Tingling for 6 weeks in feet and legs - MS, or hopefully something else?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I am suffering from some scary symptoms and I'm very worried about MS. 

I'm a 50-year-old woman and I've had no major health problems throughout life. Six weeks ago, I started having tingling/pins and needles in both feet, which continued and in a few days also included my lower and upper legs - front, sides, back, all around, also the soles of my feet - wherever. Since then, not a day goes by that I don't have these symptoms most, or all of the day - the intensity varies, but they're always there. It is anything from prickly feelings, to tingling, to light "buzzing," to feeling that something is brushing lightly on the outside of my thighs with a feather. There is a mild numb feeling just because it seems tingling makes you feel "numb" to some extent - although technically I CAN'T say I have numbness where I literally can't feel touch, or where I have no feeling. A couple times I've had a "patch" that feels slightly burning, but that hasn't really lasted or become prominent. My legs sometimes feel tired or heavy, but I'm not aware of any true weakinging anywhere. This seems to be affecting both legs/feet equally. 

Thankfully, these sensations don't get any worse during the night and don't keep me from sleeping. Also, it gets worse with exercise, and also with heat (being outside in very hot weather, hot showers, hot tub) which freaks me out due to the connection I read about heat with MS - however, my doctor says it's normal for damaged nerves to be sensitive to hot (or cold), regardless of whether the damaged nerves are caused by MS or by something else. I hope she's right about that! Anyway, I have no other symptoms so far - and no pain. Just these annoying, relentless, very bizarre tingling/etc.. sensations in my feet and legs. 

I've been to my primary care doctor and had bloodwork that showed by B12 is borderline low (275). I've read this can actually cause symptoms (such as tingling) and that ideally B12 should be above 450 or 500. I'm now doing additoinal blood work to further test B12 (folate, MMA) - as well as some other stuff (like toxic meal exposure).

I'm hoping even borderline B12 deficiency can be the cause of this???!?

Other factors maybe worth mentioning are that I'm nearing menopause and probably have pretty low estrogen levels, don't drink nearly enough water, am active but never exercise, and have terrible posture, especially at the computer - where I spend a LOT of time and have for many years. I sit slumped over, and then cross my legs and press down on my feet - sometimes I even cross my ankles as well. I have a happy but busy and sometimes stressful lifestyle. I have scoliosis (30% curve, considered moderate) and my mom has extreme scoliosis and spinal stenosis. My thyroid TSH is "normal," but my free T3 is just barely over low normal mark. My dad had problems with hypothyroidism (even though he was thin, like me) and took medication for years to control it. Also, my older sister had thyroid surgery 3 years ago (no cancer, but nodules they thought they should remove). Unfortunately, I don't think my doctor thinks any of these above things could be the cause of this, except perhaps the B12... 

Anyway, I am waiting for the second round of blood test results, and my doctor says we'll go from there. I'm also going to ask to be referred to a neurologist. But in the meantime, I have to admist I'm so stressed out about this. I started by trying to keep everything in perspective and not panic, but now as time passes and my sypmtoms don't go away at all, I can't help but really dwell on this and worry - especially about MS. 

I'm now taking B12 sublingual supplements, but I'm assuming even if my low B12 is causing all this, it will take awhile for symptoms to improve. 

But could B12 really be the culprit? I'm hoping beyond hope. I've also wondered about slipped or herniated disc, but that doesn't seem likely since I have no pain. 

I've never written in to a forum like this (though I've done plenty of reading)! But I am sort of at my wits end trying to get advice or insight from anyone kind enough to reply. I've done a huge amount of the dreaded googling/researching online, but actually I think that's made me feel more informed, instead of making me more paranoid. But the bottom line question I keep coming back to is.... do I have MS? 

I guess I should add that there's no history of MS in my family - which I know doesn't mean I can't get it, but at least it's one thing in my favor.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    It does not sound like MS to me. MS is an auto immune disease and is often accompanied by extreme fatigue plus other symotoms. Did your doctor check your glucose levels for diabetes? You fast for several hours before the test.
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    • Posted

      Yes, they are checking my glucose in this second round of blood work-I will have the results on Tuesday. I also had my glucose checked this past September (9 months ago) as part of a routine work up and it was completely normal, so I'm hoping it still is-I don't have any other diabetes symptoms, but of course you never know! Hopefully these test results will rule that out.

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  • Posted

    HI Molly. I'm sorry you're feeling these strange symptoms. Around age 40 I noticed a tingling of my extremities and twitching of my etremities and sometimes my abdomen. Occasionally, I would wake up with my extremities numb which would scare me. Among other symptoms like fatigue, bloating and heart flutters I discovered I have a wheat sensitivity so I have gone gluten-free and feel best when I eat a paleo diet. I've learned to cook and feel so much better, but I still have some of all of the symptoms, but they are way toned down. 

    I'm not sure if the fact of turning 40 or that I was training for a half marathon that triggered all my problems. I feel overall, more weak from this 'condition' which is a bummer because I love to excercise and run.  I've noticed my diet is the single most powerful medicine I have to keep my symptoms at bay.  

    I've been tested for MS, had a brain MRI, bloodwork and other tests and everything checked out okay.

    In short, I would try a gluten-free diet and if you have the time and stamina, try a paleo or at least a whole-foods diet.

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    • Posted

      Oops - not sure how that happened, but it looks like I replied to myself instead of to you! In any case, when you see my post that starts "Christina..." you'll know it's really supposed to be directed to you! smile


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  • Posted

    Christina, thanks so much - assuming they rule out anything really bad, then I will defiitely look at trying things in my diet to improve my health (including cutting back on or eliminating gluten, as you describe). Even if it's determined B12 is definitely causing my problems, it can't hurt to try some diet modifications, along with the supplements I'll continue to take. Thanks so much for your input, I really appreciate your taking the time to respond to me.

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