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What causes tingling in fingers? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 25-Mar-2014
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User:Hello doctor

I'm a fit and thin 67 yo. I have had tingling in the left fingers for a week at irregular intervals, but no numbness. I walk every day, cycle and swim occasionally. I don't smoke, but my daily average alcohol intake would be 2 or 3 standard glasses of beer or wine. I work as a relief teacher. I do not have much stress in my life.

Thank you
User:What do you want to know?
Doctor:Beside the tingles, do you experience pain in any of the areas of left arm?
Doctor:Do you have neck pain?
Doctor:Does it spread to the hand, forearm?
Doctor:Do you have history of diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems in the past?
Doctor:Have you had serious injuries of shoulder, elbow, arm in the past?
User:I have 1 more piece of information: sometimes the left hand goes cold since a few years ago in comparison to the temperature of the right hand
User:No serious injuries, but a little soreness from waving flags at AFL games
Doctor:Thanks for providing the necessary details.
Doctor:Let me brief you now.
User:I have high blood pressure for which I am taking Atorvastatin
Doctor:As I mentioned earlier, the sudden tingles localised to left fingers seem most likely due to peripheral neuopathy.
Doctor:It is especially common in individuals who are diabetic and those who consume alcohol.
User:What does that mean?
User:peripheral neuopathy?
Doctor:Here, the nerves supplying the peripheral limbs such as fingers, palm and feet are affected by conditions such as diabetes, thyroid problem, vitamin deficiency and other metabolic disorders.
Doctor:leading to symptoms such as tingling, pins and needles, numbness.
Doctor:Very serious cases of peripheral neuropathy would present with weakness.
Doctor:Based on your description, you seem to have this issue due to regular alcohol drinks +/- vitamin deficiency.
User:I don't have diabetes, but should I reduce alcohol consumption to help abate p. n.?
Doctor:I would start you on vitamin b12 (methylcobalamine) supplements and advice you to reduce alcohol drinks.
Doctor:You can try these two for couple of weeks before consulting your doctor for evaluation.
Doctor:You need to be worried, in most cases the symptoms resolve very soon with vitamin implementation.
Doctor:Rarely the tingling may be a feature of vascular disturbance.
User:Ok. Thank you very much for your help. do you mean I need NOT worry too much if I take B12?
Doctor:That's right. Do not be worried much.
Doctor:Start the b12 and reduce alcohol intake.
Doctor:You can consult the doctor if the symptoms persist say after 2 weeks.
Doctor:The doctor should run battery of test.
Doctor:and start other treatment.
User:Also, please can you advise about my rt calf strain/tear. I am having physio and following a very light exercise/stretching program before I recommence running again. Have you any other advice?
Doctor:How long ago did you sustain the tear.
Doctor:Are you on antiinflammatory medicine?
User:About 6 months ago. No antiinflamms.
Doctor:And are you sure what you have a calf strain/tear?
Doctor:If you indeed have a calf strain, it is uncommon to last for 6 months. Unless you have aggravated the injury during physio and exercise session.
Doctor:As atorvastatin can cause muscular aches which may be misinterpreted as calf strain I instruct my patients to confirm if the pain is indeed from the strain or
Doctor:from the medicine.
Doctor:Offcourse your doctor who has examined you is the best judge here.
Doctor:If the calf strain hasn't immproved over the last 6 months
Doctor:then in my opinion you need to get back to the orthopedician
Doctor:for reassessment.
User:It happened near end of footy season. Then I laid off running and just cycled and a little swimming. However, it became aggravated while on a holiday in Bali while I was having a leg massage.
User:It wasn't sore from October to January
Doctor:If the soreness worsened after January and there was no injury this time
Doctor:then it may be from the weather change.
User:Ok Thanks again. Good bye
Doctor:Cold and low temperature would cause vasoconstriction. i would recommend that you try heat pads
Doctor:instead of ices along with pain medicines whenever the pain is severe.
Doctor:Do consider visiting the orthop
Doctor:for details.
Doctor:Hope I was able to clarify your doubts.
Doctor:Thanks for consulting me.
Doctor:Bye for now.
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