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Flushing, ringing in ears, fatigue
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Flushing, ringing in ears, fatigue

I am a 54 year old male about 40 pounds overweight.  Weight has been consistent for the past 10 years.  For the past 2 to 3 years I have had almost constant facial flushing, ringing in my ears and chronic fatigue.  Sometimes I also have a very mild headache.  The flushing and ringing is less or almost non-existent when I wake up but shortly after starts up.  It's persistent during the week and on weekends.  Doctors have run all kinds of tests.  I have been on Androgel for low T for the past year and also began using a CPAP for sleep apnea about a year ago.  These did not help.  T is up to 700 and I seem be sleeping better but still have symptoms.  I started taking a lot of vitamins but that did not help.  My doctor has run all kinds of blood work, urine analysis, CT scan of abdomen and nuclear stress test with no indications.  I am on Nexium 40mg GERDs and  Lisinopril HZT 20/25 for blood pressure.  

Any suggestions on possible causes or courses to take to figure out my flushing, ringing in ears and chronic fatigue are appreciated.

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6 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you heard of Celiac Disease?  Some people with Celiac, or even just gluten sensitivity have reported flushing, tinnitus, and fatigue often related to malabsorption and deficiency of some vitamins and minerals.

B12 deficiency is often a cause of tinnitus. Many with digestive issues also have GERD. GERD medications absorb the stomach acid that you need to process the B12. I take Methyl B12 shots.  They are tiny needles and don't hurt. I started feeling better with the first shot.

There are some good blood tests to look for gluten sensitivity, but some with Celiac still test negative. (You have to be eating gluten for a month before the tests.) It takes a biopsy of your small intestine wall to diagnose Celiac. It is an autoimmune disorder, but you can have plain old gluten sensitivity without having Celiac.  Celiac can be linked to a few other autoimmune disorders so it's good to know if you have it or not.
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I have heard of Celiac Disease and looked at it several months ago on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001280/.  However I did not pursue it further because I don't have a lot of the associated symptoms.  For example, I do not have Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, or indigestion, Constipation, Decreased appetite, Diarrhea, Nausea and vomiting, Unexplained weight loss, Bruising easily, Depression, Hair loss, Itchy skin, Mouth ulcers, Muscle cramps, Nosebleeds, Seizures or Unexplained short height.  The sympoms from this page that I do have include anxiety, numbness in hands and fingers, fatigue, joint pain (mild).  I am unsure of the lactose intolerance.  

Vitamins I have been taking long term include Multivitamin, B-Complex, C, D, and fish oil.  I also take a baby aspirin each morning.

I have just begun to think about gluten issues.  I have not looked into that as much.  Thanks for the suggestion.
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Avatar_m_tn
I should also mention that I went to a gastroenterologist.  He did not seem to think I have a digestive disorder.  We did not specifically discuss Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity but I would think he would consider these.  Not sure.
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Avatar_f_tn
From the research I did into Celiac disease, most people only have a few symptoms and go undiagnosed for a while.  And because the symptoms can be vague, they are not always attributed to a digestive issue.

Have you been tested for Lyme Disease yet?  It can cause fatigue, tinnitus, flushing, numbness, joint pain, and even anxiety. It can also cause B12, Vit D, and magnesium deficiencies. In my case, Lyme also did some damage in my digestive system and eliminating gluten really helped me feel better. My blood tests did not show a gluten sensitivity, so I expect to go back to eating gluten after I am well.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am pretty sure I was tested for Lime Disease and it was negative.  I have a slight deficiency of Vitamin D but B and Magnesium have been normal.  I understand Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially among us pale white folks.  So I am taking a supplement.  I am now trying to go gluten free to see if that helps.  I understand it may take a couple month before I may see results.  I am also wondering if my symptoms are stress related.  I have had a lot of stress the past 18 months.  Mother died tragically, I am the executor, new more stressful job, etc.  I have an appointment with a neuropsychologist in a couple weeks.  
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Yeah, my PCP said that practically all her patients are low in Vit D, so it is really common.  Low vit D is somehow connected to MS, so it's good to get that level back up.

Vit B is poorly absorbed in oral supplements.  I was on a supplement that didn't seem to make any difference, but as soon as I started the B12 shots, I felt better.  

Blood tests for magnesium deficiency are not helpful most of the time. Over 95% of our magnesium is stored in our tissues with only a small amount in the blood. When we don't have enough, our body pulls it from the tissues.  By the time a blood test shows it is low, you are essentially depleted. I tested okay for mag, but still felt better when I started supplements (250mg 2x/day).  Epsom salt baths are even better as the mag is absorbed straight through the skin into the tissues. It takes a couple weeks to build the mag level back up in the body.

When I went gluten free, I could tell the difference within a week. I don't know if this is true for others, but I would think you'd see a benefit sooner than a couple months.

I am very sorry about your mom. That is a blow to anyone!  My condolences.
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