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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 9000
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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Past25 years I have struggled with all kinds of symptoms

Customer Question

Hello, for the past25 years I have struggled with all kinds of symptoms that fit into one category or another of the immune diseases. My balance is horrible, I fall constantly; once slicing my arm open and another breaking my foot - both of which were on the stairs. Back in 1989 I was told by my then OB/GYN that I tested positive for lupus - I was 21 weeks pregnant at that time. 1 year after the birth of my son, I was still experiencing skin problems and fatigue, though nothing was ever done. They gave me Neurontin and Ativan and sent me on my way. 3 weeks ago, I was rushed to the ER because they thought I had a stroke - I'm diabetic as well, (did I fail to mention that in the growing list of problems) I'm currently 52 years old, exercise everyday and eat well. I have now developed a problem with my speech and swallowing - the swallowing symptom just began recently, but the speech impediment has been around for a few months. My memory if also going - I literally have to stop and think where I'm at and what day it is. I'd appreciate any feedback I can get. My PCP has suggested seeking out an opinion from Hershey....Thank you in advance for your help, Christine
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 1 year ago.

Hello Welcome to JA.

Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 1 year ago.

So I will assume that you have Lupus. With that, you may be suffering from what is generally known as CFS, chronic fatigue syndrome. But the neurological issues, which sounds like ataxia, a condition where you have problems walking heel to toe (a straight line) and the swallowing/speech problem (are you dysarthric, meaning slurred speech, or problems forming words?) suggests a CNS, central nervous system problem that needs to be addressed by a Neurologist. Possibilities include a type of stroke known as lacunar stroke, involving the deep white matter in areas around the basal ganglion, which can be seen in the context of uncontrolled diabetes and/or lupus that is not in remission. There is a condition called Lupus cerebritis that effects white matter and gives an MRI picture much like Lyme disease when in the brain, scarring of the white matter. You certainly need a Brain MRI with and without gadolinium (contrast) to differentiate the possibilities. Hershey Medical Center has a very good Neurology dept., also Univ of Penn and Thomas Jefferson Univ. Hospital in Philadelphia would be good choices. Please get back to me if I can help further, or if satisfied, click on the stars on that page to rate me as that is how I am compensated for my work. Dr Frank