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Have severe diarrhoea, neck pain. Getting double vision, fatigue, nausea. Could it be viral meningitis and thymus cancer?

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My mother has severe diarrhea and neck pain that has not been diagnosed. Over the past few weeks I have also heard her complain of double vision, fatigue, nausea and bad balance. Her doctor has yet to figure anything out and I'm worried. I'm just scaring myself trying to do the internet thing since the only things I can seem to come up with are viral meningitis and Thymus cancer. Help!
Posted Fri, 27 Jul 2012 in Brain and Spine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 6 hours later
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

Your question is a good one and I will work on providing you with some information and recommendations regarding the symptoms you are experiencing.

From the details provided to me it looks like the Neck pain could be due to age related cervical spondylosis which is most common in this age group. Pain often radiates to the arms due to compression of the spinal nerves as they exit the cord through the bony canal. As she is not a candidate for spinal surgery due to other co-morbidities you need to continue on medications like morphine to control the pain. Physical therapy would be of some benefit in her.

Regarding the double vision, nausea and imbalance I feel these are signs of involvement of brain stem and cerebellum. In view of high blood pressures and the age I would like to consider the possibility of Stroke involving the posterior part of the circulation of the brain at this point of time rather than viral meningitis or thymus cancer.

My recommendation would be for you to see your Neurologist for a good neurological examination and consultation. MRI of the brain and cervical part of the spine may may be required to look for signs of stroke and cervical spondylosis. As stroke is an emergency situation I feel you need to get her evaluated as early as possible to exclude the possibility of brain attack.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you have found my response to be helpful.

If you have additional concerns I would be happy to discuss them with you.

Sincerely,

Dr Shiva Kumar R
Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have severe diarrhoea, neck pain. Getting double vision, fatigue, nausea. Could it be viral meningitis and thymus cancer? 15 hours later
She has been having these symptoms for three weeks or so now, and she doesn't have any other symptoms of stroke (such as drooping eyes, only one side of mouth smiling, no slurring of words) so do you think that is still a possibility? It also doesn't really address the stomach issues and that is preventing here from eating well.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 12 hours later
Hello

Thanks for the follow query.

Regarding the combination of Neurological symptoms like diplopia, imbalance and nausea first possibility is always the stroke or vasular event. Other possibilities are space occupying lesions or chronic infections of the brain which can cause raised pressures in the brain and cause above symptoms. I still feel you need to see a Neurologist and schedule a scan for the diagnosis.

Regarding the stomach problems I feel she is suffering from gastritis and probable infective diarrhoea which could be due to bacteria or virus. She needs to take medications like pantoprazole or Rabeprazole for the gastritis along with antibiotics for the control of diarrhoea. She needs plenty of elctrolytes and fluids to avoid dehydration. You need to see your GP for initiation of antibiotics for the gut infection. Blood tests, electrolytes levels and stool analysis is required to know the cause of diarrhoea.

If you have additional concerns I would be happy to discuss them with you.

Sincerely,

Dr Shiva Kumar R
Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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