Why are my fingers going numb?

I HAVE recently started to take glucosamine for my arthritis.

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I would like to know If it's safe to take this with my cholesterol medication or alcohol and would it cause muscle aches in my legs?

l On looking up glucosamine in the British National Formulary (BNF) - the book used to tell doctors about side effects - it does state that it advises caution around the use of the medication in those with a predisposition to cardiovascular disease.

Also that your cholesterol would need to be monitored. If you are already on medication for cholesterol it may be that you are already predisposed to cardiovascular disease and would need to discuss with your GP about the benefits and risks of staying on it.

The BNF also states the mechanism of action of glucosamine is not known.

In terms of interactions, the one listed in the Formulary is anticoagulants i.e. blood thinners. The side effect profile doesn't list muscle pains but certain types of cholesterol medication can cause muscle pains, so if this persists, discuss with your GP.

WHEN I'm sitting certain ways or even lying down, my hands and fingers start to go numb and there is a slight tingle in parts of them as well. What could be causing this?

l The nerves which supply our hands and arms actually start in our neck and branch away from each other at various points all down the arm.

At certain points they lie over bony points and are closer to the surface than at other points.

If we sit or position ourselves in certain ways, pressure can arise over these areas causing tingling and numbness.

An example of this is a bang to the funny bone at your elbow! If you get this outside times when you have leaned in a certain way or it persists beyond a few minutes then see your GP to discuss it.

WHAT IS... FROSTBITE?

Frostbite occurs when the skin and underlying tissue freeze due to exposure to low temperatures. Anyone who spends long periods of time outdoors in cold weather conditions is at risk of getting frostbite.

It can affect any part of your body, but the extremities, such as the hands, feet, ears, nose and lips are most likely to be affected. During the early stages, you will have pins and needles, throbbing, or aching in the affected area. The skin will become cold, numb and white, and you may feel a tingling sensation.

After these early signs, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures will cause more tissue damage and the affected area will feel hard and frozen.

When you are out of the cold and the tissue is thawed out, the skin will turn red and blister, which can be painful. There may also be swelling and itching.

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