Tingling extremities is a medical condition known as paresthesis. Commonly, this is what occurs when a person’s arm or legs “goes to sleep.” The truth is an artery or nerve is being pinched by the body and once the compression is relieved, the symptoms disappear and the pressure is relieved. While paresthesis can happen anywhere on the body, it is more common to have the limbs and extremities involved. An uncommon and little known side effect of menopause are these types of tingling extremities and it is usually caused by hormonal changes in the body.
Causes of Paresthesis
Hormonal Causes Paresthesis can happen to anyone, but in the case of menopause, the cause is the fluctuation of oestrogen in the body.
Symptoms of Paresthesis
- A “creepy, crawly” sensation
- A feeling of pins and needles
- A buzzing feeling without cause
- Muscular weakness
- Muscular cramps
- Changes in sensation, prickling
- Burning or numbness
- Abnormal reflexes
- Increased sensitivity
- Muscular warmth or cool feeling
- Feeling like you are walking on rocks, but the ground is smooth
- Feeling like there is warm liquid on you
There are three types of oestrogen, and oestrone is the type produced during post-menopause. Sensations from the skin are normally transported from the skin via sensory nerves through the spinal cord, but due to the hormone levels dropping, the hypothalamus fails to do carry these sensations efficiently. These wild fluctuations also lead to a drop in collagen and oil production, leaving the skin thinner and less elastic, a causal effect of tingling in the extremities.
You can often ease the discomfort associated with tingling in hands and feet by exercising regularly. Physical activity promotes good circulation, which can help minimise numbness and tingling. Yoga, stretching and Pilates are great choices that can also help relieve tension. Dietary changes can also help. A well-rounded diet with whole grains, fresh produce and lean meats is essential during menopause. Avocados, fish, nuts and flaxseed are excellent sources of the essential fatty acids you need, while dark green vegetables and almonds can be great sources of calcium and magnesium. A natural menopause treatment and B supplements may be able to prevent and manage paresthesis.