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Chronic lightheadedness

Posted By  Monica on April 15, 1999 at 21:59:06
  Topic Area: Neurology - General
  : For the past 2 1/2 years I have had constant lightheadedness along with varying degrees of blurry vision, nausea, inability to concentrate, fatigue. I have seen several Dr.'s and have had blood tests and 2 MRI's which show nothing abnormal.  The ENT Dr. told me I had TMJ, which I disagree with.  My blood pressure is normal. I have had a glucose tolerance test (2 hr) which was also normal.  I am currently waiting for my appt. with the endocrinologist.  During this this 2 1/2 year period I have also had many bouts with sinus infections and am using flonase daily to help control stuffiness yet I still feel somewhat clogged all the time (no drainage).  Coincidentally this all began after my second child was born.  Prior to this I was practically never sick.  Any suggestions or insight would be greatly appreciated. I have also had an normal echo cardiogram. I cannot go on feeling this way forever.  I am 34 years old by the way.
  : Thank you,  Monica
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Thank you for your interest and thoroughness.  I did forget to mention my lightheadedness/dizziness does not include a spinning sensation. My balance is fine unless I am on a park ride that involves twirling or spinning.  Also, 3-D video games make my head spin.  
My symptoms are there when I wake up and worsen or stay the same throughout the day.  It seems to worsen if I haven't eaten for several hours or if I eat sugary foods or drink soda. I have never had a weight problem (5'2" 115lb) so I usually ate whatever I wanted (candy,
snacks, fast food) until about a year ago when what I ate seemed to exacerbate my symptoms. Now I eat mainly several amall meals consisting of lean meats, eggs, salads, & only small amounts of breads, pasta or fried food. Oh, and lots of water.  My blurry vision is
constant and the same in both eyes, without double vision or changes in color.  I did get them checked and was given a prescription for glasses which don't help my vision at all. I guess I need to check with the eye Dr. again. Whoopee, another appt.  I have not vomited but
have felt woozy when hungry or really tired.  I guess it feels something like a hangover or mild flu and being on cold medicines (medicine head). I'm tired and have a hard time concentrating. My husband says I don't snore. I try to get at least eight hours sleep every night
which isn't always easy. I suppose I could fall asleep easily during the day if the opportunity ever arose, probably around the same time pigs will fly. Granted having two kids (4 & 2 1/2)can be tiring. I used to think it was just the stress of working and taking care of
my family but now the stress is pretty NIL & my life is very good.  This problem is my main stress. I have had some general blood work and everything was considered within normal range. I hope the endocrinologist can run some more difinitive tests. Any suggestions there?
I really appreciate this avenue of support being available.  Thanks again. Monica
Posted by CCF Neuro[P] MD, RPS on April 16, 1999 at 23:01:36
Dear Monica:
You mentioned that your vision is blurry but not double (when closing either eye, there are not multiple objects just one blurry object?).  You did not mention thyroid function screen, was this normal.  This most common etiology of someone with what describe and what you have told me is a thyroid problem.  But that is too easy.  Is your menses regular and like before your pregnancy?  The two things that come to mind is a metabolic disorder and an endocrine disorder.  The endocrine doctor will run a bunch of tests to look at hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal function.  Ask to have some additional test run on lactic acid, pyruvate, serum amino and organic acids, urine organic acids, and urine acyl and free carnitines.  That will show any abnormalities of energy metabolism.  Mitochondrial disorders are not uncommon and they can occur at any time of life.  This wouldn't high on my list, but certainly something to consider.
Let us know what happens.
CCF Neuro[P] MD

Posted by just another idea on April 17, 1999 at 20:16:00

Hi Monica -
Just another idea to supplement the Neuro's.  How is your blood pressure?
I had many of the same symptoms and was put on some anti-hypertensives and they made the world of a difference.

Posted by Ryan on April 18, 1999 at 18:20:09
Hi Monica.
I am currently battling with anxiety.  And one of my symptoms i was having in the past was chronic lightheadedness - from dawn til dusk.  That is why i also would suggest that maybe it has something to do with anxiety.  The only reason why i'd suggest that, is because when i realized my anxiety was causing my lightheadness, it began to immediately go away.  One of the ways i fought my lightheadedness was to not fight it at all!  Anxiety is one of those terrible things that the more you try to resist it - the stronger it gets.  I noticed you said you've been "stressed" about it, so maybe this will help.  good luck.

Posted by Mike on April 20, 1999 at 09:29:04
Dear Monica,
I experienced everything you mentioned and had an MRI of the brain(normal)
and the cervical(upper neck) MRI both showed nothing . I also had moderate
neck pain but mainly stiff neck.I finally convinced my docor to do micro surgery in the C2 region because I got to the point where I felt like passing out
all the time. He found several compressed nerve roots :C1,C2 and ganglion.
My qustion is do you ever have pain in upper neck or even stiffness,
because your symptoms are almost the same as mine.

Posted by CCF Neuro[P] MD, RPS on April 22, 1999 at 21:19:47
Dear Mike:
CCF Neuro

Posted by Kev on April 24, 1999 at 21:31:03
The sinus stuffiness and lightheadedness sound familiar.I noticed when I worked out (heart rate moving faster)that my sinuses would temporarily clear and I would be less lightheaded.I'm pretty sure mine is due to a circulatory or vascular problem.I get these red and white blotchy patches on my hands and feet and was looking for info on it and a women described the same problem. She said when she raised her hands above her head, it would disappear. I tried it...same thing...they disappeared.A heart doctor at this same site suggested it might be a vasculitis problem. Do you ever get anything like this, because blood vessel inflamation can cause erratic constriction of vessels (including ones in the head)reducing oxygen to the brain (I assume). Perhaps a Rheumatologist could help...Just a thought...

Posted by Mike M surgery question??? on April 26, 1999 at 13:54:44
Mike M
if any doctor could respond?
I had posted earlier I needed surgery for occipital neuralgia
the cause compression of C1,C2, ganglion and post ganglion
nerves by engorged veins and enlarged joint capsule.
In the post surgery report my doctor states that
excellent decompression of all were achieved. It has
been almost 3 months and though there is no pain
I still have stiffness and some dizziness due to inflammation
in the (just behind and below left ear) region. Is this common with this type of surgery(it was done through endscope)and how long can these symptoms last?

Posted by CCF Neuro[P] MD, RPS on May 05, 1999 at 20:30:58
Dear Mike:
Doing the procedure via an endoscopy approach should shorten the surgery symptoms.  But the extend of the surgery will determine the length of the symptoms your having.  Since we don't know (meaning me) it is difficult to tell you the duration of you symptoms.  Sorry I can't be of more help, but I don't the extent of the surgery.
CCF Neuro MD

Posted by Mike M on May 06, 1999 at 15:44:36

Doctor thank you for your response
Yes although it was done through an endoscope
it was more invasive I think because he had to remove the engorged
veins and trim down the joint capsule.
It does seems to get a little better week by week
less tightness,dizziness and weakness.
Also there was numbness in the left top part of head
that seems to be getting less and less.
I guess nerves when injued or bothered by outside stimulus
take a long time to heal???
Also, one last qustion what causes engorged veins and
joint capsule, any ideas: stress,drugs,car accident????

Posted by CCF Neuro[P] MD, RPS on May 07, 1999 at 10:58:34
Dear Mike:
The most likely explanation is a blockage or reduced blood flow downstream from the site of the venous engorgement.  It could also be due to defects of the vascular wall.  Trauma could also do this.  It is doubtful if stress, in and of itself would be the cause.
CCF Neuro[P] MD

Posted by Kim to Monica on May 09, 1999 at 08:45:16
I have experienced many of the same symptoms as you over the past several years and had been on Flonase as well.I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have many allergies.I have found not wearing any perfumes has helped.Have you looked at either of these as possibilities?Curious to me as well is that most of my symptoms worsened after birth of my second child -(also had an 18 month old at home).Do you have aching or pain daily as well to fit fibromyalgia criteria.I relly feel the poor sleep which comes along with raising small children puts your whole system out of kilter.Fibromyalgia symptoms includeTMJ,hypoglycemic reactions to food,sinus infections,anxiety ,depression.It sounds as is you are depressed as well and some of the meds to treat fibro are the ones used to increase seritonin (one of the chemicals which is low in the brain in both depression and fibro)There are many good fibro sites on the net-check them out to see if you think it may be a possibility.It usually takes years of going to different doctors and having many negative tests to come to this diagnosis but perhaps a rheumatologist(specialist for fibro) could help.I also am 34 years old  and understand the frustrating time you are having .I wish I could say it is an easy answer but I too have since been continuing the poor health battle and the difficulties it leads to at work,home,self esteem,relationships etc.Hope this helps .HAPPY MOTHER"S DAY! Try to keep up your spirits .Once you name it you can claim it .The emotional toll is in the not knowing and the thinking of all the horrific things it could be.Hope all works out.

Posted by CCF Neuro[P] MD, RPS on May 10, 1999 at 15:23:04
thanks for your comments
CCF Neuro MD

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