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"I have numbness in my hands and feet that started approx 3 weeks ago. Why?"

ZocdocAnswersI have numbness in my hands and feet that started approx 3 weeks ago. Why?


I have muscle weakness both sides, very little to no reflexes. I had a spinal tap that was normal except one of proteins was elevated. Blood tests are normal. I get hives every night and sometimes a rash appears on my arms and neck. My fingers turn dark around nail. What could be causing these symptoms?I was hospitalized overnight for chest pain and shortness of breath. Tests again were normal. I have been told that it could be some kind of infection or Guillain-Barre.


I'm very sorry to hear that you are going through this stressful time! I agree with your doctors so far that Guillain Barre syndrome is high on the list of possibilities. Basically, this is a condition in which the nerves in the periphery of the body get inflamed, generally as a result of some sort of viral infection, although there can be other triggers as well. The spinal tap you had done is also consistent with Guillain Barre syndrome, because in Guillain Barre there tends to be an isolated elevation of the protein levels in the spinal fluid. The hives/rash that you have might also be consistent, because many viral infections that trigger Guillain Barree might also trigger this kind of localized skin reaction. The symptoms of Guillain Barre do include numbness and tingling and muscle weakness. The symptoms tend to get worse before they get better, and they tend to ascend the limbs. Therefore, being in a safe place such as the hospital is a great environment to be in, because your doctors will be able to follow you closely to see how your symptoms are doing. Input from a neurologist would be very helpful, I think, if you have not had a consultation with one yet.

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