Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Does lupus cause hand tingling?"
I'm a 45 year old woman with lupus. This morning I woke up to a numb and tingling hand, then feeling came back midday. What would cause this lack of sensation?
Lupus can have many symptoms. In addition, there are many causes of numbness and tingling in one's hand that can be considered. I would recommend that you discuss this with your primary care doctor (or your rheumatologist if you have one that follows your lupus).
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While possibly minor, this could be a sign of a more serious condition. Numbness and tingling is a sensation known as a parasthesia. Medically, this is a sign of a neuropathy -- or nerve problem. There are many causes of neuropathy. To directly answer your question -- yes -- Lupus can cause a neuropathy. In addition, many medications that people take for lupus (like steroids) can also cause neuropathies. That being said, there are many other causes of neuropathies that should be ruled out. Nerve injury can occur for a number of reasons. Direct compression of the nerve is very common. This can occur in the spine (the neck) where the nerve exits the spinal cord, or in the elbow or wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes neuropathy in the thumb side of the hand by compression of the nerve. Other causes of neuropathy include low vitamin levels, diabetes, thyroid problems and some infections. Talk to your doctor -- this should be evaluated before there is permanent nerve damage.
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