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Avatar universal

Please HELP with symptoms!

For the past 6 months I have been getting muscle twitches all over my body, even in my tongue!  This has led to severe anxiety because I am afraid I am going to have a seizure.  I have been taking calcium, magnesium and potassium supplements and they do not seem to help.  Sometimes the twitches are so violent they jerk my arm or leg.  I also get what I can only describe as a full body tic or jerk at night when I lay down.  On nights it happens it will happen quite a bit and wake me sometimes.

Most recently, over the past 2 months I have started to experience "trails" or ghost images.  Like my hand when I move it, or if I move a water bottle or peice of paper.  It is really scary!  I had a full eye exam my an opthamologist and he told me to go to my doctor because it was not related to my eye sight, but to the eye muscles.  My vision was 20/25 and my peripheral vision was perfect.  I have a nevus in my left eye so they took pictures of the inside of my eye and he said none of the nerves or veins are bulging.

I went an saw my PMD and he did a neuro exam and listened to my symptoms and is referring me to a neurologist.  He said my symptoms of the twitching, jerking and eye trails are consistent with a CNS or PNS muscle disorder such as MS possibly.  I am FREAKING out!  It takes 2 weeks for the HMO referral for the neuro doc, and then it will take even longer for the MRI, eeg, emg which are some of the tests my PMD says I will need.

What other diseases can cause symptoms like this?  I am so afraid I have a brain tumor or that I am going to have a seizure.  The only medications I take are norco 10/325, xanax 0.5 3x a day and prozac 10mg and I have been on them for years.  Any help is so appreciated!
8 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

Without the ability to examine you and obtain a full history, I can not give you a diagnosis regarding your twitches and vision changes, however I will try to provide you with some information regarding some possibilities. It sounds like your symptoms are making you very anxious and worried. This is understandable, and I need to emphasize that in my discussion below I do not mean to imply I think YOU have the conditions discussed, only that they are some possibilities.

From the way you describe your symptoms, the jerks you are experiencing may be "myoclonus". Myoclonus is an quick involuntary muscle jerk. Some types of myoclonus is not worrisome, it often occurs in healthy people. For example, hiccups and the leg jerks that occur while people are falling asleep are within normal.

It sounds like you have generalized jerks. If this is in fact myoclonus, there are several possible causes. One is anxiety. Anxiety and stress can definitely lead to myoclonus, and this is treatable by treating the underlying anxiety.

Another very common cause is medications. Norco and other similar medications can commonly cause myoclonus, as can prozac in higher doses.

Others causes include traumatic head injury or spinal cord injury or infection, metabolic problems such as liver failure or kidney failure (these would be accompanied by other signs and symptoms related to the liver and kidney), a history of cardiac arrest leading to prolonged oxygen deprivation (this is something you would be aware of, so if you do not have a history of a cardiac arrest then this is an unlikely cause of your symptoms), thyroid problems (this can be tested for and is highly treatable). Some neurologic causes include multiple sclerosis (you would likely have other neurologic signs and symptoms), tumors (you would likely be having additional symptoms though that are not included in your description), and epilepsy. Regarding epilepsy, while the symptoms you are having could potentially be related to epilepsy, the type of epilepsy related to myoclonic jerks start in early adolescence.  You are concerned about having a seizure, and while this is theoretically possible, I think it is very unlikely based on your description.

Each of these types of causes can be determined by a neurologist after he/she examines you, obtains a history, and orders testing.

Your vision changes, seeing trails, could be caused by processes similar to those described above, or could be simply due to an eye problem. Pallinopsia describes a phenonmenon in which after a patient looks away an after-image of the object persists or reappears after a person has stopped looking at the object. Polyopia is a phenomenon in which a series of "echoes of the object" are seen, separate but close to the actual object, giving the impression that there is more than one of the same object. Eye movement may make the original object appear as if it has left a trail. Whether or not the condition is treatable depends on the cause. There are MANY causes of polyopia. It may be isolated: no apparent cause, with no danger, and no implications on your health otherwise. other causes are (1) Drugs, Marijuana, LSD, amphetamines, trazodone, or narcotics such as Norco (2) seizures (3) brain trauma (4) various brain lesions (strokes, tumors, vascular malformations) (5) migraines (6) depression (7) retinal problems.

It sounds like you are on the right track, having been referred to a neurologist.

I hope you find this information useful, thank you for using the forum, good luck.
280418 tn?1306325910
I hope you feel better knowing that there are others like yourself out there in the world, having weird symptoms and getting now answers.  I thought I had MS two years ago and was ready to buy the wheelchair, the whole nine yards (although many MS'ers never end up in a wheelchair:).  However, I have several twitches/fasciculations, burning, eyesight changes, dizzy episodes, etc etc.  And yes, these all led to great anxiety and depression.  I also am the lucky recipient of anxiety from genetics and various life events, so I can go to sleep and get jerked awake - but that is anxiety.  Purely anxiety.  Now, I don't know that this is the case for you and I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you my own experience.  I went through all the tests for MS - MRIs, spinal tap, nerve conduction, etc. with this dread of them saying "yep, it's MS".  Well, two years and many tests later - no answers.  No MS.  The closes thing I have to an answer has been:  stress? anxiety? fibromyalgia? chronic fatigue? myofascial something or other.  I finally got to the point where I have decided, who the hell cares what it is?  I am just attempting to live with these physical symptoms and not worry about it all day long.  Yes, I am still actively seeking a diagnosis, but I am not freaking out on my docs, etc (like I was before:).  Allow yourself to calm down and consider a change in meds. I was on Zoloft and switched to Cymbalta, thinking the Zoloft was causing my symptoms.  It wasn't the Zoloft.  But, I did need a change in meds for my anxiety.  I was not getting benefit after two years of Zoloft.  Anyway, check out the anxiety forum too - I'm a member, but at the same time, don't let docs dismiss your symptoms as anxiety without exploring other issues just as they would with someone without anxiety.  Take care and I hope you feel better!
Avatar universal
I am wondering if you got a full panel of bloodwork, looking for things like endocrinology causes -thyroid, adrenal function etc?  Sometimes low vitamin B12 and B6, can cause similar issues. Also ensure you are not anemic at all.

I have an open dx of inclusion body myositis or polymyositis, along with a BUNCH of other heart and lung issues, I had muscle weakness in my tongue when I ate, it would just get completely fatigued.  The neuro was able to do some testing in the office, that helped clarify things.  As I was recovering, I had many twitches in muscles all over my body, and it was actually a sign things were improving, I also had significant issues with jerking at night unexpectedly, sometimes to the point my body moved to the edge of the bed by itself.  Whilst I don't think you have a myositis, twitches and jerking are generally benign (though not always but odds are in your favor that they are innocent), so try not to worry about them as a primary symptom. Mine ultimately resolved over an 18mth period or so.  I am fortunate that I tend not to worry about stuff like this, having a medical background helps me understand and to some extent distance myself from worrying too much about it.

I agree with the previous poster, try not to put the cart before the horse while you seek an explanation for your issues.  Thats why you see a Dr, so they can figure it out and do the worrying if necessary.

I know its hard for you right now and I am really sorry you are dealing with the unknown, but remember to keep on track with other things in your life, this is not something that will define you as a person, even if something does show up KWIM?

Meantime ensure that you are not overdoing the additional supplements and that your Docs know you take them.  Supplements are tricky, just because it can help, more than recommended is seldom a good idea, so follow dosing instructions carefully.  Your PMD can check your levels with simple bloodwork, so you know if you need to be taking them or not.  

Warm hugs and best wishes as you wait to see specialists.  I hope you get some answers soon.

Fiona    
Avatar universal
My older sister was diagnosed with MS.  I have noticed that I jump more lately when relaxing.  I don't think I have any other symptoms of MS.  Can topamax cause these side effects.  I take it for migrane headaches.  Sometimes I jerk so hard I wake up my boyfriend!  
Avatar universal
I HAVE HAD SOME OF THE SAME SYMPTONS FOR A YEAR AND WAS JUST DIAGNOSED WITH CDIP (CHRONIC DEMYELINATING INFLAMMATORY POLYNEUROPATHY).  

THE FIRST THING I NOTICED WAS CONTINUOUS TWITCHING IN ARMS, THEN ALSO LEGS.  DOCTORS DID NOT SEEM TO TAKE SERIOUSLY.  HAD BLOOD TESTS WHICH DID NOT SEEM TO SHOW A PROBLEM.  I MOVED 1/08 AND BEGAN TO SEE ANOTHER PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR.  BY THIS TIME MY LEG AND CORE MUSCLES WERE WEAK.  WENT THROUGH MORE BLOOD TESTS.  RA FACTOR AND CK WERE ELEVATED AND WHITE BLOOD CELLS WERE LOW.  

WAS REFERRED TO HEART DOCTOR, RHEUMATOLOGIST AND NEUROLOGIST.  HEART IS OK. RHEUMATOLOGIST AGREED WITH NEUROLOGIST THAT PROBLEM WAS  PROBABLY NEUROLOGICAL.  
I HAVE HAD TO WAIT ABOUT A MONTH IN BETWEEN TO GET EACH ADDITIONAL TEST SCHEDULED WHICH HAS MADE THIS A LONG PROCESS.  NOW MY HANDS AND ARMS ARE EXTREMELY EFFECTED. FOR EXAMPLE, I CANNOT KEY THIS IN EXCEPT BY USING ONE FINGER ON EACH HAND, HAVE DIFFICULTY DRESSING MYSELF, HOLDING UTENSILS TO EAT, REACHING FOR ITEMS, AND ON AND ON.

AFTER NERVE AND MUSCLE CONDUCTION TEST, MRI OF BRAIN AND CERVICAL SPINE AND A SPINAL TAP THE DIAGNOSIS CAME BACK - CDIP.

MY TREATMENT STARTS TOMORROW - 5 days of infusions with a serum made from blood.

I WOULD RECOMMEND YOU ASK ABOUT CDIP.  IT HAS SOME OF THE SAME SYMPTONS AS MS BUT I BELIEVE IT HAS A BETTER PROGNOSIS. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE SO NERVE DAMAGE IS KEPT AT A MINIMUM.

GOOD LUCK!!
Avatar universal
First, I am so sorry that you are going through this. Second, like so many others have told me, you are not alone. Know that you can always express your concerns here and that you will receive caring responses. I have been suffering for over a year now. My memory is getting worse. I now have what they call "Drop foot" because of the muscle spasms in my legs. I started out with muscle spasms in my lower legs and now they have spread all over my body. My very first symptom that I sort of disreguarded was tingleing in my right pinky finger. I am seeing a Neuro., a Reumotologist, and going to start all the tests over again. You see, I have all the symptoms of MS but no liesions on my brain or my c-spine. However, we must hang in there and we must not let what is going on bring us so low that we are not enjoying our lives. Love your family and friends and spend as much time with them as you can. You will find the answer maybe not today or tommorrow but you will find it. Hang in there and take care.
Hugs!!!
Shelly
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for the support!  I saw the nuerologist and he did not seemed to impressed.  He ordered an MRI and scheduled a follow up appointment for October 24th.  I had my MRI last Thursday and I got a call from the neurologist's office Monday morning asking to switch my appointment to Wednesday morning.  Of course I was freaking out and I asked why, and all the lady would say is that they got my MRI results back and she is not qualified to give them to me.  Well, I told her I wanted the nuerologist to call me back please so I don't have to wait until then and he did.  I do not have a brain tumor or cysts, but I do have lesions that are "troubling" and lead him to believe I have MS.  Now I have to have a spinal tap to confirm the diagnosis.  

I am 25 years old!  I watched my aunt (adopted) die from MS and she had an extremely agressive form but it was horrible.  I am so scared and I just don't know what to think.  Please say some prayers for my appointment tomorrow.  It is just to go over the MRI results in greater detail.

Beth
280418 tn?1306325910
I am sorry you are so freaked out.  You do know that some people have lesions that are unexplained.  Some can be caused by migraines and the birth control pill, I'm told.  I understand your fear, as I picked up my MRI results today and I still just have that one lesion, but I also still have all of my symptoms after two years.  Also keep in mind that MS is not a death sentence and many people live successfull lives with MS - if that's what you have.  I had a spinal tap - it wasn't bad at all.  I do warn you to stay in bed like they tell you after, or you will get the nasty spinal headache that I got.  The procedure was suprisingly painless.  I was so nervous, but I really didn't feel anything!  Take care and keep you chin up.  Some people do not have answers or cannot get diagnosed and begin treatment, so if that is the worst case scenario...just have faith and forge ahead.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.
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