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What could be causing my debilitating fatigue?

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by aesc, May 31, 2015.

  1. aesc



    My basic profile: 29yo male, no previous history of serious illness (thalassamia beta blood trait), previous smoker/drinker/drug user but not since incident:

    About 18 months ago I had an overdose on various prescription pain medication and sedatives I was prescribed after an automobile accident: tramadol, codeine, some unidentified benzo-like thing (I was in Asia at the time of the accident and not totally sure what the drugs were). I barely survived the overdose but afterwards was overcome by an incredible weakness and lightheaded feeling which has not passed for..18 months now. My symptoms are:

    - Fatigue, constant but worst in the morning and gets a bit better in evening.
    - Lightheaded feeling, constantly, like I'm on the verge of fainting.
    - Colourful TV "static" everywhere. (I had this a bit before, possibly an aftereffect from drug use. But now it's constant and intense and hard to see past it to reality).
    - Brain fog and inability to concentrate.
    - Difficulty sleeping well at night, waking every few hours.
    - Occasional heart arrhythmia (racing or too slow, missing beats).
    - new possibly unrelated symptom (since 3 weeks): my eyes always feel dry.

    I have had a lot of tests done with doctors; I'm not exactly sure what they all were right now, but they included heart ultrasounds, 24h heart holter, and standard blood tests like biochemistry, blood count, liver/kidney/thyroid/parathyroid/diabetes, MRI of brain, and everything is normal. I've seen more than half a dozen doctors and none have a clue what's wrong with me. My main doctor thinks it may be a Chronic Fatigue related to a past glandular fever infection, but I find this really implausible since I was feeling totally fine up until my OD. By this stage I feel the doctors don't take me seriously since all these tests in 18 months have turned up nothing. Yet the symptoms are totally debilitating for me.

    For the last 6 months I've taken combinations of the following supplements without any noticiable effect:

    -Magnesium (Malate)
    -Alpha Lipoic Acid
    -Acetyl L-Carnitine
    -Rhodiola Rosea
    -Ginseng (Siberian/Koren)
    -Valerian, chamomile and other natural sleeping herbs
    -Fish oil
    -Vitamin D
    -Electrolyte salts

    In addition I eat a healthy diet, I try to do a little exercise each day if I can find the energy.

    Does anyone know what could be wrong with me or what else I could try? I'm about to give up.

    Thanks for reading.
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    @aesc - Many of your symptoms sound like they could be Orthostatic Intolerance. Have you had a tilt table test? Do you feel better if you lie down, or worse if you stand still for a while?
    SOC likes this.
  3. Mary

    Mary Moderator

    Southern California
    @aesc - some of your symptoms are similar to what I experienced with low potassium (fatigue which is worse in the morning, lightheaded, brain fog, arrhythmia. You took electrolyte salts but that doesn't mean you got enough potassium. I have to take around 1300 mg. of potassium daily (combination of potassium gluconate and low-sodium V8) to keep my levels where they need to be. A simple way to find out if this is the problem is to get some low-sodium V8 (900 mg. potassium per 8 oz. glass) and drink a couple of glasses and see how you do. My potassium always tested low-normal on blood work but obviouslyi it was not enough for me, or it would dip down at times.

    I have no idea how your overdose could contribute to a potassium deficiency but obviously something is wrong so it's one thing to rule out.

    Your doctor's supposition that it might be CFS arising from glandular fever is not unreasonable as well. Why it would manifest after the OD is a mystery but unfortunately most of this disease is a mystery anyways.

    And Valentijn 's question about orthostatic intolerance is a very good one too, something which should be looked into.

    You don't mention B12 which is crucial for many of us.

    What most of us here have to do is to keep trying things, in varying doses, and read read read, about what helps others etc. There doesn't seem to be a simple answer for anyone. Methylcobalamin, methylfolate, B6 (P-5-P form) and lots of potassium have helped my energy levels in general, though I still have problems with crashing (post-exertional malaise).

    Also your adrenals may be involved. That can cause low morning cortisol which could be a factor in your morning fatigue. There are so many variables - there's no simple answer unfortunately.
  4. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

    Oh man, I think you fucked up your nervous system with the alcohol/drugs. I've done the the same to myself, and have the same symptoms, plus some other issues like hypersensitive digestive system because I abused mainly with alcohol and food (more than drugs). I think Orthostatic Intolerance is not the proper diagnosis for those like us, because it's obvious that our symptoms are due to drugs/alcohol abuse in the past.
  5. aesc


    Someone on another forum ( suggested to that mitochondrial injury could be involved. I wonder if anyone on this forum has knowledge about this area or in particular what can be done to recover from such an injury? The person at the other forum suggested some supplements. I have done a cursory research online and found several other substances indicated as well:

    - MitoQ
    - C60 Olive Oil
    - PQQ
    - L-carnitine [1]
    - (R?)-alpha-lipoic acid [1]
    - coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol) [1]
    - NADH [1]
    - membrane phospholipids [1]
    - N-acetylcysteine [2]
    - Resveratrol [3]
    - Shilajit [4]

    [1] http://www.researchg...ral_Supplements
    [2] http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/18626887
    [4] http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/22771318

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