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Numbness/Tingling Taking Over My Life

Hi everyone,

I've made the mistake of researching my symptoms online, and now I see I could have anything from anxiety to MS to any number of scary conditions. I'm not getting any help from doctors so far, so in the meantime I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions. I'll try to keep this from getting too long.

1) Mid-August of this year: Developed severe ear pain and some swelling in the glands around the ear. Within a few days, I also developed a sore throat, severe headache, and a tingling scalp that felt as if it was sunburned. Doctor found no evidence of ear infection, but gave me antibiotics anyway. The medicine immediately eliminated the swelling but it took a few days for the ear pain to go away; during that time, the pain shifted to the other ear. All symptoms were resolved within about a week.

2) Last week of August: Developed occasional numbness and tingling ONLY in my two big toes. It was worse while lying in bed at night, but I occasionally had it during the day too.

3) Mid-September: While staying at a friend's house, I had one of the scariest experiences of my life. Within about 30 minutes of lying down to go to sleep, I felt panicked, lightheaded, and even gasped for breath once. The tingling and numb sensations spread throughout my feet, legs, and left arm/hand. I barely slept at all that night because I felt so terrible, and I was just too scared to sleep.

I was fine in the daytime during the following day, but that night I once again had this scary experience within 30 minutes of getting into bed. Since that time, I have developed numbness/tingling (and sometimes burning sensations) in my feet, legs, left arm/hand, and--weirdest of all--my tongue. When the tongue issue started, it seemed to affect my entire tongue and at night I would wake up feeling like my throat was closing up (my tongue felt swollen, but I'm not sure if it actually was). Now, only the tip of my tongue is affected.

4) These episodes were almost exclusively a nighttime problem upon going to bed. It always strikes within 30 minutes of being in bed, just as I'm drifting off to sleep. When the symptoms started occurring during the day, I went to the ER. They did blood work (not sure what), CAT scan of the brain, xray of lungs/heart, and EKG. Everything was normal. A few days later, my primary doctor checked my B12 level and thyroid. Both normal. I also had a complete metabolic panel; everything was normal.

The ER doctor encouraged me to see a neurologist, but the only one in my town can't see me for four months! I'm trying to find someone else, but it's a challenge.

5) After the doctor visits, my symptoms gradually faded away and I had 3-4 days of peace. That ended a week ago, and now I'm back having numbness/tingling in various body parts.I'm absolutely exhausted from lack of sleep because these sensations get so bad at night.

6) A few details I've noticed about these episodes:

a. The episodes are terrible at night. I also have less severe ones in the morning and in the evening. The afternoons, say between 11am and 5pm, I usually have little to no numbness/tingling.

b. Exercise/physical activity and standing up helps to eliminate the issue in the legs, feet, and the arm. If I'm out shopping all day or doing my daily exercise, I notice I have little to no problems at all. As soon as I sit down or lay down, the symptoms reappear. While movement helps the limbs, movement also seems to help the tongue burning/numbness; I don't feel any discomfort when eating.

c. FYI: I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and take 1,000mg Metformin ER and 50mg of Spironolactone daily. I also take a multivitamin and Vitamin D. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety in the past. I am on a low-carb diet, as this is more helpful for the PCOS. My blood sugar is normal, but I am insulin resistant (as associated with PCOS). My blood pressure is normal, and I have not experienced any chest pain or heart irregularities with these episodes.

d. I had an ovarian cyst rupture at the end of July. Honestly, I haven't felt good since that day.

Any thoughts?
7 Responses
15439126 tn?1444443163
If your symptoms were anxiety generated (which I think more than likely than not), taking an anxiety med (such as oxazepam/serax), would quell the symptoms within 30-40 minutes, and that reaction if consistent over several episodes, ought to be enormously reassuring (and perhaps definitive).
Avatar universal
I think you may be on to something. Last night and today I took Benadryl (allergy issues) and noticed that my symptoms were gone much of the time and were milder when they did appear. I read that this antihistamine has been used by some to reduce anxiety. I certainly don't want to use it for that purpose, but it does make me wonder if that's the root of my problem. I plan to go back to the doctor soon to ask about anxiety medication.
15439126 tn?1444443163
Anxiety is only very poorly controlled through meds (I suppose because we take the underlying causes too lightly when we toss a med at the problem, and just add more anxiety provoking routines into our lives).

If diagnosed with anxiety, it's better to work at home remedies and lifestyle changes to dampen anxiety when it's at a manageable level.
Avatar universal
I have anxiety as well but I want you to know that I have been dealing with tingles and pins and needles as well
It all started at night time and then was waking me in the night with rapid heart...
I had the heart checked with scans and ran on treadmill in hospital scan heart again all notmal

Everything got put down to anxiety
9years on I now have neuropathy pain and it's hell
MRI normal but I knew something wasn't right and I got to see a neurologist after asking many doctors for 6 yrs
And that was this week I seen him
Same private hospital I had the MRI he looked at it and it's not normal
I have post in this group as well as im worried
I have white matter on and beside my brain stem

NEVER EVER EVER fall into the trap that it's just anxiety
I had anxiety site and it got worse as my symptoms got worse I felt like I was going crazy with symptoms and then had anxiety as I thought gee these pins and needles and now years later one side weakness must be in my head
And you know what it is in my head and no one could read the MRI not the people who are trained to read them
Demand to see a neurologist and when a neurologist tells you it's anxoety then you can rest and deal with your anxiety
Too many stories where people believe it's alll anxoety
I had anxiety for years even before my numbness
It's not the same
Keep trying till u can see a neurologist x
Avatar universal
I've been down that road of taking anxiety medication long-term, and it's not something I want to do again. I was hoping to just get a short-term supply--maybe even just enough to last a few days--to see if they resolved my symptoms.

One thing I have noticed is that taking anything with a sedative effect like Acetaminophen/Codeine (I only have a few pills of this for severe headaches) greatly reduces the symptoms. I also noticed that I felt fine late last night on the couch except for some minor tingling in one toe. When I went to bed, I felt calm and then *right* when I was having that "slowing down" feeling that comes with nearing sleep, I immediately felt numb/tingling feelings spread throughout the body.

I hadn't had that the entire day, and I'd only been in bed less than 30 minutes. It then kept me awake for 2 hours. It just seems like something goes wrong as I head into sleep mode. It reminds me a little of what I went through 8 years ago when I had nighttime panic attacks every night for 3 months.
Avatar universal

mummy_of_4 - I'm sorry to hear what you're going through! I know that sometimes the not knowing what's happening is worse than the symptoms. I still plan to see a neurologist, but it may be a few months unfortunately. I hope you get the answers you need.
Avatar universal
I also wanted to add that if I press on certain pressure points on my palm, thing tingling/numbness either disappears or is greatly reduced.
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