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Dizziness\loss of balance coupled with muscle twitching
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Dizziness\loss of balance coupled with muscle twitching

I am a 41 year fit and active male currently living in the UK. I have been having some worrying symptoms over the last year.

I first went to my doctor (April 2000) complaining of a feeling of dizziness\loss of balance when walking. The feeling is hard to describe but it felt like the ground was rolling slightly when walking or I would get sensations of being detached from my legs. Looking back over time I now realize that I had experienced this several times before in my life, the first time that I remember was in 1987 when I had short episodes of this in the winter and summer (a couple of days each) after which the symptoms went away. I again remember vague sensations of this nature a few times between 95 and 98 but they were so brief that I wasn't bothered.

Then just over a year ago the symptoms returned but more persistently this time so that I now experience them daily. They seem worse when spending time in front of a computer while at work or when I am tired and\or stressed. I only experience these symptoms when walking and to a degree when running. But when cycling I feel totally normal.

I was referred to an ENT specialist and had my first appointment in April 2000 and shortly after I developed persistent muscle twitching in both legs (calf muscles) and episodes of muscle cramping in the bottom of my feet. The ENT examination found no apparent problems. I then had an MRI scan (brain) in June 2000. The results from the scan came back abnormal with several areas of increased signal intensity. At this stage I was beside myself with worry.

About a week after receiving the scan results I had an appointment with a Neurologist. He explained to me that 25% of MRI scans of people over a certain stage come back with these increased signal intensity abnormalities and that they were not necessarily clinically significant. He then did a physical (Neurological) examination of me, which was completely normal. After this first examination I developed widespread muscle twitching where I would have sporadic episodes of twitching in my arms, or the back of my neck, or my chest or the front of my thighs. Additionally I would get patches of burning on my skin that would last just seconds on my legs and arms. I had two further appointments with the Neurologist; first in August 2000 where a further physical examination proved normal then again in November 2000 when instead of a physical examination the Neurologist suggested a course of acupuncture in the back of my neck (administered by him) to see if the problem was stress. After several weeks of Acupuncture my health insurers stepped in and called a halt and requested that I get a second opinion.

Up to this point despite repeated questioning of my Neurologist I had no idea as to what he thought could be wrong with me. Whenever I brought up the issue of further tests he said he didn
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Philip:

Sorry that your having symptoms and emotional trials over their etiology.  Difficult to tell you much concrete.  As with many things in life-it's location, location, location.  Where are the spots on the MRI?  If they are periventricular then they can be more worrisome, if they are in the white matter, then they may be what we call UBO (unidentified white spots), if they are in the basal ganglia then they are more worrisome, if can be perfectly normal if they are Virchow Robin spaces....    Where the spots seen on T2, FLAIR, T1?....

That aside, the normal neurological exam makes things less worrisome.  If the spots were truely pathological, the neurological exam would most likely pick up something.  

The muscle twitches sound like benign fasciculations.  This might or might not be due to stress, but they are self limiting and do no physical damage.  They can be very emotionally charged though as many think they have ALS.  They can actually last a very long time, they can becomes worse during times of stress or fatigue.

I am not sure what to make out of the dizziness.  The normal ENT examination makes it less worrisome, as does the MRI.  

Sorry, I can't be more informative.

Sincerely,

CCF Neruo MD
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn

I have almost identical symptons that you have described.  Please keep us updated if you find out anything.

Good luck!

DD
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Avatar_n_tn
I am having similar symptoms with the twitching(all over my body), and pain and tingling sensations in my right leg.  As well as feelings of lightheadness and unsteadiness.  I am also thinking that I am having muscle atrophy, but this I feel is all in my head.

By nature I am a very anxious person and have been diganosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder/Panic, for which I took Zoloft for about 6 months (It helped alot).  I am going for a neurological exam next month and pray to god that it comes back normal.

I am also worried that it might be ALS.

I am 30 year old male.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Philip,

My symptoms are similar to yours as well.  MRI and CT scan showed nothing.  Neurologist suggested that it might be caused by Anxiety disorder.  
I will let you know whether this is the case.

Sharon
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't have an answer for your question but can tell you that I am a 26 year old , mother of 2 and have some of the same things going on with me.  I would love to blame it on stress and anxiety and hope that its the real problem. I probably won't go to a neurologist because I am too scared.  I lost both of my parents within 3 years of each other and have been depressed and have had a number of anxiety attacks.  I have muscle twitching all over my body and when I try and take a nap during the day my arms fly every which way.  What I would call involuntary movements but this does not happen at night when I go to bed.  All I think about are death and dying and wonder what would happen to my kids if I were to die.  Now that I have a computer I sit on it alot and try and find out whats wrong with me.  ALS is my biggest nightmare.  If I'm not thinking about it or am busy with other things that keep my mind occupied then it doesn't bother me.  I hope everything turns out well for all of you!!!!!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I read the description of your symptoms with interest. I have also been suffering some similar symptoms for almost 2 years now.  Dizzyness, spaced-out feeling, weakness in the legs (sort of feeling they're (the legs) not really there for you, general gait is disturbed and not fluid, balance problems, muscle fatigue and loss of muscle tone and bulk (quads and forearms particularly), difficulty in concentrating, twitching muscles (almost exclusively on the face, around the eyes, eyelids, especially when concentrating at PC etc).  I've also had general feelings of fatigue.  Tried everything - MRI scans, electro tests (where they send electric currents into your muscles to check for myaesthesia (spelling?) - all came back completely normal (to my relief). I've seen 4 neurologists at Queens Square, London, all of whom have completed physical exams and assured me I don't have Motor Neurone (ALS) or MS.  Have sought help elsewhere - contacted a Dr Sarah Myhill (she's attached to Action for ME, and action group for patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME).  She's been a great help. Diagnosis of this condition is not definitive or easy, is a process of elimination and is never certain.  Causes are not specifically known and are varied.  ME specifically refers to a fatigue condition which results from a viral infection which your body has not managed to fully shake-off.  I had a really serious bout of gastric flu about 2 years ago and started feeling not 100% soon therafter - can you remember a similar trigger? or do you also have bouts of fatigue along with all the other symtoms (symptoms)?  Her telephone number is 01547 550 331.  Psychologically, I feel a lot better because I do now believe that I don't have one of these diseases, I'm not getting worse and am determined to get better.  I am taking supplements, including Magnesium, Essential Fatty Acids, Vit C, Multi Mineral Complex and Multi Vitamin.  I have also just started Vitamin B12 injections.  Look back into you recent past and try and analyse if you have been under particular strain - I moved house, changed job, had two children (one of which was totally exhausting for 9 months) and got married in the space of 2 years - this contributed to a build up of fatigue and pressure and I think the viral infection was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I'm confident that I'm on the right road now and would strongly suggest you try the CFS, ME avenue and call the Dr. Put up another message if I can help further - good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I read the description of your symptoms with interest. I have also been suffering some similar symptoms for almost 2 years now.  Dizzyness, spaced-out feeling, weakness in the legs (sort of feeling they're (the legs) not really there for you, general gait is disturbed and not fluid, balance problems, muscle fatigue and loss of muscle tone and bulk (quads and forearms particularly), difficulty in concentrating, twitching muscles (almost exclusively on the face, around the eyes, eyelids, especially when concentrating at PC etc).  I've also had general feelings of fatigue.  Tried everything - MRI scans, electro tests (where they send electric currents into your muscles to check for myaesthesia (spelling?) - all came back completely normal (to my relief). I've seen 4 neurologists at Queens Square, London, all of whom have completed physical exams and assured me I don't have Motor Neurone (ALS) or MS.  Have sought help elsewhere - contacted a Dr Sarah Myhill (she's attached to Action for ME, and action group for patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME).  She's been a great help. Diagnosis of this condition is not definitive or easy, is a process of elimination and is never certain.  Causes are not specifically known and are varied.  ME specifically refers to a fatigue condition which results from a viral infection which your body has not managed to fully shake-off.  I had a really serious bout of gastric flu about 2 years ago and started feeling not 100% soon therafter - can you remember a similar trigger? or do you also have bouts of fatigue along with all the other symtoms (symptoms)?  Her telephone number is 01547 550 331.  Psychologically, I feel a lot better because I do now believe that I don't have one of these diseases, I'm not getting worse and am determined to get better.  I am taking supplements, including Magnesium, Essential Fatty Acids, Vit C, Multi Mineral Complex and Multi Vitamin.  I have also just started Vitamin B12 injections.  Look back into you recent past and try and analyse if you have been under particular strain - I moved house, changed job, had two children (one of which was totally exhausting for 9 months) and got married in the space of 2 years - this contributed to a build up of fatigue and pressure and I think the viral infection was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I'm confident that I'm on the right road now and would strongly suggest you try the CFS, ME avenue and call the Dr. Put up another message if I can help further - good luck.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I read the description of your symptoms with interest. I have also been suffering some similar symptoms for almost 2 years now.  Dizzyness, spaced-out feeling, weakness in the legs (sort of feeling they're (the legs) not really there for you, general gait is disturbed and not fluid, balance problems, muscle fatigue and loss of muscle tone and bulk (quads and forearms particularly), difficulty in concentrating, twitching muscles (almost exclusively on the face, around the eyes, eyelids, especially when concentrating at PC etc).  I've also had general feelings of fatigue.  Tried everything - MRI scans, electro tests (where they send electric currents into your muscles to check for myaesthesia (spelling?) - all came back completely normal (to my relief). I've seen 4 neurologists at Queens Square, London, all of whom have completed physical exams and assured me I don't have Motor Neurone (ALS) or MS.  Have sought help elsewhere - contacted a Dr Sarah Myhill (she's attached to Action for ME, and action group for patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME).  She's been a great help. Diagnosis of this condition is not definitive or easy, is a process of elimination and is never certain.  Causes are not specifically known and are varied.  ME specifically refers to a fatigue condition which results from a viral infection which your body has not managed to fully shake-off.  I had a really serious bout of gastric flu about 2 years ago and started feeling not 100% soon therafter - can you remember a similar trigger? or do you also have bouts of fatigue along with all the other symtoms (symptoms)?  Her telephone number is 01547 550 331.  Psychologically, I feel a lot better because I do now believe that I don't have one of these diseases, I'm not getting worse and am determined to get better.  I am taking supplements, including Magnesium, Essential Fatty Acids, Vit C, Multi Mineral Complex and Multi Vitamin.  I have also just started Vitamin B12 injections.  Look back into you recent past and try and analyse if you have been under particular strain - I moved house, changed job, had two children (one of which was totally exhausting for 9 months) and got married in the space of 2 years - this contributed to a build up of fatigue and pressure and I think the viral infection was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I'm confident that I'm on the right road now and would strongly suggest you try the CFS, ME avenue and call the Dr. Put up another message if I can help further - good luck.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I read the description of your symptoms with interest. I have also been suffering some similar symptoms for almost 2 years now.  Dizzyness, spaced-out feeling, weakness in the legs (sort of feeling they're (the legs) not really there for you, general gait is disturbed and not fluid, balance problems, muscle fatigue and loss of muscle tone and bulk (quads and forearms particularly), difficulty in concentrating, twitching muscles (almost exclusively on the face, around the eyes, eyelids, especially when concentrating at PC etc).  I've also had general feelings of fatigue.  Tried everything - MRI scans, electro tests (where they send electric currents into your muscles to check for myaesthesia (spelling?) - all came back completely normal (to my relief). I've seen 4 neurologists at Queens Square, London, all of whom have completed physical exams and assured me I don't have Motor Neurone (ALS) or MS.  Have sought help elsewhere - contacted a Dr Sarah Myhill (she's attached to Action for ME, and action group for patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME).  She's been a great help. Diagnosis of this condition is not definitive or easy, is a process of elimination and is never certain.  Causes are not specifically known and are varied.  ME specifically refers to a fatigue condition which results from a viral infection which your body has not managed to fully shake-off.  I had a really serious bout of gastric flu about 2 years ago and started feeling not 100% soon therafter - can you remember a similar trigger? or do you also have bouts of fatigue along with all the other symtoms (symptoms)?  Her telephone number is 01547 550 331.  Psychologically, I feel a lot better because I do now believe that I don't have one of these diseases, I'm not getting worse and am determined to get better.  I am taking supplements, including Magnesium, Essential Fatty Acids, Vit C, Multi Mineral Complex and Multi Vitamin.  I have also just started Vitamin B12 injections.  Look back into you recent past and try and analyse if you have been under particular strain - I moved house, changed job, had two children (one of which was totally exhausting for 9 months) and got married in the space of 2 years - this contributed to a build up of fatigue and pressure and I think the viral infection was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I'm confident that I'm on the right road now and would strongly suggest you try the CFS, ME avenue and call the Dr. Put up another message if I can help further - good luck.
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