Neurology Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Pins and needles - worsening symptoms

Dear Doctors,

I am a girl of 35 years, good health, normal weight etc.
I would apreciate your opinion to my problems.

November 2004 muscle twitching starts in calves. 1 month after a viral infection.
Spreads over the next months to thighs, abdomen, genital area, and arms.  

July 2005 , I wake up one morning with as strange vibrating, pins and needles feeling in my genital area.
The feeling persists, comes and goes durign the day but is there every day.
August 2005, the "vibrations" / pins and needles spread to legs, but are still worse en gentital area.

August 2005, MRI of head and lumbar spine, plus neuro examination is normal.B12, Thyroid function, calcium levels etc is normal.

September to december 2005, cold feelings in the legs comes and goes, cold feeling in scalp comes ang goes, a feeling of heavines in left side of face happens twice, lasts for a few minutes.
Twitches under the feet starts.

The worse thing is still the pins and needles feeling everyday in my groin, genetial area!

I am exercising without problems.

I am really confused, I am gettign scared and my thoughts about this is keeping me awake at night.

My questions:
Could this be MS?

Could this be myastenia Gravis?

Waht I fear the most is the paraneoplastic syndrome, what are your thoughts?

Is this some kind of neuropathy?

I am very interested in knowing if this could be a bening thing, We were planning to have kids, but I do not know what to do now. I don`t want kids if I have a malignant condition.

Thank you so much!

37 Responses
Avatar universal
I cannot give you a clinical diagnosis over the internet unfortunately so you should see your doctor about these issues also

Hopefully I can give you a few pointers though

First of all, the first thing to exlucde with the perineal symptoms is an STD and you should have a swab for chlamydia etc

After a viral infection, there can be a triggerred immune response to the nerves and one can see muscle or nerve irritation, manifested as fasiculations. It sounds like these resolved so therefore are more likely related to a postviral syndrome and not to your second set of symptoms.

1) there seems to be multple sensory symptoms without any objective evidence of a neuro system probelm by exam, MRI. While sensory symptoms can be present with MS, they are usually not the only manifestation and the MRI is usually abnormal in the brain or upper spinal cord (did you have a cervical spine MRI?)

2) Myesthenia gravis is a problem with the interface of the  nerve and the muscle and manifests with muscle weakness, not sensory symptoms.

3) There is an entitiy of a pure sensory paraneoplastric sydnrome, most classically isolated chin numbness which is quite specific for an associated tumor. There can also be a more widepread sensory neuropathy, sometimes presenting before symptoms of a tumor. However, this is very rare - there are some antibody tests available but they are expensive and should be ordered by your physician if he suspects this knowing your full story.

4) there is a generic screen for a sensory neuropathy that your neurologist can do that includes for instance diabetes, sjogrens syndrome, HIV, monocloncal antibodies etc. This is a good place to start. Tests like EMG etc are unlikely to be helpful in the absence of sensory symptoms only. One useful screenign test might be somatosensory evoked potentials of the median and tibial nerve to see if there is anything effecting the sensory pathways from the peripheral nerves through to the spinal cord. It is realtively inexpensive and easy to do.

Up to 30-40% of sensory neuropathies remain undiagnosed, so I would suggest getting on with your life as normally as you can, the chances that you have a malignant condition are quite low.

Good luck
Avatar universal
Hi there: I noticed your post and could not help but wondering if your viral infection may have triggered these unexplained neurological symptoms.  I also had a viral infection and rash in the fall of 2001 and shortly after experienced internal vibrations, pins and needles pain, cramping, footdrop and intense pain in my left leg and foot.  Sorry, to say these symptoms have worsened and my quality of life is impaired since I have problems, walking and with balance and coordination, besides weakness. Like most people experiencing neuro symptoms, mine are also worse in the evening and night. At first my  nervous system was really out of whack.  I couldn't whistle or wink but that ability has returned.  But my reflexes are still hyperactive and I am still hypersensitive to stimuli.  I would vibrate internally and any electrical noises or humming would seem to set it off.  I would sit and watch my leg tremor and couldn't do a thing about it.  My tongue and lips tingle and I get electrical like shocks in my foot, toes and fingers.  It doesn't hurt to touch my hands or feet, as the pain originates from the inside through the nerve endings.  I still don't have a diagnosis and everything organic has been ruled out. MRI's, EMG' and an EEG have all returned normal as well as my B12 levels, although I get monthly injections and take oral B12 meds daily.  My family history has four of my direct relatives with Pernicious Anemia and MS does run in my family, but not in my immediate family.  I do have a history of allergies and my ANA was elevated but they can't figure out why.  I also had Bell's Palsy, chicken pox as an infant and unexplained neurolgical pains for many years.  I am now retired in my late fifties and healthy in all other aspects.  So, I am wondering if the virus and rash I had, somehow contributed to these symptoms and how many more people out there may be in the same condition.  I would recommend that you keep a journal of your symptoms and start investigating your family medical history to see if any others may have similar problems.  My mother died of a brain hemmorhage at age 48, so I was very concerned that I had taken a stroke but that was ruled out.  However, people ask me if I did take a stroke due to my problems with walking and my speech.  Somedays it is normal and other days I cannot seem to get the words out or stutter.  Go figure!!! I knew what it was like to be normal for 55 years.  I also do not have depression or suffer from anxiety as that has all been ruled out. The only prescribed meds I take are Gabapentin, for the nerve pain and Detrol, for my over active bladder.  They first suspected I had MS or a problem with my upper motor neurons misfiring.  It may end up that I will develop MS but they won't prescribe anything to halt the progression of my symptoms until I receive a diagnosis.  How many other people out there are also "lost in limbo" with no diagnosis or treatment, yet they experience the deterioration in their condition and abilities.  I have left sided weakness with no explantion and I am sure if doctors had to walk in their patient's shoes for a day or so, they may be more understanding of what they undergo each day.  Good luck and I hope that your symptoms are only temporary.  If you find any similar background material in our cases, please get in contact with me.
The Canuck
Avatar universal
Have you checked what medications you took for treating your infections, to rule out that you are not suffering a long term adverse reaction?

Viral infections do not require antibiotics, but sometimes they are prescribed. If you took any antibiotic of the quinolone family like cipro, levaquin, avelox, floxin, or the like, you should check first of all whether you are having a delayed, long term sensitivity, so common.

Try to make a list of all the drugs you took up to one year prior to your symptoms, and since then, like the abovementioned antibiotics, inmunosuppressors, strong medications for special health conditions, antirheumatics. Also consider your exposures to chemicals at work or during your leisure activities.

Avatar universal
Do a google search for lyme disease.  It can cause these symptoms.
Avatar universal
I also have very similar symtoms as you guys do.  I am 42 yo female.  In 1992 had a weird rash followed by eye pain and floaters. About 6 months later developed all over twitches,fevers, elevated liver enzymes, weird rashes, weakness , numbness, tingling, more eye floaters, strange visual disturbances, left leg dragging and so on.....I had the whole gamut of tests.. MRI brain, spinal tap,EMG.  all normal.  The neuro I saw said I had a central nervous system disorder but that he had no idea what it was.  Anyway, it went away after a few YEARS.  Only to return again this year.  I have twitching, weakness of arms and legs, numbness, tingling, face numbness, more eye floaters, weird rash again etc... I have had over the past 8 months..2 MRI's of the brain, 2 MRI's of the cervical spine, thoracic, lumbar MRI's, EMG, evoked potentials were done today, lab work.  All results have come back normal, except evoked potentials as I don't have the results yet.  I know what you are going through, no one can figure this out.  My one suspicion is lyme since I had the bullseye rash in 1992  prior to my symptoms.  I'm going to see a specialist in Feb.  It's just so scary.  I feel like my life is over.
Avatar universal
I have had the same problems (35 y/o male) - has anyone rec'd any advice from any of their DR's?  

About 1 year ago I had urinary problems (first I went too much then I couldn't go at all)and left penile, buttock and scotal pain.  Doc checked for STD's etc did all the blood and urine work and found nothing.  Sent me to a urologist who thought maybe Prostate - found nothing upon exam, urinalysis and CT scan of the bladder.  Both GP and Urologist couldn't explain so I got the old  Dx with Hydrocele and epidydimitis.  The symptoms subsided around March 05.

I stopped smoking about 2 months ago (after 20 years) and experienced numbness in my tongue and mouth - thought maybe it was normal for stopping smoking.  Then the numbness appeared bilaterally in both hands and feet 1 week later.  i currently suffer from bilateral numbness in the hands, feet, scrotal, penile and rectal areas (saddle), facial, cranial, lips and tongue area.  The then onset of the bladder problems came on again like before.

I have had MRI of the lumbar, cervical spine and brain - no lesions have been found - they obviously think that I could have MS (no one in my family has ever been Dx with MS) so I am set up for the evoked potentials and ultimately the spinal tap.  I am just wondering

1)  if maybe a viral infection could have brought this on
2)  Could the neuro be related to smoke cessation and unrelated to the urology symtpoms
3)  what other possible expalnation could there be so I can research it myself.

Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease