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Heat makes neuropathy worse?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Hiawatha922, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    I'm just wondering if anyone has an experience similar to this. I have a variety of symptoms. One of the most troubling is some neuropathy that has developed in my right foot. I also feel weakness in my right leg.

    Today, I drove about 2.5 hours in 80 degree temperatures (in fact I was driving to meet with a TMS physician). Not terribly hot but quite warm outside. On the way home, I noticed that my right leg and right foot were particularly symptomatic. More numbness and more of an odd sensation in my leg. This isn't new. I've encountered this before--particularly while driving in warm or hot weather (with windows open).

    I'm just wondering how warm and hot temperatures could prompt this reaction. I use a sauna at the gym fairly often and, for some reason, this reaction does not occur there. The sauna is much hotter, although it is for a much shorter period of time.

    These sorts of reactions always increase my anxiety and fear. I often start thinking about the possibility of something neurological going on--even though extensive testing has produced normal results.
  2. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hiawatha, in light of your normal test results, I'd mark it up to a conditioned response. Especially given the the fact that the sauna doesn't elicit the same response. The other thing is you mentioned TMS's favorite fertilizer: anxiety and fear.

    Since you were traveling to see your TMS physician, might this have been fueling some anxiety which help create the symptoms?

    You might find journaling enlightening in helping you understand why a hot car is a trigger for those symptoms.

    Hope this helps!
    Ellen likes this.
  3. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Thank you, North Star. I will do some journaling on this.

    One thing that Dr. Hoffman mentioned is that, to treat TMS, one needs to fully accept the TMS diagnosis. Maybe some anxiety there (due to lingering fears and uncertainties). But I know too that I have experienced these symptoms on other road trips.

    Maybe more journaling and reflection will be helpful here.
    North Star likes this.
  4. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    PS Hiawatha, If your tests have proved normal nerve function, I'd be careful about calling it neuropathy…that will only give more opportunity for TMS to mimic as such. I know for me, I've had to be quite intentional about changing from my pre-TMS language. I had plenty of diagnosis' but have since rejected them and no longer refer to myself as having fibroymyalgia or tendonitis or…. My personal feeling is they will only reinforce the structural model. :)
    Ellen likes this.
  5. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    We were both posting at the same time! :) That's just super that you have a TMS doc and have a solid diagnosis. If this is all fairly new to you, you'll get it sorted out. What works for one person may not work for another and vice versa. Lingering doubts and fears are TOTALLY normal. IMHO, I think they're healthy if you use them to educate yourself on TMS.

    Keep us posted on your progress!
  6. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    North Star, I really like the idea you mentioned about not calling this neuropathy. In fact, last year, I went to the Mayo Clinic to undergo a variety of tests, including nerve tests. When I met with the neurologist to get the results, I used the word "neuropathy" and he mentioned the same thing. He said he didn't see any indication of neuropathy.

    Unlike you, I have had no diagnoses. I'm not sure which is more challenging. But I guess our work is the same: make the connection between the physical pain and painful unconscious emotions. For me, I need to let go of some of the fear around all of this.

    Oh, and Dr. Hoffman mentioned that I likely have TMS. He said that the final decision on this is mine. In other words, he can't confirm it--I need to do that.
  7. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Whoa. You have a very wise doctor, me thinks! Unless the patient has buy in, a diagnosis wouldn't make a hoot of a difference. That's where self education and this site plays such an important role.

    For some reason, your brain leads you to nervous systems symptoms. In my case, it was tendon issues. And severe and chronic headaches that would go on for weeks. Sometimes it really takes some digging around to see what the connection is…ie, why does the brain pick a particular symptom.

    My mom was a diabetic so I saw first hand the damage neuropathy caused her feet. They were a pile of broken bones and wounds that wouldn't heal short of hospitalization and IV antibiotics. My first hand knowledge of seeing that is probably the reason I knew my issues weren't neuro. The brain likes to pick vulnerable areas. For me it was neck issues "related to my car accident 30 some years ago". Just typing that still cracks me up that I bought into that for so very long. I realize (eternal thanks to Dr. Sarno) now that our bodies are made to heal. Sometime I long suspected but bought into the medical script as much as the next gal.

    Hiawatha, you really strike me as one sharp cookie and I know you're well on your way to healing. Be patient with yourself. It's a journey..and journey of self discovery that is wonderful and freeing. (And at times really, really messy. ;) )
  8. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Hiawatha, I actually do have diabetic neuropathy (TMS makes it much worse, as with so many "real" things) and heat never bothers me. Quite the opposite. In fact, I feel a lot of pain in my leg when the weather is cold, for some reason. Summer is generally fine. My sister has the same thing and reacts the same way.

    North Star is so right -- healing can be messy but you seem to be well on track. All the best!
  9. Markus

    Markus Guest

    I have small fibre nueropathy. Both feet. Heat helps but, it's not diabetic,it's idiopathic nueropathy. For me helps. As much as it hurts I go about my day. The odd thing is that I have days where it doesn't hurt! I'm thinking about how different I'm starting to think differently than my regular Dr. So I might be Dr. Shopping.....the nearest tms Dr is in N.J.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2015

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