Friday, March 17, 2023

Autoimmune Disease Causing Headaches And Dizziness

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When Should I Go To The Emergency Department

Menieres Disease | Pathophysiology, Triggers, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Go to the emergency department if any of the following autoimmune disease symptoms get severe:

  • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath. Remember that some people with an autoimmune disease can experience this when theyre pregnant.
  • Severe chest pain/pressure to your chest.
  • A headache that starts suddenly and feels like the worst headache youve ever had.
  • Sudden weakness, especially if you cant move.
  • Dizziness that doesnt stop.
  • Pain so severe that you cant stand it.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Living with an autoimmune disease can be complicated. Diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis are complex and serious. Although there are no cures for these diseases, many of their symptoms can be treated, and sometimes they go into remission. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider about any advances in understanding and treating autoimmune diseases.

If you think you may have an autoimmune disease, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Your symptoms will be easier to control if the condition is treated promptly.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/21/2021.


How To Tell If Your Dizziness Is Serious

If someone is experiencing dizziness along with vision disturbances, weakness on one side of the body, confusion or difficulty speaking, they should dial 9-1-1 right away, warns Dr. Greiss. Otherwise, if dizziness has no obvious cause, is persistent, occurs after a head injury or is severe, its important to be evaluated by a health care provider.

Other red-flag symptoms that may accompany dizziness and warrant a visit to your health care provider include:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Problems with touch, taste or smell

If you are putting your life on hold because of dizziness, vertigo, or balance problems, now is the time to seek treatment.

We understand that dizziness is a huge quality-of-life issue, and giving patients that validation is a significant part of the care we provide, says Dr. Greiss. We will use a team approach to get to the bottom of the cause and determine the best course of treatment.

What Research Is Being Done To Better Understand These Syndromes

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is the main funder of research on the brain and nervous system and a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading biomedical research organization in the world. Other NIH institutes that support research on vasculitis include the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases .

Several NINDS-funded investigators are studying blood vessel damage and cerebral blood flow as it relates to stroke. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved in injury and repair of blood vessels in the brain may lead to improvements in the treatment and prevention of other vascular disorders.

The Vasculitis Translational Research Program at NIAMS is dedicated to performing clinical and translational research in all types of vasculitis. Objectives of the program are to follow people with the disorder over time to see how it affects them and to discover new aspects of vasculitis that will help doctors learn how to better care for individuals with the disease.

More information about NIH-funded research on vasculitis and other disorders can be found using NIH RePORTER, a searchable database of current and past research projects supported by NIH and other federal agencies. RePORTER also includes links to publications and resources from these projects.

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What Causes Autoimmune Disease

The exact reason that some children’s immune systems begin attacking their own bodies is still a mystery. We do know that autoimmune diseases are not contagious, and they don’t appear to be caused by any one thing in particular. Instead, scientists believe there’s a multi-step process at work:

  • Heredity: Certain genes passed down by parents make some children susceptible to an autoimmune disease.
  • Environmental factors: An autoimmune disease may not reveal itself until it’s triggered by something like an infection or exposure to certain toxins or drugs.
  • Hormonal factors: Given that many autoimmune diseases tend to affect adolescent girls and young women, certain female hormones may also play a role in when these illnesses flare up.

Researchers are now working to discover which genes are involved and how they interact. They are also investigating a number of potential environmental and hormonal triggers so that one day it may be possible to cure, or even prevent, autoimmune diseases.

Causes And Treatments For Dizziness

Pin on Chiari

Christine Greiss, D.O., director of the Concussion Program at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, outlines eight possible causes of dizziness and how they are treated:

COVID-19 and other upper respiratory conditions.

COVID-19 and other respiratory conditions such as viruses and allergies can cause swelling in the sinuses and ears, leading to dizziness.

If an ear infection develops or the Eustachian tube that connects the ears with the back of the throat becomes blocked, it can cause feelings of dizziness, explains Dr. Greiss. Your health care provider may be able to recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications to relieve symptoms.


Migraines have different ways of presenting, but dizziness is definitely on the list of possible symptoms.

If your headaches include dizziness, it might be more than a tension headache, shares Dr. Greiss. You should talk to your primary care provider about this symptom and visit a neurologist for a migraine evaluation.

Inner ear infections or disorders.

Dizziness can be caused by ear infections and diseases that cause structural abnormalities, such as tumors.

Other conditions that can cause dizziness include labyrinthitis, a viral or bacterial infection that causes inflammation in the inner ear, and a disorder called Ménières disease.

Medication side effects.

Some medications can cause dizziness as a side effect, and often, all that is needed is a dosage adjustment or a change to another drug.



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Location Of Endolymphatic Sac


  • Surgery. Surgery may be recommended when all other treatments have failed to relieve dizziness. Some surgical procedures are performed on the endolymphatic sac to decompress it. Another possible surgery is to cut the vestibular nerve, although this occurs less frequently.
  • Alternative medicine. Although scientists have studied the use of some alternative medical therapies in Ménières disease treatment, there is still no evidence to show the effectiveness of such therapies as acupuncture or acupressure, tai chi, or herbal supplements such as gingko biloba, niacin, or ginger root. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are using alternative therapies, since they sometimes can impact the effectiveness or safety of conventional medicines.
  • Other Autoimmune Diseases Treated At Fred Hutch

    • Autoimmune Cerebellar Degeneration
    • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
    • Gait Ataxia with Late Age Onset Polyneuropathy
    • Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome
    • Tropical Spastic Paraperesis\ HTLV-1 Associated Myelopathy

    Autoimmune diseases that affect blood cells are discussed in our blood disorders section.

    • Immune thrombocytopenia purpura

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    Five Autoimmune Conditions That Worsen Back And Neck Pain

    Many sources of back and neck pain can be attributed to acute injuries or illnesses related to external pathogens. However, what people dont often realize is that their back pain can also be caused by their own bodies. A surprising amount of autoimmune conditions can lead to back and neck pain.

    These conditions can be difficult to manage, but chiropractic may be able to help with symptom reduction. Advanced Spine and Posture can treat patients in Las Vegas, NV, who are experiencing pain due to autoimmune disorders, potentially alleviating symptoms for a better quality of life.

    Labs Helpful In Diagnosing Lupus

    Chronic Rhinosinusitis | Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
    • Autoantibodies are essential in testing for Lupus. Not only do they help confirm a diagnosis, but they can also look for other autoimmune conditions that may be occurring alongside Lupus.
    • CBC checks for anemia and immune function.
    • CMP tests for kidney and liver function.
    • ESR and CRP gauge how much inflammation is in the body.
    • Biopsy of the affected area . Tissue biopsies examined under the microscope can show signs of an autoimmune disease.

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    Risk Factors Of Lupus

    • Sex: women are more likely to develop Lupus than men.
    • Age: most cases are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 44.
    • Race/ethnicity: Lupus is more common in those of African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander descent.
    • African American women are 3x more likely than Caucasians.

    What Research About Mnires Disease Is Being Done

    Insights into the biological mechanisms in the inner ear that cause Ménières disease will guide scientists as they develop preventive strategies and more effective treatment. The NIDCD is supporting scientific research across the country that is:

    • Determining the most effective dose of gentamicin with the least amount of risk for hearing loss.
    • Developing an in-ear device that uses a programmable microfluid pump to precisely deliver vertigo-relieving drugs to the inner ear.
    • Studying the relationship between endolymph volume and inner ear function to determine how much endolymph is too much. Researchers are hoping to develop methods for manipulating inner ear fluids and treatments that could lower endolymph volume and reduce or eliminate dizziness.

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    How Is Vasculitis Diagnosed In The Nervous System

    Diagnosing vasculitis that affects the nervous system can be difficult, as some diseases have similar symptoms. Diagnosis depends on the number of blood vessels involved, their size, and their location as well as the types of other organs involved.

    A doctor will review the persons medical history, perform a physical exam to confirm signs and symptoms, and order diagnostic tests and procedures, including:

    • Blood and urine tests to look for signs of inflammation
    • Analysis of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord to check for infection and signs of inflammation
    • Biopsy of brain or nerve tissue
    • Diagnostic imaging using computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging to provide images of the brain, nerves and other organs, and tissues, and detect weakened or blocked vessels.
    • Angiogram to detect the degree of narrowing of blood vessels in the brain, head, or neck
    • Ultrasound to produce high-resolution images of the blood vessel walls and organs to look for inflammation

    Types Of Autoimmune Disease Treated At Fred Hutch With Stem Cell Transplants

    Pin on vestibular migraine, VM, MAV, tinnitus, vestibular disorder ...

    Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with symptoms ranging from numbness and tingling to paralysis. In MS, the body attacks the myelin sheath, which coats nerves in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain is disrupted. An estimated 300,000 people in the United States have MS. More women are affected than men.

    Risk factors: Scientists believe that several factors are involved in the development of MS: genetics, gender, and environmental factors . The incidence of MS is higher in more northern latitudes, suggesting an environmental component to the disease. Epidemiology surveys have determined that a person’s risk of developing MS increases several-fold if a close family member has MS.

    Diagnosis: No single test is available to diagnose MS but several procedures are used. An MRI scan gives a view of the brain and makes it possible to visualize and count damaged areas or plaque in the brain and spinal cord. Evoked potential tests of electrical activity can detect a slowing in nerve impulses caused by demyelination. A spinal tap checks cerebrospinal fluid for signs of the disease. People with MS usually have elevated levels of IgG antibodies as well as oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid. Sometimes, there are also certain proteins that break down products of myelin.

    Risk factors: In most cases, the cause of Systemic Sclerosis is unknown.

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    How Are Autoimmune Diseases Diagnosed

    Diagnosing an autoimmune disease usually takes healthcare providers longer than it does to diagnose other diseases. This is because many autoimmune diseases have similar symptoms with each other and with other diseases. You can help your healthcare provider with the diagnosing process by bringing the following to your appointment:

    • A detailed list of any symptoms and how long youve had them.
    • A record of your familys health history. Note if anyone in your family has an autoimmune disease.

    In addition to interviewing you about your symptoms, your healthcare provider may do some blood tests to check for autoimmune diseases, including:

    • Antinuclear antibody test .

    Specific symptoms combined with specific blood markers may prove that you have an autoimmune disease.

    Primary Angiitis Of The Central Nervous System

    Epidemiological evidence

    PACNS is a rare form of vasculitis with an estimated annual incidence rate of 2.4 cases per 1 million person-years. In a retrospective study of 101 patients with PACNS, the median age at the diagnosis was 47 years and 50% of patients were between 37 and 59 years at diagnosis . Headache in PACNS can be moderate or severe at onset, having a chronic course ab initio or significantly worse over time. The characteristics and location of headache, are non-specific, like in many other forms of CNS vasculitis. Neck pain can be also associated.

    Whenever there is suspicion of PACNS, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome should be excluded. PACNS and RCSV are frequently grouped together, given their shared clinical and radiological features. Headache is present in upwards of 60% of patients with PACNS and almost 100% in RCVS . In PACNS, headache is the most common symptom, followed by altered cognition and persistent neurologic deficits , while RCVS typically presents with acute onset of thunderclap headache with or without other neurologic symptoms . Differential diagnosis between true vasculitides and RCVS is pivotal, because the current anti-inflammatory medications used for the treatment of vasculitides can worsen the course of RCVS .

    Pathophysiological mechanisms

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    What Is Giant Cell Arteritis

    Giant cell arteritis is a disorder that causes inflammation of arteries of the scalp, neck, and arms. It narrows the arteries, which keeps blood from flowing well. Giant cell arteritis often occurs with another autoimmune disorder called polymyalgia rheumatica. Both are more common in women than in men and almost always affect people over the age of 50. Early symptoms of giant cell arteritis resemble the flu: fatigue, loss of appetite, and fever. Other symptoms include headaches, pain and tenderness over the temples, double vision or visual loss, dizziness, problems with coordination and balance, as well as pain in your jaw and tongue.

    What Is Mnires Disease

    Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and the vagus nerve – cervical instability can cause GI dysfunction

    Ménières disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes severe dizziness , ringing in the ears , hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear. Ménières disease usually affects only one ear.

    Attacks of dizziness may come on suddenly or after a short period of tinnitus or muffled hearing. Some people will have single attacks of dizziness separated by long periods of time. Others may experience many attacks closer together over a number of days. Some people with Ménières disease have vertigo so extreme that they lose their balance and fall. These episodes are called drop attacks.Ménières disease can develop at any age, but it is more likely to happen to adults between 40 and 60 years of age. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that approximately 615,000 individuals in the United States are currently diagnosed with Ménières disease and that 45,500 cases are newly diagnosed each year.

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    Can Autoimmune Disease Be Prevented

    So far, theres no way to prevent a person from developing an autoimmune disease, although researchers are working toward that long-term goal. The National Institutes of Health outlined three challenges that researchers face:

    • recognizing the specific genetic patterns of people susceptible to autoimmune disease
    • zeroing in on environmental factors that may trigger disease
    • coming up with ways to intervene before the disease begins, along with creating public screening programs

    How Can I Manage My Life Now That I Have An Autoimmune Disease

    Although most autoimmune diseases don’t go away, you can treat your symptoms and learn to manage your disease, so you can enjoy life! Women with autoimmune diseases lead full, active lives. Your life goals should not have to change. It is important, though, to see a doctor who specializes in these types of diseases, follow your treatment plan, and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

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    I Want To Have A Baby Does Having An Autoimmune Disease Affect Pregnancy

    Women with autoimmune diseases can safely have children. But there could be some risks for the mother or baby, depending on the disease and how severe it is. For instance, pregnant women with lupus have a higher risk of preterm birth and stillbirth. Pregnant women with myasthenia gravis might have symptoms that lead to trouble breathing during pregnancy. For some women, symptoms tend to improve during pregnancy, while others find their symptoms tend to flare up. Also, some medicines used to treat autoimmune diseases might not be safe to use during pregnancy.

    If you want to have a baby, talk to your doctor before you start trying to get pregnant. Your doctor might suggest that you wait until your disease is in remission or suggest a change in medicines before you start trying. You also might need to see a doctor who cares for women with high-risk pregnancies.

    Some women with autoimmune diseases may have problems getting pregnant. This can happen for many reasons. Tests can tell if fertility problems are caused by an autoimmune disease or an unrelated reason. Fertility treatments are able to help some women with autoimmune disease become pregnant.

    Headache And Multiple Sclerosis

    Celiac Light Headed Dizzy Symptoms

    Multiple sclerosis is the most frequent immune-mediated inflammatory disease of the CNS, causing myelin loss and axonal pathology at variable degrees, therein generally leading to progressive neurological dysfunction and disability . Headache and migraine are common features in MS. Their occurrence can influence MS treatment and significantly impair the quality of life of patients due to related disabilities .

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