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Avatar universal

experiencing paresthesia but negative for everything

I have been experiencing numbness/tingling/prickling/itching/burning sensations in my arms and legs for about 6 months. I also have artritic type pain in my hands and feet. First thing in the morning, I have trouble walking because it hurts my feet. Heat seems to make the tingling worse. I have also experienced an electric shock sensation in my forarm of one arm that left me feeling painful and weak there as well. I have gone through numerous blood tests, EMG, lumbar punture, and two MRIs that show practically nothing. My MRI of my brain did show some areas of high resonance but nothing definitive for a known disease process. I did have a baby almost a year ago but without an epidural. So the symptoms started about 6 months postpartum. I have had issues with depression and am currently on Celexa 20 mg. But, I've been on that longer than the symptoms have been around. Some of my labs were a bit off or slightly low/high without being out of range. EX: b1, b6 on the low side but within range. Antithrombin III one point above the range limit, lymphocytes about 10 higher than range limit, serum IGg high side of limit but not over, and serum albumin 5 over range limit.

I started to take a vitamin B complex but have not noticed any improvement yet. I've also tied to make sure I am eating a well balanced diet and I choose organic over conventional food items. I am not exposed to any harsh chemicals or environmental elements to my knowledge.

I'm not crazy. But, what is going on with me. My neurologist basically said he couldn't help me. I don't know where to turn next. I'm only 34, I'm too young for these kinds of issues. I've never had trouble like this before and I don't want to just live like this with no answers or any relief.
3 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 a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Where exactly are the sensory changes in the legs and arms? Does it involve the entire hand/foot (front, back, inside and outside)? Have you seen a neurologist other than just for an EMG? There are two types of sensory neuropathies in the body – large and small fibers. (I’m only going to mention small fibers here). With small fiber neuropathies, symptoms include burning or buzzing or other vague symptoms starting in the feet and hands then in some cases spreading to other parts of the body. The EMG/nerve conduction studies (NCS) (tests done to check for neuropathy) will not show an abnormality, and a definitive diagnosis can only be made with a skin biopsy so that the number of nerve endings can literally be counted. There are other tests of the function of small nerves that can be ordered, such as QSART testing which looks at how much sweat the skin makes, since sweating is in a sense of function of these small nerves. There are several causes of small fiber neuropathy, including diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, and autoimmune problems. I would suggest you follow up with a neurologist for a thorough neurological evaluation and workup.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.

Avatar universal
A few thoughts: find a good primary care doctor who will listen to your symptoms and get to know you!
Consider the possibility of anxiety casuing your symptoms. Also, migraine can cause paresthesias (without headache, yes) as well as fibromyalgia.
There are thousands of posts on this site that sound slike yours. Most everyone imagines they have MS. Statistically, some WILL have MS, and MOST wont. But few doctors consider migraine (mistaking migraine for headache) or fibromyalgia (thinking it is only pain, not paresthesias too)
Avatar universal
The sensory changes are mostly from the elbow/knee down and on all sides but more intense on the plantar/palm. Though I have woken up in the middle of the night having my whole arm, leg or part of my face tingly/numb/prickly even though I was not laying on that area.

I have seen a neurologist for a full neuro exam and for a follow-up to each test that was performed. I know that he was relatively new to the practice (only 8 yrs out of residency). His opinion was that it was not psychological in nature but had no real answers or direction for me. I was informed that I had a "complete work-up". I did have many blood draws and the above mentioned tests. But there was no mention of a QSART or skin biopsy.

I am currently looking for a new primary and waiting to hear back from a few. I greatly value the feedback. It gives me a sense of direction and some things to investigate on my own.

Any idea of how long it takes to replenish a vitamin deficiency? Thanks again, and I will look through the site. :)
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