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Normal Chiari Symptoms?

Hi, a year ago I was taken to the hospital from work because I thought I was having a heart attack. All tests came back that I didn't have one. I'm convinced it was just an anxiety attack, Ive had them almost daily since 2008, but this one was by far the most severe. anyway, I asked to have an MRI while I was there because my anxiety started at the same time as other symptoms (2008) like one ear would go deaf and start ringing, dizziness, nauseousness, aching right side of base of skull, pressure feeling on top right side forehead, and right eye blurriness (rare pain), head aches. The MRI report said I have a 2-3 mm cerebellar tonsilar ectopia but no definitive evidence of chiari type 1. I had never heard of chiari prior to the MRI.  The doctor nor the neurologist never came back, and I was told by a nurse that I have "a little bit of something back there" and could go home. After I read about chiari I started to realize how much of what I've been experiencing my whole life may correlate with chiari symptoms. like I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 8 which may have been misinterpreted from the "mental fog" because almost every teacher who found out about the ADD told me I dont show stereotypical ADD symptoms. I wouldn't consider my problem as unable to pay attention but simply unable to think clearly/can't gather myself at times but other times no problem. like I sort of get lost when having normal conversations and things. somewhat high blood pressure since i was atleast 13. And I have almost constant "word drop" to the point I can tell people become impatient with me. Ive always had a speech impediment. since 2010, ive had a sort of numbness/disassociation with my nose, upper lip, and forehead which never goes away. my forehead is almost always wrinkled/tensed and I can't seem to make it stop. which i'm concerned could be syrinx type stuff. Ive had fine motor skill difficulties my entire life. and if i'm not really "in the moment" i seem to fall to the side of my foot and lose my balance and barely maintain standing on one foot. I have CONSTANT pressure/disconfort/ache at the base of my skull, which gets worse when i cough. but not when I swallow. It only seems to became really painful when I lay or move a certain way, or if my neck gets tensed for some reason. But I have a hard time gauging the seriousness of a pain in general for some reason. the head aches seem to spread from that base area to the front. somewhat severe depression and anxiety. Also I have noticable fatigue about 3-4 days a week. sometimes it looks like my one of my eyes turned away (out of alignment). a good portion of these symptoms seem to happen randomly and may last any where from 30 seconds to a few days. some symptoms ive had my whole life and others didnt seem to begin until i was about 19. could it be that growing could have affected the symptoms/ ability for the fluid to flow? when I went to my doctor for the follow up he just blew it off and changed the subject, like he didn't really know much about chiari. never referred me to a neurologist. I was wondering if these things are normal or what? Can I have cerebellar tonsilar ectopia with these symptoms everyday without chiari? Its hard to believe Ive had all these symptoms daily for years if not my whole life and discribe their correlation to a doctor, but don't have chiari. I keep hearing that anxiety and mood swings are common, is that caused by chiari or is from like worrying about the chiari or what? I'm afraid that if I go to the neurologist hes going to take my money and say i'm fine or he can't do anything short of brain surgery. Im especially concerned about the possibility for  I would like to hear anything you guys have to say about this. feel free to ask questions because I'm having a hard time composing my thoughts right now and feel like this is probably pretty scattered, lol. Or if you guys know of any alternative treatments (from surgery) like meds for nausea (which I can't seem to find out much about.) I can deal with pain pretty well but not nausea at all. also I was wondering if any else seems to get dizzy after drinking water or anything else, it seems to happen within a few seconds or minutes after? I'm 25 yo (if it makes any difference). A preemptive Thank You to all who respond to this. Thanks
3 Responses
620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

Did u get copies of ur MRI on disk? If so, make copies of it and send it to true Chiari specialists for review.....

Many Drs do not recognize Chiari as being able to cause symptoms, and symptoms do cycle so it can be difficult to connect all the symptoms together for one DX.

Many Drs also use out dated info to classify if u have Chiari by the length of the cerebral tonsil herniation.....which as I said is outdated criteria but the info taught in med schools is outdated and minimal.

Chiari can only be classified as Chiari if there is a malformation of the skull, the herniation no matter how long it is...and can be considered to cause issues if there is a CSF obstruction or a related condition exists...

Ur symptoms can indicate not only Chiari symptoms but possibly some of the related conditions....like low vitamin and mineral levels, Vit D, B12, magnesium and potassium....even an auto immune thyroid condition known as Hashimoto's....so more testing is needed to know what all is going on.

A CINE MRI will look for a CSF obstruction, MRI's of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine will help rule out disk issues, syringomyelia, tethered cord.....

  U will want to locate a true Chiari specialist, use the list of Drs we compiled  here in our Health Pages, please note the list is not a referral nor an endorsement....it is only meant to be used as a tool to help u get started in researching Drs. The names are of Drs the members here have been to, treated by and liked...
Avatar universal
Thank you for the response!
I don't have the disc but only the report. I've always taken a multivitamin daily but I know that sometimes that isn't enough for some people with deficiencies. My mom might have Hashimoto but they aren't sure yet. It's some kind of hypothyroidism they know. I injured my back a few years ago, I'm convinced that it was a disc injury. It still hurts daily, especially if I sit too long. I didn't have med insurance at the time so I never got an MRI. Can disc problems play any kind of role in chiari situations? Thank for the list, I found a specialist not too far from me but they don't take my insurance. I'm kind of worrying that my doctor may not refer me to a chiari specialist if it isn't part of his group or whatever it's called. Thanks again!
620923 tn?1452915648

  U can contact the facility that did the studies and request copies and going forward always ask for a copy when u sign in for testing, it will make it easier to get other opinions.

A multi vitamin is not the same as one that the Dr tells u what u need and a dosage....as a multi may not give u what u r lacking ...at the dosage u r lacking if that makes sense.

Yes a disk that is bulging far enuff into the spinal cord can block CSF flow...especially if in an area of stenosis...

U can send ur MRI's to a specialist and ask they confer with ur Drs....that may help at least get some help until u can appeal to the INS u have to let u see one out of network.
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620923 tn?1452915648
Allentown, PA
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