Anxiety Support
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Extreme Dizziness/Off Balance and Health Anxiety - MAV

I'm so tired of feeling this way, i keep thinking im dying. There just has to be something wrong with me, because of the pain I feel everyday. I get everything dizziness, off balance, naseous, hot flashes, shaky, sweaty, wierd head pains, chest pain, neck and shoulders hurt and very stiff - I feel like im going to pass out any minute and never wake up. When I do wake up every morning I think how can I be here I thought I was going to die in my sleep. I have done every test possible, chest and neck x-ray, ultrasound of abdominal, MRI of head, ECG of heart, saw ear nose throat specialist and neurologist. They all boiled down to anxiety and Migraine Associated Vertigo. How can it be that? I must have some deadly disease like cancer or heart attack - I feel like crap every day it's so hard to be happy. Those tests were done 2 years ago so I keep thinking I got tested I am okay but then another part of me thinks my symptoms are more sever now that maybe they missed something. I'm scared of dying young and never seeing my boyfriend and family again it makes me so sad. I don't want to feel this way anymore I need HELP!

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Hi salsagirl20

I know exactly where you are coming from I have exact symptoms as you. I did find counselling helped on a one to one or you can go to group meetings, it doesn't get rid of your anxiety but it helps to control it a bit in time. relaxation music is good too, if you google mood juice there are several different ones you can download. I hope you find things easier in time.

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Thanks it's nice to feel support. I was seeing a couselor a while back maybe I need to see one again. This does make me feel better.

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Make sure you are taking your vitamins too, lack of magnesium and B vitamins can cause anxiety

Also eat a very healthy diet so that you can feel heathy too. Don't worry anxiety will pass you have to distract yourself with things you love. You will have some bad days but then you'll have great days I promise. Just believe in yourself. Doctors would have noticed cancer if you had it.

I get panic attacks thinking my brain is going to stop and stuff but it hasn't and this has been going on for 6 months. I actually feel awesome today and it's a great feeling! I know you will too just treat your body with love and be healthy and listen to nature sounds and buy a coloring book maybe too? Sing if you can or drawing can help distract your mind. Watch funny movies.

wish you the best! You've got this

Anxiety sucks and feels more real than anything but you are not alone.

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That's true and I have thought of that, I guess I find it hard to trust doctors but I should. Thank you that is helpful. I do have a colour book I should use it and don't as well as I stopped reading because of my anxiety. I find when I eat healthier and take away caffine and alchol indo feel better and I feel like i can control my anxiety way better too. That was really helpful it's nice to know I'm not alone and there is so many of us dealing with the same issues.

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Oh yeah eliminate alcohol right away haha I was a pretty frequent alcohol user I'm 24 now and my anxiety started after a night of blacking out while drunk and I'm almost 100 percent sure that alcohol made my anxiety come out :/ but since I've quit I'm getting stronger each day. It's been 7 months since my first panic attach or whatever that I stopped drinking and now changed my diet too

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Wow that's crazy. Good for you though! It's true alcohol really does feed anxiety.

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I have same. The balance issue is hard to deal with. It no longer frightens me but prevents me from doing things I want to do and those things I could do in the past. Believe and accept that this is caused by anxiety. Losing the fear will take an enormous strain of your already tired mind, giving it a chance to heal. The fatigue is caused by the amount of work your brain and body has to do to keep you balanced. Rest and quality sleep is also good for recovery. Something in your life has brought you to this. It may be an event or the way you think. Some of us are born worriers. You are young and have your life to live. Best wishes. x

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Thanks alot for all your kind words, that was really nice to hear. Today was a way better day for me then yesterday. Yes that is true... it's learning to accept is the hardest part.

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What you describe is severe anxiety. Along with migraine this is the cause of you being so unwell. Go onto utube and search for relaxation tapes which will alleviate these symptoms. Be strong you do not have cancer your anxiety is causing this. If you do the relaxation and try some exercise, a little each day you will be stronger😊😊

Hope you are better soon xx

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Thanks so much for the advice. I will do that! ☺

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My God! You just described what I'm going through!!!!!! SMFH...;( For me, It's bad when I try to sleep. I always feel like I'm having a heart attack,my body feels off, like a weird feeling going across my chest, sometimes my legs. I've seen the doctors for the past 3 years, including a cardiology. I take my physicals every year!!! They never find nothing?! But what they tell me,and how I feel are soooo different! I always say, I must have something? I'm actually going on my second physical tomorrow, by a different doctor, just so I can get a second opinion. Sometimes I want to go to the ER, just for the sake of going, and telling them I'm having a heart attack, so they give me every damn test to mankind! Some nights are great, and I can go to sleep with no problem, other nights are horrible..;( I've had Blood work, about , 1,000 EKG's, 1 ECG, 1 Cat scan of my brain. EVerything comes back good. I know I should be thankful!, and I am!!!!! But damnnit I feel like shit when I sleep....

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It's so nice to hear someone who is going through the same things as me, but i am sorry too because its not a fun thing to expreince. I know I feel like if I just rushed to the hospital they can help me, if I don't I could just drop dead. I know it's my anxiety but it's hard cause of how real the feeling is and you believe that you actually are sick. I feel your pain so know your totally not alone. ☺

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I know! I went to the doctor today , and I'm good! It's what I needed to hear!!!!

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Oh great news! So glad to hear.

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Hi Salsagirl, first, try not to worry, anxiety can do all kinds of things, I've had it all my life. But one thing you should check is whether or not you've had to take a fluoroquinolne antibiotic at any time prior to or since you've had those symptoms. In my case, I took a very short course of on (cipro) and didn't associate that with my symptoms, which were delayed. Dizziness was the start of it, as well as much worse anxiety which the drug can actually cause, and I also went through all the health tests you describe without getting any answers. It wasn't until I took another antibiotic that I felt much worse and went googling. If you have taken one of the antibiotics in that family, it's important to not take any of them again because it will make things much worse. So check that, and know that a great many people have your symptoms, they are not uncommon at all, and I do not think for a second that you will die young. Counseling is always a good thing.

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Hi and thank you. I can't remember the last time I took a antibiotic. I will try to think back though and research thanks so much for your support.

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I've felt exactly the same way for the past 6-7 years. Have done CBT and at times it seems like it does help but i still struggle and lately i'm having balance issues, head pressure, nausea and poor concentration. I think some things definitely trigger these more(noticed this pattern of certain foods giving me balance issues, nausea, head pressure). MSG(found in many foods), something i picked up on recently is definitely one so i try to avoid any foods with it.

Coming on here and seeing that so many people are in the same boat does help as well. Keep fighting!

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Yes I do believe what I eat has a huge factor. I have been noticing a pattern like when I eat really bad my anxiety is so bad and when I eat healthy I feel like a new person like i never had anxiety I have no fears or worries it's crazy.

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Hi just been to my GP with exactly the same symptoms, feel so off balance,I couldnt take a shower.thought I was going to faint..or drop dead..had all my bloods done, and alls clear.apart from my b12 was a bit low...i'm on b12 meds now, and feeling a bit better...Have you got yours checked.? worth a try if you havant,as it can cause tingling, balance issues, depression,and much more.. my GP says its anxiety. Hard to believe it can make us feel like dying. but he says it can cause all these symptoms...Hope you feel better soon....xxxx

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I know I did think that too, i did go for blood work - she said all of my blood counts were fine and nothing seemed out of the ordinary and my numbers were average. I did take that a while back so maybe I should do it again. Something could have changed for sure. Thank you for the advice.

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I absolutely hate going back and forth wondering if it's more mental or physical problem. Sometimes it feels like maybe it is mental(talking to people sometimes does help). Then other times you feel like nothing is helping and what if doctors missed something? And then the pattern continues. It's crazy! This morning shortly after getting up i'm still feeling off balance and have head pressure. I didn't feel anxious really but my doctor always keeps saying that we are anxious even when we don't feel like we are. Other times i can feel fairly anxious and still not have all these other horrible symptoms. Makes little sense to me.

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When I read your story it's sounds exactly like mine. I get head pressure, dizziness, off balance, vision problems, headaches, weird head pains in head, face arms and legs. I just don't get how doctors keep telling me it's nothing when I know it's not just nothing. I'm seeing my doctor again this thursday, I hope she can send me for some tests and I can get some answers. This is so frustrating to live with it makes my anxiety so bad....

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I decided to cut back again on the foods i think are making me feel worse so right now i am feeling pretty good(in fact the last 24-48 hours have been like that). I tried to do some meditation as well to relax and not have so many thoughts going through my head(you know when you worry of what could be going on?). Those have definitely helped. Not having much in terms of fatty/fried foods(and no MSG at all), little to no sugar either(only natural stuff like fruits). Short time but we'll see if it works longer(i usually get no more than 2-3 good days a week). Let us know how your docs appt goes. I have done pretty much everything(tests and therapy) and only got back that it was all anxiety. Stay strong!

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Thanks alot for your support. Good for you im glad you are getting better. Yes I gave been trying to eat healthy as I find eating unhealthy makes me feel unwell and worse. I will thanks alot! ☺

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Omg. I am going backwards again... today was so bad i felt dizzy all day and so much head pressure in my head. I feel so hazy and my vision is blurry. I was having a panic attack at work today I was debating going to the hospital because I was having extreme chest pains in my chest, arms, shoulders and neck. I still feel crappy. Sitting or laying down is better for me but walking is a nightmare I feel like im going to pass out, everything is so wobbly and I feel like passing out again. I get so scared. I don't know how to help myself. I don't know whether to see my doctor again I honestly think she thinks I'm crazy... I don't know if I should even be on medication for my MAV, anxiety or vertigo. I haven't been on any medication I am so scared of it and getting addicted. I have a major headache now cause of all the worring and this headache is just making my anxiety worse.

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That's what i'm feeling like 100%, can't get my mind of this weird off balance sensation, stiff and sore neck muscles and more. I have just had a huge spout of diarrhoea and vomiting caused by eating soy sauce, severe dehydrated and was just about in hospital but kept drinking electrolytes (6 litres) in 24 hours phew.......what I noticed was most of my 'anxiety symptoms' wern't present when I was in a bad state and was concentrating on my current problems. After 2 days of recovery I started getting back symptoms of unsteadiness, shaking hands, sore muscles, tingling legs and so on....am getting to annoyed and don't know what to do next, anyone else have this???? and what did you do??

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Omg I experience everything you listed plus I have TMJ/TMD so worst combo. I started having fears of highways, flying, boats, gondolas, it's endless. At one point I couldn't drive! Then I couldn't drive on bridges! I have overcome most except the highway driving. I still get anxiety or panick attavks if I'm driving work related executives around for my work. I think it's all related to stress and you being overwhelmed. I took a whole Year of matleave and I'm much better. I left a very high pressure senior role and I feel much better everyday. Mind you there are days where Ativan is much needed. I take vitamin b supplements and pasteurized cod liver oil everyday. Without it I do feel a difference. I think I know now that I can overcome it and that I'm not alone. You're not alone and even though it feels like your life is over, it does get better. I did this 30 day recovery formula thing online and it helped me a lot. I recommend it:)

Good luck

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Hi salsagirl20- have you found any relief to your symptoms yet? I have been experiencing the exact same things! I work on my feet all day long and its so frustrating to me! I feel so off balance all the time and I feel like Im going to fall! I also feel confused, my head feels full, I feel like the floor is moving under me, and I feel short of breath. It will happen any time of day and for any amount of time! I'm 27 years old and I feel out of control with these stymtoms! Ive gotten a ton of tests done- and MRI, vestibular testing, and blood work. All come back completely fine. I have been having these same stymptoms now for the past couple years but in the past few months they have been absolutely debilitating! I feel like I can barely walk!

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Hey message me I'm 28 and have the same problems this post is old so I doubt she will respond

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Did you ever find how to get rid of it?

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So many of us here complain of neck and shoulder pains when we have the dizziness. I live day to day with neck pain and constant dizziness. Been through all of the tests, nothing found. Diagnosed as anxiety. This was 5 years ago! Today I ran across this article and it made me rethink everything. I thought maybe you would all like to read it and see if it may be part of YOUR problem. I am on the computer ALL the time, looking down, always in one position. I may try to find a doctor who knows about this Cerviogenic Dizziness and see if I can get different answers and or diagnoses. Perhaps some different help!

Cervicogenic Dizziness

dizziness may result from neck pain

Neck pain often accompanies dizziness, but it may be difficult to tell whether the dizziness and the neck pain are related or just coincidental. The influence of head position on equilibrium has been known since the mid-1800s.1 However, a clinical syndrome relating neck pain and/or injury to dizziness and disequilibrium was not discussed until the 1950s.

Ryan and Cope2 described a syndrome of disequilibrium and disorientation in patients with many different diagnoses of neck pathology including cervical spondylosis, cervical trauma, and cervical arthritis. They introduced the syndrome as cervical vertigo. As true spinning vertigo is rarely associated with this syndrome, cervicogenic dizziness is a more correct name for this syndrome and will be used here.

Cervicogenic dizziness

Cervicogenic dizziness tends to be a controversial diagnosis because there are no diagnostic tests to confirm that it is the cause of the dizziness. Cervicogenic dizziness is a diagnosis that is provided to people who have neck injury or pain as well as dizziness and in whom other causes of dizziness have been ruled out.3,4

People with cervicogenic dizziness tend to complain of dizziness (a sensation of movement of the self or the environment) that is worse during head movements or after maintaining one head position for a long time. The dizziness usually occurs after the neck pain and may be accompanied by a headache. Often the dizziness will decrease if the neck pain decreases. The symptoms of dizziness usually last minutes to hours.

People with cervicogenic dizziness may also complain of general imbalance that may increase with head movements and with movement in the environment. Although no formal studies have been completed, true cervicogenic dizziness is thought to be rare.

An evaluation for cervicogenic dizziness involves a thorough medical evaluation because the symptoms are similar to other causes of dizziness. Testing of inner ear function is usually requested to ensure that the peripheral or central vestibular system is intact. A health care practitioner may perform a maneuver in which the body is turned while the head is held fixed to see if it causes nystagmus (eye movements) or dizziness to confirm the suspected diagnosis. The results of this test need to be correlated with subjective symptoms and the clinical findings because the test can also be positive in healthy individuals.5,6

Cervicogenic dizziness often occurs as a result of whiplash or head injury and is often seen in conjunction with brain injury or injury to the inner ear.4,7 It is often difficult to distinguish between cervicogenic dizziness and other medical problems. Cervicogenic dizziness that occurs in conjunction with brain injury or another form of dizziness will be more difficult to diagnose and treat. It is important to be patient while health care professionals sort through the problems and treat them in the most logical order.

The majority of patients with cervicogenic dizziness improve with only treatment of the neck problem. Several studies have reported that approximately 75 percent of patients improve with conservative treatment of the neck such as medication, gentle mobilization, exercise, and instruction in proper posture and use of the neck.8-10 For other patients, improvement involves treatment of the neck problem in addition to vestibular therapy. Vestibular rehabilitation is directed at what problems are found on evaluation and may include eye exercises, balance exercises, walking, and graded exposure to environments that make you dizzy.4

Summary

Cervicogenic dizziness is a syndrome of neck pain accompanied by an illusory sense of motion and disequilibrium; it is a diagnosis provided to people once all other causes of dizziness are ruled out.

Cervicogenic dizziness will usually resolve with treatment of the neck problem but may require vestibular rehabilitation for complete resolution of symptoms. In general, the prognosis for patients with cervicogenic dizziness is good, with 75 percent of patients having improvement of symptoms.

Author: Diane M. Wrisley, PhD, PT, NCS

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