Brain fog, stomach cramps, memory loss, fatigue, metallic taste, ringing in ears and
I am 45 year old male. For the last 3 years I have been suffering from multitude of strange symptoms that come and go with somewhat unpredictable pattern although by now I have them nearly constantly. Originally the condition has started with overwhelming fits of nausea, salivation and mental confusion that would envelop me in waves, last for several hours and disappear almost as suddenly. The only permanent element was ‘shimmering’ brain fog. This ‘shimmering’ component is unlike anything I had experienced prior to this and can be described as ‘mental static’ where inner perception is flooded by myriads of ringing, flashing, vibrating, buzzing ‘dots’. When the feeling got intense enough it would nearly completely disintegrate my subjective perception and my world – leaving only mad ‘buzzing hive’. I guess with time my brain got used to these fits and while such symptoms as nausea, salivation, stomach cramping, ringing in ears, light flashes in visual field, numbness in my body remained as strong as before, my mental perception remains intact. So these days my symptoms start in the morning with strong metallic taste on left side of the mouth, they increase in intensity 20-40 minutes after meals – strong stomach cramping, non-stop salivation, burning in the eyes, mental fog, nausea, chest pains, lower back pains, chills, ringing in the ears. The symptoms would last through the day, somewhat varying in intensity and would subside during meals and at nighttime.
My doctors originally sent me through the battery of lab tests (blood, ultrasound, MRI) and number of specialists (neurologist, surgeon, endocrinologist, psychiatrist – nothing was found beyond some minor deviations in my hormonal response, kidney cyst and some other minor items that could not explain the symptoms. After that they have talked about hypochondria, stress, depression, subjective perception, etc.
Since onset of the symptoms the quality of my life dropped below zero and death certainly looks more attractive. Internet searches produced many false hits with sites on mercury, lead, lyme disease, MS and hormonal disorders presenting long lists of general symptoms and advertising ‘miracle cures’.
I want like to have my life back or, at least some logical explanation of what is going on. My only hope is that some readers of this threat may have found the answer to their own similar condition and are willing to share it. Please help.
Hi, did you get fillings before these symptoms started? The metalic taste in the mornings, and especially after eating, along with all of your other symptoms, are the main symptoms of a heavy metal in your system. Ask your doctor for a heavy metal test if you had dental work before these symptoms started. If you didnt have any work done, try an internal med. doc. Some people react to dental work and get ill, some do not. I would rule this out first only if you had work done or dental problems before the symptoms started. You will have some that come here and claim this theory has been debunked, I believe it has not, you are the one who is dealing with this, you know your own body, you go do your own research. You should not have to be sick, and have others tell you that what you have read is all wrong, you make up your own mind.
When in trouble you really start treasuring help other people give you.
Anyway, I though of mercury poisoning from the very beginning. While my blood tests never revealed any abnormally levels of heavy metals, I removed all my "silver" fillings two years ago and underwent chelating therapy for a few months. I have noticed no improvements in my symptoms.
Ok, I see you have been to many specialists. I myself went to two dif. ones when I suddenly lost the use of the muscles in my legs from the knees on down. I spent weeks in a wheelchair and bedridden, graduated to a walker, then a cane, and my knees are still weak. I got NO answers or cause, so I understand how upsetting it can be for them to tell you NOTHING. I would try an internal med. doc if you can at a large hospital or clinic, where they confer with each other. I hope you keep researching too. If your hormones are not level., did they prescribe a treatment for this? Hormones are a major factor in how our bodies react.
The irony of things that I myself had an education in medical field, I was something like RN in Russia and after seeing many physicians in US I grew increasingly skeptical about getting any help - American health care system is geared toward speedy processing of common ailments and generally does not handle exotic cases well, save for very wealthy patients who can afford dedicated specialists.
I have tried to use my education and troubleshooting skills to figure things out on my own, but the combination of symptoms does not make any sense save either for some unusual heavy metal sensitivity, pituitary gland malfunction or Lyme disease and of course the possibility that I simply going nuts and the whole thing is purely delusional (as some of the doctors implied).
I suspect that many of our ailments are the results of synergistic influence of various toxic substances in low concentrations. For example, the level of lead in the environment (thanks to its earlier use in leaded gasoline) is about 400 times above its natural levels, and while by itself it may not be toxic enough to cause any nerve damage, who knows what it can do in combination with other chemicals that surround us?
Poisoning the environment has very different meaning when your normal life is taken away from you and replaced by hell, but it is indescribable and impossible to impart to healthy people.
Stay in touch, there is some solace in the fact that we are not alone in our misery. How do they say it in English? "Misery loves company" or something like that, yet I think the saying is missing the point.
Russianpal, I agree with you completely on the environment and toxic substances. There is a ton of evidence to support this. I became very sick years ago and had to quit my job because the docs couldn't figure out what was the matter, doc thought I had a virus. I insisted on seeing a specialist, as 6 months later, I was still ill and not able to work. He immediately told me it was something in my environment, ( was result of one room in my house being renovated and this had been finished 6 months before) so I know first hand how our environment can affect us. From that time on, I did tons of research on my own, on anything and everything, and like you, know probably as much medical as some doctors, or more, because I don't just look inside, I look outside the body at my surroundings and the air. I also understand about some docs thinking we are crazy LOL! If they can't figure it out, it must be us! I have been there, hearing the suggestion of depression, or psycosomatic illness. As for the blood test for heavy metal, I read that this is not a good test because mercury binds to our cell walls I think? so a person can be toxic and it not show high levels in the blood. Were you checked for lead poisoning also? All the sites I checked said a hair sample was the best way to check for metals. I am just as confused as you are about your symptoms, because every one of them points to mercury, the metal taste being the number one symptom. What were your levels when you were checked? I do know about chelatan therapy. I have an idea, what were you doing or what was going on in your life, different, right at the time these symptoms started, or right before? Maybe we can figure it out together. Do you still live in Russia?
Thank you for your reply Kasey443,
When I see hundreds of people in the forums complaining of somewhat similar set of neurological symptoms and rather similar denial from their doctors, I see it as a pattern where society refuses to accept certain facts. American households, cities and general environment appear to be fairly polluted places, and while this pollution does not necessarily smell or taste bad, it is present nevertheless and does manifest itself as allergies, asthma, fatigue, headaches, depression, etc. I left USSR and arrived in the USA 20 plus years ago as a healthy person and bronchitis, allergies, asthma and (recently) previously mention set of bizarre symptoms started plague my life, some of them began two months after my arrival to the USA. Four out of my 5 children have developed asthma, hundreds of people that I have met over the years in the USA suffer from allergies - I have never seen anything like this in admittedly very polluted USSR.
Anyway, I suspect that our declining health as people in general is the price we pay for living in fairly prosperous industrial nation where economic health is placed above environmental one. I guess the simple fact that prosperity of one person or country comes at a cost to another person or country sounds too Marxist to be discussed. Like BP will do anything in its power to understate death and health tall it has inflicted on the Gulf area, the same way most manufacturers of household chemicals, foods and drugs will do anything in their power to hide possible negative impact of their products on our health. And the Government will in general back them up to prevent economic disruption.
Anyway, back on the subject - I have been tested for main heavy metals including mercury, lead and arsenic - the results were within norm. Although judging by some medical literature, the figures on acceptable levels of lead in the environment are kept artificially high, because it has been shown that some neural damage happen at fairly low concentrations and if such concentrations were accepted as dangerous, more than 30% of the country would be considered of having too high concentration for public safety, especially children. Again, without being a scientist it is hard to say what is true and what is not and while I had plenty of opportunity of being exposed to heavy metals (cheap canned seafood, canned veggies from China and India, lead paint in the house I had rented, known toxic dump of local paper mill within city limits, etc) all this still does not make much sense since my children (thank God!) never have developed any of the symptoms while they have lived in the similar environment. I am honestly at a loss here.
To you and other people on this thread I would suggest eliminating approach to determining their diagnoses. While this approach did not work in my case, I think it is worth considering:
1. Fast for a week or so - nothing but distilled water - most adults can handle one week fasting just fine. If your symptoms lessen than you may narrow down what foods causing it by various diets.
2. Take one or two week vocation and live in entirely different environment. If your symptoms lessen than you may narrow down what part of the environment causes it.
3. Chart time and severity of your system for several months using some software like Excel, it may reveal some cycles and patterns that otherwise are not obvious and may illuminate different causes of the condition.
4. Such simple measurements as blood pressure, pulse, blood glucose and body temperature - can be easily taken at home, charted and studied for additional clues.
The simple truth is that our doctors probably do not have enough time for us and we do not have enough money for them, so we have to do some research on our own.
I have had two mystery illnesses. One was finally dx as chronic fatigue. not much was known about it but i did go through the speciliast to rule stuff out. then this past year i h was dx with a kidney problem and it gave me bran fog weakness and the metallic taste. i take a mega dose of potassium. have they checkedy our potassium? i over the years would take some baking soda with water. not great tasting to quell the metalic taste.
as you said it could be chemical or radiation even. lord know the us and russia had enough of the chemical and radiation stuff going on for years.
Thank you for your reply caring12. I will try your advice with potassium. How much of a dose do you take to alleviate your symptoms? My kidneys actually hurt quite a bit, especially at night time. Without ever being a drinker over the years I have developed quite heavy circles under my eyes. You may be onto something. Thank you again.
Russianpal, I see you have done tons of research. I agree completely with your ideas on doctors, the environment, and the claim of supposed limits on toxins in the environment and in our bodies, the pharmaceutical companies wouldn't make money, the doctors wouldn't, and the companies would be shut down, it all comes down to money. I did not know about your kidneys hurting every night, or the circles under your eyes. Cranberry juice is supposed to be very good for flushing out the kidneys, and cutting out all processed sugar also. I once read a story about a guy who was told his kidneys were failing. He read up on everything he could, as he didn't want to go to numerous appointments, meds and docs, and wanted to find out what caused it in the first place. He found out it is the american diet, he went on a strict diet and cut out all sugar, I don't remember what else he cut out, but ended up helping himself way more than the doctors did. His own doc asked him what he was doing as he started improving. So I hope you can get some relief and have your kidneys checked, or atleast read up on what foods to stay away from, it couldn't hurt. For you to have kidney pain every night, that shows they need to be checked. Good luck, keep posting, it is nice to see that you are doing everything to help yourself. Seems like we all need to be this diligent.