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Feeling fatigue, chills, weakness, body aches, weakness and cough. Suffer from chronic virus. What can be the cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
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I am usually a vey; healthy person (82 years old). However, over the last two years or so, I suffer from chronic viruses? that come and go. The symptoms are fatigue, chills, weakness, body aches and weakness and cough. also shortness of breath. During the days I experience these symptoms, I have to give up most activities such as, hiking, swimming, and going to events or traveling. When they first started, I was suddenly laid low with these symptoms. The symptoms at first would last for 6 months and then I would be OK. Now they come and go and if I want to visit my daughters, I just pray I will be my natural, health self. All tests have been negative. I don't even go to the doctor anymore, just endure it. Can you help?

I forgot to say I suffer from allergies and sometimes constipation. I take zyrtec every day.

Could all the anxiety, I have suffered from, helped compromise my immune system?

When I discussed my medications, I meant ibuprofen, over the counter, not diazepam or simvastatin.
Posted Mon, 15 Jul 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 1 hour later
Hi,

Thanks for your query.

The symptoms you have could be either seen in generalized inflammatory diseases or infections.

Both the conditions do show some signs in the blood tests. There are specific tests to rule out the above causes.

Yes, anxiety can affect the immunity to some extent making you prone to minor infections which could be recurrent.

I would like to know what tests you have underwent and would like to make sure you have got complete blood counts, ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), C- reactive protein. The above tests will surely show some clue into the cause when one has symptoms you have.

Kindly update me on the same.

Waiting for your response,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Feeling fatigue, chills, weakness, body aches, weakness and cough. Suffer from chronic virus. What can be the cause? 46 minutes later
I also have finger nails that break down and mouth sores that I forgot to mention. I have been treated by my primary physician and a dermatologist. I have been given thorough blood tests every 6 months. Everything, normal

I was also seen by a rheumatologist and given blood tests (normal) He gave me a prescription to a limited amout of prednisone (didn't work)
 
 
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 8 minutes later
Hi,

Thanks for writing back.

Brittle finger nails and mouth sores could be related to deficiency disorders, also could be secondary to poor health you face recurrently.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, If it is an infection there would be a sign in the blood tests like :

In case of bacterial infections there may be increase in neutrophils or Lymphocytes and in case of viral infections there could be decrease in platelet counts.

If the symptoms are due to nonspecific inflammatory disease then ESR and C reactive protein would be abnormal.

These are the basic tests, once we see a variation in these then clinical examination and some more specific investigations would be planned to identify the exact cause.

Its not advisable to give prednisone when the exact cause of the illness is made, this can further lower down the immunity and increase the chances of infection.

Kindly do provide the list of tests you have underwent. I just need to know whether or not you have got these tests done.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Feeling fatigue, chills, weakness, body aches, weakness and cough. Suffer from chronic virus. What can be the cause? 11 minutes later
Thank you, Dr. XXXXXXX for answering. I would like to know, specifically, what the tests would be labeled in my test results. I have many! Would c-reactive protein and ESR be labeled in different ways. I noticed sed. and protein in my tests but I want to make sure I give you the results that you want. Thanks, XXXXX I have been told that the blood tests do not reveal any abnormality.

So far, this is what I have found: platelets are normal, protein-total and creatinine are normal. prednisone was only given for a very short time, just to see if it would reduce the inflammation. I think the doctors thought all of this was in my mind, despite the real symptoms! Neutrophils and lymphocytes are normal.On this one panel, Abs Lymphocytes was 1.1 (1.5-3.5) Would you please let me know about c-reactive protein, on one of my tests, I noticed I wrote in CRP 35.8.

re you going to answer my last comment, Dr. Raju? I just want to make sure I gave you the info. on the tests you requested. As I said before, all tests are normal, given to me by my physician and rheumatologist. If I need to be more specific, please let me know. I can ask my doctor about the tests, ESR, and c-reactive protein, if I have not given you enough info. Thanks, XXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 18 hours later
Hi XXXXXXX

Thanks for the information.

Yes, C-reactive protein is CRP and it has to be within 1 to 3 mg/L.

Considering both ESR, CRP also the cell count being normal, I rule out infection or inflammatory etiology.

Any condition involving inflammation or infection would for sure alter the above basic and important test parameters.

I suspect the symptoms you have to be more of psychological etiology. Do consult a Psychiatrist once to rule out anxiety related complications. Anxiety can some times present with symptoms you have. Treating the same can provide you relief from the symptoms.

Hope, I answered your query.

Wish you good health.

Regards,
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Follow-up: Feeling fatigue, chills, weakness, body aches, weakness and cough. Suffer from chronic virus. What can be the cause? 2 hours later
One more question, Dr. XXXXXXX I have been treated for anxiety in the past; I do not suffer from it now. Through my anxiety periods, I did not have these symptoms, that is why I asked you if past anxiety could contribute to my present situation.
I am glad you rules out any abnormality of the blood tests. I don't see any need to see a psychiatrist now since I don't suffer from depression or anxiety and have not for some time. Thanks, XXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 2 hours later
Hi,

Yes, past history of anxiety can present with symptoms like these.

I suggest you once visit a Psychiatrist especially when you have the above symptoms. I am sure the Psychiatrist can come with a clue to your problems.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Feeling fatigue, chills, weakness, body aches, weakness and cough. Suffer from chronic virus. What can be the cause? 4 hours later
I have been to a psychiatrist before and only medicine for anxiety was prescribed and I ceased taking them when the anxiety was relieved. I also consulted a medic intuitive who prescribed many natural remedies as well as vitamins and ways to relax, but no one has mentioned that past anxiety could cause the symptoms I have had for more than a couple of years. Thanks for your help. I guess I just have to live with these ups and downs and do the best I can. I'm just thankful that I'm still physically strong as I have been my whole life. Blessings and thanks to you, XXXXX After your thoughts on my final statement, I will sign off.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 14 hours later
Hi,

I would still strongly recommend you to visit a Psychiatrist once when you have active symptoms . I am sure he/she will be able to pick up some clue into your problem.

One more consultation to get rid of the recurrent problem, I believe its worth it.

Wish you good health.

Regards,
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