Blood tests are commonly employed to check for vitamin deficiencies, toxic elements and evidence of an abnormal immune response.
Depending on your individual situation, your doctor may request certain laboratory tests to identify potentially treatable causes for neuropathy. These include tests for:
Vitamin B12 and folate levels
Thyroid, liver and kidney functions
Oral glucose tolerance test (IMO, a "fasting blood insulin test" should also be conducted – this is NOT a glucose test.)
Antibodies to nerve components (e.g., anti-MAG antibody)
Antibodies related to celiac disease (Neurological symptoms are common in atypical CD. AND you do have family members with celiac disease.)
Hepatitis C and B
thejeeperswife wrote:...suffer from major depression and general anxiety disorder. When I moved away from my hometown to Florida, I was determined to get help, and I have been. I have suffered from bowel issues for much of my life but they got worse to the point I was 90 pounds and 5 ft 6 in. In the end, the doctor said it was "all in my mind." In the meantime, the tremors and involuntary movements started to occur about once a month. They were not the emotional breakdowns I had in my teens. I would jerk only on my right side. I had to give up playing the viola because I lost fine motor movement in my right hand. I was able to keep the episodes in private because I was embarrassed. Only my husband and I knew about them. They would stop for several months and then they returned. In late 2011, the tremors and movements were so bad that I was losing consciousness. I would lose feeling in my toes and fingers. My right side always felt cold. I didn't know it was happening. I finally received health insurance through my employment and saw a neurologist. Months of test: blood, EEG, MRIs, but no spinal tap. My MRI was clear as well as my other tests. The neurologist said "It just sounds like stress. It is in your head." The only thing that was "interesting" was my AA? (something about autoimmune) was 80. I reported this to my PCP and other doctors. They said it was nothing.
In 2013, I went through medical hell. Two hospital stays: ovarian cysts in February and kidney infection in October. The kidney infection was surrounded by at least ten different bacteria infections that now I used the restroom once hour out of fear of another infection and my bladder always has to go. Once again, I loss a lot of weight. Two weeks after my hospital stay for the kidneys, I had a seizure at work, freaked my whole office out. They sent me to the ER. Once again, large amount of test including MRI. All normal. However, the ER doctor witnessed the tremors in my hand and leg. It feels like there is a million pounds hanging off my leg and foot was ice cold and on pins and needles. They did not know how to document the movements so they just said "seizures with no explanation." Now, the tremors and involuntary movements on my right side had become public. I cannot keep my hand still. I have stopped wearing my glasses because I see double almost all the time. I am in constant pain and massive headaches. I can sleep for 18 hours and wake feeling exhausted and fatigued. The muscle stiffness is the worst and the inability to use my right hand (writing hand) has caused me to start writing with my left hand. I started to forget words or how to speak. The ER doctor explained it as "expressive aphasia." I just mumble but can not pronounce a word or how I was feeling. You feel trapped in your body, waiting to express yourself but nothing comes out of your mouth...
On Monday, I had a "seizure" right outside of my doctor's appointment following an appointment for depression. They barely got me inside and witnessed the full episode. My PCP was in shock, disgusted that everyone said this was "just in my head." For the fact it is progressing in this round so badly, I am being referred to a neurological specialist focused in MS. After so many "normal" MRIs and tests and being told I was imagining everything, I am extremely scared it will happened again. In relation to what I know about MS, it does come in remission cycles. People have been suggesting it for awhile, since October. When it comes to coordination, I am accident prone. I am always falling over, running into walls, and covered in bruises from the accidents. I drop pens or anything in my hands. My husband carry glass or plates to avoid me dropping something. My co-workers are used to my bad typing (I am focusing very hard to not mess up on here) and randomly twitching or slurring when I speak. I have to take naps at work during my lunch break because I get so fatigued and worn out from the tremors and jerking. I fear I will lose my job for all the days off and the tremors and jerking. I had to stop my masters program because I missed too many classes and cannot think or concentrate to complete my degree. My husband is exhausted from helping through my episodes. The headaches, the double vision or blind spots in my right eye.... I am thankful I am alive, but I am not living.
I am reaching out to this forum because it has an "undiagnosed" section. I don't know if what I am experiencing is MS or something else. I just beg someone to please let help and don't say "It is all in your head."
THX1138 wrote:Welcome thejeeperswife.
I have heard of the "It's in your head." cop out before and I thought if I was ever told that, I would like to tell the Dr, "and it is not in your head. If you had more in you head, maybe you wouldn't use such a lame cop out line and, instead, would be working on coming up with some solutions instead of excuses."
By the way, I don't recommend using that line.
jimmylegs wrote:hey there
i'm currently doing my masters too - on nutrition, who knew! in between posts here, I'm doing my readings on population intervention research for chronic disease prevention.
please do check your records for a serum magnesium test and a serum zinc test! and don't take normal for an answer
The underestimated problem of using serum magnesium measurements to exclude magnesium deficiency in adults;
a health warning is needed for "normal" results. (Ismail et al, 2010)
jimmylegs wrote:JW, can I ask how long you have been trying to get pregnant?
fyi I know anecdotes aren't science, but all the same - here's a nice story
an old boss of mine was used to hearing me go on about nutrients, but pricked up her ears when I said the magic word 'fertility' one day.
I hadn't realized she was trying to get pregnant until she questioned me on it - i suggested she boost zinc and magnesium.
when she later announced her pregnancy, I asked her how long she had been trying without success (year and a half), and how long to success after she adjusted her nutrient regimen (6 weeks).
also: she had previously shaved her head and originally I had had no idea why. turned out her hair had been falling out in chunks. after fixing her nutrition, it all grew back in.
furthermore, she later asked me if anything in the regimen would have changed her general level of anxiousness and I said ABSOLUTELY the magnesium could have been influential. she commented how surprising it was that something she had assumed was her natural personality, was actually a nutrient imbalance.
I thought it was a neat story to have so many different happy endings
With your symptoms and your family history of celiac disease, I think it would be worthwhile to test for CD.
(BTW, were your ovarian cysts in February ever described as endometriosis or endometrial cysts?)
Compare your symptoms to those listed below:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chjDo_pL ... qHjwF7ktRo
Dr. Gary Kaplan describes the four types of celiac disease: 1.Typical 2.Atypical or Extraintestinal 3.Silent 4.Latent
At 0:30 he says that the atypical/extraintestinal form includes minimal gastrointestinal symptoms AND may include:
neurologic symptoms (ataxia, neuropathies)
autoimmune disorders - list available at http://www.aarda.org/
Or compare your list of symptoms to this list from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center:
http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/wp-con ... mptoms.pdf
Symptoms of celiac disease may include one or more of the following:
Recurring abdominal bloating and pain
Liver and biliary tract disorders (“Transaminitis”, fatty liver, primary sclerosing cholangitis etc.)
Pale, foul-smelling stool
Iron-deficiency anemia that does not respond to iron therapy
Failure to thrive or short stature
Pain in the joints
Tingling numbness in the legs
Pale sores inside the mouth
A skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH)
Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
Unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriage
Osteopenia (mild) or osteoporosis (more serious bone density problem)
Psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression
All the best to you. Let us know how it goes.
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