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What causes tingling and numbness in fingers at night?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 5171 Questions
I am 13 weeks pregnant with 3rd child, for about 8 weeks now iv been getting tingling and numbness in my pinky and ring finger in BOTH hands through the night or upon weakening and it also wakes me through the night, u also get pins and needles very easily in my lower legs and feet, but this has been happening before pregnancy, please help I have bad health anxiety
Posted Thu, 20 Feb 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 59 minutes later
Brief Answer: Carpal tunnel syndrome..see below Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. I am so sorry to hear about this tingling and numbness you experienced with your middle and ring fingers especially at night. The description of your symptoms is very suggestive of carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the nerve supplying these fingers is compressed as it passes through the wrist. This is more common during pregnancy as a result of increased fluid retention. sleeping on the hands at night or unconsciously bending the wrist would provoke symptoms and interrupt sleep. This often gets better after delivery unless there is something else responsible for symptoms. I will like you to try the following measures. For sure they would help but if the symptoms persist, I will advice that you see medical consultation. 1. Take quick breaks from repetitive activities involving the use of your hands. 2. Rotate your wrists and stretch your palms and fingers. 3. Take a pain reliever, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen (Aleve, others). 4. Try wearing a wrist splint at night. Wrist splints are generally available over-the-counter at most drugstores or pharmacies. The splint should be snug but not tight. 5. Avoid sleeping on your hands to help ease the pain or numbness. If pain, numbness or weakness recurs and persists, see your doctor. This is unrelated to the symptoms of your legs which are transient and do not need immediate attention. I hope this addresses your query fully. Thank you so much for patronizing our services and please do feel free to ask for follow up clarifications and information if need be. I wish you the best of health. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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Follow-up: What causes tingling and numbness in fingers at night? 8 hours later
I thought carpal tunnel syndrom involved other areas of the hand? And that the 4th and 5th finger are to do with ulner nerve problems? Thanks so much for your answer but would you mind explaining to me abit more how this can be carpel tunnel
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 16 minutes later
Brief Answer: Tell me which fingers are affected! Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for following up with me. It seems there is a mixed up. I will like you to label the fingers from 1-5 starting from the thumb and tell me which fingers are affected? I hope I didn't mislabel the fingers you are talking of. Carpal tunnel's syndrome affects the first 3and 1/2fingers counting from the thumb which are all supplied by the median nerve. Let me know if we are talking about the same fingers or not. Hope to hear from you. Thanks. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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Follow-up: What causes tingling and numbness in fingers at night? 26 minutes later
I am talking about the 4th and 5th fingers on both hands.
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Thank you so much for this clarification Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for this clarification. I am so sorry I went talking of an entirely different pathology as a result of this mix up. As you rightly mentioned, carpal tunnel's syndrome would not affect the 5th finger. With this added information, the immediate cause of your symptoms is not very evident. The only thing they share in common would be that the same nerves supplying theses finger(the ulnar or cubital nerve) is the most likely origin of this pain. To pinpoint the exact problem, the exact problem would need a complete examination and maybe testing to pinpoint the cause. For this, you would need to get an in person consultation with your primary care doctor or the OBGYN. Where the cubital nerves are most exposed and vulnerable to be affected is at the outer border of the elbow. Try avoiding any pressure on these points and see if you get any relief while you plan and go in for a through examination and management. Thanks. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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Follow-up: What causes tingling and numbness in fingers at night? 50 minutes later
I'm very scared that this could be lung cancer or some sort of tumor, my doctor has already said that it's most likely the pregnancy but I never had this type of problem before and the problems with my feet started before pregnancy, doctor said unlikely to be cancer but I'm so worried because it's in both hands and I thought if it was injury it would only be in one hand
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Very Very unlikely to be lung cancer Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for following up with me. These symptoms are not in any way suggestive of cancer and talk less of cancer of the lungs. Your age, the absence of risk factors and no symptom to suggest it makes the diagnosis very unlikely and even an impossibility. Symptoms of cancer include weight loss, fatigue, lack of appetite and specific symptoms suggestive of the cancer type. You lack just everything to even suspect cancer. This is more likely to be a systemic modification rather than a local cause like trauma. Pregnancy at this time should be the most likely reason why. This is because of the numerous physiologic changes associated with pregnancy especially fluid retention. This is the same reason behind cases of bilateral carpal tunnel's syndrome during pregnancy. The increased fluid retention exerts pressure to structures. If a nerve happens to be involved, then it is very likely to be the case. You would find more reasons to think it was for real pregnancy when you get marked improvement in symptoms after delivery. How many pounds have you put on already since becoming pregnant? Know a greater majority of that is fluids and not real tissue per se. For now, I will suggest you eat less salt, Avoid exerting pressure to the lateral aspects of your elbows and exercise the fingers more often. These should offer some help but the definite cure would be delivery. I wish you a safe pregnancy and delivery. Feel free to contact me any other tie if need be. I wish you well. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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Follow-up: What causes tingling and numbness in fingers at night? 21 minutes later
Thank you so much for your reply, iv gained about 4 kilos since becoming pregnant, other small issues iv had that made me worry about cancer are some shortness of breath and some pain in side of rib/breast area that I had accasionally before pregnant! I also suffered ashma as a child and also epilepsy, have been of medication for epilepsy about 12 years! I smoked up until a couple of months ago since the ago of 14!
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 5 minutes later
Brief Answer: Still unlikely to be cancer Detailed Answer: hi and thanks for this follow up. It takes more than 7years of smoking to have a significant risk of having lung cancer. I hope the fears related to this smoking would motivate you to strongly consider never to smoke again. All the information above doesn't support cancer of the lungs. the early staged never present with shortness of breath. These are the terminal stages and for sure you are not there. Be calm, relaxed and confident this is not cancer. I wish you well. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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