Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

constant diarrhea with numbness of my legs.

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 10 Replies
  • Posted By: kilo13
  • July 14, 2008
  • 10:27 PM

Ok so I can't find a doctor that can tell me what's wrong. I'm a 37 white male. I'm in pretty good health over all, I do have Asthma and had a partial right lubepectomy (lower part of my lung removed). My problem is this. For about the last year and a half I have had constant diarrhea with numbness of my legs. I have leg pains in my calfs,my left leg is the worst. Both feet are also numb and have that "prickly" feeling, I have no reflex on my left knee at all now. My doctor told me that the diarrhea was caused by "Environmental factors" what ever that means?? Anyone else have this or have any ideas as to what could be the cause??

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10 Replies:

  • Did the diarrhea show up at the same time as your leg problems?
    Felsen 510 Replies Flag this Response
  • IT was about the same time, I lost my reflex in my left leg about 2 years ago. They really do not know why but think it was do to a back injury?? Then about 1 1/2 years ago I started having the constant diarrhea that usually hits in the mornings. I'll go to the bathroom 8-10 times in a hour or two, then I'm fine for the day. The leg numbness as I said was about the same time but it was more of a bothersome then anything. But nowfor the last week or so it seems to be worse. I now get leg pains with or a cramping feeling. I'm unsteady with my left foot. It just feels different and weird. I seems that at times I trip over it?? or it just seems to not support me for a minute or two. I have also noticed that at night my feet swell a bit at times.
    kilo13 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Have you had a neurological evaluation of your legs?
    Felsen 510 Replies Flag this Response
  • Also should say that about 6 months ago I had a CT. they said it did not show anything, no sign of colitis or anything?? That's were the "It's caused by environmental factors" Still have no idea what thats supposed to mean. I dont' drink or eat any dairy products. Milk sets off my my Asthma, don't take any meds that could cause it. I'm just getting to my breaking point with this, I know there has to be a cause, but no one (my docs) can seem to tell me what it is.
    kilo13 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Right after I lost my reflex on my left leg they did a nerve study and said I had a mild case of "Drop foot" but it was nothing to be worried about. Other then that it was "ok"
    kilo13 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'll get back to you tomorrtow (it's late in Europe), I have some ideas.
    Felsen 510 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks. Any Idea would be a big help.
    kilo13 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Kilo,This might be a long shot, but you never know.There is a condition called May-Thurner syndrome. It is when the right iliac artery compresses the left iliac vein against the spine. This causes the blood to congest in the pelvis, the legs, but mostly the left leg, because it can not normally pass the compression on its way back to the heart. It dos not necessarily results in the pain at the compression site (if it does it gives a lower back pain), most often it causes pain or swelling or both, mostly in the left leg. If you have a compression like this, after a while your circulatory system is trying to develop alternative veins. They are called collateral veins. Most often there are transpelvis collaterals (horizontal ones from left to right in pelvis), but some patients can develop them near the spine or even inside it. Then it can give pressure on nerves and give numbness and tingling sensation in legs. This condition is vastly underdiagnosed. It is impossible to discover with ultrasound and even difficult to discover with venography (phlebography). The only sure way to discover it is by means of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) where the probe is inside the vein. The best research has been done by Neglén and Raju in Jackson, Miss. The treatment is to put a stent inside the vein at the site of the compression. The typical patient is a young – middle-aged woman (only 1/3 of the cases are men), previously healthy where the doctors have not found other explanation for the symptoms. I am not sure how to fit the diarrhea in all this, but theoretically pelvic congestion could irritate your bowels, if the congested veins are near the colon. But I am not sure about that.Do you have any varicose veins, especially in your left leg? Does it get better if you have your legs elevated? CT of your pelvis will not show this. I have no idea what they mean by environmental factors. Maybe they have nothing better to say. Are you in US? If you have questions, please ask.
    Felsen 510 Replies Flag this Response
  • First of all you need to have a full stool exam done, specifically to test for clostridium difficile infection. If this hasn't been done you need to do this asap. Clostridium difficile infection occurs with antibiotic use...did you take prophylactic antibiotics after or during your surgery? If so, then this could be the culprit. It can take up to six months for symptoms to develop, so it is often overlooked as a cause of colitis or diarrhea. If you have c. diff, the best way to treat it is with a probiotic called sacchromyces boullardii. In fact, it may be helpful to look for this online and try it to see if your symptoms improve. A probiotic with several strains of beneficial bacteria, is very helpful for diarrhea. But if you have c. diff (which is becoming increasingly common) you need the specific one mentioned above. Western treatment for c. diff is dodgy at best. They prescribe more and stronger antibiotics:confused:. As for your numbness I would check your B12 levels. Also consider acupuncture and CHinese herbal medicine to help you with this problem. Very effective! Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • I believe everyone with diarrhea should be tested for celiac sprue. It is an intolerance to gluten, 90% undiagnosed, and responsible for a myriad of symptoms. Life is too short to go through it with the squirts, and they cause a loss of vitamins which cause many other symptoms. Make sure you go to a gastro doc with a strong familiarity with celiac-it can come up negative and you still have it. OR, you could go on a strict gluten free diet-and it's in many, many things including soy sauce, gravy, barbecue sauce, and even vitamins. You have to avoid wheat, oats, barley, and rye and anything made from them. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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