Interview with Endocrinology and Rheumatology director at Chinese PLA General Hospital: Li Quan Min

Hand numb

Numbness in the limbs is a common symptom among the elders. But it is often ignored by most people. Li Quan Min, the director of endocrinology and rheumatology at the Chinese PLA General Hospital reminds us that numbness among the elders is a dangerous signal. It is caused by 7 main reasons :

  1. Arm’s nerves pressurized. If your posture is not proper during your sleep, whether the neck is skewed or the arm is pressed, it will lead to numbness. If you experience this, try to change your sleeping posture and move your arm, then the numbness can be eliminated.
  2. Side effects of drugs. Antimicrobial agents such as Furazolidone may cause limb numbness, which usually starts at the foot or hand and gradually spreads upwards, often accompanied by allergies or abnormal feelings. Therefore, one should strictly control the dose when taking these drugs.
  3. Malnutrition. Long-term gastrointestinal dysfunction or reduced food intake can easily lead to a lack of protein and vitamins in the body, causing peripheral neuritis and nerve root damage, resulting in numbness in the hands and feet.
  4. Cervical spondylosis. Oftentimes one-handed numbness is probably caused by cervical vertebrae disease. It is mainly due to long-term cervical bone hyperplasia, intervertebral disc protrusion, etc, the cervical spinal cord nerve root or vertebral artery is pressured, thus a series of dysfunction occurs. Nearly 70% of hand numbness symptoms are caused by neuronal cervical vertebral disease.
  5. Neurological complications of diabetes. Diabetes can cause a variety of complications. Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) is one of them. It is accompanied by symmetrical numbness in the limbs, where numbness in the lower limbs is the most common symptom.
  6. Cerebral ischemic stroke. This is when the numbness in the finger appears on one side of the limb, but the other side is completely normal. At the same time, one ought to be alert when symptoms such as headache and dizziness, and blurred vision appear. The limb numbness caused by cerebral ischemic stroke is usually acute and one is advised to consult a doctor immediately. 
  7. Gout. Clinical evidence shows that about 1% of hand numb patients are caused by gout, which may be caused by uric acid precipitating in the middle of the nerve.

Dr. Li Quan Min explained that numbness in the limbs is a common complication of many diseases, which is also characterized as a symptom that could relapse repeatedly and can not be completely cured easily. To get rid of the numbness in the limbs, one not only must adhere to medication but also need to pay more attention to maintain a good healthy lifestyle.

How to overcome numbness

Consume a balanced diet.

A light diet, less salt, less animal fat, and more high-fiber vegetables can help soften blood vessels and relieve numbness in hands and feet.

Healthy Foods

Drink more water.

Drinking more water can reduce blood viscosity, prevent thrombosis, and improve the brain’s blood supply.

Drinking Water

Vitamin supplements

The elderly should replenish vitamin B1 and B6, vitamin C appropriately to improve the body’s metabolism function, and to alleviate the symptoms of limb numbness. Supplement your nutrient intake with Sacha Inchi Oil.

Vitamins & Minerals

Exercise moderately

Activities such as walking,  jogging, and Tai Chi can be performed outdoors in the morning or evening. However, try not to do them for too long or too much. A warm-up for 10 minutes before exercise is needed i.e: stretching legs, twisting waist, etc.


Pay attention to sleeping position

It is best to lie on your back when sleeping, without pressing your hands and feet. The height of the pillow is generally 7~9 cm, and the hardness should be moderate.


Regular body checkups.

The elderly should check their blood pressure, blood lipids, and hemorheology regularly. If they have high blood pressure or high cholesterols, then these diseases should be treated in time.

Dr inspect elbow

Regular daily routine.

Insist on going to bed early and getting up early, don’t stay up late, and don’t watch TV for a long time at night. Maintaining the habit of taking a nap, 40 minutes is reasonable.


If you are experiencing numbness in your limbs, please go to the hospital to find out the cause. Don’t blindly use unregistered medicine at home.

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