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What causes stiffness in the neck, chills, headache, diarrhea, tiredness and joint pain?

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Posted on Mon, 25 Jul 2016
Question: Yes please. I am an extremely fit 74 y/o woman. I live on Cape Cod, MA. I have thought my Flu-like symptoms were just that...a flu. Now questioning possible Lyme..I do have a dog that receives Frontline each month. I have never found a tick on me & any on him just fall off.
I've been feeling slightly cruddy (is This a medical term?)I was a nurse then an MSW so am relatively intelligent, but this has me wondering. Flu-like symptoms. Achy body/joints, headaches/stiff neck, very weal/tired, sweat like crazy during the night, but not during the day. I get sudden chills. The onset was Wed. When my stomach began clenching, Thursday diarrhea none since, no vomiting & don't think I have a fever.
YYYY@YYYY
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Answered by Dr. Tushar Kanti Biswas (8 hours later)
Brief Answer:
?Flu?Lyme disease

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query. I can understand your concerns.
You have certain flu-like symptoms such as body-ache,joints pain,headaches,tiredness and then diarrhea all pointing to the possibility of viral cause.
However stiffness of the neck ,(possibly fever) chills,as you described can be feature of meningeal irritation which may develop early in Lyme disease and is unlikely in Flu.
If you are living in an endemic areas of Lyme disease,you can go for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for both IgM and IgG to the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi,the causative organism as this will positive in the first weeks of infection.
During acute influenza, influenza virus may be detected in throat swabs, nasopharyngeal or washes, or sputum by Reverse-transcriptase polymerase
chain reaction (RT-PCR) .
Meanwhile you can continue Tylenol (acetaminophen) for symptomatic relief of pain.







Regards

Dr. T.K. Biswas M.D. XXXXXXX

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. Tushar Kanti Biswas (11 hours later)
Good morning Dr. Biswas,

This is extremely succinct and most assuredly helpful. I DO live in a HIGHLY ENDEMIC tick infested area; Massachusettes, Cape Cod. I will call my Dr. & request that assay of tests. Although I rigorously check for ticks and if a tick gets on my small dog it dies & falls off due to pet med.

A different part of this equation...might be related? My BP is low to normal..so fine & checked recently. But for the past couple of months I have experienced light-headed/dizziness almost only when I lie down (going backwards) never when I bend forward. It's a "spinning"...then rights itself & I'm fine, but can happen just flipping
from one side to the other at night? Strange. XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Tushar Kanti Biswas (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Light-headedness/dizziness

Detailed Answer:
Light-headedness/dizziness accompanied by sense of spinning/vertigo on change of posture (lying down or going backwards) could be central vestibular origin (an apparatus in internal ears for balancing).
In every patient complaining of dizziness/vertigo,one has to examine for spontaneous nystagmus (The eyes should be examined in the mid-position of gaze, with eyes 30◦ to the right and 30◦ to the left) and for the presence of positional nystagmus by a briskly performed Hallpike manoeuvre.

Alternatively at your age it could be due to Vertebro-basilar insufficiency.

Please consult an ENT specialist first and take his opinion.

Regards

Dr. T.K. Biswas M.D. XXXXXXX


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Tushar Kanti Biswas

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1975

Answered : 1920 Questions

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What causes stiffness in the neck, chills, headache, diarrhea, tiredness and joint pain?

Brief Answer: ?Flu?Lyme disease Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for your query. I can understand your concerns. You have certain flu-like symptoms such as body-ache,joints pain,headaches,tiredness and then diarrhea all pointing to the possibility of viral cause. However stiffness of the neck ,(possibly fever) chills,as you described can be feature of meningeal irritation which may develop early in Lyme disease and is unlikely in Flu. If you are living in an endemic areas of Lyme disease,you can go for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for both IgM and IgG to the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi,the causative organism as this will positive in the first weeks of infection. During acute influenza, influenza virus may be detected in throat swabs, nasopharyngeal or washes, or sputum by Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) . Meanwhile you can continue Tylenol (acetaminophen) for symptomatic relief of pain. Regards Dr. T.K. Biswas M.D. XXXXXXX