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Left arm numb. Spreading to toes. Soaking in hot water has not helped What is going on?

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Practicing since : 2001
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My left hand was numb when I woke up. It started in my pinky and ring finger and has radiated to the left side of palm down my forearm. This afternoon my right hand came to be numb as well, and it is still escalating slowly.
The numbness has spread to my toes, and I can feel it going to the balls of my feet. I'm not entirely numb in these areas. It just feels equivalent to when your foot "falls asleep." I've tried soaking my extremities in hot water, moving them briskly and extending my back to eliminate any possible pinched nerves. Nothing has worked and now it is 12 hours of lack of sensation.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 2 hours later

Thanks for the query

From the clinical details provided to me it looks to me like you have increasing sensory symptoms in the hands and feet. The problem can be anywhere from spinal cord to the peripheral nerves in the hands and the feet. Clinical possibilities are demyelination, nutritional deficiency (B1, B6 & B12) and toxins (alcohol, drugs, herbals) related neuropathy. Often such kind of symptoms are noticed in people suffering from anxiety and depression.

So I personally feel in view of progressive symptoms you need to see your neurologist for a clinical examination and consultation. I would like to exclude organic cause before considering the possibility of anxiety and depression in you.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you find my response to be both helpful and adequate. If you have any additional concerns regarding your question I would be happy to address them.


Dr Shiva Kumar R
Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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