Numbness of the hand is usually caused by irritation, damage, or compression of a nerve or a part of a nerve located at the wrist and arm region. In most cases, the numbness of the hand is not always a reason for concern.
There are usually other signs associated with a medical condition that causes numbness in the hands.
Below are possible causes or underlying medical conditions that lead to hand numbness:
It is most times not usual or common that hand numbness could be a sign of stroke.
One should seek urgent medical attention if he or she also experiences any of the symptoms below:
- Unexpected weakness or numbness in the arm or leg, especially if this happens on one side of the body.
- Having issues speaking or understanding others.
- Sudden serious headache
- Sudden dizziness or imbalance
- Loss of vision
Early treatment may help in reducing the risk for long-term or chronic damage, even to the extent of saving lives.
Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency:
One needs vitamin B-12 to keep the nerves healthy. Deficiency of this vitamin can cause numbness or a tingling sensation in both the hands and feet.
Deficiency in minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which are essential to the body, may also cause numbness of the hands.
Other Symptoms of a Deficiency in Vitamin B-12 Include:
- Problems with walking and balancing
Neuropathy, also known as nerve damage, can be a side effect of medications used in the treatment of cancer and seizures. These drugs can have a great effect on both the hands and feet.
Some of the drugs that can cause numbness of the hands to include:
Antibiotics: This includes metronidazole (Flagyl), fluoroquinolones (Cipro), and many more.
Anticancer drugs: This includes cisplatin and vincristine.
Anti-seizure drugs: This include phenytoin (Dilantin).
Heart or blood pressure drugs: This includes amiodarone (Nextorone), hydralazine (Apresoline), and many more.
Other symptoms that could arise from certain medications include:
- Abnormal feelings in the hands
A Slipped Cervical Disc:
Discs are soft cushions that demarcate the bones (vertebrae) of your spine. A tear or rupture in a disc allows the soft material located in the middle to squeeze out. This damage is called a herniated or slipped disc.
The damaged disc can exert pressure and then irritate the nerves of one’s spine. Also, a slipped disc can cause weakness or pain in the arm or leg.
The carpal tunnel is a small path that runs through the center of the wrist. Situated at the center of this tunnel is the median nerve, which provides a sensation to the fingers, including the index, middle, thumb, and part of the ring finger.
Activities such as typing that are usually repeated can cause the tissues around the median nerve to swell up and exert pressure on the nerve. The pressure can lead to numbness alongside tingling, pain, and weakness in the affected hand.
Cervical Spondylosis is a form of arthritis that affects the discs located in the neck region. It’s caused by lots of wear and tears on the spinal bones. Pressure can be exerted by damaged vertebrae on nearby nerves causing numbness in the hands, arms, and fingers.
Most people with this health condition do not usually have any symptoms, whereas others may feel pain and stiffness in their neck.
Cervical Spondylosis may also cause:
· Arms, hands, legs, or feet weakness
· Loss of balance and coordination
· Loss of bladder or bowel control
· Muscle spasms at the neck or shoulder region.
Ganglion cysts are growths filled with fluid. They develop on tendons or joints at the wrists or hands. Ganglion cysts grow to an inch or more.
If these cysts exert pressure on a nearby nerve, they can cause numbness, pain, or weakness in the hand.
The body has issues moving sugar from the bloodstream into cells in people living with diabetes. Having a long-term high blood sugar level for a long period of time can cause damage to the nerve known as diabetic neuropathy.
Other Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:
- Burning pain
- Loss of balance
The thyroid gland located at the neck produces hormones that help with the regulation of the body’s metabolism. An under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) occurs when the thyroid gland produces very little hormones.
If left not treated, hypothyroidism can cause damage to the nerves that send feeling to the legs and arms, which is known as peripheral neuropathy. It can lead to numbness, weakness as well as tingling in the hands and feet.
Drinking alcohol in moderate amounts is safe; however, too much of it can damage tissues in the body, including the nerves. Sometimes, people who misuse alcohol can develop numbness as well as a tingling sensation in their hands and feet.
Other Symptoms of Alcohol-Related Neuropathy Include:
- Muscle spasms
- The weakness of the muscle
- Erectile dysfunction
- Urinary Incontinence
Fibromyalgia is a health condition that causes fatigue and muscle pain as symptoms. Sometimes, it is often confused with chronic fatigue syndrome because the symptoms are usually so similar. Fatigue with the condition of fibromyalgia can be so extreme. The pain is focused on different soft points around the body.
People with fibromyalgia may also experience numbness and tingling in their hands, arms, feet, legs, and face.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is this condition raises an attack of one’s organs and tissues by the body itself. It causes inflammation in several organs and tissues, including the joints, heart, kidney, and lungs.
Symptoms of lupus could come and go. The symptoms to pay more attention to depends on the parts of the body affected.
The pressure resulting from inflammation can damage nerves and cause numbness or tingling in the hands.
Other Reasons for Numbness in the Hands Include:
In rare cases, hand numbness could be a sign of one of the following conditions. One should go and see a doctor as soon as when one experiences associated symptoms.
Stage IV HIV -AIDS:
HIV is a virus that fights the immune system and eventually destroys numerous immune cells to the extent of the body can no longer be able to protect itself against infections and diseases. AIDS is the fourth stage of this virus (HIV).
HIV and AIDS damage nerve cells located in the brain and spinal cord. This nerve damage can cause one to lose feeling in both their arms and legs.
Other Symptoms of Stage 4 HIV Include:
- Weakness, confusion, and forgetfulness
- Difficulty swallowing and walking
- Loss of concentration
When to See a Doctor:
Urgent medical attention should be sought if one develops any of these symptoms listed below along with numbness of the hands:
· Dizziness and Confusion
· Loss of vision
· Sudden serious headache
· Having trouble speaking
· Having problems moving one or more parts of the body
Conclusively, if the numbness spreads to other areas of the body or doesn’t go away with time, it is important one consults a doctor. Also, one should see a doctor if the numbness began after an injury or illness.
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