Persistent vertigo that triggers several other symptoms

Reply Sun 31 Jul, 2016 09:50 am
In February, my girlfriend had an attack of rotational vertigo at night, including nausea and vomiting. As several otolaryngologists later confirmed, her right vestibular organ had failed, but almost recovered in the following weeks, while the vertigo persisted and grew more and more sensitive to triggers. Since then, she has been unable to watch TV, work on a PC / tablet / phone or even play cards without triggering vertigo. The fact that the vertigo always triggers a domino effect of other symptoms doesn’t exactly help, either. She knows these symptoms from the Lyme disease she had ten years ago (no bacteria present since then): supraventricular cardiac arrhythmia and polyneuropathic pain (Lyrica doesn’t help much) in the whole body. She also has very unpleasant neurological problems that feel like an electric current is running through the body and a very strong sleeping disorder. Especially her back is very sensitive to mechanical manipulation like massages, or even pressure that is applied when she leans back in a chair. Every (even light) physical activity and also flickering and looking at fast movements (TV, monitors etc.) also triggers the domino effect.
The usual neurological tests (EEG, testing of acoustic nerve, ultrasonic testing of all cervical and cranial blood vessels, CT of cranium and cervical spine) didn’t show up any problems.
Neither classical psychians nor natural health professionals couldn’t help us to now. The classical doctors just focus on the vertigo and ignore everything else. They have excluded Morbus Meniere, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and servical spine syndrome by now. They only prescribe medication against the symptoms: anti-convulsiva (Lyrica), neuroleptica (Dominal), antihistaminica (Betahistin), sleeping pills. They also tried anti-depressants (which failed and had nasty side effects) and suggested psycho-therapy (long waiting lists).

Now, she had a vertigo relapse (vestibular organ failed again) during an ‘anti-vertigo treatment’ with mechanical stimulation of the cervicular vertebrae by a physiotherapist.
Does anybody have an idea why those mechanical triggers cause the vertigo and why it triggers this domino effect of other symptoms?
We are desperate and fell pretty helpless. We would be very grateful for any suggestion what to do.
Reply Sun 31 Jul, 2016 10:05 am
Note: I am NOT a doctor.

Maybe it's not really vertigo. Maybe it's low blood sugar or something like that, at least, part of the time.

Might be a good idea to get another blood workup (I assume she's had at least one done already) to see if she's hypoglycemic or borderline.

Best of luck to you both; it's rather frustrating when you're ill and no one seems to know why.
Reply Sun 31 Jul, 2016 07:25 pm
Note: I'm not a doctor either.

Have more blood work done and have them check for cancer indicators. And specifically have her checked for colon cancer even if she's young. I don't think there's much, if any, downside to either of those actions, and if they find something, all the better.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 31 Jul, 2016 09:06 pm
My guess is that it may also have something to do with the ear.
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Reply Sun 31 Jul, 2016 10:55 pm
an attack of rotational vertigo at night

Are you sure, the term is "rotational" vertigo? The type of vertigo which is fairly common is "positional" vertigo. The latter is related to the position of the head. If the head ( and middle ear) are situated in a specific position, the body of the patient will tend to be swung out in a centripetal direction.

So, if the patient is standing, when the centripetal action takes place, the patient tends to fall over ( towards his left or right side), if he/she doesn't catch himself/herself.

This disorder is related to the middle ear, problems of which are common in the elderly. I don't know if the "exact cause"of the disease is known. While all of your tests haven't yielded much information, one area not mentioned was the boney structure of the ear.

One unique cause of positional vertigo that's been suggested is arthritis of the ear. Another explanation offered has been sudden and probably forceful changes in air pressure within the eustachian tube .

Of all the meds you've mentioned, has anyone thought of using a NSAID to treat the problem, especially if it's caused by arthritis?

Finally, when treated in the US, positional vertigo is commonly treated by having the patient undertake excercises that involve the head and neck.

Finally, we don't know the exact cause of your friend"s vertigo and we may never find out what it is. I find it strange that it occurs at night. Does this mean, it never takes place during the daytime?

Lastly, while I'm not an MD, I wonder if the polypharmacy, your friend is being treated with is really necessary....You might consult a clinical pharmacist to discuss the possibility of removing some of the drugs used in treatment.
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Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2016 08:01 am
What's your opinion?
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