A Holistic Approach To Health
Living With Tingling in Hands and Feet
I had a question the other day about tingling in your hands and feet.
Tingling hands, feet, or both is extremely common and bothersome.
The tingling can sometimes be benign and temporary.
For example, it could be from pressure on nerves when your arm is crooked under your head as you fall asleep.
Or it could be from pressure on nerves when you cross your legs too long.
In either case, the “pins and needles” effect is soon relieved by removing the pressure that caused it.
In many cases, however, tingling in your hands, feet, or both can be severe, episodic, or chronic.
It can also go along with other symptoms, like pain, itching, numbness, and muscle wasting.
This type of nerve damage is known as peripheral neuropathy because it affects the nerves far from your brain and spinal cord, like your hands and feet.
There are more than 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy.
Over time, peripheral neuropathy can worsen, resulting in decreased mobility and even disability.
Diabetes is one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy, accounting for about 30% of cases.
In diabetic neuropathy, tingling and other symptoms often first develop in both feet and go up the legs, followed by tingling and other symptoms that affect both hands and go up the arms.
About two-thirds of people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage.
For many people, these symptoms are the first signs of diabetes.
In another 30% of people with peripheral neuropathy, the cause is unknown.
The remaining 40% have a variety of causes:
>Nerve entrapment syndromes (carpal tunnel, ulnar nerve palsy).
>Systemic diseases (kidney disorders, liver disease, hypothyroidism, cancer).
>Vitamin deficiencies (vitamin E, B vitamins, niacin).
>Toxins (heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, thallium; chemotherapy drugs; some antivirals and antibiotics).
>Infections (Lyme disease, shingles, herpes simplex, HIV).
>Autoimmune diseases (Guillain-Barre, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis).
Successful treatment depends a lot on the underlying cause of the tingling.
As long as the peripheral nerve cells haven’t been killed, they have the ability to regenerate.
Many types of peripheral neuropathy can be improved.
For example, good blood sugar control in diabetes can slow the progression of diabetic neuropathy.
Vitamin supplementation can correct peripheral neuropathy in people with vitamin deficiencies.
General lifestyle recommendations that can help include maintaining an optimal weight, avoiding exposure to toxins, following a regular exercise program, eating a balanced diet, avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking.
To deal with tingling in hands and feet it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*A tea made of blue violet, catnip, gotu kola, rosemary, white willow, or wood betony is effective in relieving nerve pain.
*Capsaicin can provide pain relief when regularly applied to the affected area. Cayenne may also help to alleviate pain if taken orally in capsule form.
*Essential oils of jasmine, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rose, rosemary, and thyme have been effective in the treatment of pain.
*Increase essential fats (flax oil, olive oil, Omega-3 oils).
*Decrease or eliminate hidden allergies/sensitivities (food and/or environmental) because these can often trigger or aggravate the condition.
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