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Neurological symptoms or anxiety?
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Neurological symptoms or anxiety?

I am a 53 yr old, w/F RN originally from Cleveland, Oh, now in CA. I started developing strange neuro problems approx 1 yr ago. First, it started with numbness/tingling in my 4/5 fingers L hand, esp after raising them over my head, scrubing my back, washing hair in shower. Ortho and neuro tests(cervical xrays, mri, brachial mri, EMG/NCS--all neg) PT has not helped and now trigger point injections are not successful though the numbness seems to have abated, tingling remains.
Several months ago, I developed what I have dx'd as restless leg syndrome as I have constant fasciculations, tightening, cramping and creepy crawlies under my skin all night long. Don't sleep much and just attributed it to going back to full time hosp nursing on an ortho floor 1 1/2 yrs ago. Then Nov 7, I noticed an icy hot area that would sweep over my lower eyelid then disappear, only to reappear a few minutes later, lasting for 30 sec or so. That spread to my upper eyelid, cheek and upper lip--constantly q 3-5 minutes, lasting 25-30 sec. Now it is my lower eyelid, cheek and upper lip, but I feel it travel down to fingers 3/4 of r hand.  Neuro checks are neg--MD r/o trigeminal neuralgia and said atypical facial pain (down to my hand?).
Recent Brain MRI w/w/o gadolinium revealed scattered areas of hypersensitivity in supratentorial white matter w/o definite abnormal enhancement. Suggest eval to exclude demyelinating disease or vasculitis. In 2001 I had an MRI which showed only a solitary small focus of the same type. Neurontin has been prescribed (no help so far). Is this early MS? VERY SCARED.
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Avatar_n_tn
I cannot give you a clinical diagnosis over the internet unfortunately
Your sym[ptoms seem to involve several areas of the nervous system if this is indeed the cause - numbness and tingling can also arise from metabolic/electrolyte abnormalities such as calcium or magnesium disorders.
At your age it would be quite unusual to [present with MS, white matter hy[perintensities are more likely due to hardening of the arteries, hy[pertension, or vasculuitis - it may be worth being checked out for these entities
I cannot ruleout MS though, and there are a number of tests of the s[pinal fluid, and visual evoked [potentials that can help[
Numbess in the hand on raising it u[p could be from vascular causes such as a subclavian artery stenosis - you can be evaluated clinically for this.
Tests for more rarer causes of sensory neuro[pathies should be dealt with by your neurologist who knows your case well, and can tailor them rather than to go 'fishing'

Good luck
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Forgot to mention that I also have had Hashimoto's thyroiditis for several years, under control w Synthroid. I have also suffered with some anxiety disorder, though not a constant thing, and have had several panic attacks for which I take Klonopin 0.5mg prn. I have had severe stress over the past 2 years and wonder if anxiety, or depression, could be the cause of all these weird symptoms? Thanks for any info you can provide.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's a good idea to rule out demyelinating causes although those usually don't cause transient symptoms like what you are describing.  Before attributing this to anxiety, perhaps, you should have an MRA of your head and neck performed, or at least a what's called "dynamic transcranial doppler" looking for any possible arterial problem in your head or neck.   Sometimes a small narrowing in an artery can cause you to have very stereotypical symptoms -- it is sometimes also called a TIA.  
Perhaps, you should take an baby aspirin as a precaution if it doesn't upset your stomach.
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Avatar_n_tn
Nurse2,

Are you, by chance, perimenopausal?

Some of what you mentioned is a symptom of peri-menopause where the woman feels like ants are crawling all over her body. It sounds similar to what you are describing...

If that's the case, I would recommend Menopause Balance Complex and extra B-Complex.

Joni


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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Carol and EVERYONE,

Hello, I am 27 years old female, always healthy (good medical history, very healthy parents etc), and I ve had most of Lyme symptoms for the past 3 months. I have to say though that all my symptoms occured after a few dramatic events in my life so maybe that was the reason. My symptoms were in chronological order :

- Stomach pains
- Heart beat increase
- chest pains and back pains
- butterflies in my stomach (in irrelevant time of the day and before going to bed)
- trembling on my left side (breast and all left side) constantly and more strong after eating)

then those symptoms started to disappear and I had new symptoms :

- numbness in my left feet and left hand , very occasional feeling almost all the day
- the same as above but in my right side
- vision problems (feeling that I see better from my right than my left eye)
- sometimes i feel that my left ear is a bit blocked
- dizziness (not everyday , once every 2 weeks)
- problems sleeping
- trouble concetrating, fatigue, depression (because off all these symptoms)
- fear that i am going to die

For all the above symptoms , I ve been to 3 pathologists ( full pathological exams), 7 cardiologists (I did all tests involved, triplex etc), i was checked from ER doctors for my lungs and did all necessary blood tests involved, one ofthalmologist, and 1 neurologist who is the best in the town (capital city of a west European Country) and he did the classical tests to me (without any instrument involved )and he said I should not take any MRI or other scans because he is positive I have stress related problems. All doctors said that I suffer from stress and panic attack syndrom (syndrome).All my blood tests (classical)showed nothing weird and my reactions to exams were those of an normal adult.  If I had Lyme would I have experienced fever? Is there a chance that the doctors are wrong and I suffer from brain tumor or something serious as such?

I have to admit that the tingling in my feet and arms is getting better from day to day , but is not completely gone. I am worried about my vision, even if the doctor said i am ok. In general I think I will loose my haid if this continues for longer.

To give you more details about myserlf, I was always healthy not getting sick very easly. I have passed all childrens illnesses normally. I have micro-polycyctic ovary (only the one) who is causing some minor period problems sometimes. I am thin, 1.81 m height, 60 kgr weight. I was racing swimming for 8 years (started at the age of three), continued with dance classes until three months ago that I got all those weird health problems. I do eat normally, a lot o fish and olive-oil based nutricion (I live in a mediterrenean country), I do smoke about 15-20 cigarettes daily, I do not drink much of alcohol (1-2 glasses per week), and the only drugs I got last year were antibiotics (CLARICID 1000mg)  and painkillers because I had my teeth done  (not finished yet). In general I rarely took drugs only when I had flu and those were just painkillers.

PLEASE help me, i am too young to suffer like that. Actually no one should suffer anyways no matter the age. Please help me.

Good luck to you all.

If a doctor reads this , please try to advise me, of course all advises are more than welcome, and thank you for once more .

K

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Avatar_n_tn
k,
I completely understand where you are coming from.  I started having facial pain and a feeling of blocked ears and I thought that it was sinus problems.  The intensity increased and I also had anxiety, fear that I would die, tingling in neck, shoulders, arms, jaw.  Sometimes my acid reflux would also kick up and I would get flushed in my face and ears...sometimes my ears were bright red.  I have had endless tests done by by internist, ENT, Allergist and dentist.  At this point I am trying just about anything because the past year has been terrible.  I have no idea what else to do!
sas72
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like to thank you all for your answers, and I will post a question to the Lyme network and I hope that will help! The good thing from this story is that from day to day I feel better , I hope this continues until i am back to normal.

Thank you again all of you,I hope you relax and enjoy as much as you can during Christmas and New Year's Eves and I hope the New Year brings you the best for you and your families!

Thanks
K
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Avatar_n_tn
Since my first question I have undergone several exams by psychiatrists and another neurologist to find out why I am having this continued one-sided facial pain. The brain MRI has been discussed with radiologists and they say the high intensity areas are non-specific (whatever that means) and they have put me on an antidepressant (Cymbalta) and 1800mg of Neurontin. It has helped but not completely alleviated the problem. I have also been put on two weeks medical leave from work (as a nurse here in CA) and that has helped more I think. I am also taking Klonopin for anxiety which I think is a major component of my problem. To answer some of the other comments, I am post menopausal (surgically induced), have not been exposed to any ticks that could carry Lyme disease--we live in the city and Lyme disease is not a bit threat in suburbian California, but thans for the idea. So, it continues and hopefully we'll find out what this is. I do notice that the pain increases or starts with talking, laughing, singing--all favorite activities of mine.
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