Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

This is the place to ask questions if you have symptoms that suggest MS, but aren't yet diagnosed.
Post Reply
KATEJO
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:07 am

Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by KATEJO » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:45 am

Hello all!

I feel sort of silly even posting, but I'm really unsure of the symptoms I've been experiencing. I know MS can take years to diagnose, as the symptoms are applicable to so many other disorders and just "being human."

I am a 22 year old Caucasian female and my grandmother passed away in her 50's from complications from MS. I know it is not an inherited genetic disorder, but I understand that you can inherit a genetic predisposition to it.

I have always been very active, from playing sports all throughout high school, to walking/running with my Belgian Malinois on a daily basis and skateboarding/dancing/hiking/going to the beach, etc. I don't exercise in a gym setting, but prefer to keep active in as many different ways that I can. I am 5'8" and a tad over 140lbs, so I maintain a healthy body weight. I have suffered from anxiety/depression since I was 11, and was recently diagnosed with a combo of bi-polar disorder II and ADD (Inattentive-type, I am not hyper-active). Keeping my concentration is incredibly difficult for me. When I was a senior in high-school, I developed fairly severe plantar-fasciitis and was sidelined from sports for awhile. The pain in my feet is ever-present and while I manage it with yoga/stretching and proper shoes/insoles, I always have extreme fatigue in my legs and feet. Walking around for more than 30 minutes causes my feet to ache terribly and make my legs feel like they are about to give out on most days, but other days I can run/walk almost normally. I experience a steady tingle in my feet and calves and also get severe out-of-the-blue cramps at least twice a day. I cannot stretch my legs without them going into spasm. My various doctors and physical therapists have told me it is just symptomatic of my plantar-fasciitis but they all agree that it is odd for me to have it so severely at such a young age. In a more general sense, my body always feels incredibly stiff and tight. Yoga/stretching and strength training has helped a bit, but I always feel as if I have just woken up from sleeping from far too long. I have tried a more strenuous exercise regimen, but even after six months of consistently working out, I could not keep up with the exercise regimen, as it left me feeling like I had been hit by a freight train. EXTREME fatigue, body aches, lactic acid build-up, confusion, blurred vision, pain in my chest and the inability to catch a deep breath, even hours after I had stopped working out. I have been tested for exercise induced asthma and my doctor said I didn't have it. My trainers all agreed that what I was experiencing was not normal for someone of my fitness level and especially age (I was 21 at the time).

In the past six months, I have developed intense neck and back pain (by intense I do not mean sharp, but rather a dull, deep ache). About four months ago, my neck became incredibly stiff and I had a shooting pain up into my head like a pinched nerve. My shoulders and arms ached, and my vision was blurry, I had near constant vertigo. This lasted for about 5 days, and then everything was totally gone. My doctor said that I had just slept wrong, but I knew the pain would not go away with typical anti-inflammatory or ibuprofen.

I make sure to drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet and limit unnecessary stresses. I am on a low dose of Prozac for my anxiety but that is it.

This morning by hands tingled for no apparent reason, and for the past few weeks my legs and feet are slightly swollen and tingly constantly. I wake up with extreme cramps in my feet, legs and neck nearly every night.

Is this all just a part of "being human"? Am I just being a wimp? Every time I have brought up the possibility of MS to my doctor, she just says "Hmmm..I don't think so, let's try this medication for the pain," which is usually just a higher dose of Tylenol. I am frustrated and scared. I hate sounding like a hypo-chondriac, but I know that MS symptoms vary from person to person and that every experience is different. I have another appointment (routine check up) with my doctor soon, and I plan to bring up my symptoms again.

Does anybody have any ideas? Am I crazy? Do I just need to take care of my body? I'm sorry for the excessively long post, but I wanted to be thorough. Any input would be a huge help.

Thank you,
Kate

Snoopy
Family Elder
Posts: 244
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:14 am

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by Snoopy » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:57 am

Hi KATEJO.
pain in my chest and the inability to catch a deep breath, even hours after I had stopped working out. I have been tested for exercise induced asthma and my doctor said I didn't have it.
What kind of Dr. said it's not Asthma? Did you see a Pulmonologist? What kind of testing did you have? It actually does sound like Asthma.

Did you have symptoms before starting Prozac, after or both? Prozac, like most medications, have side effects and should be a serious consideration for symptoms. Breathing problems/chest tightness, weakness, fatigue, blurred vision, and concentration problems are some of the side effects. Even though some side effects are considered rare, it isn't rare to those who experience it.
https://www.drugs.com/sfx/prozac-side-effects.html

I would suggest having a neck/back x-ray and or MRI to check for any mechanical back problems, a MRI would also be able to look for MS.

Symptoms alone will not indicate MS, you would need to see a Neurologist for testing that needs to rule out all other possible causes and ones that support a diagnosis of MS.

KATEJO
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:07 am

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by KATEJO » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:04 am

Thank you for your reply!

I did see a pulmonary doctor and was tested for multiple kinds of asthma, and all of my tests came back normal. The doctor did say I COULD have exercise-induced asthma, but if I did it was very mild and that I didn't need an inhaler for it. She thought the pain and shortness of breath could be caused by anxiety, but I don't feel anxious at all when I am working out.

I've been on Prozac (of varying dosages) since I was 11, and have always been very comfortable on it. I am on a low dose for my body weight, and it's the only medication that I feel comfortable taking because I don't get any side effects, apart from dry mouth occasionally. My doctor did do a test on me to monitor for side-effects but my lab tests came back normally. It's all just very frustrating.

Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it.

User avatar
jimmylegs
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 12070
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:00 pm

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by jimmylegs » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:38 am

hey there :)
any chance you have nutritional blood work results on file and handy for sharing? we could have input there
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

KATEJO
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:07 am

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by KATEJO » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:46 am

Thank you for your reply jimmylegs. I have not had any blood work done in the past few years. The last time I had a full panel was when I was 20 and my doctors suspected a thyroid issue, as I was experiencing extreme fatigue and mild hair loss. While I had no thyroid issues then, the official diagnosis was exhaustion brought on by extreme anxiety/depression. I have an appointment with my Doc on Monday, so I'm guessing she'll run some more blood work. Anything I should ask her to test for specifically?

Thank you!

User avatar
Scott1
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 1485
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:00 pm

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by Scott1 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:49 pm

Hi,

As you're a girl, have you had your iron levels checked?
Did you ever have glandular fever ?

I'm not madly impressed with your doctors guidance given your age but there may be valid things that she can see. Exhaustion can bring on anxiety and depression. All of those things can be caused by infection or depletion of key elements.

There's a number of reasons for hair loss and your nutritional status should be near the top of the list at your age.

If you don't get anywhere, I'd consider changing doctors. Look for someone who has a holistic approach who will look for infections, consider your diet and check your nutritional markers as well as refer you to a neurologist for an MRI.

Asking for tests doesn't mean you are a hypochondriac. It just allows you to objectively eliminate possibilities.

Regards,

Regards,

Anonymoose
Family Elder
Posts: 1155
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:33 am

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by Anonymoose » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:12 am

Hi Katejo,

Sorry you’re having problems. It’s a pain when docs can’t figure things out.

A little advice from my “what works for me” files. Try a thiamine supplement for the tingling, energy, and lactic acid buildup. If symptoms respond and you keep taking thiamine, add b complex too. For muscle cramps, soreness, and fatigue, start glugging down a couple servings of coconut water and/or orange juice every day...easiest way to get big dose of potassium from natural food source. We require loads of potassium daily. I have no idea how anyone gets enough without drinking coconut water or weighing 900lbs. Low iron/ferritin might be cause of lack of energy too but docs probably already tested you for that since it’s a mainstream/obvious medical issue. You don’t want to supplement high dose iron without a deficiency so test before supplementing and if you are deficient, take supplement/eat iron rich foods w/vitamin c foods. Heme iron sources are best absorbed.

Keep seeking professional help and looking at your whole nutrition picture too. Hope things straighten up for you soon!

‘Moose

User avatar
jimmylegs
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 12070
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:00 pm

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by jimmylegs » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:17 am

hi there, only seeing your response now sry.

i'll go through your post and based on xp and gut reaction will indicate which serum test or tests seem advisable

*****

I have always been very active - serum magnesium and iron (serum ferritin)
anxiety/depression / bi-polar disorder II and ADD (Inattentive-type, I am not hyper-active). - serum magnesium, serum 25(oh)vit d3
plantar-fasciitis - had to look it up. serum magnesium and vit d3 to ensure osteomalacia is not a factor, and serum zinc per
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/937d/f ... 787f85.pdf

I always have extreme fatigue in my legs and feet. - serum magnesium, serum vit d3
severe out-of-the-blue cramps at least twice a day. - serum magnesium and serum potassium
I cannot stretch my legs without them going into spasm. - serum magnesium and serum potassium
my body always feels incredibly stiff and tight. - serum magnesium
EXTREME fatigue, body aches, lactic acid build-up - serum ferritin, serum magnesium
confusion, blurred vision - serum zinc
pain in my chest - serum magnesium
inability to catch a deep breath, even hours after I had stopped working out. - serum magnesium
intense neck and back pain - if it lasts for a long time sometimes physiotherapy may be needed.

I make sure to drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet - can you provide a 3 day food fluid meds supplements diary, including timing for when any meds and supplements are taken, that reads like a recipe not a menu

hands tingled for no apparent reason, and for the past few weeks my legs and feet are slightly swollen and tingly constantly. - could be a few things; serum b12, serum magnesium

wake up with extreme cramps in my feet, legs and neck nearly every night. - serum magnesium, serum vit d3

*****

if you don't already have a file for bloodwork results, might be an idea to start one.
if you don't already have, see if you can get copies of existing serum ferritin and serum potassium results
if docs are working to exclude ms, the easiest tests to ask a mainstream doc for would be serum b12 and serum 25(0h)vit d3
serum magnesium and serum zinc are a little outside the box but worthwhile knowing. if your doc will order, great. if not you can explore other options to get the test you want/need.
you can expect most of these levels to come back 'normal'. as distinct from 'healthy' or 'optimal'.
our society is predisposed to chronic illness. 'normal' aka 'like most other people' isn't good enough.
in many cases it's understood that deficiency occurs within the normal range.
if you search this forum for posts by me and the terms athletic nutrient depletion you'll find relevant additional info
once you have results for one or more of the proposed tests, feel free to bring the findings back here for review.

the diet diary can be shared here for input, but would also be of value to a dietitian (check qualifications - i've seen 'nutritionists' with a 3 week online course under their belt). if you can get a referral to a pro sports dietitian, they would be in a position to analyze your diet for adherence to intake requirements not just for average joe public but for an active person with your above average nutrient requirements.

hope that gets to you in time :)
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

User avatar
jimmylegs
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 12070
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:00 pm

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by jimmylegs » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:42 am

guessing it did not!
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

KATEJO
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:07 am

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by KATEJO » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:35 am

Hi jimmylegs! I did get your initial reply but was unable to respond to it. I had my appointment yesterday and I did have a complete blood panel done. My doctor diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, but referred me to a neurologist for further testing. She wants to make sure that my fibro is not a symptom of an auto-immune disorder (like MS) so I'll leave that up to the specialist to determine. My blood panel all came back "normal" but unfortunately I do not know what the codes for the individual results mean. From the little bit of info I was given I was able to see that most of the tests done for red and white blood cell counts came back "normal" but they were all within 1% of the highest level of the range. I did a little research and higher levels of red/white blood cells (while still in the normal range) may indicate that I'm lacking in B12? Sorry I can't be of more help! The labs are all written in medical code and I don't know how to properly read them.

User avatar
jimmylegs
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 12070
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:00 pm

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by jimmylegs » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:34 am

hi again, blood count only is disappointing but typical.

FYI fibro patients tend to have low serum mag and have been shown to synthesize vit D3 less efficiently in sunsine compared to healthy controls.
research has started to piece these two separate phenomena together, finally.
the fibro dx dovetails neatly with the main nutritional red flags seen in your symptom list.

if you wish, you can scan or take a pic of your available results, post somewhere online and add the link here for review. we may be able to interpret what you're looking at. nutrient wise, might have electrolytes eg serum calcium, potassium, chlorides, that kind of thing.

if you can, ask the doc to run serum magnesium and serum 25(OH)vit D3 at a minimum. if it's a no and you're determined, you can likely invest in an appointment with a naturopath, get a requisition, and pay for the test independently. you might also consider asking your doc for a referral to a dietitian.

now for some more research. this meta analysis, a type of study i had previously taken as pretty awesome, says there's not much evidence supporting a nutritional component to fibro

Vitamin and mineral status in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/articl ... ne.0176631

having recently seen a number of meta analyses done poorly, i would certainly want to take a closer look at this finding. and that's before we even get into the studies selected for inclusion.

studies generally use 'normal' ranges when establishing what qualifies as deficiency, even when we know deficiency occurs in the normal range. so, that's great if with meta analysis we can improve the statistical power of research by grouping studies. but if each component study was done poorly, how much can we really expect from the collective findings? might be more telling to take a look at the 27 studies individually and draw our own conclusions!
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

User avatar
jimmylegs
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 12070
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:00 pm

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by jimmylegs » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:01 pm

here's one sample result from a 2017 study re magnesium status in fibro.

Table 1: Magnesium, ... level [Mean ±SD] in the FM and the NHI (normal healthy individuals) groups:
Mineral serum level (mg/dl)......................FM [Mean±SD]...........NHI [Mean±SD].............P-value
Magnesium..............................................2.1±0.83*.................4.17±2.41....................0.001117

i usually suggest ppl should aim for 2.3 - 2.7 mg/dl, which brackets the top end of a widely used normal range (often 2.5)
for healthy controls 4.17 looks unusually high, but 2.1 in the fibro group is definitely not good enough.
lower cutoff of the reference range for serum mag is often as low as 1.5, so for average joe looking at results, a 2.1 finding would look misleadingly okay. standard problem with blood tests for many essential nutrients. frustrating!

different labs use different units as well, so it's best to understand how to convert from one set of units to another.
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

User avatar
jimmylegs
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 12070
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:00 pm

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by jimmylegs » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:44 am

havent checked which studies are in the meta analysis. just looking for serum mag studies so far.
in the below, srythrocyte mag being low is as expected. suggests serum mag will also be suboptimal but i can't get into full text of this study to check the details.
think this is the first time i've seen an assessment on leukocyte mag. not sure there will be much out there for comparison but maybe. interesting to note the thiamin tie in, another b complex / magnesium interaction.

Selenium and magnesium status in fibromyalgia.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7786692
Abstract
Muscle pain has been associated with magnesium (Mg) and selenium (Se) deficiency: magnesium and selenium status were investigated in fibromyalgia (FM). Erythrocyte (E), leucocyte (L) and serum (S) magnesium, serum selenium and zinc, and vitamin B1, B2, A or E status were assessed in 22 patients with fibromyalgia and in 23 age-matched healthy controls. LMg is significantly increased (P < 0.05) and EMg slightly decreased in fibromyalgia. These magnesium abnormalities are associated with previously-reported impairment of thiamin metabolism. Antioxidant status (as well as plasma malondialdehyde) is unchanged in fibromyalgia and serum selenium levels, slightly but not significantly correlated with serum magnesium, is normal.
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

User avatar
jimmylegs
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 12070
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:00 pm

Re: Odd symptoms -- am I just a wimp?

Post by jimmylegs » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:37 am

Is magnesium citrate treatment effective on pain, clinical parameters and functional status in patients with fibromyalgia?
https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 011-2334-8

"The serum and erythrocyte magnesium levels were significantly lower in patients with fibromyalgia than in the controls. Also there was a negative correlation between the magnesium levels and fibromyalgia symptoms.
The number of tender points, tender point index, FIQ and Beck depression scores decreased significantly with the magnesium citrate treatment.
The combined amitriptyline + magnesium citrate treatment proved effective on all parameters except numbness.
Low magnesium levels in the erythrocyte might be an etiologic factor on fibromyalgia symptoms.
The magnesium citrate treatment was only effective tender points and the intensity of fibromyalgia."

Table 1 Patient demographic data
........................................healthy controls.....FM (mg group).......FM (amitriptyline)....FM (mg+ami)
Serum Mg (mg/dl)..............2.04 ± 0.19..........1.86 ± 0.25*.........1.94 ± 0.15* ..........1.79 ± 0.18*
Erythrocyte Mg (mmol/l).....3.22 ± 0.36...........2.27 ± 0.41*.........2.70 ± 0.47* ..........2.91 ± 0.42*

Table 3 The effect of magnesium citrate treatment
..........................................Before..................After
Serum Mg (mg/dl)................1.86 ± 0.25...........2.05 ± 0.19
Erythrocyte Mg (mmol/l)...... 2.26 ± 0.40...........2.54 ± 0.47

*****

points for the utility of serum mag as a test. serum mag clearly positively correlated with RBC mag. yes, serum mag levels are "normal" in all groups. notably, still suboptimal (although higher) even in apparently healthy controls. wonder what list of subclinical mag deficit symptoms the so called healthies might enjoy...

as for efficacy. the form and dose and duration of magnesium treatment did not bring status up to the levels seen in healthy controls, let alone 2.3 - 2.7 mg/dl serum mag as a suitable target for excluding subclinical mag deficit symptoms.
i wonder what might have been achieved with a better quality more readily absorbed form of magnesium than citrate. you can still get the runs (ie difficulty with absorption) pretty readily from mag citrate. would love to see more tests on the effects of suitable daily doses of magnesium glycinate or similar.
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post