Do I have neuropathy or is this cardiac related instead?

Posted by zzirvingj @zzirvingj, Apr 22, 2020

About me: 41 years old, female, african american. Diagnosis of right sided bells palsy in 2019. High blood pressure since age 25 (controlled with meds). Slightly high cholesterol. Family history heart disease, bells palsy, diabetes, GI cancer, stroke, high bp, arthritis. Recently experiencing the following symptoms: numbness and coldness/tingling in hands, arms, legs and feet (80%+ time it's the arms/hands). Right now it's all on the right side although it rarely occurs on both sides. Started noticing tingling in right buttock this week. Mostly occurs at night while lying down; goes away (mostly) once I start moving around, however, these symptoms are starting to appear a bit in the day (such as both feet being cold).

Issues: I've been working from home for 3 years on my couch, often falling asleep on it, sometimes working sitting 'indian style' for hours on the couch. When sleeping in my bed I sleep on my arm. Recently had an episode where the cold/numbness was so intense at night it woke me up; my arm was so cold I had to walk around for an hour before it felt warm and like it had "woken up". I've also been experiencing slight, deep but very mild pain behind my right/lower shoulder blade area. Also, had one episode recently where pain occurred suddenly in my right neck (not the muscle, but felt like a shooting pain in the neck 'artery') – a quick 'shoot' and then stopped; 4 episodes of this back to back within a 5 minute period with no recurrence since that day.

Normal ECG 3 months ago but no recent labwork. Doctor is suggesting I start with neuro, then maybe ortho. Thoughts on if this could be neuropathy versus some type of blockage/cardiovascular instead? I have also noticed mild (sharp) chest pains twice this week for the first time ever.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Neuropathy Support Group.

@zzirvingj Hi and welcome to Connect. So sorry that you are going through unknown territory. I'm glad you found us to run your concerns by. Also, I'm glad you can now navigate the many conversations and try and find knowledge from others personal experiences. Although we are not drs and can not medically advise, we can offer suggestions and thoughts based on our own experience. I think lining up a neurological exam is a great start then go from there. You have many feelings that do line up with neurological malfunctions. I have Small Fiber Polyneuropathy and experience similar issues. When in doubt, rule it out. Of course if things get too bad…lisren to your body and get to urgent care. I recommend, for now, to not put your body in the positions, that you can pinpoint, cause you pain and discomfort. Research as much as you can but dont drive yourself too crazy before being diagnosed. Many good wishes are sent your way in hope you get some answers quick. Please feel free to ask any questions, anytime. We are here to help and support. Have a wonderful day!


Hello @zzirvingj — I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with Rachel's @rwinney and other members. There is another older discussion that has some links and information that you may find helpful. Also I found some articles that may also provide some information for you.

Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy —
Cardiac autonomic neuropathy: Risk factors, diagnosis and treatment —

You mentioned sleeping on your arm. I am normally a side sleeper and sleep with my arm in different positions. I sometimes have episodes of numbness and tingling. For me I think it was related to the ulnar nerve being compressed. Here's some information that provides tips that might help with the arm:

Did you mention your work at home related habits to your doctor (sitting on your legs, etc.)? I was wondering if that may be pinching or compressing some nerves since you mentioned you sat in the position for hours.

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