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Hack my lightheadedness

Commented on July 19, 2013
Created July 05, 2013 at 3:56 AM

About a year ago I woke up with a feeling of fullness in my left side, which I now believe was probably a swollen spleen from some sort of infection. About a week later that went away but since then I've been plagued with what I believe is some form of orthostatic intolerance.

When I lay down I feel fine. When I'm sitting down I feel mostly fine, most of the time. But, when I stand up for any length of time, I can literally feel the blood drain from my head and I become very lightheaded and my coordination suffers. Recently, I discovered that these symptoms are exacerbated by bright light. If I wear my blue blocking glasses, these symptoms dissipate almost completely within minutes. When I look at my pupils in the mirror with consistent light, they sometimes contract and expand wildly.

A few notes:

  1. I've seen several different doctors (western and naturopathic) and an optometrist. None of them were able to provide any definitive diagnosis or much help.

  2. A barrage of blood tests haven't shown anything noticeably abnormal except a WBC that is sometimes slightly below normal. The last internist I saw (30 years experience) told me he sees this in patients my age all the time and said it's completely normal. I have doubts about that. I also had a head CT scan and an MRI -- both were clear.

  3. A digestive health panel revealed an overgrowth of E-Coli (not O157), an absence of gram positive flora, and low intestinal SIgA (14 with the normal range being 400 ??? 880).

  4. A neurotransmitter urine test showed very high levels of GABA (everything else was in normal range).

  5. Increasing salt to about 5 g/day has helped somewhat.

  6. Lyme tests have come back normal.

As I said in the beginning, this has been going on for a year. I'm beyond frustrated at this point and I really just need to know what's wrong with me. Can anyone provide any input or recommendations? Perhaps for a specialist I should see?

4739dfc454ee7d5b4a6c232984fb9fb9

(70)

on July 19, 2013
at 09:42 PM

If her basic panels came back normal, than you can assume they ruled out hypothyroidism and electrolyte issues. Adrenal fatigue is not an actual medical condition. Metabolic syndrome seems to be in line with a possible hypoglycemia diagnosis which makes sense based on symptoms - perhaps the OP should consider bringing this up with a new doctor if they are not satisfied with those they have encountered thus far.

D396b126240f584bc358e6e4fd84e9e3

(455)

on July 05, 2013
at 03:43 PM

Blood sugar is very stable and always well within range. I haven't had an echo scan but I have had two EKGs and two chest x-rays. All cardiac biomarkers including CRP-hs are all excellent. The abdominal fullness was only the left side below the ribcage and went away after a week.

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2 Answers

0
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on July 05, 2013
at 07:22 AM

Uhm, many things that pop up into mind: low sodium, adrenal fatigue, metabolic syndrome or hypothyroid, or a combination of many.

Are you under stress? If that's the case, try to relax and see if things get better. If not, according to what you describe about the E.Coli seems very like it might be related to the gut. Do you feel right after eating food? How's your stool compared to the bristol stool chart? Any bloating or abdominal cramps?

Trying to get good gut health I think should be first line of action, everything seems to start in the gut. The more you can check for parasites and other gut issues... the better.

Do you drink much water? How do you eat? If eating a low caloric diet with plenty of veggies, fruit and few junk food and dense carbs that bring most sodium and water retention to the diet, and peeing a lot... maybe you have low sodium due to too much fluid dilution in the blood, also known as hyponatremia. Eating more, adding salt (you already said it seems to help) and drinking less might help.

How's your body temperature? From what you describe wouldn't surprise if it's low. That could be related to the sodium thing or from some form of hypothyroidism... a complete thyroid panel would be nice, and if you add thyroid antibodies then the better. From your symptoms I'd not discard a possible metal toxicity or auto-immune disease.

Do you feel better as the day goes on? Then a salivary cortisol test might give some clues, cortisol issues bring many of this problems in form of adrenal fatigue, also can be tied to the thyroid if the body is in troble do to blockage to T4 to T3 conversion... everything is very tied.

Keeping good sodium, potassium and magnesium balance and a good iodine/selenium balance might help you a little bit, first thing to try as well as adaptogens and sea salt...

Just some ideas, could be many other things as well of course :/

4739dfc454ee7d5b4a6c232984fb9fb9

(70)

on July 19, 2013
at 09:42 PM

If her basic panels came back normal, than you can assume they ruled out hypothyroidism and electrolyte issues. Adrenal fatigue is not an actual medical condition. Metabolic syndrome seems to be in line with a possible hypoglycemia diagnosis which makes sense based on symptoms - perhaps the OP should consider bringing this up with a new doctor if they are not satisfied with those they have encountered thus far.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 05, 2013
at 06:07 AM

Have you kept track of blood sugar levels, sounds like possible hypoglycemia.

Also did they look into cardiac health, and do a heart scan? Lightheadedness and abdominal fullness can both be signs of a heart disease.

D396b126240f584bc358e6e4fd84e9e3

(455)

on July 05, 2013
at 03:43 PM

Blood sugar is very stable and always well within range. I haven't had an echo scan but I have had two EKGs and two chest x-rays. All cardiac biomarkers including CRP-hs are all excellent. The abdominal fullness was only the left side below the ribcage and went away after a week.

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