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carlitto
@carlitto

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 02, 2018

Does Small Fiber Neuropathy also cause muscle spasms?

Posted by @carlitto, Fri, Nov 2 8:10pm

Hello, my first post here. The question I have is, "Does Small Fiber Neuropathy also cause muscle spasms?" Sorry in advance for a long explanation. I didn’t want to leave anything out. Here's my background. I am a Latino male. age 49. I use to get a needle like jab in my feet maybe once every few months. Never thought much of it. My mother’s side has many people with diabetes, which my older sister now has. I thought it might be pre-diabetic signs. In 2016, I had a great deal of stress from a job, and then starting a new job and also moving to a new state and finally my house. My manager announced a business trip to China. Quick tangent: I lived in Asia for 14 years and at the end, I developed a fear of flight. And so, this trip was the first plane ride since coming home. To say I had anxiety was an understatement. As the the trip approached, I took up restorative Yoga to relax. I felt my muscles weak and shaking. At this time, I complained about muscle aches to my doctor and he removed me from a statin I was taking for Cholesterol. I understand statins can impact muscles. He thought I had ‘developed’ an intolerance to statin. Some people that came off statins have mentioned muscle problems for several years. (So I read). The trip went off without issue and I was very excited I managed. When I got back though.. I had a lot of pain in my legs. My doctor said to me that it might have been pent up anxiety/stress that was delayed. After a short time back, I noticed my feet started to tingle. At first the right foot, then both. My left toe was very stiff in the morning. I started to document this symptom. Not much longer, I started o feel more tingling in my calves. I then started to get little tiny spasms. I call them spasms, but I don’t really see the muscles moving. I went to Neurologist (#1) and they examined me in the room and said I showed no signs. But they did a EMG test and the result was unremarkable. Months went by and the spasms moved to my upper body. When I took a shower, some parts of my body felt like I had walked in from a snowy day and put my skin under hot water. Sometimes I felt insects on my body but there were none. I changed my Neurologist (#2). The new neurologist said I seem to have neuropathy in my legs. She put me on Gabapentin. I started to get a lot of anxiety because I’ve never really been sick outside of a torn ACL from sports. I lead a healthy life, though don’t exercise anymore due to the ACL. I drink very very little and never smoked. I don’t eat a lot of meat or fried food. As the months went by the sensations grew stronger. I went to Rheumatologist (#1). They said my feet pain were due to flat feet, and see a Podiatrist. So off I went to Podiatrist who sold me OTC shoe inserts. Yes, I had flat feet and wore orthopedics in my 20s, but flat feet couldn’t explain the rest of my symptoms. So I went to Rheumatologist (#2) who I use to see back in my home state. After much bloodworm and office visits, she felt I had Seronegative Spondyloarthritis. She felt that would explain my non-neuropathy symptoms. She sent me to a Rheumatologist (#3) that specializes in muscle diseases. He looked over my record and said I don’t have any disease related to his field of Rheumatism. He said I might have anxiety causing this, a nutritional imbalance or fibromyalgia. My Neurologist was a general one and said I should go to one that specializes in muscle diseases. So she sent me to a university hospital to see Neurologist (#3). After examination, she felt I didn’t have any issues. She did some blood work and nothing showed up. And each few months I could feel my body pick up a new symptom/or current ones spreading. I related the EMG and it was unremarkable. I then has an autonomic test with skin biopsy. This test showed I had Small Fiber Neuropathy. She increased my Gabapentin dose. Due to the distance, it was difficult to go to my Rheumatologist so last week, I went to the same university to see a Rheumatologist (#4). He said I did not have Seronegative Spondyloarthritis and that Rheumatologist (#3) was completely wrong. He concurred with Rheumatologist (#2) that I did not have any inflammatory disease. He said it was 100% neurological.

I should mention I picked up a chronic cough about 3 years ago. The pulmonologist had me go through various tests and hasn’t found anything wrong. During the past year, I had two cases of bronchatis. I was treated with Prednisone. It cleared up my cough and heavy chest feeling but…surprise..I also noticed that all my symptoms were greatly reduced. I thought it a fluke. Then a few months mater I got bronchitis again and so back on Prednisone I went. Again, my symptoms nearly went away. It was bliss! I mention this to my Neurologist and she wasn’t sure what to think. She said that my Small Fiber Neuropathy is the cause of my tingling, burning and stabbing pain, but it doesn’t explain the spasms. Thus, the reason for my original question. My understanding of neuropathy is that for some people, there is no underlining cause, and for others, there is an underlining cause that has created it, such as diabetes. With my chronic cough, and responding to steroids, along with the Small Fiber Neuropathy, my wife was wondering if I might have Sarcoidosis. But the pulmonologist doesn’t think I do.

So that brings me to how I feel recently. Over the course of a few months, I went from 186 to 167 pounds. Only change to my diet was to avoid sugar in my coffee. Not much else change. I just did a full abdominal ultrasound and all was fine. I did an endoscopy and colonoscopy last year and they were fine. My blood pressure is great. If you look at me, you’d never know. A few weeks ago I started to feel burning in my thigh muscles and calves. This is new. My legs feel weak and I really feel like the weight lose made my leg muscles smaller while my belly has the same size.

I am about to make a huge life changing decision in switching jobs. The new job is a dream job but with more pressure. My current job is much less pressure but not as satisfying. I actually need to decide next week! I’m at a loss on what to do.. My health isn’t getting better and so I worry if a job with high stress will be the best thing. I don’t know if I should believe all my symptoms are 100% neurological. Perhaps all my anxiety has manifested into physical pain? Based on my history, are there any specialist that is recommended or potential causes besides the Small Fiber Neuropathy? Thank you so so much for listening.

Carlos

REPLY

Hello Carlos @carlitto,

Welcome to Connect. I can understand your frustration trying to know what to do. I have no medical training or background but I do have small fiber peripheral neuropathy. My only symptoms are numbness and a little tingling in my feet and ankles so I don't have to take any pain drugs. Life changes and anxiety can definitely have an impact on a persons health. My doctor also wanted to put me on statins for cholesterol levels but after doing a little research I decided I would try and make better lifestyle choices and eat healthier to lower my numbers. Statins make neuropathy worse and they have a known side effect of inducing neuropathy.

The implications of statin induced peripheral neuropathy
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3103035/

Statin Neuropathy Masquerading as Diabetic Autoimmune Polyneuropathy
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/28/8/2082.1

Medication Induced Neuropathy
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11910-003-0043-8

Mayo Clinic has some information on anxiety disorders here:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

To answer your question on does small fiber neuropathy also cause muscle spasms, there is some information to support it here:

Cramps and small-fiber neuropathy.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23813593

Small fiber neuropathy
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/small-fiber-neuropathy

Carlos have you thought about getting a second opinion?

I’m not sure if it is an option for you but if it is, the Mayo Clinic is very good at diagnosing health issues that are difficult to diagnose. If you would like to seek help from Mayo Clinic, you can contact one of their appointment offices. The contact information for Minnesota, Arizona and Florida can be found here:

Mayo Clinic Contact Information: https://www.mayoclinic.org/appointments

John

>Carlos have you thought about getting a second opinion?
Well, the EMR and biopsy showed Small Fiber Neuropathy, so I feel that diagnosis is correct. But it doesn't account for the spasms so I want to keep researching why I have that problem. Thank you very much for the many links!!!

I should mention that I have seen three neurologist. First said I was fine. Second one recommended another neurologist that specializes in muscles. And third one found the Small Fiber Neuropathy.

@carlitto

I should mention that I have seen three neurologist. First said I was fine. Second one recommended another neurologist that specializes in muscles. And third one found the Small Fiber Neuropathy.

Jump to this post

Did the 3rd one who diagnosed the SFN offer any sort of treatment plan?

@carlitto

>Carlos have you thought about getting a second opinion?
Well, the EMR and biopsy showed Small Fiber Neuropathy, so I feel that diagnosis is correct. But it doesn't account for the spasms so I want to keep researching why I have that problem. Thank you very much for the many links!!!

Jump to this post

@carlitto hi, I've been diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy and I find the more I do the more muscle cramps I get. I get them in my feet, my toes and my calves. Have you tried Theraworx? It's natural and homeopathic and it seems to reduce the frequency of my cramping if I use it daily. My understanding is that cramping is a part of neuropathy.

Also, I think that my anxiety level can also affect my pain level, but it doesn't cause the pain. It isn't the ultimate cause of it. There's an underlying disease.

@johnbishop

Did the 3rd one who diagnosed the SFN offer any sort of treatment plan?

Jump to this post

Just Gabapentin.

@johnbishop

Did the 3rd one who diagnosed the SFN offer any sort of treatment plan?

Jump to this post

I think it isn't so much cramps for me. They are more like small spasms around the body. I don't know if the muscles actually move when I got them. I just got my latest CPK test and that was normal.

@johnbishop

Hello Carlos @carlitto,

Welcome to Connect. I can understand your frustration trying to know what to do. I have no medical training or background but I do have small fiber peripheral neuropathy. My only symptoms are numbness and a little tingling in my feet and ankles so I don't have to take any pain drugs. Life changes and anxiety can definitely have an impact on a persons health. My doctor also wanted to put me on statins for cholesterol levels but after doing a little research I decided I would try and make better lifestyle choices and eat healthier to lower my numbers. Statins make neuropathy worse and they have a known side effect of inducing neuropathy.

The implications of statin induced peripheral neuropathy
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3103035/

Statin Neuropathy Masquerading as Diabetic Autoimmune Polyneuropathy
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/28/8/2082.1

Medication Induced Neuropathy
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11910-003-0043-8

Mayo Clinic has some information on anxiety disorders here:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

To answer your question on does small fiber neuropathy also cause muscle spasms, there is some information to support it here:

Cramps and small-fiber neuropathy.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23813593

Small fiber neuropathy
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/small-fiber-neuropathy

Carlos have you thought about getting a second opinion?

I’m not sure if it is an option for you but if it is, the Mayo Clinic is very good at diagnosing health issues that are difficult to diagnose. If you would like to seek help from Mayo Clinic, you can contact one of their appointment offices. The contact information for Minnesota, Arizona and Florida can be found here:

Mayo Clinic Contact Information: https://www.mayoclinic.org/appointments

John

Jump to this post

I have SFN and experience spasms. I take magnesium before bed and it seems to help.

I have neuropathy and I get muscle cramps – I often wake up with them. My Neurologist said I have RLS in addition to Neuropathy (she has RLS too). I stretch after running or working out, and hydrate. I don't get them every day anymore but now and then it's a horrid way to wake up – hobbling around, yelling in pain, and trying to get the muscles to relax. Peggy

@pfbacon

I have neuropathy and I get muscle cramps – I often wake up with them. My Neurologist said I have RLS in addition to Neuropathy (she has RLS too). I stretch after running or working out, and hydrate. I don't get them every day anymore but now and then it's a horrid way to wake up – hobbling around, yelling in pain, and trying to get the muscles to relax. Peggy

Jump to this post

Hi, @pfbacon – your cramps you often awaken with sound painful and challenging to manage. Here's another thread that you may want to check out and post in, specifically about restless legs syndrome https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/is-this-rls-restless-leg-syndrome

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