• 6 months ago

    Help-160+ "head rushes" or "brain zaps" everyday!

    Hi Folks – I’m a 49 year old male and starting in May this year, I started experiencing some very weird “head rushes” or “head zaps” as I have seen other folks make reference to. I’m now 4 months in and they are continuing - getting worse and more frequent. I actually know exactly when I had the first one – I was on holidays and departing the hotel and I got this head rush that was very sharp and lasted only a few seconds. It felt like someone stuck a needle in my brain full of adrenaline. I could feel the rush come from behind my right eye and it was so strong I got tingling down my entire body. These “rushes” only last a few seconds and don’t interfere with my balance / motor skills nor do I have any cognitive break etc.… they are just very annoying and generate a bit of anxiety. The rushes are not painful and no noise heard. After that first one, I was experiencing them 4 or 5 times every hour for the next month. For that first month, they generally only occurred when I was in situations that had a bit of anxiety involved – good or bad: i.e. playing a video game and monster jumps out, watching TV and phone rings… initially the sensation was almost pleasurable – almost like a release of sorts. Again, they only last a few seconds and once over, I do get an anxious feeling. Initially, in-between these episodes I felt fine. For the first month I just wrote these off as I must have picked up a bug while on vacation (I was in New York). Few items about me – I have never had any issues with depression or anxiety in the past and take no drugs and am a very moderate drinker.

    I began to get worried the second month as the head rushes started to occur every 10 minutes of so regardless of what I was doing – no anxiety needed. These new head rushes are similar to the more anxiety generated rushes just a bit milder. They also last just a few seconds. In the second and third month of this issue, I got as many as 80 of the milder rushes a day. As of right now (four months in), I get the milder rushes up to 160 a day. I swear I can feel a build up to each rush in the minute before they occur. I still get the “sharper” and more anxiety driven rushes as well but 3 or 4 an hour. These rushes also occur at night and the sharper ones will wake me up. I’m off work at the moment and have very little stress in my life.

    In addition to the head rushes, in month 3 and 4 I started experiencing general fatigue and am now sleeping 12 hour a day. I usually run on my treadmill for an hour and now can only manage 20 minutes before I am exhausted and drenched in sweat. One of the worse problems I am now having related to this is I have no sex drive – never had that issue before. I am also putting on weight.

    After the first month I went to see my Doctor about this – he tested my thyroid and I was a bit low so am now on 50 mg of synthroid. My vitamin B was a bit low as well so am on a B supplement. As my symptoms are so strange and persistent, I had an MRI on my head done to ensure no tumor etc.… The MRI was clean. Doc also suspected Cushing Disease so have done 2 X 24 hour urine cortisol test. In both tests my cortisol was above average. Doc had MRI on my adrenal glands to see if there was a tumor – MRI was clean. Running out of ideas, my GP has now referred me to an Endocrinologist. The Endocrinologist had me do a blood cortisol test – it came up as abnormal but too low cortisol not too high? Endocrinologist now doesn’t think it is cushing or even endocrine issue?

    I have searched high and low on the Net for folks with my similar symptoms – closest I can find are for folks with antidepressant withdrawal (SSRI) however, I have never been on antidepressants and am not on any drugs.

    Anyways – saw this forum with folks who had similar symptoms and thought I would post in hopes of finding someone in a similar situation looking for answers.


  • 5 months ago

    RE: Help-160+ "head rushes" or "brain zaps" everyday!

    Update - the head rushes continue to get milder and less frequent. I only get 4 or 5 an hour and some I barely feel. That said, other symptoms remain – very low sex drive and very tired. I can sleep 14 hours straight on weekends. I still feel build-up (anxiety) leading up to a rush. As the rushes are not as strong I feel less relief after a rush – anxiety remains. I continue to put on weight.

    New issue: for the past month when I wake up my baby toe on left side has been tingling – not quite asleep but a tingle when I step out of bed, tingle goes away. For the past week the tingle has been getting worse and doesn’t go all away – toe a bit sore? No clue if this has anything to do with my issue? I’ve read about these type of things with diabetes.

    Here are my test results from old to new. In brackets () is the normal range. Doc(s) hasn’t called to give me any opinions on latest test:

    CORTISOL RANDOM 65 - 540 18 nmol/L LOW
    VOLUME, 24HOUR URINE (600 – 1800) 2100 mL/d HIGH
    CREATININE, 24 HOUR URINE (6.3 - 22.7) 26.5 mmol/d HIGH
    FREE CORTISOL, 24 HOUR URINE (0 – 193) 290 nmol/d HIGH

    Sep 07
    Cortisol 396 nmol/L G VIEW
    LH 2.6 IU/L (1.0-9.0) C VIEW
    FSH 3.6 IU/L (1.0-19.0) C VIEW
    Prolactin 6 ug/L (3-13) C VIEW
    Testosterone Total 9.1 nmol/L (6.1-27.1) C VIEW
    Testosterone Free Calculated 183 pmol/L (110-660) C VIEW
    Testosterone Bioavailable Calculated 4.3 nmol/L (2.8-15.5) C VIEW
    SHBG 31 nmol/L (13-89) C VIEW
    TSH 3.05 mIU/L (0.34-5.60) C VIEW
    FT4 13.6 pmol/L (7.0-17.0) C VIEW

    Sept 11
    CORTISOL RANDOM (65 – 540) 18 nmol/L LOW
    Sept 25
    FREE T4 (12 – 22) 18 pmol/L NORMAL
    FREE T3 (3.4 - 5.9) 5.2 pmol/L NORMAL

    Sept 25
    VOLUME, 24HOUR URINE (600 – 1800) 1580 mL/d NORMAL
    CREATININE, 24 HOUR URINE (6.3 - 22.7) 24.9 mmol/d HIGH
    NORMETANEPHRINES < 3.3 5.9 umol/d HIGH
    METANEPHRINES < 1.7 1.1 umol/d NORMAL

    No clue where I go from here? Love to get some input as I think my Docs are stumped.