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Old 03-04-2010, 10:26 AM   #1
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Can anxiety/stress alone, can cause Neuropathy like symptoms?

Hello

I'll put you up to date quickly, but first the "technical question":

Can anxiety/stress alone, can cause Neuropathy like symptoms? Specially tingling, numbness, pain, burning pain, weakness and pins and needles sensations?

(This is dedicated for "the crazy person")

I've even told somebody else in the boards, that anxiety alone could cause many symptoms that resemble many conditions, and here I am asking you pretty much the same... lol

Update as quick as I can:

- You might not remember it all so here is it in brief: Numb arm and leg weakness, thought TIA(remember?), then MS crossed my mind so I came here for advice.

- Neurologist appointment, where he test me he says Neuropathy, probably toxin induced, prescribed me Lyrica.

- Crazy stargrave sarches for what Neuropathy means, he came up learning about GBS and ALS, and at some point I thought I have both(one first, then the other).

- Before I got the chance to take Lyrica, I went crazy and next thing I knew, I'm on an ER room with a "hear attack", which obviously was a fake one. ECG and blood tests to confirm it.

- Went to an internist friend of mine which prescribed me Clonazepam drops 2-0-4 because he thought that I was too anxious to endure Lyrica's side effects, and because he tested me(again) and found me pretty well(neurologically speaking).

- I still felt bad(Neuropathy symptoms) so I pushed for an EMG/NVC that the neurologist didn't send me to, because I did not looked so bad... So he wanted to spare me the suffering(and he also found me quite anxious).

- The test came out with a clinical weakness on my four limbs with no active denervation, and some sings of innervation, so there was no ALS; but as the study said "Sequels from a pure motor Poly Neuropathy of unknown etiology".

- Neurologist stayed put with Lyrica, and internist added 5 B-12/B1 shots(Tiaminal 50000) for the overall neuropathic condition, and one Dipropsan shot for the pain. I followed the vitamins path, in fear of Lyrica's vertigo and other nasty side effects.

- I felt pretty much the same after the last vitamin show, I even got a cold, and felt miserable, I was going to drop all and take Lyrica, and then 4 days after my last shot, I became almost asymptomatic.

- Just days before this, In my quest for answers I made an appointment with another internist, a Fibromyalgia expert. I came up just when I was almost clear cut of my symptoms.

- When he tested me for strenght and reflexes, he couldn't believe the results of the study, and he agreed with my friend(the other internist) that anxiety/stress/depression were the topic, but he wanted me to change from clonazepam to amitrpityline, to avoid long-term dependance and due to my "age" I'm 39. I agreed on him in this, but both the ami side effects, and the fact that I was already better, made me to pause and think what to do.

That's why I ask the question first, because he even thought that the EMG could be "wrong". I don't know if a Neuropathic condition could come and go, or MS, or similar conditions, up to the point that you seem so fine, that everyone thinks you're just anxious, or if anxiety really can cause all this symptoms.

Because all given or proposed treatments, seem to attack the same problem in a way Lyrica can act both in neuropathy and anxiety, Amy too, and Clonazepam plus B-12 seemed to work out.

I only want to follow the best path, don't mess with nasty side effects, and don't become fully dependent to a drug for the rest of my life.

Thanks for the patience, any input is appreciated.

Last edited by moderator2; 03-04-2010 at 10:28 AM.

 
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:10 PM   #2
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Re: Can anxiety/stress alone, can cause Neuropathy like symptoms?

All I know is that under anxious conditions (work, family, money) my sytoms flare up terribly! Especially the neuropathy. One bad day and Im hurting for two....do your best NOT to allow anxiety to get the best of you- for me, working out helps tremendously, as does sitting quietly and watching something stupid or funny on TV.....

The rest is up to you...
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:46 PM   #3
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Re: Can anxiety/stress alone, can cause Neuropathy like symptoms?

I have neuropathy in my left arm and the docs think I have PTSD. So they think its in my head - I'm quite sure its not. PTSD is a BS diagnosis and a frustrating one, too. I am in daily excruciating pain, take percocets, ms-contin, zonegran, and just today took my 2nd amitriptyline. I am SO sick of being in pain and no one being able to figure out *** is causing it. I've had all the tests, MS has been ruled out. I've been to a neurologist and a pain specialist, a hypnotherapst, chiropracter, acupuncture, massage therapist, ... what else is there? I almost give up. I'm sick of either being completely f'ed up on pain killers or howling in pain on falling asleep at my desk at work.
SO I hear ya = they think its in my head. I know its not, I know my body, I know I don't have PTSD! I am depressed but thats because my life is being ruined by pain. Stress probably doesn't help - when I'm freaking out in pain and waiting for the pain meds to work it helps to have something to focus on (I currently am watching the House MD dvds I got for Christmas). I, like you, don't want to be dependent on a drug for the rest of my life, and I'm worried about what permanent damage is being done to my nerves by the unbelievably searing pain I have - it sure cant be good for me.

Best of luck to you. BTW, I'm only 42 - too young IMO to be dealing with this crap.

Jessica

 
Old 03-04-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: Can anxiety/stress alone, can cause Neuropathy like symptoms?

Thanks Nikki

I do need to find a way to cool down, and I do try, but having this health issues on top of the day to day stuff, in a nervous guy like me equals hell.

Years of nervousness are hard to leave behind, I need to change my personality, and I probably will, but it will take some time.

Jessy: I hear you too.

I can't see how my mind can cause the kind of pain and symptoms I'm dealing with. I do agree stress make all worst, but can't believe that this is caused just by my mind.

I know that me running to ER for a fake heart attack, the sleepless nights, and sweating wake ups, and feeling like fainting, uneasiness, derealization, those all are indeed stress and anxiety, maybe tingling, and muscle twitching, I give you that. BUT the pain? I don't believe it.

On the other hand I did have almost a week symptom free, out of the blue, or maybe as a result of the B-vitamin/clonazepam/diprospan tandem. Then again the Fibromyalgia expert believe that, due to the date when I finished that treatment, and when he examined me, it didn't have any clear relationship, with my recovery.

That only leaves clonazepam as the only drug that could have made the trick, which, from what I've read, it's not very likely either. Add the probable long term dependance to the drug, and its more frustrating.

More so if you take in account the nasty abstinence effects, when you drop this kind of medication.

I've reduced the clonazepan dose to "make the jump" to amitriptyline, and it seems that just changing from 6 drops to 4 made me symptomatic again, but I really can't tell, so it's very frustrating.

I might got the nerve to start today or tomorrow with amitriptyline, that worried me a little because I did got to a feel good period, and it would be very frustrating to take step back, and since I do have high cholesterol levels, one of the few detected conditions, I worry a little bit more.

If I could workout like before this horrendous stuff, I might be a little bit more relaxed, but it's really a vicious circle I fear, starting amitriptyline, gaining weight, can't exercise because of the pain... it doesn't look good.

I can only trust my doctor's judgment, because he knows about this and he even sent me some blood tests. On the other hand, he also believes that it's all in my mind, he didn't even trust the EMG, because of how well I seemed to be during his examination, strong, no pain, great reflexes....

Something which leaves mi with another question:

I know that people suffering ALS, and many other "Pure" motor neuron diseases, with no sensory stuff involved, don't fell too much pain, as they do feel the weakness. And most of their pain is a side effect of don't being able to move, but it's not directly related to their condition.

My EMG says "pure motor neuropathy", Is this supposed to be painful?

Still searching for answers.

Best wishes for all.

 
Old 03-05-2010, 02:47 AM   #5
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Re: Can anxiety/stress alone, can cause Neuropathy like symptoms?

ALL neuropathy is painful. Its a searing, burning sometime tingling pain- which can be constant or off and on. Neuropathy hurts. Ask anyone wih Fibro. Ask anyone with MS who has Neuropathy issues.

Humidity, extreme temperature changes from hot to cold or dry to wet (as in humid or rainy) can trigger pain. Stress definately triggers it for me.

There are no answers. In my own case, I have MS, the neuropathy was tough to dx, as I also have Cspine disc herniations...it took forever for me and my doc to be comfortable saying this was caused by lesions in the brain NOT by the disc herniations. Sometimes, I still have doubts...however, I trust my doctor. And, I know my body. The spots on my brain have short circuited some of my brain tissue- and thats what causes my tingling/ numbness and sensitivity.

But it doesnt change who I am. And I dont allow the pain to stop me from doing much. When its at its absolute worst, I find that exercising, especially in water, a COLD POOL is best for me. Takes the body temp right down, takes the pressure off the body and feels like heaven for awhile there...I also know that stress is a huge trigger for me, so when stress happens, I find a way to decompress- quickly because the more I worry about it, the more focused I become on the pain- the longer it takes to get rid of it.

You have to learn to relax. 99% of handling this, and all diseases is mind over matter. Im not suggesting 'its all in your head", Im suggesting learning how to handle it better so that you control it, and it doesnt control you.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:51 AM   #6
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Re: Can anxiety/stress alone, can cause Neuropathy like symptoms?

I get it Nikki.

No matter the cause, herniated disk, brain lesion, a virus, when you have Neuropaty, you get pain and symptoms, period.

I've been always a stressful person, and had my anxious periods, when it really was it all in my mind, i.e. My fake heart attacks and such. And I dealed with lots of mental stuff with my vertigo., but I overcame it.

I believe this anxious/episode built up since last year, because of some clear signs, like few and poor sleep hours, a little pain here and there, waking up in the middle of the night, feeling heart diseased, but I didn't gave them too much care or attention.

As I've said on my first posts I'm in the middle of huge work stress, because in that matter it's been a great moment for me, even after last year's crisis, and A1H1 epidemic, which was a great deal here.

And when I mean great moment, I mean life changing, almost dream goal reaching stuff. This made me both happy and stressed, because I want that it all to work out well with all my heart and soul.

Where did this neuropathic stuff got in the mix? I don't know, the tests says before I was symptomatic, for me, January 15th, if it was there before, if I triggered with stress, I don't know, ad for the looks of it I might never know.

I know I sound obsessed sometimes, and trust me, I'm not eager to confirm I have MS, Fibro, or any specific condition for the sake of it, just because of having the best treatment.

Obviously in my mind is a little question regarding what to do, to avoid further damage, or a new episode of whatever caused this to me. But then again as it seems, that's the problem, it's really hard to know, and that's why this conditions are controllable but not curable in the whole sense of the word.

And yes, as I need to trust my doctors, hoping that they nail this stuff, I need even more to take care of my stress, even as this would be huge for me after more than thirty years of being like this.

I even used stress, the good one if you want to put it that way, and still use it for work, it helps me to stay sharp, quick, alert, on top of my game, and right now I need it the most, but right now, any kind of stress really backfires to me in every way, ant that's why is twice frustrating, because it affects my every day life, and my work, with the worst timing in the world.

Finally there is this possibility that my inner anxiety problem, made my body to react badly to this huge changes in my life, and maybe there is an issue underlying it all(mental/psychological), and I believe that's my doctor's take(being almost asymptomatic on my last appointment, sure gave extra support to this theory) and maybe I'm just turning up to the limit, something that could have been a mild neuropathy case, if there is such a thing. But I still find hard to believe that it's ALL just mental.

I don't know, I guess I have to keep on going make my part(stress), and let the doctors made theirs.

And above this all, thank you for listening, the advice or someone like you that manages to deal with so much and keep on going with all of what you have to do, and has learned a lot from it, it's really helpful.

Best to all.

Last edited by stargrave; 03-05-2010 at 07:58 AM.

 
Old 03-06-2010, 05:53 AM   #7
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Re: Can anxiety/stress alone, can cause Neuropathy like symptoms?

Hi,

Whilst I have not got a def dx for MS but a very highly probable from my Neuro, I can certainly tell when I am feeling stressed usually in my work area of my life because my legs tingle and buzz from top to bottom. I am really trying to get on top of things to avoid these situations but unfortunately they do arise from time to time.

 
Old 03-06-2010, 04:18 PM   #8
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Re: Can anxiety/stress alone, can cause Neuropathy like symptoms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UK SUSIE View Post
Hi,

Whilst I have not got a def dx for MS but a very highly probable from my Neuro, I can certainly tell when I am feeling stressed usually in my work area of my life because my legs tingle and buzz from top to bottom. I am really trying to get on top of things to avoid these situations but unfortunately they do arise from time to time.
Hi Susie.

I hope your case is not MS, but if it happens to be, I've read there's a lot of options for treatment, and controlling this condition.

If I give you a list of my symptoms an their usual presentation they are a text-book Fibromyalgia case.

This is why, I came to an "expert", who even with a self limited PolyNeuropathy DX that came up from an EMG/NVC test, and a previous Clonazepam/B-12 tandem treatment, much more aimed to anxiety and stress, which seemed to work, because I came to the appointment pretty much asymptomatic, he strongly suggested me to change clonazepam for amitriptyline as the main treatment for this.

Trusting his expertise and after reading that the drug is indeed a treatment used for both conditions(Anxiety/Neuropathy), and after he warned me about the well known addictive potential of clonazepam, in long treatments, I decided to give it a shot.

He wanted me to change at once, even as I've read that clonazepam has to be decreased gradually, so I began to take a few less drops with almost immediate bad results: Pain, tingling, and all came back, bad sleep, etc.

So I took the 25 mg amitriptyline, yesterday, knowing I could stay in the house all day, and it did took the pain away, but with every other sensation included! I became a zombie this morning!

The doctor said that I should trey with half a pill, and see how I do with it, if it doesn't work try a 1/4 pill, and so on until get the desired effect.

I don't want to become a clonazepam junkie, so I'll give this a shot, for a few more days, hopefully to get better results.

And about the subject, I know, and that maybe is our case, that stress can exacerbate, or trigger a previously present condition like MS, Neuropathy(pure), and Fibromyalgia, this last one even seems to be caused by stress alone(again that's why I visited the "expert), but there is not completely confirmed evidence of this.

I also want to say that my question was more in the "I want to know what exactly caused me this Neuropathy", to treat it, avoid it(if it was a toxin), and such, because I do know, even by self experience how much can stress mess you up, more so with an underlying condition.

But as many of this conditions MS, Neuro, Fibro, etc. have the same unknown origin factor(that's why there is no cure for them, evena s they're quite controllable), I might never get an answer.

Anyway, thank you very much for your input, Susie.

All the best.

 
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