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How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

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Old 04-04-2003, 06:02 AM   #1
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needanap HB User
Smile How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

I have tingling, burning, numbness and pain in my hands and feet. Worse in hands. I've seen my primary care physician, an orthopedic and soon will see a neurologist, who will do a nerve condution test. Will a neurologist be able to tell me what is causing the neuropothy by this one test? Please tell me your experiences.

Thank you.

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Old 04-04-2003, 10:22 AM   #2
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Location: Athens, Ohio
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avia HB User

I have had numbness, tingling, vibrating, humming, buzzing, burning and stinging in my arms, legs, hands and feet for 16 months now. I have had a brain MRI and a spinal MRI. They were negative for lesions also found out nothing is pinching my nerves. Also had EMG - it showed no nerve damage. I DID discover that I am diabetic which will cause neuropathy. All of this started 3 weeks after my flu shot in 2001. No one has ever completely ruled that out either (Gilliam Barre Syndrome). Neuropathy is a hard thing to diagnosis and it can be very painful at times. Find a good doctor that is willing to consider all the many conditions that could cause your problems. Also have your thyroid tested. Low thyroid levels can also cause neuropathy. Read, read, read and look around on this board for others opinions. I wish you all the best and hope you do not feel too bad.

Old 04-20-2006, 09:32 AM   #3
kay myrick
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Re: How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

Hi Last July my arms went to tingling and when I would put my hands under water and it was like my first layer of skin was numb I also was taking shots for psorisis it was called Raptiva which was an immune lowering drug. I went to the emergency room 2 different times , both times I was sent home.The doctors didn't check me for nothing and sent me home. The 2 time I went the doctor sent me to my regular doctor and my legs give away and I basicly couldn't walk no more. Well then I was sent to the hospital. After a couple of days in the worst pain I was diagnosised with Gilliam Barre after a spinal tap Itseems the Raptiva was the cause

Old 11-04-2006, 09:42 PM   #4
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joastudio HB User
Re: How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

A year ago this month, my 28 yr. old Daughter had a flu shot last Nov. and few days later got Drop Foot, which has worsened. Was told GBarre was not the diagnosis early on, but many of this neuron deseases have the same symtoms. MANY specialists of all kinds have yet to diagnose her.

Old 11-05-2006, 12:30 AM   #5
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Aussie100 HB UserAussie100 HB UserAussie100 HB UserAussie100 HB UserAussie100 HB UserAussie100 HB UserAussie100 HB UserAussie100 HB User
Re: How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

A nerve conduction test will not show the cause of your problem, neither will an EMG test, there just looking for what and how much damage to the nerves, they can also measure the damage with a nerve or skin punch but none of them tell the cause of your PN.
They can normally confirm small nerve diagnosis with a thermal and vibration test should show how much damage there is to your small nerves, the small nerves job in your body is to measure heat cold and vibration, its a simple test that they put a couple of electric contacts on both feet and see how you react to a feeling of cold, heat, and vibration then if thats not sucessfull thats when they may think about nerve biopsy or a skin punch which is a lot better than a nerve biopsy.
Its in your best interests to find a neuro that specializes in PN, not all do, they all know what it is alright, but a neuro that specializes will give you all the tests needed to find the cause and normally they will start with a full blood workup, like test for diabetes, 3 or 5 hour glucose tolerance test for prediabetes, toxins, poor nutrition, low B12, alcoholism, autoimmune diseases and can be even side affects from certain medications etc.
There is well over 200 known causes of neuropathy, so you do need a good very experienced neuro that specializes in PN, that is your best chance of finding the cause, some neuro's will take you on a merry go round, meanwhile your problem could possibly getting worse, but in some conditions like prediabetes, once blood sugars are controlled then PN then can be fully reversed, but it does take time for the nerves to heal.
good luck

Last edited by Aussie100; 11-05-2006 at 05:37 AM.

Old 11-05-2006, 05:27 AM   #6
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Re: How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

I was misdiagnosed with plantar fascitiis for about 3 years. Once I realized that there was NO WAY that could be my problem, I saw an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an MRI and and an EMG/NCV. Both were normal. I went to another orthopedic surgeon who took 1 look at me and my symptoms and got me an appointment with a neurologist. Finially I was diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy. It seems to be idiopathic but at least I'm getting some kind of relief from lots of neurontin.

I did have the quantitative sensory test (test for SF PN) and that was NORMAL. It can provide some information for some people but it is not a reliable way to rule out the condition. My neuropathy is quite disabling when I am not on my medication. I never thought that feeling cold or loss of vibration were my symptoms (this is what the quantiative sensory test looks for) and I would have been surprised if the test results were abnormal. I am HYPERSENSITIVE to heat and if they had a test for that I think I would have come out very abnormal.

My advice is to find a neurologist that knows about all of the possibilities. good luck

Old 11-10-2006, 06:17 PM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2006
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blindfate HB User
Re: How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

My Mom is currently going thru the same problem. She had tingling in her feet and legs for over a year now. it has gone to her hands and made them completly numb. this is extra hard because she is also completly blind and she sees thru her hands. the extra issue she was dealing with is no one could tell her what is wrong. in early september, she fell twice in the same day and was taken to the hospital and has not been home since. she is now in a rehab facility. durring her hospital stay, she saw the "highest ranking expert in neuropthy thru Universty Hospital,in Ohio, and he told her she had AUTONOMICIMUNNE NEUROPATHY. It took eight different doctors and so many tests we cant count and an entire year to find a name for what is going on with her. Now my Mom is getting treatment and they are working with her to get her to walk and feel again. i hope this helps you. believe me not knowing is the worst, people think your crazy and brush you off.

Old 11-12-2006, 07:56 PM   #8
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Re: How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

I have tingling, numbness, swelling and pain in my hands, fingers, legs, feet and numbness in the left side of my face, right about at the jawline.

It started up about 4 years ago, but then it all went away.
Started up again about May of this year, and is just getting worse.

I started by going to my Ortho, as i do have Cervical Spondylitis, pinched nerves in neck, with also arthritis. He told me that with ALL the problems i was having, it was not just from this. he referred me to 1st neuro, who did the Nerve Conduction Test and ruled out Carpel Tunnel, which we already knew i didn't have. Then he (ortho) referred to another Neuro, which ordered the MRI's, as Ortho wanted MS ruled out, as i have many many symptoms of that. it was ruled out by MRI's being clear. over months of time we tried different medications for the pain i was having. nothing seemed to work. Took it upon myself to see a Neuro surgeon......figured if all this was from my Cervical Stenosis, then it was time i checked about poss. surgery. Surgeon said there was nothing that required surgery, and he referred me to another neuro,,,one that specializes in MS.
I then went to a rheumy, who after the 3rd visit, d/x'd me with FM. The medication he has me on right now, kind of helps, but i certainly don't feel up to par....only takes the edge off. I am also now seeing a neuro that specializes in MS. he, after the 2nd visit and ALL the doctors progress notes , mri films and blood work, honestly doesn't think it's MS. I've had more bloodwork done, just this past check to see if my blood is clotting properly or not. He thinks i have some type of neuropathy. i have to go Dec. 5th to have an EMG on my legs! it kills me to walk most days....i go in slow mode.

so hopefully soon, i'll have some positive answers. i do know the day of the EMG, neuro will be there to give me results right away. he doesn't make his patients wait.

Well.........there's my story I wish i could write an ending to it! LOL


Last edited by KissAmeGal; 11-12-2006 at 07:59 PM.

Old 11-14-2006, 07:02 PM   #9
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Post Re: How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

I am new to these Boards. and finding them very informative. I hope someone with my symptoms can help Me. For 2 years I have been suffering with progressive weakness in my arms and legs. Went to one Neurologist. He did nerve conduction tests and told me that it seemed to be Lou Gherig's. He wanted 2 weeks to study my case. After 2 weeks, He asked for 4 more weeks to "study". at this point my Daughter, a R.N. said, NO WAY. I then saw Neurologist # 2. He ran more tests and all but ruled out Lou Gherig's. I had Neck Fusion Surgery in Sept.06. 3 discs were fused. I am now recovering. In the meantime, my weakness has increased. I have had some hard falls ,and luckily, no broken bones, yet. I walk with a cane. My case is baffling to the Drs. because there is little or no pain...only the weakness. I will probably go back to the Neurologist and ask Him to run more tests. My Nerve conduction showed nerve damage in arms and legs. Could it be PAD? Neuropothy? or what? I am type 2 diabetic, and Hypertensive. My quality of life is diminishing fast, and I am so confused. We hoped the Neck problem was causing my arm & leg weakness, but it wasn't. Thanks for taking time to read this..s

Old 11-28-2006, 07:19 AM   #10
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DownHere HB User
Re: How long does it take to get a diagnosis?

PeggyMc904 -

I live in NE Florida and am looking for a good Neurologist. Who was the second Neuro you saw? It sounds like he did a good job for you.


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