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Question
Posted by: Perplexed | 2007/02/20

Neurological symptoms

Hi Doc

I wrote to you a while back, herewith a quick update/ history:

I went on a diet last year and lost 16kgs in about 5 months. During the diet, I developed tingling sensations in my fingers, feet and goosebumps randomly around my body & painful feet. The most disturbing sensation I get is in my hands and feet...it feels like the same sensation you get when you hyperventalate...except I am not hyperventalating when it happens. It sometimes comes in my sleep and I have to wake up and breathe into a paper packet, it also happens if I am walking to exercise - then the same "hyperventilation" feelings arise in the front upper parts of my legs. I have to hold my breathe before it begins to subside.

I have seen a neurologist, she did full blood count, checked electrolytes, full blood glucose test, checked all vitamins, EMG test(electric current test to see how nerves respond), brain & spinal MRI. Everything came back normal, except the IgA antibody showed up as borderline. Her conclusion is that the small nerve fibres are damaged but she cant say what the cause is. She says I dont have circulatory problems so its not that.

She does not know what could be causing the "hyperventilation" sensations, which is what I am most concerned about - I am not anxious or having panic attacks. Do you have any ideas of what else could be causing the "hyperventilation" sensations? Which sort of specialist do you think would deal with something like this?

Thanks so much for your time!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Perplexed
One does not have to feel anxious to get panic attacks. The fact that it gets better if you breathe in to a paper bag or hold your breath may show that you are maybe subconsciously hyperventilating. Ask your GP to put you on a months trial of Fluoxetine 20 mg once a day, which should not cause weight gain, and see if this makes a difference. Also take Vit B complex and magnesium supplements daily.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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