Steadily Progressing Brain Symptoms for 3 Years

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by SeanOfTheDeadGC on Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:36 pm

Steadily Progressing Brain Symptoms for 3 Years

Hi everyone! I'm a 25 year old guy from the UK and for just over 3 years now I've been battling a mysterious illness causing steadily progressing brain symptoms including worsening brain fog, mental tiredness, emotional blunting/anhedonia, vision problems and insomnia to name the main ones. This illness (the brain fog in particular) has been making my life not worth living these days as I can no longer work (I now claim benefits), had to give up many activities I used to be good at and enjoyed, have lost basically all my prospects and I'm finding it increasingly hard even to enjoy and appreciate anything in life nowadays. Doctors don't seem to be doing very much to try and find out what my illness is and seem to think it's "CFS" or "Post-Viral Fatigue", despite me having very different symptoms that are primarily brain related, not to mention the illness being progressive.

Before I had the illness I was completely healthy, aside from the fact I had Asperger's and some minor gut issues. But when I came back from Download Festival in June 2016, I ended up with some sort of cold or flu, and along with it: severe brain fog which resulted in me failing a college course in audio engineering I was just a few days away from completing. This bug I had only lasted a week before clearing up. But since then, this brain fog has remained and has only gotten worse, while even more seemingly degenerative symptoms have appeared over the past 3 years. And so far, practically nothing I've tried in terms of diet, exercise, suppliments, nootropics and medications have had any effect at all on any of my symptoms. Although in some milder cases of insomnia, melatonin has helped, but that's it.

Here's a timeline of my symptoms so far in the order they appeared and progressed, it's quite a long list so I do apologise in advance:

June 2016 - Mild cold/flu symptoms - Symptoms similar to that of a cold, flu or similar viral infections. Subsided and cleared up within 1 week.

June 2016 - Cognitive Decline - Sudden onset along with cold/flu symptoms. Mainly affecting recall and processing speed. Imagination and creativity seem to be getting particularly worse and once vivid photographic memory has almost became non-existant. Socialising and having conversations (especially with more than one person) is extremely difficult due to my brain being too slow to respond or to think up answers to questions. Brain also seems to become easily aggrivated and fatigued very quickly (with acompanying headaches) when thinking or doing any kind of mentally involving tasks even for short periods of time. By far the most debilitating symptom. Steadily worsening and continuing to decline.

June 2016 - Tiredness - Constant general feelings of tiredness. Steadily worsening.

Sep 2016 - Insomnia (Episodic) - Difficult or completely impossible to fall asleep at night. Can occur at random on certain days but most often happens in week long episodes, leading to 4 days or 5 days of complete sleep deprivation. This insomnia is usually acompanied by a very unpleasent 'buzzing' or 'tingling' sensation in the head. Has since then progressed to chronic/intermittent insomnia.

March 2017 - Persistant Headaches and Strange Head Pains - Various pains around entire head directly under the skull, including stinging and burning pains. NOT migraine, tension or cluster types (never experienced these) and are likely to be of a different cause.

Oct 2017 - Deteriorating Field of Vision - No physical problems with eyes and appears to be a processing issue with the brain. Anything the eyes are focusing on will be seen at high resolution while everything else around it isn't and seems blurred out, giving a false sense of peripheral vision loss. Steadily worsening and continuing to decline.

Oct 2017 - Abdominal Distension and Bloating - Bloating, swelling and fat accumulating in the abdomen (particularly at the front stomach area) resembling a "beer gut". Prior to this, stomach area looked perfectly slim and healthy. Still worsening and increasing in size as time progresses.

Sep 2017 - Sleep Issues - Unrefreshing sleep even after 8-10 hours of sleep, some days worse than others. Can often wake up feeling much more tired and groggy than usual. This lasts throughout the rest of the day and is only resolved (may be better or worse) by a night's sleep. Symptoms of this continue to worsen.

Dec 2017 - Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) Attacks - Occur at random, often when in a relaxed state such as bedtime. Sudden sweating will generally occur as a warning sign first. The heart then quickly beats hard and speeds up to around 170-200 BPM before slowing down and returning to normal.

Feb 2018 - Blunted Emotions and Anhedonia - Emotions deteriorating in a similar manner to other cognitive functions. Not related to depression and cause unknown. Steadily worsening and continuing to decline.

March 2018 - Heart Arrhythmias, PVCs and Bigeminy Episodes - First began after taking propranolol (after only taking two tablets in one day), lasted 2 months, subsided, then returned 3 months later for unexplained reasons.

March 2018 - Chest Pains - Strange pains that often appear at random in the chest, mainly on the left side. A dull, spreading pain in the middle area along with chest tightness (basically like a heart attack) can often appear during an SVT attack, likely due to the heart muscles being under too much strain.

Feb 2018 - Muscle Twitches - Small repetitive muscle twiches that happen on any part of the body. Can also happen in the heart and be mistaken for arrhythmias.

April 2018 - Head Pain when lying down - Pain quickly builds up when any kind of pressure is applied (e.g. when lying on a pillow) to any area of the head where the brain is located. This pain instantly disappears when head is lifted and pressure is relieved. This is not related in any way to headaches and is an entirely separate symptom.

June 2018 - Vision Issues - Flickery vision with slight static, and flickering shadows (something I would only previously get with sleep depravation). Looking at plain white objects makes this most noticable and tiny, white specks (floaters?) can also be seen.

August 2018 - Tinnitus - Constant and chronic ringing in ears for unexplained reasons, without any exposure to loud sounds.

August 2018 - Unpleasant Head Sensation with Brain Fog - An extremely unpleasant, aggravating feeling in the head that is somewhat comparable to a bad head cold or hangover. Is accompanied by brain fog (which makes the existing cognitive issues seem much worse) and often, headaches. Happens in week long episodes generally twice each month. Taking co-codamol (30/500) seems to help block out the horrible negative feelings with these episodes and make them more tolerable.

October 2018 - Exertional Breathlessness - Breathlessness and very rapid heartbeat upon physical exertion, especially when walking up and down stairs and lifting heavy objects. Still Worsening.

Apr 2019 - Insomnia (Chronic/Intermittent) - The insomnia seems to have progressed to a more chronic and intermittent state where it comes and goes on a random basis. A common pattern however is alternating sleep and insomnia: one night of sleep, one night of insomnia, one night of sleep and so forth.

Does anyone here have any idea what could be causing a progression of symptoms like this? Many Thanks!

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by talkhealth on Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:52 pm

Re: Steadily Progressing Brain Symptoms for 3 Years

Hi SeanOfTheDeadGC

Thank you for your very informative post. Whilst we cannot diagnose we can provide help and resources to provide options. We work closely with a charity called A Way With Pain, who you may find helpful. We also have just launched a new free support programme, mywellbeing, which supports some of the issues you've mentioned such as sleep, bloating, tinnitus and general health and wellbeing topics.

We hope this is useful for you.

Kind regards
talkhealth team

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by Prycejosh1987 on Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:47 pm

Re: Steadily Progressing Brain Symptoms for 3 Years

Speak to a doctor, it all seems to be progressive. You can decline on the progressive and reverse thing.

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by Alessandro01 on Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:25 pm

Re: Steadily Progressing Brain Symptoms for 3 Years

Yep, better speak with doctor.
I dont think somebody can tell you something useful right here.

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