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cvilleitaly1 09-27-2012 08:45 AM

What type of specialist?
Hello all,

Greetings to everyone and thank you for reading. I am sure there are a lot of regular posters here who are inundated with requests of "what do you think of my symptoms?" but......
What do you think of my symptoms?? :)

I am a 33 year old woman living in Italy where I rave and rave about the public healthcare. However,t here are drawbacks. Mainly things like waiting over 2 hours to see your doctor and having her blow off your symptoms in under two minutes. I would like to take things into my own hands now and make a direct appointment with a private specialist, but this will be something I will have to pay for so I want to at least know if there is reason for concern and which, if any, specialist I should see.

My symptoms are:
1. Extreme tiredness/fatigue
2. Weakness, But strangely. I go to the gym and regularly do deadlifts of say 95 kilos and then I have trouble walking up the stairs with my 20 kilo child in my arms.
3. Occasional numbness and tingling, mainly when lying down.
4. Confusion
5. mild depression, for reasons unexplained, just feeling blue
6. Forgetfulness
7. Extraordinarily heavy menstrual cycle, soaking through a super tampon about every 30-45 minutes
8. Feelings of my brain "turning off" for a split second. As if there is a light switch and it just flickers and then is immediately back up and working
9. Neck pain- could be due to stress, extensive weight lifting, although I have a great trainer and am careful with form.
10. Mildly colder than usual, nothing extreme, but definitely noticed
11. Trouble concentrating on visuals, tv, reading, driving, etc. Especially at night, I have almost eliminated driving at night all together as it has become dangerous.
12. Difficulty speaking. It is hard to evaluate whether or not this is cognitive or a problem actually physically producing the words. But sometimes I feel like I know what I want to say and I can't get it out. I used to think this was due to recently upping my Italian and working towards total fluency, sometimes to switch back and forth between english and Italian becomes tiresome as I am not a "language person" But it is becoming more frequent and worrisome.

Initially my symptoms (particularly tiredness, depression, heavy cycle) and blood work indicated a thyroid problem (mild) But my doctor ordered a scan of my thyroid to look for a tumor or cyst and there was nothing, only a smaller than normal thyroid. She also ordered follow up blood tests on the thyroid but those came back normal. So I took those to her today and she said that it was nothing to worry about. To "stop eating crap and eat more fish"

The thing is I have an very healthy diet, I eat fresh, well-balanced meals. I eat healthy, fatty fishes at least 3 times a week, lean meats and plenty of vegetables (not as much fruits as I should). I drink plenty of water. But I also drink plenty of coffee (4-5 espresso with milk per day) and plenty of wine (1/2 bottle to 1 bottle per day).

Any opinions are welcome.

cvilleitaly1 09-27-2012 08:54 AM

Re: What type of specialist?
Oh, I forgot to add that I have recently started suffering from frequent, almost migraine like headaches. However, I have seemed to narrow them down to days when I drink a particular brand of non-alcoholic beer, I feel almost certain they are related to that as they don't seem to come any other time. But.... another thing to put out there.

cvilleitaly1 09-27-2012 09:44 AM

Re: What type of specialist?
oh dear, this is why I want to go to a doctor and stop searching the internet for an explanation. I googled some of my symptoms and was reading about tumors of the pituitary gland. While I don't have much of the visual stuff related to that, I do note that I have some of the psychiatric symptoms. I have had, actually for quite some time, very increased irritability and hostility. I have always been a pretty calm, happy person. But for some time now (longer than the rest of my symptoms) I have had strange, unexplained hostile tendencies. I have not acted out on them, I am still an upstanding member of society!!! But, things like at the dinner table once a friend and guest of mine had a slight coughing fit, nothing major at all, and I felt this rage build in me and had visions of taking a frying pan to his face. Or if I am stuck in traffic or something happens along the road I get a severe case of road rage and have feelings of wanting to ram my car into the other car, etc. Or if one of my kids is crying I get full of rage and out of my head upset. I am always under control, have never lashed out or acted on these feelings of rage, but as you can imagine, they scare me a great deal. It sounds CRAZY, I am fully aware. Believe me, I feel crazy when this happens. I always just pushed that off to the side and thought maybe I was going a bit bananas (recently separated in a foreign country, far from family, friends, home, 2 kids under 4 to deal with as a single mom, etc.) But now I am thinking there could be something else to it and hopefully a way to put an end to the internal rage, I am NOT a bad or angry person.

teteri66 10-16-2012 05:40 PM

Re: What type of specialist?
I am sorry no one has responded to your post. It must be very hard to be living in a foreign country without much support, and then to have a collection of symptoms such as you have.

I think no one knew exactly what to suggest to you, so they didn't write anything at all. I wanted to at least acknowledge your post, although I am somewhat baffled by your issues. I normally hang out on the back board so I always try to relate symptoms to the spine...and it does sound like some of your issues could be related to a problem in the cervical spine. A disc bulge that causes some nerve compression can result in symptoms such as headache, and various neurological symptoms like dizziness, light headedness, etc. Also, tinging in arms, hands, etc. It can also result in pain below the waist if there is compression on the spinal cord. But it doesn't sound like you are in real pain -- more like a bunch of things that are troubling, annoying and somewhat painful.

It might be worth going to a neurologist as many of your symptoms seem to be neurological in origin...but it seems like things could also be caused by a hormonal imbalance. This is where a really good internist would come in handy but I don't know what that specialty would be in Italy.

I hope you will be able to get to the bottom of all this. Emotions can play a big roll in I wouldn't rule out that possibility either. Sounds like you are under a great deal of stress....can you go home to your family until you are feeling better, or is there a similar option so you aren't having to deal with all this alone?

dredwinf 01-17-2013 03:46 AM

Re: What type of specialist?
It might be worth going to a neurologist as many of your symptoms seem to be neurological in origin...but it seems like things could also be caused by a hormonal imbalance. This is where a really good internist would come in handy

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