Sure, thanks so much:
I'm currently 33. I have been into fitness and health since high school. I ran recreationally since I was 16, probably 9-15 miles/week and lifted weights a few times week.
Maybe three years back I started having pain in the balls of my feet while running. I finally had it checked out two years ago and was diagnosed with metatarsalgia/fat pad atrophy. In hindsight, I know I should've stopped running but the podiatrist didn't mention anything about that.
About a year later, July 2011, my heels would feel tingly when I woke up, then they started hurting while running so I saw the podiatrist again and he said I had plantar fasciitis (and I don't recall him even touching my heels). He said I could cycle and should do calf stretches, which I faithfully did for a week until the pain became unbearable and I was crawling around my house in tears. I challenged his diagnosis since my symptoms were opposite of plantar fasciitis (I felt best in am with pain worsening with use).
Found another podiatrist who said I might have tarsal tunnel. Got EMG/NCVs and MRIs on both feet/ankles which were all normal. Now the tingling and burning had moved to top of my feet, so we tested for immune system problems and B12. All tests for immune problems (sed rate, etc, don't have the paperwork in front of me) were normal. B12 came back at 973 or so. He didn't think I had any fat pad atrophy on my heels. Started Mobic (anti-inflammatory) daily in september and then gabapentin (400mg 3x/day) in late october for pain management.
I was glad for the relief with the gabapentin but was not ready to accept pain management without more research. Went to the neurologist who had done EMGs and we upped the gabapentin to 4x/day. She said wait for more symptoms or maybe it will go away. Meantime, she sent me for a second opinion with neuromuscular specialist from University of Illinois. He said the same as her. We could do a skin test to see if small fiber nerves dying but that doesn't reveal a cause.
I started noticing electrical like sensations elsewhere in my body, at random times for 1-2 seconds. It was very different to the constant tingling and burning in my feet. I didn't want to admit this for awhile because I was very scared of what it might mean. But, it suggested a systemic cause which was another clue. I talked to the neuromuscular specialist's nurse and she wasn't concerned.
In march 2012, I saw a napropath who suggested altering my diet. I've always had a sweet tooth and prefer carbs as well, I assumed because of the calories I burned working out but I'd eliminated candy a few years earlier and thought I was eating healthily. She said sugar was bad for nerves so I cut out all sugar, refined flour, wheat dairy and even nightshades. It was so restrictive and I didn't feel any difference so I started eating nightshades again. I'm still avoiding sugar, refined flour, wheat and dairy.
After some research, she also suggested two medications I was on could be the culprit: ambien and zoloft. I dropped the zoloft immediately (I was on a very low dose) and made steps to get off ambien (got psychiatrist and counselor). In June 2012, I started xanax at night in place of ambien. I was convinced for a month that it was the ambien that was to blame and I started ramping down on the gabapentin (slowly) and was feeling great. Every two weeks I dropped 1 dose/day. After Fourth of July, I was in a ton of pain again and quickly upped back to 4x/day. Clearly this was not a side effect of the ambien, or if it was, damage had been done.
I saw another podiatrist in July 2012 who diagnosed me with fat pad atrophy on my heels, which I believe has been a large part of my pain. Now I have a new orthotic set up and I tape my heels all the time. This has helped a lot. Between this and the gabapentin I am cycling some again and still lifting weights but it doesn't explain to me why over the past month I can tell that that it has moved up to over my ankles to the classic sock area or why I have strange sensations elsewhere in my body. I understand the pain in my heels due to the fat pad atrophy but nerve pain doesn't spread like inflammation.
The last innoculation I had was a tetnus shot in 2003. I had chicken pox when I was 4 or 5. No major illnesses since. The past few years I have become a little prone to sinus infections getting 2 year. I usually take azithromyacin. I have not noticed a correlation between taking that drug and the initial onset of the neuropathy.