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I Need Help Finding Out What Is Wrong With Me

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Hello to all!

My name is Riccardo, 22 year-old, from Italy and I am new on this forum. I see that on this forum you are so nice and helpful so I made up my mind to talk to you about me and my symptoms, so that maybe you can give me some suggestions about what to do.

Let's start from now, and then go back in time. I recently had two episodes of diarrhea, one three months ago and another one more recently, a month ago. The former was quite intense but short in time: I just woke up one morning and all my stools were liquid, and whenever I drank something and stood up, I needed to go to the toilet. I had also headache and felt quite weak. It lasted half-a-day more or less, then I felt better.

The other episode, not really diarrhea, around the end of may, is a bit more complicated to describe. I woke up one morning, after a party feeling really bad, sick and nauseous. I felt I needed to get rid of something either from the mouth or the bottom. I went to the toilets with cramps and pain in my abdomen and produced my stools. Then I felt bad for a whole week. Almost constant pain in my abdomen, cramps every now and then, extreme weakness. These symptoms came and went intermittently, one day yes and the following I felt better. Every now and then I had pains and cramps even if I couldn't produce any stool as a result. It got better after one and a half week and now it's back to normal.

I should say something about what is normal to me. But in order to do that, I should go back in time a few years, I hope it's not irrelevant.

At elementary school I was a brilliant pupil, that is not to say that I was a genius, but I had very good grades. I didn't do much sports and was a bit overweight. After that things started to change. In high school I still had good grades but they started to decline in my second year (I was 16 then). That was also the time when my mmother died. I finished high school much worse than I started in terms of performance, even though my efforts were the same.

After high school I went to university to study biotechnology. I was there for a year, grades were good I must say. Then my dad died too and I switched to another course, physics, where my performance was quite low. During that year (one and a half year ago) I also lacked motivation, I was always exhausted in the evening when I came back from university. I was different with my friends as well, less talkative than I was, pensive, generally sad, and at times rreally aggressive and pissed off by the smallest things and having harsh reactions. I couldn't recognize myself. In february I left university and came to London for a while to take an English course because I have a hard, hard time making a decision about what I want to do in life.

Symptoms. I don't do sports, I don't work, in the past weeks I have been just studying English. And yet there are days when I am extraordinarily weak and sleepy. A few days ago I slept for nine hours and yet I was falling asleep around 11 in the morning, on the bus! I can't remember when this feeling started, but I would say a few years ago. Sometimes I realise that I am so exhausted for example when I hike up on a hill or a mountain, that I have my eyes half-closed and look as if I were about to fall asleep.

I feel bloated after breakfast, lunch and dinner, apparently regardless of what I eat. It is especially annoying in the morning, because after I have breakfast I often get a 'mild' headache, a feeling of being somehow numb, a bit dizzy and a bit nauseous. After my meals I feel like a weight in my stomach/intestines, the whole area is swollen and I can't use my brain properly. For example I remember that when I was studying physics I would sometime study with my friends after lunch. But, while they were very active, I was always very slow and sleepy and unable to do much.

About eating there is another thing I should mention. Since I were in university, but I particularly noticed it since I came to London, my hunger is 'strange'. In a way, I lack appetite, that is, I never really feel a strong desire to start eating, for example in the evening, after my lessons. I could just not eat. The only reason why I do it is habit and a sense of weakness, but not really because my mouth gets watery and I feel like eating.

This changes completely once I start eating. At that point I devour everything, I just eat, eat and eat. Sometimes even after lunch or dinner, I feel bloated, not well, sleepy, I am perfectly aware that I should not eat anymore, and yet I go to the supermarket, craving a dessert or some sort of carbohydrate, it's stronger than me, I think it is a nervous thing but I really can't explain why.

The absurd thing is that notwithstanding all this eating I am always underweight and have been for several years, since the beginning of high school. I am 185 cm (6'1'') tall and my weight is stuck around 63 kg (139 lb)

Another thing I noticed has to do with my memory. Sometime I just don't remember things very close in time, like what I had for lunch, or something I studied the day before or the name of somebody who has just been introduced to me. I have no traces, nothing in my brain to track down this information, it is just like a blank space. Another example. I had to take an exam after my english course. During the course our teacher stressed the importance of answering the question so he suggested, while we were answering (in the oral part of the exam), asking ourselves: what was the question? Am I saying something relevant? During a mock exam it happened that my teacher asked and exam-like question to the class, which I listened carefully, somebody else answered, then when he was over I started answerinng. But after I started speaking I was not sure anymore that I was saying something relevant, because I had forgotten the question!

I think these memory problems played a role in my high school 'decline', so they are old symptoms as well.

Another thing that comes to mind is that I used to enjoy walks in my hometowm, like walking for one hour or more, but here in London I can't do it anymore. I realise that after around half an hour I get an headache, I feel exhausted and I literally crave a bench or some place to sit or lie down.

I have been on a gluten free diet for two weeks, even though I must say once I bit and swallowed a piece of pizza and some contamination might have been possible (I've been to the restaurant twice). Anyway I don't feel any better. I even noticed a new symptom recently. It happens to me more often than in the past that sometimes when I stand up from sitting position, my sight becomes foggy, I see luminous dots and I feel I might fall if I don't hold on to something.

Minor symptoms are bleeding nose around once a month on average, especially when washing my face in the morning, and I am prone to cavities.

I think it is all, these are more or less all the symptoms. I don't know what to do, I would be extremely happy if you could give me a hand. The thing is that this state of health is affecting my decisions and probably has already. When I quit physics I thought that my tiredness and lack of memory was due to the fact that I was not really interested in the topic and that I was somehow forcing myself into it. Now I am starting to think that it was the other way round, that because of my tiredness, poor memory, I grew apathetic and uninterested.

Thanks very very much!


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Hi Riccardo,

I want to welcome you to the board--I'm glad you found us! :)

Have you been to a doctor and had bloodwork done? You sound like you might be anemic. I was anemic before I was diagnosed, and some of your symptoms sound similar. Anemia is a common symptom of Celiac Disease, although there are many other reasons for it.

It wouldn't hurt to be tested for Celiac (it can be triggered by traumatic events)--you do need to be eating a normal (including gluten) diet prior to testing.

Best of luck!

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