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Q. Can numbness in foot and arm mean ALS?

Answered by
Dr. Ardit Tela
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 17, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am a 26-year-old male. I am feeling numbness in my left foot and left arm (especially near fingers and hand area) for the last six weeks. Firstly, I just ignored it and thought it will go away with time but now I am getting confused about it and want your opinion on this. Got your medical questions answered three minutes ago. Also, my mother is an ALS patient. I have started taking Methylcobal tablet since last week and still not felt any significant betterment. I had some problems in my family due to which I had some stress but now I am totally okay and have no stress presently. My diet is healthy and I have no back pain or not any pain on the chest side. I am just worried about my numbness in the left foot and left arm and the arm and foot sometimes start paining though it is bearable I am worried about it. Kindly suggest.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read your question carefully and I understand your concern. Before we say it is stress related (because it might be), initially we have to rule out other causes. I think that a face to face neurological assessment is warranted. A complete neurological exam will show what kind of numbness do you have.

Is it also associated with weaknesses or not. Are there spastic or flaccid signs. Are there any other signs that could be elicited during the exam and not felt by you. Depending on the objective signs, your neurologist might order additional examination (MRI, nerve conduction studies, laboratory studies, etc). Regarding the fact that your mother is diagnosed with ALS, I do not think you should be worried.

First, ALS are sporadic in 90 to 95 % of cases, which means not inhereted. Also, you have one-sided signs, that also speak against ALS. I hope my answer is helpful. Feel free to contact me again if you have further questions or uncertainties.


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