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Crawling sensation in hands and feet, transient cramping. Have ADHD, anxiety, serotonin syndrome. Danger?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Hello Doctor,

I'm a 19 year old male and have recently been suffering from crawling sensations (formication?) in my hands and feet, accompanied by transient cramping and pain for the past two months. Typically, it is worse in the mornings and is improved by exercising and stretching. There are no rashes or visible dermatological problems.

I have also suffered spells of dizziness, irregular and erratic heart beat and have found myself sleeping more than usual.

I have diagnosed anxiety, ADHD and Celiacs. I have been prescribed in the past anti-depressants (an SSRI, paroxetine) but was quickly taken off it after I developed Serotonin Syndrome -- that was about a year ago.

My celiacs diagnoses came roughly 4 months and have since cut gluten from my diet -- my Celiacs symptoms have thus improved.

Should I be worried about my symptoms, Doctor?

Thankyou for your time, Doctor, and I await your reply.

Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 4 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

You seem to have Paresthesia, an abnormal sensation of the skin, such as numbness, tingling, pricking, burning, or creeping on the skin that has no objective cause.

Acute and transient paresthesias are usually caused by inadvertent pressure on a superficial nerve, and disappears gradually as the pressure is relieved. occasionally it can occurr as a symptom of hyperventilation and panic attacks.

Chronic paresthesia can sometimes be symptomatic of serious conditions, such as a transient ischemic attack, a brain tumor, motor neurone disease, or autoimmune disorders.

Paresthesia is also a symptom of vitamin deficiency and malnutrition, as well as metabolic disorders like diabetes and hypothyroidism.

Since you have been having it for last two months and since you have other associated symptoms as well, like pain, cramping, dizziness etc, it might indicate an underlying vascular problem or hormonal disorder or neurological disorder.

A diagnostic evaluation by a doctor is necessary to rule these out.

So you need to consult your physician who can evaluate you thoroughly, investigate as per the probable diagnosis and confirm the diagnosis to start appropriate treatment.

Meanwhile you should try to avoid stress, take multivitamin supplements especially vitamin B complex as prescribed by doctor and exercise or brisk walk daily at least 30 min to improve your circulation and hormonal balance.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have additional queries, I will be available for follow-up.

Wishing you speedy recovery.

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