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Blank Mind and HPA Dysfunction mystery - Please help me solve!

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Fogbuster, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Senior Member

    Hi people,

    I have had a mystery condition for nearly 5 years now, I have two main functional issues being my severe cognitive issues and HPA dysfunction.

    Each functional issue will be explained below, but in a nutshell my cognitive issues which is a blank mind has stopped me from living any sort of basic functional life and the HPA dysfunction has meant that I "react" (a stress response goes off) to everything I ingest. I don't seem to have any obvious symptoms like chronic fatigue, severe mood issues or some skin infestation, so naturally my family think I'm a SSRI, good diet and exercise away from being back to my old self.

    Cognitive Issues

    I have severe cognitive dysfunction. I have a blank mind. No racing thoughts, no thought process at all. No internal dialogue, no ability to think about anything, no negative chatter... I can't access my short or long term memory. In the same sense when trying to think about anything, visualize something, or form concepts in the mind it just doesn't happen. The best analogy I have found is if the brain were a computer, typically capable of processing all kinds of information, the blank mind is like the computer in "safe mode". The screen is still on, the person "me" is still aware and alive but none of the functions work.

    Before all this, I would map out my day in my head, I could think, "OK today I'm going to run to the market, go to the phone store, make a phone call to Charlie before heading to London, tell Mum I'll be staying an extra two nights in London, go visit Ben when I'm up there as havent seen him in a while, cook steak for dinner, etc. Now I can't do that, just dead inactive space. I don't internally think and have words that go across my head. I often find that words come out of my mouth, without me cognitively thinking about it, almost as a reflex.

    HPA Dysfunction

    Everything I ingest, for example cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, SSRI, hot showers, low blood sugar, all foods inc all veg, any quick release carbs more than 10g, any slow release carbs more than 15g, any physical activity (stressor) more intense than walking along a flat road sets off a stress response. So for example when I would walk along a beach it would set off a stress response, EVEN THOUGH I WAS WALKING, because it put more stress on my body trudging through the sand. There is clearly something wrong with my HPA axis/Stress response system. It's a complete and utter nightmare to say the least, due to being activated at least 5-6 times a day so therefore my nervous system activity, general symptoms and cognition waver constantly throughout the day. It is activated most of the day, when I am sat in bed and have not eaten in a while there is like a 20-30 min window when I can feel stable-ish before the adrenaline low blood sugar feeling kicks in. Surprisingly this functional issue has been just as destructive at affecting my ability of getting a job, maintaining/making new friendships, finishing studies, being able to read books, watch films etc etc
    I can't understand for the life of me what is causing this horrifically frustrating condition.

    What has worked?

    Many things have had a minor effect, Fluoxetine had a good affect on improving cognition for 20 minutes 2 weeks in but the affects were then quickly nullified when the stress response would go off, it didn't improve HPA. I stupidly stopped it as i thought the GAPS diet, working on candida was causing the cognitive improvements. The only thing which has an almost "cure" affect is taking 5-7.5mg of a Benzo, this includes solving my ridiculously low glucose tolerance, low blood sugar issues and exercise intolerance. It stopped my stress response going off to everything. It didn't improve my cognition very much at all though.

    My conclusions:


    It's either a undiagnosed Mast cell disorder as Benzos have been used to help treat mast cell issues and histamine activates the HPA axis. It also can't be a coincidence that my biggest triggers are legumes, cigarettes, spinach, alcohol, coffee, aged cheese, kefir, paella, spices, sauerkraut, nystatin, exercise and MJ.



    A rare form of an anxiety related HPA axis disorder whereby instead of psychological stimuli setting off the disorder its every substances I ingest and any physical activity more than walking. So the theory is my GABA neurons have been down regulated due to chronic stress(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15355334), so my inhibitory GABA neurons, which are the control mechanism for the stress response (SR) in the HPA axis are unable to control it so effectively any natural process such as eating, exercise etc when the SR goes off it's unable to control it therefore causing excess glutamate and CRH activation which is unable to be inhibited and controlled by GABA causing the wide array of brain and physical symptoms.

    In regards to brain chemicals it seems my Serotonin and GABA system's have been hit the hardest in regards to cognitive issues.

    As you can imagine I am at my wits end, I have had no abnormalities in testing, I've had many different tests to look for chronic disease, an MRI, blood sugar, tried various leaky gut diets etc. If you feel you may have some ideas as to what diseases/syndromes could fit the profile where there is 1) HPA dysfunction involved whereby there is mysterious allergy-like symptoms to loads of different substances and 2) Severe cognitive issues I'd very much appreciate any ideas despite how far-fetched it could be.

    For some reason I was unable to upload a document with my list of symptoms, so I print screened it instead. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my life story. :)

    Attached Files:

  2. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

    Northcoast NSW, Australia
    I had a period where I experienced something like this blank mind. This was when I got an MRI, which showed nothing significant. Shortly after, I began using hypothalamus glandulars, and then added pituitary and adrenal. The hypothalamus dampened my over-reactivity to noise, light, heat within hours. I went from hyperventilating as soon as I walked into the heat, to finding it uncomfortable, but tolerable. I used these glandulars for 2 years. At that point I'd apparently done enough detox plus methylation repair to stop using them. I used Nutricology hypothalamus, Enzymatic Therapies (?) adrenal, and Raw Pituitary pituitary.

    cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine...:eek:
    helen1 likes this.
  3. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

    @Fogbuster do you have a link re: benzos helping mast cell issues? Am very curious about that! Thanks.
  4. outdamnspot

    outdamnspot Senior Member

    @Fogbuster I am suffering from the exact same HPA dysfunction you describe. Did you ever get any relief?

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