Avatar universal

Light headed/dizzy, shaking, weak, numb/tingling on fingers and toes, flushed

Two weeks ago around 6pm I had an episode of multiple symptoms that precipitated very quickly, within about three minutes, without warning.  These included feeling very weak, shaking all over, light headed/dizzy,numbness/tingling on fingertips and toes, slight shortness of breath and chill.  I felt like passing out, flushed.  I figured it was from not eating so I grabbed a burger and it seemed to alleviate the problems.  Well, it happened again around the same time of day a few days later. But this time, eating didn't help as much.  Eventually the symptoms went away.  My colleagues observed that I looked very pale.  Since then, I have been experiencing episodes every day in the evening.  I keep a pile of energy bars in the office and gulp one down at the very first hint of weakness, shaking, which seems to go away in about ten minutes.  If I don't, the symptoms quickly intensify until I am so shaky and weak that I can't remain in a sitting position.
I've had blood/urine test and was told all is ok.  
Here's the curious part.   Last two days, instead of gulping down an energy bar, I've been taking Vitamin B-12 that dissolves under the tongue.  This seems to help alleviate the symptoms as well as the energy bar.
Any thoughts or guesses on this will be gratefully appreciated.
Thank you
230 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello!  I feel so much empathy for you.  My husband suffered from a wide array of symptoms (some similar to yours) for about 3 years before being diagnosed with Pheochromocytoma (you mentioned that blood and urine tests results were OK, but didn't say if that included a 24-hr urine test for cathecholamines and VMA's, usually used to screen for Pheo).

It is impossible to say if your symptoms are caused by the same illness but I see similarities that make it worth sharing his story:  My husband has always been an easy-going, happy, athletic man.  Changes started happening so gradually that we still cannot pinpoint when the whole thing started, but little by little he started losing interest in the things he used to love and entered a sort of mild depression, never crying of hopeless, but never really happy or excited about anything.  At times he would feel anxious without knowing why or would get angry about things that never would have bothered him before.   At any exertion, sweat would pour from his head and the rest of his body and he would continue sweating for a long time afterwards.  Heartburn and acid reflux, especially at night.  Flushing in the face, without apparent reason.

His doctor diagnosed him with depression.  Against his grain, he agreed to try different anti-depressants but things kept getting worse.  

Apart from all of the other symptoms, he started having some episodes that his doctor described as panic attacks.  They would happen without any apparent reason and the symptoms kept getting more pronounced over time.   By the summer of 2005, those attacks were very severe and we were terribly frightened, feeling that something was terribly wrong.  But no matter how much we researched information and argued and pleaded with his doctor, the diagnosis never changed.

According to the doctor, his blood pressure was always perfect and results of the standard blood tests were normal.

And the panic attacks continued.  They came out of nowhere, whether he was working, watching TV, etc.   Each episode lasted for about 1-2 minutes and included the following:  
*Shortness of Breath;
*Tunnel vision;
*Very strong heartbeat; he described it as if the blood had slowed down and was moving through his neck with extreme force;
*Tightness in upper chest;
*Mild headache;
*Lightheadedness and dizziness.

As the attack started to subside, he would feel tingling in his extremities and tremors in his hands.   After each episode he would feel completely drained and would yawns a lot.   Some days there were several episodes, and some days there were none.

One day he was hit by a sudden headache so strong that it knocked him to the ground and from then on, he started projectile-vomiting and was in and out of the hospital.  He was seen by various doctors and they would all agree with the original doctor's diagnosis of depression and panic attacks.  They would explain the horrifying headaches as migraines and send him home with loads of painkillers.  

Long story short, we finally ran into a doctor who dared to defy that diagnosis and order a 24-hr urine test for cathecholamines and VMA's.  The test showed that my husband had massive amounts of both in his system, indicating Pheochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal system).   A follow up CT-Scan confirmed it and showed that the tumor was located in his right adrenal gland and we immediately flew to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for surgery.  

The attacks were caused by a surge of hormone that this type of tumor excretes and the migraines were the result of his blood pressure shooting up.  

I realize that what I am saying is probably very scary, but the worst part is not knowing.  Wishing you a quick and positive resolution to the health challenges you've been going through.  
Avatar universal
strangely I have the same symptoms that you have just mentioned and every one tells me its stress. Have you been able find out the realy reason. Please do let me know.
Avatar universal
I get the same symptoms. It's Hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. You need to eat regularly, I eat every few hours and exercise can bring on an attack especially if you haven't eaten for a while.
Avatar universal
  I just found this location to post. I am 39 year old healthy vegitarian male work out 5 days a week. Seem to live  retty stress free and happy life have a wonderful kid wife and amazing daughter of 5 years. It started for me about 3 months ago I was at the gym just tsrting a work out and felt a little week so I went into the locker to try and get a energy bar out of my locker and when I found my self in the locker room I all of the sudden started to feel the strangest sensations I had never felt before my back stared to sweat I was feelign even weaker and I could think about was hwo I was goign to get out of that locker room and into my car to feel safe. I made it to the car and when I got there things got worse my hands and feet started tingleing my lips too and my heart started beating really fase and I was sure I was having a heart attack so I called the aid car. They arrivied and gave me oxygen because I was hyperventilating and asked me how I was feeling and asked me if I wanted to sit there with them for awhile but I kept feelign worse so they took me to the ER and I was shaking and terrified when I arrived there. They gave me an AKG and tested my blood ressure and told me I was fine and that I was having a panic attack. I had neverheard of a panic attack. So the put some ativan in my IV and I calmed down. They sent me home with 10 2mg pills of ativan and told me to take them when I felt an attack coming on. So the 1st thing I did was make an appointment with a doctor to gets some more tests doen as this didnt seem right to me. they did blood tests blood pressure etc.. and said I was fine and that I have anxiety and gave me something called EFFXOR FX and I took it for a week and it made me feel really strange and disconnected so I stopped talking it. And for about 2 weeks I was fine sleeping normal and feeling relitivily fine.. Then it started all over again. Usually at night I would lay down and try to sleep and I my heart would beat out of my chest and I was terrified so I took my ativan and it usually calmed me down and put me to slee that went on for a couple of weeks and again I felt better until last weekend I got an attack even more severe than the one I had for the very 1st time my teeth were chattering, my body was shaking, my heart was beating out of my chest, everything was tingling, I couldnt breath etc... so I took my medince and it didnt work. And again I ended up in the ER sure I was having a heart attack so this time they took x-rays and more blood work and said I was fine. And since that day I wake up and feel like I can barely stand up and have no energy and just take this ativan and try to stay sedated. It is has become a very miserbale way of life and when I go to doctors they dont have any advice other than it is a panic disorder. But I somehow feel that it has something to do with a lack of mineral or vitamin that I need. Has anyone else every been through this or have any suggestions?
Avatar universal
Oh, i feel so bad for you, i would ditch the doctors if they are not heloing and maybe try natural therapy, maybe naturopath or somethin.  I actualy had similar problems to what ive been reading but think its based around the adrenal gland.

I was on holidays in europe, im from australia, anyway i think my body was really run down from stressing out from trip b4, scared of flying, i was pretty run down, did london, did a bit of drinking and went to amsterdam, smoked a bit of marijuana, anyway it wasnt until a few days later when it hit me, i woke up really light headed, dizzy, my legs,feet,arms and hands were numb, couldnt really feel anything, i nearly collapsed in the street, everything was delayed, i was slow in the head, i would sweat really bad in my sleep, this lasted over 7 days straight, into the 3rd day i could barely stomach food, i would somethimes throw up when eating, no matter how much water i would drink i would barely go to the toilet, it was very scary, kinda felt like being stoned with a few extra symptoms, i wasnt keen on goin to a foreighn hospital so i came home.

I remember waking up everymorning thinking it will be ok today but never was, it felt like i was gong to be like this forever.

well i seen a nauropth today, she looks at your eyes and checks blood pressure and stuff like that, she said it was my adrenal gland,and a combination of other things, cant get into to much detail, but it sounds kinda right after reading a bit about it, im booked in to see my GP in a few days also. Ive been givin some b vitamins and other stuff to take so hope i feel i bit better.  But i feel really bad for you guys who are still experiencing the symptoms you mention, good luck with everything.
Avatar universal
Ive just searched my symptoms on the net and this forum came up. Im suffering from the same thing. Ive been a veggie for 24 yrs now and Im just about to hit my 35 birthday. I have 2 children who keep me busy and a partner whos even more demanding.

Anyhow, I can't put my finger on when I started to feel like I do. My cheeks are flushed most of the time, Im light headed, feel dizzy, feel cold at night in bed and have this shaking feeling inside me at night when I lay down. Sometimes, not often I experience like a heart rush where its beating so fast and my short of breath I think Im heading for a heart attack. This could happen in bed or just watching the TV?  To top it all off I have no energy and I mean no energy.

In terms of my personality and how I live. Im think of myself as very healthy not over weight, I exercise, and I love life. Im easy going and nothing bothers me in life and I wish everyone well. So depression is out of the window along with anxiety. Ive started to take a B-vitamin complex but I don't feel the symptoms are reducing quick enough! Has anyone got any other ideas on what I should do? My blood pressure is fine, urine fine and blood fine?etc

Avatar universal
get your parathyroid checked. It can cause allot of those symptoms. I too was test for Pheo Chromo Cytoma but it came back negative.
Avatar universal
This may be a stretch but my daughter had some really weird symptoms going on for months before finally being diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrom).  It has a variety of similar symptoms.  One thing you can check is blood pressure while laying down, then again when sitting with feet on floor, and again while standing.  In a person with POTS typically their heart rate will increase 30 beats per minute from the laying down position to the standing position.  It can cause extreme fatigue, dizziness, near blacking out (some people do black out) racing heart rate, flushing of skin, migraines, etc. etc.
I am so sorry for what you are all going through.....I know how frustrating it can be going back to the doctor over and over again and feeling like they don't think anything is wrong ...even feeling like maybe they think you are imagining it!
Don't give up.....keep searching for answers.....on the internet and new doctors if needed.  Eventually you will find the cause.
take care
Avatar universal
I am 27years old, never had any major health problems but now that I am working on gettin depression & anxiety along with those wonderful migraines under control I have been having some really strange sensations.   See about 1 1/2 yrs ago I was sent to a neurologist to do some different test because we were concerned about some tingling in my fingers, well no symptoms or signs since back then.  A little over 2wks ago, I ended up in the ER with a migraine so bad I was so sick.  I tell the ER nurse that i was tingling in my fingers & lips, she says oh just calm down, its called anxiety.  Well trust me, if that was the case, if anyone truly new the stress in my life at this point, I would have had it everyday.  Then last week on wed. while at work, I was lightheaded all day long, eating, checking BP having sugar NOTHING seemed to work.  I had to deal with all these feeelings all of you are talking about allllll day long.  Now this weekend is the first wkd I have been able to totally relax and enjoy, well of course yesterday afternoon I get all these feelings again......this morning wake up with them alll...cant even enjoy a great wkd w/ the girls, what the heck am I supposed to do???? I can not k=live like this being I work in a pediatricians office, have 3 boys of my own and a husband.....come on....anymore advice???? I dont know what to do, I am tired of all the blodd test and tehy come back negative, the neurologists cant find anythng, not that I want something wrong.....I just want to FEEL better and be able to function everyday.....HELP ME PLEASE!!!
Avatar universal
HI!!!I know what you guys mean...Eversince my freshman year in high school, i have had various symptoms and no one knows what it is. It started when i was in Gym class. I got lighheaded, my head started to heart, my heart was pounding(because i was running), i was dizzy, shaking , shortness of breath and so forth, and i looked pale...Anyway i thought it would go away that it might be because i was out of shape and was not use to working out...Eversince it has happend to me multiple of times like tons of times...HOwever, my heart is not punding, but i get dizzy, headache(which runs to my eyes), shaking, my whole body feels week and in pain...but i could not describe what kind of pain its just such a weird sensation that i have no words to describe, also i shake and so forth.... I have gone to the doctor many times and no one tells me anything, your heart test, brain test, blood, test all is fine... It might be that your not getting enough oxygen/liquid to the brain and thats why i get all that...OK? And how can i make that better...no one knows...For a while i though it was my sugar, a drop of sugar in my body, but know not even sugar really helps that much...Its been over 4 years now, now i am a freshman but in collge, and still i get this and no one know what it is. This is often and i am scared that it might affect my work(beacuse i am so weak and so much in pain) that i just cant go and my school as well, i miss college and i just dont know what to do..
Today i am going to the doctor and telling them everything and this time they better have an answer....Today i am home feeling like this, and researching because i am not about  to live my whole life like this, i am just 18...Also gentlemen that said that he thinks it might be something of minerals and so forth...i agree i was researching and anemia causes alot of the things i have....and researching into anemia...its something that it might be linked to...And if any of you know what this is please let me know what i can do because this is horrible...
Good Luck to Everyone!!!
677875 tn?1226425478
I am 28 years old, I have all the symptoms you guys have, last Saturday, I have the same problem again, this is my third time. I felt dizzy,  shortness of breath, cold and pale face, my hands and feet numb and muscles cramped. The first time when I had this problem, I went to ER, unconscious. But all my blood tests and other tests are fine. I was a professional swimmer, no other illness. I am worry about that I may have some kind of serious sickness and disease.
When it happens, even I eat food and sugar things, it doesn't work at all. Laying down helps. I felt no blood and oxygen go through to my brain.
I hope someone can find the solution to fix our problems.
691816 tn?1234552187
When I stand up or turn my head to fast I get dizzy lighheaded tingling in the top of my   ( head tips of finger's and in toung)   and it's not blood suger's I check it every time I eat hade a head scan done said it was fine blood work come back ok have itchecked every 6 month's but it's so bad at time's I wish I was dead ,,,,,NOT THAT I WOULD DO ANY THING .LOL  I love my famly to much but The doc's tell me every thing is ok ,,,,,,,,,,,,im sorry but this is not ok somthing is rong ,if any one has heard of this please let me know
691816 tn?1234552187
  taking all of this aint helping I see  

Safety Summary: Your medication check has detected interactions involving Cymbalta, Fenobibrate, Levothyroxine, Diazepam, Benicar and Lovastatin, and identified at least one medication with a red risk rating. This means you may be at increased risk of serious side-effects, and should closely monitor your progress on these medications with your doctor.
Avatar universal
i am a 21 year old female and i am having the same  symptoms with out the shaking and numb toes and its been going on for almost  a week now i am kinda scared and i was told it almost sounds like a stroke but only  my left arm my face and only my right hand go tingly and numb.i also have a cough so bad it hurts to cough and i have tired almost everything multi-vitamins vicks  its just not  working
Avatar universal
also i get feverish through out the day
677868 tn?1226342053
Hi everyone  Im 19 year old, female. I know excatly how all you guys feel and I'm so glad I can relate to you guys. I have been suffering from what they now diagnosed me with "panic disorder", but for the past 4 years it has gotten worst to the point where I dont leave my house anymore. I've been getting extreme fatigue to the point where I cant even move, mood swings, waking up literally shaking to death and feeling so out of it and my pulse starts to rise to like 160. I get nightmares everynight and I have insomia, I dont end up falling asleep until like 7am because everytime I try to sleep my heart starts beating and I get weird feelings and numbness. Ive been to every doctor in the book. I have been to cardiologist and they just told me nothing was wrong with my heart. Ive had my thyroid test checked and it came back normal. I still think its a hormonal problem. Does anyone know if getting the pituitary gland checked is related to the thyroid test ? Or do you get a different test from it ? If anyone knows Id really appreciate it ! And everyone know your not alone and I know how hard it is to go through this and how scary and can be not knowing whats wrong with you ! hang in there everyone !
Avatar universal
Have you had a 24 hour provoked urine test to test for heavy metals poisoning?For example mercury poisoning which can give symptoms of palpitations,personality changes etc.
Also a test for lymes disease might be worth considering if you havn't already had that and another avenue that might be worth looking into is a good Chinese medicine practioner but maybe not just anyone but someone with high knowledge.
Did you also receive a tilttable test at the cardiologists?

Avatar universal
I am a 21 year old female from Chicago, IL. Ive been back and forth to the ER for the past few years and I was diagnosed as being just fine. Mind you my heart was aching, headaches, abdominal pains, and bad chest pains. They'd give me Tylenol for my pain and that is it. It wasn't until I was on my way to the military that they caught the fact that I had a large amount of protein in my urine. I was sent to a doctor and was diagnosed with lupus. I went to another and they went off the 1st and said the same thing. I haven't been back since Jan 08'. I am scared of what they have to say, But for the past month or so things have gotten worse. Sometimes my whole arms go numb for no reason. Shortness of breath, me heart feels so tight, I get very dizzy and I am very fatigue and in a lot of pain at least 3-4 times a week I have these spells last sometimes for about 15-20 mins and sometime hours. (As I am writing this, I have to take take deep breaths, I feel like I am going to pass out). I don't know whats wrong and I am afraid to go back to the doctor. I can't live with the fact they believe I have Lupus. My grandmother died of Lupus. Help?
594150 tn?1252588088

I just wondered if any of you had looked into 'Gilberts Syndrome'? Just a possibilty and easily identified with a blood test.
Avatar universal
i know how you guys feel for 3 years im been getting headaches also having this weird tight feeling in my head and not having eny enegy to do the stuff that i used to be able to do befor that i used to get light headed feelings all the time they would only go for a little bit and come back i went to the doctor and she tested my heart and said it sounds fine and gave me tablets i felt better when they wear of i would go back to the same but my mum and doctor saiid that its because i wont go to bed untiil like 8.am or sometimes 10.oo an only get 2hrs sleep sometimes i would go without sleeping when i got the tablets i went sleep eairy and got up eairly and i felt good eairly then now i will saty up all night and sleep all day my mum said thats why im getting headaached and the tight feeling in my head i say  to my mum think i have a brain tumer and my frinds they just say its all in my head years ago i had bad brathing probloms were somtimes i wldent sleep because i was scared i would stop breathink its going on so long i cant remeber when i felt proper normal xxxxx
Avatar universal
Hi! I am a 18 year old girl, and I have experienced these same symptoms twice at work, where I am a cashier. First I would just feel uncomfortable and kinda warm and then I would feel dizzy. Then I would feel even more light-headed and dizzy and would feel as though I would faint if I didn't sit down. This all felt not painful, but extremely unpleasant. Then my arms and legs would go numb and feel weird, kinda like pins and needles but not quite. I would have to breathe in and out heavily to reduce the discomfort a bit. The second episode of this lasted longer than the first so I am a little scared that it might be getting serious. This definitely interferes with work since I am out of commission for more than half an hour. My co-workers keep asking if I ate that day, and truthfully, I did. The first day I had eaten a big lunch with rice and vegetables and fish. The second day, I had eaten a cheese sandwich and orange juice for breakfast. Therefore, low blood sugar is clearly not the cause, despite what my co-workers might think. Anyways, the general "feeling" of the whole thing is really horrible, and I really hate it. Any suggestions?
Avatar universal
I would ask for a neurologist examination and an MRI of the brain.  These symptoms are indictative of other more serious problems.  There are all kinds of things that could be wrong but dizziness is caused by the brain or the ears.  There is Meniere's disease which should only be considered after everything else is ruled out.  The shakiness may be a neurological type of problem.  Lupus, MS and other autoimmune diseases cause symptoms like these.  Thyroid problems have been linked to autoimmune illnesses.
Avatar universal
I have VERY similar symptoms (dizziness, "fuzzy" vision, lightheaded, shaking uncontrollably, not following conversation well, chest pressure, rapid heartbeat), went to the ER once and they did a ton of tests, EKG, blood work, chest x-ray, pregnancy test, and all came back normal. They just gave me fluids and sent me home. It happened again a week later on vacation, and I've had milder symptoms of it every day since for the past two weeks. In the past I would have thought those episodes were due to low blood sugar, but I had eaten well before both times.

I was finally able to see the doctor and he thinks it's sinus related (though I've never had "sneezing, runny nose" type allergy symptoms). Do you hear clicking/popping when you roll your head around? Does a steam inhaler help at all? Sometimes chronic sinus issues can build up to the point where it throws your whole body out of whack. What's really helped relieve the dizziness for me has been using something called a Neti pot. It sounds really gross, as you pour it in one nostril, it clears out your sinuses and comes out the other nostril. I was reluctant to try it, but when I did, wow, it helped! I've been taking Claritin for a few days and the dizziness is gone as well as the fact that I feel more "present." What hasn't gone away yet is the tightness in my chest, lethargy, and nausea, though...I hope I just need to be on it longer. I might also have some unrelated virus, too, that needs to be addressed separately. I'll be going to see an allergist soon.

I wish all of you luck; I know what it's like to feel out of control and frustrated when doctors don't have the answers. Be sure to post if you do figure out what's wrong! These forums have been of great comfort to me to see I'm not alone.
Avatar universal
i have alot of the same problems. 3 months ago i was healty as can be. i went to bed one night absolutly fine. i woke up the next morning and just felt like **** really tired. like i hadent slept at all. the rest of the day i could bearly stay awake. i was feeling dizzy and light headed. i went to the ER. they did an ekg, bklood work, chest xrays. all cam back fine they gave me fluids. the had me do the stand ,sit,lay blood pressure test. they could see i have orthostatic hypotention but they could see the cause. they said "there is something wrong with you but we dont know what it is". i couldnt believe they said that. they then sent me home. that was 3 months ago.
since ive been back there 2 more times and they tell me nothing. the doctor tried top point at panic attacs............thats deffinatly not it i told him.
so ive been dealing with this for awhile my symptoms started with my toes getting cold then dizzy, sleepy, fatigued, confused,loss of memory(minor), really hard to breat at times, run outta strength after a few steps, tunnel vision, fuzzy vision, sharp pain in my eyes and temple.
its slowly getting worse. im not really sick to my stomach or have the shakes.
the vision thing is what concerns me the most its the most prominent issue. its there all the time fuzzy just not right.
someone above described it as "not present" thats how i feel all the time. its like im high or kinda buzzed.
lately ,if any of you have got a concussion before, my eyes get all squirly in my head it last about 15 20 seconds then it slowly passes.

is anyone elses vision as screwy as mine seems

im not sure wat the problem is. i have no health insurance. its killing me relationship because all i want to do is lay there because im to tired.

not knowing if this is something that could be fatal makes me want my life back so much. im mentally breaking because of this.

im trying to get health insurance but thats as bad as the problems are
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