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"What could cause my feet and calves to tingle and feel numb and hurt all the time?"


I have tingling and numbness along both of my feet and my calves. They sometimes hurt so much that I can barely walk. The pain, tingling, and numbness are constantly there, but the pain level does fluctuate a lot. My doctors have checked me for all kinds of diseases, including spinal DAVF (which has been ruled out), MS, ALS, MG, and the like. So far, nothing came back conclusively. A potentially related symptom has to do with my eyes. There are blue dots exploding in my vision often. Like the pain, the level of intensity fluctuates. Typically, right before the pain level gets very high the vision symptoms would get worse first. Some of my doctors don't believe the two are related, while others think they are. Any thoughts on what this could be?


I am sorry that you have had such severe pain and that you still have not obtained a diagnosis! It sounds like you have had a pretty good workup already and that several conditions have been ruled out. The symptoms that you are experiencing I think could be caused by either a neurological (nerve) problem or a musculoskeletal (rheumatological) problem. I would suggest a repeat visit with your primary care doctor to summarize your symptoms and workup to date and to determine what other specialty workup you should receive.

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The fact that the pain symptoms seem to come and go along with visual symptoms suggests to me that something called iritis or uveitis should be ruled out. These are an inflammation of the front portion of the eye, and they are often associated with various rheumatologic diseases (inflammation of the joints and connective tissues). This would be especially the case if you have any objective evidence of joint involvement, such as swelling or pain of the joints of the feet rather than just general pain in the calves. A neuropathy (disease of the nerves) would be the other possibility, and might require advanced nerve testing as well as looking for causes (diabetes, medications, toxins, vitamin deficiencies). Your primary care doctor will be able to make the right referrals.

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