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Avatar universal

Confusion and pressure/pain

Hi....About 1 year ago or so....I started just suddenly feeling confused, I guess is the best way to describe it. First off....I'm 23 years old, white male. Anyway...I just started not being able to collect my thoughts as well as I used to, and I was always a deep thinker, and a quick-witted, fairly intelligent person. Now I am slow to react to things, can't think clearly and my short term memory is absolutely horrible. At night, I sometimes can't remember what I ate for lunch or breakfast, or what I did the day before. It started around a year ago and has gotten worse. I've been to the doctor and he said it might be depression and recommended I see a therapist. I don't think it is. I do not feel upset or depressed at all. Along with these symptoms, I have this feeling of pressure all over my head, that goes along with the feeling like there is...something inside the head I guess is the best way to put it ? Feels like something is pressing on my skull a bit from the inside. Nothing extreme....But its a numb kind of feeling. Also, over the past week or so I've started to have mild pains in the back right side of my head. Not constant, but coming and going every half hour or so....I'm really nervous. I'm thinking brain tumor right away, and I don't want to worry myself more but...I just can't think well and now these other symptoms. I know I should make an appointment with a neurologist, but, can anyone give me their input ? I'm pretty scared with all of this. Thanks for the help in advance :)
8 Responses
Avatar universal
I am curious if you have found out anything about this.  I am 20, and a few months ago I started experiencing very similar symptoms.  I now am having a lot of trouble remembering recent events, and am having an equally difficult time concentrating.  I also feel confused, and have this general feeling of pressure "pushing" on towards the front of my head.  I'd be interested to hear any of your findings as I plan on seeing a doctor in the next few days and will go from there.
Avatar universal
My husband had a brain tumor abt 16 yrs ago.  He saw his Gen Phys. over this period of time but this was not caught until he had a seizure at home so you should see your Dr. for test NOW and not wait for something more serious to develope. He had some of the same feelings you report. He became surley in his personality, had teriffic headaches , pain in the side  &  back of the head ( Tumor was inbetween frontal lobes and benign ) and BP went up so high he almost had a stroke. Also when he walked there was a clicking sound in his head.  All this without diagnosis of the tumor. If it is one, its not going to go away so the sooner the better to get a diagnosis.
Good Luck!
368886 tn?1466235284

The symptoms may suggest a number of possibilities. But it is not prudent to try for a hint of diagnosis before any investigation is done. As rightly mentioned by junie37, you should first consult a neurologist and get clinical examination and investigations done.

Avatar universal
Well...To update on this....I STILL have the confusion...Just as bad...maybe worse. Had tests done...CT scan of the head...shows no problem. I went to a therapist as recommended and he said its anxiety and all that. I don't believe it to be honest. I'm not anxious. Not depressed. I feel like my brain is congested ! I went to the neurologist months and months ago...he didn't recommend any further testing and said that my reflexes seemed fine....That it might be depression but wasn't sure...But said it was probably nothing serious. I'm still afraid it is :( Any ideas ? It feels like my brain is congested is the best way to describe this. Thoughts don't come to mind quickly, my memory is horrible....I don't get it.
Avatar universal
Dear Beyond Forever,
I've got a few ideas that may explain what you have.  Since this happened suddenly a couple years ago and it's getting worse, I wonder if you can recall if you began working at a new job about that time, because you can get "sick building syndrome," which means you are allergic to toxins in the building, from simple fumes off carpets or poor ventilation, to more complex type chemical exposures.  You can get tested by an allergist and have them look for heavy metals in the blood, as well as ordinary allergies to food and pollen.  

A general doc should also do normal blood checks for all of the following:  Vitamin, mineral, and amino acids deficiencies; anemia; again heavy metal toxicity; blood sugar levels; and perhaps do an adrenal hormone panel for you.  He could also consider ordering a lumbar puncture to make sure you don't have any type of infection in the spinal fluid, altho that is unlikely.

The three other things that come to mind are:  Some medicines can have "brain fog" as a side effect, and also not staying well hydrated and not getting enough deep sleep can cause your symptoms.  By the way, you could always see an ear nose throat ENT doc and make sure you don't have stopped up sinuses or a dreadful ear infection.  Without other symptoms than you give, like perhaps joint pain, those would be my ideas.
Avatar universal
ggreg, Thank you for the reply....

You brought up a few VERRY interesting things actually. First off...I was not exactly working at a new place when this all started...But I was starting a new position (at the same place, though)...But I don't think it brought TOO much stress to me. Some, but nothing crazy. I have had dental work done...So I'm not sure if it has to do with any metals from that. I've been to an allergist which brings me to the next problem. I have had lots and lots of post nasal drip in the sinuses...I've lived with it for almost 10 years. It drips to the back of my throat constantly and i'm constantly (50 or more times per day) blowing my nose and coughing it up. If I don't get it out....within 20 minutes or so I feel it at the back of my throat and have to cough it up. It's quite annoying in a quiet environment...Kinda embarassing. The allergist found no major problems. The ENT didn't find anything big either. They all put me on flonase, nasonex, etc...None of which really helped. Neither did saline solution. But see...I"ve had this problem for so long and it hasn't gotten much worse or better. I don't THINK this could be the cause of the brainfog and extreme confusion. As far as joint paints...I do have some pretty bad back, neck, shoulder pains very often. Having it rubbed helps out a lot but it seems to be caused by sitting at a computer for more than a half hour, etc. The major thing bothering me is the mental confusion, lack of memory, etc....What I hate is that I used to be the opposite...remembering every little thing. Now I seem to misplace things within seconds, have trouble recalling what I just talked about 5-10 minutes ago, etc.....I don't get it :(
Avatar universal
any ideas ? :(
Avatar universal
Dear Beyond,
Yes, I have a few more, and despite all the stuff I got for you, you still need to visit your regular doc and get blood drawn.  You can also get a second opinion on your CAT scan.  Your upper back pain sounds more like sitting at a desk and not so much specifically joint pain, and the addition of your sinuses does not turn your health picture to any particular well-known disease, with the unlikely exception of fibromyalgia.  

Now, fibromyalgia, you get brain fog and joint pain, among a raft of other things, and some out-there folks think that those people (80 percent have sinus trouble) may have some kind of yeast overload in their bodies that causes their symptoms, and the immune system is overworked trying to get rid of it.  In fact, too much yeast in the body has been linked to a bunch of stuff, in theory.  Anyhow, if you want to go off the deep end, here are a few harmless things you can eat that will help resolve that:  1.  Eat probiotics, like Activia yogurt at the grocery store for a couple weeks.  2.  Get some "digestive enzymes" at the health food store, again take for a couple weeks.  3.  Eat lots of fresh garlic and fresh carrots, like in a stew, or salad, just eat a bunch of it a couple weeks.  These MIGHT make you feel better if it's a fibro/yeast issue, and it can't hurt you.

What is more likely, if your upper back bothers you all the time, plus you got this nuisance with your nose, that kind of stuff can distract you big-time, and thus the memory problems.  On the other hand, you say you've had nasal problems for 10 years, and yet it was just a couple years ago that your concerns began.  Could be it worsened then and was the time you got brain fog.  Anyhow, I have a bad back, along with some other annoying disorders, so because of all these distractions, my concentration has gone right out the window, acccording to my neurologist.  Also on your upper back pain, you have got to be sitting BACK in a comfortable chair while you sit at the computer... leaning forward or having an unlevel or stiff chair can kill you.

I also think your nose being clogged up can, all by itself, give you brain fog.  A little glass of orange juice daily helps the mucous membranes.  Go go back to that allergist and get them to do some testing, they put stuff on your skin of varying kinds to see if you have a reaction, and, for you, they could add toxins found in office buildings, just in case.  And I guess you've seen those nose salt-water wash-out pitchers, you pour it in one nostril and it comes out the other, some drugstores carry them now.  But in general, looks to me like you may have a bad sinus infection, looks like your ENT would have given you antibiotics to clear it up.  

Also, along the lines of allergy, could be you need a different work space.  You could  look around in your personal office for allergens, look at everything in there, like for a new rug, dust, or even flourescent bulbs that flicker, and note any odors from offices or rooms next to you, like if you smell perfume, a musty odor, or if somebody has an unusual plant near you, well, ask for a diff office.  If you're in a small place of business, tell maintenance they need to change the furnace/ac filters.  The metals from the dentistry, by the way, normally would not cause any problems, unless your symptoms worsened at the same time.  If so, go back to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned and ask him about it.

Finally, on the stress issue.  You have brought it up several times all by yourself that your job is stressful, which means to me that you may have some serious concerns with work for whatever reason.  Stress, as you already know, will make whatever condition you got much worse.  First, get a grip, it's a JOB, it pays the bills.  Attack it, don't run from it.  Do not feel trapped in your work; instead, you should be quite active during your off time, especially getting fresh air and sunshine.  Also take up a physically aggressive sport like martial arts, weights, or boxing a big bag in the gym, to release stress.  Then there's vacation, you must not just wait until summer to do it...you gotta have some weekend getaways near your town, just LEAVE and go do something different for a while.

If all else fails, you can always go back to your old job in the building (the book "The Peter Principle"), or you could aim to take over the boss's job or a diff job in your company, or you could take some classes in tech school and learn how to do something a little more to your liking, like becoming an EMT riding around on an ambulance... you could do it on a spare-time basis until you get enough training and certifications to switch over and do it all the time.  (Since you are interested in the cause-and-effect of your illness, that's how come I thought of hospital stuff.)

Please, tho, do go to a regular doc and get normal blood tests, to include ones I mentioned in my earlier post, and be sure to visit the allergist again, possibly get another set of eyes on your scan pictures and report, and try those three items of probiotics, enzymes, and the garlic/carrot thing for a couple weeks.  By the way, one more thing, you need to be at least an arm's length from the computer screen because of the toxic waves they give off, and every half-hour you got to look away from your computer and stand up in your office and stretch, then go back to it, or else you can feel really strange from screen reflection or picture rolling.  One other thing, if you don't drink coffee, drink a cup every morning and at lunch, easiest way to improve concentration, and if you do drink coffee, don't drink more than two cups a day, or you'll run yourself ragged.  One other idea, I don't guess you got a new pet in the house when all this started, but you can be prescribed an allergy medicine specifically for that, I took pills the whole time we kept house rabbits.
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