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Tingling in Hands and Feet

Tingling in Hands and Feet

Tingling in hands and feet can be due to various reasons. Some of them can be very serious underlying medical conditions.
Medha Godbole
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
All of us have had that 'pins and needles' sensation in our hands and feet at some point of time or the other. Well, if you haven't had that sensation, try putting pressure on a part of your arms or legs for a few minutes and release it. Do not force, just apply a little pressure. After you release the pressure you would have a weird sensation, similar to sparks coming out of that spot. This tingling sensation is known as paresthesia, in medical terms. To explain it more, paresthesia also involves that pricking sensation or numbness of the skin of an individual. This is also what is called, as I mentioned above, 'pins and needles'. Colloquially, it is also referred to as your limb falling asleep, but it has no direct connection with sleeping or sleep as such. There are several reasons for tingling in hands and feet.


This prickly sensation can be attributed to many reasons, ranging from acute to chronic reasons. The acute or transient causes are a result of hyperventilation syndrome. It often leads to open mouth and panic attacks. Amongst others, if you have sustained pressure on one of your nerves, it causes that funny sensation in the limbs. Once you remove the pressure, it will result in relief. The chronic causes are as follows:

Nerve Injury: This could be chronic or acute, depending on the damage to the surrounding areas and muscle tissue. A nerve injury will without any doubt lead to this sensation. In case you have any suspicion that you have a nerve injury, it is important to know what that injury has done to the surrounding areas. That could be numbness or loss of sensation in that particular area.

Blood Supply: As mentioned earlier, pressure applied on the nerve leads to this sensation, because then the blood supply is obstructed. You can deal with this by releasing the pressure on the nerve and you will be fine. But our body and its complications do not leave any scope for simplicity. Hence, another reason for obstructed blood supply is arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is the blocking of arteries on account of plaque build up leading to heart problems. This condition needs proper medical consultation.

Diabetes: The glucose is at work again. Diabetes is another serious or chronic (however you may categorize it!) reason for this pricky sensation in the extremities. Diabetes, as we all know, affects the insulin levels in our body. If this condition is not treated, well, there are chances that your nervous system could be affected adversely. If at all you are affected by this disease, there is a lot of possibility that you will experience the prickly sensation.

Thyroid Problems: Thyroid is one of the most important glands responsible for our overall health. Any problem with our thyroid gland can lead to our feet and hands experiencing numbness. Hypoparathyroidism and hypothyroidism to be precise are the causes of this occurrence. This is mainly manifested through the tingling of hands.

Buerger's Disease: Excessive consumption of tobacco is also related to this medical condition. Lack of blood flow leads to this occurrence as a result of over consumption of tobacco.

Multiple Sclerosis: A burning sensation and increased sensitivity and a tingling feeling could be initial signs of multiple sclerosis. Again obstruction of blood flow is the culprit. There are also a couple of other brain related diseases, which are responsible for this weird sensation.

In addition to these, lyme disease, anxiety, low electrolyte levels, and situations in which joints are weary and prone to swelling, like arthritis and the likes could be potential reasons for tingling hands and feet.

If you experience this condition, please make sure you visit a doctor and get a check up if this is a very frequent occurrence, and nip the underlying causes in the bud. Take Care!

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.