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"What would make you become lightheaded and then your limbs go numb?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat would make you become lightheaded and then your limbs go numb?


My husband was going for his normal mile and a half run this morning and he started feeling lightheaded and his extremities or limbs went cold and then numb. We went to the ER and they said there is nothing wrong. His left arm from the elbow down is still numb and cold (he feels cold, not cold to my touch of his skin), but the doctors said that he is "not dying" so they cannot do anything more for him than pump him with fluids. Are there some tests that I should try to get his doctors to conduct? Any ideas? He is a healthy 27 year old man who exercises (strength and cardio) regularly during the week about 3-4 days a week. He eats a healthy balanced diet (actually healthier than I eat) and only drinks water and the occasional cup of coffee (no cream or sugar).


I am very sorry to hear that you and your husband had this experience, which sounds quite frightening. Whenever people develop sudden symptoms like this, especially while exercising, the job of the emergency room doctors is to make sure the symptoms are not from something life threatening like a stroke or a heart attack. It sound like this has been done already, so that is reassuring in a lot of ways. Additionally, the chances that this is a very serious problem are lowered by the fact that your husband is young and healthy with no known medical problems. There are several common reasons still for young, healthy people to get lightheadedness and other symptoms during exercise. These include overexertion and dehydration, and in these cases the symptoms typically resolve with drinking fluids and resting. Dehydration in particular can cause other odd symptoms, including a cold sensation or numbness and tingling. I suggest that your husband make an appointment with his primary care doctor right away for followup from the emergency room visit. His primary care doctor will be able to perform a more complete physical examination and help determine whether any additional work up is needed at this time.

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