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Chronic Dizzyness

I started with chronic dizzyness about 4 months ago. I ocassionally have episodes of vertigo. I did not start having severe headaches until about a month ago. I have noticed that the the headaches and vertigo is worse around my menstrual cyle. I am dizzy all day long and it never goes away!! When I started with the dizzyness I was on predizone for a mysterious rash I had gotten. I had a high pulse rate so the dizzyness was thought to be from the high pulse rate and the high pulse rate was thought to be from the predizone so I stopped taking the predizone.

After I stopped taking the predizone I still had high pulse rate and dizzyness so I went to Heart doctor. He did EKG and Heart Sonogram and I also wore Telemonitor and everything checked out fine. I then went to Nuerologist who had me do an MRI and that checked out fine. He prescribed me medication for nausea which did not help and told me to come back in 4 months. What for I dont know.

I went to the American Balance of Institute and went thru series of testing and they believed I had Migraine Anxiety Related Disorder. Went back to my primary who has prescribed 25mg of Topamax which seems to have eased the headaches but I still have chronic dizzyness and its worse around my menstrual cyle. I have been reading about Basilar Migraines thinking maybe I have this type of migraine.

I made an appointment with another Nuerologist to get second opion and find out more about BTM. Anyone been diagnosed with migraines where dizzyness seems to be more of a problem than the headaches?

Also, anyone try Feverfew for migraines? Thanks Kim

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  • Dizzy1i
    6 years ago

    Your symptoms resemble my entry to migraineur life at age 58–this was six years ago. That June I began to experience a mild, nagging left-sided headache that didn’t abate until November and then only for a week. During that first six month episode I would have 1-2 vertigo attacks each week. These varied from the hold-on-to-your-chair-and-sweat vertigo to the spinning-so-badly-I-can’t-even-crawl vertigo. Between vertigo episodes I was modestly dizzy. I attributed these episodes to the extreme pressure I was under as my brother, mother, father, cousin, and father-in-law died–one unexpected, the others anticipated. I also suffer from Meniere’s syndrome, which is known to attack and destroy balance organs–so I figured that this unstableness was just my turn with additional bad luck, likely due to stress.

    Then, over the Christmas holiday I started having 3-5 attacks/day on some days, I could no longer drive, and I finally visited my Meniere’s specialist. He told me that my pattern did not fit with Meniere’s and recommended a very good neurological practice. Fortunately, the first neurologist I consulted hypothesized that I was suffering vestibular migraines, which often have no pain but are totally debilitating. Even so, it took three months to confirm the diagnosis (when I responded positively to Maxalt.) and another six months to develop the correct suppressive drug therapy. Even then, after two years that drug protocol failed, and it took another three months to find an anti-seizure drug (I have never suffered a seizure, but these drugs are useful for migraine suppression.)

    I am very lucky. My first neurologist has developed a following among vestibular migraineurs because she has great success treating them. I didn’t appreciate just how good she is until I needed to consult an older neurologist in the same practice while my neurologist was on maternity leave. He didn’t believe that vestibular migraine existed! Fortunately, she returned to work two months later.

    Your high pulse rate is the one symptom that does not fit with my history. Before my chronic migraine episode, my pulse was usually 50-55 bpm. The nortriptylene I take daily doubles this rate, so it is now slowed by metroprolol–now my rate is artificially manipulated to 65-78 bpm.

    My neurologist has commented that vestibular migraines don’t respond as well to normal migraine meds. After a scary adventure auditioning anti seizure drugs, I found that Gabbapenten works well. Topamax was “dopaMAX” for me–I couldn’t express any 4+ syllable words–and I work in a field where every fourth word is 4+ syllables. The vocabulary-dulling drugs didn’t help at all with the migraines either.

    But swapping drug cocktail recipes is not my message. Instead, I encourage you to believe in yourself. If you report to a doctor how you feel and he/she gives you the bums rush aka “come back in four months”, fire the hired help because he/she is invalidating you. Do not believe or a minute that all neurologists know much about migraines. To some docs, migraines are just a trivial uninteresting malady–and he/she may believe the patient is malingering after the patient doesn’t respond to their first prescription. So, pursue second, tired, fourth, and nth opinions until you find a doctor that Improves your daily life. Hopefully, those around you can support you through this ordeal.

  • Saar
    6 years ago

    Hi Kim!

    It’s funny that I read your story today! I’ve just seen a doctor because of a light feeling in my head and some dizzyness that just doesn’t seem to go away. It started 2 weeks ago. I go to sleep thinking it’s going to be better when I wake up, but instead I just wake up in the morning feeling lightheaded again. My headaches aren’t that bad anymore, and just like you my dizzyness seems to be more of a problem. My pulse is also high, so my doctor recommended to take more medication. I asked what I should do when it doesn’t get better, and she adviced me to see my specialist again and maybe change my medication. I’m probably going to make an appointment with my specialist like you did.

    Will you keep me updated?


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