Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Quite a few issues, may or may not be related.

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 11 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • April 25, 2009
  • 06:51 AM

Long story short... flash back around eight or nine years ago.

One day I started to have pain and numbness in my wrists. I figured this was likely carpal tunnel seeing how I've always been a computer person and spent a lot of time on it, coupled with the fact that I used my hands a lot at work (was a liquor clerk at a local grocery store at the time)

My mother bought me a couple braces designed for carpal tunnel among other things to help keep my hands straight when taking part in competitive motion tasks and for a period it seemed to work.

Then the other symptoms hit... I would experience lack of strength in my arms, this was particularly weird as I've never been a weight lifter by any means.. but I had always been able to lift a decent amount of weight. Suddenly even something as light as a wine bottle felt like it weighed an additional five to ten pounds.

From there I would get fatigued and just feel kinda 'blah' for lack of a better term with no energy to speak of. This all lasted a week or two and then went away.

I figured that was the end of it, but it ended up only being the beginning. Over the following eight to nine years the symptoms would come back periodically. There was no rhyme or reason as to when they would come back.. sometimes it would be six months later, sometimes only a few months... other times over a year.

I would also on occasion during these attacks.. or spells whatever vernacular one chooses to use, have additional symptoms. Among them would be a random twitching or "sneering" in the corner of my mouth... picture an involuntary version of what Elvis would do, as that's what it looked like and a very slight.... not even noticeable to others twitching of the eye.

Most recently during this latest period that I'm currently enduring.. I have had an on again/off again pins and needles feeling in both hands and on the admittedly ultra rare occasion my feet....

Everything else is still there also... the numbing of the wrists, the weakness in my arms and the general unexplained fatigue.. said fatigue tends to hit most often during the early to mid afternoon and it's not so bad that I can't function... just makes it a lot more difficult to function and it tends to come whether I get three or four hours of sleep, or eight hours or so.

The last symptom that I think may be related.. and is also a new one, a very very slight resting tremor. This hasn't happened too often and is so slight that at times I don't see it taking place, but can simply feel my pinky on my hands trembling.. if that makes any sense.

The only other thing that comes to mind is off and on pain in my neck, as well as my knees and back.. but I've had knee and back pain going all the way back to my early teens.. and both forms of pain run in my family.. and for that reason don't think anyway that there's a relation between them and everything else.

Would appreciate feedback on what this may or may not be, I realize it's incredibly stupid on my part... (so no need to tell me so) but due to being quite stubborn about my health I've never gotten this checked out. (hey a lot of us males tend to wait and wait... and wait to get things checked out).

Further complicating things, due to the current economy and a unexpected pay cut I had to take back in December (a month or so before my symptoms made their return) I cannot possibly afford to take on medical bills right now.

Having said that.... I do realize and acknowledge that I'm going to have to eventually find a way to afford it.. as in the past these symptoms.. whatever the case may be only lasted a week or two on average.. but never more than a month.

I'm going on well over two months this time.. with no end in sight....

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11 Replies:

  • Anyone?!? Could really use some ideas on what this might be.oh and forgot to mention in my original post.I'm a 29 year old male.
    some random guy 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am not sure how the tingling on your feet and the knee and back pain are related to the rest, let me ask a few questions then I might have a better idea. Do you experience the symptoms equally between your right and left arms? Do you experience the symptoms in both arms at the same time? Have you noticed any correlation between the numbness/tingling and what you are doing or what position you are in? Have you ever had any injury (even a minor injury) to your neck, playing sports, a car accident, etc?
    SpineGirl 64 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am not sure how the tingling on your feet and the knee and back pain are related to the rest, let me ask a few questions then I might have a better idea. Do you experience the symptoms equally between your right and left arms? Do you experience the symptoms in both arms at the same time? Have you noticed any correlation between the numbness/tingling and what you are doing or what position you are in? Have you ever had any injury (even a minor injury) to your neck, playing sports, a car accident, etc?Not quite equally... though close. The right arm tends to be slightly more effected.. I'm right handed if that means anything.Yes when it occurs, it does tend to be both arms. It's not a constant issue with strength or anything.. just during certain periods of the day it tends to usually start to occur a little before the mystery fatigue hits and is worst during the fatigue spells. No correlation that comes to mind, just happens off and on throughout the entire day. Shaking my hande a little bit to "wake them up" helps a little bit at times.Nope never had any injury to my neck that I'm aware of,... nor to any other area where I've experienced pain. I did have a school nurse during a routine scoliosis exam in 7th grade tell me I should consider getting tested for it.. while she would tell everyone in front of me that they were fine.Never thought much of it and never even mentioned it to my parents as a kid. Not sure if it would have any relation to any of this or not, but going back to the scoliosis issue with the school nurse... I've always had not so great posture and I have had major issues standing up straight. I have a natural hunch for lack of a better way to put it... a very minor one mind you... hardly even visible to the naked eye in fact. Just don't stand completely straight ever... which might be attributed to a curved spine and thus scoliosis and might not be.I stress that I don't necessarily think that my spine's curved... or that it's even related to these issues if I do... simply trying to disclose as much possibly important information as possible.Quick edit:keep forgetting to mention things... I'm a Vegetarian and have been for nine months, I've had people suggest a possible vitamin B12 deficiency.. as meat's one of... if not the biggest source of it and from what research I've done.. a lack of it can cause Neurological issues.I've been taking vitamin B 12 supplements and a daily multi vitamin for the last few weeks just in case, although a lack of B12 doesn't make sense to me personally.. as this issue again has been an off again/on again one for years now and I used to eat more meat than anything else.
    some random guy 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am not sure how the tingling on your feet and the knee and back pain are related to the rest, let me ask a few questions then I might have a better idea. Do you experience the symptoms equally between your right and left arms? Do you experience the symptoms in both arms at the same time? Have you noticed any correlation between the numbness/tingling and what you are doing or what position you are in? Have you ever had any injury (even a minor injury) to your neck, playing sports, a car accident, etc?Not quite equally... though close. The right arm tends to be slightly more effected.. I'm right handed if that means anything.Yes when it occurs, it does tend to be both arms. It's not a constant issue with strength or anything.. just during certain periods of the day it tends to usually start to occur a little before the mystery fatigue hits and is worst during the fatigue spells. No correlation that comes to mind, just happens off and on throughout the entire day. Shaking my hands a little bit to "wake them up" helps a little bit.Nope never had any injury to my neck that I'm aware of,... nor to any other area where I've experienced pain. I did have a school nurse during a routine scoliosis exam in 7th grade tell me I should consider getting tested for it.. while she would tell everyone in front of me that they were fine.Never thought much of it and never even mentioned it to my parents. Not sure if it would have any relation to any of this or not, but going back to the scoliosis issue with the school nurse... I've always had not so great posture and I have had major issues standing up straight. I have a natural hunch for lack of a better way to put it... a very minor one mind you... hardly even visible to the naked eye in fact. Just don't stand completely straight ever... which might be attributed to a curved spine and thus scoliosis and might not be.I stress that I don't necessarily think that my spine's curved... or that it's even related to these issues if I do... simply trying to disclose as much possibly important information as possible.
    some random guy 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • I think the vitamin deficiency is definitely possible, this happens frequently when people become vegetarian or vegan. Check and make sure that the vitamins you are taking contain iron (100% the daily recommended value), vitamin D (at least 400IU), and all of the B vitamins. A multivitamin will not hut to be taking, so continue taking it. You may be deficient in vitamin D which can cause pain and some numbness, you could try taking an additional 1000IU tablet every day for a month and see how you are feeling. Another supplement you could try is alpha lipoic acid, it may be hard to find at normal drug stores but health food stores and supplement stores should have it. It can help with your numbness, it works for some people and not for others from my experience. If the vitamins don't help I would suggest getting into see a doctor and getting blood tests done for vitamin levels If you don't notice a definite side to side curve in your spine it is not likely that scoliosis is your problem if you do indeed have it, a lot of people have slight scoliosis and don't know it until they have more sever back problems that are not related to the scoliosis. You should work on strengthening your neck and back muscles and using better posture, that will probably help you if not right away it will in the long run. Your symptoms don't add up to a typical spine problem, which was my initial thought.
    SpineGirl 64 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for the responses Spinegirl... it's much appreciated.I too think a lack of certain vitamins may be the cause.... though again at least if B12 is the one I'm lacking... I just find it weird that these same symptoms would go away anywhere from a month.. to over a year and come back when I ate a lot of meat and likely didn't have a lack of B12.That of course wouldn't rule out a lack of different vitamins.I will take your advice if vitamins don't start to help and get blood tests done. and I'll make sure the ones I'm taking contain what you recommended they contain.On a side note, after doing more research tonight I found out about something I've never heard of before.. a type of tremor called "internal tremor"That sounds an awful lot like my resting tremors... because while at times it's readily visible that my fingers and hands are ever so slightly shaking... at other times it's not evident by simply looking.. even if I'm the one doing the looking myself and I can simply 'feel it' from the inside...assuming that makes any sense.In the interest of full disclosure, I was initially worried about a possibility of MS.. but now think it sounds more like early onset parkinson's disease.. not that it necessarily is.. just seems like a possibility.Regardless....I think I'm going to have to suck it up and go see a Doctor in addition to trying the vitamins.. I just have no earthly idea how I'm going to be able to afford it right now and in retrospect I should have gone a long time ago, when I was in a much better financial situation.
    some random guy 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • Vitiligo is a skin condition resulting from loss of pigment which produces white patches. Any part of the body may be affected. Usually both sides of the body are affected. Common areas of involvement are the face, lips, hands, arms, legs, and genital areas.Who Gets Vitiligo?Vitiligo affects one or two of every 100 people. About half the people who develop it do so before the age of 20; about one - fifth have a family member with this condition. It may be an autoimmune process (the body makes antibodies to its own pigment cells). Most people with vitiligo are in good general health, although vitiligo may occur with other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease.Vitiligo is a skin condition resulting from loss of pigment which produces white patches. Any part of the body may be affected. Usually both sides of the body are affected. Common areas of involvement are the face, lips, hands, arms, legs, and genital areas.
    vitiligo99 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • What does that have to do with my post vitiligo? I said nothing about a skin condition or a loss of pigment.Please don't waste my time by posting irrelevant information on my thread.I'm truly trying to get to the bottom of what this could be.
    some random guy 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • Have you had any Xrays or MRIs?Has any doctor looked for a tumor?I am a career student and am constantly writing or typing and I began to have carpal tunnel type symptoms and braces helped but within a few months I started having uncontrollable muscle twitches and spasms and I'd end up throwing pens across the classroom and I couldn't open soda bottles or anything. The pain in my right wrist (I'm right-handed) was getting unbearable and had started to spread up my arm. The doctors put me on pain killers, convinced it was just a nerve injury I wasn't telling them about, but it didn't work. It got to the point where I couldn't hold a pen because I couldn't bring my fingers close enough together and my wrist was extremely swollen. I went to another doctor in another town and after several xrays they found a benign tumor was stretching my nerves, muscles and tendons in my arm/wrist. Once I had it removed, my symptoms disappeared within a week.Hope this helps a bit.Good luck.
    histonecode 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • An MRI is probably not a bad idea but I woudn't do it until you have ruled out the simpler stuff, MRIs are expensive and as you stated you don't have spare cash. The numbness and the tremors could easily be caused by vitamin deficiencies, be sure to tell the doctor that you recently became vegetarian, that will play a lot in the diagnosis and which tests they order. If you don't have any significant deficiencies or it doesn't start getting better with the multivitamin then it's possible it's neurological but it wouldn't be the first thing to test. A basic CBC and metabolic panel will not detect all vitamin deficiencies, you need to be specifically tested for vitamin D on top of the metabolic panel. Do you have insurance? If not you can probably get a discount for paying for medical services at the time of service instead of waiting to be billed.
    SpineGirl 64 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm with SpineGirl on this one: If you can't be getting a bunch of tests to due financial problems, get your vitamin B12 and Vit D up. B12 can cause the neuro sensations. Your Sx sound very much like hypocalcemia, which could very well be from low Vit D. Have you heard of Chvostek's Sign (probably spelled wrong). It is a tapping of your face out on the check that produces a twitch in the mouth or nose. It is a sign of hypocalcemia. Trousseau sign is another (again spelling may be off). You'll need a BP cuff for that one. Either way, it would be nice to get Vit D levels, Ca, and B12 levels. If you can't just take some replacement. Low Ca can be from low Vit D or hypoparathyriodism. Do not take too much D-- it is fat soluble (like E A and K), so you CAN over do it. As SpineGirl mentioned it can take a long time to replace, you'd be amazed at how much you might need to replace, but it is a slow process.Also, CBC will NOT test for vit def, except that macrocytic anemia is a sign of B12 def. "ESR Wester Blot for Lyme"-- never heard of it. ESR is a "sed rate" for generalized inflammation, not useful here. DO NOT get on this Lyme Dz bagwagon, it is a massive waste of money, and very unlikely.Also, if you're replacing B12 don't forget folic acid. Hope it get all figured out!
    landseer 11 Replies Flag this Response
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