Been on the Paleo diet for about 8 months. About two weeks ago, after heavy computer work I started feeling some numbness in my left hand (I'm right-handed) and some in my forearm and lots of soreness between my shoulders. I figured I spent too much time at the computer and tried to layoff some. However, my numbness didn't go away so I went to see doctor. They checked my heart, blood pressure, took EKG and blood. They found nothing (except high cholesterol -- although good ratios and mostly Pattern A LDLs). Anyway, they thought carpal tunnel and told me to wear a wrist splint and take some advil.
Well a good week later the numbness is now localized in my thumb and now I am also getting soreness and sensitivity in my finger tips (both hands-they feel sensitive to touch and sometimes feel hot (as if your hands were cold and you inside to a warm room).
Have been seeing a chiropractor and saw an Osteopath (who both dealt with my neck and back), although the finger issue wasn't as prevalent when I saw the Osteopath. Haven't been back to my regular doctor yet as didn't want to have to deal with them wanting me to go on statins. Do have an appointment in a week with a neurologist and am trying to get an doctor's appointment with a doctor somewhat nearby who I got off the Paleo Physicians network. Anyway, it is the finger sensitivity issue that concerns me and makes me wonder about diet.
I am 57 yr old male, work out fairly regularly and in decent shape (had no real health issues before going Paleo. Diet is mostly grassfed meats, veggies, minimal fruit (strawberries and blueberries a few days/week), some dairy (cream). Was taking about 200-400mg Magnesium shortly before issue started, but noticed no difference. Also take about 4,000iu of Vit. D. Cook mostly with coconut oil and butter. My diet has been pretty consistent and not changed much since been paleo. Have also been a bit light-headed during this numbnesss period (although some of it could be nerves).
asked byjstern (109)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on March 12, 2011
at 01:57 AM
I am a neurosurgeon.....see this a lot. Tap over your wrist crease and palm of your hand and see if you get a pain of electrical shock. You need to do it briskly. If you get pain or numbness that is call a positive Tinel sign. If you do put your hands upabove your shoulders and bend your wrists so the are at ninty degrees to your forearm. If you develop numbness in the thumb or next two fingers of medial part of the ring finger you likely have carpal tunnel syndrome. That is Phalens sign. Now if this is also associated with neck pain and limitied range of motion, especially lateral bending that also causes the numbness and pain you might have double crush syndrome. Then you need to see a guy like me. That means your disc is compressing the cervical nerve root and the the tranverse carpal ligament is pressing on the median nerve to cause the CTS. CTS is much more prevalent in diabetics. Disc problems are very common is smokers or people with high omega six consumption and fructose consumption and low vitamin D levels. You can have both together or one of the other. If its CTS you get an exam and EMG. If the neck is involved we add a MRI to the work up. Then tell you what we think........treatment options. I hope this helps. Good Luck.
on March 14, 2016
at 01:41 PM
Please let me tell you my story. Hopefully what you will learn from what I am about to relate to you will help many of you to find the solution to reducing, if not even eliminating almost all of your hand pain (or wherever your pains appear. It can vary from one person to the next) . For many years I endured numb fingers and thumbs and the older I got the worse it became until it was like searing hot pain and constant aching. The pain and numbness always increased when I laid down to sleep. But one day I discovered that some foods we’re actually making my condition worse. When I got tired of making sandwiches for when I went to work, for one week I took anything that was left over in the fridge instead of making sandwiches that often had red/yellow peppers and tomatoe slices in them. (I had already quit drinking coffee and other beverages, years ago, that had caffeine in them). I couldn’t believe it but the numbness and firey pain and aching in my wrists begin to subside within a few days. I couldn’t believe it, but I knew I was on to something. In years past when I had eaten large quantities of red or yellow peppers I experienced severe pain in my finger joints. I had heard many years previous that people with arthritis could not eat peppers and so I begin to wonder what was in Peppers that caused this severe reaction. I knew that peppers were part of the nightshade family of vegetables. So I googled “nightshade vegetables”, found the greenmedinfo website and learned that millions of people are sensitive to what are known as “alkaloid compounds” which are present in all night shade vegetables (it turns out that caffeine is an alkaloid compound too [Another less known alkaloid compound found in coffee is "Trigonelline" but in lower concentrations than caffeine. This explains finally, why even decaffeinated coffee still caused a reaction in me], nicotine and morphine are alkaloids too) The website I had found contained a complete list of these vegetables and it turned out that some berries also have these compounds in them too. ie. blue berries, huckle berries, goji berries and ashwaganda berries. A doctor wrote the article and he recommended that you remove offending foods from your diet for up to 3 months and see whether or not your condition improved. He says to then reintroduce the foods back into your diet one at a time and see if the symptoms reappear. Well, I will tell you, I was already a believer. The reduction in my painful symptoms was so pronounced that I already knew I was on the right track. All peppers are taboo, both sweet and hot, this includes paprika. But not black pepper or peppercorns. Obviously this meant that life altering changes in my diet we’re going to be necessary. But despite the difficulty of making these changes I willingly did it so that I could be pain free finally after 35 years of suffering. Now I have to warn you that you will find professional opinions on websites that will try to debunk the efficacy of making these changes in your diet. But you have to remember that many medical personnel do not want us to find these relationships between health and illness because they personally do not want to believe, or have a financial interest at stake in keeping you in the dark. Their primary interest is namely, pharmaceuticals. So the onus is on you to prove to yourself whether or not making these changes will benefit you personally. Make it a two week or one month challenge to see if it makes a difference for you or not. You be the judge and not someone else. I also discovered that I am sensitive to milk because of the protiens in milk (casein and whey) and some milk products. If you have never heard of something becoming denatured, then you should read about it on Wikipedia if you would like to know why some dairy products will not bother you but milk does. It has everything to do with the unfolding of proteins when subjected to external forces such as "heat" or "acid" etc. Therefore some cheeses and bread will not cause a reaction. It is somewhat challenging to eliminate all foods that you may be sensitive to because so many processed foods have inflammation causing foods or compounds in them. You would also benefit from knowing what foods and seasonings are good for you. I recommend you research the health benefits of Turmeric also . Many clinical studies have been done that prove it's amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
Like me, you will have to become an astute label reader and start eating more whole foods and less processed foods and avoiding foods that have alkaloid compounds and milk protiens in them. It's a pain but not nearly as painful as the pain that I had in my hands.
I will include the names of some of the websites that I found good information on. Understanding what inflammation disorders are and their causes is a good start. All disease is the result of inflammation that has become chronic. Learning what causes inflammation in us is the answer to reducing disease and pain in the body. I know some links that were instrumental in educating myself as to the source of my symptomatic pain, but I cannot post them because I do not have "30 Reputation" yet. When you learn what “Alkaloid Compounds” are, what foods and others sources contain them, and how they affect the body, you will be on your way to better health and much less pain. Many of you described your pain and symptoms in such a way that it could have been me who was making those statements. So I am certain that many of you will benefit from what you learn. My only hope is that you do find relief from your symptoms because I know how life changing it has been for me. Good health to you all.
It explains the link-between-nightshades-chronic-pain-and-inflammation
on July 19, 2011
at 08:10 PM
Maybe try googling Sarno and TMS? Sounds like it could possibly be tension/stress related.
on July 19, 2011
at 07:54 PM
My hand and elbow on my left arm were getting numb at various points throughout the day. After I noticed this, I tried to pay more attention to it even when it wasn't numb.
Turns out I prop my chin on my left hand with my elbow on my desk anytime I'm not typing (such as when I'm using the mouse or just reading the screen). I have to make a conscious effort to not lean on my arm or it will get numb. Even if it doesn't go numb, my arm--especially my elbow--will be sore later on in the day.
I don't know if your posture or "desk habits" might be playing a role or not, but it could be something to look into.
on July 19, 2011
at 08:26 AM
Have you consulted with a myofascial therapist? Sometimes muscle fiber can get twisted around nerves and cause all sorts of weird numbness.
on July 18, 2011
at 07:25 PM
Lost 50 pounds and since have been low carb/primal 2 years, leanish (about 15%) and at steady weight. Most mornings, when I'm in ketosis (stik check), my fingertips and toes are usually slightly numb but my bum and stomach area feel warm. Blood glucose normal. (4.5 UK)
on March 12, 2011
at 02:55 AM
Could also be a cervical disc herniation. Definintely get it checked out by a traditional doc!
on March 12, 2011
at 01:27 AM
About 10 years ago, my husband started having mild numbness, it would come and go. Then it got worse and eventually it became about half his body that would go numb. When he finally went to his doctor they sent him to the emergency room they were so worried. He had a million tests and even had a neurology consult. In the end they found NOTHING. It turned out to be stress related. The more he worried about it, the more numbness he had. Once he'd been though all the tests and told they couldn't find anything POOF it went away.
Now, I'm not saying your numbness is stress related for sure, I'm just letting you know that these types of symptoms can occur without it being serious.
on March 12, 2011
at 01:01 AM
I've gone through a lot of these symptoms, and can say it's not diet related. It doesn't necessarily be carpal - you can have a nerve pinched somewhere in your shoulder area, which can translate to numbness in the fingers. I've experienced this more than once, and as soon as I can get everything popped into place, it's immediately better. Lots of stretching can help unpinch, if that's what it is. If it's carpal tunnels, shop around for a doc and ask people in your area who have had the surgery - not everyone gets relief from it. I don't know much about the surgery, but my guess is that the better the surgeon, the better the results.