the last few days I have noticed recurring numbness in the fingertips of my left hand, as though blood flow had been interrupted or something. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 8 years ago and have been undergoing some stress with moving - could this be related to the stress? Years ago I had pain in the left arm and some tingling sensation and was diagnosed with "classic symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome," but with excercise, this subsided. I have since employed a lot of stress reduction techniques to keep the fm at bay with success. Is this something I should have checked out?
There could be several causes of these complaints and you would need to consult a doctor for a detailed clinical evaluation to come to a definite diagnosis.
Are you on any medications currently? Since when are you having the symptoms?
'Paresthesia of the mouth, hands, and feet are common, transient symptoms of the related conditions of hyperventilation syndrome and panic attacks. It may also occur when blood circulation is reduced and suddenly restored.'
Without a proper supply of blood and nutrients, nerve cells can no longer adequately send signals to the brain. Because of this, paresthesia can also be a symptom of vitamin deficiency and malnutrition, as well as metabolic disorders like diabetes, hypothyroidism, and hypoparathyroidism.
Irritation to the nerve can also come from inflammation to the surrounding tissue. Joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome are common sources of paresthesia. Nerves below the head may be compressed where chronic neck and spine problems exist and can be caused by, amongst other things, muscle cramps which may be a result of clinical anxiety or excessive mental stress, bone disease, bad posture, unsafe heavy lifting practices or physical trauma such as whiplash.
Another cause of paresthesia, however, may be direct damage to the nerves themselves, i.e. neuropathy, which itself can stem from injury or infection such as Lyme disease, or which may be indicative of a current neurological disorder. Chronic paresthesia can sometimes be symptomatic of serious conditions, such as a transient ischemic attack, motor neurone disease, or autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis or lupus erythematosus.'
'Treatment should be decided by a neurologist. A CT scan is often used as a diagnostic tool.
Medications offered can include the immunosuppressant prednisone, intravenous gamma globulin (IVIG), anticonvulsants such as gabapentin or gabitril and antiviral medication, amongst others, according to the underlying cause.
In some cases, rocking the head from side to side will painlessly remove the "pins and needles" sensation in less than a minute. A tingly hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in the neck.
Loosening the neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, and standing up and walking around will typically relieve the sensation. An arm that has "fallen asleep" may also be "awoken" more quickly by clenching and unclenching the fist several times; the muscle movement increases blood flow and helps the limb return to normal.'
Treating the underlying cause as a vitamin B 5 or B 12 deficiency, quitting alcohol, etc also helps.
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Let us know about what the doctor advises and post us if you have any other doubts.
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