Why are my fingers going numb?

Written by chyrene pendleton
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Why are my fingers going numb?
Causes of finger numbness include stroke, migraines, alcohol and certain medications. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of woodley wonderworks)

Numbness, considered as an abnormal condition, can happen from a number of causes. Your fingers can become numb due to a lack of blood supply, spinal nerve pressure or damage, or a lack of certain vitamins and minerals, for example.

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Expert Insight

Raynaud's disease, a blood vessel skin disorder, causes blood vessels to narrow, restricting blood flow and causing finger numbness. Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D. former chair of the Hypertension Division in the Department of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, states the cause results from cold temperature exposure as well as stress.

Effects

Necessary for healthy nerve cells, low vitamin B12 levels can cause numbness or tingling in your fingers and toes, including other symptoms, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Increase your intake of animal protein and dairy or take vitamin B12 supplements with water, after eating.

Types

Diabetes, characterised by the inability of the body to produce insulin (Type 1) or the body's cells inability to recognise insulin, allowing glucose or sugar to build up in the blood (Type 2), can cause nerve damage slowly over several years. This can result in peripheral neuropathy--nerve damage causing numb fingers, toes, feet and hands.

Identification

When you have pressure on your median nerve, located in your wrist and supplying feeling to your fingers and hands, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Treatment includes wearing a splint and changing work habits, such as using a different computer keyboard or mouse.

Warning

Seek emergency help if you have numb fingers and slurred speech; difficulty walking; vision changes; loss of consciousness; paralysis; have had a head, neck or back injury; or have lost control of your bowels or bladder.

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