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intermittent nausea, headaches, lightheadedness

For the past four months I have been suffering from symptoms such as nausea, occasional blinding headaches, and dizzyness and lightheadedness. The best way to describe how I feel is extreme motion sickness, though I have never actually vomited (just felt like it, which seems worse). The symptoms are not constant: they go through a cycle in which for about a week I feel perfectly fine, and then I feel completely sick and nauseated for the next week, then I feel fine for a week, and on and on.

I have gone to a total of 5 doctors, none of whom have given me a satisfactory answer. They tell me whatever diagnosis seems convenient at that time: in the summer, when I went to the first doctor, she told me it must be heatstroke. After that the diagnosis alternated between heatstroke, stress, anemia(all blood tests came out negative), and something about the inner ear(tests were also negative).

I would buy what they're saying if the symptoms were the least bit different, but when they appear they're always the same. The latest doctor (after I told her I would scream if one more doctor blamed it on stress) told me there might be a neurological problem and that I should get a CT scan. So naturally I'm rather worried, and while I'm waiting for my appointment I thought I would ask if anyone here has had similar symptoms before and what they turned out to mean. Thank you.
36 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi. I know how you feel and its really frustrating....
I have slightly similar symptoms to you and every time i have been to the doctors, i get some lame-*** answer or basically an "i dont know".. I have seen about 10 different doctors and have had a CT scan and stil i am left clueless. I get dibilitating headaches/migraines and have recently starting suffering light headedness, nausea and loss of appetite. For me this is worrying because i have always had such a healthy appetite. Now even if my favourite food is put in front of me i can only eat about 4 mouthfuls before i feel like im gonna vomit.. The worst thing about all this is im only 21.
I wish you the best of luck and hope you find out whats wrong with you so you can start enjoying life again.....
Avatar universal
Hi. I know how you feel and its really frustrating....
I have slightly similar symptoms to you and every time i have been to the doctors, i get some lame-*** answer or basically an "i dont know".. I have seen about 10 different doctors and have had a CT scan and stil i am left clueless. I get dibilitating headaches/migraines and have recently starting suffering light headedness, nausea and loss of appetite. For me this is worrying because i have always had such a healthy appetite. Now even if my favourite food is put in front of me i can only eat about 4 mouthfuls before i feel like im gonna vomit.. The worst thing about all this is im only 21.
I wish you the best of luck and hope you find out whats wrong with you so you can start enjoying life again.....
Avatar universal
Hi,
I think you might be describing vertigo.
There are various causes of vertigo.
You need to see another ENT specialist and physician to check your symptoms.
Vertigo is an illusion of movement, most commonly a sensation of spinning. You described the feeling of extreme motion sickness. It is usually due to a disturbance in the vestibular system; abnormalities in the visual or somatosensory systems may also contribute to vertigo. Frequently accompanied by nausea, postural unsteadiness, and gait ataxia, and may be provoked or worsened by head movement.
How severe are your symptoms? How long your symptoms have been? Do you hear ringing in ear or buzzing sound? Do you have headache, seizures, severe vomiting etc?
How much time it takes for you between attaining head position and onset of symptoms?
Do you feel lessening of symptoms with repeated trials?
How intense is this feeling of spinning and what is the likelihood of symptom production during any examination session?
There is well defined treatment for vertigo.
Keep me informed about your thoughts on this.
Bye.
Avatar universal
Here's my story which sounds somewhat similar.
I’ve been having episodes of some sort for years now and I’ve tried many changes in my life to see if they’ll go away yet nothing worked.  What happens is that sometime during the day all of a sudden I feel some nausea along with some strange feeling in my head, a pressure or heaviness, and moving my eyes just makes it worse.  I don’t get a headache and I never vomit.  I just become very weak and all I want to do is lay down.  At this point I can fall asleep easily but it’s more like severe dizziness should I close my eyes while tilting my head upwards.
It’s not a vertigo because I don’t get the spinning sensation but if while I’m sitting in my chair I tilts my head back and close my eyes I do get a spinning sensation.
This can happen at any time and after or between meals.  I’ve tested my blood sugar many times when I get this but it’s normal and no changes take place.  It’s not due to any medication, type of food, sugars, etc.  I’ve eliminated all of that as well.  It can happen if I’m fasting completely but the episodes decreased significantly while fasting from food.
These episodes are debilitating.  I’ll be excited to get things done at work or at home and once I get them I can’t get anything done.  I sometimes push myself because I have to and it feels like I’m dying while moving around.  It’s worst than feeling tired & worst that feeling very sleepy.
I’ve wasted too many days and weekends due to this feeling when I had so much I wanted to get done.  I’m an active person who doesn’t like to just sit or lay down.
I had sleep problems that I addressed in the past years and now use the CPAP.  I fall asleep easily now because I’m always dead tired when I get to bed.  Staying asleep is a challenge since I wake up a few times at night.  I almost never wake up rested and my back wakes me up if I try to sleep longer than 6hrs.  Sometimes it wakes me up in less time and sometimes after 7hrs.  I feel the best when I sleep 8.5-9hrs which happens only in the weekend whenever possible.
I can also describe this feeling as almost equal to taking a strong sleeping pill.
I'm hating my life due to this and wish I can fix it soon so I can enjoy my kids and my life.
Avatar universal
I had the same thing, neurologist gave me neurontin. i have almost no symptoms anymore!
Avatar universal
After suffering for a few years with the same symptoms, I was just diagnosed with cyclic intermittent nausea and vomiting associated with migraine headaches.  Who knew adults can have abdominal migraines?  I knew children could have them, but there isn't a lot of literature out there pertaining to adults.

It took the new Gastroenterologist about two minutes to make the diagnosis.  In fact, the diagnosis has only been recognized in adults for about ten years.

While there isn't a cure for the disease, there are treatments, including antidepressents, anti-epileptics, etc.  You don't have to suffer.  
Avatar universal
I have recently been feeling similar feelings, and haven't even bothered to go to a doctor, because I know they'll just make guesses. These symptoms just seem too vague - like, everything bad make people feel lightheaded, nauseous, tired, and have a headache! I also feel this weird kind of pressure in my head, like someone else mentioned, and generally just blech and lethargic.. No loss of appetite though, like someone said. But sometimes it goes away and I feel fine.

It has definitely occurred to me that this could be some kind of physical manifestation of stress... A friend of mine mentioned that he was having bouts of lightheadedness, and it was when his newborn was born, incubated, and needed surgery, etc, and he was obviously under a whole lot of stress... I don't really feel stressed psychologically, although I think there are factors in my life that could be considered consistently stressful, and I've wondered if my feeling this way is how it's revealing itself. I rather hope so, frankly, because unless I start feeling a lot worse and start having more acute symptoms, I don't think any doctor is going to be able to diagnose me with these kind of symptoms. They'll just be taking stabs in the dark.... However, you'd think I'd be able to consciously recognize such stress if it's actually occurred to me to think about it!
What I'm worried about is that these are the early symptoms of something really scary, like liver disease or some kind of cancer or god knows what... I'm only 33, and am not ready to deal with that!!
Avatar universal
I am a 42 year old female. Never had HAs before. About 21/2 months ago, I started having severe HAs and minimal diziness and sensitivity to light and looking up. After 7 days went to ER and got a Brain MRI that showed some nodules that everyone said they are benign. Since than the pain went away and came back almost 3 weeks ago. It is now worse and night with nausea (but not vomiting). I have no appetite and lost a lot of weight.  After a few hours of sleeping I wake up with pain and nausea relieved by sitting up and ice on top of my head. I got another MRI and I will have the results on Monday (2 days from now). I had my share of MD that offered their opinions. As a note: reflexology helped me.
Avatar universal
I've had similar feelings to the rest of you I have only had it for a few days, I'm not stressed so I dont think its that. My appitite has completley gone, the only thing I am interested in having is ice cold water, I have been feeling really sick and light headed and I have a strange kind of pressure on the front of my head. If I sit still I can feel my self swaying which makes me feel worse. I can be ok one minute and then the next I get a wave of sickness, and lightheadedness. I dont know if it is worth going to the doctor as I have only felt this way for a few days, but I hate the idea of it carrying on for months or years. Please help?!
Avatar universal
HI I have had the lightheadedness and feeling nausea for over 2 years.  My GP is at a loss with me.  I started feeling tired no exhaused and lethargic.  I have now lost my job through ill health and finally after collapsing I have been sent to a neurologist and now cardiac specialist.  My blood pressure varies but is often low therefore the blood is not reaching my head fast enough giving the feeling of motion sickness without the vomiting.  I hope this helps and you don't have to wait as long as I have to get a diagnosis.
Avatar universal
I've had the kind of same lightheadedness, on and off, for about 7 years now.  I'm 51.  It started with a bout of vertigo -- room spinning around and everything -- that lasted only for a day.  The doctor said he thought it was labyrinthitis and perscribed some meds that just made me sleepy.  For the next month or so, I just felt lightheaded, but it eventually went away.  It returned about a year later and I went to multiple doctors, and ENT, neurologist, had a sleep study, MRI, Cat scans, etc, which found absolutely nothing.  The symptoms went away on their own again and I stayed symptom-free for 5 years.  I had a brief bout for a couple of days in June, then started feeling lightheaded again about a week ago.  For the first time, the lightheadedness is accompanied by slight nausea, at times.  It's not totally debillitating, but on weekends I just want to lay around a sleep.  I sure hope I can either figure out what causes it, or it goes away again -- for good!
Avatar universal
I have had all of these symptoms for years, but like most was treated for chronic migraines and clumsiness. I have recently under gone an mra. I am now being told I have calcium mass in my brain. The doctors are taking their sweet time in giving me an outcome, take my advice insist on an mra not an mri. My most recent episode I passed out and cracked my skull, it took 5 staples, and I cannot be left alone becuase of my odd symptoms. Please check with your doctor and be firm, this is not fun....and as far as treatment, I am still waiting. good luck
Avatar universal
HERE IS A SOLUTION! I've had similar issues as well. After trying multiple pain meds, getting an MRI and CT scan they sent me to a neurologist. The neurologist had me do a couple simple tests like moving my head side to side to see if that made me lightheaded or dizzy of which it did. Then she asked me if my neck/shoulders hurt. They did... ends up the knots in my muscles in my neck and shoulders were so severe that the knots were putting pressure on the arteries in the back of my neck that cuts of proper circulation of blood to the brain, thus why i've passed out, had constant headaches for a year and was constantly lightheaded. I was sent to a physical therapist to work out exercies to strengthen my muscles in my back, get massage therapy and electro stimulous. I went twice a week and within a few appointments my headaches were gone... yes stress causes the muscles to knot up so it can be stress as a cause... but there is a non med way to rid of the symptoms... i have to start going back because my headaches and lightheadedness are back after a year... but I know that relief is right around the corner... hope this helps
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,
Your symptoms could be of Migraine related Vertigo or Vestibular migraine. Migraine is a neurovascular disorder of the central nervous system that is caused by constriction and dilatation of intracranial blood vessels. It is characterized by recurrent episodes of headaches, usually unilateral, and throbbing, with associated photophobia, and nausea. Headaches may occur with or without aura. The aura consists of neurologic symptoms, mostly visual such as flashing or colored lights, photophobia.  Vestibular symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, and tinnitus are increasingly being recognized. Please consult a neurologist for a close examination of clinical symptoms, investigations and treatment. Hope this helps you. Take care and regards!
Avatar universal
my mum is 41 and has been suffering with all the symtoms above for 10 years now and has seen countless doctors all of whom say its stress or they dont know and that it will go away but it hasnt shes done all the tests they want and they have all come back negative and now ive have started getting the same symptoms and im only 19 planning to go uni and i dont really want to put up with this for that long (if i dont have to) the doctors have put me on prochlorperazine but it doesent seem to work any ideas???
Avatar universal
i am only 21 and I have been feeling this same dizziness and lightheadedness for years, and now recenty for the past few months, maybe 6 or so months, a sensation of nausea. i have no idea what it is. I get lightheaded way to often when i stand from laying down or sitting, and recently i ve gotten really bad headaches that spread across my entire head. these headaches' pain reach a point that i have to sit down or stand completely still because the room feels like its still moving. i have no idea whats provoking this. any insight would help :)
Avatar universal
I am from NZ and have also been suffering from the occasional migraines, head throbbing,nausea, and feeling like i wanted to vomit.  Like many others i have been to the doctors and they treat me for migraines.  I have never in my life had migraines until last year .  I have recently just turned 50.  I just continue about my life and ride the headaches, migraines, nausea and vomitting feelings out.
Avatar universal
This is such an interesting thread, and so reassuring to know that I'm not alone.  I'm 37 years old and I've just been back to the doctor for the second time in a week, after suffering many of the symptoms mentioned in this post eg. nausea, lightheadedness, extreme tiredness, tender belly and headaches.  This morning I've had blood tests which I'll wait to find out about in the next few days.  
Avatar universal
I am 46 and have had most and more of these symptoms for the last 4 years.  I have been in the emergency room twice and had the paramedics to the house once.  Each time showing signs of having a stroke.  I have had MRI's, MRA, CT Scan, (ENG/VNG test), sleep study, Physical therapy...been on anti-depressants, anti-seizure, migraine and blood thinner medicine..none of which has worked.  Had to walk off a plane last night after falling while walking down the gang plank to board the plane.  Have been diagnosed with atypical migraines that last for 6-8 months at a time.  (It has not gone away for 4 years straight.)  Nausea comes more from the chest than stomach and breathing can become an issue.     Went to vestibular rehab and tech said I had some vestibular issues but alot else going on he couldn't figure out.  It seems to be caused by muscles locking up in my right upper back.  What has calmed the problem, not fixed it, is massage therapy, icing down the neck and upper back, muscle relaxors and to a certain extent physical therapy.  Even those are having less of a positive effect recently.  Was told to find a doctor who specializes only in headaches/migraines/atypical migraines.      
Avatar universal
I just went to the doctor yesterday with the same symptoms.  Unfortunately, I don't have a loss of appetite.  I have been getting a stabbing pain in the back of head (upper area) for at least a year.  Just started getting the dizziness and nausea the past 3 weeks.  The doctor is suggesting an MRI, which I think I am going to pass on right now.  Originally, my doctor said the pain in the back of my head was due to the way I sit at my desk using the computer.  Per some of the posts, I think he may have been on to something.  Maybe I have a knot in my shoulders and/or neck that is pinching a nerve?!
Avatar universal
So frustrated.Sudden onset of dizziness(like slight buzzing sensation in head)nauseated.Only thing that helps is to lie down abd wait it out-sometimes three days.No loss of appetite.CT scan,labs,neuro visit,all ok.This comes without without warning.Help!
Avatar universal
Hi There, I had the same for 2 years and then after changing my die, meditation... it went away. The interesting thing is that I then started taking the pill and symptoms came back right away. For me it is hormone related look up oestrogen dominance. Good luck
Avatar universal
Wow, I'm so happy I'm not alone regarding this.

I have started gymming 2 weeks ago and two days after I gym I will get a Migraine. But now, for some reason I sometimes feel dizzy, lightheaded and extreme nausea, but no vomiting. I am also EXTREMELY tired when this happens. I can't do anything!!

I went for a MRI scan last year(when my migraines started), and nothing was wrong. The doctor said that everything is normal, but I could be suffering from some kind of Migraine. I am taking Migril everytime I feel a Migraine coming along, but these days I am worried about the dizziness and nausea thing. It feels like I am going to faint any second.

Should I go for another scan? I don't really want to though, those tunnels make me scared.

Hope someone can help???!!!!
Avatar universal
I am having similar problems. Im 19 years old and I have had regular migrane headaches since I was about 8. About a year and a half ago I suddenly started experiencing these seemingly random attacks of dizziness and lightheadedness, which are always accompanied by terrible nausea. I dont have a headache during these attacks, and they can last from 1 hour to about 8 hours, during which time I am completely crippled, and cannot stand up. These attacks can be very scary, especially when it happened to be when I was driving in rush hour traffic. Help!!! I also hope all of you find the answers you are looking for.
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