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Once a month or so, I get a sudden overwhelming weakness in both my arms. It lasts only about a minute, but its powerful enough to make me need to sit down. After it passes, I'm good to go. Any suggestions of what this could be?

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I am experiencing exactly the same thing and have wondered if it is heart-related (a scary thought). Out of the blue, I will have sudden, overwhelming weakness in the arms with the same feeling that the blood is draining (sort of fast moving numbness). It goes away equally quickly, but I'm concerned that one of these days it may worsen and I may black out. So far no answers and yours is the only blog I've found noting these same symptoms.
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I had the same symtoms for months. When I went to the Dr. he took some labs and found that my sodium levels were low and that was the cause of my symtoms. We corrected it and now I am fine.
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Google Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
It is compression on certain discs in the spine from poor posture(head forward drooping shoulders) at a computer, handbags on a shoulder, etc etc that causes this numbness in hands and or arms and feeling of heaviness in arms and fatigued arms and hands...my doc at kaiser had "never heard of such a symptom"
Hope this helps.... new postures, sitting etc, chiropractic adjustment
will alleviate it over time!! used to be called "rucksack paralyisis" pneumatic hammer syndrome etc...can be caused by work related repitiive movements etc.
Namaste,
Suprabha108
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It is helpful to read these three posts. I have been having a sensation, getting stronger lately, and sometimes several times a day, of the "passing numbness" - not quite a pain, yet a moving sensation through the right upper arm that now is engaging through the chest...it is as though "a cloud" or something is passing through arteries - it lasts less than a minute, but causes me to stop what I am doing to wait for it to pass, and while certainly not excrutiating pain, and not really pain at all, but a brief almost paralyzing discomfort - not tingling, not an ache - an elongated and moving spasm in a sense - I do not know what it is (I AM going to see a doctor soon!). It is hard to describe. I have had similar feelings in the brain now for many years, and only very very rarely (e.g. 2-3 times a year if that - and very slight - but it makes me stop activity for the 10-15 seconds that it lasts. I have been typing on computer a lot lately, but these arm sensations were also happening over a 3 week holiday when I did not touch a computer. I have thought it must be a clogged artery or about-to-be clogged artery or ? I am getting it checked out and will post if I get an answer. If it is thoracic compression, I will hang upside down for awhile or lay backward over a inflated ball and see if that helps. With what I eat, I cannot imagine it would be sodium deficiency but who knows.
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I also have exactly same symptoms as caecarol and they appear to be increasing quickly over the last few weeks. Have you been to the doctor yet and if so, what did you learn? Mine appears to occur happen intermittently and suddenly at different times of the day.
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I occasionally have these spells where it feels like the blood has just drained out of both my arms and they feel heavy and weak. It lasts only a few seconds, but I have to stop what I'm doing to let it pass. It is strange and unnerving, because then I wonder if it is a heart thing. It has happened while I am sitting and also when I am up and moving around, so it doesn't seem to be postural in nature. I saw my doctor and he is puzzled by it and we're doing a "watch, wait and see" approach right now. I can't imagine that I have a low sodium with what I eat and drink and I don't take any diuretics.
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Do you have a headache after these spells?
Several years ago, while at work, I had one of these spells accompanied by a severe headache. I just discovered, from a brain MRI and lumbar puncture that I have had a stroke at some time. I honestly think it was during one of these episodes.
If these symptoms continue I think it would be wise for you to be checked for heart and stroke problems.
It could be other things like a pinched nerve or other neurological disorders but I would have it checked out by a doctor just to be safe.
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I have been having trouble explaining to my husband exactly the same feeling. It eels as though my blood flowing thru my arms is throbbing. Like CAECAROL said "a cloud". What is this?? I havent been to the doctor yet either. It tends to just go away. Now I have weakness in my arms and the left hurts when I lift. I really cant lift with that arm. I'm 35 and my dad thinks it just comes with getting older. But its starting to scare me. Mostly because I cant describe it.
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I too have been having sudden arm weakness ( with a deep ache across my chest starting the episode). These are severe enough to stop me in my tracks and always involve both arms. Coincidentally, I also have tendonitis and carpal tunnel from physical work and gardening but these episodes have just started recently and don't feel the same. After an episode, I feel weak and achy in arms and neck. Has anyone found any answers to this problem????????????? I agree it is very scary when it happens!!!!!
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I’ve had 2 of these episodes this week. My arms feel like all the blood has drained away and have some tingling and become a bit light-headed. I recently began chiropractic treatments to relieve my long-suffering back and neck pain. I’m assuming the two are connected, but it’s pretty scary when it happens.
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I've been reading all your messages while looking for a solution to my mothers problems. She has the same issue with pain, weakness, numbness in both arms from the elbow to her fingers. It happens a few times a week and only lasts 45 seconds to a minute each time. She also feels a little sick and headachey when this episode happens. It happens a few times a month. She went to emergency yesterday and got MRI, Catscan, EKG, etc.... Every test they could give. The doctor was puzzled and had no answers. THEN, mom told me her dentist told her some time ago that her fillings needed to be replaced because they were LEAKING. MERCURY LEAKING into her body/bloodstream!!!!! I looked up Mercury poisioning from dental fillings on-line and PRESTO there were her symptoms!!! She hasnt had them removed yet but has made an appointment to do so. Mercury poisioning can cause many problems including Fibromyalgia. You can detox your body from this mercury from 5 to 8 months and symptoms should go away. LOOK THIS UP!! IT COULD BE YOUR ANSWER. GOOD LUCK!
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These symptoms perfectly describe what I have expereienced for a couple of years now. Suddenly my arms seem to lose all their strength and I can't even hold them up. A strange feeling floods through both arms and sometimes includes a weak feeling in my chest--but not every time. Then it is gone (15-20 seconds) just as suddenly as it came. My doctor is puzzled and doesn't know what to look for.
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RE: Sudden arm weakness: I have had these exact symptoms, and since it passes within a few minutes, I have never asked a Dr. about them. It seems to be when I am a bit stressed out, and I assume it is just sort of a spasm that seems to resolve. I also get ocular mygraines (jaggedy lights that impair my vision for about 30 minutes, then it resolves as well) I am wondering if anyone who gets the arm weakness also gets ocular mygraines (no pain with this, just the zig-zag lights) I do not have these symptoms together, just separately at different times, but both are sort of strange things and I wonder if they are connected in some way.
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From my understanding of the symptoms that you've described, I think that you may have MS or something similar to it. Not to scare you but that's what my understanding of the disorder is. Have you spoken to a doctor about it? I think that would be helpful to do. Let me know!
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