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Can a doctor enlighten me on these symptoms? Loss of about 75% of strength in my left hand. It's becoming difficult to grip anything. There is NO pain and no numbness. It's more a feeling of weakness in the hand and forearm (when in use), like when you feel low blood sugar symptoms. There is occasional cramping on the under side of my left forearm, (feels like) in the veins. These are the only areas that are effected. Buttoning a shirt or tying a shoelace is becoming a problem. It's like the fingers on my left hand won't do what the brain tells them to, but no pain. Before this started I noticed that sometimes when I would try to do these things, my hand would almost cramp to the position that I intended, and I'd have to pry my fingers apart. Once again no pain. If I open and close my "right" hand as fast as I can, and then repeat with my "left", the left hand open and closes at less than half the speed as my right. By the way, I'm right handed. I'm pretty scared. Can you help?
Firstly, you may be interested in a page one of our experts wrote regarding the possible causes of muscle weakness.
In your specific case I would want to know the following:-
1) How long has this been going on?
2) How old are you...do you have any other medical issues / meds?
3) Any problem with your face / mouth / leg?
4) Any neurological complaints in the past?
5) Is the weakness always there....getting worse...fluctuating?
In any case you should be examined by a neurologist....the neurological examination is very important in your case to figure out whether this is a problem in the peripheral or central nervous system (PNS vs CNS) ,or both.
If there are signs of a problem in the CNS then an MRI of the brain and or upper spinal cord may be needed.
If the problem is in the PNS then I would expect an EMG / nerve conduction test to be performed.
The first step though is to get examined....if this has already been done then please let us know what was found.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
MG, Thanks for your reply! I appreciate it.
1) It started about 3 weeks ago. Never had any issues like this in the past.
2) I'm 53, and have no other medical issues that I know of, or any kind of illness. I'm not on meds of any kind.
3) No issues with my face or mouth, but now that you mention it, from time to time, while walking, I feel an ice cold feeling on the upper part, of the outside of my left leg (same side). I haven't paid too much attention to that because, it seems like as long as I can remember, that would happen occasionally.
4) No neurological complaints in the past.
5) It "seems" pretty much like the same level of weakness all of the time now. I've been to a chiropractor twice (because I go semi-regularly). The first time I told him about the situation (10 days ago), he used a device that you squeeze, which measures strength. The grip on my left hand was 75% less. The second time I went in (5 days ago), it measured 60% less. A gain of 15%. But simple tasks get no easier. It "seemed" stronger the day after after he worked on me, but then reverted back. He told me I was extremely knotted up in the left shoulder and the left side of my neck, and that he may be able to work it out. And I must say, that when he worked on those areas, it was extremely painful. Maybe he has something there, but I just have one of those feelings that it's "much more".
I have not had any test done yet. I don't have clue how much they cost, and I have no insurance. I had a great insurance plan with my company, but when I moved across the country to become a caregiver for my Mom, I had to leave the job and I lost all of my benefits, and am out there on my own right now.
Well if the weakness stays or gets worse you should definitely get examined. I hope you can find a way to do this.
Please let us know how it goes.
"to figure out whether this is a problem in the peripheral or central nervous system (PNS vs CNS) ,or both."
I already know that I need to see a neurologist, and I am going in to have it checked out. Given the statement provided above, can you tell me what the difference is, and how serious it may be? I'm asking about it because I know nothing about this stuff. Do you have "any" idea what it sounds like? Does it sound like ALS, MS, etc....or something less serious. I'm just fishing for something. Anything.
The CNS is the brain and spinal cord.
The PNS is all the other nerves in your body, their connection with the muscles and the muscles themselves.
As far as your specific case is concerned, you mentioned that there was some kind of improvement in the strength when you were re-tested...if this is true it would exclude ALS, but not MS.
That being said there are many many possibilities, too many to list but ranging from MS to something as simple as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Please let us know what is found on neurological examination.
My mom just got home from the hospital today. She has been talking about your post to me and wanted me to find a way to reply to you. She was afraid of having als. She had the same symptoms you are talking about. Started with her grip in her left hand getting weak. Then she could not move her hand at all over a course of 4 weeks. It has taken over her whole are and she was not able to use it so she finally went to a doctor. First doctor said well it might have to be something to do with bones and nerves. Sent to orthopedic. Orthopedic just looked at back shoulders and said he suggested a brain MRI. Had to find a neurologist. They said it would take 1 to 2 weeks to find one. My mom did not have insurance but ended up going to the ER at Dartmouth NH She is 51. At Dartmouth she explained it was not getting better but worse. They ordered a cat scan and blood work and would not do an outpatient MRI. After the cat scan it revealed a grey mass on her brain. They then told her she had a brain tumor on the back right side of her brain. This was probably why she lost movement in her hand. They told her they needed her to stay overnight to do an MRI and do a full abdominal cat scan. MRI showed a better image of the tumor and she ended up finding a tumor in her lungs also. Yes shes a smoker. We are waiting for a response to if they are both cancer or not on Monday.
She said to me pls reply to you and have you talk to a specialist and try to get an MRI.
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