The sensation of pins-and-needles or foot tingling that you occasionally feel is quite normal. This is usually caused due to being in the same position for a long time: when you sleep in an awkward position or keep your legs crossed for a long time, the blood circulation slows down leading to a temporary tingling in hands or feet. This temporary sensation goes away when you move and stretch the affected parts. However, if the tingling sensation occurs frequently or lasts for a long time, you need to consult a doctor immediately.
To diagnose the causes of tingling feet and hands, a doctor may suggest blood tests, electromyogram (EMG), CT scan or an MRI. The test results will reveal whether the causes of tingling are benign or symptoms of something more serious. Here are some of the common causes of tingling feet and hands:
- Pinched nerve: A pinched nerve in the back or the neck can often be a cause of tingling feet and hands. Underlying conditions such as arthritis, or an injury or poor posture led to pinched nerves. This leads to pain and tingling sensation from the back to the feet or from the neck to the arms.
- Deficiency of vitamins: For nerves to function properly, the body needs essential vitamins such as vitamins B1, B6, B12, E, and niacin. A deficiency of these vitamins, especially B12, can cause tingling feet and hands. This is often accompanied by anemia, lethargy and constant fatigue. It has been observed that an excess consumption of vitamin B6 can also cause tingling feet and hands.
- Diabetes: One of the most common causes of tingling feet, diabetes causes mild to severe damage to nerves that lead to feet and hands becoming numb for prolonged periods. In a diabetic person or a person who is insulin resistant, the high blood sugar in the body becomes toxic for the nerves. This causes tingling to first develop in the feet, which then progress up to the legs and then to the hands and arms.
- Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid can cause hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, fatigue and make the person prone to frequent colds. Along with this, the person will experience tingling.
- Alcoholism: excess consumption of alcohol has the potential to cause damage to the nerves. Also, alcohol can lead to a deficiency of thiamin and other essential vitamins. These can be causes of tingling feet and hands.