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Any ideas on my sons dramatic physical changes? He was a thin, active muscular 15 with boundless energy. Thank you for any help.

Posted by healthseeker

   He has changed appearance dramatically. Diagnosed with sleep apnea, plantar fasciliitis, high cholesterol, ADD.He is on Omega 3 fatty acids, lots of vitamins--not much improvement in spite of good diet and nutrition. He is too tired to really exercise-cannot work. Looks like he eats hamburgers and fries all day but absolutely does not. He is now 20 and has rounded face, red bruising on ankles, red streaks on legs and trunk of his body, puffy chest and big stomach.He looks like he is retaining water, rounded floppy bones and shoulders-not at all like what he looked like when younger. ADD meds made his hands swell and had bad side effects. Off them now, on the Mega 3 and vitamin/minerals.He cannot focus well. Absolutely not on illegal drugs. The doctors say he is borderline on  red cell blood test results but cannot pinpoint the cause of this.  We are out of money and still have old bills to pay for CPAP machine, etc.He has been to 3 different primary care docs and one naturopathic physician, a sleep clinic, and a few specialists. We are disallusionedwith the medical community not being able to diagnose this, but know they have tried.

Answers (1)
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Dear Healthseeker -

I'm so sorry to hear what a horrible ordeal your son (and your family) has been through.  I understand somewhat because I became ill suddenly 7 years ago, and it took me a full year filled with doctor's visits and blood tests before I was finally diagnosed properly.


My sons and I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), an immune system disorder that affects the endocrine and nervous systems.  Although your son's extreme fatigue and brain fog sound like CFS, the swelling and bruising do not. If you'd like to see for yourself, there's a self-quiz on the website for the CFIDS (another name for CFS) Association:


And here's their information on diagnosis and treatment of CFS:


In the section under Diagnosis, there's also a list of other medical conditions that can cause some similar symptoms to CFS - perhaps that list might be of some use to you.


The best advice I can give - from my own experience and others with CFS who spent many years getting an accurate diagnosis - is to not give up.  I know first-hand how frustrating it can be, but there must be a medical reason (or more than one reason) for the drastic changes your son has endured these past 5 years.  It took me about 8 doctors before I found one who was able to diagnose me accurately.  I know others with CFS who searched for 5 or 10 or even 15 years for a diagnosis.  As you are financially able, keep searching for doctors who are willing to stick with you until they find answers.  In my own experience, I found that it helped to have things written down and to be very specific about symptoms and changes.  When you see a doctor, try to be as factual and straight-forward as you can, and emphasize the severity of these symptoms, as well as their severity.

I wish I could help you more, but my experience is only with CFS and I'm just not familiar with the kind of symptoms you've described.


Good luck -


Sue Jackson 

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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