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numbness and loss of strength
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numbness and loss of strength

I'm a 34 years old smoking woman.In 1988, I started having numbness on the inner front part of the left leg. An EMG revealed that they were nerve damaged. It is still numb today. In 1998, while I was at work, I felt a weird sensention in my left arm, warmth and numbness. My vision was a tad blurry and overall I felt dizzy and went home. No headache. The next day I felt good enough to return to work but a few hours later I felt nauseated, had cold sweats (and other symptoms I can't recall today), so I left work once again. Since that 1998 day. I am entirely numb on the left side of my body, more specifically in my leg, arm and the left side of my face. I have loss strenght in my left hand, it is now much weaker than the right. (I'm left-handed). I also get occasional shakes in my hand which last only a few minutes but can make it difficult to hold a pencil and write. Sometimes I almost drop objects that I'm holding by the tip of my fingers. A CT scan, MRI, Doppler, and blood tests reveals nothing. Except for a somewhat low protein 's' which my neurologist said not to worry about.(He didnt seem to know how to interpret the data) (They were testing for signs of stroke, I think.) There's a family history of protein 'c' deficiency but my levels are normal. Lately, I have experience slight twitches/spasm/ticks (I really cant tell the difference) more pronounced in both my arms/hands and shoulders.

Obviously, the numbness and shaking are constant and the twitching seems to want to be added to the list as well.

Baffled, what is all this?
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Dear Annie G:

Having a normal MRI and CT, in most cases would rule out a stroke.  I am not sure what else to tell you that could cause a complete left sided parasthesia.  The normal blood work and lab test suggests that there isn't a systemic (like diabetes, or lupus) causing the problem.  An abnormal EMG at age at 22 years of age is abit unusual.  What were you told was the cause of the nerve damage, was it axonal loss or demyelination?  Do you have a family history of a sensory neuropathy?  

I am baffled, and am afraid that I really can't help you.  With everything normal except the EMG in left leg, I am not sure what could cause a complete left sided paraesthesia.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
19 Comments
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The neurologist at the time told me the damage was in my lower spine probably due to Dancing Ballet (personnaly, I think it's bull) and that I would require physiotherapy so that no there is no further damage, but I could afford it.  I had an epidural during child labor, could it be cause by it? (is in it done in the same part of the spine?)
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Dear Annie G:

It would be doubtful that childbirth would cause a neuropathy, unless the person doing it was just learning.  One would have to try hard, because the epidural goes outside the spinal column in the epidural space.  At the point where the epidural is inserted, most of the nerves are not readily accessable.  But, I guess anything can happen.

CCF Neuro MD
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Need information regarding a patient diagnosed with Stewart Morel Morgagine syndrome? Can you answer or direct us?

   Thanks-
    Family Medicine Assoc.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been diagnosed as having Demyelinating Neuropathy
I have pain and weakness in all extremeties
I can't seem to find much info on this condition.
Could you tell me how rare this disease is?
Definition of this disease?
All treatments and cure rate?
What happens if the treatment doesn't work?
Could I become disables so I couldn't work?
Any infomation will be appreciated.
Thankyou for your patience and time.
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I have been sick for about 6 months with strange symptoms.  My doctor found that I had a B-12 deficiency and started me on shots of B-12.  That was three months ago and my symptoms have only worsened since then.

My symptoms are burning legs and arms.  Weak legs and arms and heavy chest-difficulty breathing and extreme fatigue with dizziness when I walk.  My shoulders and chest feel as if they are being pushed down all the time and my lower back aches constantly.  I have had a MRI, tested for thyroid problems, etc.  Nothing has come up except the B-12 deficiency.  Otherwise I am a 30 year old female in good shape-I exercise and do not drink or smoke.  Why would my symptoms be getting worse?  Can you offer any insight into this for me-i am desperate for information and would welcome any you could pass on.

I do see my doctor every 1 1/2 weeks to do a follow up.  He started me on Nortriptyline also.  But so far nothing has helped and after 6 months I fear nothing will.  Is this peripheral neuropathy?
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Dear Heather Campbell:

It takes time for the nervous system to recover and heal itself.  I would imagine that your getting worse for awhile just demonstrates how bad the B12 deficiency was in your case.  As you continue on the B12 therapy things should get better.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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Thank you for your response.  Do my symptoms listed previously sound like peripheral neuropathy?  My concern is that I have permanent damage from the B-12 deficiency and may not recover. Also-would increased exercise help? My symptoms again are; -burning legs and arms
-weak legs and arms and heavy chest
-difficulty breathing and extreme
-fatigue with dizziness when I walk
-my shoulders and chest feel as if they are being pushed down all the time
-my lower back aches constantly
-Sore throat and constant clearing of the throat

Thank you again for your time.

Heather Campbell
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Dear Heather:

I can tell you the answer fully, if the deficiency is severe it can be irreversible. Exercise should be okay.

CCF Neuro MD
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I am a doctor from the Dominican Republic, and know little english. So, be patient please..:!!!!!  :))  My girlfriend is having these symptoms very often: acute pain in the left side of the head, followed by a fainting which weaken her arms and hands, then producing a zeisure-like attack; her arms start shaking, specially her left one, leaving her postrated for about 20-30 minutes; her sight gets affected also, no allowing her to have a clear vision for some minutes. I took her to a Neurologist, and after submitting her to an EEG, she found her delta & teta waves behaving unusually. The doctor put her on c, but I have studied about how threatful the side effects could be. So, up to this point we don
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Dear Doctor:

Theta and delta waves are normal findings.  The findings that would indicate epilepsy would be sharps and spikes.  I would be hesitant to put anyone on medications based on subtle EEG findings that are not suggestive of epilepsy.  What might be needed is another EEG but this time sleep-deprived or better yet in a video monitoring unit where an event can be correlated with the EEG.  Another possibility is that your girl friend has atypical migraine.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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my feet started hurting about 6mo.ago not all foot just front part icould hardly walk after working all day went to md he said mortons nueroma &sent me to foot dr.gave me cortizone shot in worst foot went back in 2wks. gave shot inother did no help.he sent me to have emg on feet than l hand started numbness&burning had mri results minor sm.blood vessle diease said dont worry this was 4 dr still nodiagnoise had emg onhands said it was cts.sent me to hand dr. gave cortizone shot inrhand come back in 3wks.went back had severe pain &swelling inr hand now he says i have rsd and he is sending me to a therapist  istillwake up hands numb and feet sore go to therapist next wk. this is 7 drs now and i still dont have an answer. can you help me im 53 and i work in adaycare iv beenoff work 4 a mo.?
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I went and saw my doctor again regarding the symptoms I have been having for about 6 months:
     -burning legs and arms
     -weak legs and arms and heavy chest
     -difficulty breathing and extreme
     -fatigue with dizziness when I walk
     -my shoulders and extreme chest pressure as if it is being       pushed down all the time
     -my lower back aches constantly
     -Sore throat and constant clearing of the throat

I was found to have a B-12 deficiency and have been receving shots of B-12 for 3 months with no relief-I have been on Nortriptyline for 6 weeks with no relief.

I was just put on XANAX and I am afraid.  I do not take it every day-how will Xanax help with any of these problems if the Beta Blocker did not?  The other problem is that Xanax is addictive and 2 years ago I got over an addiction to Vicodin.  My doctor knows all of this-it is wise for him to prescribe these to me?  I may go in and ask him to prescribe me something different and less addictive.  I took one Xanax and felt nothing! How do they work?

Thanks!
Heather
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I HAVE NUMNESS IN MY LEFT ARE.
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Dr.

I have written in prior to this-I am the one who is B12 deficient.  Had symptoms for two months-hagve been receiving shots of B12 for four months with no relief.  I've heard from others that it may not just be the B12 that I need to build up but other things too-other vitamins.

Can you speak to this?

Heather
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Heather:

I am not sure why your not seeing some relief, although symptoms usually don't start improving for several months, it may just be that your nerve problem is severe and the healing process is taking a long time, difficult for me to tell over the internet.  Yes, most of us would also put you on folate.  The xanax is a benzodiazepine and not codeine, therefore the addiction aspect is not the same, although addictive personalities will always have a problem with medications.

Sorry, I am not much help.

CCF Neuro MD
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Thank you doctor for you comments.  I am trying to keep a positive attitude that I will get better-at least a little bit.

My doctor does not think I have Peripheral Neuropathy-which is what I thought I had-because, even though I have the burning in the hands and feet my main pain comes from weak arms-legs-back pain and heavy chest-burnig face.

He is just not sure-but we meet every week to try to figure it out.  It has been suggested to me that along with the B12 shots I take a pill called Omega-3 fatty acid-would this help to give the B12 a base?  I will ask my doc but I don't see him until next week.

Thanks!
Heather
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Could you please explain if it is possible for degenerative disc disease of the upper shoulder/neck to affect the nervous system with stroke like sysmptoms?

   A year ago my 32 year old wife of slim build and good health
was rushed to hospital for what was beleived to be a stroke or TIA. CAT scan, MRI and blood tests did not support stoke,TIA or MS. She was left with no loss of speach or mental sharpness, but now has reduced strength in her left arm and leg and walks with a pronounced limp to her stride.

Just three weeks ago after what was thought to be strained upper back muscles, her doctor diagnosed her with degenerative disc disease as confirmed by x-rays. Because her job entails constant heavy industrial mopping, the doctor concluded this as the cause or aggravation.  Since she complained of neck and shoulder pain one week prior to her stroke like episode a year earlier, I wonder if disc problems could cause lasting stroke like symptoms.  What course of treatment or further evaluation would you suggest she follow?    many regards, Donald.
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Dear Donald:

It is unusual but we do see symptoms that you describe in your wife.  First, I would confirm the x-ray with an MRI and a good neurological examination.  Then see if rehab can help.  Seek out a good rehab specialist and PT.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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