Avatar universal

Extreme fatigue, fogginess, shortness of breathe, vision problems

Hello, about 3 weeks I noticed my vision was acting a little strange. It was hard to focus on anything and I was sensitive to light but I didn't think much of it. As the days passed I developed a migraine on the right side of my head. There was intense pressure all through the right side of my face and behind the right eye. I saw my doctor and she thought it was either a sinus problem or just a migraine and prescribed antibiotics. After another week the pain was so bad behind my eye that I could not open it and was throwing up. I went to the ER thinking I had a brain tumor or something. They took a CT scan and gave my pain meds although they didn't do much. She said they didn't find anything wrong on the scan and that I didn't even have a sinus infection. I went to see my regular doctor because even though the headache was lessening I still felt really tired. She said it was just the headache taking a toll on me. But as the days went I got more and more tired. Now I am so tired I can hardly get out of bed. I'm experiencing a strange array of symptoms that I cannot piece together. A little more background might be helpful; I had mono in January and back in November I had a sever staph infection which required a few months of antibiotics. This makes me think maybe it's Candida or something. Here are my symptoms:

- Extreme fatigue
- Headache
- Brain fog
- Dizziness
- Nausea
- Short of breath
- Vision problems
- Heart palpitations
- Shakiness
- Vertigo
- Anxiety
- Pain behind eyes

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow and I will ask about Candida and Lyme disease. I'm really scared that this will keep going on for months. I really can't live like this. I'm afraid i'll have to drop out of school. I can't go on like this for the rest of my life. I really don't want to have to end my own life over this. Someone please help me

22 Responses
351246 tn?1379682132
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
You have described your symptoms pretty well. From you symptoms alone it sounds like chronic fatigue syndrome. This usually presents with widespread myalgia and arthralgia, headaches, chronic mental and physical exhaustion, cognitive difficulties, concentration difficulty and memory problems.
Then you also need to investigate other causes of brain fog like liver dysfunction (get liver enzymes done—liver function test), kidney dysfunction (get kidney function test done), and anemia. Do discuss this with your doctor and get yourself examined.
Hope this helps. Do let me know if there is any thing else and keep me posted. Take care!
Avatar universal
could you have autonomic disorder you could tell on a table tilt rockchester would be the best place to have one. do you feel you may faint at times
Avatar universal
doctornee medical, thanks for your reply! I will be sure to mention chronic fatigue syndrome to my doctor. I went in a few days ago and she was unsure at the time as to what might be causing all this. She did say that I had a slight fever though so i'm not sure what that means. I'm thinking that maybe I have a combination of a bad yeast infection and something else. She did several blood and urine tests so maybe that will give some indication. I see a neurologist on monday for the persistent headache. I'm starting to think that maybe i'm suffering from cluster headaches (which would be awful but at least I would have a diagnosis). I still have several appointments, such as an ultrasound of my liver today so at least I can rule things out.

deedeeelvis, i'm not sure what a table tilt rockchester is. I do feel faint a lot though
Avatar universal
All those symptoms listed are under dysautonomia.  Go to dinet.org, all the symptoms are listed there.  Many doctors are not familiar with this, it took us 3 years for my son to get the right diagnosis.  It frequently occurs after having mono.  The other names for it are autonomic dysfunction or POTS(postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.

Many doctors just want to pass it off as a mental issue, like anxiety.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your post! I had mono in january! That would definitely make sense. The doctor just tested me for mono today to see if I still have it. Is it permanent?
144586 tn?1284666164
I am going to put two unwanted cents into this.

Sensitivity to light is the hallmark of a brain bleed. Particuliarly a slow bleed. If untreated these disorders have unhappy outcomes.

This is the rule:

Light sensitivity and neurological issues.


Juxtaposed with your other symptoms suggests you require an MRI as of yesterday.

This doesn't mean you are necessarily having a stroke. It does mean you require a professional neurological evaluation.
Avatar universal
For some people it is permanent, they go through periods where it is worse than other times.  The younger you are the better chance for full recovery.  My son is 15, and usually teenagers will outgrow it by their early 20's (so we have a ways to go).  His symptoms are helped by medication though.  If it is dysautonomia, it is key to drink a LOT of water and add extra salt to your diet.  (I wouldn't add the salt though unless you got diagnosed).  It happens to females at a 4:1 ratio.

Definitely do research and show to your doctor.  Even after my son was diagnosed, we then had to find a doctor to treat him since so many doctors are not familiar with it.  Usually treated by a neurologist or cardiologist.
1282678 tn?1275186261
Two years ago I went thru several rounds of antibiotics..I have many of the same symptoms that you have. I took so many cuz i had what i thought was bronchitis. Before that I was also diagnosed with a herpe virus and mono. I was told that many times after exposure to these you can develop chronic fatigue syndrome. I still keep searching for other answers though. I haven't been the same since. It's really hard to live with. Do you also have back problems and stomach troubles?
1282678 tn?1275186261
I have sensitivity to light as well, but have had an MRI. Does that mean I could still have a slow bleed?
144586 tn?1284666164

It is extremely unlikely that you have a bleed if you have had an MRI that showed no findings. I also know that in many cases a physician will "blow off" the finding of "sunlight sensitivity".

But when an MRI is requested, the physician specifies what they are looking for. Sometimes, for example, the MRI is only of the cervical spine.

The term in a medical environment is "Rule Out".

Light sensitivity does NOT always mean you are having or have had a stroke caused by bleeding within the brain, but it is one of the hallmark indications.

Light sensitivity can also result from administration of certain medications, specifically some antibiotics.

One objective of an evaluation at a medical facility is to define the etiology of a problem. In other words "what is causing the light sensitivity".

This is often easier said than done. It isn't that physicians are incompetent, but that medicine if often a guessing game. There are good guesses and better guesses.

One of the reasons I like teaching hospitals is that problems are reviewed by several people, and "two heads are always better than one".

If a loved one experienced light sensitivity I would ensure that the evaluating physician defined the reason.
1282678 tn?1275186261
Also, so many things happened during that time..i fell and one night my whole body went numb for a few minutes. I am now still weak on one side. I walk with a unsteady gate..dont know what that could be.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your post. I'm seeing a neurologist monday and will be sure to tell them all of my symptoms and to request an MRI and see what they say. I had a CT scan done and it showed everything was ok but I don't know what an MRI would show that a CT scan wouldn't . I figured if I had anything serious like a bleed in the brain it would have been seen on the CT scan and if it was missed I would be dead by now. Lol
Avatar universal
Just saw a neurologist today. She told me there was nothing she could do for me and I should see a psychologist and get on anti-depressants. I don't know what to do from here. I feel like i'm going crazy
875426 tn?1325528416
I'd get a second opinion.  

I'd also recommend a trip to the opthamologist to take an in depth look at your eyes (a neuro-opthamologist, if you can find one).  Have them do a field of vision test.  If particularly your peripheral vision is being affected, I'd look into getting a specially dedicated to the pituitary dynamic MRI with and without contrast.  They say one in five has a pituitary tumor and if large enough, it's possible for it to affect the optic chiasm and thus your vison.  If large enough, it can also cause headaches (or if it is affecting certain hormones, that can be a headache factor  I believe as well).  Often times, pituitary tumors will not be visible with a CT scan of the head.  Have you gotten your thyroid function checked lately, since hyperthyroidism can cause a number of the symptoms you mentioned?

  Also, did you follow up on doctornee's mention of anemia by getting your iron and ferritin levels checked?  Iron deficiency can cause a lot of problems, like extreme fatigue, tachycardia or heart palpitations, headaches, difficulty in concentration, dizziness & shortness of breath from the rapid heart beat.  Even if you have a normal CBC, low iron can still cause symptoms.

You could ask for a referral to an ear nose and throat specialist to do testing to see if your vertigo and dizziness could be related to an inner ear/vestibular disorder.

Shakiness can happen with anxiety.  It can also happen with low blood sugar- have you had a fasting blood sugar lately?  And low potassium can make your muscles feel weak.  How's your potassium level?

mandylynn0621- It sounds like you may have suffered a stroke, at least a mini-stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack).  You should definitely be reporting this to your doctor and getting treatment to try to prevent any further stroke activity if they determine this is indeed what happened to you.  You are most in danger of suffering a major stroke within the first six months of having an episode like that, so get into the doc, please, ASAP!  A loved one of mine is taking Plavix daily after having suffered a TIA.  And your cholesterol panel is important to get done right away too to see if high numbers may have contributed!
Avatar universal
Don't let it stand at that.  They tried to pass my son off as anxiety or depression, and almost everyone I've communicated with, with dysautonomia have all had a doctor try to pass it off as a mental issue.  You need to find a specialist in autonomic issues. Since you had mono, it is not uncommon to develop this.  Most doctors are not familiar with this.

Go to ndrf.org    I think it has a list of doctors by state that treat it.  You need to have a Tilt Table Test. All of the symptoms you listed my son had, and then some.  We live in St Louis, but travel to Cleveland to see the specialists there.  The first thing they told my son was "this is not in your head".  They are so used to their patients being told it was a mental issue.
Avatar universal
I have been going through quite alot of the same symptoms and was getting no where with finding a diagnois.  I was told I was vitamin B deficient, was given a prescription for B-complex and still stayed tired.  My then had an ultrasound of my carotid arteries and the doctor said I have blockage in both arteries and inflammation.  Also have high cholesterol/trig.  Am thinking of seeing a cardiologist since reading responses like the one from SurgiMenopause & mandylynn0621.  I think I may have had a TIA, so please take this seriously.  I am 46, wt. 130/ht.  5'3", so not too young to have these problems.  Let me know what u find out.  Best of luck and "GOD" bless.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the support everyone. I had a feeling she would try to tell me it's depression or anxiety. But I have never been happier in my life until I got sick. I will try to get to a specialist in L.A. (closest to me) in about a month to at least rule it out. Till then i'm going to try and add a bit more salt to my diet and rest.
Avatar universal
Lately i've been noticing that I have increased anxiety and depression. I don't know if that's part of POTS. I don't just want to get on anti-depressants until i've ruled POTS out. My face has also been getting extremely hot. And i'm pretty much nauseus at all times. I feel so ******. I don't know how long I can live like this
Avatar universal
Anxiety and depression can happen with POTS.  Being chronically ill can mess with someones mental well being.  Anti-depressants are often diagnosed to POTS patients, but not for depression, they work with the chemicals in the brain that also effect the autonomic nervous system.  My son takes doxepin, it works for him.  He tried several others before finding the one that helped, which is common for POTS patients.  (Trial and Error).  He had tried Zoloft and Citalopram.  While those work for some people, they didn't for him.  I've read some people have success with Cymbalta.

My sons main symptom is also nausea.  He wakes up nauseated everyday(15 months straight now).  As the day goes on, he becomes more functional.  They have run many tests and ruled out it being GI related.  It is a neurological problem.  We just got those results in mid March, so they are tweaking his medicines to try to help it.

As for feeling hot,  he used to say his torso got  hot.  We called them 'hot spells'.  The autonomic nervous system also regulates body temperature, so he would have those spells as well.  His regular temperature seems to usually only be 97.2.  I've read that is also common, not to have a 98 normal temp.

Have you researched to find a doctor that can test you for POTS in your area?  Once we found a doctor who knew about it, it seemed to take a load off our minds.  My son was having validation that it wasn't a mental issue but a physical one.  The doctors repeatedly reassured him of that fact.  They know most of their patients have not been treated well by other doctors who are uninformed or uneducated about it.

On youtube, there are informational videos about it.  Search dysautonomia or POTS.  Keep your head up and just keep looking for that right doctor.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for you post. I just feel like i'm going crazy or something. I will try and get to a POTS specialist as soon as I can. I get out a school in a few weeks and hopefully I can see a doctor (I will either go to Stanford or L.A.). Then once I have a diagnosis I can look into anti-depressants. I don't know if doing that before a diagnosis is a good idea or not.

I really cannot wait to find a doctor that is willing to listen. I'm tired of having all these blood tests done and having my primary tell me there's nothing wrong. I've been feeling sicker and sicker and I feel like i'm making it up or something. But your support really means a lot to me. I'm trying to tell myself that i'm not crazy. I just dont know how to get along with my life if it's going to be like this forever.
Avatar universal
Hey everyone, i'm going to a psychiatrist tomorrow so maybe he can give me something for the depression/anxiety
Avatar universal
Good luck, hope all goes well.
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