I am a 43 year old male in very good health. I started having tingling in my legs approximately 5 weeks with no other symptoms. My general practitioner ordered a MIR of the lower spine and it came back with light to moderate arthritis but no pinched nerves. After approx 3 weeks of the legs tingling I than developed tingling in my arms, face and back of head. At times the tingling turns into a burning sensation and numbness. I was sent to a neurologist. I had MIRs on my head and upper spine and they both came back fine. The symptoms appear to get worse in the evening and I have had a couple of nights with an upset stomach and hot flashes. Reflexes are normal to slightly diminished and there are no balance issues. There are no vision problems and with the normal MIRs they do not believe it is MS. They have done some blood work, not sure for what, and it has come back normal. Any ideas????
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 a doctor.
Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
Numbness and tingling is a form of neuropathy. There are two types of peripheral nerves in the body – large and small – which either can be the source. Causes of neuropathic pain include diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune disorders such as lupus or a disease called Sjogren's, certain types of neoplasm, and certain toxins (such as lead). Genetic, metabolic, and hereditary disorders can also cause neuropathy, and what tests need to be ordered depend on the history and physical examination. With small fiber neuropathy, the EMG/NCS test which measures how nerves conduct electricity and how muscles respond to them may be normal. In large fiber neuropathy, it will be abnormal. Small fiber neuropathy can be diagnosed with a skin biopsy and with a test called a QSART. Medicine such as gabapentin may be useful in the treating of neuropathy.
If the symptoms migrate, seizure, migraine, or metabolic (such as low calcium) must be considered.
It is important to also realize that these symptoms may reflect emotional/psychiatric problems related to stress (what is called somatization disorder). This is a true medical condition whereby instead of a patient experiencing depression or anxiety, they experience physical symptoms, and once the stress is addressed, the symptoms resolve. Fibromyalagia is another medical condition that leads to whole body pains, and is best treated with medications such as lyrica and neurontin, exercise, and physical therapy.
You should continue working with your neurologist. The diagnosis may take time to make.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
This may help some of you. I have been sick for almost a decade and was dx. with fibromyalgia 6 years ago. (debilitating fatigue, pain everywhere, muscle spasms, hyper sensitivity to light and noise, migraines, overall felt like total crap and at its worse was considering my life not worth living. Receiving the dx. of fibro, meant only that I had symptoms like a lot of other people that MD's don't know how to treat. Researchers do suspect multiple viral causes but they lump all of us together anyway. Sort of like going to a dermatologist who give you a dx. of dermatitis (means you have a rash and the MD has no clue what it is or what caused it, so the MD is useless). Last year I got so bad that I was sleeping 18-20 hours per day and in incredible pain 24/7. I fired my rheumatologist as arrogant (3-4 hour waits for my appt) and useless (he told me to exercise when most days the best I could do was drag myself from bed to the sofa and return to sleep).
In November 2009, I was approved for full permanent disability, ironically not because of fibro, but because I also have severe osteoarthritis and back problems. These are not nearly as debilitating as fibro, so there's the government for you.
I spent what waking hours I had online searching and found http://www.treatmentcenterforcfs.com/ and also a more friendly non-medical article. http://chronicfatigue.about.com/b/2009/11/03/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-dr-lerner-on-ampligen-xmrv.htm Although both websites mainly discuss CFS, this is all about fibro. MD's are very reluctant to treat fibromyalgia with anti-viral meds because they are not yet FDA approved, although the FDS (who I'm beginning to think WANTS us sick - kaching$$$$) does approve some medications that do nothing more than treat symptoms (IF they work at all) and have very serious side effects. Some insurances won't pay for the meds for the same reason (not FDA approved for fibro) .
I brought the research I found to my DO and asked to try it. I've been on Valtrex for 6 months. 2 months into treatment the fatigue lifted (first time in 6 years, maybe more). I still have mental fatigue, inability to focus, as well as severely heightened senses - I cannot tolerate crowds, bright lights (forget driving at night), and noise is painful to me. I feel like the entire rest of the world is deaf and blind to need such enhanced sound and light to function. Stress will trigger a relapse so I practice mindfulness to keep me calm. I'm now fighting with med. ins. because they are cutting me off Valtrex. If you read the web-site above, you will see that Dr. Lerner self-treated for fibro for SIX YEARS before he was able to discontinue it. Viruses can continue and still the bloodwork will show only that you had it in the past. Also most MD's do not want to hear what a patient has learned himself (MD ego). I am lucky to have a D.O. who reads the research I find and we proceed together.
If you think I'm angry - you're right. I lost 6 years of my life to a virus that could have been treated right away. I'm still recuperating (see above) but I'm hoping I'll be well enough to return to work next year. Best wishes to all of you for a speedy and full recovery. Don't take your MD's "I don't know" as an answer. Do research yourself and demand treatment.
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