Good Morning All –
I’ve been experiencing a large number of symptoms for about 3 ½ months now, and my doctors have not been able to determine the cause. At this point I’m interested in running the list by you all in hopes of discovering something that we may not have considered or looked at yet. Here’s a summary of the relevant info:
Female, 29 y.o., 115 lbs, 5’ – 2”
Moderate exercise (walking or bicycling for 20-40 minutes) 3 or 4 days a week, mountain hiking a few times a month (2-5 hours at a time).
Recently lost about 30 lbs (intentionally) over 6 months. No diet pills, didn’t cut out food groups (like carbs or fats). Just worked on portion control, proper nutrition, and increasing activity level (cardio + weights). I began focusing on weight loss in August and reached my goal in early January. Since January I have been in “maintenance” mode, eating and exercising to maintain my current weight. Started experiencing symptoms around February 25.
I take a daily multivitamin and oral contraceptive.
I work full-time at a (mostly) desk job.
Married, no kids.
- Weakness – constant, but some days are much worse than others. Feels like I just woke up and climbed out of bed and my body isn’t quite awake yet. Even lifting a cookbook to put it back on the shelf is difficult.
- Fatigue – constant, but some days are much worse than others. Feels as though I just ran 5 miles and just can’t go any further. Some days the fatigue and weakness are so bad that I can’t do anything but lie down. Neither the fatigue nor weakness is relieved with rest.
- Lose my balance easily.
- Easily chilled (even in a 75 degree room).
- Blood glucose dips unexpectedly, even after eating (glucose levels in the 50 – 60 range).
- Frequent shakiness, with or without dips in glucose levels. Sometimes this happens several times a day, but sometimes it won’t happen for 3 or 4 days.
- Dry stools (taking stool softeners several times a week to alleviate).
- Feeling disconnected/foggy-headed, having difficulty focusing on the task at hand, forgetful.
- Occasional muscle cramps in feet and calves (a few times a month).
- Occasional abdominal tenderness, maybe once a week, lasting a day or two. It feels like my skin hurts. No pain associated with movement, but pressing lightly on my skin anywhere from my waistband to my shoulders is slightly painful.
- Menstrual cycle has been regular my whole life, with the exception of the last two months. I am taking an oral contraceptive. Last month my cycle started right on time but only lasted about two days, stopped, and started again three days later. This month it started five days early, lasted about two days, and stopped.
- Severity of symptoms seems to be random. After 3 ½ months I have been unable to identify a pattern. Every day is a roll of the dice. It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m having a pleasant day or a stressful one, if I’m at work or on vacation. I also keep an exercise and food journal and haven’t noticed any connection to what I eat, how much I eat, when I eat, or what type or level of exercise I do.
Tests I’ve Had (all normal):
- Thyroid function
- Iron levels
- Mononucleosis/Epstein Barr
- CBC Without Differential
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
- Creatine Kinase
I have seen my Primary Care Physician and a neurologist. They have checked into (and so far not diagnosed) the following:
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
I am going back for a check of my vitamin D levels this week.
Before all of this came on I was very active and motivated - the kind of person that runs at 150 miles-an-hour all the time. I've been like that my whole life. I've always been very organized, meticulous and "on top of things". These days I'm forgetful. Sometimes my husband will ask me about something he says we talked about earlier in the day and I have zero recollection of having had the conversation. Not even the slightest memory! I'm still interested in doing things like going for bike rides, crafts, and going shopping with my mom, but I haven't been doing them for months because I just don't have the energy. It's not that I don't want to, but I can't. I just want to sit all day long. I just feel exhausted. Some days I feel like I'm functioning at 70% (a "good" day), but most days are about 50%. I have some really bad days where I'm closer to 20%.
The only guidance my doctors have been able to give me thus far is to continue exercising (which is impossible some days), to try to stick to a schedule, and eat small meals frequently. Friends tell me this is stress, but I’ve experienced stress and burnout before and can recognize those symptoms. Those symptoms are alleviated with some down time. I haven’t been able to identify any triggers or relief from these symptoms. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone,