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I'm a 42 yr old female and I've noticed a tingling and pins and needles sensation in my left arm down to my left hand over the past couple of months. My left thumb is numb and has a tightness to it which is disturbing. What could be the reason for this? I'm really worried. I've been taking Vitamin B capsules for the past one week. I just want to know what the problem is and what can be done. Could this be anxiety related? Does it have anything to do with my heart? One more thing, I have a feeling of my nerves twitching in my right wrist.Please help.

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replied November 10th, 2008
Muscular and Nerve Disorders Answer A4827
Your question involves the numbness, tingling, and tightness that you are experiencing in your left arm.

This can be caused by a number of things:

1. Diabetes: Diabetes can cause peripheral nerve issues, particularly as you mentioned that you have "unsatisfactory control" over it. It is more common to the legs, however, it can realistically affect any area. This may be something you need to speak with your doctor about.

2. B-12 deficiency: B-12 deficiency may cause peripheral tingling as well. You mentioned that you have been taking B-12 for the past week, however, B-12 can be very difficult to replace in an oral form, due to common absorption issues. It is generally well known by most doctors that B-12 injections are the fastest way to replace the vitamin.

3. Bulging Cervical Disc: You did not mention if you have pain in the left side of your neck. However, a disc bulge in the cervical spine may compress on a nerve, and cause the sensations you are feeling down your arm.

4. Nerve Entrapment: Nerves, as they pass out of the spine travel under your collar bone and down your arm. A common site where nerves are being compressed by muscles and/or bones is under the collar bone, a common condition called "Thoracic Outlet Syndrome". This may also be a cause for the symptoms you are experiencing.

As you can see there are a few possible reasons for your symptoms. The first 2 may be ruled out by your physician, while the 2nd two you may need a referral to an orthopedic doctor or physical therapist for evaluation.

You also asked if anxiety could be related. Anxiety can increase muscle tone and increase excitability of your nervous system, which can exacerbate any current condition you may have. It may not be the root cause of your symptoms, however, may make them more noticeable.

Sam Visnic

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