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What causes absent reflexes on deep tendons?

Nov 2013
User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 5574 Questions
I went to my 1st endocrinology appt yesterday to have a whole bunch of tests done. I had an attack on the way in conveniently. My heart was racing with palpitations. She did the reflex test on my knees and elbows. Neither my arms or legs responded. 0 reflex. This is not normal for me in the past. What could this suggest? My mom has MS. I have stabbing pain in my middle back. It is sensitive to touch and sends an electrical pulse into my upper back, neck, and head. The pain makes my eyes tear up. The endo tested me with 11 viles of blood and I am doing a 24 hour urine test. I feel like ibneed to be on the show house. This is a new problem(reflex), amongst many many other symptoms and issues. Just wondering what the reflex thing could suggest, the reason I saw an endo is due to multiple attacks involving tachycardia, hypertensive crisis, panic attacks. migraines, attacks in middle of night with a racing heart, intolerance to benadryl, caffeine, birth control, no period, low potassium, anemia, blah blah blah. Insight on this 0 reflex thing would be great. I also experience pins and needles all over, cold intolerance, and I take showers that would burn most peoples skin.
Posted Thu, 13 Feb 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 2 days later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for posting your query. I have noted your symptoms. Absent reflexes on deep tendons point to a lower motor neuron problem, such as disease of peripheral nerves. This can be confirmed by doing a nerve conduction studies. Sometimes, in a spinal cord disease too, in the acute phase, the deep tendon reflexes may be absent. This can be confirmed by doing an MRI scan of the spine. Your symptoms also suggest a problem in the spine, so, doing this would be important. I hope my reply has helped you. I would be pleased to answer, if you have any follow up queries or if you require any further information. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, For DIRECT QUERY to me: My blog:
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes absent reflexes on deep tendons? 16 minutes later
Can ms be a culprit? What other spinal chord disease can cause this? I have stabbing pain in my mid back nonstop. If someone touches it, a shock goes up my spine to the point of tears. I hurt my spine 15 years ago. I explained to my gp that I need a contrast mri, because the regular one did not show the problem. But I knooow there is a big problem. How can I go about getting the proper help for this, who should I see, and do I need a referral. My gp sent me to a pain clinic, and I cant even have narcotics, it will send me into high bp and panic attacks. Almost all medication sends me into attacks. By the sound of it, treating the pain will not do anything for my reflex problem. My arms have no reflex as well as my legs. The pain is in between my shoulder blades toward the bottom. It hurts all the time. Who do I need to see, and what tests do I need? The xray and reg mri do not show the problem, but I remember years ago I had a contrast mri, and it showed a huge collection of white blood cells, that wss 15 years ago. Thank you :)
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 22 minutes later
Brief Answer: Thank you for getting back. Detailed Answer: MS is one of the conditions that can cause these symptoms. Other causes could be trauma to the spinal cord, lack of blood supply to the spinal cord, infections or tumors (rare) of spinal cord, etc. I agree that MRI spine with contrast would be necessary to confirm or exclude the diagnosis. You should see a neurologist for further evaluation. I hope it helps. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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