Probably, sometimes you feel the sensation numbness or tingling in the body without any specific reason. Have you ever noticed why does it happen? Paresthesia or tingling is just like a temporary pricking, or burning sensation in any area of the body. Don’t bother about it if you face this problem occasionally and for short time. But sometimes, this condition can become painful and persist for a longer duration; that can be a worrying sign of any underlying health issue.
Normally, sitting or lying in one posture for too long, may result in numbness due to the build-up of pressure in your nerves of that specific area. Also, this pin or needle like sensation must vanish upon your movement. However, if the problem persists, it maybe a worrying sign. Also, importunate tingling that constantly occur for more than a week needs a quick consultation from your doctor.
Let’s discuss more about the symptoms, potential causes, treatment options for Body Tingling!
What Does Tingling Sensation in the Body Mean?
Feeling of pricking, or burning sensation in the body that cause sudden discomfort in any part of your body, especially arms, legs, and feet is known as a tingling sensation.
In this situation, suddenly you may feel that someone is piercing that area with a pin-like object. Uusally, the condition doesn’t cause pain, but might be quite irritating if prevails for more than a few minutes.
Numbness and Tingling all Over the Body: Signs and Symptoms
Generally, tingling feeling can be identified by the following signs:
- Muscular atrophy
What are the Potential Causes of Tingling in the Body?
Tingling in the hands, feet, or any other part of the body can be mild, acute, occasional, or persistent. It can be an indication of nerve damage due to multiple reasons, like traumatic injuries, bacterial and viral infections, chemical exposures, or systemic disorders.
Common Causes of Body Tingling
Generally, common reasons behind body tingles are:
- A slight pressure on your nerve for a while may result in short-duration tingling.
- Falling asleep by placing your arm or hand under your pillow.
- Pressure build-up on your legs when sitting in cross legs posture for too long.
Chronic Causes of Feeling Tingly
1- Systemic Diseases
Certain diseases contribute a lot in developing as well as triggering the symptoms of numbness or tingling sensation. The most important of these are:
- Chronic kidney disease, Liver diseases, Diabetes, AIDS
- Arteriosclerosis & atherosclerosis
- Hormonal imbalance
- Chronic inflammation, or bone problems including osteopenia, osteoporosis, or rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancer and certain types of benign tumors
Peripheral Neuropathy refers to the condition which involve the damage of the peripheral nervous system (a strong network of signaling between the central nervous system and other parts of the body).
Sometimes, severe nerve damage may causes peripheral neuropathy; resulting in numbness of hands, feet, or arms. It is a severe and frequently occurring tingling sensation that may cause little immobility or even disability of a person if persist for many days.
According to NIH, above 20 million Americans are reported to have peripheral neuropathy and more than 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy are known so far.
3- Alcoholic Neuropathy
Alcohol is a slow poison that can damage the nerve tissues. Drinking too much alcohol can induce alcoholic neuropathy, a type of peripheral neuropathy. In this condition, the limbs, hands, and feet might experience painful tingling.
According to a recent research, alcohol may cause negative impacts on health of 25-66% of individuals, categorized as chronic alcoholics. The most obvious treatment of alcoholic neuropathy is a reduction in alcohol consumption.
Peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes is known as diabetic neuropathy. The elevated blood sugar level in the blood puts pressure on blood vessels thus, hindering the supply of proper blood supply and oxygen. It affects all body more specifically legs and feet.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, peripheral neuropathy affects up to 50% of patients with diabetes, The same study describes that if you are diabetic; you are at more risk of developing peripheral neuropathy. So you should be more careful if you are:
- Having high cholesterol and blood pressure
- Suffering from any chronic disease
- An alcoholic or a chain smoker
5- Chronic Kidney Disease or Kidney Failure
Continuous and repetitive tingling in different body parts especially legs may be a sign of chronic kidney disease or kidney failure. Continuous cramping, muscle twitches, and weaknesses are other common symptoms of kidney failure.
6- Auto-immune Disorder
This problem occurs when the body’s immune system starts attacking your own body. Some disorders that might cause tingling feel are:
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Linking anxiety with tingling might be physiologically or psychologically linked. In some people, anxiety causes or triggers the tingling sensation in the body due to hyperventilating. It is a common term that relates to an increased breathing rate.
This rapid breathing disturbs the balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen content in the body. Subsequently, a tingling feeling may occur.
However, treating anxiety may cure this problem to some extent.
Common anxiety treatments comprise of:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Healthy physical activities such as yoga, cardiovascular exercises, meditation, etc.
8- Environmental Toxins
Today, most industries are releasing toxins in the form of heavy metals like cadmium, arsenic, nickel, mercury, and lead. These environmental pollutants not only endanger the life of humans but also aquatic life. Most human diseases are the result of these environmental hazards in the form of industrial wastes, chemical fertilizers, and many more.
Sometimes, tingling body may be due to the accumulation of excessive chemicals or toxins in the body. Subsequently, this may cause damage to kidneys as nephrons become unable to filter these excessive toxins with time.
Certain medicines may also cause tingling sensation such as after-effects of chemotherapy, some antiviral or antibacterial medicines.
9- Mineral or Vitamin Deficiency
Certain mineral or vitamin deficiencies may result in developing signs of paresthesia or numbness in the body. The most important of these are:
- Vitamin B-1, B-5, B-6, B-12, and vitamin E
- Calcium deficiency or hypocalcemia
- Magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesemia
10- Pinched Nerve Due to Injury or Swelling
Some of the body injuries are so severe that may result in compression of nerves. Most of these injuries relate to some sudden trauma that can cause a frequent unusual sensation of tingling. Generally, pinched nerves may cause pin or needle like piercing pain or decreased mobility and can be recovered to some extent by taking rest, or physical therapy.
11- Peripheral Artery Disease and Stroke
Peripheral artery disease causes reduced blood circulation due to the narrowing of blood vessels. Consequently, body tingling may occur that may lead to stroke or severe heart attack if left untreated. Other possible stroke effects include:
- Blurred vision, dizziness, and confusion
- Trouble in speaking, walking, and understanding
- Loss of body balance and coordination
12- Multiple sclerosis
This disease badly affects the central nervous system (CNS) comprising the brain and spinal cord. This disorder is caused when the fatty myelin sheath in the region of nerve fibers is attacked by your body’s immune system. In this condition, patients commonly suffer from a tingling sensation in the body.
13- Pregnancy: One of the most Common Reason of Tingling
Pregnancy may be a general factor inducing tingling due to growing baby pressure built on a woman’s leg nerves. However, women can relieve the symptoms by staying well hydrated and changing positions repeatedly.
How to Diagnose the Cause of Persistent Tingling in Body?
If you feel an extensive tingling sensation in your body that is somehow hurting you too then it’s time to visit your health care advisor.
He would perform your physical examination along with checking the medical history. Also, your habits, job environment, risk of developing chronic or neurological diseases, and exposure to chemical pollutants may also be analyzed for a detailed medical history.
Your doctor may also prescribe certain blood tests like diabetes, vitamin content in the body, liver, and kidney function tests, or immune system functionality depending upon your condition and age. Electromyogram (EMG) is another possible assessment method for body numbness and tingling.
Certain other methods to identify the tingling sensation may be:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Skin and nerve biopsy
- Computer tomography (CT)
Treatment for Tingling Sensation
The overall effectiveness of treatment is reliant on a proper diagnosis and treatment of the root cause of tingling. Peripheral nerve cells can rejuvenate as long as they haven’t really been damaged.
Although there are no exact treatments for inherited tingling but proper glucose control in diabetes, avoiding triggering causes and vitamin supplements can help to prevent this issue.
Maintaining a healthy weight, preventing pollutants, doing exercise, eating a balanced diet, avoiding or restricting alcohol, and quitting smoking are all general lifestyle guidelines to avoid tingling in the body.
How Can I Stop my Body From Tingling?
Certain tips can help you get rid of minor body tingles, but you should seek immediate medical advice if these remedies don’t work.
- Remove the pressure on the affected area or nerve to normalize the blood flow.
- Change your body posture or walk for few seconds.
- Wiggle the affected areas of your body such as toes, legs, or arms.
- Stretch your body with small quick moves.
Tingling in the body is a common disorder that causes sudden discomfort. This issue may be for a short duration but sometimes, it can be for a longer time with more severity. If you feel a more frequent tingling sensation, then visit your doctor to discuss lifestyle changes and necessary medication.