I am a 37 year old woman. I have always been a natural at sports. Most recently, ready to compete in a level one bodybuilding competition about 1-1/2 years ago. I am also a recovering alcoholic - I have three years sobriety and recently picked up my three year medallion.
About a year ago, I would pick up my dog (puppy at the time) and I guess it may have been the way I held her, my back was slightly arched and I would get this extremely painful aching pressure in both hamstrings, enough so that I might drop to the floor. It would alleviate once I put her down and stood up. It hurt terribly. I have also had tendonitis in my right hip from weight training that can act up now and again. It felt a bit numb around this time. I didn't think a whole heck of a lot about it. Went to the family doctor - he looked a little curious. Gave me predisone and said I could check out an Orthopedic. I did so. Orthopedic did lumbar mri (no contrast) and back x-ray. Ortho said spine looked great. MRI indicated a "very small annular tear at L-4 L-5, minor bulding, no stenosis. He said my knees were a little hyper reflexive. Said I could go to Neuro to get checked out or that it may just "go away' and not come back.
One night I woke up with lower abs "vibrating" a little creepy, but I didn't flip out.
Made appointment with Neuro. Before appointment (around new years this year 2009). Before appt. I started having these crazy muscle twitches, all over my body, head to toe. Felt like popcorn all over. Saw neuro, felt like he wasn't really listening. He said "Alcoholic - Magnesium or B12 deficiently). Chuckled when I mentioned MS. Send me on my way to buy supplements. Within a short period of a week or so the twitching mellowed somewhat and I began to have pins and needls (mostly in legs), burning sensation in legs and arms like IcyHot. I now have had cognitive disfuctions, balance issues (walk like a drunk). Floaters in my eyes. I see a shimmering around car lights at night. Had a few days where I was so exhausted I just wanted to lay down and when I did here comes some restless lets and even my right arm. I then started having bilaterial numbness in the pinky and ring fingers on both hands. Bilaterial numbness in the 2 toes next to pinky toes on each foot. Stiffness in my hamstrings from time to time. Feels like I walk funny. Walking into door jams. Brain MRI showed non-specific lesions 2 very small and one larger. I am now seeing two Neuros, one is an MS specialist and both state that those lesions are not to worry about. Not MS like lesions. Expected some do to smoking and drinking history. MS specialist says "periprhial neuropathy". I thought that would make both feet numb, not bilaterial toes. He ordered cervical MRI (said lesions there would cause such symptoms). Cervical MRI was clean. He does not think MS. I am moving forward with LP because I am scared. Symptoms seem to be backing off. Depressed, afraid, bloodwork all came back normal. Was malnourished at the time I got sober, but have eaten well since. Can B12 Def. be missed in bloodwork? Anybody have similar?
Your symptoms are suggestive of peripheral neuropathy. B 12 deficiency can be detected by blood test known as serum B 12 levels. I am not sure if this test was done in your case. The possibility of MS cannot be ruled out as the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and MS frequently overlap.
Also did you try taking B 12 and magnesium supplements and if yes did they make any difference to your symptoms?
Thank you so very much Dr. Noopur for your reponse. I hope that this would be peripheral neuropathy as opposed to MS. My biggest concern is that the bilateral numbness in pinky and ring fingers on both hands (rather than all fingers or "glove like" numbness. This also occurs on the same two toes (next to pinky toes) on both feet, rather than entire set of toes. Would that indicate spinal cord rather than the periphrial nerves? My hamstring pain last year was the same type, billaterial. Noted on that MRI was a very small annular tear, no stenosis and minor swelling. Is that what spinal lesions are seen as?
Having been clean and sober, in a program of recovery for three years and so very fortunate at this second chance at life, would such neuropathy come into play now? I am taking high quality supplements now, B12 and Magnesium (blood tests for these were normal, could I still be low?). I am feeling almost normal today. Do the supplements take time to kick in? I was officially malnourished at the time of my detox 3 years back, liver was inflammed, but it returned to great working order after getting clean. Does periphrial neuropathy select the same nerves on each side (matching set of toes and fingers), rather than the glove/stocking effect with all digits involved that I have heard of? Some of the non-specific lesions on the brain - are these found in other people without ms that have smoked and drank heavily? Cervical spine w and w/o contrast clean. Thank you so very much for your insight. This is a scary time for me and fear has never been an assest for me. You are a blessing. I am going to have the LP done to try to ease my mind as neuro agreed we could do this, though did not think it was needed. Thank you so very much.
Oh - one more thing. I had been drinking numerous Diet Cokes after getting sober. Perhaps 8 a day, along with 3-4 cups of coffee in the morning with artificial sweetner. Was not drinking water very much at all (nothing like Diet Coke addiction right?)
I have since stopped that. The B12 and Magnesium blood work came back as normal. Along with Lime titer - normal. They ran several blood tests, all looked good. I also had experience dry mouth and a type of red, dry skin between webs of fingers and at bottom of tail bone. Lately, I see a sunburst type effect around car lights at night. Have a few floaters in my eyes. This "rash" seems to come and go. Nausea in mornings mostly. Thanks again and all the best
Your symptoms resemble Lyme Disease.
The tests are not reliable, and diagnosis should be based on symptoms and history.
This is known as a clinical diagnosis. Most physicians will not make a clinical diagnosis for Lyme, but will look at the negative test and tell the patient that he doesn't have it.
I found that a sublingual B supplement helped neuropathy symptoms.
From what I've read, a blood test for magnesium that reads normal may not show a deficiency in the muscle and nerve cells.
You will need to supplement magnesium for a long time, as much as you can tolerate.
You should have a complete eye examination, as the halo around lights at night might be due to cataract or glaucoma.
Drinking eight sodas per day will lead to less calcium in the bones, and possibly fractures.
It's alot more work on your part to make green tea or Rooibos tea, and chill it.
Stevia and Xylitol are better sweeteners.
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum has good information about treating neuropathy in his book, "Pain Free 1-2-3."
His website, endfatigue.com, has most of the information.
Thank you so much for your input. I have started taking a higher quality B12 supplement. Great quality Magnesium. I am feeling a bit better now after about 2 months and it's nice. Yet that fear pops up - "remitting" and please don't come back. I have laid off the diet cokes and artificial sweetners for a few weeks now as well. I am hopeful this could be one of those general neuropathies, perhaps brought on by years of drinking and not caring for myself properly. With three years sober, I would think that would have happened much sooner. Upon my intital treatment, I was in horrendous physical shape. Testing showed malnourishment, as well as inflammed liver. Delirium Tremens with hallucinations. Liver is functioning very well now and I was bodybuilding and looking better than I ever had. The strange thing was the hamstring pains (both hamstrings) last year. That let up after predisone. Would you say these B12, Magneisum, Lyme tests are not as reliable as one may believe them to be? Mine said all was okay. Just talked to Neuro today, next text will be an EMG. I've had one on my legs earlier, all was okay. Do you know what that one is looking to establish? Thank you so much for speaking with me on this. Life can throw some crazy things our way. So you think take more magnesium? I have natural calm at home. I like that one best, but can get a bit of an upset stomach at times. No big deal, I can deal with that :o)
I have similar symptoms. I have some visual disturbances at times (not seeing clearly), walking off balance as if I was drunk, leg and thigh pain, pins and needles, upper arm pain which sometimes feels like a cramp, I also get the icy hot sensations, tingling sensations on my hands, legs, feet, even tongue lips and throat, nerve tics, etc, I thought I was going insane. I have an appointment today with a neuro and one tomorrow with another neuro, so I'll keep you posted.
Wow - I know what you are feeling. My friends and family are saying "calm down" etc. I want to calm down, I know it might help, but if they were feeling what we feel, I told them they would be climbing the walls. Please let me know how your visit goes. I have already had brain MRI (showed Non-specific lesions - said could be from smoking). Cervical mri came out clean. If you have not had MRI's - make sure they do all of them with and without contrast. I have had electronic study and will be having another in april. I have neuro appt. for follow up tomorrow. Will keep you in my thoughts too. It's nice to know someone else knows what it feels like. :o) Teri
They are being done with and without contrast. I had an EMG which came out clean. I had a EEG but I'm waiting for the results. Blood work was also done and I'm hoping I can get the results today. Sometimes I think I'm going nuts. By the way, do you get cramps on your thighs and arms? I'm taking Vitamin B 12 supplements which have helped with the nerve tics, tingling sensations, electric shoks and pain but I want to know what's going on. Try not to look too much online because I noticed the more I read about different conditions, the worse I feel. I start reading the symptoms and start thinking I have all of them. I had similar symptoms 5 years ago because I was under a lot of stress and it ended up being I had migraines, I was taking imitrex for 2 months and I was a new person again, until now.
I got my bloodwork results back which all came back normal. I'm getting another EMG done which is more specific to make sure I don't have myastenia gravis since I have a droopy eyelid. I'm also getting the MRIs done and I decided to book an appointment with the chiropractor. I hope you're feeling better and I'll keep you posted.
I got the MRI results today. The brain MRI is normal, no lesions, nothing abnormal. The cervical spine one says the following: the alignment of the vetebral bodies is normal, the vertebral bodies and posterior elements are intact. No compression deformities are seen. No abnormal signal is seen involving the bone marrow or cortex of the verterbrae. There is no evidence of any spondylosis or osteophyte formation. There is a slight reversal of the cervical lordosis and there is a mild torticollis convex to the right. These findings could be related to positioning, but could also be due to muscle spasm.
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