Headaches & other odd symptoms.. could it be epilepsy?

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SpikieMikie | 20:03 Sun 17th Aug 2008 | Body & Soul
11 Answers
In May I had headaches, which became constant, and neck ache. One night, I vomited & later, half asleep, my arm 'twitched' like I'd had an electric shock. Occasionally very short lived & isolated muscle spasms occurred, and very infrequently the feeling of an electric shock occurred again, again when I was just getting off to sleep.

I also started to get tired in the day & had periods when I felt breathless. My vision was also affected, often in bright sunlight (seeing floaters, sometimes a black circle moving in the bottom my right eye and my eyelids twitched for about 3 weeks non-stop). 6 weeks in to this, I got stomach pains & epididymitis - a swelling of the testicle. I went to the GP who found I had high blood pressure. After 1 electric shock sensation, I went to A&E & was admitted for tests.

Over the summer I've had tests, all came back ok - including 2 CT scans, a venogram of my brain, an eye exam, kidney & testicle ultrasounds, STD tests, and urine tests and blood tests. I got the results back last week and was discharged as an out-patient. My GP has put this down to stress or migraines.

My symptoms over the last 6 weeks have eased. However, I still have a very light 'haze' of a headache, still see floaters (much less than before) and feel a bit lethargic. Over the last 2 or 3 nights, I've had the sensation of getting a shock again.

As numerous doctors say I'm ok - 3 GP's & 2 consultants, I'm tempted to see how things go. However, I'm keen to feel 100% well & I'd like to know what the cause was.

I'm interested to hear if anyone else has experienced anything similar, particularly those with epilepsy or anyone with medical knowledge. If the doctors haven't considered epilepsy ( all of whom have asked if I have been previously diagnosed ). I'm 28 & generally well - no illness apart from the odd cold with the exception of labrythitis in Feb.


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I would imagine they had discounted epilepsy once they conducted the CT scan. I get floaters as well, quite a lot of them, I have been told they are normal.

stress and anxiety can mimic a lot of illnesses, if you had anything serious it would have come up in the tests, try to think positive and reduce your stress levels
I can 100% concur with the idea of these being migraines, which in their direst form can cause all sorts of weird things you wouldn't normally associate with them ranging from touch sensation which isn't there, to the inability to speak.
Just see how you go on as like cazz said I imagine it's unlikely to be epilepsy since you've been so extensively tested.
Question Author
Thanks Cazzz, it'd be interesting to know if a CT scan can 'rule out' epilepsy.. I'd not thought of that.

Seeing as many doctors as I have, I guess I should have more faith.... I think the problem is, or its my impression - this having been the first time I've needed the NHS - that the doctors dont seem that thorough, even if they are, and don't communicate very well. You'd have thought they'd have started having a list of possible causes, prioritised the most likely and then the most serious, and worked their way through the list by a process of elimination until they found a cause or ruled out all known possible causes.

If doctors do work like this, then it'd be great if they communicated that and if they don't work like that, then I can imagine the reason they dont can only be for reasons of time and resources.... either way, you're right in saying about stress levels... unless you know for certain what is wrong with you, it really can get you stressed and end up being a vicious circle....
my friends son had a fit a few weeks ago, he was immediately called in for a CT scan to confirm epilepsy
My thought when I read this was migraine. The problem is most people think of migraine as mostly a bad headache but the symptoms can vary greatly and in some people the actual headache isn't so bad.
The problem is that many of the symptoms of migraine are similar to some with epilepsy but I would think that tests you had would have ruled epilepsy out.
I am speaking from experience here as I do get migraine but I also have epilepsy.
See if you can get a copy of "Migraine" by Oliver will explain a lot.
Question Author
cheers bensmum and obNOXious, I always thought migraine was a really bad headache that came and went completely too... I didnt realise there were different types.
Epilepsy can't be ruled out (or confirmed) by a CT scan alone,there are many tests used to diagnose the condition as no single test is capable of giving a definite yes or no diagnosis.If the doctor suspected that you have epilepsy they would probably have done an EEG test and possible a MRI or PET scan.These tests are quite expensive to perform and are usually only done when there is a high probability of you having epilepsy.
I have to say though that what you describe does sound more like migraine symptoms.
I hope you feel better soon.
as i was reading your post and before i i
got to the bottom, i also immediately thought "migraine"
Sounds very much like Migraine to me - I think your GP is right. Migraine is so much more than a bad headache. It can cause vomiting and nausea, weird feelings, vision disturbances, weakness and muscle tremblings in limbs and face, strange taste in mouth, etc. etc.

Being a migraine sufferer from a family of migraine sufferers, this too was my first thought as I read through your thread.

The good thing is that migraines don't always stay with you for ever. I had them badly in my teens and again in my 40's. I still get the occasion migraine, but nowhere near as bad as they used to be.

Take care and try not to worry.
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