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Can tingling sensation be caused by stress?
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Can tingling sensation be caused by stress?

Two months ago I presented with the following symptoms all over my body (but not my face or head) - a tingling/crawling/prickly sensation. The sensation is with me EVERYDAY. It has not gotten worse but there has been no improvement either. It initially started in my feet and legs (I think) and within a few hours had spread to the rest of my body. It  started about eight hours after I had had a polio vaccination (I went to Namibia on business in July where there had been a polio outbreak which I did not know about) and on my return to my country (South Africa) I was so anxious and scared that I might have contracted polio that I went and got a booster polio vaccination three days after my return. The tingling started on the same day that I had the vaccination. My my doctor thought that I might have had a reaction to the vaccination. I went to a physician who said it was probably an inflamation (inflammation) of the peripheral nerves due to the vaccination and prescribed cortizone, which did not help at all. Since then I have seen two neurologists who cannot diagnose what it could be. The one neurologist said that it was a reaction to the vaccination and I should be ok in about a month - it has been two and a half months now and there is no improvement. The other neurologist did a whole series of tests (believing that the tingling was unrelated to the vaccination). I have had a range of blood tests (to test for auto-immune diseases, thyroid problems, diabetes etc) which came back negative. I have also had an EEG, a nerve conduction test (to determine whether there is any nerve damage) and an MRI - all tests have come back fine. There is also no muscle weakness, numbness or loss of co-ordination involved, so it is not MS or other similar diseases (so I've been told by my doctors). The second neurologist said that I should also have a lumbar puncture - I haven't yet. I am at my wits end. Could this tingling sensation have been caused by my initial anxiety or stress about contracting polio? I was VERY anxious about polio. I think I handle stress well (I have a stressful job) but worry about the most ridiculous 'health issues' (like polio for instance when I had nothing to worry about since I was vaccinated as a child). The more I research this tingling sensation on the internet the more over-wrought I become, imagining the worst. I don't know what caused the tingling and it concerns me constantly. It is with relief that I read on your site that some other people also have 'the tingles' and that it could be as a result of anxiety. I don't feel stressed and don't think that I am particularly anxious now about the tinling (I was initially), just concerned and frustrated - I want some answers and a solution. What can I do? Where do I go from here? Should I go and have the lumbar puncture too? Should I raise the issue of anxiety with my neurologist? Is it possible anxiety could have caused the tingling/prickly sensation? Can anyone assist please.
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242532_tn?1269553979
Given this history, let me make a suggestion.  Before you have a lumbar tap or any other procedure, ask your doctor to prescribe klonopin, o.5 mg twice a day, and use that for a week to  see what happens to your symptoms.  If it is anxiety and a secondary anxiety( worry re the symptoms and disease), this should help, and it will also tell you the  cause.
12 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Stress can cause just about anything.  Get another opinion from a neurologist who specilizes in issues like this.  Also, try some exercises to relax like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, etc....that is if you're into things like that.  If symptoms go away after that, than you can assume it's stress.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been experiencing the same 'tingles' as you described and I was wondering if they happened to stop?  and what you did?  It started for me on 10/10 around noon and has yet to stop.  Please let me know if there was anything that you did that helped them to stop.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the same problem but it was after I had taken a pill called Lexapro. The DR prescribed it to me after I went to him with anxiety. I took the pill that night at 7:30pm and woke up at 1:30am with severe burning/tingling feeling all over my body from head to toe. My body felt like it was on fire from inside out but yet my skin didnt feel that hot. I quickly ran into the other room and told my mom to take me to the hospital that there was something wrong. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to it or that I was going into spontaneous combustion (no joke-i was burning that bad) At the same time I was having a panic attack which caused it to get worse. I couldnt catch my breath, I was shaking uncontrollably, and felt so sick. Finally my mom had to calm me down and said I was having a really bad panic attack. Eventually I calmed down but continued to still have waves of it all day and would still wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks and feeling overwhelmingly hot.  Now, I had only taken one 10mg pill and a month later I sometimes still get tingly on my arms and neck and I constantly feel hot! I feel as if that pill damaged something like my nerves or heat sensory(if that makes sense) I am almost always hot and I used to always be cold. Its so annoying beacuse I used to go tanning all the time and it took me about a month just to go back to the tanning bed in hopes that I dont get a panic attack when Im in there. When I start feeling myself get hot I feel like a flush and get all nervous. I havent really felt it lately because I was put on Zoloft a couple weeks after that episode with the Lexapro because I couldnt stand the panic attacks I kept having from that night. I almost feel like its a post traumatic stress disorder from what happened that night. I get all anxious and think thats gonna happen again. I dont know im gonna keep taking my Zoloft and see what happens!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi. I took the Dr's advice and asked my neurologist to put me on an anti-anxiety type drug (although I must point out that I was not having panic attacks or anything). The cause of my tingling (which has been with me for 3 months now) is probably due to the polio vaccination I received together with my excessive and extreme worry about polio and what other diseases the tingling could be a sypmtom of (MS for example). My neurologist put me on 0.5mg of Xanor (twice a day) for a week and then I was to call him. I must say that there was a vast improvement in the tingling. I took the last tablet yesterday morning and the tingling also came back full force. I cannot stay on Xanor for a long time since it is addictive according to my neurologist. His reasoning is because an anti-anxiety drug (Xanor)worked, an anti-depressive should to. So I am now on (as of today) Cipralex (0.5mg a day). Apparently they can treat tingling with it too (not only depression which I do not suffer from) but it takes about 3 weeks to kick in. So, I'm living with the tingles again. I'm to call the neurologist back in 20 days time. If Cipralex does not work he'll either up the dosage to 10mg a day or put me on an anti-epileptic medication which they think can also 'cure' the tingles. Speak to your doctor and good-luck. Anyone had any luck with Cipralex?
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Avatar_n_tn
I took 1 10 mg. tablet of Lexapro on Sept. 21st and had a very similar experience as Hyposteph. It has been over 5 weeks and I am still having horrible symptoms. I am on short term disability and haven't been able to return to work because of it. I feel like noone believes me because they have never heard of such a thing from only one pill. I have been desperately searching for anyone else who has experienced this so I can better understand it. Please contact me via e-mail at ***@****,  I could really use some advice and information at this point.
Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a situation where I was on lexapro for about a year, then was taken off of it not weened, then started having bad panic attacks again. My doctor put me back on it and I am now experiencing some of the similar symptoms that you all are. alot of these are just side effects, and usually go away when the medicine kicks in and starts to take full effect. I am just wondering if the medicine may not be working correctly this time around? my doctor told me that sometimes it may not work since I was on it before. can anyone give me advice. I have been going through alot of stress with family, death of friends and family and other situations but deserve to feel better and be happier. if anyone can give me advice id appreciate it. also if you need more info on lexapro there is a website called www.lexapro,com
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm sorry, I cannot give you any advice but as soon as I have any answers from a neurologist or specialist of some sort, I will keep you posted. Personally, I didn't react well at all to Lexapro and thought, and still sometimes think I am going to lose my mind while in an episode. I don't have any answers except that it was definitely the Lexapro that caused my symptoms. My family doctor has been very supportive and now I have been in a waiting game for 2 months waiting for these horrible effects to subside. LEXAPRO HAS MADE ME AT LEAST 10 TIMES MORE SENSITIVE TO EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE FROM JUST ONE 10MG.PILL. I FEEL THE CHEMICAL RELEASE THAT WAKES US UP IN THE MORNING, THE CHEMICAL RELEASED AFTER A MEAL OR WHEN MY BODY IS GETTING TIRED, AND ESPECIALLY AFTER SEX. NORMALLY I WOULDN'T FEEL THE RUSH, BUT NOW IT IS SO INTENSE I HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME MANAGING THE INTENSE FLUSHING OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS OR HORMONES. I ALSO GET VERY EMOTIONAL AND MOODY ,WHEREAS, IN THE PAST I COULD EASILY DEAL WITH THOSE ISSUES. I ALSO GET SCARED FOR NO REASON AT TIMES OR SCARED AT THINGS I MIGHT SEE ON TV, WHICH IS ALSO SOMETHING I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT MY SENSITIVITY HAS BEEN ESCALATED TO A POINT WHERE I CANNOT FUNCTION IN THE REAL WORL AT LEAST HALF THE TIME. I will keep you posted if I get any important info. I have also posted under the UNDIAGNOSED SYMPTOMS forum under the thread title; "Lexapro, horrible side effects after only one pill" if you would like to read my summarized account.
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel like I'm Spiderman, and the flared senses respond, but no enemies or dangers are out to get me, my body, the bio-talker is telling me something.  What?  I see that we all have the same question in regards to these rogue tinglings.  First off, in regards to the Stress, I'd say the Tingles cause the stress, so if you are taking a medication for the stress of the tingles, you may be just taking care of a byproduct, but not the original problem.  I'm gonna think out loud here, try to follow my notes, I'll keep it as fluid as possible and note that I goto the online encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page)that really helps out and I suggest to all to get started on research there on life.  

Ok, we're going to start with a few years back.  Two years to be exact.  My Body Chemistry changed after I came back from Indonesia.  I got a polio shot before I left to join in on the tsunami relief.  I could definitely feel a change in my hair follicles and fingernail plates.  I am an extremely sensitive person.  I did take continual pills while there for the prevention malaria.  [Email me at ***@**** if you need to know the 2 or 3 chemicals I filtered in me via travel doctor here in Los Angeles.]

I'm going to ignorantly point my finger to the polio vac and say on that same hunch that it may have either destroyed completely or turned off some facility in the organism of me.  Maybe some neurotransmitter block of some sort.  But I keep going back to the SODIUM intake.  Salts/Sugars.  Possible Diabetes?  I don't think.  But I do think theres either too much sodium in the foods or watersystem.  I'll stop my guessing and get to the hard body facts:

I drank some imported Armenian Mountain Spring Mineral Water, very high in sodium I think in February, and I had ExtremO!!-tingles.  All over my body.  Not a good vibe.  So, this is why I questioned the sodium chloride in the water systems.  

Sodium chloride also is in our Oceans waters.  Note: What Happens when you drink the Ocean Water when you are Abandoned out to Sea?  Yeah, we've all heard it.  Hold that thought.

I was in New York City this summer.  Spent the summer lounging, just walking the park, going to the library, really listening to the world.  Via my body of course.  So for food (I had to keep it economical, I'm not wealthy) I ate mostly street vendor food.  Extremely salty foods.  I got tingles sometimes when I was done and walking around afterwards.  Sometimes from the tap water filtered/unfiltered at Starbucks.  Keep note of the Starbucks and Soda beverages too.

I'm back in Los Angeles.  I work in Sun Valley, near Burbank.  Last night I drank quite a bit of Arrowhead Bottled Water (4 Glasses to be exact).  Ate red meat.  Some Ice Cream sandwiches.  This morning I had another Ice Cream sandwich, a danish, and a grande Starbucks regular Drip coffee, no milk, no sugar.  Once at work I took a 15 min walk after being here for an hour.  Just to get the blood flowing.  At lunch I have Panda Express, note:  Also an extremely high sodium food.  I drink a 32 ounce Dr. Pepper.  Back at work, after about 2 hours, I go for another 15 min. walk.  Towards minute 12, and this is why I'm going off on the subject/after googling to find you guys, my body, arms and legs, especially around the joints, TOTAL TINGLE, HARDCORE this time.  Not all body like the mineral water, but more precise in the joints of legs at the knees and ankles.  So, I started tripping out.  Enter Stress.  I took note of during the tingles of my mental frame, like a rock.  I'm telling you, I have an extremely strong tolerance for stress, and right now I'm at the top of my buddhist-like skills of minds calm.  I'm using the buddha as an example, I'm not buddhist.  My body, not too healthy.  I stopped exercising awhile ago.  Just walk, and I stretch still.  I mean, I get my cells around enough to tell if the signals are reacting.  Think like a scientist I say.

So, this tingling bit, still no answers.  Just advice from the good ole doc for the stress I see in you all.  But I don't think that's the issue.  I think we are stressing on the tingle rather than stressing first then tingle later.  

Sodium, Sodium, Sodium.  A very volatile substance.  I did some wiki-research on Escitalopro(Cipralex)/Lexapro:

at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexapro

which in turn brought me to the Paresthesia or "electric shock sensations" --my coined Spidey Senses Alert, to compliment the South African TINGLER, at this weblocation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paresthesia

Which then brought me to Vitamin B at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12

Now, I'm really trying to break this down for us.  We're all over the world, so I don't think its some covert government control by US/UK(or shadow Empires).  Like pouring stuff in our water supply.  I was thinking, where do the soda people get there water from?  I'm just putting random ideas out here, seeing what I get back.  Basically, my goal here...Is to organically, and naturally stop these tingles.  Not turn them off.  But understand why I have them, and how to avoid them.  I'm thinking its in what I digest.  Liquids.  And the foods even?  I don't know.  If we all took the Polio Vac, then maybe that has something to do with our readers, and why they are either extremely on high alert, or not on at all?  Causing some weird reaction to the nervous system.  RED ALERT, RED ALERT.  :)

To everyone, hang in there, and seriously though...get back to me, however random it may be, any ideas.  

JACOB V
EMAIL: ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Progress report,

I will summarize.
It has been 3 months and I am still not completely better. Although, I have made substantial progress. I am making progress slowly and I can only judge at a monthly rate. The first month was a nightmare, the second month was horrible and the third month was not as horrible as the second month. I have been managing this condition (which is somewhat rare) with xanax, less stress, more sleep, better food and very minimal, but essential exercise. I have had a lot of support from family and friends. Every day, I think, "I just have to make it through this day" I don't know if I will make a full recovery but it seems that my brain is re-organizing itself somehow. That makes me very hopeful. I also went to a neurologist and he was honest enough to tell me he didn't know what happened but it is similar to someone who has a severe allergic reaction to something when others do not. Due to my physiology. If anyone has something similar to this happen to them, please write a post here. If you are at an early stage, I may be able to provide information or assistance.
Tony
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Avatar_n_tn
My advice to anyone about SSRI-antidepressants,
If you do not want to hurt yourself or others, are unable to work or enjoy your life or do simple things such as go out in public or take a shower, or are not diagnosed with clinical depression, DO NOT TAKE ANY SSRI. The FDA has been far too lenient with the pharmaceutical companies due to weak laws passed by politicians taking campaign contributions from special interest pharmaceuticals. This makes it easy for pharmacy representatives to push drugs (and easy for the family doc)that are being prescribed for other conditions for which they haven't been tested. Please make it your last resort behind all other methods of therapy, most importantly, lifestyle changes. These meds haven't been tested for long term use and have been linked to birth defects to unborn children, killing some, also sending many to the ER with crazy side effects. These are very serious medications that should never be prescribed by anyone other than a specialist,(although, I am leary of them also)
Don't take chances with these meds until you've done very much research and investigation. (I took 1 pill of Lexapro (10mg.) and have been unable to work for 3 months!!!!)I have also communicated with 7 others who have had a very similar situation to mine. Don't let the Doctors throw these dangerous medications at you or it may ruin your life. It seems that some or many people may be benefitting from these medications, and I don't claim to know everything abot them. Keep in mind, all the doctors, specialists and pharmacists that I have spoken to, claim to know VERY LITTLE about what these drugs actually do to the brain and nervous system. My point is, once you take these meds, you are on your own. If you have a horrible problem caused by these drugs, you will be alone, noone will want to help you, noone will be able to help you, you will be considered a liability and pushed aside as if your case holds no importance. I am speaking from my experience.I hope this helps at least one person make a better decision and subsequently saves many the grief that I have endured.
Thank you for reading all of this.
Tony
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I've been having this tigling sensation too. However, they are a little different. I only get them once a year. The doctor prescribe anthestamine and steroids the first time, and the seemed to  work. the second, time she not only precribe the same thing, but also gave me a steroid shot. Today, I'm having the symptons again and I'm going crazy. this tingling all over my body, no pain, no rashes, just like bugs stinging me all over. I scrtach all the time, mostly when I go to bed. I have to wake up in the middle of the night to scratch again. All the blood tests came out fine, except the enzymes of the liver that came out a little high. I went to a liver specialist and didn't do much because he says everything seems to be normal. I also went to a an allergist and did the skin test..I'm allergic to Nothing. I've been stressed out and ask the doctor what I could take for that...and she replied: "do you feel like killing somebody???" She is not helping at all...most of the time I think she is not even listening to me.
What can i do??
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Avatar_f_tn
One night I went to sleep and when I woke up the next day my body was numb, my cheeks and face was even numb, I could still walk and move fine once I got up and going but after I sit down it's like I had to literally put my hands under my legs and lift them up to move them the right way for me to get up or down from a chair, I was so numb in my face that I could not taste food, I couldn't tell if I was chewing or swallowing anything I ate or drank, after about a week the feeling finally came back but now ( about a month and a half later) I still am like numb/ tingly anytime anything touches me it almost feels like it's burning me from the inside out, I'm also having horrible hot flashes and I'm hot all the time, I feel like I cannot get comfortable for anything........ WTF is going on???
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