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Black out, numbness in right thumb. Can this be symptoms of stroke or nerve compression?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1851 Questions
Hello. I am a 30 year old male. I am a private pilot with good health. It is Monday and on Friday I went on a high g flight doing hard aerobatics. We were attempting to G loc me pulling a constant 7 positive g's in a hard left turn dive. We tried 3 times and were unsuccessful in acquiring g loc but I did black out 2 of the attempts but never lost consciousness. Ever since after the flight I have had numbness mostly in my right thumb and less in my left. What are your thoughts? Stroke? Pinched nerve? Compression in spine? Thinking about getting scanned?
Posted Mon, 16 Jul 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 5 hours later
Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Important aspects of your query are:
• 30 year old male in good health
• Complaints of: Black out without loosing consciousness, numbness in thumb.

You case is interesting and but difficult too but I will try to give my best effort to help you in this problem.

Stroke: It will cause persistent and more severe symptoms. Stroke is less likely in young ages.
Pinched nerve: Will not cause blackout. It can cause numbness, pain in pinched nerve sypply area.
Compression in spine: Will not cause blackout. It will cause persistent and more severe symptoms.

Considering all your complaints together I would like to consider multiple possibilities in following hierarchy:

• Neurological problem: There are several other neurological condition which can present like this. It is better to get scan done.
• Vitamin deficiency: Get serum B12 level and complete blood count done. Start multi vitamins as they are easily available.
• Side effect of substance use: Stop use (if any) gradually
• Stress or Anxiety: As your symptom occurring in stressful situation (During flight), It need to be rule out by detailed interview by psychiatrist. All your complaints can occur in these conditions.
Thyroid related problem: Get it investigated as this can lead to above symptoms with anxiety.

Considering your job, I strongly recommend you to first have all check ups and investigation before next flight.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
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