Worried about DH: numbness in toes, dizziness / vertigo - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-19-2011, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm hoping that someone can stir us toward tests and/or ideas of what this could be:

 

Months ago DH started to have numbness in some toes. Now his 2 big toes are numb all the time but not the others. Then, a few weeks ago he started to feel dizzy or have some vertigo: the world around him would "tilt". It lasts only a few seconds. He also has a constant feeling of "fuzziness" in his head and sometimes pressure like he is about to get a headache.

He went to the doctor who basically has no idea what it could be. A blood test came back normal. He gave him a prescription antihistamine for vertigo: it made DH feel worse.

DH's grandmother died of a brain tumor but when he told the doctor he was told it was kind of unlikely with these symptoms but of course nothing can be ruled out. The doctor mentioned multiple sclerosis as a more likely candidate.

 

DH is terrified, I am very worried. Does these symptoms ring a bell for anybody?

Thank you for your help.


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Old 03-20-2011, 12:26 AM
 
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Has he been checked/MRI'd for cervical or lumbar disc bulges? Stenosis? What about sciatica? Or tendonitis in the foot? Or mortons neuroma? Tarsal tunnel syndrome? Anything in the cervical spine can screw with balance, and anything in the lumbar can mess with feet sensations.

 

Does he have stress and anxiety (prior to the Dr suggesting ms)? (Dizziness & vertigo related)

 

Does he have allergies? (Dizziness/vertigo)

 

Has he been checked by an ENT for inner ear issues, narrow eustachian tubes, ear crystals, or a deviated septum? (All dizziness related)

 

Does he do a lot of work on the computer? If so, that will cause so many issues its ridiculous.

 

It irks me that a Dr would suggest MS without exploring other options or at least reserving any judgment before running definitive diagnostics, other than a blood test. I don't mean to irritate anyone who feels compelled to say this,  but it won't help to hear "sounds like MS." Thats your biggest concern, and what will keep you both up. Explore the many other possibilities. Pinched nerves (depending on their anatomical placement) can cause dizziness and numbness.

 

What you need to hear is that these are also symptoms of much lesser problems. They are. I've had them. And I've had MRIs, NCV, EMG, and all manner of bloodwork. And I don't have a disease (thank God - but I've been there mentally...holy s is that terrifying.) I have sciatica, two bulging discs in my neck and lordosis of the spine, which basically just means the curve in my spine ain't great. I also might have an L5/S1 (lower back) bulge, but they need to MRI that area.

 

Please don't worry yourself sick. And please do NOT let anyone worry you either. NO one. Get an MRI with contrast. That's the thing you need. And when someone tries to scare you with their random story that ends with "but I DID have...." IGNORE IT. Hopefully people on this board will have the good sense not to write such stories, but who knows...

 

Good luck and please try not to worry too much. I can tell you first hand the worry will eat away at your soul and well being.

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Old 03-20-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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I would urge you to not assume the two symptoms are related.

They could be ... Ms or Lyme disease comes to mind.


The dr seems to be a poor one. To not get to the bottom f these symptoms!?

Good luck .... Hope he is ok

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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Is he diabetic? Could he have bunions or gout? That can cause numbness in the big toes. Maybe he should go to a podiatrist about his feet.

 

My mom has had inner ear infections that give her vertigo. She said that taking bonine (motion sickness medication) helps her. Although maybe that is what the doctor gave him, I don't know if it is an antihistamine or not.

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Old 03-20-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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I had similar symptoms a couple of years ago and one of the things that came up in my research was B12 deficiency.  My symptoms have since resolved and I now believe it was possibly an allergic reaction to some major mould that got cleaned up in my house.  Antihistamines and I don't go well together so I wouldn't necessarily rule out allergies for your DH based on his reaction to the meds.

 

Meniere's Disease (which sounds scarier than it is) is something my dad experiences and has similar symptoms as well.

 

I hope you find some answers soon.

 

Martha

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Old 03-20-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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I was going to say maybe check out symptoms of low b12 also. It's quite common, and can

cause these symptoms, as can low iron.

Good luck!

 

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Old 03-20-2011, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all, it is all very helpful. DH is feeling a little better to see that it could be so many other things than MS. He has had problems with his feet for as long as I can remember: he has very high arches and I think it probably contributes. He hurt his lower back pretty badly 15 years ago so that might be something to investigate too.

I was very surprised when he came back from the appointment that the doctor did not investigate the inner ear possibility. DH thinks it's because he never had pain in his ear. Do you have to have pain to have these symptoms?

The doctor did mention the vitamin deficiency and low iron so that was the reason for the blood test and everything is normal there.

I keep telling him that most likely the problems are not related but now that MS has been mentioned it is hard for him to feel helpful.

 

Thank you for all the ideas of what this could be!


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Old 03-20-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Laurienna View Post

Thank you all, it is all very helpful. DH is feeling a little better to see that it could be so many other things than MS. He has had problems with his feet for as long as I can remember: he has very high arches and I think it probably contributes. He hurt his lower back pretty badly 15 years ago so that might be something to investigate too.

absolutely!!!!!!! one of my feet has pins and needs at the bottom, which one dr thinks is tarsal tunnel, which possibly stems from my lower back issues. Check out "double crush syndrome" when it comes to nerve issues. But without knowing the variable that feeling of the pins and needles....ugh. The mind runs WILD with worst case scenarios.

 

Also have him checked for a sinus infection. Those can fester for a looong time undetected, and cause dizziness.

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Old 03-20-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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I had things like that (numbness and other nerve related weirdness--I was twitching all the time), dizziness, and severe fatigue were the main things and they were thinking MS for me (or something much worse). For me it was actually a metabolic condition that resulted in extremely low coq10 and I also had low vitamin D.

At any rate, I really think your husband needs to see a neurologist. The doctor didn't mention doing an MRI? They did an MRI so we would have that when I went to neurology.

It can be lots of things. But looking for the big stuff is important--even if it's not that he needs the peace of mind the brain is ok.

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Old 03-20-2011, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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eireann: he has carpal tunnel in his right hand already. I checked double crush syndrome, I don't think that's quite it. DH said that the dizziness and fuzziness is worse when he changes environments: outside to inside or changing rooms. He feels at his worse inside big stores.

 

sbgrace: I don't know what coq10 is, I'll have to check that out. I don't think he was checked for low vit. D. The doctor thought he should wait before getting an MRI... but DH is not getting any better...and worrying so I hope he gets one soon.


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Old 03-21-2011, 12:46 AM
 
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Wow, in addition to not mentioning the other possibilities, this doctor mentions MS but then doesnt suggest an MRI? Thanks doc. It's like, "here, have a grenade!" only to find out later (after lots of stress and anxiety) that it's just a mango. What happened to "do no harm"? Words and suggestions harm plenty. I'm sorry about this. Neither of you deserve this strain, and the doctor doesn't appear to deserve your time and money.

 

The double crush I mean is if he hurt his back years ago and his feet are anatomically prone to injury, the combination can set him up for mechanical problems that lead to nerve issues (crush, inflamed, irritated.) A podiatrist I know said her sisters toe was numb, and it turned out to be a pinched nerve way up in her back. Google lumbar dermatomes. A good diagram will show you the path a nerve can take from the lumbar spine all the way to the toes. If its been injured up top it can refer pain anywhere along the nerve root, and if his feet already cause him problems it can be even more vulnerable. Since he has carpal tunnel, he's already the kind of person who gets crushed nerves. Is he sitting at a computer all day?

 

The dizziness can be so many other things, as mentioned by PPs. He should be checked for Meniere's and a LOT of inner ear/sinus/allergy stuff. I would see another doctor, an ENT, and neuro. I'm in So Cal and could refer you to a lot of good ones here, but not in Sacramento. I could ask around though as I know a lot of people in the medical field.

 

Please keep up posted!

 

 

 

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Old 03-21-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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It's very unlikely to be coq10 deficiency for your husband. It could be something correctable though. You know, I'd start high dose vitamin D3 (d3 only) supplements. He's likely low because most of us are and it can't hurt him no matter the underlying issue. Healthy adults can take up to 10,000 IU per day. I'd stay just under that amount. What I would do is give him 10,000 IU (two 5,000 IU pills) six days a week.

That said, I am appalled that the doctor mentioned something like MS and then waited on the MRI. IMO your husband needs an MRI and referral to experts--specifically neurology and ENT to start. Those are your most likely culprits for the symptoms. Wait and see makes no sense given his symptoms and the anxiety this has to cause.

I'm really sorry for your husband that the doctor handled it this way.

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Old 03-21-2011, 10:00 AM
 
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Big Box stores are really challenging for me as well - tell your husband he's not crazy!!!  I avoid them at all costs and if I must go to one I'm usually extremely crabby by the time we leave.  For me I think it's a combination of sensory issues as well as all the chemicals that are being released by the products in those types of stores.  I've always been very sensitive to any kind of scenty store.  I don't know if it's a true allergy or just a sensitivity of some sort.

 

The back injury may be related to his foot issues.  What does he do for work?  Is he on his feet all day?  I used to have a numb area in the side of my one heel and we figured it was some kind of trapped nerve.  Prior to having kids I was a vet tech and was on my feet doing strenuous work all day long.  Fortunately when I went on maternity leave the combination of being off my feet and the softening of the ligaments due to pregnancy resolved that issue and I haven't had a problem since.  Obviously, your husband can't use that method ;) but it might be something to consider having him take some time off or figure out a way to be off his feet.  I sympathize with him because I have had problems with my feet as long as I can remember and it really is so hard to deal with.  I actually ended up being referred to a specialist who deals with structural kind of stuff like that.  I want to say she was a sports medicine physician but I can't be sure.  She determined that I had congenital deformities in my feet that contributed to a lot of my problems.  I still have issues but nowhere near as bad as they were when I was working.  If your husband is overweight he may find losing some may help but I have to say that even when I was skinny in high school I still had problems so it isn't a miracle cure for all foot problems.

 

With my dad and his Meniere's Disease I don't recall him having any ear pain.  He just fainted one time at an event and that was when he found out about it.

 

Another random thought about the feet - has he switched to a new pair of shoes recently?  It's possible pressure is being put on the big toes if the shoes have a different support system than he is used to.

 

I think at this point, given your husbands family history and personal history (back injury) and the fact that the doctor has caused so much anxiety, you really need to push for an MRI or even better, a referral to a specialist.

 

Good luck and I hope your husband feels better soon.

 

Martha

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Old 03-24-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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I can be overwhelming to feel these symptoms and not have any answers.  It is important that he press for help. If your family doctor is unsure, then absolutely ask for a referral to a specialist (or more than one!)

 

In my experience, there has to be a few "puzzle pieces" put together before a diagnosis of MS can even be considered.  At minimum, an MRI.  In addition to that, other tests can be done to confirm the diagnosis.

 

I was diagnosed with MS recently. I had numbness in my feet that spread very quickly and was the first indication.  I also had a lumbar puncture, and a number of MRI's in order to have a full diagnosis. 

 

Don't be afraid to advocate for yourselves.  You may have to seek out a few different opinions, but it is worth it!

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Old 02-19-2013, 07:42 PM
 
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Laurienna, I am not sure if you still visit the forum, but is it possible for you to provide an update on the ultimate diagnosis?  A close friend of mine matches the conditions expressed in your original post 100%.  Her background also matches that of the person you had described.

 

She has been suffering from vertigo for roughly a week now, and just 4 days ago, began experiencing numbness in her toes.  She is worrying excessively that she has MS or brain cancer, and I have become equally concerned since she had told me that her numbness was getting increasingly worse.  She had gone to the ER a couple of days ago and the preliminary blood work had come back normal.

 

Just like the patient you had described, she also has arches towards the bottom of her feet, that have caused her callouses in the past.  After reading your post, I am beginning to believe that this may be related.  She also has a history of being mildly anemic, as the person you had described.

 

Is there anything you can provide us to give us some insight, or share with us the outcome of your particular situation?  It would be appreciated beyond words....

 

Thank you kindly.

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