Recent Loss Of Sensation In The Limbs

What Causes Leg Or Arm Numbness?

Leg or arm numbness can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose leg or arm numbness, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "leg or arm numbness" as a symptom.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Brain Tumor
  • Neuritis/Neuropathy

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
rapid loss of vision
history of brain cancer
numb/burning/tingling extremities
history of anorexia
frequent odd skin sensations
impaired ability to walk
paralysis not due to physical injury
loss of sensation
gradual decline in speaking ability
much reduced sense of smell
slightly reduced arm function
... and more than 10 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of leg or arm numbness:
Cause Probability Status
Brain Tumor 91% Confirm
Neuritis/Neuropathy 71% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate unusual skin sensations, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you experienced a gradual loss of sensation (numbness) in the arms or legs within the past year?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Yes, but it was an episode more than a year ago
→ Yes, but it is improving now
→ Slight numbness, stable or getting worse
→ Significant numbness, stable or getting worse
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate history of leg/arm numbness, improving leg/arm numbness, continuing slight limb numbness or continuing significant limb numbness, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Brain Tumor

Gradual loss of sensation in an arm or leg (numbness) can be due to a brain tumor.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
Symptom Entry
Full Explanations
Optional Doctor Review
Review (optional)
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