Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Chronic calf/leg issues, no diagnosis

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: incircles
  • May 12, 2009
  • 02:01 PM

Neither a neurologist nor a rheumatologist had any idea. An orthopedic surgeon suggested a calf strain, but I disagree.

Essentially, my right calf is very sensitive to pedaling motions, such as playing drums or piano or driving. At times the ankle will itch deeply in a way that can't be scratched, and often accompanying this is an extreme soreness and heaviness of both legs that goes away gradually when I sit down. This is only an occasional thing. I can often run short distances at least with no problem.

My calf will also start cramping when I'm at rest sometimes, primarily after exercising. Also there are occasional fasciculations, which I know are typically nothing to worry about but might be worth noting.

I'm 32 and have relatively low blood pressure and am in decent shape overall -- in fact, before all of this started I was active in rock climbing and karate -- so claudication, while a possibility, has not been investigated.

Anyone have any ideas? I have trouble with upper back pain as well, for what it's worth.

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5 Replies:

  • Okay, I'm reaching here ... but so are you ... so here goes: Is it possible that you are taking some kind of health or vitamin supplement that could be a culprit? As I read your post, I remembered years back when I suffered similar, but it was both legs. My ankles itched and my calves would cramp up, very painful, and sometimes the bottoms of my feet cramped up as well. When I went to the doc, I was getting too much (? don't remember ?) from the supplements I was taking (I was very athletic ... and also bicycled 25-50 miles per day 2-3 times per week between my toning workouts). I was told to omit one of them, I'm sorry I don't remember which; this was 10 years ago ... then illness took over (no more workouts, so many other supplements ceased as well ... due to a less active lifestyle, I would have taken too much of those as well had I not stopped). If you take a lot of supplements, look them over for possible side effects ... perhaps you may be getting too much something, as I was. I took all of my supplements to my doctor when I got my annual physical exam ... as everyone should ... and of course, always bring with you any/all prescription medications you take and even the OTC (over the counter) meds you take only as needed, on occasion. I'm grasping at straws here, but I do remember going through similar. I was having a reaction (too much) and was told to omit that particular supplement entirely because my body was manufacturing more than enough. You may want to consider food culprits as well.
    neurotransmissing 145 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for the response! I don't actually take any supplements at all, though. I do eat Total fairly frequently, and sometimes I'll grab a Powerbar, but that's really it.However, there might be something to this being a nutritional issue...
    incircles 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know it's a long shot, but have they ruled out deep vein thrombosis in your calf?
    Felsen 510 Replies Flag this Response
  • They did an MRI, so I'm assuming anything like that would show up... Plus the issue seems to be with both legs...
    incircles 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello again, incircles: Since you do not take supplements, perhaps that could be the issue ... lacking a vital nutrient. Especially if your eating habits are not including vital nutrients and you are eating mostly "same food group" foods and vital nutrients found in foods that your body needs may be lacking. If I were in your shoes, I would call your doctor back and ask what his/her suggestion would be for a good daily multi-vitamin supplement. Try well-rounded eating habits as well. As Felsen mentions, perhaps bring that up to the doctor as well; I'm not sure what the MRI would pick up, depending upon whether/where it was done on your body and whether or not it was with or without contrast ... nor am I familiar with vein thrombosis. What I do know is that everyone should take one good multi-vitamin daily, and whatever else the doctor may suggest based upon an individual's health and/or medical history. For instance, I'll use my case as an example; being a woman with a partial hysterectomy (no uterus but still having ovaries, so no "visible" monthly cycle that would cause me to lose iron for obvious reasons), iron should be omitted because I get more than enough in my diet and adding iron could cause a serious overload (but prior, it was necessary and had to be added); added in place of daily iron are two Primrose Oil supplements to keep my female hormones stable and in check (also helps skin, hair, nails, etc. ... and will later ease the effects of menopause ... in/of which I may not be aware when it comes, for obvious reasons; further, the side-effects of menopause will be eased dramatically). I hope to never even notice, so does my family!! LOL I am not aware of the content in a Powerbar, but check; perhaps that's your culprit ... I don't know. Personally, I like fiberbars ... there are a billion types and some supply a healthy amount of fiber; problem is, they are loaded with sugar. So my search continues .... LOL. In your case, I suspect they drew blood and did at least a CBC (complete blood count)? If not, ask if they will ... and if any other culprits can be found through lab testing of blood (nutritional deficiencies can); make sure you get your annual physical and don't skip ... and don't forget to take everything with you and discuss your diet every year as well. Our bodies change, especially as we age (not that you or I are old) ... but it's common sense that there are different requirements at different ages ... just as when we were children and had to take our childhood injections in a timely manner, were more prone to ear infections, etc. Things change, and you may have developed a sensitivity to something. So in closing, I suggest that you have a whole-body complete physical if you have not done so and have things, such as these, that have not been examined and/or looked into yet, done there; at annual physical exam, the doctor should order blood work "by default" anyway, being you are now 32. Best of luck to you.
    neurotransmissing 145 Replies Flag this Response
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