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Old 06-26-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Hello everyone I'm new to this forum. I would like to share my current experiences and see if anyone can offer me some advice. My name is Nick and I'm 35 years old. I had a gastric bypass back in 2005, currently have sleep apnea, minor gastritis being treated, and according to my doctor am pre-diabetic. My endocrinologist doesn't classify me as having diabetes at this point, however, due to my hypoglycemic behavior he does have me on janumet to regulate my blood sugar. Something about my GLP1 hormone not being quite right and is the culprite. My sugar levels do get up there and my pancreas over reacts secreting too much insulin. A1C and fructosamine are okay. 5 hour glucose tolerance test showed resting of 83, 1/2 hour 225, 1 hour 62, 2 hour 70, 3 hour 75, 4 hour 82, 5 hour mid 80's

A few months ago I started getting pins and needles in my right foot. Very strange would be alot one day and not even feel it others. It subsided after some time but eventually started up again. My neurologist ordered me a Nerve Conduction Study an EMG test.

While waiting for the reuslts I looked up EMG test online. Of course the very first thing that comes up in an online search is ALS being associated with this so I began researching it. I started to really worry about this as I was reading since I was now beginning to feel very slight occassional tingling in my right arm and see some occassional muscle fasculations.

My primary care physician gave me the results at a high level stating that my EMG shows nerve damage to my legs and that I need to follow up with my neurologist right away. Primary doc seems to think the nerve damage is due to the sugar levels in my blood. I'm going to admit that I have been obsessing I have ALS for quite some time.

I finally had my follow up with the neuro yesterday and before she could finish the statement that I have neuropathy, I explained right off the bat that I'm afraid I have ALS. She explained that my EMG was perfectly normal and showed me the lab report. The very first marker for even suspecting ALS is an abnormal EMG. She also mentioned that ALS isn't particularly painful. It was my nerve conduction study which was abnormal showed some slowed down impulses hence the neuropathy.

After talking for quite some time and mentioning that now I'm getting strange feelings in my right arm (burning, tingling, strange pain, weakness, etc). I was diagnosed with polyneuropathy. It turns out that both legs have nerve damage even though I don't feel pins and needles in my left leg. She also said that anxiety which I have a ton of only makes it worse.

Anyway the neurologist tends to agree with my primary doc this is most likely associated with my blood sugar even though I'm not quite at a diabetic state just yet. She jokingly said I have to go through another lovely EMG (upper this time) and has ordered a battery of other blood tests to rule out other potential causes of neuropathy.

I was prescribed Gabapentin and sent home. I'll see her again next month. Wouldn't you know it last night I started to feel as though the pain was moving into my left side now.

Fast forward to today..................

I woke up this morning and felt like total crap. I can best describe the following types of feelings in both of my arms

- feels like someone is pulling my arms out of the socket
- weird burning feeling in my upper arms from shoulder to elbow
- feels like I've been swimming against a riptide for a few hours
- kind of a weak feeling in my arms although I haven't dropped anything.
- Extremely tense feeling in both my arms and neck. Feelings will sometimes go below my elbow
- Occasional tingle in some of my fingers

I put the garbage into the dumpster today and felt as though I was working out for 3 hours. I talked on the cordless phone for a while and had the same feelings

Hopefully I still have your attention but some questions to the group.

- Are these pains I'm feeling consistent with neuropathy?
- If so do these types of pains come on and spread so quickly from one part of body to another?
- Should I still be worried about ALS at this point? I'm really stressing something will be found in the upper EMG. I can't get this ALS out of my head

I apologize for writing so much however this is all very new to me and to be quite honest I'm scared to death I might have something wrong with me thats terminal.

Thanks for any feedback you can provide.

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Old 06-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: New to Forum

Hi Nick and welcome to this forum.
Prediabetes can certainly cause nerve damage over time, high levels of insulin in the blood indicates insulin resistance, were the cells that take in the sugars won't allow the insulin to help push in the sugars they sort of close the door, the pancrease then releases more insulin to combat this problem.

When you had your glucose tolerance test they should have tested for insulin levels as well as sugars with each draw of blood.
Hypoglycemic episodes can also starve the nerves and also cause damage to the nerves every bit as much as high blood sugars can, a lot of doc's don't tell people this or they don't know themselves in some cases.

A high fibre diet can be helpfull as it releases the sugars more slowly and keeping well away from starchy carbs and sugary carbs can help a lot.
As there is over 200 causes of neuropathy the above is only one possibility but it is a certainly one not to overlook.
Your neuro would or should have tested for other well known causes.
best of luck to you.
I am going on holidays tomorrow but I am sure others here will chime in.

Old 06-28-2012, 11:33 AM   #3
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Re: New to Forum

Do you have ALS or a terminal disease as such I would bet not. It appears that you have neuropahty and stress can make it worse. How did the symptoms move so quickly, I would bet that you have become more aware of them therefore it looks to have progressed.

What you are describing sounds to be neuropahty and stress combined. I wake up some days and my hands feel asleep, the feeling can last all day. I get the same in my legs but usually they burn.

The Gabapentin you are prescribed does wonders on the burning and pain of neuropahty. I myself take Lyrica.

Work really hard to keep your sugar levels good as this can really make your neruopathy worse. Try to start a good exercise program too, if you can. The better shape you are in the better off your neuropahty will be.

Welcome and good luck.

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