases exist, in various text books, and in the internet. To be accepted by qualified doctors, they should be prepared by recognized experts after adequate research. Modern medicine has evolved over the centuries, that symptoms alone can't bring out any conclusions. One has to look for various features (examination) and do the necessary investigations.

Such databases may not survive the knowledge explosion we see now. It will evolve as knowledge is accrued. Sometimes a whole 'diagnosis' is replaced by new terminology and explanations. So 'symptoms' become superfluous. If a doctor of the 50s were to come back to practice, he would be quite out of place. The 'explanations' for many 'illnesses' have changed, new 'illnesses' have appeared and so are the investigations and treatment modalities.
We continue to acquire more knowledge after coming out of medical schools by various means. Old explanations or treatment modalities are challenged, or dropped. Treatment has shifted from herbs through potions to tablets or injections given directly into blood stream.
Nobody understood 'sepsis' before we discovered bacteria. Before Leeuwenhoek invented microscope, nobody knew about micro-organisms. Now where are we? We have 'seen' the smallest (?) micro organisms called viruses and know they infect even bacteria. What I mean to say is science and technology is evolving and consequently modern medicine too is advancing.

HELP: You said many are not getting help. Is it that doctors are not helping or their help is not reaching them? Can it be a communication failure between the doctors and patients? But a sad reality is that in some situations, no help exist. In certain situations getting back a normal life is ...

"Why must the patient do all the work?" You mean to say that enough work / research was not done by the doctor? It should be understood that the ANSWERS are evolving while, at the same time, new questions appear on the horizon.

"Can you think of any other industry where you have a problem, request a professionals help, and have to pay though the exact condition still exists?"

>>> Do you mean the pharmaceutical industry? Health-care as I understand is not an industry, though the 'industrious' survive better. True, technology has brought in various gadgets and hence there is an industry there. But imagine, where else a human being has to spend his prime years in universities burning the midnight oil, attending night calls and emergencies, facing people who, for being sick, are angry at the doctor.
There are a lot of things the doctor or specialist of now a days know more than his colleague 50 yr back, but there is a great lot he is yet to know. We have reached the moon, and are eying the Mars, but the large universe is far beyond. We know about the various organs of human body, and the cells that make it up, and the various chemicals which go into the structure of the same and how they function. But do we know enough? That is why medicine is more of an art than science, and we still don't have all the answers.

True, a doctor doesn't "learn" about paediatric 'problems' until his/her child becomes sick. That is because doctors too are human beings.

If only we had angels to qualify as doctors !
:-)

Best rgds,

Thomas Antony

ps. Sorry this post went longer than I wanted it to be.
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Avatar_m_tn
Points taken....and still so many remain without help. Perhaps you might google "Lorenzo's Oil" to understand the plight of those experiencing vertigo and all its manifestations. The two of us could go on and on. I digress, to do more research.

Kind Regards,

Maurice  
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345124_tn?1234486878
"hippocratic oath"? it's not about that, it's about $$$. from what i have gathered and experienced, a lot of doctors don't like patients with lots of questions(puts their knowledge on the spot), or seeing uninsured people(less money to be made). if i sound like i'm ranting, i don't care, it doesn't make what i say untrue. if i am spending any money for a doctor's help, i don't want to be sent off being told what i "might" or "probably" have, and absolutely nothing about how that is related to dizziness, or hearing "well im not sure". my question would be, well then what am i paying you so much money for? what are you charging my insurance company for? why am i spending so little time in your office, yet being charged so much? i have a couple relatives in the medical field - nuclear medicine, and an rn - and the things they tell me only add to my cynicism. lognum is right, why should we do all the work? they're getting paid to just to "practice". and as far as "big medicine", that's a whole other rant. at least i have insurance now, there is a big difference between how insured and uninsured patients get treated. i trust a doctor like i trust a lawyer, their services are required, but they don't have to show results.
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449909_tn?1233413497
Unfortunately, a human being comes into the world, without a 'product information leaflet' or a 'self-help manual'.

Over the last few centuries, some information has been accumulated. Since this itself is huge, one has to spend a lot many years to understand or learn the same. It became so huge that many specialties developed.

We know this information is too less in some areas and research is going on. (Here 'research' doesn't mean searching the net)

It is a reality, we get comparatively better assessment and treatment for the illnesses than our grandparents.

It is expected that our knowledge, prevention and treatment of illnesses will be better in the coming years.

Information about any ailment will continue to evolve, as we move ahead erring and correcting. for example we knew only one kind of 'jaundice' many years back. Now we recognize many varieties, and the management is different in each. Now they do liver transplants. Who knows, we may have 'lab-grown' liver to for the same in the future?

To treat an illness, one can depend on self-help or consult someone who has already gone through learning the same. It is the duty of the expert to remain well-informed. But what he already knows may be too little; it is with this knowledge one attempts to treat a patient.

Even at the 'cutting-edge' level information, the doctor can only say that 'it is likely you may have..', and 'most likely the surgery is going to help'. And there is an element of risk in any procedure, leave alone surgery. Regarding results, a 100% surgical result can be guaranteed only in amputations. Even if the surgeon is 'sure' that the case is appendicitis, he can't commit. It is said that the abdomen is a 'magic box';  he should always be on the lookout for surprises.

"Lorenzo's Oil": I couldn't watch the video as I have only dial-up cnxn. May be I can do it at some future occasion.

The level of intelligence, knowledge, expertise in the field, and sincerity may vary between doctors.

A lot of 'doctor-hatred' is because the public don't know what an ordeal the doctor has.

And we have not discussed money mongering and arrogance :-)

Best,

Thomas Antony
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Avatar_m_tn
Lorenzo's Oil is a movie, which can be rented or bought and a true story. It defines the ideology between doctor and patient and what happens when there is a commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, through "more" than just the internet. Society and it's knowledge is only advanced through desperation. With comfort comes apathy, you just have to decide how comfortable you are.

Regards,

Maurice
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449909_tn?1233413497
I will find out if the movie is available in this geographical area :-)
Best,

TA
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