I have been experiencing a sensation of what I can only describe as a numbness and tingly feeling in my feet and lower legs. This has been going for over 4 years. I have consulted my family practitioner, gynegologist, and ear, nose, and throat specialist, but have not received a satifactory response. One doctor suggested that my shoes might be too small, but that isn't the case. I tend to not be as aware of it during the day when I'm up and about, but at night when I'm in bed and in the morning, it is very evident. I'm am an active person who walks for at least 45 minutes 4 to 6 times per week. I'm in very good health and of an appropriate weight for my height. My mother died of a very slow growing brain tumor at age 71 and my father, who is 77 is in good health. He did have a heart attack several years ago and an angioplasty a few years ago. I am 44 years of age, female, in what I would call the early stages of menopause, and have three children. This condition seems to be getting worse with more of my legs affected. I am not in pain, but the feeling is quite uncomfortable. I feel as though I have to move my feet and legs often to relieve the sensation somewhat. I also have twitchy legs at times. My feet seem to be very cold or very hot! They sometimes appear to be slightly swollen. I drink plenty of fluids and eat a reasonably healthy diet.
The symptoms that you are describing are suggestive of a peripheral neuropathy. In general, this is a slowly progressive, symmetrical disorder that affects the nerves in the feet usually followed by the hands. In your case, the sensory nerve fibers sound as if they are affected (causing the numbness, tingling, and uncomfortable sensations). There are over 100 reasons as to why a person can develop a neuropathy. I would recommend that you get an evaluation by a neurologist, who can perform an exam and perform appropriate testing (blood work, EMG/NCS, and biopsy if indicated). Depending on the etiology, some causes of neuropathy are reversible while for others the symptoms can be managed with medications. If you are interested in getting an evaluation at CCF call 1-800-CCF-CARE. Good Luck.
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