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Can you please tell me if this is PEM?

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by Prosons, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Prosons

    Prosons

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    When at the computer,watching TV, reading or riding in a car, within 10 minutes, it's as if a spell comes over me and it begins with brain fog followed by slurred speech general whole body weakness and fatigue. If I continue any of these activities for too long I experience sore throat, increased emotional lability, burning mouth, intensified sense of smell and other neurological symptoms like paresthesias and fasciculations. It seems that if my brain has to process too much information or process information rapidly, ie, travel and tv these symptoms occur.

    Any input is truly appreciated!

    Frank
    rosie26 likes this.
  2. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    My understanding is that PEM is a crash after doing something physical, Post Exertional Malaise. It seems like your stuff comes more from neurological exhaustion.

    I found that thinking and using my brain caused serious fatigue for me, as much as doing something physical, but I wouldn't call that PEM.

    I have a friend who had some of the same symptoms you mention and she ended up having Lyme.
    catly and Prosons like this.
  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Do you have the same symptoms when standing still for a while? If so, it might be orthostatic intolerance.
  4. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    It could be some form of seizure or atypical migraine. In your situation, I'd talk to my GP about the symptoms before I'd assume they were PEM.
  5. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    Sounds to me like immediate sensory overload, not PEM at all.

    PEM can come from mental and emotional as well as physical overdoings, but doesn't come immedaitely like this.
    justy likes this.
  6. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    Mine does sometimes. It can be immediate specially when doing strong mental effort I have same reaction as if I were running. Specially: loud noise like movie theater, strong work thinking, too much visual stimulation, crowded plAces ( I do ok if I wear earplugs). Kids playing ...
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  7. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I get immediate collapses in the supermarket from overload.

    But the more general PEM, with yukkiness and exacerbation of all symptoms, is later.
  8. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    In many, I think the effects of PEM are not immediately evident, as it corresponds to those symptoms caused by the cellular damage, and the degree of damage can take time to accumulate to such an extent that it produces symptoms. Of course this is not universally true, when ME/CFS worsens, I think many demonstrate very high levels of cell-free DNA even through the process of a sedentary lifestyle; these people are destroying cells, which take time to replace. This cellular damage can increase very rapidly depending upon the intensity and duration of exertion, especially whether or not it is aeroboic vs. anaerobic, and the your capacity to protect yourself against the effects of this exertion. I found that as my condition worsened there was a corresponding decrease in the threshold, which precipitated the symptoms. Symptoms would appear more promptly, they were more severe, and they would take longer to resolve. Perhaps my most sensitive indicator of of cellular damage is burning of my eyes., there are other causes for this, but I could readily correlate this to exertion. Effects are often delayed based upon your hormonal response. One can accelerate their metabolism, increase energy output and cortisol secretion as a result of some physical stressor making himself feel better temporarily, but this just masks the underlying damage. The cortisol covers up some of the damage, provided you are secreting it to any particular degree.

    There is a continuum of P.E.M. symptoms with the more advanced symptoms included a lot of pain, headaches, flu-like feeling including, fatigue, and brain fog. There is commonly some paresthesia in extremities, and even some chronic inflammatory symptoms that never abate, which I supposed would be a secondary consequence of causing inflammatory damages that cannot be repaired.

    I think there can be some overlap of those pure P.E.M. symptoms and those that were probably mediated by immediate glutathione availability in the skeletal muscles, other tissues, and brain. I make this statement with a great big assumption about what was happening, since it is only an interpretation. These are the symptoms that don't necessarily persist for the usual duration and don't necessarily follow ant exertion. Some of these symptoms would include weakness, as in your legs giving away, and some of the horrible CNS symptoms, which include light and noise sensitivity, really hypersensitivity to any sort of stimulation, this is when thinking can be incredibly painful. I think when you get this bad and you are always severely fatigued, start having confusion, and constantly in pain, it's hard to decipher what is going on.

    You seem to be describing something episodic versus features of P.E.M, which is certainly not transient. Actually most of those symptoms are recognizable except for the throat, mouth, and smell stuff. It reminds me of the time before I crashed, figuratively speaking, except I had massive surges of adrenaline that were easily recognizable.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
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  9. Prosons

    Prosons

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    Thanks everyone, I'm learning so much! Sensory overload is something I was unaware of.
    I do get a delayed reaction from physical exertion as well.

    Frank
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
  10. Prosons

    Prosons

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    Thank you for this Peggy-Sue after researching sensory overload it sure puts many symptoms for many years in perspective.

    Thank you to all who replied. You've all created a very friendly special forum!

    Frank
  11. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Frank, I think trying to understand the DIFFERENT type of malaises we get is tricky. PEM I guess by the name means Post exertional, or just after exertion. I believe this can mean immediately, otherwise it is delayed PEM (DPEM) which can come on anywhere up to 3 days afterward. I get, like you immediate malaise from mental activity (especially computer work) and also from physical and emotional exertion. I also get delayed PEM, where I crash harder about 2-3 days after physical activity.

    The sort of symptoms you describe are, for me, part of having M.E and just show I am overdoing it and need to stop ASAP. I have met many here who never have malaise from mental activity, despite being bedbound, and others like me who suffer from both.

    when I was at my most severe I would have to ration computer time to 5 minutes, before crashing out like you describe. Some of the differences in opinion on this may be due to the different levels of severity that we may all have, and not being able to understand the experiences of p[people who are more or less affected. And also the differences between those who have conditions like POTS or NMH.

    Of course it is further complicated by the fact that if you live in the Uk you will never know if you have POTs or NMH as it isn't tested for.

    So, clear as mud then!!

    Take care,
    Justy.
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