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What causes occasional numbness on left side of face and hands?

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Posted on Sat, 2 May 2015
Question: I have had occasional numbing on my left side of face and occasionally in hands that comes with me feeling disoriented and just "off." This is not all the time. It last anywhere from a few minutes to hours. Last night was hours. It has happened a little more frequently since I have had my baby who is 10 months old. I am 29 years old and had my first episode about 4 years ago. I know it could be a million things and probabaly nothing at all but I am not sure where I should start doctor wise with the symptoms I have. Thanks for any tips you have!
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

The fact that those symptoms have been present on and off for years is somewhat reassuring as it excludes causes like stroke or malignant brain tumor.
Other possible causes which might have to be excluded are multiple sclerosis or an epileptic seizure. For that I believe that a neurological consult is needed to evaluate for neurological signs and the need for tests like MRI of the brain and EEG.
However beford you start to panic I would say that the most probable cause in my opinion would be anxiety and I am recommending the above just to make sure there are no other signs you might have missed.
Also before those, some more routine blood tests are recommended to screen for possible metabolic abnormalities which might cause such symptoms like: complete blood count, blood sugar, electrolytes, thyroid function tests,vitamin B12 and D levels.

I remain at your disposal for further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (35 hours later)
Thank you for your response. I Actually had extensive bloodwork done last Ocotber because I started going to a wellness/holistic doctor. All my numbers were pretty normal some a little low, which I take supplements for. I have an appointment now on Monday with a Neuroligist. I will be bringing all that paperwork along with my documents from a hospital visit I had 3 years ago when I thought I was having a stroke and had an EKG run. What might I be able to expect from my first appointment with my Neuroligist? Thank you!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Read below

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the update.

It is good that you are seeing a neurologist given the persisting nature of your symptoms. What I expect he will do apart from history taking is making a neurological exam to test for the possibility of other subtle signs you might have missed which could indicate a brain involvement, signs like balance and coordination issues, ocular abnormalities, weakness of the muscles in the face or in the limbs, abnormalities of sensation etc.
According to the findings he could tell you that:
- all is normal and you have nothing to worry about because its probably due to anxiety
- there are some signs which make it necessary to investigate for issues like MS (I keep mentioning MS, not because I consider it that likely but only because it's more common in young people), or a vascular malformation (born abnormality of the blood vessels).
- all is normal but still an MRI might be scheduled just to make sure.

I hope things will work out for the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3674 Questions

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What causes occasional numbness on left side of face and hands?

Brief Answer: Read below. Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. The fact that those symptoms have been present on and off for years is somewhat reassuring as it excludes causes like stroke or malignant brain tumor. Other possible causes which might have to be excluded are multiple sclerosis or an epileptic seizure. For that I believe that a neurological consult is needed to evaluate for neurological signs and the need for tests like MRI of the brain and EEG. However beford you start to panic I would say that the most probable cause in my opinion would be anxiety and I am recommending the above just to make sure there are no other signs you might have missed. Also before those, some more routine blood tests are recommended to screen for possible metabolic abnormalities which might cause such symptoms like: complete blood count, blood sugar, electrolytes, thyroid function tests,vitamin B12 and D levels. I remain at your disposal for further questions.