Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Tingling in hands, feet and now face

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: amayameda
  • January 3, 2009
  • 09:04 PM

Hello all. I'm a 22 year old female. Sorry this is such a long post, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible.
For about six months now I've been having a recurring problem with this tingling/numbness feeling in my hands and feet that would last several hours. You know the stinging you feel when you touch something REALLY cold or run your hand under really hot water? It feels like that, but without any pain. Actually, there's no pain, temperature or color change, or loss of sensation. I would get it in my hand and feet, often starting in one small circle and then expanding to envelope my entire hand and sometimes even part of my arm. It was very strong and alarming. In the beginning, it always happened when I was taking a hot shower or moving around in a hot environment. It got to the point where I could set my watch by it.

Then I started having this problem with heat causing pain in my fingers, usually my thumb and pointer finger. If they came even CLOSE to anything hot, it would feel as though I had badly burned them, and would remain painful (just like a burn) for hours. These episodes would usually happen during or after the tingling. I wouldn't be able to operate a lighter or even put out a cigarette without pain.

Then the symptoms stopped. I didn't have any problems for about two months. The tingling has come back again, but its different now. The sensation isn't nearly as strong, and it will just fade in and out for most of a day. Sometimes I'll only notice it for five minutes at a time. I thought maybe it was going away, but now it's spreading. I've started getting it in my face. Once in my cheek, and once in my ear. There are other problems that I think might be related, but I don't know for sure: Extreme fatigue, lethargy, mild muscle weakness, heat intolerance, ofted debilitating pain in my mid and lower back, sciatica (I'm guessing on that one. They're sharp, pulsing pains that will shoot through a leg or an arm. Hah, there goes one as I type.)

I've had a number of tests, and have ruled out: Raynaud's phenomenon, pinched nerve, herniated disk, Thyroid conditions, most likely anything that can be ruled out by blood such as deficiancies. I also had a brain MRI, NO CONTRAST, and a spine MRI with contrast.

The brain MRI showed nothing conclusive, but I really don't know where or what my neurologist was looking for. It's very rare that he would tell me ANYTHING. He would spend about five minutes with me, and then shove me out the door before I could even ask questions. He wouldn't tell me what he thought, why he was doing tests, what he was looking for, details on the results, anything. The only helpful thing that I found out was that the spine MRI showed that the muscles around my spine are constantly spasming involuntarily, which at least explains my back pain. When he found the spasming, he told me to do some stretches and have a nice life. I asked him if I should come back if that didn't help, and he said to go see someone else. Needless to say, I'm not very happy with him, but at least he ruled out alot.

Does anyone have any ideas at all? I don't know what to think anymore. I don't want to be a worry wart, but I also don't want to be surprised with a brain tumor or something when I'm 35!

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