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Can anyone help with these symptoms in elderly mum.

(9 Posts)
Imtoooldforallthis Sun 17-May-20 16:24:00

Hi my mum is 80, has early stage dementia, Copd, minor gastric problems and had a mini stroke. She is still in dependant, lives alone and can still look after herself. However she has one thing that is bothering her the most, she has these episodes that I can only describe as a shudder which goes through her whole body and she feels icy cold, it can last from a few seconds to a few minutes, several times a day. The doctors cannot find what's causing it, she has had bloods done and everything is fine including her magnesium levels. Has anyone any suggestions?

Imtoooldforallthis Mon 18-May-20 06:42:41

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LatteLoverLovesLattes Mon 18-May-20 06:53:03

I'm sorry to hear she's been through so much!

I can't tell you what it is. Sorry.

I have a weird thing that 'goes through me' it starts at the 'bottom of my head' and goes down my back I guess you could call it a shudder?! It's a weird feeling, kind of like life has stopped? it used to freak me out as it feels SO weird, but I'm kind of used to it now. I have NO idea what it is. But i wouldn't say I feel icy cold. Once it's stopped I feel totally normal.

Is she able to tell you how she feels afterwards?

What are her VitD & B12 levels like?

I hope someone more helpful posts! 🌷

Imtoooldforallthis Mon 18-May-20 07:00:21

Thank you for replying, it is horrible for her and really not pleasant to watch. She had her bloods checked last week so not sure if that would include b12 and vitamin d, although she has been taking a vit d supplement.

Moondust001 Mon 18-May-20 08:09:17

This is a guess! But based on the fact that the doctor hasn't found a "real" reason for it, it may be a good guess!

What is a shiver? It's a tremor in the muscle(s) that help the body to maintain it's core temperature. People think of temperature as rather static (hence, taking a temperature reading) but it varies enormously from about 28 degrees to about 48 degrees depending on all sorts of environmental and health reasons. To respond to changes, our body tries to "reset" the core temperature if its off. She's older, and has some underlying conditions that will impact on the bodies normal circulatory system. So I suspect that her extremities, in particular, may not be as effectively managing to maintain core temperature. So the shiver is probably nothing more than the "reset" to help her body even out and protect it's core temperature.

Why the icy cold? Actually, she probably isn't. The nervous system is obviously inextricably linked to muscles and to temperature. And the brain is connected to all of this and more! I suspect that the muscle actions are triggering her nerves, and it just feels, to her brain, like cold. Nerves can be subject to all sorts of "feelings" that aren't entirely accurate. Like the "goosebumps" that you might get if something is spooky. Nobody quite understands the relationship between the cognitive (what the brain thinks it feels) and the physiological (what the body actually experiences). There's all sorts of theories, but it's still a lot of guesswork.

Given the doctor has said they can find no reason for it, that's my best guess.

Imtoooldforallthis Mon 18-May-20 08:14:50

Thank you for your reply, it makes sense, I just wish I could help her.

Moondust001 Mon 18-May-20 09:58:12

You can probably best help her by explaining, and by not reacting to it yourself when it happens (so she isn't picking up anxiety from you). If she understands that there's nothing to worry about, it becomes nothing much more than a nervous tic - something that is inconvenient but nothing more. There's probably nothing else that would help, as our bodies regrettably don't work quite as efficiently when we get older.

Bonitalazenia Mon 18-May-20 10:02:44

Has she had her Thyroid levels checked?

Imtoooldforallthis Mon 18-May-20 10:30:23

Not sure about her thyroid, doctor thinks it may me involuntary hyperventilation. She does occasionally breath too fast, but not when she has these episodes, they can happen up to 10 times a day and she goes wobbly on her legs sometimes. I don't make a fuss and she does think there is nothing she can do, but it is that bad to her that she feels life's not worth living. That's how bad it makes her feel.

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