Is numbness in my arm a sign of a heart attack?
My arm felt numb when I woke up this morning, but I think I slept on it. What other explanations are there for the numbness?
Numbness in your arm can occur for a number of reasons. This can be caused by minor causes that will improve on there own, but can also be caused by life threatening issues. I would recommend discussing this with your doctor if it persists or if you have any other symptom discussed below. To answer your question, numbness can be a sign of a heart attack. Normally, this will present with other symptoms as well, so numbness alone is rarely a heart attack. Often chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, palpitations, chest pressure and fatigue are the major signs of a heart attack. Pain that radiates to the arm or the jaw is also classic. If you are at risk for a heart attack (over the age of 40, have diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol) that this could be an issue. If this seems to fit you -- go to the emergency room. Other causes of numbness can be also dangerous. The same risk factors for heart attacks are risk factors for strokes -- which can also cause this symptoms. If you have any other weakness, headache or visual changes -- go to the emergency room. Sleeping on your heart --compressing the nerve-- can also cause it. This will improve over hours. If not -- see your doctor. Good luck!
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.
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