• gina louise26 gina louise26
    May 31, 2009
    Is hand numbness a sign of heart problems?
    gina louise26 gina louise26
    May 31, 2009

    I'm only 26, but my hands fall asleep all the time. Even as I'm typing this I can feel them tingling. The act of holding a phone to my ear or holding a coffee cup is enough to make my hands tingle and fall asleep. I occasionally have swelling in my fingers too, and it worries me. Is this a sign of a heart problem?

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Karen Lee Richards
    Health Guide
    June 01, 2009
    Karen Lee Richards
    Health Guide
    June 01, 2009

    A number of different things can cause numbness in your hands including a Vitamin B-12 deficiency (also called pernicious anemia), carpal tunnel syndrome, or a restriction in your neck, arms or pectoral muscles that interferes with blood circulation to your hands.  

     

    A simple blood test can determine whether you have a B-12 deficiency and your doctor can check to see if you have carpal tunnel or if there might be another cause for the numbness.  If you think it could be muscle restrictions, try some exercises that stretch your upper body.  Also, pay attention to your posture – particularly when you're sitting at the computer.  We tend to hunch our shoulders over and stick our necks forward, which can restrict both the neck and pectoral muscles. 

     

    I understand your concerns about possible heart problems since you have a family history of heart disease.  Although numb hands are not listed as a symptom of a heart attack, you're wise to be alert to the signs. I'd recommend talking to your doctor about this, particularly since you're worried it's heart related. Again, I would imagine it's more likely to be a pinched nerve or something along those lines, but it's always better to talk to your physician about worrying symptoms.


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