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Hypoesthesia (numbness): causes, treatments | Health Magazine

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I’hypoaesthesia is a term of medical language. We speak more commonly ofnumbness.

Definition: what is hypoesthesia?

Hypoesthesia refers to the decreased sense of touch. This term comes from the Greek prefix low (under) and suffix aesthesia (sensitivity).

Frequent, it can affect any part of the body (as well the legs as the arms or the extremities like the hands, the feet or the face).

Hypoesthesia can be the consequence of aging, prolonged bad posture, a blood circulation disorder or even damage to the nervous system linked to a disease, mechanical compression, stroke or stroke. more poisoning.

Hypoesthesia is diagnosed by a simple physical examination or by a test using sharp needles inserted into the skin or threads placed on the skin.

Dysesthesia, paresthesia, anesthesia: what are the other sensitivity disorders?

It is necessary to differentiate hypoesthesia from other touch sensitivity disorders:

  • anesthesia which designates a total loss of sensitivity;
  • paresthesia which corresponds to the tingling sensation;
  • dysesthesia which is defined by an alteration of sensations. This symptom is described as unpleasant;
  • hyperesthesia or the perception of heightened sensations;
  • somesthesia refers to a set of different sensations (pressure, heat, pain, etc.) that come from several regions of the body (skin, tendons, joints, viscera, etc.).

Causes: how to explain this loss of sensitivity?

Hypoesthesia may be the consequence of a central or peripheral nervous system dysfunction which can result:

  • of aging (since with age, the sensors, of the mechano-receptor type, lose sensitivity, and become less numerous).
  • of one Guillain-Barré syndrome or another inflammatory or autoimmune disease (such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.).
  • of one neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis).
  • of one nerve compression in case of tumors or of herniated disc.
  • of one trauma or of metastases affecting the spinal cord.
  • certain infections such as HIV or the Meadow.
  • of one alcohol, toxic agent, or drug intoxication (for example heavy metals, certain chemotherapy drugs, etc.). chronic alcoholism may cause loss of sensitivity.
  • of metabolic disorders causing neuropathy: diabetes, chronic kidney failure, thiamine or vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • of one inflammation of the spinal cord as transverse myelitis.
  • of one neuralgia (nerve pain) like trigeminal nerve facial neuralgia.

When you no longer feel your leg? (hypoesthesia of the lower limbs)

Hypoesthesia can sometimes affect the lower limbs. It can be bilateral or unilateral (affecting both or one leg(s)). It can then be associated with a feeling of heaviness and/or tingling in the leg. It can be the consequence of one of the causes mentioned above or of:

  • A restless leg syndrome ;
  • a blood circulation disorder such as venous insufficiency;
  • a extended leg position – such as legs crossed or bent – causing compression of a nerve or one or more blood vessels;
  • a sciatic nerve compression (common cause of pain in the buttock area).

Why might a person have a loss of sensation in the arm?

It happens to losing the sense of touch in the arm. Some causes are specific to the numbness of this part of the body such as:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome which leads to sensory and motor problems in the first three fingers of the hand, caused by compression of the wrist nerve;
  • thyroid disorders can also numb the upper limbs;
  • a osteoarthritis of the wrist ;
  • a neck pain which may extend to the arms and cause these symptoms to appear;
  • the fact of sleep on his armresulting in nerve compression;
  • Stroke: Numbness in the arm is a specific sign of ischemic stroke, which is a medical emergency (every minute counts).

Symptoms: how does hypoesthesia manifest?

Patients with hypoesthesia may describe:

  • a insensitivity to pain ;
  • a Ddifficulty feeling hot and cold ;
  • a insensitivity to touch ;
  • a feeling of numbness.

This symptom may be accompanied by other signs depending on the associated disease, such as:

  • tingling or tingling (paraesthesia);
  • pain, especially in the event of nerve compression such as in the case of sciatica or facial neuralgia (pain on one side of the face);
  • tiredness ;
  • muscle weakness;
  • a migraine attack or severe headache;
  • decreased vision;
  • speech problems…

What are the consequences of hypoesthesia?

Hypoesthesia has several consequences. It can lead to:

  • a difficulty walking or driving when it affects the legs;
  • of the more frequent falls and loss of balance;
  • of the risk of serious injury(s) or burn(s) (since the patient does not feel pain);
  • the risk of complication(s) and a delay in treatment in the event of a skin infection (abscess, erysipelas, diabetic foot ulcer…).

Feeling of numbness: who and when to consult?

In the majority of cases, hypoesthesia is transient and resolves spontaneously.

Nevertheless, it is preferable to consult a doctor if the loss of sensitivity is accompanied by loss of muscle tone or strength.

It is strongly recommended to contact 15 or 112 or to go directly to the emergency department if the loss of sensitivity occurs suddenly, affects one side of the body, particularly in the arm, persists for more than five minutes or if it accompanied by a state of confusion.

In any case, it is better to avoid self-medication, in particular taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) without medical advice.

Diagnosis and treatment: how to treat hypoesthesia?

To diagnose hypoesthesia, the doctor must carry out a clinical examination and an interrogation of the patient. He may possibly prescribe additional examinations to find out the cause of this symptom: medical imaging (Brain MRIin particular) or even blood tests or aelectromyogram.

Treatment varies greatly depending on the cause.

  • A diabetic must, for example, maintain medical monitoring (in endocrinology and nutrition) and monitor their blood sugar levels.
  • An alcoholic will have to endure alcohol withdrawal.
  • In case of’stroke, drugs are given to dissolve the clot that is blocking the blood vessel. The treatment can be surgical, to empty the pocket of blood which compresses part of the brain.
  • Certain medications may be prescribed for facial neuralgia (anticonvulsants, antispasmodics, antidepressants and anxiolytics…).

#Hypoesthesia #numbness #treatments #Health #Magazine

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