Why is my husband getting peculiar symptoms every six months?

Q. My husband is getting peculiar symptoms every six months. What is it?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 19, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jul 28, 2023

Hi doctor,

My husband had an issue since he was 18 years old. Doctors have brushed him off time and after time. But, I know that his symptoms are very real. He feels hopeless that he will never find an answer. For every four to six months he gets a flare up as we call it. The symptoms are itching (bug crawling sensation), twitching, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, agitation, dry skin, peeling and loss of bladder control. It seems to be inflammation based. We do not believe it as an allergy. He has had Paxil a year before the problem existed. Please suggest me.



Welcome to icliniq.com. I am sorry to know that no proper answers were extended by doctors for his condition. You are right in saying that this is unlikely an allergy problem as no allergy condition reappears after every six months. Also, there is no information about the duration of the problem once it appears, how it develops (gradual or sudden with all symptoms appearing at the same time) and how the remission takes place. But, I feel the following are possibilities- 1. Anxiety and stress - This is the most likely cause as symptoms are widely spread and distributed to five systems of the body (urinary, skin, gastrointestinal, nervous system and muscular system) and only little single disease can explain the symptoms. 2. An autoimmune disorder of mild severity- This is the other possible reason which can present through all systems. The age of onset and male gender point against it, but it is possible that it is of mild severity and do not stay longer because of the development of the body's defenses in the right direction. 3. Multiple sclerosis - Again male gender and age of onset point otherwise, but symptoms can be explained as multiple sclerosis (MS) present in episodic nature. It will be the right decision to go for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) on next flare up.

Thank you doctor,

He has been tested for multiple sclerosis (MS) before and it was negative. Also, I do not think it is stress as he says it happens when he is not stressed and vice versa. Are there any possible autoimmune disorders to explore? He is going to meet the doctor. Please suggest me.



Welcome back to icliniq.com. I am glad to know that MS is ruled out as it is one of the deadliest disease. Regarding the autoimmune disorders it will be appropriate to get him investigated with antinuclear antibody, which is a simple test to screen for autoimmune disorders with high sensitivity. In case it comes positive, then he can be explored by further testing for various autoimmune disorders. I also like to add niacin deficiency in possible disease list. The niacin deficiency can cause exactly all symptoms as described by you and I think this should be tested. The chances are more as he faces diarrhea, which may be the reason or consequence of niacin deficiency. In case even if it turns out negative, then I suggest multivitamin supplements, especially during probable flare up months. I suggest a few things about stress. I see many patients who claim no stress, but on detailed evaluation multiple stressors are identified and respond well to therapies aimed at stress reduction. I do not mean the same is applicable for your husband, but keeping an open mind and accessing inner self is worth trying. Alike you, I am hopeful that some concrete evidence will be found to explain his symptoms and definite treatment.

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