I'm 33, female, 135 lbs., no major illnesses, trauma, or injuries.
About 2 months ago I came down with pneumonia (Mycoplasma - Walking). After that I had chest pains which I found out were caused by Hypokalemia (went to ER, potassium was 2.6). I started feeling a little better, but 1 month ago the pneumonia came back. After the 2nd round of antibiotics it went away.
I have had so much happen and so many different symptoms, I honestly don't know what's related and what's not. So here's just a list of some things that seem pertinent.
During this time the bones/vertebra/backbone between my shoulder blades started feeling loose and strange. They "crunched" and made noises when I rolled my shoulders. It wasn't like when joints "pop", this was different and it kept going as long as I rolled my shoulders.
Two days after going to the ER with low potassium,....the skin on my left hand suddenly went cold, like someone poured cold water on it. I became nauseous and the muscles in my thighs started twitching and "rolling", I could feel it through my skin and clothes. The "coldness" spread to my arm, the nausea increased, and then the coldness spread to my shoulders and scalp. The muscle twitching in my legs came back, and once when I stood up I felt like I was about to pass out.
After that I had random muscle twitches during the day, one week my right bicep did it constantly (but just my right bicep). Each day it seemed like it was something different....one day my thumb and index finger went numb, another day my pink and ring finger became cold. Now I have muscles twitches all the time, my calves, thighs, abdominal muscles, buttocks, hand, etc.
The past 4 days I've had extreme daytime drowsiness, it's very different from being tired or not getting enough sleep....this feeling is like someone has drugged me and I just can't stay awake. I have had some nights where I'm wired at night and can't sleep....and then other days I've had the drowsiness. Right now sleeping is a nightmare, I can't stay asleep at night, I can't wake up in the morning, and my arms and legs go to sleep no matter what position I sleep in.
The past week I have not been able to achieve an orgasm, I can almost get there...but it's literally like my body prevents me from completing it. I am extremely familiar with my body..and I know when something's wrong, and this is definitely something wrong. I have had strange days where I've become aroused with the slightest touch (clothes rubbing, etc.) and that has never happened. And now something is blocking me from having an orgasm. This has nothing to do with being stressed, depressed,etc....like I said, I know my body and this isn't a stress response. I can get aroused, feel everything up until climax...and then nothing, zilch, nada. I just eventually have to give up, I get so tired waiting for it.
Anyone have any ideas? Suggestions? Advice? Similar problems??
I have had my blood checked a gazillion times, everything's normal. I am anemic though, my arthritis panel was negative (except my CRP was 9.3), blood pressure normal, potassium normal, etc.
I had an appointment with a neurologist and am scheduled for a brain MRI, Carotid Doppler, and EMG/NCV next week. It'll just be my luck that they don't find anything.
Thank in advance for any ideas and/or suggestions!!
I forgot to mention that the time I had the cold sensation, nausea, and the start of the muscle twitching.....I went to the ER again but they didn't find anything. I was worried it was my heart, but my ECG was normal. It was abnormal the first ER visit, but that was due to the low potassium, after they gave me potassium it returned to normal.
Also I have this feeling of congestion in my neck and head, like when all the blood rushes to your head when you're hanging upside down. When this happens I see stars in my peripheral vision and get headaches when I lay down and when I awake in the morning. But that comes and goes.
I had the MRI, EMG, and Nerve Conduction test,....all were normal. More blood work drawn:
Potassium & Sodium: Normal
Thyroid: Normal (for the 4th time)
CBC: Normal except for still Anemic
But after a 3rd visit to the ER I finally found out that my Magnesium was low and causing all of my symptoms. It was affecting my nerves, muscles, circulation, heart, CNS, and just about everything else.
I was becoming sensitive to loud noises, bright lights, I developed hyperreflexia, muscle twitches, burning sensations, feeling like I couldn't take a deep enough breath, back pain, neck pain, myofascial pain, constipation....and finally I developed Raynaud's Syndrome symptoms. That was the last straw. I'm now taking Magnesium supplements and almost all of it has gone away, I still have some lingering heart palpitations and "air hunger" but that's about it.
Hi, I can relate to many of ur issues.
I was going to suggest the potassium, and then magnessium. U said u r anemic , R u taking B12....did u have ur vitamin D levels checked?.....also calcium...and look at cooper levels.
I also saw ur thyroid labs r normal....so were mine, but I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis in spite of that...it was found when my carodit arteries were being checked because of heart palps and they saw something on the US....I have nodules on the thyroid and that is hashi's......also if the labs r not done for free T3 and free T4 and TPO antibodies u may not find it.
I also have raynauds....
Ur MRI...do u have the report?....was it of ur brain...w/wo contrast?.....
I don't have the report of my MRI, but it was both with contrast and w/o contrast. Doc said it was perfectly fine.
I should've asked exactly which Thyroid test they were doing....four different doctors did a Thyroid test four different times and they always said it's "normal". But I need to follow up and find out the details.
I was already taking B12 to try and improve my mood...and one of the doctors did a folate and B-vitamin test which he said was fine. I haven't had my calcium or copper levels checked....I really need to have those checked as well. I couldn't believe that the doctor who diagnosed me with Hypokalemia (in the ER) didn't also check my Magnesium at the same time.
Hopefully I'll get it all sorted,...thank you for your advice! :)
Hi, merrillinda, thanks for posting the info, I have to say you were lucky to have that diagnosed so "quickly", I am a 43-year old male and have been suffering from these twitches and pains for about 17 years without any reasonable diagnosis (everything comes out normal, EXCEPT my sodium and magnesium in the HAIR, which is a test not too many conventional doctors are willing to go by). In addition to the twitches, I feel how a bunch of muscles have a tendency to contract no matter what I do, and that's probably affecting the circulation as well. And yes, my libido is a problem lately, and that's depressing, I used to have a very low threshold of arousal.
I have just one question: how did they test the low magnesium? Is that a blood test (serum) or something else? (If it's low in the blood, it's probably low in the tissue, also; the last time mine was checked, it was normal in the blood, but low in the tissue (revealed by the hair analysis)).
Also, what kind of magnesium supplements and what dosage are you using?
Hello! My doctor tested my serum levels, but she warned me ahead of time that testing for magnesium is very difficult. She explained that your serum Mg can be fine but it can be low in your tissue and vice versa. My serum Mg came back low, so combined with my symptoms my doctor guessed it was low in my cells/tissues as well.
Currently I'm taking between 400-600 mg a day of Chelated Magnesium (Magnesium Glycinate). Some of my symptoms have disappeared, some have improved, and I still have a few problems. The twitching and tremors seem a lot better and have practically disappeared, I'm still having some heart palpitations and a few headaches. But I'm also anemic and haven't been so good at taking my iron as I have been at taking my magnesium.....so part of my symptoms (circulation, palpitations) could be my anemia.
With your symptoms being so similar to mine, and the magnesium being low in your hair.....I'd strongly suggest starting on magnesium supplements! But check the internet on the best kinds....the cheapest ones are the worst, I think it's Magnesium Oxide (or Oxalate...some with "ox"). My doctor told me to slowly increase it to "bowel tolerance" because Magnesium can cause diarrhea, once you start noticing some signs of that you need to back down to the previous amount.
Once I started doing research I was flabbergasted to see how many things Magnesium (and the other electrolytes) affect when they're low.
I wish you the best of luck!! Keep us posted on what you find out!
Hi, merrillinda, thank you so much for the prompt reply, I will post info here if something remarkable happens, I am seeing a rheumatologist next week, and supposedly he's going to run a bunch of new & exotic blood tests, we'll see if that's the case and if anything interesting shows up.
Testing for magnesium is indeed difficult, apparently the most accurate test is the "loading" test, whereby they inject magnesium intravenously and then measure the absorption rate, if it's greater than 20% then there is a deficiency. The serum test gives just a rough estimate, but apparently it did the trick in your case.
In my case, though, the problem is complicated by the low sodium, magnesium and sodium are antagonistic, so I should probably take both magnesium supplements and organic sodium like celery juice. And you are absolutely right about the dosage and quality, I will do my homework there, basically one can end up with less magnesium in the body once the diarrhea kicks in because of a large dose, which isn't intuitive at all.
Hi, here's the update from the rheumatologist visit, no new bloodwork, and essentially nothing new, he told me I'm OK, asked me to do a few bends, checked the existing bloodwork (which was fine), and recommended I take up to 3 Advils per day -- my expectations weren't high, though, I am beginning to spot some patterns here, when your primary doctor sends you to a "specialist", that specialist is going to charge a lot and do as little as possible, I shall probably have to start over with a different doctor. This rheumatologist didn't even want to order magnesium tests, he said "they can do that at the hospital". (?!)
Well, sorry I don't have new info for now, I'll post updates if anything changes.
All the best, stay healthy, thanks for sharing information on this forum.
Hi, merrilinda, I wanted to post an update on magnesium (and one other thing that may be helpful to others). I have been taking Mg for almost 5 months now, starting with a dose of about 1000 mg/day in the first 2-3 months, now taking about 400 mg/day (liquid magnesium (oxide) from Carlson labs - one of the very few types that was actually good for me). Progress has been slow, but very noticeable (better sleep at night, much less frequent urination, no more dry skin on hands, less muscle twitching in general). However, I still have some muscle tension & discomfort in the pelvic area, some occasional buzzing in the legs and fingertips, and an occasional feeling of "burning" muscles, especially when pressing them for a long time (e.g. in the legs, when sitting down). I was almost convinced this was a circulation/constriction issue, and was becoming kind of concerned because my father (80 years old, heavy duty smoker) has some blocked arteries in the legs and huge circulation issues (I thought I could have some clots and/or deep-vein thrombosis, or something along those lines). The magnesium didn't seem to help me much, as I have been having these issues for a very long time (years), and they didn't seem to be going away even with the large Mg doses.
A couple of days ago, I saw a cardiologist who did an EKG, X rays, and checked the circulation, said it was actually excellent, and that it's very, very hard to cut off blood supply to the tissue (to the point of producing spasms, twitching, or buzzing) just by muscle tension. He also said that my problems were probably of a neurological nature, and he reviewed my older blood work (done in Oct. 2008). Here's the interesting part: he noticed that my B12 levels, although normal (453 pg/mL, normal range is 200-1100 pg/mL), were actually borderline normal, and that creates problems in some people. He checked the levels again in his office (I still have to find out the results), but he gave me a B12 shot after that anyway and recommended I continue with oral supplements if I notice any improvement after the shot. Well, the truth is, I noticed a BIG improvement, the burning in the muscles was almost completely gone after a few hours, and I felt a very pleasant relief in the pelvic area, where I usually have tension. I did buy some B12 supplements (after choosing them carefully, that's another story) and began to observe my symptoms again: last night, after sitting down for a long time, my muscles in the legs and pelvis started feeling uncomfortable; I took one B12 pill (200 mcg) and kept it under the tongue for a minute or two before swallowing it, and shortly everything cooled down, my muscles started feeling "normal" again, but it was the kind of normality that I haven't felt in years, it was absolutely amazing, no more buzzing, no nothing. It looks like a subclinical B12 deficiency could have been the source of my troubles for so many years, maybe other people have this as well, I noticed many posts on unexplained buzzing and such. Some quick online research on B12 deficiency revealed other amazing things: B12 has a role in protein synthesis in the body and activates some critical enzymes, I suspect a deficiency would have an impact on the tissue itself, not just the nerves. I intend to continue to take magnesium, but I will start B12 supplementation as well, I will post updates here. You may want to have your B12 levels looked at, just in case. Best of health to all the sufferers out there, don't give up!
I stumbled upon your post here and found it intriguing. I'm finishing my basic science coursework of medical school (tomorrow actually) and I have a lot of differentials fresh in my mind. By no means am I a physician yet and I'm not claiming to know as much as a seasoned doc, but if I may offer a few ideas and opinions:
Much of this I think you have already touched on. I'm just going to run you through my thinking....
The first thing that popped into my head was Multiple Sclerosis. Then I saw that you had a normal CT and MRI which would rule that diagnosis out. Also another diagnosis that could be contributing to the symptoms could be Celiac Disease. This is an under-diagnosed condition and you seem to fit the demographics for the condition. If this is the case, its a simple fix. Then I started to be concerned with the low potassium levels that you mentioned. This could be the cause of both nerve conduction symptoms and cardiac symptoms. I would rule IN something like hypokalemic periodic paralysis. Next I thought of early stages of scleroderma symptoms especially because of the Raynaud's. This could still be a possibility especially if you're noticing skin changes. Finally, what I consider the most likely diagnosis would be pernicious anemia. This is caused by a B12 deficiency and mimics a lot of the symptoms of MS. It seems to be the best fit with your symptoms. It presents as megaloblastic anemia in histology - I certainly hope that your physician has sent a blood smear to histology rather than just simply reviewing a CBC that shows anemia. Its important to know what kind of anemia. The fact that you're taking iron assumes that it is Iron-deficiency anemia and hopefully your physician didn't make an assumption solely based on lab values. I would doubt this happened, but that's my two cents. If everything is better with magnesium supplements - I can't argue with results. Continue that regimen and for God's sake take your iron too.
I recommend that you google each of these conditions and see what matches your symptoms best. You know better than I what you're experiencing. Wikipedia has generally reliable information and will be a well-suited website for this sort of investigation. Hope you get to feeling better.
Hi. Did you happen to take Levaquin for the pneumonia? Many folks have experienced adverse affects from this medication - much like your complaints. Unfortunately, most docs do not know of their toxicity or what to do about them.
I can relate to your symptoms and medical workup. I started out having muscle twitching in my eye that then spread to my knee for several days, then my opposite bicep, my butt, my legs...you name it. I then began feeling like I was "buzzing" or "idling" throughout my body. I went to a psyiatrist per my sister's recommendation (she is a physical therapist). We did labs and all was normal. She referred me to a neurologist, who did an MRI of my brain and neck. I was presenting very much like MS except no muscle weakness. Turns out, I have a bulging disk at C5 C6 that could be causing my symptoms. I am not buying it yet. I have been doing PT for 3 weeks and don't see a drastic change. I started Gabapentin 100mg and think it is calming things down. I do not take any vitamins currently but think it is worth a try. Thank you for sharing your story on here.
Wow I'm so glad I read this thank you! I had to do a bunch of searches about orgasms before I found something helpful lol. I am 28, no known health problems, and also very aware of my own body and usually able to give myself one. But for the past two weeks---nada!!! After trying for quite awhile just now lol, I was fed up and looking up causes, mostly finding articles about emotional problems/women who never have had one.
When reading this article....SO MANY of the other symptoms you described, have been happening to me lately too!! Random drowsiness especially, and thumbs going numb randomly, waking up in the night constantly cause limbs have gone numb.....damn in my case its not quite as extreme but I have so many of those symptoms!
So Magnesium suppliments huh? Anyone know if it is safe to take those otc? I dont' have health insurance so I can't go to a doctor and get tested or anything.
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