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Weakness and numbness
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Weakness and numbness

I began having a strange weakness in my right foot and right hand/arm a few weeks ago.  No loss of strength, just weird feeling.  A couple of days ago numbness began to come and go.  I went to the ER at the advice of my GP and when they did a CT scan of my head the radiologist noted what appeared to be degeneration and a bulging disk in my neck.  I am scdeuled for an MRI tomorrow.  My question... can a bulging disk cause weakness/numbness in arm AND leg?  THey gave me an injection of Depo-Medrol and the numbness/weakness is some better, but I am having vision changes.  Next question... could ALS be a possibility?  I am very fearful of that disease!  Thanks so very much!
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Avatar_n_tn
First of all, keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose you because I am unable to examine you, this forum is for educational purposes.    
   A bulging disc in the neck usually causes symptoms in the upper extremity only by compressing the nerve roots as the exit the spinal column.  However, if the disc is compressing the spinal cord itself then, it can cause arm and leg symptoms.  Spinal cord compression is generally associated with increased reflexes and spasticity, while nerve root compression is associated with decreased reflexes and low/absent muscle tone. A disc cannot be responsible for visual changes.  I would suggest that you have an MRI of your brain as well as your cervical spine to investigate for multiple sclerosis, or small stroke, etc due to the visual changes.  This is very unlikely to be ALS.  ALS is a pure motor disease, with weakness, atrophy, fasiculations and rapid progressive course.  Your symptoms sound mostly sensory and somewhat intermittent.
I hope this has been helpful.
20 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I forgot to mention I am a 34 year old female.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Zacksmon,

Sorry for your problems... I now exactly how you feel.

I'm also having weird neurological problems going on for about 1 1/2 year.

Trying to give you some light, yes, a problem in your spine (neck) can cause both arm and leg/foot symptoms. But couldn't be the cause for your eye symptom.

You said you feel wekness, but not loss of strengh, what do you mean? Sorry, English is not my first language and I struggle sometimes. I thought if one has weakness he/she has lost of strengh as well.

Probably the next step for you would see a neurologist, and have MRI with/without contrast (brain and C-spine). You need to rule out as much as you can, and for our age (I'm 31), the first thing that comes to the doctors mind is MS. Also you need to check for : Lyme (can be tricky), vit B, eletrolites balance, hormone levels (those are the ones I remember).

All my exams came back negative. It was good, but not knowing what I have makes me crazy... Anyway, what I want tell you is hang in there, this can take time, and be frustrating. But don't stop your life because of this, I did it for 1 year and regret it. I know it's hard, but it's more than worth trying to not think about it 24/7 (I know, it's hard not), soon or later you will learn what you have, it will disapear/ be cured, or you will have to learn how to leave with it. Just don't give up. We are stronger then "this". My neuro said that after me a lot of people showed up with "weird" symptoms, she even thinks that there is something new out there... who knows...

Sorry for the long posting, I was also saying those words to myself!

Good luck :)
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98474_tn?1240108874
I have the same exact symptoms and have been undiagnosed for over 2 years. I have had 5 mris of brain and they are normal. I have abnormal spinal fluid that shows the pattern of ms. Because of the neg mris, they can't diagnose ms. I have numbness that comes and goes, subjective weakness( all over but shows no strength weakness) But my leg is weak. Now I am showing signs of tendon weakness and have developed weakness after eating. It is hard to hand in there but there are many of us out here undiagnosed. We have to wait until new symptoms show their ugly head and can help connect the dots. Hang in there!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Can you try to describe the "weird" feeling? I posted the other week and a weird sensation is why I finally decided to go back & see my Dr. after 6+ mos. They ran a brain MRI this week but I haven't heard anything yet. I've got 2 weird sensation types. The one in my leg occurs on the right inner leg around the lower leg/ankle and foot. It feels like a mix between a bad muscle/menstrual cramp (which obviously it's not) and an electrical pulse. I can feel it coming on before it pulses. The other weird sensation is more like a constriction of blood flow in my left arm. I know my arm is attached but it feels different almost dead-like. You know as a kid when you take 2 fingers and hold them together and have someone feel them - that type of feeling. I try and shake it to get it to stop feeling that way but it doesn't work. So I keep wiggling my fingers until it goes away. This is my "weak/weird" feeling in my arm. I'm almost positive my grip strength is less but when a Dr. ask you to squeeze, how would they know whether it had decreased unless they felt you before this happened. Good luck and I will follow your post.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had tingling feet, hands and recently my face feels funny not a tingle more like the skin is being pulled. Had
a brain mri in 8/2004,10/2005 emg, all sorts blood tests,
along with other test that check brain waves (not sure what
its called)which have all been normal. My quuestion is how
long do you think it take for a change to occur in the brain
another words if you had anormal mri 10 mnths earlier whats
the chances something would pop up in such a short span and
cause symptoms. My gp sad the nureo would not request a third mri since I had one just a yr ago and its was unremakable. If also been getting a feeling like my foot is burning last for a couple of seconds. just looking for someones opinion. thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,

Sorry for your problems...

My symptoms are pretty much like yours, but started with my face (this hard to explain sensation).

My neuro asked me for 1 MRI/year. Unless my symptoms completely disapeared and I fell like not doing this test.
One thing I learned is that it's better having a MRI with and without contraste rather than only without contrast. It's twicw as nuch but it's your health.

About your question, I think lesions can show up fast (or not). Maybe our problem will never (hope so) show up in an MRI..., who knows? The doctors don't, we don't, but if you feel better having it checked (I feel), it's worth. My doctor says that the best doctor I have is myself, so if you don't feel like your neuro will follow your case in a way that you feel 100% comfortable, find a new doctor.

I would strongly recommend going to an University hospital. At least my doctor doesn't talk to me thinking about time. She does list to me, and address all my concerns.

Good luck!



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Avatar_f_tn
Mine also started with my face.  Then it slowly developed everywhere else.  The facial feeling is like a tightening, then it will feel like bugs crawling, or a short buzzzzzz.  This is now in my legs and sometimes back, worse with clothing on.  How many MRIs have you had, and which ones?  Thanks, take care!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, I just got out of the hospital 2 days ago. I went there 3 weeks before that, with chest pains and my foot,leg, and arm that also was in my left side. They called it a viral infection and sent me home. Then thurs. morning I woke up feeling very odd At 6:30 a.m. When I stood up I couldn't feel four of my toes on my left foot and my large toe hurt alot. But worse of all my face on my left side was numb and I sounded drunk because my tounge was numb on the left side as well. I don't drink, smoke, or use drugs. My family took me to the hosp. W/ 1/2 my left lip drooping slightly. They kept me over night while they did many tests. But they all agreed that a stroke would effect my left side like it was (lots of pain especially my left foot and lower back then my arm and two fingers on left side.) but the right side of my face should be numb not my left side. By now I sounded like daffy duck. my right eye was blurry and my head hurt in my temple on the right side as well. But a round 3:30 a.m. I woke up with intence pain on the left side of my face neck and down my left side but my speach was almost normal through out the day it returned. 5 different Dr's. saw me and 4 said probably TIA, or two differnt problems pinched nerve and didn't know what to say about face and neck.The last Dr. said stress and crushed 4&5 lumbar acting up again go home w/ meds. 2 days later my speach is impaired, my toes are numb and I'm very dizzy today. good luck to one and all.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Jenny,

Hope you are feeling better (We've met in another thread before).

I just had a second MRI about a month ago (with and without contrast). They count it as 2 (twice as much time inside the machine and twice as much on my bill, ha!). The contrast helps to visualize lesions that are caused by demyelination (seem often in people with MS).

I was feeling better, but now the weird feeling on my face and scalp are back, but not so bad, this is going on for about 1 1/2 years. No clue what is causing it.

I was convinced I had Lyme or other parasite infection, but I feel great, and people with Lyme usually get worse. I am strong as a horse, everybody around me had a cold in the last 2 months, and I didn't get anything.

I (and my neuro) think that there is something new out there, a new virus, or a mutant one, anyway, she has a lot of patients with the same "weird" symptoms...

I just started putting my life back together, I can't live thinking about this 24/7 (altough it's hard!!!).

What exams did you have?? Keep me posted about your progress.

All the best.

rcs2



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Avatar_f_tn
I only had 1 brain MRI that was this April, after 6 years of the symptoms my doc said that if it was MS it should have shown by now, then the cervical one in Sept, thats when they found the disk problem.  When they did the brain MRI they found a massive sinus infection, I was on 3000 mg amoxicullin for 3 weeks, if it was Lyme I think I would have herxed by then.  I'm the same, no weakness, fatique, not been sick with cold or flu yet this season, knock on wood, and I don't have any numbness either, just when my leg goes to sleep at night, thats all.  I don't know what to think, people think that I'm making this all up, and I'm not.  My husband says that I'm messed up in the head, I am a little, because of living with these terrible feelings everyday.  Oh well, I know its hard to try to stop thinking about it, because it never goes away so how do you forget!!!!  Talk later, hang in there!, maybe you get an answer from the neuro here soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Jenny.

I was wondering (ha, I think I do this all the time). Have you ever thought about fibromyalgia? I read that it can be hard to make a dx sometimes... I started having sharp pain around my body, that last for few secs, and in specific points. I checked the fibromyalgia dx and many of the points correspond to where I fell the pain... Anyway, I think I think too much...
Fell free to e-mail me: ***@****

Good luck for all of us!!

rcs2

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Avatar_n_tn
I can only explain my scenario and what I have been told over the last 1 1/2 years.  (By the way, I am a patient of a university hospital.)
In March of 2005, I had a strange feeling in my neck and what felt like swollen glands.  The "strange feeling" also included numbness over the left side of my face (nose, lips, tongue, forehead).  I went to my internist, and he said that I had an enlarged thyroid and sent me for tests. Hashimotos thyroiditis with multiple nodules on my thyroid was the diagnosis.  The numbness was cause for concern, so he suggested I visit my neurologist at the university hospital.  I passed my neurological exam with flying colors -- my neurologist said that it was probably all due to my thyroid condition but an MRI of my brain was ordered.  Initially, the MRI results came back normal.
I was referred to an ENT and he said that my thyroid would have to come out...and...he said that often, people with bad deviated septums, have drainage that lies on their thyroid and causes the thyroid to do strange things. REALLY...that's what he said. And he is a teaching physician at one of the largest medical schools in the U.S.
Anyway, I had my thyroid removed in July of 2005...and guess what...numbness was still there!! So, another MRI of my brain was ordered and now it was said that there was an "irregularity in my left cavernous sinus." Also, an arachnoid cyst was reported. For this "irregularity" I had two subsequent MRIs, a spinal tap, and a visit to an opthamologist (at the teaching hospital). It is strange that everytime the MRI is read, it is slightly a different reading depending on the radiologist.  Anyway, even though my MRI is irregular, it has been determined that it is OK.  So, in the end, it was thought that I had a virus which caused my facial parasthesia and had it been presented similar to a Bell's palsy, with the facial drooping, they may have treated me immediately with anti-virals, and it might have gone away.  But, because treatment was delayed, I still have the facial numbness.
Approximately 6-8 months passed, and I started having strange symptoms like:  aching all over my body, intermittent numbness of my right hand and right foot (extending into the lower half of my leg), skin rashes, abdominal pain, and some symptoms that I probably cannot remember.  
I was sent to a rheumatologist (at the teaching hosp)...and....now the diagnosis is FIBROMYALGIA.  I personally believe that this entire sequence of events is related.  However, none of my doctors believe that.  And, worse yet, now that I have been told I have FIBRO, no one wants to be my doctor.  
The last year and a half, I have been preoccupied with this illness...searching for someone, anyone who has had a similar experience.  I find bits and pieces of my illness with others on the internet, so this does give me some comfort.  Has anyone had anything remotely similar?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have similar symptoms as you.  Long story short...1992 bullseye rashes followed by weird symptoms then neurological problem 8 months later.  The whole thing took about 5 years to resolve.  Fast forward 2005..sudden leg weakness and numbness, tingling from neck to toes, severe neck pain.  I was told it was a herniated disk in my neck and had a spinal fusion.  A few days after surgery developed numbness, tingling, weakness, twitching, floaters all over my body (similar to what I had in 1993).  My current  symptoms are blurred vision and trouble focusing, twitching numbness and tingling all over but mostly my left side.  Pain and numbness that runs in a line down my left side from my neck to my foot.  I have sore spots all over tht hurt to touch...neck, ribs , shoulder blades, but cheeks, hips, thighs etc...The symptoms change from day to day.  I also have burning sensations from my scalp to my feet. In the last 1.5 yrs I have seen 4 neuro's ( one was at the Mellen Center here at Cleve. Clinic), a rheumy, 2 physio-rehab doctors.  I've had 2 brain MRI's, 2 cervical spine MRI's, evoked potentials, EMG, thoracic and lumbar MRI's...all were normal. All docs said they did not think it was MS. Most said they didn't know what it was. My only diagnosis is fibromyalgia.  I just don't believe it.  I have no quality of life without knowing what it is.  It's on my mind 24/7.  I had 14 out of 18 tender points by exam.  Not knowing is the worst of all.
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Avatar_n_tn
i too have been suffering from the same weird symptoms.  my symptoms started in june/july of this year.  i don't know if there all related to one disease or if i have a bunch of different things going on.

all my symptoms have been right sided.  it started with an eye twitch that lasted a week, then blurry vision. light sensitivity feeling of fullness in my ear, facial numbness/tingling, balance problems and vertigo, my vertigo even feels right sided.  i felt like i was walking funny., i did during this time also hear something in my back pop, it didn't hurt until a weak later and then i started having back spasms that would spreads to both upper arms.  my neck started cracking my right arm then felt like it went flaccid, my ring and pinky finger and half my hand would go numb, i felt constantly "foggy" and i finally ended up in the e.r., cat scan for stroke negative, ekg, cpk and trop, clotting studies, cbc, chem 7 negative.  the doctor told me bppv and gave me meclizine.  he also said i probably had a pinched nerve.  he also gave me a course of zithromax for possible sinus related.  four days later in the middle of night i had a burning sensaion, legs were tinglying and vibrating (you could feel the vibration, my body jerked my heart felt like it was being squeezed)  i thought stupidly that i was "herxing" because i was convinced by people who surf these medical boards tha i had lyme.  after that episodes, ended up in e.r. again, lyme negative, sed rate negative, cbc, chem 7 fine, they gave me ativan for anxiety.  i then went to a neurologist, exam normal, mri of head and c spine with and wihout contrast, normal.  she sent me for an eng for vertigo, normal.  b12, folate, tsh, syphillis (syphilis), all normal again.  she said she didn't find anything, and had ruled out the serious, she said if it continue to have t spine and lumbar puncture (i haven't yet).

i have been surfing the net and have seen so many message boards trying to convince you even if tests are negative you still have the disease, ie. lyme, thyroid, fibro, etc.  i don't believe i have any of these nor do i believe i have als or ms or a tumor but i really wonder what is wrong with me and where to go from here.  I'm afraid i have a spinal tumor or cancer somewhere and they haven't been able to find it.  if anyone finds out what they're symptoms are please email me, i'd love to hear from you.
***@****

sarah

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Avatar_f_tn
I will e mail you if I find out what it is.  I went the lyme route too.  I even took several months of antibiotics.  Funny, I was better on the meds.  My docs said the same thing..all the bad stuff was ruled out.  My only diagnosis is fibromyalgia.  I personally feel the symptoms are far too severe to be fibro.  We may never know what it is.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, yesterday I went to an appointment with a local fibromyalgia expert (internal med doctor in Ohio) and he said that he believed that I did, in fact, have fibro, but that it was secondary to some other illness.  He believes that I have candida toxins in my body.  He is putting me on meds for that for 6 weeks, but, he claims in 2 weeks I'll feel remarkably better.  I'll let you know what happens.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Friends,

           I'm a vitamin B12 deficient . 1 month back it was diagnised and I'm getting injections in alternative days. I have taken bed rest for 20 days and I'm going to office now. Now a days I'm feeling very sleepy and feeling heavy while breething .And If I go to places of heavy traffic, I'm feeling like I don't understand what is happening around me. Please suggest me some thing.

       Thanks in advance.

                                  Suri
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Friends,

           I'm a vitamin B12 deficient . 1 month back it was diagnised and I'm getting injections in alternative days. I have taken bed rest for 20 days and I'm going to office now. Now a days I'm feeling very sleepy and feeling heavy while breething .And If I go to places of heavy traffic, I'm feeling like I don't understand what is happening around me. Please suggest me some thing.

       Thanks in advance.

                                  Suri
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Friends,

            I for got to mention that, I'm also feeling heavy at the top of my back. i.e below the neck and shoulders. I'm 28 male . I have undergone some neurological tests including brain MRI. Doctor told me that everything is normal and the reports are saying nagative.

           Thanks
                                    Suri
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