I suffer from chronic anxiety and panic disorder, have done for the best part of 8 years now. Recently I've started suffering from bouts of tingling in both legs and feet, sometimes in the hands and thumbs. When I touch the area thats tingling I can feel everything normally, no numbness or anything, rubbing it makes it better for a time. Also I don't have it every day it comes and goes, I mean I can have it for 2 minutes then it goes or I could have it for a few hours. I had a brain MRI some 18 months ago because I was suffering from dizziness which was clear, also went to see a neuro around the same time who did a few tests and told me nothing was wrong with me. Everytime I mention it to the doctor he just says its anxiety. I'm terrified he's wrong. I've read everything I can find on MS and I know MS is different in everyone but does this sound like MS.
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
In the setting of anxiety and panic disorders, tingling in the extremities (hands and feet) can occur due to hyperventilation, or rapid shallow breathing, as occurs in states of anxiety. This occurs because breathing too fast lowers carbon dioxide in the blood, leading to a drop in a specific type of calcium in the blood. This typically lasts briefly, but if breathing too fast continues for too long, the symptoms continue as well. The treatment is to control breathing, take slow, deep breaths.
MS is diagnosed by a combination of clinical history, examination, and imaging findings. While tingling in the extremities can be a symptom of MS, the symptoms would not occur off and on lasting minutes to hours as you describe. A normal MRI of the brain makes MS unlikely; cervical spine (neck) lesions could affect all the extremities, but again, symptoms would be constant and progressive rather than intermittent.
Treatment of your underlying anxiety and panic disorder with appropriate medications through evaluation and treatment by psychiatrist and psychologist may benefit you if your anxiety and panic are not well controlled on a specific medication regimen. Continued followup with your doctor for your symptoms is recommended.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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