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At some point in life, most individuals are likely to experience some sort of temporary numbness. In fact, every time we experience legs or arms falling asleep we are experiencing minor numbness in one region of the body. Unfortunately there are also more severe cases where numbness can occur on the left side of the body and may last for long periods of time. The number of medical reasons for this occurrence is substantial. Many conditions can cause the symptoms. Any individual who feels numbness on the left side of their body often or even persistent tingling should seek medical attention from their primary care physician.
Numbness on Left Side of Body, What Could Be the Causes?
Numbness is typically the result of compression, damage, or irritation on a nerve or branch of terms within a certain part of the body. There are many different medical conditions which can affect peripheral nerves and lead to numbness. Any individual who experiences prolonged numbness or believes that she or he may have one of these underlying medical condition should seek medical attention. A physician will perform a variety of tests to determine the cause and start the appropriate course of treatment.
1. Minor Stroke
The brain works in two separate zones. Each half of the human brain controls the opposite side of the body. For example, the left hemisphere controls the right hemisphere and vice versa. If a condition such as a stroke were to impact the left side of the body, it would mean that a stroke has occurred in the communication zone of the right hemisphere. This is most common although there are other causes of numbness on left side of body.
There are numerous cases where individuals do not realize that they have a stroke because it is minor and may happen in their sleep. Even if an individual does not feel the stroke one still may feel the after affects such as numbness in parts of the body. This is because during a stroke blood supply to the brain is cut off momentarily. Many patients often do not realize that they have had a stroke which is why it is important to consult a physician if you notice any tingling or numbness in extremities that does not seem to go away quickly.
Limited mobility or lack of mobility may cause minor numbness on one side of the body. This is common in individuals who are stuck in one position for long periods of time. These positions may include sitting, lying down, or standing. Numbness related to connectivity can happen to you individuals who work at a desk or on a factory line, or simply everyday people within their own homes. Additionally, patients who are undergoing long-term care because they are relatively immobile may also experience some numbness.
Combating this cause of numbness is fairly simple. Individuals need to change position or move to help improve blood circulation and decrease the numbness. This can be done through a light walk, stretching, or simply moving muscles in place.
3. Brain Tumor
A tumor within the brain on the right side can also lead to numbness. Typically, if an individual is suffering from a brain tumor, then the numb feeling will slowly progress over time. This is because nerves become more constricted as the tumor grows. The earlier a tumor is detected the better chance it has at being treated accordingly.
4. Seizures and Migraines
According to the medical community, seizures and migraines are key indicators that there is something more serious going on with the body. Often one or both of these symptoms will occur before numbness on left side of body. While the path of symptoms can vary, it is often for an individual to experience numbness within 60 minutes of an intense migraine or seizure. The symptoms don’t usually last very long but they are an indication that medical treatment should be sought.
Untreated diabetes is another cause of numbness. The condition can lead to central nervous system damage if it is not treated over long periods of time. The result of the damage may be numbness. Keeping blood sugar levels within normal range is essential for combating the side effects of diabetes. Any individual with this condition or who suspects this condition will need to seek medical treatment to learn more about managing the condition to avoid these types of side effects.
6. Multiple Sclerosis
A well-known chronic disease of the immune system is multiple sclerosis. For individuals with this medical condition, myelin, the substance that protects the nerves, is attacked by their immune system which leads to nerve damage, severe pain, and numbness. The symptoms for multiple sclerosis can vary greatly from patient to patient and not all individuals will experience numbness along with their pain.
Warning Signs to Watch Out for
Deciphering whether numbness on left side of body is something minor or an indication of a more serious medical condition requires patience to be in tune with their own body. Be aware of any type of tingling or numbness that seems to recur or go on for long periods of time. As the most common cause of numbness is stroke, there are several warning signs that should be watched out for:
- Rapid onset of numbness in face, legs, or arm on one side of the body
- Confusion, lack of understanding, or difficulty speaking
- Inability to see with both eyes
- Loss of balance or coordination, difficulty walking or standing
- Severe headache that does not go away
- Double vision, extreme fatigue, vomiting
Any individual who seeks some or all of these warning signs should seek medical attention. Many strokes happen every day and are left untreated leading to larger medical problems. Diagnosing conditions like a stroke when they happen is the key to preventing serious damage.