What do we mean by tingling extremities? Have you noticed a pins and needles sensation in your hands and feet? Has it become more frequent? Are you experiencing sensations of numbness, tingling, creeping and pain? Although not a common one, this is a symptom of menopause. Other symptoms include, but are not limited to, hot flushes and night sweats, irregular periods, loss of libido, mood swings, heart palpitations.
This menopause symptom, (medical term: Paresthesis) is categorized by numbness and pins and needles sensations in the arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers and toes. In menopause it presents due to hormone shifts affecting the nervous system.
Fingers can temporarily lose the ability to grip and carry out delicate movements and some women can lose their balance while walking, due to numbness in their feet and toes. A burning sensation can be experienced due to pain that arises as nerves are pinched or joints become compressed.
Cold Hands and Feet
Some women suffer from cold hands and feet due to hormonal imbalance. Hormone fluctuations interfere with healthy circulation which causes skin temperature to drop and results in cold extremities. However, if you think that your symptoms are not associated with menopause you must consult your Healthcare Professional.
Raynaud’s Disease is a common condition in which blood is prevented from reaching the extremities, mainly fingers and toes, when exposed to a cold or change in temperature or as a result of emotionally stressful conditions. You will find more information about Raynaud’s Disease here.
Though most cases of this symptom during menopause arise from hormonal imbalance, it can be caused by other serious health incidents such as seizures or strokes. Other causes can include repetitive stress injuries, back and neck injuries, reduced blood supply and medical conditions such as Diabetes, Thyroid Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Tingling of the extremities can also be associated with nutritional deficiencies, migraines and reactions to drugs and anxiety.
Symptoms of Tingling Extremities
• Changes in sensation
• Pins and needles
• Prickling or burning sensation
• Numbness or reduced feeling
• Creepy, crawly sensation
• Increased sensitivity
Whilst there is usually no cause for alarm if experiencing this symptom during menopause, there are some cases where you should seek medical attention.
Consult your Healthcare Professional if your symptoms are accompanied by any of the following:-
• Inability to control limb movement
• Increased urination
• Muscle spasm
• Weakness or paralysis
• Loss of bowel or bladder control
• Back, head or neck injury
• Vision changes
• Slurred speech
• Walking difficulties
• Loss of feeling or tingling on one side of the body
• Loss of consciousness
Lifestyle Changes to help Relieve Menopause Symptoms
• Eat a balanced diet including fresh fruit and vegetables and a balance of proteins and carbohydrates
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine
• Sleep 7-8 hours each night
• Take vitamins B, C, D and E.
• Control your breathing
• Regularly exercise
• Stay hydrated
• If you smoke – quit
• Try natural menopause relief treatments to balance your hormones.
Hutchinson, Susan M.D. “The Stages of a Woman’s Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause.” November 2007., www.nhs.uk