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Tingling/numbness -Negative MRI

I have had tingling/numbness in my arms/legs for 3 months. ARMS significantly worse than feet and SIGNIFICANTLY worse at night. I wake up with my arms "asleep" I have tingling/burning in hands and electric shock feelings in feet.  Eye exam- normal.  Negative brain MRI, Negative EMG testing that was completed on the right arm. Cervical spine MRI in 2 weeks. Neurologist states,"if it is not this-then it is not a nerve problem."

I am very frustrated to find a diagnosis.  I have been under much chronic stress for 2 years- husband deployed in combat-death of friends-new job- relocation.  I can totally accept the diagnosis of anxiety, if that is truly what it is.  However, can ANXIETY truly cause these symptoms?  They are present everyday.

2002- Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy for palmar hyperhidrosis (somewhere between T-2 and T-4)  Surgeon has said that the nerves have regenerated based on return of the sweating.  He is unsure if it is possible that the regeneration of nerves could be pressing on another nerve to cause the tingling/numbness.  What is your opinion?

So, my questions are- can anxiety cause these physical symptoms and do you think it is possible that the nerve regeneration could result in these type of symptoms?

Thank you so much for your time!
Auburn


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Avatar universal
Hi everyone
1 am 24 yrs old and have numbness in my hand, leg and big toe.  It first appeared in Nov after i have to confess that i had rather a lot to drink.  This has since appeared in my big toe and leg as well.  I have been tested for diabetes, vitamin b12 deficiency and diabetes, I have none of them.  I am going for an MRI scan but its going to take months.  The doctor says she wants to rule out MS.  I do smoke and I drink quite a lot when I go out.  Any ideas? Please help I am v worried Thanks
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Avatar universal
Interestingly, I'm within the age range of most of the others that have posted here (36).  I've experienced a wide array of symptoms over the past 2 months.  Many of which have been discussed above.  Condition struck suddenly and violently (after about a month of twitching muscles throughout body).  Intense headache, stiff and sore neck, nausea, dizziness, faintness.  Right calf felt like it was going to explode, but no swelling.  Then entire right leg became excruciatingly painful and big toe on right foot became hypersensitive.  Fabric brushing across it felt like bee sting!  Doctor thought "sciatica" caused by pressure on nerve due to swelling from viral infection.  Sedimentation rate showed no swelling - not meningitis.  Neither Vicodin nor hydromorphone could touch the pain.  Pins and needles in right arm and right side of face, veins in right arm bulging = emergency room (stroke suspected).  That doctor thought "anxiety".  Lorazapam had no effect.  Pain became unbearable; icy-hot SEARING BURN in right leg.  Blood pressure (usually close to 120/80) dropped to 99/59.  Urgent Care doctor suspected MS.  MRI of brain normal (no lesions - no MS, no stroke).  Yet another doctor recognized unresponsive pain as NEUROPATHIC.  Prescribed Neurontin.  Symptoms miraculously subsided within 2 days!  Felt fine for a couple weeks.  Thought cause of pain (infection?) might have resovled itself.  Stoppped Neurontin.  Searing pain and pins & needles resurfaced within 2 days.  Started Neurontin again.  Relief!  Read that acupuncture can help with neuropathic pain.   Treatment reactivated pain!  Agonizing BURN concentrated in right buttock and back of right thigh.  Upped dosage 3 times - still not killing pain.  Can't sit or lie on right side or back for more than 10 minutes without crying.  Needle-jabbing sensations in fingers, toes, ankels, wrists.  Arms falling asleep.  Waking to sharp pains in dead arms!  Saw neurologist yesterday.  EMG and nerve conduction velocity tests only revealed 1 slow (large-fiber) nerve in right leg (didn't test arms).  Burning pain is caused by small-fiber nerves, which those tests don't detect.  Travel required for further nerve studies.  Awaiting results of MRI of neck and low back (done yesterday).  Frustrating condition that doctors don't understand.  Definitely NOT anxiety in my case.  I'm an artist working out of my nice home in a nice neighborhood.  I'm very happily married with a beautiful, brilliant daughter.  I struggled to get here, but I have absolutely no worries at the present time.  It is extremely frustrating and insulting to have doctors write me off as "anxious" when there is very little to indicate any such thing.  Tinlging limbs can be caused by a MANY conditions!
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Avatar universal
Hi I'v been reading your comments about tingling/numb egs and hands. Well two months ago I started getting numbness in my right leg, it has now gone to both,and it feels at times like Iam wearing a tight stocking. I get tingling in my feet too. As I write the two outer fingers of my right hand are tingling. I went to the doctor and did all the tests, naturally he gave me some pills!  At this stage it was only in my legs, he said it was varicous veins (they are really tiny) the pills didn't work. So then the tingling went to the fingers, the Doc agreed that it wasn't varicous veins at this stage. Funny thing is when I get the numbness in my legs the veins are somewhat bigger as if there is some sort of blockage. But that doesn't explain the fingers! I have been very stressed for some time as my wife is suffering from severe depression, and is on medication. This has turned our lives upside down, and really feel that my ailments are STRESS!!! would appreciate any comments from anyone out there with similiar probs.

Cheers
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Avatar universal
I recently had tingly arms, hands, feet, and numb arms at night, extremely cold feet at night a couple nights in a row, cold hands off and on.  I'm usually comfortable or warmer than everyone, and noticed recently felt generally colder a few days (as in using a space heater at my desk).  I have also had tingling in my upper left lip (fingertip size) and then lower...this occurred after I was looking up symptoms of the arms/legs...so I don't know if the lip part is stress or other.

I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which can cause the arm  tingling, and have enlarged (possible growth?) pituitary.  I'm still undergoing tests, including more extensive B12 (pernicious anemia runs in my family).  I don't have all my results, but drs suspect a huge problem is the hypothyroidism.

I've been under a lot of stress as a parent, sole breadwinner, and frustrated with daily events I will not get into, but antidepressants are necessary.  I found out that hypothyroidism can cause depression also.

Good luck!
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Avatar universal
About 1 month ago I had type A influenza and took Tamiflu. The first night of the flu (before tamiflu) I woke up in a panic because I was hurting all over and I was terrified that my 3 month old would get the flu (he did- but he's fine) A few days later I got numb and tingly all over and very "unreal" feeling with light dizziness. Not even really dizzy just kind of off balance. Over the next few weeks the symptoms worsened and the right side of my face got numb and tingly at different times and usually for an hour or two at a time. I went to the GP who thought I must be having panic attacks and gave me ativan, and lexapro. Well.. needless to say I mentally feel better but the facial numbness is still coming and going as well as carpal tunnel like symptoms and tingling in my toes all of which just come and go. I recently had an eye appt and they said my eye pressure was fine and all my blood work was fine- my glucose was on the line. I have a ringworm looking rash on the back of my leg that won't go away also. I just wandered in anyone had any suggestions- I have 3 small children so running back and forth to the doc constantly is wearing on me.
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Avatar universal
I have had the exact same symptoms. Very frightening. Just when I begin to drift off, it's like someone plugs me into an electical socket and a surge of electicity or anxiety literally wakes me up. My feet get tingly and burning too.
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Avatar universal
I've been experiencing tingling in my left arm and leg.  Like someone here said, it feels like something is frozen and then melting.  It also is worse at some times, almost coming on like a headache.  I've had the emg, mri of the brain and cervical spine, ct scan, angiogram of the carotid arteries and lots of blood work-all negative except for some arthritis in my neck.  I've had maiofacsial (sp?) massage that offers temporary relief.  Sometimes my body just feels "electric."  One of the things that I'm struggling with is falling asleep and then just as I'm drifting off I'm "shocked" awake by this electric feeling.  Has anyone experienced that?
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Avatar universal
Hi Auburn, I hope you're still doing better. I was seriously doubting the anxiety diagnosis as well until one day I had a panic attack out of the blue, during a test (which I was having no trouble with) on a day that I had a ton to do. I started trembling really bad and could not stop, so I went straight to the medical center on my campus. At the last minute I decided to see a counselor instead, just becuase I knew the doctor wouldn't say anything new and I thought it would be good to see what kind of physical manifestations anxiety really can have. The counselor handed me a list of symptoms and said: "well, what do you think?" I had all 10 or 11 symptoms, including numbness, hot flushes, fear of dying, difficulty swallowing, shaking, etc. I was relieved to hear this but had another attack the next night while trying to sleep and had to go to the hospital..i seriously thought I was dying. They gave me an Atavan pill, gave me 2 more for the next day and sent me home. I can not describe the feeling I had the next day. I don't typically like taking pills, but even just this once, it was amazing to remember how calm and normal I could feel -- above all without fear. Suddenly I knew I would get everything done, and it would be alright, and I didn't worry. I realize I must have started having these symptoms because of stress and a bit of depression last fall and have literally turned myself into a nutcase by imagining all the horrible things that could be wrong with me (on top of other fears...career after graduating, relationship, etc.).
I'm now working on being a bit more of a minimalist than a perfectionist, meditating and retraining my thought patterns so as not to always fear and envision the worst and simply trying to take more time to relax and enjoy the moment.
To anyone out there having similar symptoms, consider anxiety if no other diagnoses seem to be correct...and don't wait as long as I did to start getting help.
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Avatar universal
I have read the forum and I too have tingling, numbness, burning that started out in hands and feet now however it has spread up to elbows  and into right shoulder as of tonite. I have had extreme stress for past 2-3 years with job, being a single parent, and recently flew up to Me. to be with sick dad. I will probably go get all the tests to rule out stuff. I have had anxiety attacks in past with heart palpatations but never and tingling numbness in hands and feet before. What I am concerned about it has been constant for past week.Worse at nite. I had extreme lower back pain a week ago also. I could not even drive. My back has been out off and on for past 20 years however, but never as bad as it was last week. I am seeing a chiropractor. and he is helping. A message to Manduh(3/22/06)Have you tried getting a lyme disease test. The ringworm rash is a sign of it and tingling and numbness is also a sign. I have read also that lyme disease doesd not necessarily have  rash. so I am getting one next week to rule it out. I also feel like electricity goes off in my back and neck. I have difficult time swallowing at times also. After reading all of you I really think mine is stress.
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Avatar universal
I also have recently experienced an annoying tingling in both hands. B12, diabetes, thyroid, etc. all ok.  I noticed these symptoms a day after a two  day virus, and a few days after working in the cold photographing a storm. I don't believe it is frostbite. I also noticed I woke to these symptoms after my hands were behind my head, bent at the wrist. I am a professional photographer and I worry about my use of my hands. All fingers are tingling? I also have a 25 lb grandson I pick up quite frequently during the day. I am scheduled for a nerve conduction test soon. Has anyone tried a particular massage therapist that knows the cure?
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Avatar universal
Hi my name is Aimee from Michigan and I have the same thing and it started about september/october 05.. I have not gone to the doctor yet as i was going to make a call today but decided to jump on here and see if there was something out there...I'm sick of it and having to wake more then 5 times a night to change position and wake all the limbs up. It also happeneds when i sit in a chair with my legs crossed .  I was thinking maybe it's old age???? Why now and noone else i know has had it. maybe iam a little stressed but not no more then before it started..I'm 37 soon to be 38. From what Amber said she had all the testing done and it showed up nothing so really i don't want to do all the testing and have to pay for them either. If there is nothing  wrong.  Could ther be something in the BLOOD???  If anyone omes up with anything else. let us know...I see most of use it has started around the same time kind of weird...  Were we all in the same area??? I live in Michigan and have not been out in years...

Thanks...

Aimee
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Avatar universal
Auburn,  I'm kinda going through the same thing... I don't think mine is as sever.  I kind get this "floaty" dizzy feeling, cool tinlge in right hand and right ankle, sometimes around my eyes and top of head as well.  Warm pins and needles top of both thighs, and recently started noticing numbness on the last two fingers (both hands) to my elbow resulting in dull ache.

I work with computer? Yes, I've had a very stress year... I also moved/transplanted several trees in my yard in Sept 06.  My symptoms started 10/06???

I've had an MRI - no MS but I do have a cavernous malformation, but I don't think this is "an additional issue."  Have you lifted anything? Yesterday I light shoveled and light lifted and my body felt like the forth of July - shooting tinlge and pins and needles.  

Let me know if any of this sounds simular.
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Avatar universal
Holy cow I have the same symptoms, that no one else has ever heard of.  It started out with tingling in feet, then anxiety, then I would try to go to sleep on my back at night and just as I was falling off, it feels like someone plugs me into a socket, and a surge of electrticity or anxiety literally jolts me awake. My feet get worse at night too. A neurologist didn't think anything was wrong, but anxiety. A truly horrible symptom.
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Avatar universal
I cannot give you a clinical diagnosis over the internet, so my advice is purely educational

These types of symptoms can be caused by anxiety - the brain can react in different ways to stress etc, and because the brain has control over all the nerves, you can experience most kinds of neurological symptoms from this. It is a diagnosis of exclusion though as more serious causes of disease need to be rules out. Nonetheless if stress is the cause, then treatment is available so its important that it be identified and treated or else it may become chronic

Symptoms in the arms and legs can be quite typically caused by a problem with the cervical spine - so it is important to have the cervical spine MRI. This will also answer the sympathectomy question.

A probelm with the small sensory nerve endings may also result in normal MRI or EMG. This may be another avenue to pursue if the cervical spine MRI is unrevealing

Good luck
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Avatar universal
You may want to ask for a skin biopsy from your neuro. Few hospitals perform then, so travel may be required. But it's the best way to find any damage to small unmyelinated nerve fibers--damage that doesn't show up on NCS, EMG or MRI exams. Problems with those fibers can produce burning, tingling and numbness.  I've heard it's not terribly painful at all--you go home with a few band-aids.

That said, I do know of folks with weird tinglings and such from anxiety. I think it has to do with hyperventilating, which people can do without realizing it.

It never hurts to make sure you're getting enough B-12 and thiamine. Your doctor can run tests including serum b-12 and the more accurate homocystene (I canNOT spell that word!) and MMA. Methylcolamine B12 is cheap and available at any drug or health store.

Not a doctor, just spouting off.

Good luck!
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Avatar universal
Hi Auburn (and anyone else with similar problems),
I'm 23 years old, normally extremely healthy (honestly haven't even had a cold in 3 years). Drink and smoke on occasion, but not too often, I exercise regularly and am a healthy weight.
I started out experiencing the numbness in hands and legs last September. It was mild at first and I also had some pretty bad knots in my neck and upper back (i thought because of sitting at a laptop too often?), so I went to a chiropractor and it seemed to go away. In November, however, it struck back, and this time, it was not just numbness, but COLD, COLD feet and stiffness (sometimes almost like half-paralysis) that I could never seem to get rid of, hands too sometimes. Then the soles of my feet and palms of my hands started getting VERY yellow. I got a panel blood test, no diabetes, thyroid problems, liver malfunctions. The doctor thought it could be my new birth control (the Nuva-ring), so I got off that, which was more than 2 months ago. At first I thought this was the cause, as I seemed to feel better after getting off it. As people say, hormonal imbalances can do crazy things.
Then, in late December I woke up a few times during the night to find an entire leg or arm numb. Sometimes I would be shaking or trembling like crazy, but it was more an internal shaky feeling, which woke me up a few times. Since then it has been off and on again. But now i've started to experience a burning hot feeling all the way down to my ankles or wrists, but the hands and feets are somehow freezing. Every once in awhile, I feel like i've been smothered in icy hot across my chest and arms. But it goes away for a week or two and then I always attribute everything to stress or anxiety. I did go through a fairly emotional situation when this all began, on top of being in my last year at college. But i don't feel THAT stressed anymore. Can this really be anxiety? I'm getting more stressed by this condition than anything i think, because it's usually present in some form or another and distracting me all the time. Massage seems to help temporarily, but I fear it could be something worse and don't want to run the risk of waiting to see.
Last night i was trembling so bad I almost thought I was on the verge of a seizure. My feet were freezing, thighs burning. Today i'm cold, but basicaly fine again. The doctors say it's probably stress. Does stress cause yellow skin and such extreme nerve conditions? What other tests should I have run?
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Avatar universal
Auburn, there are all kinds of awful things that could be causing your symptoms of numbness and tingling, but please consider the following: I personally went through a period 3 years ago of tremendous stress when my husband was unexpectedly diagnosed with serious heart disease and underwent quintuple bypass surgery.  This on top of the fact that I have 2 young children, a full time job, and a lot of bills!  During the week that my husband had surgery and recovery, I didn't FEEL all that stressed, but about 3 weeks after we got him home from the hospital, all hell broke loose.  I started having tingling in my hands, arms, legs(mostly lower), and feet, and around my mouth and my tongue.  The waking up at night with the intense tingling you wrote about really got my attention because I had that EXACT same thing, and it always got some better after I had been awake for a few minutes. I completely freaked out and started searching the web, and ended up 4 weeks later at the neurologist's office.  He checked everything: exam, MRI head and neck, and while he initially didn't believe that that kind of prolonged tingling (about 4 weeks by then, waxing and waning)could be anxiety, he later said that is exactly what it was, due to hyperventilation, which can occur on such a subtle level that you would not realize it is happening.  If it is always there, but gets worse at some times during the same day, this may be what is causing your problem.  I knew he was right about the diagnosis, because when I was having the 2nd MRI at his office, I started having an acute version of the tingling that immediately subsided when I calmed down.  (I had gotten anxious because the MRI was not done like the technician had said it would be, and I thought that meant something was really wrong).  I am no doctor for sure, but sometimes the stress is there and we don't always acknowledge it or even recognize it.  Take care, I hope everything resolves soon.  It did for me, but it took a while (months).
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Avatar universal

My wife started to have numbness/tingling in her arm and leg
after getting Hepatitis B immunization shot (health care worker).

I wonder if any of you had immunization shot before the symptomes started.

Some vaccines contain mercury, which can cause nerve demage,
including cerebral palsy.

Our doctors deny this connection so far.

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Avatar universal
Hi Gang.
Unbelievable how many of us have similar symptoms and no one in the medical community we have consulted seems to definitively be able to diagnose much less treat.
4 weeks ago I woke up one morning to find that the lower half of my body- below waist was completely numb.
This has not diminished in the month since. I can't keep shoes on that are loose full shoes, or mules as the control isn't there when you can't feel your feet! I walked out of a shoe and across the snow and up a set of stairs and when I went to step in my house I looked down to see a bare foot. Walked out of the shoe and didn't realize.
There is no pain, there is no paralysis per se. Just numbness. Even have to stay in the bathroom longer than normal cause not even quite sure when I'm done!
Blood work revealed nothing, going for nerve sensitivity test next week and MRI next month. It is very scary. Immediately mind jumps to MS and panic about what the future holds.
I have always been reasonably healthy and fit though I do lead a somewhat sedentary lifestyle. I even thought lately "I wonder if this was brought on by allowing my lap top to rest on my lap for extended period when doing work (I work from home.) It does heat up quite a bit and wondered if prolonged use over an extended period could cause this? I don't know.
To add insult to injury I have been separated from my husband for almost 5 months and though initially the couple counselling we went to seemed to be helping but this week we have talked and pretty much decided to call it quits. The stress level is enormous when contemplating the future- esp. with this unknown malady.
I am 39 years old, my parents have both passed away in the last 5 years and am really feeling all alone in the world.
It helps even to know this forum is here and that I'm not alone in what I have been experiencing.
I do not smoke or drink much - very occasionally, 1 cocktail every couple months. I could stand to lose 25 lbs. I used to be treated for hypothyroidism but no issues in the last 5 years. I was unable to get pregnant due to polycystic ovarian syndrome which stems from a pituitary issue I believe - no idea if any of some of these things are connected.
Anyway- just putting it out there in case anyone has any ideas... very frustrating when I can't feel my butt, my legs, my feet. Don't misunderstand. When my doctor did the pin ***** test in places all over my lower body I felt near every single one. But the general numbness is not no-feeling...just like= blocked incomplete feeling. Bizarre?
thanks to anyone in advance for shedding light.
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Avatar universal
oh-
i should also add that I have suffered with severe headaches - approx. 2 days in length atleast 2 times a month for over 10 years... more info the better I guess.
thanks,
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Avatar universal
hi all you anxious tinglers, iam the same hands and fingers only, doc put it down to stress, it causes stress not knowing what it is am finding it hard to type this,it's like theres electrcity in my hands it started two weeks ago and now i cant grip my hands feel so weak, i even had trouble popping a tablet out the blister foil packs. thank goddness it wasn,t a child proof bottle.
I am suffering with stress but who isn't these days.At first i thought it was the computor then i thought it was really serious and it was gonna spread to my whole body, i had visions of me bedridden and dribbling.
i have just split up from my partner and left with what me and six kids could fit in one car,thankfully i had some where to go as i have a house of my own only to find out that the mortgage lenders wont let me have interest only,so arrears have got out of control owe
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Avatar universal
Hi again everyone.  Amazing how many of us have the dreaded tingling/numbness.  I have recently spent endless hours researching the problem and I can't seem to get away from STRESS!!! its just got to be the answer. I have been doing lots of swimming and walking and it seems to have helped a bit, as I have reduced it to one leg these last couple of days. Right now typing this my index finger tip is numb, but this could be the typing (one finger me) now here is something "pineapple" fresh of course not in the tin. Lots of stuff in them for this sort of prob. But above all trying to smile inside just a bit helps. Life is just so b..... stressful and creates so many problems. Cheers to all.
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Avatar universal
Thank you all for your responses.  I go tomorrow for my cervical spine MRI.  However, I think this is truly anxiety related.  I have been on vacation for 2 weeks and the tingling finally went away, however now that I am back at work- the tingling has returned.  So, I am putting in my resignation tomorrow and going to de-stress my life!!!  Thank you all for your positive comments.  I will keep you posted on the results of the MRI!
Auburn
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Avatar universal
Wow, its great to see I am not alone.  I relate most to HOWTODEAL.  About 3 to 4 weeks ago I started with numbness in my perineal area (girl parts and inner thighs) then it went into my buttock and when it got to my heels I realized it was all the way down both legs.  4 MRI's 2 evoked potentials and I still know nothing (other than I have degenerative disc changes in my cervical spine).  Tomorrow I undergo a lumbar puncture, next week 2 more evoked potentials and an EMG.

I can sorta feel but not all the way.  The scariest part is I am getting used to it.  Sometimes I think it is gone, but it never really seems to leave the feet.  Also scary is the fact that I cannot feel inside my lower back, i.e. when I had a massage or when I bend or twist.  I don't feel any muscle tension or streching.

I saw a urologist Monday because I can't tell when I have to go, and if I can it generally appears as though I've waited too long.  I fear I am not completely emptying my bladder.  He recommended two more tests (kidney ultra sound and UROD).

Has anyone, especially howtodeal, found any answers?

With regard to the stress angle, I have never felt more balance in my life.  I have a history of anxiety and depression but take Wellbutrin and Lexapro and see a therapist regularly.
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