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Thread: Carpal Tunnel / Fluid Retention / Dandelion leaf tea?

  1. #1

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    Default Carpal Tunnel / Fluid Retention / Dandelion leaf tea?

    I just looked up my symptoms, being tingling and numbness in my right hand and fingertips. This is a reply to someone's question which described me exactly:

    Question

    I am 34 weeks pregnant. I feel very tired, walking is difficult (as if I had been walking for hours, though my feet are not swollen). My hands are swollen and I’m suffering from a lack of sleep due to pins and needles in my right arm/hand. At night my arm feels like a dead weight. During the day right hand is numb/tingly all of the time.



    Answer

    Thank you for your question, and congratulations on your pregnancy. It sounds like you are now beginning to experience some of the common yet tiresome symptoms of later pregnancy. They can be quite uncomfortable at this stage.

    You are bound to feel tired when walking because you are carrying a considerable amount of extra weight, and your legs may feel heavy as a result of congestion in the veins caused by high levels of circulating oestrogen. It is good that your feet are not swollen but since your hands are, it is even more important that you go for your regular weekly check-up now to make sure there is no protein in your urine and that your blood pressure is not high. These two symptoms, along with swelling of the fingers, can suggest the onset of a condition known as pre-eclampsia, which is potentially serious. What you are describing as pins and needles in your right arm and hand, coupled with the tingling and numbness is extremely suggestive of carpal tunnel syndrome. This is again very common in the late stages of pregnancy and is due to fluid retention and the swelling, which it causes, causing pressure on the median nerve as it runs along the inner aspect of the wrist. The nerve here burrows through a tunnel created by a tough fibrous band that runs around the wrist holding the nerves and tendons in place. When there is fluid retention and swelling due to high levels of oestrogen, there is less room for the nerve and therefore pressure upon it increases. This pressure in turn affects the blood supply to the nerve creating these pins and needles and the numbness in the fingers, particularly the thumb and the three fingers next to it. Symptoms are usually much worse during the night and sufferers often have to hold their hands out of bed to obtain relief. The good news is that carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy usually disappears very quickly after the birth of the baby when the fluid retention settles down again. Doctors are reluctant to treat it during pregnancy with diuretics and a surgical incision to incise the fibrous sheath at the wrist would certainly not be appropriate in view of the temporary nature of the symptoms. Should symptoms continue after childbirth, a cortisone injection into the carpal tunnel is often curative although in severe cases a surgical incision needs to be made to abolish symptoms altogether. This is unlikely though. I hope this is helpful and that whilst you wait the last few weeks you can put your feet up, take it easy and get as much rest as you can.
    I have also found information suggesting that dandelion leaf tea is a good diuretic to help reduce fluid retention. I've only found one site that suggests drinking this during pregnancy.

    Does anyone know any more about this? My blood pressure and urine tests have been perfect at my OB visits, so I'm not really worried about pre-eclampsia. But if I can try to reduce the swelling and get my circulation back up that would be good!

  2. #2

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    Ivana, I think you should ask your ob before using any kind of diuretic. AFAIK it can be a problem for a couple of reasons
    1. You need to keep your fluids up so that there is enough for amniiotic fluid - if bubs doesn't have enough it can cause issues
    2. It can mask the symptoms of pre-eclampasia - there are other symptoms but swelling is one of the first obvious ones. Pre-eclampasia can come on very suddenly even if you have had no prior symptoms or B/P issuees.

  3. #3

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    yeah... I'm gonna talk to the OB today about it. I've been told to eat lots of watermelon, coz that can help reduce swelling... I eat lots anyway, and it does seem to help (I notice when I've run out). It's more of a kidney tonic than a diuretic, and can help the kidney flush out the fluids.

    Fingers crossed my b/p is still good today. It's been 120/70 the whole way through so far!

    If the swelling is due to pre-eclampsia, is it fairly consistent? Coz I'm not very swollen at all today, it seems to come and go. I'm hoping its just from heat. I notice it more when I sit in an upright chair for too long too.

    Anyway, thanks dach.. will clarify what I can do with the OB today.

  4. #4
    Melinda Guest

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    I just replied in the other thread about this, but thought I'd mention it here.

    My CTS was due to fluid retention - and a hell of a lot of it!! I didn't have any problems with my blood pressure throughout my PG so there was no concern with pre-eclampsia....it was just straight out fluid retention.

    As I mentioned in the other thread, I had it in both hands, all fingers (including the thumbs) and it's very uncomfortable. I hope I don't get it this time but I won't hold my breath! Like that quote suggests, at night time I'd have to put my arms out of the bed and shake my arms about to try and get them a bit more comfortable!

  5. #5

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    Yeah.. my b/p was still good today, so no preeclampsia. OB suggested using a tight fitting glove to help drain the fluid, or there's a splint that you can get to hold the wrist in the best position for not compressing the nerve any further. Mine's probably more an annoyance at the moment rather than a big problem. He said delivery should cure it so I'll just try and live with it for now. Only a few weeks to go!

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