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DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 65671
Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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The last few weeks I have been feeling increasingly unwell.

Customer Question

The last few weeks I have been feeling increasingly unwell. I've been a lot more tired (both sleepy and fatigued), weak, dizzy, faint, nauseous and generally unwell.
I have suffered with fatigue, dizziness and various other symptoms for years and was told last year I most likely have ME/CFS (after some exclusion tests incl thyroid).
However the last few weeks have been different. It started with a day when I couldn't actually get out of bed for half a day, and despite plenty of rest, sleep and really taking it easy, things are getting worse. I also had an evening of severe vertigo with nausea (about 2 weeks ago) - originally thought it was a bout of labirynthitis, but next morning was much better, although my "general" dizziness has got worse. I've also been getting short bouts (a few seconds) of severe dizziness/vertigo (these usually happen while I am sitting, either talking to someone or while/after eating, and shortly before I start feeling unwell and sometimes I find it difficult to focus, although my eyesight is perfect - had a full test about a month ago), which is followed by unsteadiness, dizziness, extreme weakness and faint feeling lasting for several hours afterwards; I also get (sometimes at the same time) a feeling of "buzzing" or "short circuit" feeling in my head, kind of "behind my face" and top of my head. I also often get a feeling like there is a low current running through my body, this can last a whole day. My vision seems to very slightly "jump" on those days, as if I was watching something on a very old TV set). I have also been getting "flash" pains all over my body, nut especially in my head, lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes). I have had pains in my muscles - mainly calves (aches like after exercising, a few cramps, but mostly just a heavy feeling, like they are hard but they are not). I also get the feelings of a "head rush" - a sudden feeling of pressure in my head and face, sometimes several times a day. In addition, I have also noticed a "lump" of about 1-2 cm diameter at the back of my neck, at the top of the "groove" on the right side at the base of the scull, it is not painful (I don't think this is related though). I think I noticed it a couple of months ago or so but forgot about it.
I'm generally "healthy" (=I rarely get ill), I'm not overweight (167cm/62kg; but due to the CFE diagnosis I cannot keep fit), my BP is low - usually at or below 100/60 (lowest today 96/50), with pulse around 65bpm (occasional palpitations/ectopic beats). I've been taking Magnesium and Vit B6 & B12 supplements (not regularly).
I am now on holiday, relaxing, resting and sleeping a lot better than I do normally and was hoping these would go away, but I am feeling worse each day. I managed to go for a short walk today and enjoyed it but about an hour after I had this dizzy spell and am subsequently feeling quite horrible.
Any ideas?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. P. Jyoti replied 4 years ago.

I can appreciate your concern.

You may be having a viral infection. Viral infections can cause such symptoms as weakness, dizziness, etc.

Adequate rest, a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration, a good healthy diet will help you to come out of this in 2-3 days.

If symptoms get more severe, or they persist, then you will need to see your doctor.

Take care - this sounds like a viral infection - simple home care with rest and good diet and fluids will help you.

Hope that satisfies your query. If so, please choose a positive rating.

If you have any other queries, do ask. Wish you good health and a quick recovery. Bonus is always welcome!

Thank you.
Dr. P. Jyoti
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am disappointed with your brief and - I feel - inaccurate answer.


I understand the basics of medicine, and indeed a viral infection could cause mild dizziness or weakness (which I had experienced in the past). I also understand that this ("viral infection") is a standard GP answer when they don't know what is wrong or do not want to look into it further. I do not mean to attack you personally, it is just my experience with some GPs with my children (which later turned out to be more serious things and would have caused a lot less problems had they been addressed properly in the first place).


However, let me clarify again: I have had worsening symptoms (not just dizziness and weakness - read my original message; also including difficulty in focusing, concentrating, often not being able to find words, not having the energy to eat/drink/talk at the worst times; sudden onset of extreme weakness (lasting for several hours) and/or vertigo (usually lasting a few seconds/minutes) - with no apparent trigger) for several WEEKS, getting worse day by day; I have had plenty of rest (in fact I have been doing not much else) and have been drinking plenty and eating healthily, taking supplements as well. I cannot see my symptoms suddenly getting better in 2-3 days...


Today - apart from mainly sitting/resting - I went (drove) briefly to a shop and on my return "collapsed" with my limbs feeling completely drained of strength, feeling of faintness (despite my BP and pulse being slightly raised than normal), pressure in the head, nausea and the need to be horizontal. I am also finding it difficult to have a simple conversation and focus.


As I mentioned, I am on holiday and cannot see my GP, that is why I am asking for online advice.


If you yourself cannot think of anything other than a viral infection, perhaps I could ask you to pass this to one of your colleagues please.

Expert:  Dr. P. Jyoti replied 4 years ago.
Very well. I am opting out of your question. Please hold on, other experts on the site will try to help you.

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 4 years ago.
The other expert has opted out.

The question is set up as a simple answer.

So we need to streamline things here if I am to help you.

What specific questions remain, I understand the situation...but what are you still wondering.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello and thank you for your time.


As I said before, I do not believe that this is a viral infection, as I have had them before, and this does not feel like one.


To recap: I have had several weeks of feeling increasingly more unwell with sudden onsets of brief vertigo and/or weakness, severe dizziness and what I can only describe as "brain zaps" or feeling of an electric shock in my head sometimes with a brief vertigo sensation (followed by several hours of weakness, nausea, need to lie down etc.), as well as a "buzzing" feeling in my body like a low electric current, and my vision is unsteady/jumpy like an old TV set (although my eyes are still and my eyesight is very good - recently tested). I have been sleeping more and better recently, and doing nothing but resting the last couple of weeks, drink plenty (no coffee or alcohol), eat healthily. Yet my symptoms are getting worse. I also realised when I first wake up in the morning my body seems to internally shake/vibrate for several minutes. I am most concerned about the "brain zaps" and "current-like" feeling in my body and the sudden need to go to bed (I am not able to eat, drink, talk, focus, sitting upright is a challenge).


So the questions: I would like to know what could cause this and what I can do - apart from what I am doing already - to feel better. Why am I feeling worse day by day despite apparently doing all the right things?


I am on holiday with my children and for the past week I have stayed at home while they went out - I also would like to join them, and in order to do so I have to feel better. Please understand that I feel desperately unwell, and am not just trying to waste your time, but am trying to spend some quality time with my family and actually enjoy this time. I have learnt to understand and listen to my body, but these things are worrying, and more to the point, are very much affecting my life right now.


P.S. Having had the best sleep in a long time last night of about 8 hours non-stop (apart from waking up this morning with the internal shaking feeling), I went downstairs but found myself feel the worst yet, with very bad dizziness, inability to focus as everything seems too jumpy, overwhelming nausea (not from the stomach) and inability to eat/drink, extreme muscle weakness, even coughing or talking are too much effort. These last days I have also had periods (hours) of extreme uncontrollable non-stop yawning (also this morning).

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 4 years ago.
We can not diagnose you or treat you on this site.

We can answer questions.

I take it your main question is what could be wrong.

Blood sugar problems
Medication effects
Electrolyte imbalance.
Thyroid imbalance......very commonly undiagnosed.
Other metabolic or hormonal problem, new onset blood pressure problems, new onset inner ear problem, brain problem [MS for example]...all of these should be ruled out.

You need
All routine labs
Thyroid studies.
Further testing depending on exam findings.

OK. If you have further questions or details, use reply to expert.
Otherwise please choose a positive rating . But, still come back if you need to…think of something later, etc. Bonuses are appreciated.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hallo again. Thank you for your message. I apologise for not replying sooner but I was extremely unwell for the past two weeks. I ended up going to see a GP while on holiday and had some blood tests done, showing nothing (other than vit D3 deficiency). I have low BP but this I already knew. Some of the dizziness apparently may have come from neck problems and I was sent to a physio. Some of the symptoms were also "blamed" on the heat (high thirties).

Over the past two years I also had several blood tests (incl. thyroid and all you have listed, and a head MRI (due to lingering labyrinthitis) but all was ok. But as I was feeling progressively worse, I was given the diagnosis of CFS (in the absence of any other cause).

However, I have had similar "crashes" in the past, but this one was definitely the worst. Usually they are brought on by overdoing things, stressful periods, and/or prolonged lack of sleep.

This time there was none of that, instead plenty of rest, much better and longer sleep, healthy diet etc. So no apparent trigger. Yet I have been feeling simply awful. It is difficult to explain how this is affecting my life - I was once active (full time job, gym 3-5 times a week), now I do not go out of the house (due to extreme weakness, dizziness, and not knowing from one minute to the next how I will feel), and as I have 3 young children I feel guilty, frustrated and angry that I cannot be a "proper" mum to them. So forgive me trying to get some answers and some help, but I am desperate! I am trying to look for answers anywhere I can. This time you have the "short straw". I just hope that maybe one day someone will say "yes I think this sounds like ... and you need to do ...". I do not expect a miracle, just an idea of what I need to do.

This episode started like this: shorter than usual night's sleep after overnight travel, but felt "ok", following by day-by day worsening of my fatigue and feeling increasingly weak and faint, despite sleeping much better and longer than I do at home), my BP was dropping and was around 90ish over 50-60 with 65bpm, so I though maybe it's the heat and my BP. Then it got even worse with me spending several days unable to be upright due to weakness, but my BP was 120*/70-80, with 80-90 bmp for a few days. It was an overwhelming feeling of needing to lay down and do nothing as even speaking was too exhausting. My arms and legs had pains like after vigorous exercise and felt very "wobbly". My brain was foggy and I couldn't concentrate or focus. Additionally, at the "worst" times, my tongue goes white (not due to anything on my tongue, just the colour fades from red/pink to white), which can last from a few minutes to a few hours, usually while my BP and pule are higher than normal, and that is when I feel most like "collapsing".

It has improved minimally gradually and now that I am home I can function on a very basic level (get up, give the children breakfast, watch them play, make dinner (in stages, not all at once), put them to bed. But I cannot continue to function like this! I need to know why this is happening and how I can improve it.

Additionally, around the "worst time" is when I have my "period" (several days of bleeding or spotting, on average every 3 weeks, despite having a Mirena coil). During that time, and since, I have had the feeling that my legs (especially the back of my thighs) are swollen and painful, certain veins feel as if there was a bruise there. I keep thinking that this may have at least something to do with it.

I am sorry I am being so "pushy" and time consuming, but I really am desperate. I feel like I am slowly dying at times as my body refuses to function normally, and being told that there is nothing wrong that anyone can see or that my symptoms are too vague, is the most distressing.

Please please give me your thought. Or perhaps suggest where I should go next. As I said, my GP has ran tests showing nothing and also doesn't know what else to do.

Thank you.

P.S. My apologies for possibly sounding "angry" earlier, but I really am desperate and frustrated...