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Legs getting numb while siting for long time, anxiety level high - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: General Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 675 Questions
User :   hello?
Doctor :   hi
Doctor :   how can i help you?
Doctor :   please proceed with your health query
User :   I'm beyond confused and anxious right now in regards to what could be anything back related, nerve related, or circulation related
User :   it all started 6 weeks ago
User :   i noticed i couldn't get comfortable in my chair because the outer section of my right calf, ankle and foot kept getting numb whenever i'd sit in certain positions
Doctor :   ok
User :   it never happened when walking
User :   just sitting and lying in certain positions
Doctor :   could you describe your symptoms in detail?
User :   i developed nerve pain in my big toe within a few days
Doctor :   which area of body is affected? is it only the lower legs?
User :   this is where it gets tricky
User :   for about two weeks it was just in my lower right leg
Doctor :   ok
User :   the problem started to improve, but right as it started to improve, it started happening in my other leg
User :   i'm not sure if this was sparked by anxiety or what ---
User :   went to the doctor, and all bloodwork / physical exam was clear
User :   here we are, 6 weeks later and both my legs are falling asleep very easily when sitting
User :   occasionally my arms but not often
Doctor :   ok
User :   lifestyle: intense stress. raising two babies while husband is constantly away on business
Doctor :   please provide your age, gender, location, occupation, height, weight, details of any past medical illness.
User :   i'm a 26 year old female . i weigh 123 pounds, 5'7" and no prior illness. no family history of disease
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   when was your last delivery? i mean to ask how long back?
User :   one year ago
Doctor :   ok
User :   again, this is never a problem while active; only when sitting, driving and lying in certain positions. it was much worse 3 weeks ago; whatever it is seems to improve slowly
Doctor :   do you have lower back pain?
User :   but still lingers and i'm extremely concerned
Doctor :   does the pain start in lower back when sitting for longer time and radiate down to legs?
User :   i wouldn't call it lower back pain but i do get occasional stiffness that only lasts a few seconds - infrequently
Doctor :   ok
User :   but no, it doesn't seem to follow the notion of being sciatic pain
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   does the pain in the legs present with pulsations and tingling?
User :   it's the feeling of the legs slowly going to sleep, then if i don't move it turns into numbness
Doctor :   ok
User :   it's almost as if i'm sitting on a direct nerve and cutting off my circulation
User :   very strange
Doctor :   it suggests more of a vascular problem and it will require further investigations and examination
Doctor :   since your blood workup is fine, it may not need repetition
User :   i have a history of low blood pressure
User :   and anxiety
Doctor :   I would suggest you to discuss with your doctor checking your bleeding parameters like bleeding time, clotting time
Doctor :   and get a whole lower leg doppler scan done bilaterally
Doctor :   along with a MRI scan of lower back to see if any problem is happening at that point which is affecting lower limbs
Doctor :   are you taking any medication for anxiety?
Doctor :   low blood pressure can be managed by increasing salt and fluid intake
Doctor :   since when is anxiety been diagnosed?
Doctor :   are you taking any medication for anxiety?
User :   this is where i'm wondering if my limbs constantly falling asleep is related to anxiety, because the thing that sent me to the doctor initially has disappeared. the doctor didn't seem extremely concerned about the initial numbness - and said "these things happen sometimes" - so basically when he didn't have a diagnosis, my anxiety skyrocketed
User :   he wrote me an rx for paxil that i haven't filled yet
User :   and when i started to get anxious is exactly when my legs started falling asleep so easily
User :   my stress was through the roof
Doctor :   ok
User :   it's been about a month and i still feel like i'm in a state of panic about my health
Doctor :   i sugest then that you should start taking Paxil that has been prescribed to you by your doctor and see if your reduced anxiety levels have any efect on the legs faling asleep and vice a versa
Doctor :   take the medication initally for a week and report back to your doctor
Doctor :   and discuss teh suggestion given as above for further investigations
User :   could stress cause these physical symptoms?
User :   to this degree?
Doctor :   stress can cause a variety of symptoms on people and in varying degrees in each person
Doctor :   if so, then identify the triggers for stress
Doctor :   and manitain a stress diary to establish cause-effect relationship
User :   the day of the doctor's visit i noticed the tingling was also in my fingertips and thumbs - sometimes this comes and goes too, along with falling asleep easily (i'm not sure if this is important)
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   this could have been precipitated by anxiety itself if is has happened only once while being at doctors office
User :   it comes and goes sometimes still
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   when is your next scheduled visit to your doctor?
User :   if this were something life-threatening, would it only show up when my body was in certain positions?
Doctor :   does the tingling come on when you are stressed with anything or when you feel anxious?
User :   i don't notice any tingling at all when i first wake up in the morning. but the second i realize i'm awake, i find myself automatically checking my feet to see if they're acting up
User :   as far as being anxious - i am in a constant anxious state
Doctor :   no it wil not be life threatening nless teh exact cause is found out. based on the cause, we can tell whether it needs to be worried about or whether it can be treated with lifestyle modifications and medicines.
User :   this is really scaring me
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   then i would suggest you to start taking the Paxil prescribed to you already
Doctor :   it should help to calm you down
Doctor :   and also you symptoms
Doctor :   take them for atleast a week of two regularly and visit your doctor
Doctor :   and report change in symptoms
Doctor :   have you followed what I said?
User :   i follow, but i do not like what i've heard and read about ssri medications
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