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constant dizziness, nausea, headaches
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constant dizziness, nausea, headaches

In summary:

I am a mostly healthy 22 yr old female (just have a lot of allergies).  I have been experiencing: constant dizziness (unsteadiness) that is only relieved by laying down, nausea (feels like motion sickness), headaches that build up slowly the longer I am sitting up/standing until they become so bad they will keep me up all night..even waking me up from sleep, can't drive because I get so car sick, and reading makes it all 10x worse (except now i'm on meds that are enough to let me read some).  This has been going on for 2 1/2 months now.  I fortunately can work from home and stay reclined, but I had to take a semester off of school.

Full story...

One afternoon about 2 months ago I started feeling dizzy, closely followed by feeling sick to my stomach.  I had to stay laying down all night and the next day because I felt like I was going to fall over and/or throw up.  It started on a Tuesday, I saw my dr on Thursday.  He said it was vertigo and sent me for a VNG Friday - no vertigo.  I spent the weekend laying down because, again, I felt unstable and nauseous...though I could walk around if I had to.  

On Monday they did bloodwork and started me on Antivert which thankfully helped the nausea a ton.  On the Antivert I could at least move around and try to be normal.  The dr thought maybe it was allergies and the Antivert would help that, and it did help my allergies...just not the dizziness.

My bloodwork was normal, including glucose and thyroid levels.  I have experienced low blood sugar before and this does not feel anything like it.  No changes before/after eating.  My blood pressure is normal (slightly high normal because I am overweight).  I used to have low blood pressure and know the feeling that causes when you stand up - this is entirely different.  Just unsteadiness.

I was referred to a neurologist.  Brain CT & neurological exam were normal.

I saw an opthamologist and again, everything was normal.

I am currently seeing an ENT.  He sent me for a hearing test, which was normal.  Then he took me off Antivert and had me try transderm-scop patches but I had an allergic reaction to it.  So now I'm on Valium and Compazine.  I would say those medications help about 50% of the way.  I don't feel as dizzy, but if I'm up and about too long I eventually need to lay down.  The nausea is mostly gone as long as I keep with the compazine.  I get a headache every single day after I've been up for a few hours but it hasn't built up into a horrible headache...I usually take Tylenol before it has a chance to get bad.  I can drive, but would prefer not to because I am still a little disoriented from feeling dizzy.  I can read a lot more now, but I get a slight headache after a page or two. However, if I miss a dose or run late on one...everything comes back to the way it was and it's awful!!

I know some people get these kind of symptoms from depression and anxiety, but I generally am a very positive person and nothing happened in my life coinciding with these symptoms.

It takes so long to get in to see specialists, even for follow ups, that I thought it might be worth seeing what others have experienced.  If you know anything that might help me, please share!  Thank you.
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5 Comments
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
A headache that worsens on standing up and improves or disappears on lying flat is a spinal headache. This happens when the CSF pressure in the brain falls. This usually happens after spinal anesthesia, spinal taps, or spinal injuries. However in some people this happens without a cause. This is known as spontaneous intracranial hypotension. This can also cause nausea and dizziness.
A procedure called an epidural blood patch, if is successful, even temporarily, it generally means the patient does indeed have a spinal headache. A small amount of the patient’s own blood is injected into the space between the dura and the bony spine known as the epidural space. If this causes temporary or permanent cure of headache, the diagnosis of spontaneous intracranial hypotension is confirmed.
Other tests are a spinal tap and measuring the pressure. Although spinal fluid pressure is usually low in patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension, it can be occasionally normal due to variations in the spinal fluid pressure.
A dye can be injected into the spinal fluid and entire spine’s CT scan is taken to locate the leak.
Please discuss this with a neurologist. This may help you cure your headaches. Of course a confirmed diagnosis cannot be given on net, but there is no harm in discussing this with a neurologist.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you very much for this information.  Does this idea you have still make sense if the headaches did not start immediately with the dizziness and nausea symptoms?

They started when I got on the medication for the nausea and therefore was up and moving around a lot more.  It takes a few hours of being up before the headache starts coming in.  Now I get them all the time because I am on medication that is helping the other symptoms, but not the headaches.

Thanks
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351246_tn?1379685732
It is just a thought. However cannot comment for sure without examining you. The diagnostic criteria is that the headaches improve a lot on lying down.
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Avatar_f_tn
An update - I went to see my ENT again.  Since the Valium and Compazine are helping some, he told me to stay on them for another month and see if it finally kicks whatever I've got out.  I'm pretty doubtful because whenever it's almost time to take my medication, I know it...the dizziness, nausea, headaches, everything comes back full swing.  It seems to be just suppressing the symptoms, not curing them.

On Thursday night I forgot to take my medication (usually take it around 8:30pm) and noticed it around 9:30-10:00 when I started feeling bad.  I decided to just skip that dose and see how bad I felt...I consider it a test, but maybe it's a bad idea.  Regardless, I've done this a couple times before, felt bad after being up for a little while in the morning, taken my morning dose, and felt OK after an hour or so.  This time, I was stumbling all over the place all morning, felt awful even after taking the medicine, and had to take the afternoon off of work.  I was just dizzy though - no nausea or headache.  I went back to bed for like 3 hours and woke up feeling only slightly better - usually laying down for just 15min or so makes a huge difference.  I didn't feel OK until the next morning.

Something similar happened today, except I hadn't forgotten my medication - laying down didn't make me feel better.  Because of this change I'm going to make another appointment asap but I'm wondering if it will give anyone some insight.
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Avatar_f_tn
FYI - I have been diagnosed with Chiari Malformation type I.  My ENT thinks it is just a coincidental finding but I have to say it fits my symptoms a little too perfectly, especially since I have also had neck pain.  I am seeing a 2nd neurologist at the end of the month to get his opinion.
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