MS Symptoms?

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MS Symptoms?

Postby CristinF » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:52 pm

Hi Everyone--For the last month or so, I've been having some symptoms I'd like clarification on. It started with a twitch in my right hand (thumb and index finger) that lasted for about three days. Around that time, I noticed twitching in other areas and a numbness in my left index finger. As I've been breastfeeding for 16 months now, I thought maybe it was a vitamin deficiency and started on a prenatal vitamin, b-complex, magnesium, calcium, and vit. d. About a week later, I noticed a twitch in my left cheek, followed by numbness in the same cheek. My left ring and middle fingers also started to feel numb.

Now, all the twitching has gone away, but my left hand fingers still go numb from time to time (sometimes it's my index finger, sometimes it's my middle and ring fingers, today it was my pinky and ring fingers). The numbness is mild and only off and on, as is the numbness in my left cheek. The numbness in my cheek also seems to travel to different areas (sometimes under my eye and in the circle of my cheek, sometimes in my jawbone extending to my ear, sometimes my jaw and the top of my throat...

Also, sometimes when I'm jogging, my fingers and the toes of my left foot get numb for about ten minutes.

I went to my GP on Friday and he did bloodwork (he also thought maybe I had a vit. deficiency, but the labs came back normal). He said this didn't sound like MS because the symptoms come and go so frequently and aren't particularly consistent--what do you all think?

(I'm beginning to wonder if this is all just anxiety, since I didn't "notice" any numbness until after I had the initial twitching episodes--which certainly could have been from a vit. deficiency since I've now been taking supplements for a month or so now...My mind has been known to play tricks on me.)

Thank you all so much for any help you can give.
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby CristinF » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:49 am

Hi Guys--I'm just wondering if the lack of response is because my symptoms seem so insignificant that they're not worth commenting on (this would be a good thing) or if everyone is just sick of people coming on here and busting into your forums with questions that, really, only a doctor could answer.

I know every case of MS is different, but if anyone could offer any insight into my symptoms, I'd appreciate it. (Specifically, whether MS "numbness" tends to switch areas--different fingers, different areas of the face, throughout the day or even from day to day.) Thanks.

(And if you want to tell me I just seem like an anxiety-riddled nutcase--well, that would be okay, too. :mrgreen: )
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby DougL » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:58 am

CristinF wrote:Also, sometimes when I'm jogging, my fingers and the toes of my left foot get numb for about ten minutes.


Then stop jogging hehehehe



CristinF wrote: ... everyone is just sick of people coming on here and busting into your forums with questions ...


definitely NO. this place is for everyone.

sometimes posts get no responses and sometimes they get a lot. it is hard to say what gets a response and what does not.

please don't take it personally. i assure you its not anything you did.

now to your problems. my partner's numbness does not move like you describe. without seeing you and your history i cannot be sure but - have you been checked for back problems? i would think that a pinched nerve in your back/neck could lead to numb fingers.

we have a group of good doctors on here who have a chiro sub forum. might be a good place to do some reading and ask your questions.

this link will take you there http://www.thisisms.com/forum/chiropractic-treatment-f50/
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby Mercfh » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:52 am

From what I understand isn't the numbness/tingling usually like "constant"-ish with MS? (since it's not like the lesion comes and goes that fast). I could be wrong tho...
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby CristinF » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:20 am

Thank you both so much for your replies. My GP (who I really like and trust) also said that MS numbness is usually more constant and that, since mine seems to be "intemittent" (not to mention mobile) he wants to give it a few more weeks to see if (even though the vit. def. results were normal) maybe the little extra supplementation will take care of things. If it doesn't, though, I'm sure he'll send me on to a neuro.--he's pretty conservative (in a good way) about things like that.

Doug, I'll definitely check out the chiro. link--I think there's more than a slight possibility that toting around that 30+ lb. baby boy of mine could certainly have thrown something out of line.

Thanks again.
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby jimmylegs » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:15 pm

hi cristin i missed this when you first posted.

it is logical to think nutrition when breastfeeding - building and then feeding a new human being does require a whole lot of nutrition!

questions, if i may ask:

when you had the bloodwork done, what was tested specifically?

what were the results? fyi 'normal' is a deceiving term when it comes to bloodwork. 'normal' can vary from lab to lab, because it's statistics normal, a bell curve. for example, research suggests 11.5-18.5 umol/L is 'normal' for serum zinc. i've had reports of labs that use 10-20, and even as low as 9-15, which is awful (esp b/c that particular lab is used by patients in the infectious disease clinic - of course crappy zinc status is 'normal' for them). research points to levels closer to 18 in 'healthy controls'. i recently found a health-and-disease study on kids, and the healthies had average zinc levels up over 20!

were you supplementing before getting tested? unless you did a washout for a week or two before having your labs done, that would skew your results.

comments: my numbness is neither mobile nor transient. when i was just b12 deficient, my feet would go numb and that i could clear up with a few days of supplements. but then i had an accident (not to mention all the other deficiencies i found out about over time) and my numbness has been permanent since then.
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby CristinF » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:12 pm

Hi jimmilegs! Sorry for the delay in my response, but I lost track of the name of this site and only found it just now when I was (once again!) googling my symptoms and came across my own post!

A little update: I started on a higher dose of just about everything (I'm currently taking GNC's Women's Ultra Mega Active http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4033452) along with GNC's Potassium and Magnesium Aspartate 250 http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2133455) and additional calcium (usually in the form of milk). I added the Potassium because there have been several times over the past few months when I felt like I was about to pass out and thought that, even though my labs had come out "normal" my electrolytes might be out of whack because of the breastfeeding. I added the magnesium because I am also having a strange occurence at night, right as I am falling asleep, where my legs get a sort of strange tingle and then jerk, waking me up. Sometimes it's my arms that jerk (without the tingle). It doesn't happen every night (it seems to happen more when I'm stressed), but it did start at the same time as the twitching, so I thought it all must be related somehow.

Anyway, with this new regimen, the numbness had pretty much all gone away. The twitching (which occurs intermittently throughout my body--sometimes in a hand, sometimes in a foot, sometimes in a leg) is not severe (often it's just a single slight "jump"--almost like a heartbeat, sometimes it's several slight jumps, sometimes, but rarely, it's enough to move my thumb and index finger several times). It occurs always at rest, mostly at night and especially as I'm lying down to go to sleep. It also seems like it might get better/worse depending on stress and hormonal change.

Unfortunately (or maybe, diagnosis-wise--fortunately), I just had a three day bout of the stomach flu and couldn't take any vitamins and a slight numbness has returned in several fingers of my left hand and in my left leg. This leads me to believe that, probably, at least the numbness is related to some sort of deficiency. Also since I've been taking the potassium, I haven't felt like I was going to pass out, so I'd say that's probably due to an imbalance, too.

To answer your questions (sorry to be so long-winded, but, from reading some of your other posts, I know that you're a WEALTH of information, so I really want to give you a full picture of what's been going on):

Yes, I had been supplementing when I got my labs done. The doctor told me not to bother fasting, so the testing was done within about 4 hours of taking a whole lot of supplements (and I had been taking them for about a week prior to testing). By the time I saw the doctor some of the symptoms had started to subside (they always ebbed and flowed, they were never constant), but they didn't really start to get signifigantly better until I upped the dosage to my current regimen).

They tested for electrolytes, b-12, iron, calcium, sugar, and, I believe, magnesium. I don't know my exact numbers-- the doctor just told me they were "normal," but to keep supplementing since the symptoms were getting better.

If you got through this whole thing, I would love to hear your thoughts. Even though I think there's reason to believe this is deficiency-related (I have, after all, been breastfeeding and/or pregnant pretty much constantly for a little over nine years now!) the whole thing is still kind of freaking me out...

And yes, I've now stored this site in my "Favorites" bar. :lol:
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby jimmylegs » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:02 pm

hey cristin welcome back :D

all right well since your last set of lab tests were probably skewed, that means you don't really have a clean baseline test result. would you be able to get them to provide the list of tests that were done, including the numbers and units for the results? that could be telling, if only to find out whether your numbers are actually 'good' or if the 'normal' results are actually sub-optimal even though you were supplementing. if we can see the list, i'll let you know if there's anything key to add before you go for any more testing. it's great that you have done some nutritional testing already, but serum zinc is one thing i didn't see you mention, and it needs to be on the list for certain. serum 25hydroxyvitamind3 and serum ferritin would be wise too (although you mentioned iron, so maybe they did test ferritin).

next, it would be a smart idea to keep up the supplementing and get a follow-up test in say 1 month. do a one week washout with no supplements before the next set of tests, and regardless of what they say, i would do the tests in the morning after fasting since the previous night's dinner.

thanks for the links to your supplement products, those are very useful to help assess your situation. when i open the links up i'm going to be looking at zinc and selenium content, since you mentioned that bout with the stomach flu. i'm also going to have a look at magnesium, since i suspect it has something to do with your twitches - esp if you are getting the feeling it's related to stress and hormones. if i can ask a personal question, in the past have you experienced much pain or other discomfort associated with menstruation?

all right i checked out your supplement products and the selenium looks good although the zinc and magnesium numbers could stand to go higher. same for the potassium actually.

you could add 25mg zinc per day, and there is already 2mg copper in your multi for balancing purposes, so good.

the magnesium in the multi is inorganic so difficult to absorb. you may not be actually getting the approx 70mg elemental magnesium contained in that product. as for the mag + K product, i haven't seen that form before to know if it's organic (more soluble) or inorganic (less soluble), but the elemental amount is low. probably less than 25 mg elemental magnesium out of the 250mg magnesium aspartate.

overall supplemental potassium looks low too. depending who you ask, you need 3500 to 4200 mg of potassium per day, and it should beat out daily sodium intakes by at least 2 to 1. do you happen to like fresh fruit and vegetables? excellent sources of potassium include swiss chard, spinach and crimini mushrooms (they're also great for magnesium so bonus!) ;) i've often mentioned bananas on here, but you have to eat 5 a day to meet minimum and they're only considered 'good' sources.

the biggest red flag for me is your note that you have been pregnant/breastfeeding for the better part of the last decade. you are certainly on the right track to address nutritional status first, and then see what may or may not be left to deal with once everything is 'optimal' - a state which is significantly different than 'normal' (normal is more like the whole range of healthy and sick levels across a sample of the population). hope you can get your hands on your first set of labs, and can arrange for follow up since you were supplementing right before the test. if you make that clear to the doc, and that you would like to get a clean read after a washout period, you may be able to get some buy-in on the idea of ordering more tests. then you can bring the info here and i'll let you know if your levels are optimal normal, so-so normal, low normal, or borderline deficient normal!

glad you found us again, welcome back, awesome that your symptoms are starting to clear up, and keep up the proactive approach! :D
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby CristinF » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:31 pm

Jimmylegs, you're awesome!! It was hard to fully take in your recommendations with four little kids running around, so I waited 'til now to respond. I will definitely take all your advice and up the magnesium, potassium, and zinc. I don't quite understand what "elemental" magnesium is--is that a specific type you can buy? I have this on hand http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11552015 How does it look?

Also, with regards to my menstrual cycle (hey, I've given birth four times--I have NO modesty left :lol: ). This all started with the return of my cycle about three months ago, so I think you could be right that the two are related. I've never experienced a lot of pain with PMS, but I've always (even before pregnancy) suffered SEVERE emotional disturbances (anxiety, rage, debilitating fatigue, confusion, aggression) for about four days before and after onset. The last two cycles with the added supplements have actually been much calmer than any I've experienced for quite some time, so I may have been "deficient" for quite awhile (maybe I should write apology notes to some of my ex-boyfriends explaining that it wasn't really me--it was the magnesium!).

My doctor's out of the office until mid next week, but I'm going to call to get the actual lab results when he gets back. Thank you so much for all your help!
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby jimmylegs » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:11 am

hey thanks! omg you would not believe how much PMS and general mood-related crap is probably nutritional in the majority of sufferers, and instead we throw pain killers, caffeine, antihistamines, diuretics, and anti-inflammatories at it - booo!!

this is elemental magnesium: Image

magnesium oxide: Image

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnes ... fessional/
"The amount of elemental magnesium in a compound and its bioavailability influence the effectiveness of the magnesium supplement."

magnesium oxide is relatively high in elemental magnesium, eg 60%:
Image

however "In a study that compared four forms of magnesium preparations, results suggested lower bioavailability of magnesium oxide..."

i have found magnesium glycinate to be a very absorbable organic form, with no unpleasant laxative side effects such as those you can see with magnesium oxide and other less soluble forms. i just have to make sure to take mag glycinate before food and not to lie down afterwards.

your GNC super magnesium looks good, although i have no personal experience with any of those forms other than citrate.

i have reservations about the aspartate form, but can't spend the time on fully developing a rationale right now. look up aspartic acid and glutamate wrt ms and you'll see why i'd want to do more reading before being comfortable with the aspartate form.

i find citrate more laxative than glycinate, even though the bioavailability of citrate is actually supposed to be higher than glycinate. i currently take a mag citrate tablet and a mag glycinate powder capsule daily.

going forward, i'd say think about adding one of those super magnesium pills to your daily regimen in addition to the multi and mag/K blend. if you take the super mag with orange juice or something else high in vit C it will help absorption. also you could reduce beverages high in phosphates, such as pop, if you drink any, because the phosphates bind up the magnesium making it less bioavailable.

after a week or so you could try out adding a second super mag and see how you go. when you're pushing your tolerance envelope with magnesium supplements, it's wise to stay home near the toilet fyi :) just to be safe!

i hear you when you say you may have been deficient for quite a while - when i figured out all the things magnesium was doing for me, i thought 'holy crap it's like i've been magnesium deficient my whole life!!' life is so much better this side of that little tidbit of knowledge :D enjoy

oh and fyi my boss who got onto magnesium after taking my recommendation has said to me that she thought she just was who she was, in terms of mood and level of anxiety, but she's so much calmer now, she had no idea her former status quo was a treatable nutrient problem. and by the way, at the time she told me this, she was also nursing a delightfully calm little baby :)

you're welcome and i'll look forward to seeing those lab results in a couple weeks :) in the meantime you can write to all those exes lol
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby CristinF » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:08 am

Well, I googled the info about aspartate and it is WAY over my head, so I'll just take your word for it and switch to the Super Magnesium (not everyone, after all is a nutritional genius :mrgreen: ).

Looks like I'm gonna have a lot of letters to write...

Thanks again for the help!
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby jimmylegs » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:13 pm

heya! ok yea the super mag is good and fwiw you can ADD it if you want, not just switch it.

lol have fun with the letters, and you're welcome!
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby CristinF » Tue May 08, 2012 11:51 am

Hi Jimmy--Well, I went back to my doctor and got my results. He told me that everything he's seeing is inconsistent with a B12 deficiency, but that he thinks I might have a calcium deficiency (the results were normal, but he only tested for serum calcium). He told me to start taking just a regular prenatal and extra calcium/magnesium/D. I started doing what he told me, and, within two days, my left index finger and left toes were (slightly) numb again. My number for B12 was 590 after two weeks of supplementation with about 20 mcg of B12/day. He says that's normal and that whatever bloodwork you would look at for that mega...blah blah blah anemia that develops with B12 deficiency was normal, too.

I'm so confused! I don't want to take more vitamins than I need (especially since I'm still breastfeeding, and I worry about the baby), but I'm kinda wonderin' about the numb fingers and toes...
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby jimmylegs » Tue May 08, 2012 6:19 pm

hi again, lol, megaloblastic anemia :) no your b12 levels look good, but what were the units?

did you get a copy of all the test results and units? if so can you send them to me by pm if you do not want to post out here?

i am hoping there is a zinc level on the list, and if not, that you will be able to have serum zinc tested. what is your daily zinc intake from all supplements at this point?

when i said this before: "the biggest red flag for me is your note that you have been pregnant/breastfeeding for the better part of the last decade".

it was zinc that was top of mind when i made that comment. pregnancy places a high demand for zinc on mom's body. in this one study i saw, they gave a group of moms zinc supplements all the way through pregnancy, and they barely managed to hold the level from sinking. regardless of the supplementation, these moms were zinc deficient when they started participating in the study, and they were zinc deficient when they finished it. it just was not enough zinc provided. the other group got nothing and their zinc levels went from sort of deficient to REALLY deficient. the fact that this study exists bugs me for the sake of those moms and their infants, but someone did that research and going forward it is instructive.
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Re: MS Symptoms?

Postby CristinF » Wed May 09, 2012 5:34 am

He didn't test for zinc--maybe you're on to something! Before I went to see him, I was taking 15 mg of zinc plus 25 extra mg (like you suggested)--no numbness. After I saw him, he told me to just take my standard pre-natal (15 mg)--numbness two days later. I'm gonna go take some zinc right now and let you know how things are in a couple days. Thanks!!

(I'll also see if I can figure out how to send the lab results--I'm not really so computer savvy. :? )
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