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Can lithium toxicity cause shaking of hands and stress?

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Answered by

Oncologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 177 Questions
I was diagnosed with dysautonomia dysfunction disorder with a link to pstd. The symptoms have been underlying but fairly benign. until recently. Symptoms now include severe hand tremors with a rolling type motion of the thumb and first two fingers of both Hands.An inability to walk properly without a tap tap foot dropping motion. If I force myself to walk quicker the following leg friezes. I have had an mri recently and all was clear. My head shakes uncontrollably if moved quickly to the left or right. I will be seeing a neurosurgeon soon. My GP says it presents as a conversion disorder with parkinson"like symptoms. I am getting a little stressed because some family members are doing their own research and blaming it on the lithiumSR that I have taken for years for bi-polar disorder. My lithium levels were checked and they are definately within the theraupeutic range. This condition is quite severe and I cannot walk at present without the aid of a cane. The symptoms can change and often the foot movements are quite bizarre. What"s your opinion. thankyou
Posted Sat, 9 Aug 2014 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Prashant Sharma 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
consult a neurologist (neurophysician)

Detailed Answer:
I am not able to understand pstd? is it ptsd....(post traumatic stress disorder).
The symptoms you elaborated are related to nervous system.
The concern of your family members is true. such symptoms may occur in lithium toxicity, but the Chances are less because the lithium level are normal, as u said.
The tap tap foot dropping motion is called stamping gait, found in sensory ataxia.
Its difficult to say that whether these symptoms are due to the side effects of your drugs or due to The Increase in severity of your primary disease. for that one has to examine u properly.
As you said that MRI is clear, so in my opinion u should consult a neurologist not a neurosurgeon. Usually surgeons are needed when there are visible lesions in the system, that can be corrected by surgery.
Feel free to ask further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can lithium toxicity cause shaking of hands and stress? 2 hours later
I must correct some information in my email. It was diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder with dysautonomia dysfunction disorder. I am seeing a neurologist no a neurosurgeon as I first wrote. Thankyou Therese XXXXXXX p.s. I have been taking lithium for nearly 10 years now and the levels have never been toxic, to the contrary on a few occasions the level has been below therapeutic level.
Answered by Dr. Prashant Sharma 21 hours later
Brief Answer:
Go ahead with your consultation

Detailed Answer:
Hi madam,

Thanks for reply.

Now the things are a bit clear. do't worry about the lithium. have a consultation with your neurologist. let him examine you completely. Ask all your questions with him. he may change few drugs.

Else also mail me a copy of examination report/ prescription paper. We will discuss further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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