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Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

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Old 06-03-2002, 05:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
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LukeW HB User
Unhappy Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

I'm a 21 year old male and I have had chronic lightheadedness for a month and a half now. I can't drive or even leave my house without anxiety causing it to intensify.

It all began one day when I was in the gym doing shrugs with heavy bar bells. When I put the bar bell down I suddenly got very lightheaded, forcing me to the gruond. This was odd to me because I am a very healthy person and was well hydrated and was eating right at the time. I've never taken any supplements and I wasn't on any medication either.

I waited 30 minutes till I felt better and then decided to call it a day and go home. On the way home I experienced severe lightheadedness in the car and my finger tips and cheeks went numb. I couldn't stop shaking and I thought I was going to die. I went a neighbors house and told them to call an ambulance if I passed out, but I started feeling better after a about 30 minutes except for a lightheaded feeling and a constant dull pain in the back of my head.

Ever since that happened I have had a constant dull pain in the back of my head that causes headaches and lightheadedness. Anxiety when away from home causes my symptoms to intensify. My neck seems to get real stiff, and feels almost numb in a way. It feels kind of like an ice cold burning sensation at times.

I saw a doctor about it and he told me that I probably had an inner ear infection causing the problems and that I would feel better a few days. He said the numbness was just brought on by anxiety because I was driving when I got lightheaded. He told me to take motion sickness pills with meclizine in them until then. Well that was two weeks ago and I'm still feeling awful.

I have no idea what I'm up against. Could this be some kind of neurological problem? At first I thought I had just strained something, or pinched a nerve, but now I'm beginning to worry that it could be something more. I'm thinking about going in for further testing. Unfortunately I don't have any insurance, just some money I saved for my Junior year of college. I'm really in a fix so any comments, prayers, or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.


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Old 06-03-2002, 12:35 PM   #2
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RAline HB User

If you get any test, since you are paying yourself, make sure it is an MRI with contrast of the head and neck. When you go for the follow up appointment, don't let the neuro dismiss you. Have him/her rule out everything bad. That way, you can start working on your panic. Panic attacks can do horrible things to your body and feel very physical in nature.

I have had similar problems. I am a 27 yr old female -- I was in the middle of training for a marathon when my problems hit. I have always been healthy, always lifted weights, always been energetic. It can be really scary when all these symptoms happen and then you start worrying about dying of a brain tumor and it makes everything worse.

Fortunately, my MRI was normal... However, there is still no explaination for my symptoms. They are starting to look at MS, lupus, etc. I am having another MRI in a couple of weeks only because I am paranoid about a brain tumor.

One thing you might want to consider is taking a vitamin B12 suppliment. It can cause a lot of symptoms you mentioned, and if you take any sort of antibiotics or have any problems with other illnesses, your body might not be absorbing enough b12. I assume since you are a weight lifter, you get plenty of protein, which has lots of B12... if not, you might want to up your protein.

Here are some hopeful things of which I keep reminding myself: brain tumors are rare-- usually, the answer is more simple. It's more likely that your problem resulted from pinching a nerve in your neck. You might want to see a chiropractor. Were you doing back or shoulder work?

Try not to panic. I did, and now I have a hard time believing my doctors. I've already convinced myself I'm dying which is ridiculous!!

I wish you luck. Please keep me posted on your progress because I know what it's like to have undiagnosed problem.

Old 06-03-2002, 02:21 PM   #3
Allen B
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Sorry to hear your having such a thing happen to you so early in life. I know what it is like to not have insurance and it almost always is the case with a college student. MRI is probably the best tool to check out this problem but a CT (Cat scan) is good to find problems too and they are not so costly. You might check on the prices and decide what to do first. My first thought is an anyurism which may have been caused from over straining during lifting. I don't mean to scare you but you should do something more if you are still having trouble. This is a problem that is usually fixable but can be deadly if ignored. My wife is having a battle with brain swelling which they think is Lupus or Behchets. A CT did not show anything on this but an MRI gave a perfect picture of what was happening. Compare the prices and talk to a doc about what to do next, but just do something other than wait!

Old 06-05-2002, 08:38 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
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LukeW HB User

Thanks for the advice RAline. I was doing shoulder work when I first got severely lightheaded. I was donig shrugs with 65 lb. barebells in each hand. I am on a multi-vitamin the provides a wealth of B12 and my protein intake was high before the problem occurred. I'm not taking in as much protein now because I'm not being as strict with my diet anymore.

Allan, thanks for the sympathy. I'll need to go and look up what exactly an anyurism is(I think it's spelled differently...), but if I remember right it it's when a blood vessel or something breaks and blood fills up in your head creating pressure? I'll definitely look into this, thanks for the suggestion!

My worst fear is probably dying because of an undiagnosed problem that could have been avoided with proper attention. If I didn't feel like I might pass out and never wake up again I think I could cope with it better. I have been stressing over this new developement in my life a lot because it seems to throw everything out of whack and has put me in a financial tightspot. I have been seeing a chiropractor for the last week and I will be getting X-rays done today, in about 20 minutes actually. So I'd better take a shower and run! Talk to you all later.

Old 06-05-2002, 03:23 PM   #5
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drs HB Userdrs HB Userdrs HB Userdrs HB User

Luke I was just about to go lay down for awhile, and your post caught my eye.
I'm going to try to sugest the most cost effective way to try and find an answer for you.

RAline thinks the answer has to be more simple, and B-12 is a good idea, the funny thing about b-vit's. is that they all work together, like b-12 doesn't work without b-1, b-1 doesn't work without b-6, b-6 doesn't work without~~~~~~~well you get the idea... so get a good b-complex vit. try and find one that isn't too loaded down with niacin. You don't need hot flashes too. Male term is flushed. lol....How do you feel about the chiropractor, there're ~all~ alittle diff. in there approach, so if you get the idea he's just soaking you dry and your not getting good results, find a diff. one, or better yet ask some people you know in there 30's thru 50's age group see if they know of a good one. They've probably been to a few by that age.

If the chiroprator or doc's do determine that it in the ears, it could be the thyroid hormone level is causing inflamation in the ears too. I had it and it was bad. Hows the history in your family on the thyroid, anything there?
How about blood sugar levels, know any diabetics that could do a ***** test to check it out when you get dizzy?

Allen B. Was right when he said " Do something besides wait, and it sounds like your trying.
I've never had Dr. Office visit's covered with my insurance either, so I've always gone for the holistic cure 'vs' the big doctors bills.
Reflexology is one of my favorites.

But try and look at it this way, Tax time comes and you get to deduct it
Also if you get any new symtoms with this, like severe vomiting, or migrane headaches go to the ER. Tell them you'll need to make payments right off the bat, or find a learning hospital in your area. Have a friend or family member drive coz you never know what they might do to check you out.

Also you say that you were hydrated, and was taking a protien drink at the time, was there any stimulants in the drink at all? If so just 6oz of some sort of stimulant, will dehydrate 10 to 12oz of water from the body, and the brain gets 20% of total body blood flow, and is made of 85% water.

Also, just water is not enough, you need to replace your eletrolytes too.
and like RAline said it may be something this simple. The right kind of rehydrating should be done in addition to everything else you try coz, what if its just that? The balance of water (which most of the body is) rehydration, totally no stimulants at all, and replacing the electrolytes, from the flushing out you get from the water. Also the salt replacement, If you are african american you have to keep an eye on swelling and salt, also the chances of thyroid disfunction is very high them too, just prone to being sensitve to it for some reason.
But if your white, you shouldn't have any problem with this regiment.

For the watercure diet. This will do more for rehydration than just drinking water. (and taking protien powders when working out.)

Go to Open Topics look for 'please please please help me ' posted by William Green on 6/2/02 is a long one I posted twice, read both posts.

All the info. you need to start is there. It's very economic and easy once you get the hang of it. Doing this watercure diet is great for: Neck pain, Stress and Depression,Ease of sleeping, Preventing fainting, which is just a drop in the bucket, but what you may find appealing.

I'm reading a book on this by a doctor who discovered this combination of water and sea/salt with certain minerals included. He was in a concentration like prison, which the goverment in his country could keep you in implorable conditions and kill you if they wanted. Very interesting how he discovered all this and kept himself from being executed because of what he found. The book is called " Your bodies many cries for water"
(on the first page it says: Chronic cellular dehydration kills. Its initial outward manifestations have until now been labled as diseases of unknown orgin.

It makes so much sense when you read it. How the body works. Maybe you could find one or order this book at the library.

His Name is: F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

It's a self education manual.

Hope you check it out, this would benefit everyone.
Now I'm going to take that nap....well now I'm not as tired, I just took some salt after a big glass of water....It Makes you feel more awake. So might as well check some more posts for awhile. Take care, Diana

Old 03-20-2006, 12:28 AM   #6
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termar HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

I my have some helpful information, if you are interested post another reply for more info

Last edited by termar; 03-20-2006 at 03:21 PM. Reason: update info correctly

Old 03-30-2006, 12:52 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1
seba HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness


i am a 25 year old male with the same problem.I also lift weights.
My sensation of lightheadedness began more then 3 months ago and
once stopped for 4 days and then restarted again.Like Luke i never
had such a severe sensation,i can drive a car and so but it's very very
frustrating.I can't concentrate well.My neck and back of my head are oftenly in a constant dull pain and sometimes i feel a very weird "burning tingling" on the top of my head.My doctor send me for an ear check and it was fine,blood test were also good.He also excluded brain tumor becouse i dont have any severe symptoms but i will still go check this so i can be sure.So if anybody can give me a few advices i would be very grateful.


Old 05-19-2006, 08:52 AM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Seniorlady HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

Would like to read the 6/02/02 message by William Green titled Please Please Help Me.
You said to find it on the Open Topics, but I can't find it.
Probably to far back.

Old 06-06-2006, 06:48 AM   #9
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Location: Florida
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Leela_C HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

I have a problem with lightheadedness and neck problems too, along with a couple of other people on this board. There is a post titled "lightheadedness and mild headaches" in the General Health board. You can search by my name if you can't find it by the title. It has been going on for a few months now. See if any of our symptoms also fit you.

Old 08-08-2006, 10:54 AM   #10
Join Date: Aug 2006
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ad2006 HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

I am 25, and I have the same problem with lightheadness. I had mine for years with on and off periods, including episodes in the gym while doing strenuous exercise. Mine is getting worse with physical exercise, strong emotions, or when I am really tired.

This year the problem got worse and the on periods became longer, I eventualy ended up in ER because it got so worse that I felt like I was dying. Fortunately that was not the case.

After this episode, during the last few months, I had blood tests, EKG, EEG, i saw 2 neurologists, a cardiologist and an ear doctor and everything is perfectly normal. I also had a MRI and that came back OK too. One of the neurologists that I saw told me that a probable cause might be a circulation problem in the blood vessels in the back of the neck. He associated this problem with a constant position that I have for hours in front of the computer.

I realized that the feeling of lightheadedness is not so bad, compared to the anxiety that it generates, when I am in public, crowded places, driving, ...etc.

Seeing here so many people experiencing the exact same thing like me, all with normal tests, I am beging to think that these problems might have a psychological or psychiatric cause for most of us. I know that this is MUCH harder to accept then a physical cause, but don't exclude this. If all the tests are comming back OK, well things don't happen without a cause, and the physical causes are rather easier to diagnose, we have machines and tests for that, a psyhological problem is much harder to diagnose and accept.

If you have dozens of tests and all come back OK, I think is not a good ideea to make yourself believe that all the test are wrong and all the doctors are wrong. They are right, the tests are OK, the problem is elsewhere.

Last edited by ad2006; 08-08-2006 at 10:57 AM.

Old 03-02-2007, 04:19 AM   #11
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Mills, England
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jools182 HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

My symptoms started about 7 years ago when I was sat at work. I suddenly felt as though I was falling backwards off my chair along with the same falling kind of feeling you sometimes get when you are falling asleep. These feelings only lasted a few seconds and I seemed to be able to snap myself out of it. About 2 or 3 weeks after these symptoms I had a really bad dizzy spell, I just felt like I was losing consciousness, felt really confused and scared. I went home and went to bed for about a week, feeling like I had flu or something. Really weak and shaky and cold and dizzy.

After that I had occasional bouts of dizziness and feeling unsteady on my feet but eventually seemed to return to some normality although I never really felt 'right'.

A year or so later I started getting dizziness along with feeling flu like symptoms. I could usually tell in the morning if I was going to have a bad day, just a feeling. My symptoms then started with cold feet and lower legs and just feeling generally grotty.

Since then it seem like I have a constant level of dizziness which never really goes away along with nausea, chest pain etc

Over the years I have often thought there might be a heart problem because I have had chest pains since being about 16, but the tests that have been carried out so far have been negative. I even remember asking my parents when I was about 8 if children could have heart attacks, not sure why!

I used to be fairly active, mountain biking , walking, gym. I even did a bungy jump in New Zealand which I thought I'd never do, but these days I don't do anything because I feel so bad

During this time I have been checked for Marfans Syndrome, have had ECG's blood tests, exercise tests and echoes of my heart, and tilt tests for blood pressure. I recently saw a neurologist who suggested I may be suffering from Basilar Artery Migraine. He put me on beta blockers which seemed to help a little bit for a while but then I think I passed out, I was so scared I went to the Emergency dept who said there was nothing wrong with me. I went to see my GP and he took me off the beta blockers.

I have been to the Emergency Dept about 4 or 5 times over the years because I have felt so bad like I was about to pass out

My symptoms seem to be getting more frequent these days and lasting for much longer periods of time. I have this constant dizziness, and worse still this feeling of being unreal, dreamlike, numb, somehow detached from reality

I have not had a full week in work since last October when I had a really bad episode of feeling like I was losing consciousness; I was really pale and cold.

I feel like crap the whole time and my GP doesn't seem interested in my symptoms or how scared I am.

I used to be quite sociable and I like the outdoors life and going to the gym etc, but now I am scared to go anywhere. Last time I went a decent walk I got the same symptoms again, feeling like I was passing out and feeling numb, and it also happened last time I went out on my mountain bike, so now I don't do any exercise.

I know this sounds strange, but I am more concerned for my girlfriend than for me. She is younger than me and I think this is really affecting her although she doesn't say much about it. I want to be able to go out and enjoy life with her but we never go anywhere. I want to travel and do exciting things with her and build our relationship but I won't even go out for a meal these days as I just feel horrible the whole time and I am scared that I will have another of these attacks. I don't want to lose her over this.

I haven't even been to the hairdressers since September last year. Its sounds ridiculous when you write it down but it doesn't feel that way.

I went back to see a cardiologist as my Mum has contacts and got another tilt test which proved negative, however he now wants to do an Angiogram soon just to make sure, but I am so scared about this test. I have read about the risks and you can have a stroke, heart attack, kidney failure etc. My GP has expressed reluctance in letting me have this test and I don't know what to do.

I have also been to see an ENT who thinks there may be a balance problem but needs to do further tests

I want to know, should I put the Angiogram off until I have had the balance tests?

Last edited by jools182; 06-04-2007 at 02:15 PM.

Old 03-13-2007, 03:07 AM   #12
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Mills, England
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jools182 HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

I put the Angiogram off. I have had an MRI scan which revealed a vascular loop in my left inner ear which may be causing problems, but I have been looking on the net and the research on this seems pretty sketchy
Now I have started getting stomach pains, nausea, and tingling in my lower legs and hands and I'm thinking it might be heart related again! Or is it anxiety? Does anyone have any ideas?

Old 03-14-2007, 02:05 AM   #13
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Mills, England
Posts: 92
jools182 HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

Just been told today that I will be losing my job because of my absences due to my health. I can't do much about it because i am a contract worker and not an employee of the company

Old 03-14-2007, 06:40 AM   #14
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Leela_C HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

jools182 - I am so sorry to hear about your job. I think it is horrible that so many of us feel this way and no one can (or wants to) figure it out! I hope you start feeling better soon.

Old 03-19-2007, 04:02 AM   #15
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maria1007 HB User
Re: Suffering from almost constant lightheadedness

Hi luke,
Have you had your ears checked? My symptoms are very similar to yours.I went to c a specialist and so far he thinks it is vestibular migraine. The constant dizziness gets me too. I cant drive, to be honest i feel drunk most of the time! I think alot of it stems from the panic too. just tell yourself you can do it. even just a quick walk out can make you feel a little better.
Take care.

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