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What causes night sweats, fatigue and muscle pain?

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Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1778 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 23 Aug 2014 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hi, so I was travelling the country for 2 months. Taking the Greyhound alot, riding car and once by airplane. By the end of my journey I took a plane from XXXXXXX to San Francisco. I got there by night so it was a big climate change. Before bed I worked out and (I think I slept with wet hair after shower).
The night of that I was having night sweats and fever showed up.
Then came fatigue, sinus issues (feeling pressure in my head), muscle pain (not sure about the joints), wasn't feeling hungry (but forced myself to eat) feeling very heavy when walking around, loose stool, disorientation (feeling out of balance at times). The one time that I almost fell over and felt like I was gonna faint was the time we went to the ER.
I'm not sure if they took it seriously as I wasn't taken any samples or such. I was given antibiotics which after taking it gave this strong burning internal feel all over my body and later red slightly raised rashes (non itching) appeared which I thought was a side effect. The infection of some sort lasted about 2 weeks and the rashes lasted also 2 weeks after. What would you make of this? The symptoms did not present themselves all at once. I'm abit worried that it might've been something dangerous and possibly re-ocurring in the future? And may I add that I'm one of those persons who don't really get sick that often. I asked another specialist and they said it's not due to flu but bacterial infection since doctors don't prescribe antibiotics to influenza, is there any truth to that?
Oh and I'm from Europe (Sweden) with Asian heritage so that might be taken into account.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Sounds fatigue resulting suppressed immunity

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

All sounds to be regular after restless travel for so long time. It is common for people to fall sick after an unusual travel. It results in fatigue, the defence mechanism in the body will be put off for a while before it picks again. During this phase the infections will ride over you may be bacterial. Influenza (virus) does not require an antibiotic dose. Whenever there are sinus issues it would always be supplemented with antibiotic doses.

For your information the doctor's does not need sampling and labs to determine infection. They can understand with history and simple physicals. So be assured that the diagnosis and prescription sounds perfect for the situation described. Since you are healthy and had not taken antibiotics there could be rashes which subsided on their own after finishing the antibiotic course.

I think you should be alright and back to regular business by now. All I mean is everything was usual and right treatment.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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Follow up: Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 53 minutes later
Hi again,
I really appreciate your answer. Although I was curious to why I would get this kind of infection due to fatigue when I have travelled alot before. So the doctors that exmined me couldn't be entirely sure if it was bacterial or viral? What are the odds of them misdiagnosing me?

Since I sent the question, I've been contemplating on the cause of it. I've googled the symptoms that I had and I just find out really horrible diseases that made me more anxious. One that stuck out was HIV, I realise that I've had unprotected intercourse with a guy several weeks before that. But I asked him about his status and he said he had checked himself days before and he was clean and negative. Do you think I could've catched HIV? I thought it was through viral infection and not bacterial that you get it?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
Odds of misdiagnosis is minimal

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

The human being and his environment is much more complex than what you read in google. In simple terms both viral and bacterial can coexist together in a person the chances are very high. When the body defences are busy fighting viral infection, the bacteria that are already lodged can take advantage of the situation and spread. So we cannot really determine exactly if it is completely viral or completely bacterial.

That was a good clue that you had an unprotected intercourse with an unknown guy, this is a risk towards HIV. I would follow up with you after month with ELISA for HIV antibodies even though the person claims to be free from HIV. Yes HIV is a viral infection. But remember bacterial infections often co exist.

Hope this gives better answers.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 2 days later
Thanks for the answer about bacterial and viral infections.
This did happen some time ago so I'm booked to take a test next week. Which has gotten me really anxious. It has led me to feeling fatigue, not hungry, feeling not well in my stomach. It feels like I'm ill, but I'm guessing it might have something to do that I'm very anxious?

On a related note, a course I took at school made me very stressed and anxious. Which led me to scratch myself profusely for 2 months, I scratched my scalp, torso, back, legs, face, practically everywhere! I even got eczema on my hands and wrists and if I scratched them, they would bleed. I know that I scratch myself lightly when I'm nervous or stressed but I've never scratched myself like that before. At that time, it was winter my room was untidy and organized which meant alot of dust were collecting.
The scratches left me with marks/discolorization that has lasted for months and is still present (but faded abit). Is it normal for people with darker skin to have discolorization for a longer time when their skin is scratched intensively? Or is it due to some sickness internally or lack of vitamins? And finally do you think all of this that I have told you are somehow related to eachother and that something is wrong with me internally?

Sorry for the follow up questions, I'm just a very anxious type since I know I rarely get very sick or is struck with something unusual. Hopefully your last response will ease my mind abit. Thanks for your patience yet again!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 22 hours later
Brief Answer:
Anxious mind

Detailed Answer:
Yes, anxious mind do not keep quiet. They keep browsing and enquiring.

Yes the scratch marks shall remain for 6 months and slowly fade during the time. Time is the doctor for such marks. They may be related in terms of severe anxiety that went through both the times. How to move forward in life even when your mind hates you is an art and needs some counseling.

I do not think you have sickness internally or lack of vitamins.

Please be assured for now. Once you are alright, It is better to get a preliminary assessment from a Psychologist.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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