I'm a 19 year old female and I'm reasonably healthy. I'll admit I'm not very physically active but I'm not out of shape. My diet isn't bad but I haven't been eating much because whatever condition this is makes me lose my appetite intermittently. I constantly feel extremely weak, dizzy and tired, as if I'm going to fall over or pass out at any moment. I get more than 8 hours of sleep every night, lately even more than that. But it doesn't matter if I get 2 hours or 13 hours, I feel just as bad when I wake up as I do before I go to bed. When I stand up I get overwhelming head rushes and I can't see anything at all for several seconds, sometimes almost a minute. This is accompanied with a sudden, overwhelming sensation that I'm going to faint. It hits me like a truck and I have to hold onto something to keep from falling over. I'm so weak that something as simple as walking up the stairs makes me dizzy and exhausted. Standing for more than a short length of time is very difficult, especially under bright fluorescent lights, for example while shopping. Sometimes even standing up long enough to take a shower is so tiring that I can hardly tolerate it and it borders on being physical pain and not just fatigue. There are no headaches and no nausea, though I often have a mildly sore throat that seems to happen at night. I have intermittent periods of mild to occasionally moderate depression.
I think that the fatigue and the depression are likely related, because in summertime the depression goes away entirely, presumably because of more sunlight and because I'm much more active then, and the fatigue also becomes much less bothersome. Then when it gets cold and dark again I start getting periods of depression and the fatigue becomes serious again. I don't know why.
It's not bad enough to be disabling but it does make things very difficult. I'm not sure if I can handle a job this way because of the problems standing for long periods of time. I can't remember a time that I was ever not like this, but I think it's been worse the last year or so. I went to the doctor over a year ago and all she did was ask some questions and listen to my heartbeat and sent me home with a clean bill of health and yet feeling like crap. I can't afford to go to the doctor anymore so I'm not sure what to do. But if anyone has any theories on what it might be I'd appreciate your input.
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Episodes of blackouts could also be due to postural hypotension (blood pressure falling with change of position). The blood pressure falls when you stand and causes all the symptoms that you are suffering. Dehydration, certain medications, heart problems, untreated diabetes, and nervous system disorders can all cause this. TIAs or transient ischemic attacks can also be the cause. Certain internal ear problems can also affect blood pressure monitoring by the body by not properly signaling a change in position. Blood pressure monitoring, tilt table test, EKG, heart echo, ambulatory blood pressure recording are all required. Get your blood pressure checked in different positions—sitting, lying down, standing.
Other causes are anemia, claustrophobia, GERD, hypoglycemia or low sugar and some endocrine problems. Endocrine problems, such as an underactive thyroid (called hypothyroidism), overactive thyroid (called hyperthyroidism), adrenal insufficiency (called Addison's disease), low blood sugar levels, and in some cases, diabetes, may lead to hypotension and hence lightheadedness and an off balance feeling.
I think you should discuss these possibilities with your doctor. It is difficult to comment beyond this without examining. A comprehensive investigation is required keeping all the points in mind. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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