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Dr Subbanna MD
Dr Subbanna MD, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5403
Experience:  American Board Certified Neurologist, Internal Medicine
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My whole left side of my body is numb...and I mean

Customer Question

My whole left side of my body is numb...and I mean everything from my left side of my face, brest, buttock, private area ......everything.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr Subbanna MD replied 5 years ago.

Hi, this is Dr Sathya. Thanks for your question and I am very glad to help you.

If you have numbness involving the whole one side (left side in this instance) from face down to body, leg etc then there are only few explanation for that. First of all obviously a back problem etc cannot explain such a symptom because face is supplied from the brain, not from the back or spine.

The possibility when you have the above type of symptom is some kind of brain pathology (stroke, MS - Multiple Sclerosis, tumors, or other brain lesions etc).

I guess you had some brain scan already, but I am not sure what type of scan you had. If you had a CT of the brain then you need an MRI of the brain, because CT can miss certain brain lesions and they can be easily detected on the MRI scan.

If you had MRI scan itself then the next question is whether you had contrast dye injection during the MRI or not, if dye was not injected then you need MRI with contrast dye injection too, because MRI without contrast dye injection can miss certain brain lesions and they can easily be identified with contrast dye injection.

If you had or will have MRI with and without contrast dye injection, but still the MRI comes normal then sometimes a repeat similar MRI protocol couple of weeks later is recommended, because certain disease conditions in the very early stages maynot be picked up by the brain scan, so a repeat MRI will help.

Another point, if the numbness resolved completely in a short time then the MRI generally comes normal, and this could be a TIA (Transient Ischemic attack or a mini stroke), so in this scenario the MRI will not help much because with mini strokes like TIA the MRI generally comes normal, means normal MRI doesn't rule out a TIA (mini stroke), and you need mini stroke workup like carotid ultrasound, heart tests like EKG, Holter, Echocardiogram etc. This above discussion is applicable only if the numbness has already resolved in a short time (that is how mini stroke presents), if the numbness is still persisting (then it is not called mini stroke) and then the above discussed MRI protocol should help in identifying the cause for numbness on most of the occasions.

If a meticulous & methodical approach as described above still fails to identify any lesion in the brain to explain your whole left sided numbness then I am sorry to tell but we need to consider a "Functional Disorder" in your case to explain this type of numbness you are having. Functional disorders are related to "mind" or "emotional" issues (related to stress, anxiety disorder, depression etc and they are not physical illnesses although they can present as physical illness with numbness etc), I am not trying to enforce this diagnosis on you, I am just discussing the possibilities based on what we see in our clinical practice with the type of symptoms you are having.

You may please discuss all these above points with your clinic-Drs, preferably with a neurologist for the further needful (investigations & possibilities as discussed above), and once a final diagnosis is made it will be treated appropriately.

Please ask me if there are any further questions.

Best regards,

Dr Sathya.


Please do not hesitate to ask more questions or clarify any concerns you may have; A feedback evaluating the quality of my service will be appreciated too.

Dr Subbanna MD and other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dear Dr. Sathyashankar:

You were emtremely helpful. If it had not been for your reponse to my question, I would have believed the E.R. doctors. They never did my MRIs with contrast. I did go back to another hospital, where I was admitted and had repeated the MRIs with contrast where it was discovered that I had an acute CVA.

I am so grateful to you, and feel that you saved my life, for had you not expressed the importance of contrast with the MRI, I may not be around.

Again thank you so much,
Expert:  Dr Subbanna MD replied 5 years ago.

You are welcome. And sorry I couldn't reply earlier as it has become morning at my area only just now.

Although I am unhappy that the MRI did show a stroke because functional disorders are definitely better than real diseases, however good to see that your condition has been finally diagnosed. I hope now they will do workup to find out the exact cause for your CVA (stroke) and treat accordingly so that CVA are prevented from happening in the future. All the best!

Please follow up anytime if my services are required again.

Best regards,

Dr Sathya.

(You may disregard the reply button unless you have more questions; this message was sent as a reply to your previous post)