pain in hands and nubbness in fingers

juju - 14711
By juju - 14711 Latest Reply 2010-02-11 13:10:09 -0600
Started 2009-06-20 17:11:34 -0500

has any one had this it happened all of a sudden it hurts really bad

21 replies

PapaRon 2010-01-05 08:36:57 -0600 Report

It has been just since this past Oct. 22nd, after my open-heart surgery, that I have been experiencing various degrees of numbness in some very select areas. My left leg from the knee down to and including my feet and toes, if I had to put a %'age on it, would be about 80% numb. My index finger on my right hand about 20%. On my left hand, to include my thumb/index finger/middle finger/and thick pad at base of my thumb, about 80% numb. And one other area, which seems awfully strange to me…(pardon my words lease, but) at the top of my butt crack and about three to four inches down is about 75% numb. All just since my surgery (had five bypasses), three veins taken from inside my left thigh, two veins taken from inside my right thigh. And of course diabetes is NOT exactly 'healing friendly' with any expedience.

imsuzie2 2010-01-08 05:33:12 -0600 Report

Papa, is it possible there was some nerve damage done during the surgery? Isn't it strange that the symptoms started after surgery? I would tell not only the cardiologist but the surgeon. They can test for the cause of the numbness if they don't know it. Keep us informed on it. S2

PapaRon 2010-01-12 16:51:56 -0600 Report

Yep…thanks…I've got a lot of stuff to update my doctors on and will be doing that in one week.

IamDrRobert 2010-02-11 13:10:09 -0600 Report

Papa, I too had bypass surgery in 2006. The symptoms you're having are common after that kind of surgery. I also experienced most of the same symptoms. My suggestion for you to try, is acupressure. Wherever the discomfort is find the most bothersome area and apply light pressure for 7 seconds and release for 3 seconds…do this until the pain subsides then move on to the next troublesome area. Let me know how it works for you or if you have any other questions. Robert

nerdse 2010-01-04 03:25:11 -0600 Report

OK, first off, I'm a RN, not a MD, so this is NOT A DIAGNOSIS - it's a collection of pieces of information you can use to provide a physician with the max amount of info, plus to ask questions.

The things that come to mind include malnutrition, medication/vitamin/homeopathy/herbal treatment reactions, Reynaud's syndrome, peripheral neuropathy (though that usually hits the feet first), among others.

Please read below, I know it's long, but hopefully it will help you at least to be aimed with information when you SEE A DOCTOR. Seeing one is something you must do. If you're heavy, though (I am), watch for "fat phobic" doctors who blame everything on your size. When I developed joint pains in my hands, one of those "fat phobes" told me it was due to obesity; I looked at him & said, "I don't walk on my hands. Try again." Also watch for misogynistic (women-hating) doctors who blame everything on periods, waiting for them, pregnancy & the aftermath, menopause, & never look at what's really wrong with you. Nurses in your area probably know who to avoid for both of these, so ask them.

Overdosing on some vitamins can also cause the symptoms you're experiencing. Back when the medical establishment was carrying on about how megadoses of vitamin E fixed everything - which they've since recanted, claiming large doses cause multiple problems - I told many people to quit taking megadoses until the high levels had a chance to wear off (takes up to a year, but they felt better within a month or less), because they had symptoms of vitamin E overdose. Stopping the vitamin E always fixed their symptoms. Now, the medical establishment is doing the same thing with vitamin D that they did with vitamin E. But they're claiming that, unlike vitamin E, vitamin D doesn't have overdose symptoms. Well, it does; they're just not as bad. Any of the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, & K) go into the fat & can become toxic rapidly, plus everytime you lose weight, you release more into your bloodstream. Vitamins like B complex & C are water soluble, so if you drink enough water, they flush out of your system.

By the way, B complex with C is the safest way to take B vitamins, which can help (but won't fix) with nerve damage. That, a good multivitamin with minerals (better if it's one for diabetics, since chromium picolinate can help with blood sugars) plus a REASONABLE dose of calcium with vitamin D, would be a safe way to get needed nutrients without overdosing. Protein drinks, if you can afford them, in moderation, can help with protein/calorie malnutrition. But again, CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR.

If you've ever had lap band or other weight loss surgery, malnutrition is a given with all of them, & malnutrition can also cause these symptoms. Even those who adhere to the guidelines for oral intake without fail can still get malnutrition, although they're less likely; if you've had one of these surgeries, see the physician who did it immediately, if possible, & tell them your symptoms. If not, find a GP or internist who's familiar with the effects of weight loss surgery. Sometimes the surgeons have this "cut you & drop you" mentality, but their staff may know of a good internist who could pick up where the weight loss surgery doctor left off.

Also, if you're fat, like me, you can easily get protein/calorie malnutrition, meaning you at one time ate or are still eating, too many empty calories & too many carbs & don't have the nutrients you need. It can take a while to remedy that, especially if you have stomach or bowel problems.

If your sugars are out of control, it will make any of the symptoms you have for any other diagnoses worse. Testing can make the pain worse, & make you avoid checking your sugars when you should check them at least 2 times a day, plus whenever you have any odd symptom. Although fingersticks are most accurate, they're off if your hands are cold - so warm them first. They're also off if your hands are swollen. Perhaps a diabetes educator could help you with alternate site blood sugar testing. Sometimes, you'll feel that way when the sugar is high or low, either one. That's why you need to check sugars, even if it hurts. I bet you're on pills & diet; probably, if you're like many other type 2s, you dread using insulin. But it is so freeing! You can cover for the odd treat, so your body can process it normally & you don't feel as badly. I never took pills, mostly because I have 22 severe medication allergies & didn't want more, but also because my son is a type I diabetic who's never been hospitalized since his diagnosis at age 12, because we immediately remedied problems with his sugars. I wanted that freedom, the ability to cover for a sweet if I wanted the odd treat; the ability to go from an A1C of nearly 8 on diagnosis, to 5.8 in under 6 months. Trust me, you'll feel better & you'll wonder why you didn't cave sooner to insulin if you haven't already. If you're on just stable doses 2 times a day with pills, email me privately & I'll go into more detail into what my son & I do.

Medication side effects are another possibility. Don't rule out nutritional & homeopathic & herbal treatments as possible causes. Alternative medicine is still putting foreign substances in the body in hopes you will feel better - so it's practicing medicine without a license, in effect. My husband brought home a homeopathic rub for his arthritis; he got worse because it has poison ivy in it & he's allergic to it. A nurse manager of my acquaintance tried using echinacea to help her ward off colds & flu, but she always felt like she had both. She's got hay fever & is allergic to ragweed, & echinacea is in the same family. Stopping it relieved her symptoms. Some stomach remedies contain arsenic. The same health food nuts who rant about arsenic content in pesticides, etc., will freely take homeopathic medications with arsenic in them. It IS an old remedy for "nervous stomach" - what we now call irritable bowel syndrome. My grandmother took it straight as a teen; one drop the first day, 2 the second, until she was using 10 drops, then taper back down from 10 to none over a 10 day period. But we have other ways to treat it now, & she was weak from that treatment for months afterwards.

Besides, when they say, "Oh, it's natural, it's harmless," well, poppies (heroine), hemp (marijuana), coca leaves (cocaine) are all "natural," but they're not all safe. We've found ways to make some safe medicines from those substances, but those are by prescription. The non prescription versions are illegal due to the harm they do & potential for addiction. Mistletoe is natural, but the berries of that & holly are fatal. Get the idea?

As you can see, you really do need a physician. But now, you can ask him or her questions like, is this Reynaud's? Peripheral neuropathy? And you can provide a full list of ALL medications you're taking - from the aspirin or Tylenol you might take for a headache to the vitamins, herbals, etc., that you take now, plus anything like chiropractic treatment, homeopathy, massage, acupuncture, etc. If you can, type out a medical history & list of all meds, including those I listed above; all surgeries; all procedures; all diagnoses; all current complaints; blood sugar record, etc. If you have Microsoft Office, you can go to their website & download a template that will help you by triggering your memory of all your conditions, etc., & it's free.

Best of luck to you on your doctor's trip, & again, email me if you have more questions. DON'T TRY TO DIAGNOSE YOURSELF, not even based on my information; bring all the info to your doctor.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-04 12:42:46 -0600 Report

Wow, I am impressed!! So much knowledge, so well put, and so many clues to give us something to compare our own situations to, then, as you said, go to your Dr and feel well-armed!!

I LOVED your explanations of the different TYPES of Drs., and YES, they are out there!! I was a unit sec and nurse -aide for 35 years/ more in private home—and SUSPECTED that SOME DRS were biased, but I had so many self doubts, I would think, " oh, surely not—it is just me!"" NOT, and at 77 yrs., I now know better, but as so pleased for you, an RN ,to put it so aptly into words, to warn younger ones, to help give us some support that "It is NOT always in our heads!" That recognition does wonders for ME!! And you made it sound so respectful—-a thing I had trouble with at the time, in how to disagree without being disagreeable——Thank you so MUCH!! Pat R

imsuzie2 2010-01-02 20:06:04 -0600 Report

I still sleep with both hands on pillows to elevate them some and my surgeries were in '97, '98, '99, and 2000! My brother had arthroscopic carpel tunnel surgery and I never heard him complain of residual pain. Of course I never asked him…

imsuzie2 2010-01-02 07:14:25 -0600 Report

I had the nerve conduction test and told my hand doc that it was developed in the Nazi Concentration Camps. Awful test. It confirmed the carpel tunnel of both hands. After both surgeries, I developed ganglion cysts in each hand. Had 4 surgeries in 4 years. Lately have been having some numbness in one of the hands and thought carpel tunnel. Now I wonder! You guys sure give me LOTS of thing to think (and worry) about…oh, Happy New Year. S2

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-02 14:10:37 -0600 Report

My RN said, years ago when we had a patient getting the surgery for Carpel tunnel, "they will still have trouble because scar tissue grows in and binds it up—-or such—probably more professionaly said—hahah—But I got the point.

For me, it flares up after spading a lot, goes up my arm and into my shoulder, but I can put a wrap on the wrist, something to hold it solid so it can rest and heal, warmth at night, elevate my arm at night—keeping the elbow lower, and manage to get by—-have had no surgery, BUT that is just me—-PR

Turtle 2009-07-05 13:16:24 -0500 Report

Hi, I agree it could be neuropathy and I also have fibromyalgia. It started in one thumb and is in my whole body now. It is very painful. I agree with others, get a full work up with your primary doc.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-05 13:21:21 -0500 Report

I had a dear friend that battled fibromyalgia, and the frustration of most Drs thinking it was all in her head! Unfortunately, she proved them wrong! So find a COMPASSIONATE DR., if there is such a thing, rare, I think—-and get on top of it NOW! hugs, PR

JulieC 2010-01-02 06:04:26 -0600 Report

My pinky finger and half of my ring finger and half of my palm are numb and tingly. Been that way for a couple months now. Its an awfull feeling. Some times my fingers will like freeze-up and get stuck and the pain is bad when that happens. and its getting hard to do some things…I pet my dog and cant feel anything with that part of my hand…and it gets real cold feeling all the time. I guess Im going to look into this…Ithought it was carpal tunnel..but now I wonder.

omahapack 2009-06-22 01:24:28 -0500 Report

From what I have read and heard, pain and numbness in hands, feet, ears and other areas is common in diabetics.

Avera 2009-06-21 23:28:23 -0500 Report

Sounds to me as if you might be having what is called Diabetic Neuropathy. I had the same symptoms as you and when I told my doctor, Neuropathy is what he said that I had. I went to a web site to learn more about it. I am going to put the link to the web site that I read. If you go there, you can see if your symptoms are like the ones listed on the site. Then you can tell your doctor to check you for it. Hope this helps. Here is the link:

witchmom05 2009-06-24 21:21:39 -0500 Report

thank you that actually sounds a lot move like what i have the docs had told me carpel tunal but know my legs are staring it to.

Judi62 2009-06-25 10:49:24 -0500 Report

Thank you for mentioning this site. I never knew how dibetes could affect so many different areas of the body.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-05 12:29:11 -0500 Report

Amen! Cheezz, NOW i KNOW that I do not want this to get worse! You know what? In spite of my dragging my feet to comply with what is best for all of us, no matter the degree to which the diabetis has affected us, I am adjusting and feel better in not stuffing the sweets, finding alternative hobbies to pass the time in retirement, NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE BORED!!!! And I feel better, not so bloated, my swimming is loosening me up, feel younger—well—some—-haha- hugs to ALL, PR

daniel velazco
daniel velazco 2009-06-21 18:56:15 -0500 Report

I have had this problem for some time. I went to the Dr.
and he had nerve conduction test done. He said I had
Carprol tunnel and they did surgury. Well that did't work so I was sent to a Neorologist and he ran test and said
I have nerve damage in both arms and hand due to my
Diabeties. I have another appointment with him and see what happens next. Dan

PAT L 2009-06-21 10:31:33 -0500 Report


witchmom05 2009-06-20 18:07:35 -0500 Report

I've been having pain in both hands and numbness to the wrists four the last two months. My doctor ran ex-rays and everything, they seem to think I have nerve damage or carpel tunal but I'm still confused about whats going on. I would love to know if you find the answer. 2009-06-20 17:38:51 -0500 Report

Hello Juju, Yes I have had this problem. But, I also have RLS. and it also contributes to this problem. Have you been checked for this condition? I know it is very annoying & painful. And I sympathize with you!!!

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