What could cause sudden unilateral numbness?

Posted on Wed, 20 Nov 2019 in Headache and Migraines
Question: sudden unilateral numbness
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Different possible causes

Detailed Answer:


Sudden unilateral numbness can have different causes. It would be called neuropathy which is abnormal function of the nerves.

It can be temporary or permanent.

Some causes-(1) trauma to the nerves . If the numbness is on the entire side of the body then a stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack- minor stroke) should be considered.
You would need a CT or MRI brain as soon as possible and medication would also need to be started.

Trauma can also occur when a person has arthritis or any changes of the spine (neck, chest or lower back), it can compress nerves in that area and this can cause numbness.

Imaging of the spine would identify any of these

(2)infection of the spine, brain or any of the outgoing nerves can cause a problem as well

(3)low levels of vitamin b12 or folate can cause numbness but this is usually only in a specific areas

(4)liver, kidney or thyroid disease can cause numbess.

(5)neurological conditions such as ms can also cause this symptom

You would need to examined, imaging and bloods done to determine the exact cause, treatment depends on the cause found.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16766 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

147 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction