Welcome to ThisIsMS, rauz.
Numbness/tingling in the arms, hands, legs, and feet is the definition of peripheral neuropathy. In the list of blood tests recommended by the University of Chicago, testing for a vitamin B12 deficiency is listed first:http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchic ... ndex.shtml
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
Antibodies to nerve components (e.g., anti-MAG antibody)
Antibodies related to celiac disease
Hepatitis C and B
Many of your symptoms are common to a vitamin B12 deficiency: less-than-optimal eyehealth, tingling, pain, depression, difficulty swallowing (a.k.a. dysphasia
)… the "weird chill down your back and arms when you bend your neck down" is called L'Hermitte's Sign
and this can also be a symptom of a B12 deficiency .
You may find information in the following video interesting – "anxiety," "tachycardia" and "orthostatic intolerance" are in the symptom list: "Everything You Want Your Doctor to Know about Vitamin B12"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvEizypoyO0
I highly recommend this 50-minute documentary featuring Sally Pacholok, RN, BSN & her husband Jeffrey Stuart, D.O. (authors of the book, Could It Be B12? An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses
); Lawrence Solomon, M.D., hematologist with Yale Medical School; Ralph Green, M.D., hematologist at UC Davis; and Donald Jacobsen, PhD, at the Cleveland Clinic (Homocysteine Research Lab).
A B12 deficiency can develop at any time in a person's life!
To eliminate B12 as a possible cause of your symptoms, your doctor will need to run a full panel of tests (NOT just the one blood test for B12) .
• serum B12
• RBC folate
• urinary methylmalonic acid (uMMA)
• fasting homocysteine
• unsaturated B12 binding capacity
A B12 deficiency is easily treated with supplementation (a B12 injection once a week for 10 weeks could be a useful diagnostic or therapeutic trial treatment); when it comes to MS, the cause is unknown and the "experts" have no effective treatment for it.
MS is a diagnosis of exclusion. There are many common conditions to rule out first. Start by investigating the possibility of a B12 deficiency. Good luck and let us know how it goes.