Q. Can I have headache, nausea, fatigue and pale skin due to anemia?

Answered by
Dr. Nishant
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 21, 2020

Good day Dr, I’m a 21 year old girl who is desperately in need of your help. I have been sick for almost a year now. This condition initially happened before two years while I was writing my 2nd semester exams. At that time when it started I can recall for 2-3 weeks, 3-4 times a day I was drinking Powerades & Energisers to help me tackle assignments and studies. Mind you I’m not an active person in terms of working out. One morning, I just woke up feeling lightheaded, as if I was going to pass out or possibly die. This was accompanied by a headache, nausea, shaking hands, dizziness, fatigue, confusion and a pale body.

I went to see a general practitioner who assumed it was anaemia seeing my pale body. He gave me pills which eventually worked and everything went back to normal. I returned to college for 2nd year of my studies. After 3 months, my gums began to recede and blood would come out when brushing my teeth. Gaps started to form between my teeth and that’s was an alarming call for me. I made an appointment with a Dentist, she took a scan but could not figure out the issue so she referred me to a specialist who further sent me to a Periodontist .

The periodontist ruled that I had gum problem and believed it’s genetically related. I underwent a surgery after a month and it was a success. I had to eat soft food only for 2 months. I was taking antibiotics and some pills to prevent my stomach from being upset by the antibiotics. Unfortunately my stomach ended being upset which caused a permanent itching in my anus. My bowel went from being runny to constipation. It got worse to a point whereby I went to see a Gastroentorologist who ruled that it was pruritis ani .

He prescribed me a cream to apply which worked for 2 weeks only then things went back to how they were meaning even now I still experience the itchiness inside my anus which feels like pinworms and it’s not. After 4 months, I started to have similiar symptoms. I just woke one morning. I had a feeling of lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous, fatigue, confusion and this time around the condition was intense. This happened a night after taking a drink of a small can. hence I concluded the energy drinks were the trigger to this unknown condition.

This went on for days, I convinced myself that it is the anemia again so I went right ahead to buy iron supplements including Chela-fer and Ferrimed nothing worked. I went to see a physician after a month. He ran several physical tests and everything was normal. He then told me I need to do blood tests and ct brain scan . If both ct scan and blood come back normal then I would need to see a psychiatrist and if not then I would need to see a Neurologist. I did the blood tests and they came back normal . All these consultations were done. Eventually my funds got exhausted and I’m not on any medical aid so I had no choice but to go to the hospital for the ct brain scan.

The whole month I was sick to a point I wanted to die so bad. It did all sort of things including praying as usual but nothing worked. My body kept getting worse. Before 8 months, I went to a public hospital to book for a ct brain scan. I did the scan and I was told to come after a month. I was about to head over to the hospital for the results. The lockdown period began due to the current pandemic. I then called the hospital just to confirm if I can be allowed to come and I was told to wait as the hospital was no longer accepting anymore In- patients. I kept calling just until 3 months when I was allowed to come. When I got to the hospital I waited for hours and it was evident enough that the hospital lost my results. Finally the guy from the radiologist confirmed my suspicion. He told me my scan is no where to be found. He further said that the machine is out of service and he does not know when will it be availed for scanning again. I returned hope with so much disappointment as the scan was my last hope and now it is hard to return to the hospital to enquire about the possibility of a re-scan.

Currently there is no improvement whatsover on my body and the symptoms aggravate when my periods are near, when I’m furious & when the weather is cold. There is this aura inside my head that I fail to explain. Please help me , Everyone around me is coming with different suggestions, some thinks is anxiety disorder, some thinks is migraine while my mom thinks is it spiritually related some thinks is stress. To give you a little brief of my life background. I lost my father when I was 9 years of age and I never went to any counselling. My Dad’s sister bewitched me this happened after fighting with my mom regarding the funds that my late dad left me with and the prophet who revealed everything helped me with healing process. I was only 12 years of age in Grade 6 when this happened. This traumatised me. When I was 14 years of age my mom sent me to boarding school and I was bullied a lot. Life was hell there and at some point I attempted suicide by overdosing pills on an empty stomach but I later changed my mind and ate food as I heard my mom telling my aunt who was worried about me, to leave me alone as I had demons.

After three years, I moved to my home . For the very first time I had to stay with my mom and step dad. They were both toxic towards me. I cooked for them, washed their clothes, cleaned the house, I was the one who collected my baby brother from creche and all they did was go to work and come back telling me I’m not doing enough. I had to handle all the work while tackling my school work and my grade 11 was the most challenging grade. Not forgetting my step dad kept harassing me sexually and this went on since for two years upon staying with them. I could not tell my mom as she always believed anything my step dad said about me & we had no relationship at all. Her talks with me were always strictly related to chores and nothing else. I was not allowed to visit my cousins and aunties who stayed an hour away from me. Their excuse was that I had an attitude and I was gonna do the same to my relatives. Even when I outed my stepfather for his behaviour before two years, 3 days after it happened my mom was already asking me to forgive him and added he was attending marriage counselling.

The mistreatment never stopped and they always expect a lot from me. My step dad never came to apologise just like my mom who mistreat me but does not see wrong in that . She always throw “ you are a girl” part . She always calls meetings on me and I’m always the wrong one, she is never wrong, she does not apologise even. Even my current state does not alarm her at all. She is never supportive. All she ever worried about ever since this started was me not being able to enrol for college as bursaries were at stake.

Few weeks ago she called my auntie telling her I’m living a strange life and our relationship is not of a mom/daughter and again she put the blame on me painting me look as if I’m the one causing this. My aunty called me for a talk and mentioned they are suspecting by I want to come out. Even yesterday my mom and I sat a two adults to fix this once and for all. I admitted my wrongs but still she does not think she is wrong. She said I take things personal and I’m trying to act like we are both the same age.

Her closing words were that I should come into terms of the fact that she is the woman of the house and my step dad is the man of the house. Also my mom tend to overlook at my stress and forget I’m not the same age as my baby brother I’m 21. I sometimes wonder if the mentioned things that I mentioned about my life background are playing any role in this condition. Please help me. My exam commences tomorrow and it is hard to focus on my academics in such state. I will highly appreciate your help

#

I understand your concern and I am here to help.

- Reading your entire history, I would suggest you to stop seeing different doctors and running innumerable tests and calm down. - Looking at your social life, I think you should say to yourself, this too shall pass.

- THERAPY and LIFESTYLE MODIFICATION are the best solutions for your condition. - It's ok to go for therapy. Just let it out once in a while and not keep it in. - It would even be ok if you keep following up with me every week .

Although I'm not a psychiatrist, I would LISTEN. I feel your mind will heal itself and the body when you have somebody to listen . - I suggest you take only a few medications which I tell you.

1. Tablet Zincovit (or a similar B complex tablet brand available to you) twice a day for a month.

2. Tablet Vitamin C chewable 500mg twice a day for a month

3. Continue your iron supplements but whatever dose you are taking, make it half. (For your constipation and loose stools)

4. Diet - Stop sugary drinks, sodas completely for a few months and see the difference. Also, reduce your sugar intake in the diet.

5. Exercise - Even if you walk or stretch for about 20 mins thrice a week, it would go a long way for your health.

6. Meditation. - Just close your eyes and sit with yourself, for just 10-20 mins everyday. Look passively at your thoughts and just keep breathing.

7. Gratitude - While I can understand that you are troubled by your health as well as your social situation, remember that you came out of all surgeries you have had, as well as all the health problems, and you have also survived the pandemic !

Maintain a gratitude journal and write 5 things you are grateful for every morning before starting your day. I'm sure no doctor would have given you a treatment like this yet. You have tried it all. Might as well try this? What bad can happen? It will fail? No problem. We will try something else. Looking forward to seeing you in a week for consultation and opening your mind up to me . take care and stay safe .


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