Paresthesia is a medical term for tingling, pricking, and numbness in any part of the body. Any type of sensation is transformed in a signal and is sent to the brain for further instructions. These signals are received by the nerve cells and are then transferred to the spinal cord. From the spinal cord, the signals are taken by other bundle of cells, which is then further transferred to the brain. All the parts of the body are connected with the help of nerve cells. Tingling in hands and feet may be transient and chronic, depending upon paresthesia causes.
The sensations from various parts of the body are taken by the peripheral sensory nerves to the spinal cord. From the spinal cord, the signals reach the brain with the help of trigeminal nerve and brain stem. Hence, any type of problem in this path may result in paresthesia. Its causes can be divided into two parts - transient and chronic.
This type takes place for just few seconds to few minutes. It is caused due to the temporary compression of nerves. It is not dangerous, as it diminishes with time. In normal terms, it is known as pins and needles sensation'. Following are some of its causes.
- Sitting in the same position for a prolonged time.
- Sleeping in a position in which the hand or leg's nerves are compressed.
- Hyperventilation syndrome, mini stroke, and panic attack.
- Very cold or low temperature (But as soon as the person comes back to the normal temperature, the condition becomes normal).
Its causes are dangerous, and if not taken care of in time, it can also be life-threatening.
- Autoimmune diseases, like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, pernicious anemia.
- Hormonal disorders, like menopause and many thyroid problems.
- Problems related to the circulatory disorders, like atherosclerosis, acute arterial occlusion, Raynaud disease, etc. (Facial paresthesia).
- Brain and spinal cord disorders.
- Deficiency of vitamin B1 (beriberi), vitamin B5, and B12, may result in numbness, burning feet, tingling, etc.
- Reason behind perioral paresthesia may be hypocalcemia.
- Low immune power, blood disorders, bone and joint disorders, skin disorders, etc.
- Infections, like AIDS (HIV), Herpes simplex virus, Herpes zoster virus, Lyme disease, etc.
- Intake of certain medications, like dimercaprol, mefloquine, riluzole, anticonvulsant drugs, lomotil, etc.
- Chemotherapy sessions or exposure to other radiations.
- Poisoning from heavy metals or from any chemical.
- Intake of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.
- Heriditary diseases, like Refsum syndrome, Fabry disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, etc.
The treatment totally depends upon the underlying conditions. If the condition is due to the transient causes, then you don't need to worry, as it will get over in few seconds to few minutes. If the condition is due to some other chronic causes, then the treatment will automatically cure the symptoms. There are few creams and medications, which can cure the condition for some time. The major solution for this condition is to take the medication, which may treat the underlying conditions.
To better the treatment, you need to keep an eye on the reasons behind its occurrence. Have a healthy diet, do proper exercise, and stay away from alcohol and tobacco, as half of your problem will be solved by this. So, take care of your pins and needles and cure it in time to avoid complication.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.