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Causes for numbness in the hand - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Brain and Spine
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3632 Questions
User :   Hello
Doctor :   May i know your age and gender ?
User :   22 Male
User :   I've been fine all day, then I just ate dinner and came back to my desk and my arm became really numb/weak and I became very lightheaded
Doctor :   Since when is the problem ?
User :   about an hour
Doctor :   ok, If the condition aggravates you may have to get a MRI scan of the Brain and the Spine
User :   well its a common occurance lately.. past couple of evenings I have had this feeling, then by morning its gone
Doctor :   but if its getting better on its own or the same you may have to do arm and shoulder warm up exercises for some time
Doctor :   since you had it before too , i do not see a need for scan now
User :   so do you have any idea what is causing it?
Doctor :   consider doing exercises and supplement your food with multivitamin capsules
Doctor :   common cause would be nerve weakness due to multivitamin deficiency specially VIT B12
User :   well my big concern is worrying that its heart related.. how would I know the difference?
Doctor :   Since it appears after food any increase in intra abdominal pressure would be a trigger
Doctor :   No, it could not be heart, as the heart problem will be associated with severe pain ,breathlessness and palpitation
User :   what about stuff like poor blood circulation?
Doctor :   And the pain even be in the neck and chest for sure
Doctor :   Poor blood circulation also results in pain and cold ness of the arms
User :   are there serious side effects/problems with poor blood circulation?
Doctor :   And there would be bluish discoloration of the palm and the skin over the arm
Doctor :   i do not consider it to be due to poor blood circulation
Doctor :   and the complication with poor blood circulation would be a gangrene
Doctor :   Do you smoke ?
User :   never
Doctor :   Smoking is the commonest cause of poor blood circulation as they create blockages in the blood vessels .Same reason is attributed to heart induced pain
User :   oh ok. i do not smoke... so what i am gathering from you is that the numbness/weakness in my lower left arm and hand/fingers is most likely caused by a VIT B12 deficiency and just need to take a mulitvitamin and do some excersises?
Doctor :   yes, clearly
User :   do i have anything i need to worry about? as in can i get by for a few hours without takign the B12?
Doctor :   if the condition is getting worse then you may need a Screening MRI of the brain and the Spine and then consult a neurologist
User :   what would that be a sign of?
Doctor :   Vit B12 is available in combinations with other Vitamins , as multivitamin Capsules , taking them one or day for a moth or two will show you the results
Doctor :   Worsening of the symptoms gives a suspect ion of spinal cord compression nor brain damage
Doctor :   the cause of it can be made after its appearance on the scan
Doctor :   or*
User :   oo ok.. so nothing i have said makes it sound like low blood surgar? that was my last idea i saw on the internet
Doctor :   Worsening of the symptoms gives a suspection of spinal cord compression or brain damage
Doctor :   At the age 22 i do not consider hypoglycemia as it is common in diabetics
Doctor :   Are you a diabetic or do you have family history of diabetes ?
User :   nobody in my family that is blood related to me has diabetes
User :   but i do take medication for anxiety attacks... will taking those meds cause these problems?
Doctor :   then need not worry abut that cayuse , and the numbness in diabetes is a sign appearing after years of diabetes may be after 10 to 15 years of diabetes
Doctor :   May i know what medication are you on ?
User :   paxil
Doctor :   this drug can affect the conscious but not the nerves
Doctor :   the dizziness can be attributed to this
User :   ok, so why does the numbness only happen in my left arm and not both?
User :   given that its probably a VIT B12 difiencey
Doctor :   Are you a right handed ?
User :   yes
Doctor :   this explains trhe left nerve will not be well toned as you do not use your left hand more than your right , hence the nerve which is used less will be prone to such deficiency symptoms fiorst
Doctor :   first*
Doctor :   and if the deficiency is very severe then it can involve all other nerves
User :   ok, well thank you
Doctor :   You are welcome
User :   one last thing... what kind of excersises do you recommend?
Doctor :   Physiotherapy, warm up exercises rather than weight lifting ones
User :   ok thanks
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting me , kindly provide your feedback
Doctor :   Bye for now
Doctor :   Take care
User :   thanks, you too
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