Numbness In Hands And Feet

If you are reading this page then you, a friend or perhaps a loved one has numbness in hands and feet that is either constant or intermittent.  It is important to distinguish numbness in the hands alone vs numbness in the feet alone vs both at the same time because that will significantly change the diagnosis associated with those symptoms.  Before doing any further reading or research it is important to record the time, instances, character of the numbness or tingling.  The medical term for this is sometimes call parasthesias.

The basis for parasthesias is generally neurologically based though general body numbness or tingling can be caused by non neurological symptoms.  One non-neurologic disorder such as anxiety can be the basis for these.  During a panic attack for example one could have generalized tingling of the hands and feet which can be either symmetrical or symetrical.  Usually, this is easily discernable  from a more serious condition based on the actual physical findings and history.

An acute numbness in the hands and feet or just a numbness or tingling in the feet or hands alone without any associated trauma could be indicative of a stroke or perhaps a transient ischemic attack.  With new onset numbness or tingling I suggest taking an aspirin right away unless you are already on another blood thinning medication like plavix or aggrenox.  If there was associated trauma you should seek medical attention as there could be nerve damage

If you have had the flu shot and have these symptoms along with significant weakness and fatigue you may have Guillain-Barre syndrome which could be life threatening.  You should seek medical attention immediately.

Should you have chronic parasthesias in the legs only likely you have peripheral neuropathy.  There is idiopathic peripheral neuropathy which as a chronic debilitating disease that worsens with age.  Fortunately there are many medications you can take to help with this and over time your pain and discomfort should ease and become tolerable.  It takes some time to get the right regimen.  Often the regimen is quite idiosyncratic as is the response to it.  If you have diabetes then perhaps you have a diabetic peripheral neuropathy.  Should that be the case make sure that you are vigilant in controlling your diabetes as uncontrolled diabetes here is the culprit and can cause your symptoms to worsen going forward.

This is just a brief summary of some of the many disorders than can cause numnbess in hands and feet and we encourage you to seek active medical advice regarding your ailments.   There is more information available throughout the site that may be helpful as well.