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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 54875
Experience:  GP in the United States
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Hi. I m just wondering if you could shed any light on my current

Resolved Question:

Hi. I m just wondering if you could shed any light on my current situation which is extremely depressing and upsetting for me,
I am 30 years old, female, slightly overweight, 6ft tall, don't smoke or drink and eat fairly healthily.
So it all started in 2005 when I was 21. Randomly out of the blue I started with severe attacks of vertigo. Up until that point I'd always been physically healthy and had no health problems. But nonetheless I started with this vertigo that was sometimes so bad I'd vomit. Around this time I also started with visual disturbances, when I say visual disturbances I mean extreme fioaters and flyers in my vision and a weird " grainy" vision. Nevertheless, investigations with a neurologist and opticians couldn't find anything wrong so with meds and sheer strength I continued going about my daily life and just managed my symptoms as and when.
Then in 2009, In addition to the vertigo/ visual disturbances, I started experiencing tingling in my hands and feet, random shooting nerve pains and numbness in my head. An MRI of my head and lower back were performed and again nothing untoward was found. My GP put my symptoms down to anxiety and depression which I have suffered from all my life. I accepted his diagnosis and carried on with my life, again just managing the symptoms day by day. For the next four years, between 2009 and 2013 the symptoms would come and go and I would have periods of relapse and then other periods of relief. I took a small dose of amitripyline which helped a little and just got on with my life. However, in sept 2013 things were to take an unfortunate turn for the worst. My symptoms - over the space of a few weeks - increased IMMENSELY. For the last year the symptoms have progressed and the quality of my life at the moment is causing me such sadness. I have constant numbness all over my body, especially down my left side: my left leg, my left side of my head/face, left foot and left arm. I also experience shooting pains across my chest and down my left arm and a random patternless stabbing pain in my left jaw. I am constantly breathless as I feel like I can't breathe and I have a constant feeling of a pressure on my chest and sternum and a feeling of a tight band around squeezing below my chest and I feel like I am unable to breathe out properly and when I do try to my left arm and hand tingle. My legs feel constantly numb and extremely shaky and weak and sometimes I am unable to walk as they " give way" from under me, when I try to relax they also start twitching a lot and so does my bottom and I also have signs of muscle wastage in my upper thighs and bottom area. My arms feel extremely weak that sometimes I cannot even hold my phone in my hands. I am constantly light headed and dizzy especially on standing and this is in addition to the vertigo which has now worsened along with the visual disturbances. My head feels so numb all the time yet I can always move it as I can every part of my body however unbelievably when I move my eyes in certain directions it sends a weird nerve pain down my chest. I have constant pain in my neck and lower back and have done for many years but again I just learned to live with daily as it's not excruciating though it is painful. When I've had my lower back massaged in the past or when somebody applies any sort of pressure on my lower back I have to catch my breath...weird right? I have constant cramp in my calves and also feel like I'm constantly going to fall over. I have also developed weird sensations of " not being in my body" or that I'm " coming out of my body" and I have constant depersonalisation and feel as if I'm in a dream and not really alive. I recently have also started having these weird episodes like seizures where I go into a trance, all my nerves tingle and my head goes numb, I don't convulse but it feels extremely bizarre, like my brain just stops working. My GP constantly tells me this is all down to anxiety and what she calls panic disorder but I'm just not fully convinced as my anxiety and depression are under control at the moment and I feel in a really happy place in my life - aside from these health issues. I paid for a head and neck MRI in May 2014 which again, thankfully, showed nothing wrong. It did show some mild degeneration in my neck but I was told that this would not cause any of my symptoms. I ve had several ECG 's, blood tests, 24 hour heart monitor, chest x ray, and blood pressure checks all coming back as normal. But I'm absolutely despairing as I'm getting to the point where I can hardly walk because of the numbness, weakness and breathlessness and I used to be so active. These symptoms are there all the time but are exacerbated by any form of exercise even gentle walking. I do have an under active thyroid and have had so for ten years but it's always been closely monitored, never caused me any problems and is at perfect level at the moment. Please can you give me ANY advice I'm so fed up :(
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Phil, MD :

Hello. I'm Dr. Phil, licensed and practicing internist. Excellent service is my goal.

Customer: Ok advice?
Dr. Phil, MD :

Hi I'm Dr Phil

Dr. Phil, MD :

Can I ask your first name?

Customer: Jen
Dr. Phil, MD :

Hi Jen

Dr. Phil, MD :

nice to meet you

Dr. Phil, MD :

I'm sorry you are suffering so bad

Customer: Hi... Yes I'm very upset
Dr. Phil, MD :

have you had a spinal tap?

Customer: Not recently. Had one in 2012. Results ok. But that was two years ago
Dr. Phil, MD :

I agree that this does seem like anxiety on the surface but you probably have tried all medicines for that no?

Customer: Yes. I can feel very calm and happy but still have all these symptoms. I'm in the best place I ever been in my life but symptoms just getting worse and more out of control. Would anxiety cause vertigo? And left sided numbness?
Dr. Phil, MD :

Yes it absolutely would

Dr. Phil, MD :

and with a normal MRI, is really the only thing that could explain everything

Dr. Phil, MD :

have you tried medicine for anxiety just to see if it helps?

Customer: Yes. It doesn't help the symptoms. Just makes me even more calm. Doctor could it be a pherohial nuropathy?
Customer: Pheriphial nuropathy? Sorry
Dr. Phil, MD :

possibly

Dr. Phil, MD :

have you had an EMG or B12 test?

Customer: No..never..neither of these things
Dr. Phil, MD :

an EMG would tell if you have a neuropathy and should have been done

Dr. Phil, MD :

and B12 test in the blood

Customer: Ah ok. Thankyou. Sorry to ask this and I know you gonna think I'm crazy or a hypochondriac but is there a chance I could have Motor Nuerones?
Dr. Phil, MD :

I don't think so because that would have likely progressed rapidly by now

Dr. Phil, MD :

to the point where your functioning is limited

Customer: Ahhh I see. Just want to say as well that my bowel, bladder and periods are all working perfectly. So it's quite bizarre. Can I ask, would a clear brain MRI completely rule out MS ?
Dr. Phil, MD :

pretty much yes.

Dr. Phil, MD :

you essentially can't have MS with a normal MRI

Dr. Phil, MD :

plus a normal spinal tap

Dr. Phil, MD :

so I would say yes, you don't have MS

Customer: Ok Thankyou doctor. Any ideas as to why the symptoms would get worse with excersize? Is it possible to damage the nerves to the heart?
Dr. Phil, MD :

no the heart should be fine

Dr. Phil, MD :

that is interesting.

Dr. Phil, MD :

there are rare conditions like myasthenia gravis that get worse with exercise

Dr. Phil, MD :

an EMG would show that

Customer: Even just walking gently, the numbness and tingling just exacerbates massively,
Dr. Phil, MD :

get that EMG and do some research on myasthenia gravis

Dr. Phil, MD :

see what you think

Dr. Phil, MD :

have you considered fibromyalgia?

Customer: Am I right in thinking with fibromyagia one gets extreme pain all over their whole body? Is it not more muscle related? The only pain I get is the cramp in my calves, and the shooting pain in my chest, stabbing pain in my jaw and the neck and Lower back ache
Dr. Phil, MD :

it can occur anywhere

Dr. Phil, MD :

the pain that is

Dr. Phil, MD :

muscles, joints, nerves, etc

Customer: Ahhh I see. Ok so really the thing I need to ask my neuro for is an EMG and possible spinal tap?
Dr. Phil, MD :

I would say EMG and B12.

Dr. Phil, MD :

for sure

Dr. Phil, MD :

possibly another spinal

Dr. Phil, MD :

and maybe ask your GP about fibro

Customer: Ok thankyou. That's great. Thankyou for answering my questions, is Fibro/ Pheriphial Nueropathy likely to put me in a wheelchair? I know you ve not examined me in person but I'm pretty scared about the future at this point
Dr. Phil, MD :

No, they are not likely to do that

Dr. Phil, MD :

and you are very welcome :)

Dr. Phil, MD :

do you celebrate labor day in the UK?

Customer: Thankyou :)
Dr. Phil, MD :

you there Jen?

Dr. Phil, MD :

please don't forget an excellent rating.

Dr. Phil, MD :

I appreciate it

Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 54875
Experience: GP in the United States
Dr. Phil, MD and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 2 years ago.
I noticed that our chat is not complete.

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