8 Things That Tingling Hands and Feet Can Tell You About Your Body
Paresthesia, a chilling, burning, prickling, tingling, or numb sensation on your skin, is a common occurrence. Transient numbness most often occurs in the extremities, such as your hands, arms, feet, and legs. This numbness is often caused when you place pressure on certain nerves. Normal sensation typically returns when you release the pressure on these nerves. Though paresthesia is usually not a problem, it can signify the presence of other serious medical issues.
Common Symptoms of Paresthesia
Common symptoms of this condition include:
- A prickling or itching type of sensation.
- Feeling like an area of the body is, “Falling sleep.”
- Hot or cold skin.
- A pins and needles sensation or tingling.
Reasons for the Tingling Sensation
While paresthesia is not usually indicative of a problem, it may indicate that you have one of the following medical issues.
- Vitamin Deficiency: One of the most common reasons for paresthesia is a vitamin deficiency. Tingling in the hands and feet may indicate that you have a vitamin B, B1, B6, B12, or E deficiency. Additionally, having too much vitamin B6 or D can cause a tingling sensation in your limbs.
- Injury: An accident or doing the wrong exercises can compress your nerves, causing a numb sensation. Dislocated joints and herniated discs can also put pressure on nerves.
- Toxins and Medication: When environmental toxins, such as arsenic, lead, and mercury get into your body, they can alter the functioning of your nerves. Your nerves can also be affected by medications, such as antibiotics, antivirals, and chemotherapy drugs.
- Animal and Insect Bites: A tingling sensation may mean that you've contracted Lyme disease.
- Infection: Certain infections, including HIV/AIDS, herpes, and shingles can make your skin feel hot or cold and cause a tingling sensation to occur from time to time.
- Alcohol: Alcoholism can lead to a condition called alcoholic neuropathy, which causes nerve damage.
- Other Causes: Other medical conditions can also cause paresthesia, such as hypothyroidism, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Who is at Risk for Paresthesia?
Certain factors can put you at higher risk for paresthesia.
- Gender: Women are more likely to experience paresthesia than men because women have narrower nerve canals.
- Prolonged Bedrest: Those who are bedridden are more likely to experience paresthesia because they aren't moving their bodies around.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Individuals who have a sedentary lifestyle or do work that requires a limited range of motion are at increased risk of nerve damage and paresthesia.
- Thyroid Disease: Having hypothyroidism increases your chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome and paresthesia.
- Obesity: Extra body weight compresses the nerves, which can lead to tingling sensations.
Treatment Options for Paresthesia
- Rest: The most effective and well-known treatment for paresthesia is rest. Rest the tingling body part for a while, and the tingling should subside on its own.
- Medications: There are some medications used to treat paresthesia. Consult your doctor about using medication for this condition.
- Physical Therapy: Exercises can improve flexibility and range of motion in the muscles surrounding the compressed nerve, which relieve symptoms and help prevent them from reoccurring.
There are some things you can do to prevent experiencing numbness and tingling in your extremities.
- Exercise daily.
- Prevent injuries while exercising as well as in your daily routine.
- Break up sedentary activities. For instance, if you work in an office where you're required to sit most of the day, take regular breaks to walk around for a few minutes.
Do you experience paresthesia? Have you found anything helpful for relieving the symptoms? Please tell us about your experiences.