I am a 41 yrs old male. 2 years back I was diagnosed with restless leg syndrome. About 8 months back I also developed a burning sensation in my hands and feet. The problem does not stop there. I have plenty of other symptoms like impotence, stomach bloating, sharp pain in left big toe (once in a while), pulsatile tinnitus, muscle weakness, nightmares during sleep, abnormal sounds in stomach especially on an empty stomach, urinary incontinence, frequent urination. I do not suffer from diabetes although I do have high cholesterol. I feel extremely uncomfortable in hot weather. I can feel a little bit of chest tightness when exercising.
My hands go numb during sleep. Sometimes it the right hand, sometimes both the hands, very often it is the left hand. I am frequently awakened during nights. When I am awakened from sleep I can feel my hand getting numb. The numbness lasts for about a minute. These episodes are sometime accompanied by extreme fatigue and headache.
I would like to know if the burning sensation is due to carpal tunnel syndrome or due to peripheral neuropathy ? If it is peripheral neuropathy do you think based on the symptoms above, it is affecting or likely to affect my heart ?
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.
Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
A cause of numbness of the index finger and middle finger is carpal tunnel syndrome. It usually also has sensory changes of the palm at the thumb, index and middle fingers, and the ring finger on the side near the middle finger. I am not sure if you have these other features or not, but I will elaborate on carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression/entrapment syndrome of the median nerve at the wrist. It usually results from excessive use of hands and occupational “microtrauma”. Other causes include hypothyroidism, amylodosis, and arthritis to name a few. It may also arise during pregnancy and resolve after delivery of the child. The sensory changes usually are worse at night. Patients may complain of having to shake their hand to wake it up. Over time, you may develop atrophy of muscles of the thumb supplied by the median nerve.
I would recommend that you follow up with your local neurologist. He/she will perform a specific neurological examination focused on the median nerve. The neurologist may also elect to perform an EMG/NCS to evaluate the motor and sensory components of the median nerve as it crosses the wrist.
Treatment options include surgical release of the carpal ligament at the wrist. However, less invasive procedure such as splinting of the wrist, which can be purchased at local drug stores, should be tried first. Medications are usually directed at the underlying cause and include NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.
The description you provide is classic for carpal tunnel syndrome, but again, I do not have the luxury of performing a physical examination.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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