Causes of Tingling in Hands & Feet

Tingling sensations in the hands and feet are commonly associated with symptoms such as burning, pain or numbness in the hands or feet. These sensations can sometimes reflect damage to nerves in the area. However, in some cases, tingling can be temporary and benign. It could potentially result from pressure on nerves (when you cross your legs for too long or when you sleep on your hand). Many people refer to this as “pins and needles” and the sensation is eased once pressure is removed. At GNC Dubai, tingling sensations or nerve pain can be diagnosed by our licensed team of neurologists.

Peripheral neuropathy, cases in which there is more serious damage to the nerves, has a number of different causes and can vary in severity depending on the person affected. Causes include vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, kidney failure, autoimmune diseases and infections.

The term ‘peripheral neuropathy’ was given to this nerve damage as it affects nerves that are distant from the brain and spinal cord – occurring more often in hands or feet. There are over 100 types of peripheral neuropathy and over time can worse, resulting in disabilities or decreased mobility.

Causes of Tingling

Diabetes is known to be one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy. Typically, tingling and other symptoms will first develop in both feet and shoot up the legs in cases of diabetic neuropathy. In many cases, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy tend to be the first signs of diabetes.

Nerve entrapment syndromes are also known to be a cause of peripheral neuropathy. This includes carpal tunnel syndrome, peroneal nerve palsy, ulnar nerve palsy and radial nerve palsy.

Other causes include:

    • Systemic diseases such as kidney disorders, liver disease, connective tissue disorders, cancers and benign tumors that impinge on nerves.
    • Toxins including mercury, thallium, and even industrial or environmental chemicals along with lead and arsenic. This can also include certain medications, as well as antiviral and antibiotic drugs.
    • Vitamin deficiencies. Vitamins E, B1, B6, B12 and niacin are known to be essential in order to maintain healthy nerve function. A Vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to anemia, which is also a common cause of peripheral neuropathy. However, too much Vitamin B6 is known to cause tingling in the hands and feet.
  • Infections such as shingles, Epstein-Barr, Lyme disease, herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus and HIV/AIDS.
  • Inherited disorders that include a group that may have sensory and motor symptoms.
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.
  • Many injuries can result in nerves being compressed, damaged or crushed, resulting in severe nerve pain. A good example of this is nerve compression that’s caused by a dislocated bone or a slipped disc.

Diagnosis of Tingling Hands and Feet

A physical exam is usually the go-to method when it comes to diagnosing tingling hands or feet. Doctors will look at your extensive medical history, address your symptoms, work and social environments, risk of infectious diseases, as well as your family history of neurological disease.

Additional tests carried out include:

  • An EMG (electromyogram) that tests the electrical activity of the muscles
  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
  • Blood tests to detect diabetes, live or kidney dysfunction, vitamin deficiencies, metabolic disorders and signs of an abnormal immune system
  • An examination of cerebrospinal fluid to identify the antibodies that are associated with peripheral neuropathy
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Nerve biopsy
  • Skin biopsies to look at nerve fiber endings