Why do my toes hurt??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 04-12-2007, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is such a bizarre symptom, I'm almost embarrassed to talk about it, I feel hypochondriac

For about two weeks, my toes have been hurting. It starts out as numbness, progresses to intense pins and needles, then the pins and needles subsides somewhat but they feel kind of swollen, although they're not very. The whole cycle takes days: the numbness started about two weeks ago, progressed through, the pain was almost gone, then it all began again last weekend.

It's not all my toes. It starts on the fourth toe of each foot (the one that correlates to your ring finger), then progresses to the middle toe and then the second toe; the pain is worst in the fourth toe, lesser in the middle, and not nearly as bad in the second toe. The big toe and the little toe are unaffected.

My first thought was some sort of fungus or else a parasite from working in the garden barefoot. But, why would it affect the exact same toes on both feet in the same pattern? And there's no visible symptom, like a fungus. At their very worst, the toes look a little red and swollen and are warm, but not nearly as much as I'd think they would be for how they feel.

It doesn't feel like it's a joint thing. When I bend the toes, the joints don't hurt, though the toes do hurt like, well, bending swollen tissue. There is slight but not intense pain in walking, from pressure. When one of my kids steps on them, it's intensely painful.

They seem to get irritated from being worn inside shoes. In fact, at first I thought that was what was causing it, but I've been wearing sandals almost exclusively since and it's not improving. But, wearing shoes definitely aggravate it temporarily. I think it's from the warmth - they're aggravated by a warm bath, too.

My only thought is, could this be another gluten reaction? But, I'm not having any of my other typical gluten reactions, particularly geographic tongue.

So, any ideas???
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#2 of 15 Old 04-12-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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i get this too, and i have gluten sensitivities, i think. i never heard of geographic tongue, but if it has to do with a pattern on the tonue i have that! so that makes sense to me

my dr once told me that intestinal stuff can actually trigger some nerve things. i have a very foggy memory of when i brought up very similar toe concerns to him, he told me that he did NOT think it was MS, which is what i was worried about, and that he thought it was related to my IBS-Migraine syndrome

i woke up tday with the toes on my left foot doing that. its passed, but i know exactly what you mean, i think. mine will just be one toe, like the middle toe or ring finger toe, and spread sometimes, too.

i really think it is a nerve thing. are you gluten -sensitive , but eating gluten? if so i would stop eating gluten and see if it helps. do you get migraines? there are lots of symptoms that go along with migraine that most people dont realize. sometimes you can just get the other symtoms without the headache ( i get these) . i have a really smart dr who narrowed this down for me. i was scared i had MS one summer from all the tingling, plus i went temporarily blind a couple times. I had MRIs and other tests, and i am fine, its "just" migraine. after i found that out i quit gluten and dairy for a whole year and LOTS of my health issues went away, including acne.

soooooo long story short, investigate the more minor things, but if you have MS in your family, or Diabetes, ask your DR about it.
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#3 of 15 Old 04-12-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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Sounds like a nerve or circulation issue, though from what I haven't a clue.

Write down what you were doing, wearing, etc when each episode starts and before they started, and what you ate that day since you think it might be gluten related. Maybe there'll be a clue in that info.


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#4 of 15 Old 04-13-2007, 12:56 PM
 
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Oh my gosh! I have a geographic tongue and gluten sensitivities!! I did not know they were connected. I have been gluten free for 8 months and just looked in the mirror--not geographic anymore! Now I am going to start checking people's tongues...

This happens to me at night when I wear certain shoes during the day. I have wide feet, especially my toe span so I think the circulation get cut off.

Jen

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#5 of 15 Old 04-14-2007, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do have a gluten sensitivity. My Dad has celiac disease. I have never suffered classic celiac symptoms, other than gas. Never gastric pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, weight loss. My primary symptom has always been the geographic tongue.

Let me backtrack here. After my Dad found out he has celiac, about 5 years ago, I asked to be tested. They took a blood test and it came back "a mild positive". The doc told me to limit gluten, but said I shouldn't have to cut that out. Now, my doc is a very holistic doctor, very on the ball, so I really trusted that. Thus, I went easy on the wheat (I've long known that I do better on a somewhat lower-carb diet anyway), but didn't cut it out. After dd2 was born, wham, the geographic tongue showed up. It was painful. I suffered it for about a year, thinking I was hypochondriac since I'd never heard of such a thing, and finally made an appointment to ask the doctor about it. The next day... a friend mentions that her son gets geographic tongue when he eats foods he's sensitive to. I googled the phrase, and suddenly had a name for what I was suffering! I found out that the party line is that there is no known cause, but that many people find it's related to their gluten (or other) sensitivity. I cut out gluten, and voila, the geographic tongue (and my gas) went away!

I've (guiltily and warily) experimented a little, and it does truly seem that I tolerate spelt. In the past year, I've had a few incidences where I ate something at a restaurant that I suspect was contaminated with wheat, and my symptoms came back within an hour or two; once I (shamefully) indulged in a piece of wheat bread (hey, it was Valentine's day, we were at an Irish pub, it was brown bread, there was fresh butter...) Wham, symptoms, worse than ever. But, spelt? I've eaten a good deal, on and off (again, I do better low-ish carb, so I don't eat it regularly, but I'll occasionally have spelt stuff) and no symptoms at all.

So, there's a little bit of me that says, well, I must be fooling myself about the spelt and here's a new symptom. BUT... I had two spelt muffins for breakfast, and a few bites of spelt cake when we went out for lunch (it was a really unusual day for me, admittedly - that's more grains than I've been eating in a week given my recent diet!), and my toe pain is actually almost gone tonight. So, the pattern just isn't fitting.

Meiri, I thought about that, but by the time it occurred to me, I couldn't remember what I'd eaten or worn the days it began. It was too long ago. I definitely will if it crops up again in the future.
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#6 of 15 Old 04-14-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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it might be a gluten response. dumping your numbness symptoms into abchomeopathy.com roughly spits back secale cornutum as a remedy - which is a dilution of some type of rye. you might have better luck playing with the online remedy finder for yourself.

i like to start with homoepathic remedy hunting because they surprisingly give clues as to an underlying reason for an ailment.

also, celiac disease is associated with a variety of neuropathies (e.g., http://jnnp.bmj.com/cgi/content/abst...otherarticles). you might take your numbness seriously and mention it to your practitioner.

Jennifer, Naturopath and mom

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#7 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bluets View Post
it might be a gluten response. dumping your numbness symptoms into abchomeopathy.com roughly spits back secale cornutum as a remedy - which is a dilution of some type of rye. you might have better luck playing with the online remedy finder for yourself.

i like to start with homoepathic remedy hunting because they surprisingly give clues as to an underlying reason for an ailment.

also, celiac disease is associated with a variety of neuropathies (e.g., http://jnnp.bmj.com/cgi/content/abst...otherarticles). you might take your numbness seriously and mention it to your practitioner.
Funny she should mention neuropathy - it's the first thing I thought of when I read your post. I didn't know neuropathic pain could be associated with celiac disease. Hope your toes are feeling better!
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#8 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all! I have an appointment for tomorrow morning, to discuss this among other things.

Funny thing is, the pain is gone finally. But, I know I had something contaminated with gluten last night: dh and I went out to a diner. I questioned the waitress about the meal I was ordering, and she assured me there was no breading, no breadcrumbs, anything like that. When it arrived... it sure looked like it had breadcrumbs on it. I asked her about it, and she told me, no, it's not breadcrumbs. So against my better judgement, I ate it. When I got to the end of the piece, where there was a concentrated amount of whatever the crusty stuff was, I became more convinced that it was breadcrumbs : Sure enough, I got gas and a little cramping, and my tongue started hurting within an hour.
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#9 of 15 Old 04-17-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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did she explain what it WAS, if it wasnt breadcrumbs? was it one of those situations where it was actually cracker crumbs, or a crust made from wheat flour , but becasue you said "breadcrumbs" she was only responding to that?

today my pointer finger on my right hand went completly numb and turned white for about 10 minutes. it was very weird. i need to quit eating gluten!!! i have had a migriane these last few days, also, so its all probably related.

anyway i am interested to hear what your dr says...can you update us?
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#10 of 15 Old 04-17-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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Interesting about your experiences with Geographic Tongue. DS gets that occasionally, but never has had any pain with it. The ped suggested that it could be allergy related, but DS doesn't get any symptoms or not strong enough to notice, to clue us in.

I hope you found out something at that appointment yesterday.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#11 of 15 Old 04-17-2007, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Stirringleaf, did your finger hurt like mad once it stopped being white and numb? When I was pregnant with Anika, I suffered from vasospasm in my nipples. Normally, vasospasm in nipples is related to an improper latch with nursing, but it was the opposite for us - it was triggered by cold air, and was relieved by Talia nursing. I was afraid it might actually be Raynaud's phenomenon. It went away after Ani was born, but every once in a while my nipples do hurt in the cold again. Not *nearly* as badly, not enough for them to blanch, but it's pretty obvious. Anyway, Raynaud's is more common in fingers and toes than in nipples.

The doctor was flummoxed. We took bloodwork, so I should have those results. She thought the gluten pathology was a valid idea, but there's no real way to confirm that. We'll check my blood sugar. I'm so afraid of diabetes, because there is some on both sides of my family. But, I've never had blood sugar issues, and I had bloodwork a little over a year ago. It doesn't seem logical that if it were blood sugar related, it would progress to a symptom this bad so quickly, when I've never had elevated blood sugar in the past. She considered gout, but that was really tentative. It doesn't follow a classic gout pattern, and I don't know of any history of gout in my family. The blood tests will show if I have elevated uric acid.
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#12 of 15 Old 04-17-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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Geographic tongue is a gluten sensitivity? I have that.

Nicole, mom of 3. Mitochondrial Disease.: Epilepsy
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#13 of 15 Old 04-18-2007, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know other people who get geographic tongue from soy or other sensitivities. So, it's a common food sensitivity symptom, not necessarily gluten.
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#14 of 15 Old 04-18-2007, 11:12 PM
 
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it didnt hurt... it just started coming back

i got my period a little while later.



bodies are so weird.
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#15 of 15 Old 04-19-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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bodies are so weird.
Yes, but having them beats the alternative.

"What will you do once you know?"
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