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Posted by ccf MD on August 13, 1997 at 07:53:41:
In Reply to: Numbness in fingers and toes posted by Bob on July 29, 1997 at 01:01:59:
: My mom has been experiencing numbness in her fingers and toes for approx. 5 months. She has difficulty holding a pen
or pencil and has a hard time grasping small objects. She has had many tests with no answers. She has had both a fasting
test for diabetes and a principle blood gluclose screening after eating a meal. The result of that test was 113. She has
been told so far there is no sign of diabetes. Could her body be fighting diabetes so the test results come back negative?
She also has continual pain in her tailbone. She has been told she has an extra vertebra but her doctor said that does not
have an effect on the pain in the tailbone. If any one has any opinions or suggestions I would greatly appreciate any
Certainly sounds like a frustrating problem. There can be a number of causes for numbness of the hands
and feet - some neurologic and some not. A detailed vascular and neurologic exam could be very helpful
in pointing which direction her problem lies. From a neurologic perspective, peripheral neuropathies are
a common cause of numbness. This is best documented by an EMG. You state she has had a number of tests
and I would guess this is one of them. The most common cause of this that we can document is diabetes
which is why they are looking so hard in that direction. If the problem were in her spine it would have
to be at the neck not just the lower back. It is not that uncommon to see patients that have an extra vertebra
in that area and it is usually not symptomatic. As you can imagine this is a difficult problem to deal with
over a computer since her exam is critical and we do not know the extensive tests that she has had. All disease
shows itself at some time and it is possible that it is too early to detect the underlying problem. It sounds to
me like it is time to consider another opinion, but she should talk to her doctor about this first. Good luck.
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