Burning / tingling in hands and forearms

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Hi

I was going to put up a different post about all the trouble I've had (and have), but I'd like to ask about this specific problem for now, to see if anyone else is experiencing it.

I keep getting tingling and burning sensations in my hands, sometimes up my forearms. It coincides with my reflux pain quite a lot but there are times when I get it even though I don't have the usual pain and discomfort.

I've had this in the past, along with other much worse problems, including palpitations and stomach spasms, which at its worst made me feel like I was having a heart attack, and lead to a miserable cycle of pain and depression as it seemed like I would never get better - the same old story I'm sure most of you have experienced when trying to solve the problem with doctors: you've got reflux, take a PPI, you've got tingling and burning, that's not related, it's just ANXIETY.

Once that dreaded word passes your GPs lips, forget anyone ever trying to understand your condition. True or not, based on sound medical reasoning or not, once you're labelled this way, every symptom outside of the standard chest pain, burning etc associated with reflux disease is lumped in as part of your so-called anxiety and no real solution will be forthcoming.

Note - if you start tingling, aren't hyperventilating, are actually in a relaxed state when symptoms begin and don't freak out when they do, your GP will still likely say this is anxiety even though it doesn't fit the model for anxiety and panic attack. Apparently the tingling itself is the only symptom that matters, and other factors are ignored.

I digress...

When this was at its worst before and I wasn't getting answers, I eventually came round to the idea myself that I had an excess calcium intake due to taking a lot of antacids (Bisodol) as well as drinking a lot of milk. As it turns out excess calcium can cause muscle spasms. I began taking Gaviscon Advance to help with the pain of my oesophagitis (I cannot tolerate PPI drugs, H blockers etc, I always feel worse), and as it worked quite well I stopped taking the chalky antacids and lowered my milk intake. Fortunately the tingling went away, the spasms went away, and I no longer felt like I was dying. The palpitations stopped, although I've had the occasional episode here and there which I THINK have to do with abdominal pressure but that's another discussion.

Given the changes I experienced in my condition I have to assume calcium was the big problem for me. However I'm asking about this now because the tingling has started again. I haven't drastically changed my diet, I haven't gone back on antacids etc. But in the last two weeks I've experienced tingling and burning in hands and arms on and off, and in particular yesterday and today (it's happening now and has been for hours, sometimes it lasts all night).

I'm still in limbo as far as treating my condition goes, and I came to this forum through searching for help and solutions to the problem. As a part of that I've read a lot about low stomach acid and the vicious cycle of poor nutrition it creates, and I wonder if past episodes weren't just about the calcium but a cycle involving the acid suppression along with the excess calcium. I take Gaviscon Advance every day, as and when required to ease my oesophageal pain, and have considered that I might be replicating that cycle again to some extent but I've been taking Gaviscon for months with no problems.

Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Have you found any solutions or noticed any correlation between food or drug intake etc? I've been dealing with the overall condition (oesophagitis) for a few years now and it is driving me crazy, it is also putting my job in question. I have to find a way to get on top of this and I'm doing my best to research it as much as I can. I wondered if I was the only one with this specific symptom, or if others experience it and perhaps had found a way to combat it.

Apologies to anyone who made it through all that, I didn't mean for the post to be so long.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks

Al

3 likes, 15 replies

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Alizarin

    Has your dr tested your heart. U mite have a cardiac issue.It can feel like reflux but if the pain travels to your arms and ur getting

    sob u might want to get an EKG just to rlo cardiac involvement. They can blood tests

    for cardiac enzymes. If it happens again

    I would go to the emergency room they take people first who have chest pain. If they rule it out then they will test u for

    GI. problems. Thanks

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    • Posted

      Hi GI GIRL

      Thanks for the reply.

      Although I haven't mentioned it, I have indeed been through the cardiac check 'routine' on more than one occasion. I've had the usual blood tests, stress test, and 24 hr monitor. Fortunately this has never shown any problems with my heart.

      The last (and worst) time I was affected I had a nice long chat with the cardiac nurse who pointed out, amongst other useful info, that it's common for sufferers of reflux etc to end up in hospital believing they are suffering from heart trouble, while the reverse is also true - patients think they're having bad indigestion but are actually experiencing cardiac events.

      As far as anxiety and panic attacks, this is a particular bug bear of mine. I've never been especially anxious, and never has any anxiety or stress preceded my symptoms - more to the point I've experienced the polar opposite on many occasions, including palpitations waking me from sleep, and beginning whilst in the middle of laughing at a comedy show whilst relaxing in bed.

      On my last visit to hospital following my suspected heart problems (severe chest pain, pain down left arm, and numbness in chin), I had to take a stress test in the morning following my stay. Despite the stress of all that had gone on, while I sat for my initial trace in my work clothes, my resting heart rate prompted the nurse to ask if I was on beta blockers.

      I've only had nitro glycerine in the back of an ambulance on those unfortunate occasions when I've had symptoms severe enough to prompt a 999 call believing there were heart problems to blame.

      I've tried all different PPI drugs (all the 'azoles'), they've been nothing but terrible for me. Ranitidine et al may be relatively innocuous as a rule but sadly it puts me in quite a bit of pain and discomfort. My last use of Zantac ended with a 5 hour stint of severe pain from what felt like a constriction/spasm in the LES area.

      I had a similar problem with the one anti-anxiety med I agreed to try after it was explained it should relax and reduce spasms etc. I persevered after discussing with doctor, allowing for an initial adjustment to new medication, but it became so unbearable I could hardly move. I checked out the leaflet afterwards and it actually said oesophageal spasm was a possible side effect. Brilliant.

      Thanks for the advice on breathing exercises, I'll look into it. I'm open to any useful info that doesn't involve the 'usual' stuff I've already tried.

      Cheers

      Al

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    • Posted

      It sounds like ur very sensitive to

      medication. Everything makes u sick.

      There is a bacteria called hpylori it causes ulcers bloating nausea refluxpain. It can be cured with 2 antibiotics 1 is biaxan

      they also give pepti bismol. It can be diagnosed in a blood test

      or a biopsy during an EGD.

      Report
  • Posted

    Alizarin

    What ur describing sounds more like

    a panic attacks. U can get heart. palpitation

    sob and the stress could make acid reflux

    worse. Have u ever taken a nitroglycerin

    when u get the pain u mite ask for Levsin or Bentyl. they reduce spasms in the GI tract

    it also sounds like an anti-anxiety med might. help along with an anti- Depressant.

    I would also try meditation yoga or

    get a massage. There are breathing. exercises that strengthen the. muscle of the

    esophagus. Do a search on. exercises for acid reflux. one is on. inspiration push your. stomach out when u exhale suck your stomach in, It makes the diaphragm. stronger. There are several different

    PPIs if one doesn't work. or makes u sick.

    The H2 Blockers like. Zantac is pretty innocuous. but helps the acid. I would still

    look into cardiac issues but u mite be having panic attack. Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Did you consider it could be job related you might be using your hands and forearms a lot ? There are heaps of condtions related to these symptoms, neuralgia, diabetes neuropathy , carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral neuropathy wherein you've overused your hands or forearams and could 've brought by damaged nerves.It would be wise to ask for second opinion.MRI , perhaps.We supply all our symptoms to Drs and that's how they end up with diagnosis however they need to use diagnostic aids such as x-rays, MRI to accurately determine what's causing it .

    I hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      I have considered this, especially in the past when it was at its worst. I pestered docs a lot to look into it. Because of the combination of problems (I had spasms, tics, numbness, tingling, burning etc) I was convinced of a nerve problem. Some blood tests were done (I think blood sugar, calcium, thyroid and so on) but I've never had any kind of scan. I had expected to maybe be put forward for an MRI but it never happened.

      The fact the spasms etc stopped after the changes I mentioned had me convinced I was on the right track with the calcium issue, but before that my job was a suspect for the hand and forearm problems as I basically drive for a living. The thing is I've been fine for months but now it's back, and it does tie in with the reflux pains a lot of the time.

      A side note concerning my experience with docs. I once suggested I may require some kind of scan (it was because of pain in my chest, not heart related, and there was a question mark concerning the actual cause), and the doctor's response was to ask me what sort of scan I should have.

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    • Posted

      Dr sounds like a jerk. Next time tell

      him Iu want an EGD or upper gi or barium swallow those two are X-rays not scans

      Report
  • Posted

    Alizarin,

    I too have the tingling in the arms and hands sometimes and it's only started since I've had the oesophagal problems. But it is getting better since I started on an alkalizing diet. Still a little bit, but now. I'm off coffee tea and alcohol, sugars etc its improving. Exercise seems to help too. Maybe worth a try for you?

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  • Posted

    Hi Alizarin

    There is a chance the tingling has nothing to do with your reflux. I have been on PPIs for 20 years now. I also had a lot of tingling in my hands and sometimes the end of my nose and the tip of my tongue. It turned out to be a squashed disc on my neck trapping the nerves. Might be worth looking into. I do hope you get to the bottom of it. Take care.

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  • Posted

    Hi Alizarin; after reading some more of your comments, especially the one re getting "Palpitations while laughing.." it reminds me of my son, who also gets palpitations for no known reason, and also complains of similar symptoms as you.  When we took him to various drs and ED, all to say that he was fine....except for one occasion when he had been palpating for over 4 hours....and yes, his Cardiac Enzymes came  back elevated....the specialist who we saw after all this, explained that he felt that what my son's problem was a "faulty AF NODE..."....where the signals come through for the heart to pump.....when he palpates, he gets EXTRA impulses...causing the palpitations.....needed to have a small device inserted under the skin (basically the opposite to a Pace Maker), that just needs to be pushed when he palpates too much....does this make sense to you and your symptoms???   Bron
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Just wanted to quickly say thanks to all who have responded. I'm at work just now so don't have time to answer properly atm, but will catch up with your replies later.

    Cheers

    Al

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  • Posted

    Al no need to apologise for your long intro as it was interesting to read. Your views on doctors being too quick to diagnose anxiety is spot on with my experiences as well. I am interested to read about the tingling problem as when this all started for me I was getting tingling in my feet. Some years later I am now getting tingly in my neck and collar bone so I wonder if this is another vrsion of what you have.I will read these replys and others that come in but for now stay well. Ted
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  • Posted

    I had reflux and took omeprazol. After 6 months my tongue was burning, my feet and hands tingling. Started to have back pain. Pins and needles and Burning in my feet. I was B12 deficient because of PPIs. That is a fact. I have permanent nerve damage, because my doctors thought it was anxiety and I was depressed and they never checked my b12 level until It was too late to stop the nerve degeneration. Taking PPIs ir having H pylori are risk factors for lack of absorption of b12. I got tested my b12 level was less than 200. and I got injections. I now supplement daily. Get informed about ppis aniscids and H blockers and B12 deficiency.
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