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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 1985
Experience:  Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
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I have been suffering from unusual symptoms for the last 6

Customer Question

I have been suffering from unusual symptoms for the last 6 years and remain undiagnosed. I fear this is mostly due to incompetence of the doctors/specialists I have been dealing with here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and their reluctance to order additional testing. I have been to see three neurologists and the experience has been the same: test my reflexes, ask me some questions and then tell me there is nothing wrong. I have had MRIs, CT Scans, etc.. and from what I was told, they appear to be normal. My symptoms are becoming worse, debilitating and are becoming to the point of being almost unbearable. Any insight you may be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. All these symptoms are ongoing 24 hrs/day, 7 days a week but there are things that will worsen the symptoms, such as exercise. And alcohol seems to reduce my symptoms somewhat. Here are the majority of my symptoms.Constant Strange head and eye pressure, including bridge of my nose.
Stiff neck
Weakness in shoulders, tension between shoulder blades
Changes in vision - Onset of myopia in 2012 which literally happened overnight. I could see fine one day and the next I couldn't recognize a person at a distance of 20 feet away. The myopia changes. There are days where I see perfectly and others where I can't. I may have blurred vision at 100 ft one day and then 30 ft, the next. Also, tension in eyes and back of scalp when I move my eyes. Night vision reduced.
Motion Sickness (I haven't had that since I was a kid)
Occasional Vertigo
Brain Fog, inability to concentrate
bladder and bowel problems (almost like weakness. I have to strain to both urinate and have a bowl movement more often than not)
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 month ago.

This is Dr. David

do you have excessive anxiety symptoms?

excessive anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder can cause dizziness, brain fog, stiff neck, neck tension, nausea, chest pressure, motion sickness, vertigo, nervous bowel and bladder symptoms

and can also magnify other small symptoms and make you very worried about them.

alcohol can often cause you to relax more and can help decrease mild anxiety symptoms

but we don't want you to be drinking alcohol all the time

there are medications like xanax, ativan, valium which can help decrease anxiety symptoms.

there are other medications which can help as well.

let me know if you have questions.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I do not have GAD. I have seen a Psychiatrist for years and he wrote a letter indicating any anxiety I have is not causing my symptoms but that the opposite is true. I can assure you anyone would have anxiety if they had what I had. For the record, I have tried taking Effexor which actually increased my anxiety levels and I am currently taking Wellbutrin 300MG. As I am sure you are aware, Alcohol could affect my symptoms if I was suffering from Intracranial Hypotension as it increases CSF pressure from 8 - 24% which is quite significant. I wish it were just anxiety causing my problems, however it is not. Do you have any other insight to provide, given this is not the case.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 month ago.

I am glad you are seeing a psychiatrist and are taking the wellbutrin.

did you have a spinal tap to check for intracranial hypotension?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No, I have not. I would like too. But I can't order it myself. I have done my research. Unfortunately, I have to seeing as neither the Neurologists I have seen, or my own GP seems to be very proactive in referring me to somebody who may be able to help. There are a variety of conditions which could be causing my problems; most of which could be diagnosed with a lumbar puncture. Rather than me telling you what I think I may or may not have, I posted my symptoms to see what you may be able to assess from those. I was not surprised by your first response suggesting 'anxiety' because it is the first thing that most of the doctors go to. I wonder why that is, because it's easy? Personally, I find it rather insulting.Doctor: " Do you have anxiety?"Me: "No, I don't have anxiety, Doctor so and so.... I feel perfectly fine about having nausea, vision problems, strange head and eye sensations that I can hardly explain because I've never experienced anything remotely similar to it my entire life."Of course, I do! Did you not listen to the symptoms I just listed off? You'd have anxiety too. What a stupid question to ask someone suffering from all these things. That is what I feel like. That is my frustration level. I am not a doctor. I did not go to School for 10 - 14 years to gain the knowledge and skill it takes to be a Neurologist or even a GP. But you know what? I know what Intracranial Hypotension is. My GP never even heard of it! Why do I know it? Because I am smart. Because I did my research. Because I paired all of my symptoms with potential diseases or conditions and ruled out any disorders that did not typically present those symptoms. No, I shouldn't have to do this but as stated, no one else is advocating on my behalf. If I could order my own lumbar puncture, I would do so. If I could refer myself to an Ophthalmologist, I would do so. I can't. So now, hear I am on the internet and basically getting the same results. I mean you no disrespect Doctor, but I am beyond frustrated. If you had a patient come in with my symptoms, not having a history or generalized anxiety disorder, what would your initial educated guess be?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 month ago.

your symptoms are from all different systems in your body and don't point to one neurological condition.

you have had a lot of neurological testing so far and no focal problem has been found

it can be difficult to diagnose yourself if you have psychological issues and see a psychiatrist and have anxiety symptoms which can cause brain fog

anxiety again can magnify small symptoms and make you very worried about symptoms

I am not saying any of these symptoms are in your head

these are very real symptoms.

but we see a lot of patients here online with severe anxiety disorder asking about symptoms very similar to yours, who have also gone through a lot of neurological testing and nothing is found.

if your symptoms pointed to one neurological condition, one of your doctors or neurologist or I would have picked up on it.

I am sorry you are feeling frustrated

I am trying my best to help you

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I know what anxiety can cause. I also know what it can't. I understand you don't have my full medical history, you have not met me and therefore don't know me personally. I have had multiple concussions, whiplash, etc.. from car accidents, have had 2 tumors removed from my neck (hemangioma). One, in 2001 and the other in 2011. I have had an embolism procedure done prior to the first surgery. In fact, the hemangioma was embolism procedure performed twice before my surgery. Again, I do not suffer from Anxiety but yet you are going back to that even though I had a psychiatrist rule that out. I have ADD, and depression which I was seeing my Psychiatrist, and why I am taking Welbutrin. Anxiety is a symptom, not the problem itself. As is motion sickness, the problems with my eyesight and others. My weakness is specifically associated with my shoulders, the bladder and bowels. I am sorry but six years is a long time to have to go through this stuff without a diagnosis. You may be trying to help but you simply went back to severe anxiety when I have already told you that is off the table. I appreciate your time but I think I think may not be quite the solution I was hoping for. Do you have anything further? Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 month ago.

thank you for that information.

anxiety can be a symptom of attention deficit disorder and depression.

I am sorry you are suffering with all of these issues

and that you have had so many surgeries in the past.

I wish you good luck to you in finding answers and getting better.

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