Could it be PA?

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I'm going to the doctors on Monday after a week of some funny symptoms.

First of all, I have a pretty awful diet - I know this! I have a demanding job and if it were up to me, would probably live on toast and carbs. I don't eat a great deal of meat as I'm not overly keen on it. Hence, for some time now I've gotten every bad cold going!

My last bad cold, I took Sudafed and noticed that I had a weird foggy-brain feeling, so I stopped taking it (this was about 2 weeks ago) but then pins and needles started. I had it one night in my left hand and then my right foot. It would last for about 20 minutes before seemingly moving to a different part of my body. The next day, I had little sort of involuntary movements (not noticeable to anyone but me). For example, I'd text someone and my finger would slip to the wrong letter on the screen.

The pins and needles then came back but it was sort of weird short bursts of tingles...on the tip of my nose, the top of my left thumb, my right foot...even had an itchy toe. Taking an anti-histamine seemed to calm it down and when I started taking a good multi vit, plus a boost of magnesium, the brain fog certainly seemed to lift considerably.

Last night though, I had two glasses of wine before bed and it felt like my body was alive with ants crawling all over it...it was so weird! I went to bed and woke up at 2am with pins and needles in left hand and right leg and a heart beating madly at nearly 90bpm. I got up and sat quietly in a chair - the pins and needles eventually stopped and heart rate seemed to go back to normal about 30 mins later.

Other symptoms I've had over the past few years; I'm known for my whining about the cold! I'm always cold! I also (of late) have had a few episodes of shoulder bumping where I seem to walk into a door frame! I've also felt a bit dizzy, a bit nauseous and lacking in appetite (despite knowing that I should be feeling hungry!). I sometimes struggle to remember the right word for things too. Nothing serious but it's like the word for something is on the tip of my tongue but it takes a few seconds to suddenly grab it again.

Turns out we have a family history of hyperthyroidism, Graves and PA. I also read that PA can be linked to negative blood types...I'm a fairly rare A rh -.

I've no signs of muscle weakness and taking a double dose of B12 this morning seems to have cleared brain fog a wee bit more! But my left hand is a bit tingly and I still feel a bit twitchy.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Grace, it does sound as though it might be low B12, however, once you start taking a supplement you skew the results of any blood test the doctor might do. How long have you been supplementing? I think it takes around three months to clear from your system. 

    In view of the family history, you should certainly get your thyroid checked out, and many low B12 symptoms are similar to underactive thyroid. Although, having said that, the pins and needles, shoulder bumping and brain fog sound like low B12. PA and thyroid problems do occur together in lots of people. Good luck with your GP visit. Marion

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    • Posted

      Thanks for this. Just been to GP and he didn't seem to take me that seriously. Told him I had pins and needles all over at different times, felt nauseous, had cold extremities and just felt generally unwell. He asked if I was stressed! Didn't examine me - took my temperature, said I wasn't anaemic and that he really didn't know what it was. Anyway...he's sent me for a blood test to check for under active thyroid, but only because I asked for it. Should I have asked them to check my b12 too?

      I feel slightly better today - pins and needles seem to have stopped but I am still horribly nauseous and feel a bit foggy brained. Still have random muscle twitches too. He said that anything neurological wouldn't show up in random pins and needles - it would be constant and in one place. I felt a bit like a hypochondriac...even though I'm really not! This is the first time I've been to the doctors in 10 years!

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    • Posted

      Well, you're certainly not a hypochondriac! Doctors, unfortunately, have a very limited understanding of the effects of low B12. They assume it is "just a vitamin", when in fact it is vital for every cell in the body! Have a look at the Pernicious Anaemia Society website for a full symptom list, also details of books written by Martyn Hooper (the founder). His went untreated for so long he was left with permanent neurological damage.

      It is good that the doctor is checking your thyroid function, have you already been for the blood test? It should be a fasting test, done as early as possible in the day. The only thing they tend to check is your thyroid stimulating hormone level. Once you get your result, post the level on here.(Don't just accept "It's fine!" or "It's normal!" from the GP)

      We are all entitled to have copies of our blood test results, sometimes the surgery make a small charge for paper and printing.

      For the pain and pins and needles to be in one place, he's talking about a trapped nerve.

      If the pins and needles come back and you are still feeling fatigued after your blood results, ask for B12 to be checked.

      I wish you well, and know how hard it is to get a GP to look beyond their usual list of problems. Hope things get better. Marion

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    • Posted

      Oh, he didn't tell me about the conditions for the thyroid test...just gave me a letter and then I went up to the walk-in clinic to have it done.

      I should get the results on Monday I think and I'll let you know what they are.

      I'm surprised he could make such a definitive judgement about the pins and needles - the only other question he asked (presumably in relation to MS) was whether I'd have any toilet troubles - constipation etc. Said no.

      When I told him my feet were like blocks of ice often when the rest of my body was fine, he said 'well, it is cold out at the moment!'

      Geez!!!

      Anyway, see how I get on. Today I just feel very foggy brained and still quite nauseous. I've eaten breakfast and lunch but had to force myself too. This is quite something for a foodie like me! The pins and needles seem to be better today though I've currently got it on the tops of my feet!

      What a day! smile

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    • Posted

      Hi again Grace, I expect your thyroid test will look OK then, the TSH drops during the day, and after eating.

      Constipation is a thyroid symptom, so he may have been asking because of that.

      Let me know what the result of the test is on Monday, and I hope you feel better over the next few days. Best wishes Marion 😊

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    • Posted

      Thanks! Well Thyroid and glandular fever both came back normal. The GP's receptionist was a bit snippy so I didn't ask for TSH levels.

      In the week since, I've been feeling much better and I think the super vitamins have really helped. But today, the tingling came back. SO weird! Can't describe it as numbness, as there's no loss of sensation or weakness, but just an odd, slightly tingly feeling this time in both shins (front of legs), left hand and cheeks. Not uncomfortable but definitely there...it almost felt a bit like an allergic thing....but I'm not allergy-prone as far as I know. Also had the weird, spaced out feeling!

      My stress levels were high today but I do have a good system for controlling that. Plus the tingles started before my day got stressy.

      Maybe it's just one of those things! It doesn't appear to be getting worse...but it is a very odd thing.

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    • Posted

      I suggest that you go back and ask for a B12 test if the tingling doesn't go away, and if you get any more odd symptoms. Have a look at the Pernicious Anaemia Society website if you want to check a full symptom list.

      Hope you feel better soon. Marion 

      ps wine or any alchohol seems to deplete my B12 straight away. I had a glass of Cinzano last night, and woke in the night with numbness and tingling.

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    • Posted

      Oh wow...how interesting! The same thing happened to me yesterday - 1 glass of red wine and I felt sort of 'buzzy' all over.

      Today has been a better day...no pins and needles and I had a productive day. I'll keep an eye on it and see how I feel!

      Thanks for all your help!

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  • Posted

    Well, I'm back! I had a couple of weeks relief from the tingling & then it came back, so I was off to the GP's again yesterday.

    I had a really lovely GP this time...he listened and did a few neuro tests, checked reflexes etc and all seemed fine.

    He asked again if I was stressed but I honestly wouldn't say I was overly! I have a lot of pressures in my life and my mood goes up and down but I don't necessarily feel stressed.

    Anyway, he says its paresthesia and has sent me for a full blood workout to see if there's an underlying cause - is also testing my B12.

    At present, my symptoms are foggy brain, paresthesia pretty much all over, extremities and sometimes even in my face and my tongue (now THAT's weird!). It's not constant but seems worse at night time when I lie down. I also have the occasional muscle twitch...nothing extreme, just a feeling that something twitched.

    My main issue is the foggy brain - if I could shift that, I think I'd feel a lot better!

    So guess I'll see if there's an issue soon. smile

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    • Posted

      Hi Grace, sorry to hear your symptoms are back, it sounds as though this GP will be looking after you. When I've had numbness in the face and tongue I've had a migraine attack. Did you get any visual disturbance or headache with those symptoms?

      i think it's worse at the end of the day, when you're tired. 

      Hope you will get some answers soon? 

      Best wishes Marion

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