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numbness and tingling in hands, feet, arms, and legs
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numbness and tingling in hands, feet, arms, and legs

I have had severe bowel problems for ten years. I have been having tingling and numbness in my legs, feet, arms and hands.  I was just wondering if Colitis and ileitis could cause any of these problems.  I have been to a Neurologist for and EMG, but carpal tunnel was the only explantion in my hands.  There was not an explanation for my feet or legs.  I also get lower back pain and my stomach is bloated almost all the time.  I know this probably seems like a question for a neurologist, but I have asked my neurologist, and she doesn't seem to know.  I guess I'm just trying to find answers to these annoying problems.  It doesn't hurt to ask.  I would appreciate any information that you can give me.  Thank you.  Cheryl
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you been tested for celiac disease or other malabsorption syndromes? These can sometimes cause the symptoms you describe.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with Wilson, about checking into Celiac Disease (a gluten intolerance), which can cause "malabsorption" syndromes!

Also, if you are (or were) on any ACID BLOCKING MEDS, these cause Vitamin B12 (and other vitamins & minerals) to NOT get absorbed in the small intestines, and this results in NERVE DAMAGE (Peripheral Neuropathy) that includes numbness, tingling, pain, etc.

To find out more about Peripheral Neuropathy (PN), go over to http://www.braintalk.org  and go to the "Peripheral Neuropathy" forum there.

That website has many neurological forums, and can give you much info. Also, post your question there, AND on the neuro forum here at med help!

In case you might have Celiac Disease, try avoiding "gluten" containing foods for several months. This means avoiding WHEAT, RYE, OATS, BARLEY & BUCKWHEAT. Spelt is a form of wheat, and has gluten in it. Triticale has gluten.

Brown rice is gluten free, and nourishing. But some Celiac patients do better, by first avoiding ALL grains. Corn is gluten free, but is very "allergenic", so avoid it. Millet may or may not agree with Celiac patients, so avoid it.

Also, avoid milk products, in case you have a lactose intolerance (can occur due to Celiac Disease). Later on, Celiacs may produce lactase enzymes again, when their small intestines heal, and the microscopic finger-like projections called "villi" re-grow. (Gluten DESTROYS the vital "villi"!)

There is also lactase enzyme, like "Lactaid" in pill or liquid form, if someone wants to use milk products, but is lactose (milk sugar) intolerant.

Digestive enzymes and "probiotics" (like acidophilus & bifidus) are usually very helpful for Celiac patients. So are vitamin and mineral supplements, and very nutritious foods.

You should check neurological forums, in case something else is going on, instead of, or in addition to, digestive problems.

Good luck to you. I hope others give you their opinions, too.

Sincerely, Concerned lady

http://cantbreathesuspectvcd.com
***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Oops, I meant LACTOSE INTOLERANT. Lactose is milk sugar, and Lactase is the digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose.
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Thank you for your response.  I have been checked for celiac disease.  Tests show that I do not have the disease.  I also have been checked for B12 defeciency, and everything was normal.  I do have some autoimmune problems which some say it is Lupus, others say it is not.  Very frustrating so I am seeking answers from maybe someone out there mentions somehthing that the doctors haven't.  Who knows, maybe I will find the answer.  Thanks again.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your response.  I have been checked for Celiac, but the tests show negative results. Thanks again.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have recently by diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (autoimmune liver disease) and I also have this numbness and tingling.  I have a peripheral neuropathy in my right leg...had it for years...cause unknown.  I haven't been tested for celiac disease, but will look into it.  I am going through exactly the same thing...general blood tests don't point to anything specific.  Just wanted you to know you are not alone!  Let me know if you find anything out...I will do the same!
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I am so sorry about your diagnoses.  How long did it take for them to make this diagnoses?  What kind of test did you have?  What does this mean for you?  The doctor's said this is what was causing your numbness?  Any autoimmune is so horrible.  It just never goes away.  What are the doctor's doing for you?  Please let me know how you are doing.  Take care!
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Thanks for your kind words!  Autoimmune disease is a bit scary.  The prognosis is unpredictable for my particular problem.  I am currently taking Prednisone and Imuran,  one is an anti-inflammatory and the other an immunosuppresant.  The goal is to control the progress of the disease by suppressing my immune system to keep it from damaging my liver too much.  I will probably be on and off these drugs for the rest of my life.  They do have some potentially serious side effects, so they try to keep as low dose as possible to control damage.  Not the best thing in the world...but better than a liver transplant!  I have been responding to treatment well so far...but have only been on them two months.

They haven't really said this is the cause of the tingling...but it sounds like autoimmune disease in general may cause this (Lupus does, I think).  I have never seen a specific reference to my particular disorder.  My fear is that autoimmune problems often come in groups...and I am worried I may have more than one.  So far, I don't have any really severe symptoms to point towards anything.  I know Multiple Sclerosis can cause the tingling, and that is my biggest fear.

My diagnosis came quickly...I luckily found great doctors.  My liver enzymes were elevated, they did ultrasound and then a liver biopsy...after testing for other possible causes of liver inflammation...and were able to give a pretty definite diagnosis right away.  Autoimmune disease is very hard to diagnose...it is not an exact science.

Good luck to you and I will keep you posted on the "paresthesias"...the medical term for the "pins and needles" sensations we have!
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I have had some of your problems.  You mentioned carpal tunnel.  When my problems started I was doing 4 hour stints on the computer, tensing up my body and I developed all sorts of sensations, deep left groin pain, lower back pain, tingling numbness in my legs, etc.  A lot of it may stem from sitting at the computer too long.  Get up and move around every 15 minutes.  Also I just read over the internet and it was verified that aspertim, equal and all those other "sugarless" sugars turns to wood alcohol in the brain and causes symptoms of lupus, ms, alzheimer's and that other "shaking" disease.  Do you drink diet coke or pepsi or take equal or other such products?  I want to suggest that perhaps you should rule all that out before you start worrying about serious stuff.
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Thanks so much for your input.  I am maybe on the computer an hour, two hours at the most a day.  I don't  drink cola's or any other kind of pop except a juice glass of Pepsi when I have pizza which is rarely.  I don't use any artificial sweeteners.  I use sugar in tea.  I don't drink coffee.  I have a twin who also experiences the same problems.  Now my 10 year old who has been sick off and on with bowel problems and sore joints, sinusitus gets the "falling asleep" in her legs.  It's just too strange that nobody can figure out what is wrong.  I'm starting to wonder if it is some kind of heriditary problem that the doctors just can't find.  It's all just too frustrating.  I will have an MRI done this month.  Now the doctor thinks that I may have had a stroke.  I will go through this one last test.  After that, I will just learn to live with it and try to find out some answers on my own which I am starting to with people like yourself.  Thanks!  Twingirl
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi -

I have described this symptom to my doctor over the past year.  I'm curious about the description though.  I have had tingling in the hands and feet too.  Would you describe your symptoms as tingling, or could you also describe it as though you had adrenaline in those parts of the body?

The reason I ask is I often feel this and the more I concentrate on the feeling, the more it feels like adrenaline running through my hands and feet.

Anyway, I also talked to a chiropractor a couple years ago.  He seemed to think I was having nerves pinched in my lower back.  These nerves provided the communication from my intestinal areas.  I went through about 3 months of care from him (convinced he could help me) and did not see significant improvement.

I quit seeing him since insurance does not pay for chiropractic care.  Anyone else try chiropractors?  I'm considering going back to that kind of treatment.

Thanks,

Matt
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Avatar_n_tn
I haven't been to a chiropractor.  But pinched nerves can be a source of the tingling, and I imagine chiropractic care may help with that...depends on what is causing it.

Have you had any blood tests?  You may want to do this.  I know that thyroid problems as well as certain vitamin deficiencies can also cause this in hands and feet.  [I have mild hypothyroid, and this is easily fixed!]

I have had a hard time describing my symptoms, too.  I have them even now that my thyroid is controled.  Although for me I think tingling is still the closest.  I even had "pins and needles" all over my body a couple of times.  I am making an appointment to see a Neurologist since by blood tests don't reveal anything.  They can do more specific tests to see exactly which nerves are the problem.  But, these are often difficult problems to diagnose...I think the way to look at it is to rule things out, and if the cause can't be found just keep watching for any change in symptoms.  Scary, I guess!

Rebecca
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Sorry to hear that you are having these problems too.  It is very frustrating, isn't it?  You say that you feel as if you are getting adrenaline rushes.  I know what you are talking about. It sends shivers down my spine, but I also get the numbness and tingling.  I had heard damaged nerves in the spine could cause stomach problems.  I had a MRI on my back but it only showed the osteo and spurs in my lower lumbars.  I just don't think the doctor's know.  I haven't been to a Chiropractor.  My twin who has the same problems has.  She fixed some of the problems but not the tingling and numbness, and my twin also has stomach problems.  I am getting an MRI on my brain to see if I had a stroke at the end of the month.  I know that I didn't.  It's all going to come up negative.  I think I'm too young to have a stroke.  That usually happens after 50, but I guess it could happen.  If you find out any answers, please let me know, and I will do the same.  I have been to the Neurologist, and she ordered the MRI.  Blood work is fine.  EMG showed carpal tunnel.  Who knows.  Good luck to you!  Cheryl
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Hi folks..i put the same question out some time ago and had no replys. i have mild reflux,gastritis,duadenitis,mild diverticulitis,AND cirvical spondylosis which all the quacks keep telling me is the cause of the arms legs etc with prickly pins and needles. if i hold a phone i have to keep swapping hands. i also have a pain in my back at night and have to get up cos it wont let me sleep.This i can make worse by boozing...it also huts in the lower back (but only if id had a drink) i even phoned AA and they said "ah yeh nephritis" (lupus)but my gastro quack at the hospital was slapping my kidneys and no pain felt.B12 is ok so they say,i also go dizzy after drinking a morning drink (usualy tea+sugar).Iv scoured the net for ages and couldnt believe the message iv just seen..should anyone want to chat via email please do ***@**** regards from steve bedfordshire uk.
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Dear twingirl. Dont give up the ship. I think you need to find yourself a new set of doctors. They are regular people. Some are a lot better than others. I have been having all sorts of problems for almost 3 years now and nobody has any answers. But I am not going to give up. I dont care if I have to see every damn doctor on the face of this earth. Somewhere someone has to know. Keep trying. Just my 2 cents.
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Thank you for your words of encouragement!  As I said before, it is so frustrating, but I won't give up either no matter how much that I feel like it.  Thank you and good luck in your search for your answers.  Twingirl
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I just wanted to let you all know that I had the MRI of the brain, and it was negative which I knew that it would be.  I was very happy with the results.  I still have no explanation of what is going on with me.  I guess I never will.  The neurologist says I have an unspecified autoimmune disease.  Whatever that means.  She wants to put me neurontin.  Has anyone ever taken this?  Twingirl
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Excellent news!  Autoimmune disease is very hard to diagnose.  I would just keep my eye out for any new or change in symptoms and report them to your doctor.  Get regular blood tests to check for any changes there...some autoimmune disease is just inconvenient, others cause organ or other tissue damage, so those are the ones to watch out for.  Other than that, don't worry too much...just get regular check ups!  If they see no evidence of damage then that is good!  They can't specifically diagnose until they do, so that is the down side.  BUT it is very possible they never will see any damage...I am happy your MRI looks good!

I don't take neurontin or anything for the paresthesias.  I would rather just live with it as long as it is not caused by something destructive or causing me too much discomfort.  That is an individual decision, though!

Happy news...Rebecca
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Thank you for your kind words.  I don't think that I will take any kind of medication.  The symptoms are bothersome, but I have lived with a lot worse in the last ten years.  Stay healthy!  Twingirl
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All these symptoms look like Multiple Sclerosis and you should see maybe an other Neurologist and eventualy have a MRI brain and spinal cord.
It doesn't look like a gastro problem.
Good luck
Miki
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I have suffered with many of the same symptoms for the last 4-5 years.  I had a colonoscopy done, finally, in December revealing chronic collagenous colitis.  I also have chronic granulomas disease which manifests itself in scaring rashes all over the body, which is what happened in the colon.  Scaring tissues are all through the colon.  I went to a rheumetologist to find that I have been treated with drugs (Arava + Methotrexate)to aid in rebuilding of bones and arthritis; Cholestyramine and or Lomotil(to aid in formation of stools). I also take Creon5 to aid in digestion of foods.  Since constant Diarrhea does not allow the absorbtion of water and nutrients into your body, it is necessary to slow down the process of elimination.  I had to go out of town to get the right treatment.  And yes, because your body doesn't retain water and nutrients, your hands, feet, arms and legs will cause tingling and numbness.
Good luck
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Thank you for you response.  I have been checked for MS, and fortuneately, I do not have it. At least none of the tests tell me that I do.  Thanks again, Twingirl
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I do have Colitis but was never labled with the kind that you have.  I'm glad to hear that at least you got a diagnosis and take meds that can help you.  I will look further into this.  I don't ever say, "it can't be that" unless I have tests done that tell me other wise.  After ten years of going through this, I'm sure that someone has the answer, and it very well may be yours.  Thanks so much for your input.  Stay healthy.  Twingirl
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A related discussion, Colitis was started.
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