tingling and twitches making me crazy
by alrightythen, Dec 12, 2003
43 year old female.  14 months ago, physical symptoms began, first thing was horrible left arm ache for about a week; the pain would wake me at night, it was so intense.  I still feel like my hand is weak, and since I am left handed, I guess I notice it more. A few days after the arm pain subsided, I started to have tingling in arms/hands and feet, and around mouth, including tongue. This lasted about 2 weeks. Neuro did MRI of brain and Cspine without contrast, said MS was not at all likely, with clear MRI and normal exam.  In January 03, I began to have muscle twitches, pretty much all over my body.  I began to worry that something ominous was going on, so I went to the neuro again.  He did not detect weakness, but he ordered an EMG/NCV test on my left arm and left leg.  According to the neuro who did the EMG, he saw nothing amiss, but he didn't take much time with the test, and I worry about the accuracy of it.  Up until now, I still have the twitches, but I am trying to ignore them.  Now I have developed another weird symptom, and have a neuro visit at the end of Dec. to see about it.  Tingling in a band across my back from spine to right side, about 5 inch band,  mid-back.  Also a weird feeling like something is touching me on my left front rib area. This all started before the MRI last fall, but happens much more now.  Lately, in addition my right foot is tingling on the big toe side of foot.  These tingling things come and go, sometimes several times a day, some days (rarely), I don't notice them at all.  It's all so random, I can't find a pattern to it. Any ideas ?
by CCF-Neuro-M.D.-CS, Dec 16, 2003
Your symptoms are very widspread, and suggest either a systemic disorder or multiple areas involved in the nervous system. However, based upon the MRI's we know that no lesions are present within the central nervous system. Perhaps connective tissue disease (Lupus being the most common), and inflammatory disorders should be evaluated. If you do not receive sufficient information with your next neuro visit, perhaps a second opinion at an academic center would be reasonable. Good luck.
Related Discussions
Member Comments (25)
by JayB, Dec 12, 2003
I will be interested to see what advice you get on this board as I too have had muscle twitches & Tingling for some time.  The muscle twitches started about 3 months ago all over my body and I also feel random tingling in small patches.  Sometimes on my arms, my thighs, feet etc.  I also feel an internal tremor/vibration like my body is "electric".  I have seen a neurologist for an initial exam and he found no signs of weakness, atrophy etc.  He seemed to feel that EMG/MRI were not necessary because I showed no signs for neurological disease.  I have since contacted my PCP in hopes to determine what else it could be but get the feeling that she thinks I am crazy and wants to treat me for anxiety. (all blood work, thyroid levels appear normal).  I am not imaging the symptoms and am eager hear what the Dr. has to say on this board.  Good Luck to you!

by scamelo1, Dec 12, 2003
I have many of your symptoms, including internal shakiness and the electrical or vibrations feeling.  I did have a brain MRI and they did find 2 small lesions.  I am going for a second opinion as one local neuro said not MS.

I also don't know if mine could be anxiety.  Its been going on for months and the fatigue and aches and tingles are driving me crazy.  I want to be my old self again

by Lombard, Dec 12, 2003
Anxiety and stress can manifest itself in a lot of ways; tingling, numbness, diarrhea, chest pain, palpitations, headaches to name a few.

Of course, the more we fixate on an ailment, the more we feel it and the more we feel it, the more we fixate.  It's a vicious circle!

Definitely see your doctor.  There could be some sort of nerve impingement causing you pain but if he/she can't find anything wrong, consider that anxiety might be the source of your problems.   I, too, was told that I was suffering from stress which was bringing on some debilitating symptoms.  When I am calm and/or busy, I don't seem to notice it as much.  Exercise, cutting out caffeine, and meditation also seem to help. (As an fyi, I always seemed to wake up feeling great and symptoms came on as the day went on.  If I became stressed over anything during the day, I could feel the tension creep into my neck.  If I didn't get a grip on it right away, it would escalate to tingling.  Then as I worried about the tingling, I would develop another symptom and start to worry about that.  Like I said, a vicious circle.)

Good luck!

by Lombard, Dec 12, 2003
One other thing....

One of the biggest signs of anxiety is that you feel you are going crazy or you worry that others will think you are going crazy.

Take a look at your life and be honest about the stress you may be enduring.  Are you a constant worrier?  Any major upsets/changes in your life in the last year (death, divorce, marriage, birth of a child, loss of job)?  Are you an obsessive thinker (you get on a thought and can't shake it or you play the "what if" game...what if I have a horrible disease, what if we don't have the money for a new car, what if we get the flu this year)?

Any one of these personality traits can lead to anxiety which can in turn manifest itself in very real physical symptoms.  You aren't imagining the tingling.  It's there but the cause is anxiety not a disease such as MS.

Just wanted to add this because often when people suffer from anxiety they worry about going insane.  Find a way to relax and talk positively to yourself.  And don't be afraid to tell your doctor that you may be dealing with anxiety because of your ailment.  It will help him/her put things in perspective especially if all your test results are normal.
by scamelo1, Dec 13, 2003
In my case, I am not going crazy.  the muscle aches and jitters are real.  tired and weakness are real.  I am  planning on going to the ccf in January for a full physical and perhaps furter tests.  If it ends up being anxiety, at least I know I have ruled out physical symptoms.
by sleepymomof2, Dec 19, 2003
I am going through something similar....I have been having muscle twitching in every different part of my body for about 7 months now.  I've been tested by the family doc to see if I was low on any vitamins or minerals, and it came back normal.  She told me to see a nuerologist, but I've heard many people say they've had an EMG and it comes back normal, and with no insurance I'd hate to rack up another bill if it's not going to help.  I also hear lots of people saying their doc thinks they have anxiety, but my doc said the kind of anxiety and stress that would cause these symptoms is only if you're constantly stressed about work, if you've had a tragedy in the family...going through divorce, etc...If anyone's had any symptoms of flashing lights in their vision, I'd be interested to hear about it.  I've had these flashing lights for longer than I've had the twitching, and no one knows what they are.  I've been to the opthamologist and she said it may be nuerological?  Please let me know.  

by bico, Dec 19, 2003
i have spent the last year with my face going nunb, now my arms and legs are doing the same thing. i have had every test that you could have and still no answers.the drs have now put me on a siesur med, so far no change. it has only been three days, at this point i will take any thing at all. i also have trouble with getting very dizzy when i look down and turn to the left.i also have ringing in my ears.hope we can all help each other find some answers. good luck
by fixit, Dec 22, 2003
I too have had similar experience to alrighty then.  Presented itself with tingling, numbness, discomfort of left arm alone for about 5 months.  Before I got to doctor, tingling had expanded to all other limbs (except right arm - it is there now).  Had MRI of spine, MRI of brain, numerous blood tests, etc.  Only abnormality was elevated ANA.  Went to neurologist - said not her problem - check connective tissue.  Went to Rheumatologist, awaiting blood tests for everything, however, I have no symptom for lupus, rhuematoid arthritis, etc. He does not think this will turn out to be those things. Tingling has progressed to pain,hot,cold, etc. and yes I am now stressed out.  Was not before this all happened.  Very frustrating as I wake up with it and go to bed with it.  Any medication that is helping anyone??  I hav been given muscle relaxers- none of which work.  Any suggestions?