Dr's can't tell me what's wrong
Hello, 3 years ago I lost consciousness on an airplane that was attributed to common vaso-vagal syncope brought on by dehydration, fatigue and stress. Two years ago it happened again on the way home from work. It happened again a month later again on an airplane. Since then I have had a series of symptoms including light-headedness, periodic extreme fatigue, and what the neurologist has called "siezure auras" (it's a feeling that's difficult to describe. Like I'm watching a movie and suddenly realize no, this is reality). Sometimes it takes hours for me to feel like I have truly woken up in the morning. I occasionally experience slight abdominal pain that I feel when I press on the bottom of my rib cage. Also, since January of this year I have had a pain on the inside of my right arm that feels like tendonitis. However I have felt it every day and it has not gone away despite constant rest. Also, when I make a strong fist my entire right arm shakes uncontrollably. The neurologist believes it is just a tremor but it only affects my right arm. My left arm is not affected. I occasionaly feel slightly nauseous when I feels the syncope thing coming on and have been near to fainting several times aside from the 4 times I have gone right out. I seem to be able to stop it from happening if I quickly lat down and raise my feet allowing the blood to return to my head. These symptoms seem to be worst when I am out doing something such as shopping.???
So anyway I have had a series of medical tests including several heart tests (Blood tests, ECG's, stress test with and without nuclear tracer injection, xrays and echocardiogram) all of which have been normal. One of the tests revealed a possible calcium buildup on my aorta which my Doctor said is normal but premature for a person my age (37). I've had an abdominal ultrasound which was normal. I have had a brain CT scan, brain MRI, 2 EEG's and numerous blood tests. The only questionable results have come from my liver enzymes (GGT, AST and ALT). The GGT and AST were slightly elevated on two occasions as a result of drinking alcohol previously. However after a few days of no alcohol intake they have all returned to normal. I am currently awaiting the results of another blood test (Cortisol levels).
I have never had any classic alcohol problems (I don't argue with my wife, I have done well professionally, and would never think of drinking or driving), however when I told the neurologist how much I drank he called me an alcoholic. When I laughed out loud he called me an alcoholic in denial. Anyway it was a humorous give and take. I have definitely been a heavy drinker in the past few years probably consuming 1-4 drinks on average of 5-6 days a week. Once or twice each week I would consume 4-10 drinks in a night. So it may be that alcohol is the culprit and it is affecting me in peculiar ways. My drinking in the past year has been limited to about once or twice a week. I have not drank anything now for over three weeks. The symptoms have not lessened at all but I agree it may take some time if alcohol had anything to do with it.
So the neurologist believes my symptoms are the result of alcoholism although all tests have proved normal thus far. My GP believes alcohol may be a factor but whether it is the cause or only exacerbates the problem he does not know. I do not intend to drink in the near future.
Has anyone out there seen anything similar? While it doesn't seem to be getting worse I cannot carry on like this forever. My work has been very accommodating and understanding but I cannot expect this to be so indefinitely. I am open to any ideas and intend now to have consult with a naturopath.