You should pay attention to symptoms if you are experiencing sensations such as tingling and numbness. While there are simple causes that don’t merit concern, such as when a your foot “falls asleep”, there are also more serious potential conditions that should be ruled out. Here’s a guide on why you shouldn’t ignore such issues in your hands and feet.
Examining the Sensations
A tingling feeling in your hands or feet provides a constant sensation of pinpricks. It is usually impossible to ignore and it’s also aggravating. Many people attempt to regain full feeling by shaking the problem area, hoping that an increase in blood flow will solve the matter. That only works when the tingling stems from reduced blood flow such as what happens when sleeping in an awkward position.
Numbness is more complex. It involves reduced sensations and you may feel as if you’ve lost control of your hands or feet when numbness occurs. It’s similar to the sensation of sleeping in an uncomfortable position, only the numbness won’t go away. When you suffer numbness for more than a day or two, take your problem seriously. At a minimum, you have probably suffered nerve damage, and you could have an even more serious malady.
What Tingling Means
Diagnosing feelings of tingling or numbness is tricky. Preferably, you should go to a doctor, who will give you a full medical examination. What you need to know about tingling is that tingling isn’t as serious as numbness. Many of the conditions that cause tingling are temporary. You’ll want to pay careful attention if they’re accompanied by pain, though.
Pain combined with numbness is a warning sign that your body is breaking down. If the pain is severe or chronic, you could have nerve damage that is preventing normal body function. It’s often a sign of infection, whether it stems from bacterial or viral sources. An undiagnosed disease is another possibility. Clearly, many potential issues stemming from tingling are serious enough to warrant a doctor’s visit.
What Numbness Means
Unlike tingling, numbness usually indicates a serious health issue. No minor bodily irritations would cause an extended period of numbness. Diseases such as diabetes are a more likely cause. In the most extreme instances, you may suffer issues with your central nervous system. As an example, Lupus, an autoimmune disease, is a condition that often reveals itself through numbness. If the issue isn’t a disease, you may have spine or neck conditions that are causing the sensation. Any sustained numbness requires a doctor’s visit.
Potential triggers for tingling and numbness include repetitive stress disorders, systemic diseases, infections, and vitamin deficiencies. Stress disorders such as injuries suffered while typing are less serious. Systemic diseases such as liver ailments, benign tumors, and chronic inflammation will require medical attention immediately.
Vitamin deficiencies are treatable. The key is to identify the condition quickly. Otherwise, you’ll endure needless pain for an extended period. Infections cover the spectrum from modest irritations to potentially fatal conditions. They, too, require a medical examination to determine if treatment by antibiotics is required.
As you can see, prolonged tingling and numbness can be serious concerns. Should you suffer from either symptom, you should see a doctor immediately. Only they can identify the severity of the problem.