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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 32698
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Why are muscles in my mouth, throat, knee and fingers not

Customer Question

Why are muscles in my mouth, throat, knee and fingers not functioning correctly, and my speech almost non-understandable? Have also had insomnia for 15 years. Other than all this...I'm totally healthy, walk every day, and eat a really good, natural, healthy diet. Lyme ? Thyroid ? I'm a 74 year old female.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Hi. How long has this been going on?
Can you tell me in more detail the symptoms?
Have you seen a doctor about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It all began about 6 months ago. It started with muscle aches up and down my neck, shoulders and jaws.....then as that decreased, the difficulty with speaking and swallowing, and decreased saliva (?) began, and I quickly dropped about 10lbs. but no more aches and pains in my neck/shoulder area. I now also have a slight limp in my right leg, and more lately, the fingers of my right hand have lost strength. And....insomnia for 15 yrs. !!I did go to an MD to get a prescription for the antibiotic doxycycline because I thought it was probably Lyme Disease since I live in the northwest and many people have Lyme Disease here and symptoms start appearing as you I spend a lot of time outside and have been bitten by many ticks over the last 25 years, and did test positive for Borrelia burgdorferi in 2005 but never did anything about it.....but after a month this year on doxycycline nothing changed, so I switched to the herb cat's claw and have been taking it for about two weeks but with no changes yet......... but they say Lyme sometimes takes years to cure. People here with Lyme Disease all speak OK, so why are my tongue and mouth muscles, fingers, affected ?Other than this muscle problem I am extremely healthy, walk/bird the ridge every day for a couple of hours, and eat all organic. Not overweight and I feel great ! Nobody in my family has ALS but my younger sister had cancer of the thyroid (supposedly) at age 21, and had it removed. Still think it's Lyme Disease or thyroid. What do you think ? Z
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
OK--have you had an MRI of your brain and spine?
And have you been screened for autoimmune disorders?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did have an MRI of my brain which appeared OK except for a little white line which the MD said was from high cholesterol which I have had under control for years now (Have APO-E 3/4 which regulates cholesterol, chromosome 19, but have taken care of this). Never a MRI of the problem, do yoga twice a week. And I would love to know how you get screened for auto immune disorders.....because I think that's what my problem is....thyroid.....tested about 10 yrs. ago....normal but with high anti-TPO, and always wondered about my thyroid and insomnia.....hyperthyroid ? Z
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
OK--do you know your TSH level?
And have you been evaluated by a neurologist?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The MD that read the brain MRI was a VA neurologist. Results of the thyroid test were:
TSH 1.42 ulU/ml
Free T4 10.13
Free T3 4.32
Free T4/T3 ratio 2.34
Reverse T3 0.43
Free T3 Reverse T3 ratio 2.34
Free T3 Reverse T3 ratio 1.00
Anti-TG 20 IU/ml
Anti-TPO 46 IU/ml
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
I don't think it's a hyperthyroid or a hypothyroid problem
It definitely sounds autoimmune though--maybe polymyalgia rheumatica or polyneuritis
The initial screening would include antinuclear antibody, rheumatoid factor, sed rate, and C reactive protein
At this point you need a referral to a rheumatologist
Let me know if you need more information please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK let me check out those auto immune problems you named through my computer; my C-reactive protein was really low about 7 years ago.Thanks a million and I will probably be back in touch. Z
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
My pleasure--do keep in touch and please remember to rate my service to you