Chiari Varient - Symptoms, Neurologists Pls help!

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Hey all,

I hope someone can help shed some light on this for me sad

Im a 24 year old woman who has been suffering from a progressive series of symptoms for the past 3 years. Firstly and foremost I get a severe dull pain in my neck/spin/head area, i struggle to lift my head in the mornings as there is a strain/unbareable pain when lifting my head off the pillow, this then continues throughout the day & fluctuates in pain levels -anything from 5-10. The pain tends to wake me up out of sleep & overrides painkillers even those such as cocodamal and dyzapan. This has got progressivly worse over the years. Over the past 3 years i have also developed progressivly regular blackouts, sickness after eating, coughing up blood, dizzyness & shakeyness, numbness in my limbs, blurred vision etc. I did not have a problem with any of these symptoms before the head/neck pain started and they all tended to come one after the over as the pain has progressed.

I have had two MRI scans that show Chiari varient, the first showing a mm of 4mm and the second with an increase to 8mm. I have seen several neurologists but many have not even seen the scans but made a diagnosis of Migraine. Two have seen the scans and confirmed the Chiari Varient but does not think the mm is significant enough for official diagnosis (although I was told that if the mm is over 7mm it reaches the freshhold mark for diagnosis). My mother also has the Chiari varient with a syrinx. Her symptoms however, alot less than mine, just the same dull pain and neck pains.

Is any of the above in line with Chiari or common? Has anyone else found similar symptoms of difficulty with a diagnosis. The symptoms and impact of it all are slowly ruining my day to day life and neurologists I have seen generally just tell me I have to get on with it as they treat it as a Migraine.

Recently I also have been experiencing a rushing fluid sound / feeling down my neck and spine, it is not heard in my ears, its more felt and slightly heard. Neurologists say its a migraine. I disagree. I didnt no if the new symptom of liquid was also connected with Chiari?

Thanks for taking the time out to read and hopefully help.


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  • Posted

    What you describe is classical symptomology of a Chiari malformation. Based on research, symptoms seem to fluctuate in severity based on CSF flow interruption, with no real corelation with mm of herniation. I reccommend that you request a cine MRI, which will demonstrate your CSF flow and any lack of communication between the spaces (ventricles) in your brain.
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  • Posted

    Hi, I agree with Kizbiz all the symptoms you describe are classic Chiari. I also had the running fluid in my neck too and  it is most definitely Chiari symptom, that sensation comes from where the cf is struggling because of the Syrinx. Most of the Neurologists blame everything on Migraine, I'm afraid  they're not very good when it comes to Chiari problems! Also it doesn't matter what size your herniation is, a person could have 6mm and it cause no problems then another could have one of 2mm or less and have many symptoms. I would ask to be referred to a Neurosurgeon, that's the person you need to be seeing now😀 Hope all goes well for you.
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  • Posted

    Oops, meant to say the Chiari not the syrinx!!
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  • Posted

    Hi ccxx i got 21mm cm symptoms r same as u running around neurologist for surgery .
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