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Anybody had a problem with "buzzing feet"?

POTO MomPOTO Mom Registered User Posts: 517 Member
edited June 2013 in Parent Cafe
My left foot feels like a cellphone on vibrate. Buzzes for about 2 seconds then stops for about 6 seconds and then starts again. Very distracting but doesn't hurt. I have googled this and seen where other people have exactly the same thing. However, I have not seen where anybody has been diagnosed. It appears that most doctors think they're crazy. Anybody here have any experience with this?
Post edited by POTO Mom on

Replies to: Anybody had a problem with "buzzing feet"?

  • broetchenbroetchen Registered User Posts: 1,130 Senior Member
    Friend had something similar. Ended up being diagnosed as "restless leg syndrome".
  • mousegraymousegray Registered User Posts: 1,642 Senior Member
    Is it like when your foot falls asleep?
  • LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    It sounds like a compressed nerve, one that passes through a narrow junction and is compressed through time and use. Is there any numbness or loss of sensation? I've had minor episodes of this. I remember thinking, "Weird, because there's no way I have MS." It comes and goes like most minor nerve things. The MS reference comes, as you've likely googled, from the way sensations are spread through the system. I remember being with my dad when I was very young and he noticed a foot drop in someone he knew.

    We see things through our own lens of experience. Mine is a history of cubital tunnel, which is the outer fingers of the hand numbed or tingling or both because the nerve is compressed in the elbow, plus a weird virus that my hand doctor* diagnosed only because he had the same thing. It caused strange pain that radiated from my back down my arm. I also have had vertigo and the current theory about that is much of it is caused by an immune response to chicken pox because the immune response targets those pathways as well. So my experience tells me to relate this to the occasional buzzing in my feet and that makes me think "nerve compression and/or maybe a flare-up of some viral infection that will likely never be understood or even isolated."

    *surgery on the hand and arms is a specialty and so my hand surgeon happened to have the right experience to diagnose me.
  • lspf72lspf72 Registered User Posts: 2,612 Senior Member
    I can't remember the exact location right now, but in the past have had more than a few occasions when a muscle in my upper arm twitches so fast that I'd almost describe it as vibrating. Could it have something to do with muscle fatigue?

    Have also had jumpy leg/restless leg in the past. In my case it's more of an urge, or an 'uncomfortableness.' Am guessing it can manifest itself in different ways in different people, though.
  • samiamysamiamy Registered User Posts: 1,710 Senior Member
    A close friend had similar sensation and it got progressively worse over time. Doctors thought she was nuts, until one sleuth of a doctor suggested she get a urinary methylmalonic acid measurement, (the most accurate measure of b12 deficiency) sure enough it was elevated. She went to neurologist, she had severe nerve damage from b12 deficiency. The first doctor said it was probably her years of using pepcid/zantac etc., impaired her b12 absorption and she became deficient.It took 3 years of first weekly b12 shots to monthly b12 shots to repair the damage.
  • POTO MomPOTO Mom Registered User Posts: 517 Member
    Interesting you mentioned B12 because that was something mentioned on the medical blog I was reading. I bought some last night so I'll see how that works. This feeling is not like your foot going to sleep - no "pins and needles." This is also not random - the buzzing is very consistent - 2 seconds buzzing, 6 seconds silent. If you hold it with your hand, you can't feel it buzzing. ON the medical blog there were some people who said they had had this for years and after a while you learn to ignore it. At first it seemed like it was mostly limited to women but then I visited another medhelp blog and there was plenty of men with the same issue.
  • anothermom2anothermom2 Registered User Posts: 1,753 Senior Member
    I had something like what you describe in one foot. It lasted for several months and then went away. I have fibromyalgia, and lots of things hurt me, so I figured that would be another thing to add to the list. I did think about pinched nerves, and if it had gone on any longer I would have seen a neurologist about it. I am a bad patient, and I probably should have seen a doctor, so I would suggest to you that you see a doctor. I tend to go for advice only when I can no longer stand it
  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 6,948 Senior Member
    Go see a doctor immediately. It's PROBABLY NOT SERIOUS, but in rare cases it can be. Worst case scenarios include MS and diabetes. Really, go see a doctor.
  • DocTDocT Registered User Posts: 7,279 Senior Member
    If this is due to diabetes, you would know you had diabetes before the foot issues developed.
  • LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    A significant B12 deficiency should have other symptoms, like tiredness and even vomiting or a progressive impairment of gross motor skills. (You can look up pernicious anemia, which is related.) This affected my mother. There are ton of peripheral nerve conditions that don't seem to be well described, let alone well understood.

    I agree it is a buzzing feeling, like a bit of electricity is being applied for a short burst. I haven't had it for months. I can't even remember exactly where it was in my foot.

    Despite or maybe because of growing up surrounded by doctors, I'm leery of seeing doctors about physical ailments that are hard to comprehend. I know how difficult diagnosis can be and that many conditions may have a name but no understanding and no treatment. For example, I had a headache. When it lasted for a month, I saw a doctor and that led to a chest x-ray, a CAT scan and an MRI, all of which showed that I am the picture of health. I figured a month was long enough to worry about something serious. I hadn't suffered visual distortions; if I had, I'd have been at the doctor ASAP. The neuro consult ended up saying I should lift lighter weights because my shoulders were tight and maybe that was the cause. Whoopee. All I know is the headache eventually went away, but I had 3 radiation exposures and probably $5k in medical costs run up against my insurance.

    A tingling in the foot, IMHO, is not in the same class as a lump in your breast or blood in your stool or pallor and lack of energy (congestive heart failure).

    It was only a fluke that I was seeing a hand surgeon for follow-up so I told him about this weird radiating pain and he laughed and said he might be one of the few doctors who would recognize that as a virus because he was one of the few who also had it. If I tried to find a doctor to diagnose that, I would have started with my internist, who would have been of no help, and maybe then would have been sent to a neurologist, who likely would have been of no help - and would have had a CAT scan, MRI, etc. It's not just "a" doctor but "which" doctor.

    I mentioned I have had vertigo. That's a great example because they're still unsure why it develops and the treatment options are very limited. If you end up in the ER, like I have, they'll give you an antihistamine and leave you in dim light for a while. Then they ask you to do balance exercises and eye training - because when vertigo is active, you can't track an object correctly. There isn't much they can do. I feel really bad for the patients I see clinging to walls so they can stand.

    I suspect this is the case with the buzzing in your foot. As with mine. If you can identify the right kind of doctor, if the problem persists long enough and is severe enough, then at least you can rule out MS or an anemia.
  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 Registered User Posts: 14,786 Senior Member
    Definitely go to your doctor as these symptoms could be caused by several different conditions.

    I have several herniated discs, and from time to time experience what you've described. Depending on the disc that is causing problems, I might have those sensations in only one part of my foot, or several toes, or the whole foot.

    None of us can really figure out your problem. Check with your doctor.
  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions Registered User Posts: 13,330
    As if you need another syndrome to research which might be it, to ask when you see the doctor, google up Peripheral Neuropathy and see if that rings bells.
  • DonnaLDonnaL Registered User Posts: 4,981 Senior Member
    I've had that feeling, more often in my hands than in my feet. The only time it lasted long enough for me to think of mentioning it to my doctor, she told me to take two multi-vitamins a day instead of one, and had me tested for a B-12 deficiency. Which I didn't have.

    The additional vitamins did seem to help, in the sense that I've had feelings like that less frequently.

    Lately, I've been plagued instead by horrible cramping in my feet at night, especially up near the toes. (Worse than cramps in the calf, since those are pretty easy to stop by straightening your leg and pulling the toes of your foot towards you to stretch the muscle. Nothing helps with these until they decide to stop.)

    If I ever decide I can't take it anymore, either I'll see a doctor or start a thread about it!
  • LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    When I was a runner, I was taught that cramping relates to too little calcium. And of course Vitamin D.
  • samiamysamiamy Registered User Posts: 1,710 Senior Member
    re the other symptoms of b12 deficiency, not necessarily have those other symptoms. My friend asked why she was so low if she did not have the other typical symptoms of b12 deficiency. She was told her b12 deficiency had other causes then pernicious anemia etc.

    A book written by an RN and MD called "could it be b12

    About Sally M. Pacholok, R.N. and Jeffrey J. Stuart, D.O. | Vitamin B12 Deficiency
This discussion has been closed.