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Neurological symptoms- not MS? environmental? mold? help!

Female, age 39 (really!)- neurological symptoms the past 6 months. Both PCP & Neurologist thought it was MS, had X-rays of back,MRI of cervical spine and brain- all tests came back fine. Never had blood tests. Now, they say "just wait, maybe your symptoms will just go away, and we will never know."
     Symptoms were: limbs falling asleep for hours at a time both sides of body. Shooting lightning type pains on face, arms, legs, hands & feet. Up to 50 in a minute lasting for hours, sometimes only a 2 or 3 in a day? Eye jumping vertically once, and then weeks later horizontally. Blurry vision. Vertigo (fell 3 times one day). Feeling like I hit my funny bone. Pins & needles feeling once. Numbness, band like feeling.
     My question is: can I have MS and the MRI wouldn't show anything? Should I push for a spinal tap? We moved into the house we are living in aprox. the same time symptoms started- could it be an environmental factor? Mold? We live by a rock quarry- anything I should look up in regards to that? I drink Diet coke? could that be it?
     Desperately searching for answers! Grasping at straws, I know. Am I really suppose to do nothing? HELP!
17 Responses
Avatar universal
Negative brain and C-spine MRI don't rule out MS 100% of the time; they can be negative and one can still have MS (small percentage of people).  But MS symptoms (numbness, tingling, etc) don't usually present on both sides of the body at once as you describe your symptoms as presenting in your legs or arms.  

I don't know if the aspartame (or whatever artificial sweetener that is in your diet coke) could cause those symptoms or not.  If you have been drinking it a long time and you suddenly got the symptoms I doubt they would be due to the artificial sweetener, but I couldn't say for sure.  I use stevia in my tea and coffee.  It's natural, non-caloric, and tastes good.  I use Stevia Plus by SweetLeaf-I think it is the best tasting and they don't put any silica in it like some of the other stevias.  I don't know if they've started putting stevia in sodas or not, since you drink soda.

As far as mold in your home, I have never heard of it causing paresthesias, but if you have a significant problem with it in your house I would do a search on mold and health hazards and see what you come up with.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
I have all those symptoms too except the nystagmus (eyes moving from side to side). My muscles twitch all over. I've had them for almost 2 years.  Ive had a spinal tap, MRI's of brain, cervical spine, thoracic and lumbar spine, evoked potentials, emg...all were normal.  I've seen 4 neurologists, including an MS specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.  Not one of them thinks I have MS.  Just wanted you to know that you are not alone.  We may never get an answer.  My only diagnosis is fibro and I don't believe it.
Avatar universal
Regarding the spinal tap,

I wanted it as all my other tests came back normal, some of them were repeated and were normal again.  I just couldn't live without knowing if it was MS.  Spinal tap was normal too.  I had to ask for it.  It wasn't fun but I'm glad I did it.

I doubt mold would cause these symptoms.  Usually mold is respiratory problems.
Avatar universal
I have had similar symptoms for 8 weeks.  All started two weeks before my 40th birthday! Numbness,tingling, weird sensory feelings on all four extremities. Had a Brain MRI, c-spine and t-spine MRI and lumbar puncture...all normal. Neuro suspects viral myelitis (inflammation of the myelin sheath) since I had a bad gastro-virus the same time all of this started. Just to be safe I gave up the diet coke because I have heard a lot of bad aspertame stories. Did your symptoms come on all of the sudden or do you have one symptom for a while and then another added to it? Have you had your B-12 level checked? What about your thyroid? You should have a complete blood work up to rule out metabolic causes. The lumbar puncture was not fun but I too am glad to have the piece of mind that it was negative.
Avatar universal
I am 41 and I have numbness in my lips, which goes all over my face sometimes. This started about 10 days ago. It's not on one side, and it moves all around, but some area of the lips is always numb. What are the chances it's MS or a brain tumor?
Avatar universal
I have all of the same problems that you do, except my arms and legs feel like pins and needles 24/7. I was diagnosed with a back problem called spondylolisthesis over a year ago, which everything else has come after that diagnosis. I have had severe nervous breakdowns/panic attacks, depression, where most of the time Im in this wierd sort of dream state. I have had some speech changes, where i either slur my words, cant think of the word im trying to find, or completely forget what im talking about and just get confused. I have numbness in my legs constantly and sometimes in my arms and fingertips. I have gained weight, probably about 30 pounds, which is horrible since im only 5 feet tall. I constantly want to sleep or feel like i need to sleep. I also have electric shocks that go through my body which is scarry. I have no interest or anything which i can associate that with my depression. But its really scarry cuz even the easiest things seem like a difficult task. Say grocery shopping or tanning or going to the mall with my mom. Basically, my  body just feels run down. I wake up every morning feeling stiff like Im 70 or plus years old and Im sadly only a 22 year old college senior. I have been struggling with this problem for over a year, which it keeps progressively getting worse with onset of different symptoms such as psychological problems, uncontrollable twitching, and the list goes on. I have had all the tests done except the spinal tap, which i am extremely scared of because of my experience with steriod injections with my back issues, which i hear the spinal tap is much worse. So I would like to know if you think it is worth it. I feel like Im losing my mind sometimes because Im constantly in pain for some unknown reason. Its good to know Im not alone. My parents just recently showed me about the aspartme rumor, so Im going to stop drinking or eating stuff with that in it and see if it helps. Ive done my research on it and it seems like there is a huge mix of opinions on the subject. I guess im just looking for answers and hope. I went to a nuerologist and he told my mom that I was basically making it up and using my "illness" for a crutch for some other reason. So Im at my whits ends. Im trying to graduate from college, but it makes it extremely difficult when you feel like this, and especially worse when everyone thinks your crazy because all the tests say your normal. Somebody please give me answers!!! I am scarred for my life, my parents are concerned but i dont think they realize how bad it is. I feel alone and I dont know where to turn.
Avatar universal
check out the ms patient to patient forum. There is a doctor there. name of Quix (or Quixotic) who has great detailed information about ms and its diagnosis, or lack of. Very worthwhile reading for someone who has symptoms and trouble getting a diagnosis. Good luck.....also in Or
Avatar universal
The Maker's Diet by Dr. Rubin.

If you've determined your environment has not changed significantly: i.e., your water treatment plant has not utilized a new chemical to cleanse the water, or increased a particular chemical (chlorine) that you may be having a reaction to; your favorite food has added a preservative that you haven't adjusted to, or food additives have reached a toxic level in your body, etc.  The two that got me, was the change in the type of sugar that my favorite restaurants (a chicken place that's popular in the south and starts with a Z, and another that specializes in burgers and has only 2 types of shakes, W) changed their key ingredients in their sodas, and even distributor for their meats.  Most of us as humans, have a sensitive palate.  If you noticed your food did not taste as good as it used to, then you've detected a new addition or subtraction of a key ingredient.  For me, it was the artificial sweeteners they moved to rather than the cane sugar (still not good) in their drinks.  The chicken breasts were unnaturally bigger.  The numbness and tingling happened after 3 years of having them in my diet, along with the golden arches diet, at home ground turkey dinners  like spaghetti, burgers, and canned or frozen veggies), along with occasional headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, mixing my words and word searches, and just a general feeling of "yuck".  I detoxed with organic juices, lots of water; I couldn't give up the meat, so I cooked at home free range lamb (it was a different taste, didn't like it so much), bison (LOVED IT, better than beef), and wild caught fish and organic veggies.  Expensive?  Nope, I moved the $42 I was spending a week on fast food to getting the organic meat I wanted.  I moved the $80 or so I spent every 2 - 3 weeks on junk/cereal/milk/non organic eggs/paper towels/packaged foods/hotdogs/deli meats/canned foods to the organic fruits and veggies, oatmeal, organic yogurt, homemade wheat banana nut muffins for the sweet tooth.  I still haven't found a healthier alternative to deli meat. I felt great and the tingling stopped, no mixup of my words, I slept soundly and I didn't lose a bunch of weight, but my belly fat went down significantly. Around the waist I was a women's size 24 (equals to about a 38-42 mens waist), it went down to a women's size 18 that first month.  My bowels were regular and stopped floating (indicating high fat).
I'm not a cook, but that whole experience pushed me to do whatever it took to feel better since my doctors weren't as curious about me as I wanted them to be.  I borrowed Dr. Rubin's book from a family member, The Maker's Diet to follow some recipes, and to learn about how God started his people on eating, the original diet program. Not as daunting as the book The Manual on You.  Anyway. You may find it helpful.  A woman I knew who was 33yo,normally healthy and a vegetarian (there's something wrong with those folks :) but she was a friend) started having migraine headaches, nausea, tingling in her arms and legs.  I actually took her to the doctors and specialists trying to find out what was wrong with her, after the 3rd neurologist, the last one was a female neurologist.  At the end of the long exam, she just mentioned for my friend to have a gyn exam, because sometimes that can be the culprit.  THAT DOCTOR HAD NO IDEA THE CASUAL SHORT COMMENT SAVED MY FRIEND FROM AGONY! The next week, her gyn found a large ovarian cyst about as big as a grapefruit that had encapsulated her right ovary, her labs showed increased estrogen, and the pressure from the cyst had been pressing against her nerves.  After the surgery to remove the cyst, my friend never experienced those problems.  And yes, she had the MRI, the EMG, everything, and all those tests were fine.  I hope this helps someone.  Be willing to make lifestyle changes. Just because it hadn't bothered you for 10years before, why wouldn't it start bothering you now? (ex: smokers, people in smoking environments, liquor, a toxic environment be it people, chemical, a situation, nitrates in meats, man made sugars, bleached flour and sugar..)  By the way, it's curious, and I hope no one is offended, but I took a trip to a small midwest city and noticed the teen girls weren't as developed as the teens in the southern cities I have lived in, Atlanta, Memphis.  Being a little older, I grew up in the south and as a teen, we weren't nearly as developed as the teens today.  That got me to thinking, what was different for them than for us growing up in their diets for the mature bodies at a younger age.  If you think about it, I think you'll come to the same or similar realizations.  Hope this helps.  Praise Him and stay in Him for healing.
Avatar universal
I had the same symptoms!!!  It is mold, I did all the test and they told me it was possibly the start of MS.  I decided to try a natural approach since the meds made me feel worse.  I tried changing my diet, I stopped eating foods with gluten.  Keep a journal on your symptoms especially in fall and spring.  Stay somewhere other than your house for a few days.  I found a very bad case of mold in my 3 year old home, it CAN effect any home!  I moved and my life is getting back to normal!  In the future they will talk about the link between mold and many diseaes.  No doctor could help me, even once I found the mold they told me I would be coughing not experiencing tingling, pain and brain fog.  
Good luck.
Avatar universal
I don't know if any of you are still reading this... I noticed that the dates go back years. I have all these symptoms too. I've been going crazy not knowing what's wrong with me. Im a mother of 3 who was usually up and doing whatever I could for them, went back to school and got As my first year in college, and had a marriage every girl dreams of. For the past couple of years I've been experiencing these symptoms that all of you have. No one believes how i feel or at least thats what i think. Recently I also have discovered mold in our home and since reading this I have something to go on. Thank all of you so much!!!
Avatar universal
I am not sure if you received my previous comment. I too have experienced this and just found out my inside air unit filled with black mold.  Started getting sick in Dec after thousands in medical and many specialist no one knew the reasons.  Still very ill.  You are welcome to email me at betty.***@****
Avatar universal
I am 33 years old with 4 children. Usually a fit and healthy person. Found black mould iin livingroom, kitchen and bathroom 2 years ago. Landlord has carried out various work to cover the mould up in my opnion but not check what caused it in the first place. Since carried out home mould test kit that came up very high but unsure if these are accurate. Anyway started with symptoms of vertigo 12 months ago, past six months have had blurred vision, constant red eyes, headaches, diagnosed sinusitis, tinitus, clogged ears, tingling in face and hands and arms (usually alternates to different arms, teeth sensitivity, noise sensitivity, light sensitivity, sweating, mood swings, joint weakness, depression, fatigue, buzzing throughout body (the symtoms go on and on). Doctors in the uk wont accept symptoms are mould related but after continuous blood tests, doctors appointments, chest xray,visits to a & e, referral to ear nose and throat cannot find anything wrong. Doctors are making me feel like I'm a neurotic mother and keep trying to throw antidepressants at me which I refuse to take. Ear nose and throat specialist thinks its migraines but I dont believe it is. After watching Andrew Campbells (Youtube) lecture on mycotoxins I am even more convinced it is mould related. I feel my friends and family also thing I am over exagerating my symptoms but I am going to fight this. Finally being sent to an allergy clinic to be tested for allergy to mould. It is so hard when nobody will support you but be strong and you will get there. Will update after allergy test and will be moving house if it comes back positive
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