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What can numbness on the left side indicate?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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My left lower arm and hand along with area around my mouth (left side) and left nostril and now a snake feeling in my lower left leg have numbness, arm stays numb for hours---I am under lots of stress with p.o.p decisions---can you help me?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query. One important point in your case is that the symptoms are present on one side of the body i.e. the left side. There are two possibilities which need to be investigated thoroughly in light of these symptoms. These include:

1)     The first possibility is of a spinal cause like stenosis or degeneration which is causing nerve irritation. Nerve irritation may present with tingling and numbness in the upper extremities if cervical spine is involved. Any spinal cause in the lower spine may be associated with tingling in the feet and legs. So to rule out this possibility you need a MRI whole spine done after consulting a neurologist.

2)     The second possibility if of a neurological cause. Tingling on the left side of the body means that there may be an abnormality in the right side of the brain. It can be a neurological pathology like stroke or autoimmune condition like multiple sclerosis in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS), leading to demyelination. It can be diagnosed by MRI brain and MRS of the brain.

We need to confirm the diagnosis by getting your blood sugar levels, vitamin B 12 levels, MRI spine and head, MRS and a neurological examination from a neurologist done.

You should eat a healthy diet consisting more of meat and non veg products which are XXXXXXX sources of vitamin B 12. If you are a vegetarian then you can take vitamin B 12 supplements after consulting your physician.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
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