Author Topic: FATIGUE as a symptom for acoustic neuroma?  (Read 13447 times)


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FATIGUE as a symptom for acoustic neuroma?
« on: February 12, 2013, 08:58:41 am »
Hello everybody,

browsing through your posts, I was so surprised to see that many of you had fatigue as a symptom of the AN, so I’d like to share my experience:

During some 10 years before the diagnosis of my AN, I had the following symptoms: EXTREME FATIGUE (something like a PERMANENT HEAVY HANGOVER). Then, some 5 to 6 years before diagnosis, and while being in my thirties, I suddenly developed extreme hunger, and for the first time in my life, I gained weight (presumably some 8 kilos in a couple of weeks). It was about the same time, when I started being sick a lot. I would go through up to 10 heavy colds / bronchitis a year. I was also freezing all the time.

Things have been MUCH, MUCH better since my surgery. Still, there are ups and downs (possibly related to whether the tumor is in a growing phase or not). Lately, I have also developed extreme thirst which will sometimes make me drink so much water that I can barely move.

I have read in this forum about some people experiencing fatigue as a symptom of the AN. Does anybody know about this fatigue / hunger / frailty / freezing / thirst combination? Any similar experience??


2009 diagnosis (AN 3 cm diameter), 2010: surgery, then regrowth. 2011: GK; first darkening of the tumor, then regrowth. Now awaiting new treatment (surgery).


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Re: FATIGUE as a symptom for acoustic neuroma?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 02:04:24 pm »
Here is my experience.
I went to the doctors for fatigue about 2 years before I was diagnosed with an AN and all the tests came back normal.
I thought I was just getting old. I was also putting on weight and found it very difficult not to nibble when food was around.
In hind site I had a mild "Hangover" feeling for the two years prior to diagnosis. Being off balance, and feeling a little queezy makes me want to eat to settle my stomach.

3 months after CK I weighed 232lb.
Slowly the dizziness went away and with it so did 35lb

I am now 2.5 years post CK. My energy levels have returned to where they were 5 years ago.
My desire to over eat is gone.

Up until about 3 months ago I still got the occassional dizzy day.
When I would get these dizzy days I would also start eating again!

Never got the thirst or cold thing....
Have you had a thyroid function test, and diabetes test. It sounds like something else is happenning too
These are common tests for fatigue and thirst problems.
10x5x5mm AN
Sudden Partial hearing loss 5/28/10
Diagnosed 7/4/10
CK 7/27/10
2/21/11 Swelling 13x6x7mm
10/16/11 Hearing returned, balance improved. Feel totally back to normal most days
3/1/12 Sudden Hearing loss, steroids, hearing back.
9/16/13 Life is just like before my AN. ALL Good!


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Re: FATIGUE as a symptom for acoustic neuroma?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 02:30:52 pm »
oh, that sounds so familiar! after years and years of being treated as a hypochondriac, this is really a relief! (as to the thirst etc., i guess i will have some tests done in hospital soon anyway, but earlier tests never showed anything.)


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Re: FATIGUE as a symptom for acoustic neuroma?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 10:07:37 pm »
I don't recall having fatigue pre op and as far a weight is concerns the summer before it was found Idropped 35-40 pounds, kept dropping for the first two months post op too!
1st AN surgery @ age 23, 16 hours
Loss of 7-10th nerves
mulitple "plastic" repairs to compensate for effects of 7th nerve loss
tumor regrowth, monitored for a few years then surgically removed @ age 38 (of my choice, not medically necessary yet)


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Re: FATIGUE as a symptom for acoustic neuroma?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 11:10:40 am »
Fatigue is a very common symptom, arising from the damage to the vestibular system. Here is a link to an article that has been posted quite a few times around here, and explains the origins of the fatigue:

Pretty much your body tries to compensate for the balance loss, even if you don't realize it, thus resulting in fatigue that can be quite pronounced.

My personal experience is similar to what you describe. During the mid-nineties (which would be the time that the AN must have started to grow), I was experiencing profound fatigue. I remember feeling like I needed naps throughout the day. I thought it must be something like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Nothing was ever diagnosed, one doctor attributed this to low iron and gave me a supplement, afterwards when I was pregnant and had kids my GP attributed the fatigue to the lack of sleep, taking care of small children etc. In retrospect I am pretty sure that all this was attributed to the AN that was growing all along, even though I never experienced any balance problems. At the time of my surgery I had lost 90% of my vestibular function, without ever realizing it. Following my GK and surgery the fatigue has pretty much disappeared. Contrary to many people, I have actually experienced increased energy levels following surgery.

As for the other symptoms that you describe, they do sound like thyroid problems, like Paul mentioned. It is sometimes difficult to diagnose thyroid function problems, because you need constant blood tests taken throughout a period of time. Some doctors just send you for a single blood test, whereas you really have to be persistent and monitor this for a few months.

At some point I also thought that I had thyroid-related problems: After my GK I experienced dry hair, brittle nails, loss of weight. Somehow all this, including my brittle nails and dry hair disappeared magically after surgery. I really think now that these symptoms might have been stress related, because of the uncertainety during the period between GK and surgery.

GK on April 23rd 2008 for 2.9 cm AN at Toronto Western Hospital. Subsequent MRIs showed darkening initially, then growth. Retrosigmoid surgery on April 26th, 2011 with Drs. Akagami and Westerberg at Vancouver General Hospital. Graduallly lost hearing after GK and now SSD but no other issues.


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  • Greg Mech
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Re: FATIGUE as a symptom for acoustic neuroma?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2016, 10:56:12 am »
Excellent info.
5/19/2015 - 40% sudden hearing loss + tinnitus right ear

6/26/2015 - AN diagnosed by MRI - 14mm x 7mm + 3mm extension

8/26/2015 - WIDEX "ZEN" hearing aid for my catastrophic tinnitus

12/15/2015: 18mm x 9mm + 9mm extension (5mm AGGRESSIVE GROWTH in 5 months)

3/03/2016:   Gamma Knife - Dr. Sheehan