Tingling in the Body: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Causes, Effects and Treatment of Tingling in Body

by Saima
Tingling Sensation in the body

Probably, sometimes you have felt the sensation of random tingling in the body. Have you noticed why does it happen? If not, then surely you should know.  In this article, you would gain knowledge of its potential causes and effects. So, stay connected.

Paresthesia or tingling is just like temporary pricking, or burning sensation in the body at any place. Don’t bother about it if you face this problem occasionally. But sometimes, this condition persists for too long to consult a doctor.

Normally, sitting or lying in one posture for too long, causes tingling due to pressure build-up on your nerves of that specific area. When you move, the sensation should vanish; but if not then maybe a worrying sign.

Importunate tingling in the feet followed by pain that remains for more than a week may require a quick consultation from your doctor.

What Does Tingling Sensation in the Body Mean?

Feeling of pricking, or burning sensation in the body that cause sudden discomfort in any body part especially arms, legs, and feet is known as a tingling sensation.

In this situation, suddenly you feel that someone is piercing that area with a sharp object. Resultantly, you feel numb if the condition prevails for more than a few minutes.

Tingling in Body Symptoms

Generally, tingling may be identified by the following signs:

  • Discomfort
  • Itching
  • Numbness
  • Muscular atrophy

What Cause Tingling in 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 or viral infections, chemical exposures, and systemic disorders.

Multiple factors are involved in developing this tingling sensation in the body so; some of these are described below:

Common Causes of Tingling in Body

  • 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 for Body Tingling

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

2-Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to conditions involving 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 causes peripheral neuropathy that results in numbness in different body parts including hands, feet, and arms. It is a severe and frequently occurring tingling sensation.

If this situation persists for the long run, then may cause little mobility or even disability of a person.

According to NIH, above 20 million Americans are reported to have peripheral neuropathy. 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. The limbs, hands, and feet might experience pain and tingling due to this disorder.

According to research, alcohol influences 25-66% of individuals who are categorized as chronic alcoholics. Its treatment requires a reduction in alcohol consumption.

4- Diabetes

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:

  • Over-weight
  • Having high cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Using excessive alcoholic beverages
  • Smoking

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
  • Lupus

7- Anxiety

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.Anxiety causes Tingling and discomfort

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.

Tingling in the 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 tingling 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 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:

  • Numbness
  • 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

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.

Tingling in pregnancy

Diagnosis of Tingling 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 shall do a physical examination along with checking your medical history. You will be examined by your habits, job environment, risk of developing chronic or neurological diseases, and exposure to chemical pollutants.

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 tingling in the body.

Certain other methods to identify the tingling sensation are:

  • 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.

Concluding Remarks

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.

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