Peripheral Neuropathy due to health anxiety/stress?

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CEO of Hypochondria
New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/18/2012 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all...I'm brand new to this forum and thought I'd post my situation to see what others have experienced.
I'm a lonnng time sufferer of health anxiety.  I've been through the scare of HIV/cancer/etc. and recently went to ALS....not really sure why.
However, with that said, I have suffered over the past couple years with an area behind my left ear that is quite tender and has general soreness.  My ENT was on speed dial as I couldn't buck the pain.  He did a CT scan to make sure there was no tumor and eventually just basically said he didn't know what the problem was. My wife actually gave me a scalp massage a few years ago and she "hit something" that literally took me to my knees with pain.  I jokingly told her she must have ripped a vein or nerve.  Now over the past couple years, I developed some facial tingling on the left side.  Suddenly, ALS came to my mind.  After worrying about this for a while, my hands and feet became the problem.  The muscles on the outside of my palms has pain and some cramping while driving or on the computer, and I developed almost a type of plantar fascitis in my feet. 
Most mornings, I wake up with my hands and feet so sore I darn near don't want to get out of bed.  To top it off, my facial tingling has essentially turned into a bout with Trigeminal Neuralgia as I've had a few episodes over the past 6 weeks that gave me the "electric shock" sensation when eating.
Now, what has me worried is that TN is a early symptom in some cases of MS.  Then, when coupled with pain in my hands and's becoming a significant worry.  I finally went to the neuro office today and set an appointment.  June 19th was as early as I could get in.  Now, I have a month to wait....not good.
My question is, because I don't really have any muscle wasting/weakness/atrophy in my hands and feet....but simply bad pain (deep achiness) that comes and goes....what are the odds that I'm actually suffering from Peripheral Neuropathy in my hands and feet due to my anxiety and stress levels?  I'm 39 years old, male, business owner, coach, husband, father...etc.  All kinds of stress in my normal life, but also dealing with extreme health anxiety isn't helping I'm sure.
I'm relatively very healthy, athletic, but also have IBS quite bad.  ALS still scares the crap out of me, but MS seems more likely...and best case scenario I'm hoping for stress/anxiety induced PN with my Trigeminal Neuralgia being caused by something 'fixable' vs. due to autoimmune problem.  I spent most of my time in my office rubbing my hands and thinking what 'could' be going on in my body.  What a waste!  I hate this!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 5/18/2012 2:37 PM (GMT -6)   
First things first.

Take a deep breath and relax.

Next is stop self diagnosing. Your symptoms can be caused by something as simple as a pinched nerve or any number of things a lot less serious than MS or ALS.

A that is point you really do not know anything. You do not even know if you have peripherial neuropathy do you? Have you had a nerve conduction study done? That is one of the main tests that are used to determine neuropathy.

In the meantime relax and if you have not had a complete physical in the last year or two it would be a good idea to get one complete with lab workups. You are pushing 40 and an annual physical really becomes important at this stage in life.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.
Moderator Depression Forum.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16776
   Posted 5/18/2012 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello CEO and welcome to the chronic pain forum. It seems like your anxiety is a real issue for you. Anxiety can really wear on a person. None of us are drs here and we cannot give you a diagnosis, we only speak from experiences of our own. To be very honest I have never heard of anyone getting PN from anxiety or stress. The people I know that have this condition are either diabetic or they have nerve involvment that causes the PN. My husband is diabetic and has it in his feet and hands which is typical of diabetes. He is on medication trying to get it under control and it has been a slow going process.

I am glad that you have an appt with the neurologist and hopefully you can get some answers about all of your concerns. You are right about the what if's and could it be's, try to steer away from that, none of that is helping with your stress level. You need to let the dr know that you suffer with extreme anxiety too.

In the mean time, try to not let all of this wear you down, make a list of questions to take with you the appt. Also, if you are on any medications be sure to make a list of those.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. Take care....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

CEO of Hypochondria
New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/18/2012 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim you are correct, no, I haven't officially been diagnosed with anything other than insanity! The internet can be a cruel place for people like myself that fall into this self diagnosis complex!

CEO of Hypochondria
New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/18/2012 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
The 'funny' thing about all of this is....when I read my original post, if I was just simply scanning someone else's post, I'd probably reply or think to myself: Dude, settle down. You are getting way too worked up over this. Yet, when you experience it yourself, rationality seems to go out the window. As I type this, my freaking hands and my right calf are killing me!!! Irony.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/21/2012 11:14 AM (GMT -6)   

I noted all the replies came from the moderators and they are good so I hope you are listening. I am a fellow sufferer from chronic pain and have PN from Chemotherapy. Many years ago I had a rare disease called RSD. I am a stage three colon cancer survivor and what i want to say is life is full of stress! I raised a son with a grave disability as a single parent and all the things that happened to me did not bring me down. What did bring me down was worry! I was a chronic worrier about the future and how I would be able to take care of my family. Nothing i worried about happened. Trust me I am not going to say- "stop worrying," because I couldn't. When I was DX was cancer and had to have emergency surgery, I was amazed that I did not worry. They wheeled me in and i said goodbye to the kids. I can not explain it but here is the most important part. After the surgery and during my treatment which included 11 days in critical care due to a toxic reaction to the first round of chemo, I stopped worrying. All I had to do was show up. I had an army around taking care of me. My family and friends and all the professional staff were there round the clock. I thought- this is what it feels like! (Being taken care of) I stopped worrying because i was no longer in control. My life was that of a care-giver- Mom with mental illness, dad with alzhiemers etc. My newest bout of pain followed a stressful incident and i forgot not to stress. You are a young man with a lot of responsibilities but believe it or not not every outcome is because you did or didn't do something- right or wrong. You care or you wouldn't worry. Try, Try try to let go. Maybe try for an hour and then more. Maybe you are worried that if you have these terrible diseases who will take care of the family. Things usually work out. I hope this helps.
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