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Old 03-28-2008, 09:28 PM   #1
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A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Hello,

I have been feeling unusually tired. I collapsed on the sofa right after getting home from work last night and could not keep my eyes open. I had to take a nap before fixing a quick dinner. I drank a pot of coffee afterwards hoping to become more alert. It didn't help. I just want to sleep all the time. I also started having tingly hands, making it awkward to hold a pen (or anything, for that matter) or type on the keyboard when the hand(s) tingles. I have to move my fingers every so often to get the circulation going to get some feeling back. I can't help but be reminded of the time last year when my entire arm was like that. I get the same feeling in my hands now. I am wondering if, combined with the fatigue, I could be experiencing some side effects of medication. Could a vitamin or a mineral deficiency be causing this?
My doctor (I should say ex-doctor) refused to send me for my regular labs, saying another doctor (a specialist) could deal with this. Which is why I don't know what my electrolyte (or any other) levels are right now. I feel a little bit better today.

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 03-28-2008 at 09:30 PM.

 
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:58 PM   #2
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Hi FG,

So sorry to hear about your fatigue & the tingling. I have those days & I take a nap every day. My first thought is that your lack of quality sleep plus not getting enough sleep are catching up with you. That's when I collapse.

The tingling is another story. I might get tingling in one hand or foot but not both. Are you sure you haven't been doing some physical activity that stress your fingers. I think of B vitamins when I think of tingling & nerve involvement. Did you cut out the bread group? I'll try to think of some other reasons.

I got an appointment with a surgeon on the 11th so I'll have lots of research to do. It will be a feat to get through a surgery with my health issues & a long recovery so I want to make sure it is absoluty necessary. Fam

 
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:10 AM   #3
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Fam,

I hope your surgeon is a good one and plans to discuss the available options with you. I was really sorry to hear about that finding on your thyroid. I must admit I don't know anything about thyroid issues but hope that your problem can be taken care of without much difficulty.
I also hope that your blood pressure remains well controlled throughout. You must check with the doctor about stopping your medication prior to the surgery, if it is one of the treatment options available. They usually administer IV drugs to maintain blood pressure control and slow down the heart rate during surgery.
Thank you for responding. I guess the tingling could be from anything. I eat too many carbs. I haven't been doing anything unusual. You are right in saying I am sleep deprived. Some nights I just lie in bed, staring at the ceiling and checking the time. It probably does catch up with me now and then.
I was also very dizzy 1/2 day at work this past week and became afraid history was about to repeat itself. I ended up with an elevated blood pressure and a ruptured blood vessel in the eye instead. It remained pink for a few days afterwards. Back to normal now. My blood pressure has been picture perfect 99% of the time since switching to Norvasc. I hope yours is good also.

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 03-29-2008 at 12:12 AM.

 
Old 03-29-2008, 12:13 AM   #4
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
...I have been feeling unusually tired.... hoping to become more alert. It didn't help. I just want to sleep all the time....
Hello Flowergirl,

So sorry you're feeling so tired.... Although I never figured out exactly how much of my exhaustion was side effect and how much was deficiency I would first suspect deficiency in your case.

You were initially placed on a potassium sparing diuretic because of low potassium levels. You have since added hctz to your drug combo and of course, hctz can deplete electrolytes, including potassium. Low potassium levels can cause fatigue (IMHO "fatigue" doesn't describe the crippling exhaustion one can experience on these meds). Tingly hands is another symptom of potassium deficiency.

Have you gotten any feedback from your husband as to if you move around alot when you sleep at night? Magnesium deficiencies can make one's muscles twitch and move uncontrollably, and a magnesium deficiency can result from htcz.

Flower, keep in mind that some symptoms are the same if there is too much OR too little of a nutrient in the body so you really need to get those labs done. Your ex doctor is incompetent, and negligent, and a jerk, again my opinion.

You might want to try drinking a rehydration drink to see if that helps....

Take care flower....will be thinking of you.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 03-29-2008 at 07:14 AM.

 
Old 03-29-2008, 04:43 AM   #5
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Just be careful as a lot of those rehydration drinks have around 100+mg of sodium -if you look around enough you can probably find some with less.

Last month I had a very strange symptom when I had the flu, my hands, feet, legs, and face would get tingly after coughing. Not getting enough oxygen. Maybe your oxygen levels are falling some and setting off tingling, it could even add to fatigue.
Dizziness can also happen if you're getting lower amounts of blood and oxygen to your brain, this can happen even if your blood pressure is high or normal and is rather common - it's the cause of that "head rush" feeling some get when standing up too quickly.

 
Old 03-29-2008, 06:59 AM   #6
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Flowergirl,

Just another thought...if it is a potassium deficiency, those supplements may not help much. Do you remember our conversations about only having 3 percent of the recommended daily values in the tablets I had?

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 03-29-2008 at 08:28 AM.

 
Old 03-29-2008, 12:01 PM   #7
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

I looked in Dr. Koop's book about the tingling in both hands. He said to rule out Carpel Tunnel. Just go to Walmart & get two hand braces-the simplest ones. I waited to zero in on my carpel tunnel for a few months which was foolish. Those braces plus limiting use of my hands really did the trick. You'll notice the relief pretty fast. I don't remember the tingling so much as the numbness.
The braces are a good investment with you doing a lot of typing. My carpel tunnel comes back when I do to much with my hands & don't follow good work habits. My Dr. wanted me to have all kinds of tests but after she confirmed the diagnosis I opted to try the simplest remedy first.

Carpel Tunnel only involves the first 4 fingers. You can research other reasons for the tingling. There are several tests that you youreself can do to confirm the diagnosis.

Fam

 
Old 03-29-2008, 08:31 PM   #8
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Hi Beth,

Quote:
You were initially placed on a potassium sparing diuretic because of low potassium levels. You have since added hctz to your drug combo and of course, hctz can deplete electrolytes, including potassium. Low potassium levels can cause fatigue (IMHO "fatigue" doesn't describe the crippling exhaustion one can experience on these meds). Tingly hands is another symptom of potassium deficiency.
you're absolutely right. I've been having problems with my potassium levels for some reason. I wonder why. Perhaps because of a reduced kidney function. I wonder what my potassium level is now. Don't forget I have been on a max dose of another potassium-building drug since the beginning of my therapy, an ACE inhibitor, like Beerzoids. In spite of that it just couldn't be raised.

I know about the muscle cramps. There are times when I get them daily, painful and bothersome. They are not bothering me right now.
You asked if I move around a lot when in bed. When I manage to fall asleep, I just sleep, I guess. I don't move around much. I will make sure the labwork gets done. I have to wait until my specialist requests the labwork. I am so happy to finally be changing doctors. It is long overdue. I am not a low maintenance patient. My doctor has to be prepared to request any tests I might need on a timely basis. He also needs to learn to work with others and be a good team player...something my current GP is lacking.
Thank you for your input. I know I'll have to get to the bottom of it. I was just thinking how my arm remained tingly/numb for months before it got better. I wonder if it could have been caused by a potassium or vitamin deficiency and not a damaged nerve in the elbow as determined by the neurologist.

P.S. I do not take any potassium supplements. I'd be too afraid to. I would probably end up with irregular heart beat and other issues. I don't think I can take potassium supplements anyway because of the kidney disease. My doctor would have prescribed them a long time ago.

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 03-29-2008 at 08:41 PM.

 
Old 03-29-2008, 08:59 PM   #9
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Aether,

Quote:
Just be careful as a lot of those rehydration drinks have around 100+mg of sodium -if you look around enough you can probably find some with less.
I didn't know that these drinks contain sodium. That's news to me. I was worried about their sugar content though when my pharmacist suggested using them in the past. I told her to find me one that doesn't contain sugar and she couldn't. So I didn't take any then. This was last summer when I started experiencing symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance and felt pretty sick.

Quote:
Last month I had a very strange symptom when I had the flu, my hands, feet, legs, and face would get tingly after coughing. Not getting enough oxygen. Maybe your oxygen levels are falling some and setting off tingling, it could even add to fatigue.
This had not occurred to me at all. You have a good point! Maybe it is circulation related and has to do with the oxygen levels in the blood. And yes, my energy levels are pretty low right now. I know tingling in the hands and feet it is very common and not at all serious.

Thank you for your helpful post. I agree that your symptom - tingleness of the skin after couging - sounds strange. It would be interesting to learn the reason for it!

flowergirl

 
Old 03-29-2008, 09:07 PM   #10
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Hi Fam,

Quote:
Carpel Tunnel only involves the first 4 fingers. You can research other reasons for the tingling. There are several tests that you youreself can do to confirm the diagnosis.
thank you for your input. I will ask the pharmacist at Walmart (I like her very much) about these braces and check them out. I looked into the reasons for tingling limbs previously when I was having problems with my arm. I don't remember much except that because my little finger was never involved, the Carpal tunnel syndrome could not have caused the tingling and numbness.


flowergirl

 
Old 03-29-2008, 09:29 PM   #11
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
..... I am so happy to finally be changing doctors. It is long overdue. I am not a low maintenance patient. My doctor has to be prepared to request any tests I might need on a timely basis. He also needs to learn to work with others and be a good team player...something my current GP is lacking.
Flowergirl,

It is not easy to change doctors...I haven't done so either...but when we do it, we'll say "WHY didn't I do it sooner?" But that's life. We do what we can when we can...otherwise it would be done yesterday, . You make some excellent points about qualities a primary physician should have...it never occurred to me to consider those things but the qualities you mention are important.


Quote:
... I was just thinking how my arm remained tingly/numb for months before it got better. I wonder if it could have been caused by a potassium or vitamin deficiency and not a damaged nerve in the elbow as determined by the neurologist.
That (and the temporary paralysis) was the first thing I thought of when you mentioned your symptoms. I never thought your problems were nerve related...but classic symptoms of other things that I had previously posted.

Quote:
...P.S. I do not take any potassium supplements. I'd be too afraid to. I would probably end up with irregular heart beat and other issues. I don't think I can take potassium supplements anyway because of the kidney disease. My doctor would have prescribed them a long time ago....
Am so sorry I forgot about that, again....please forgive me.

Did come across some of my notes on electrolyte imbalances...here's what I have down:

signs of too much potassium loss:
dryness of mouth
increased thirst
irregular heartbeat
mood or mental changes
muscle cramps or pain
nausea or vomiting
unusual tiredness or weakness
weak pulse

signs of too much sodium loss:
confusion
convulsions
decreased mental activity
irritability
muscle cramps
unusual tiredness or weakness

And again, if I remember correctly, numbness and tingling were due to low potassium levels (I came across these symptoms when reading about aldosteronism months ago). Hope you can get those labs done asap.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 03-29-2008 at 09:31 PM.

 
Old 03-29-2008, 09:42 PM   #12
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Thank you, Beth.

Reading through your list of symptoms of low potassium - well, that's me and not just now. I have them all with the exception of a weak pulse. I don't think my pulse is weak. I don't know how to tell a weak pulse from a regular one. Wouldn't one feel sick?


FG

 
Old 03-29-2008, 10:18 PM   #13
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

You're welcome, Flowergirl.

I don't know what the definition of a weak pulse is...suspect it is one that is difficult to find...perhaps beerzoids or someone on the heart boards would know.

Have you given any thought to reducing or eliminating the hctz, albeit, temporarily? You wouldn't be trying to replace your electrolytes, but perhaps you wouldn't be depleting them, either.

Do hope you're feeling better...it's been over 2 years since I've had similar symtoms, but you don't forget....wish I could.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 03-29-2008 at 10:20 PM.

 
Old 03-29-2008, 10:31 PM   #14
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
... I was worried about their sugar content though when my pharmacist suggested using them in the past. I told her to find me one that doesn't contain sugar and she couldn't.
Flowergirl,

You can make your own rehydration drink without sugar (and without sodium for that matter, but hctz can deplete the appropriate amount of sodium, too)...I've posted the recipe several times...you'll need to check out the ingredients yourself because of your special dietary needs.

Bethsheba

 
Old 03-29-2008, 11:17 PM   #15
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Re: A possible side-effect or a deficiency?

I'm not sure I was clear about Carpel Tunnel. It involves the thumb & first three fingers but not the Little Finger. I get nausea & a decrease in b/p when my potassium gets too low. I find drinking three glasses of orange juice over the course of a day plus my regular diet takes care of it.

Hope you feel better. Fam

 
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