While not a common menopause or postmenopause symptom, experiencing tingling extremities can be unsettling and unpleasant. This tingling can affect any part of the body, though it commonly occurs in the feet, legs, arms, and hands. Tingling extremities during menopause are usually the result of hormone fluctuations.
Fortunately, most cases of tingling extremities during menopause and postmenopause do not indicate a more serious underlying condition. Nonetheless, women who are experiencing tingling extremities and those who are curious about this menopause symptom should learn more about its causes and treatments.
Continue reading to learn more about tingling extremities during menopause.
About Tingling Extremities
Tingling extremities, medically referred to as paresthesia, can occur at any time. In milder cases, tingling can arise after a certain position or posture pinches a nerve or presses on an artery, causing a limb to temporarily "fall asleep." In these cases, the tingling extremities usually return to normal shortly after the compression is relieved.
Symptoms of Tingling Extremities
- Changes in sensation
- "Pins and needles"
- Prickling or burning sensations
- Numbness or reduced feeling
- Increased sensitivity
- Creepy crawling feeling
Along the same lines as paresthesia, a low number of women in menopause also report experiencing formication, or the sensation of insects crawling on the skin. This is akin to a “creepy-crawly” sensation, even though nothing is there on the surface of the skin.
While tingling extremities are not usually cause for concern, these sensations can be indicative of another condition. Read on to learn more about the causes of tingling extremities.
Causes of Tingling Extremities
In most cases, tingling extremities experienced during menopause are the result of natural hormone fluctuations. Estrogen, one of the primary hormones in flux during menopause, has a complex effect on the central nervous system. When this hormone is thrown off balance during menopause, it can affect the nervous system, producing symptoms like tingling extremities.
While estrogen fluctuations are a prime cause of tingling extremities during menopause, other medical conditions can trigger tingling in the hands, feet, arms, and legs.
Other Causes of Tingling Extremities
- Nerve injury (from neck or lower back injuries)
- Spinal cord injury
- Herniated disc
- Vascular claudication, or lack of blood supply to an area
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Thyroid problems
- Electrolyte or vitamin deficiencies
- Side effects of medications
Read on to discover when tingling extremities might warrant a trip to the doctor's office.
Extreme Cases of Tingling Extremities
While tingling extremities during menopause are not usually cause for alarm, there are some cases of tingling extremities where medical attention is necessary.
Seek immediate medical attention if tingling extremities are accompanied by any of the following:
- Weakness or paralysis
- Back, neck, or head injury
- Inability to control the movement of an arm or leg
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of feeling or tingling on one side of the body
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Vision changes
- Trouble walking
If you experience any other unexplained symptoms along with tingling extremities - such as increased urination, worsening of symptoms while walking, rash, muscle spasms, or pain - it is wise to seek medical help.
Because most cases of tingling extremities in menopause do not require medical attention, it can be important for women to learn more about the management options available. Please read on to learn about the treatment of tingling extremities during menopause and postmenopause.
Tingling Extremities Treatments
As with any menopause symptom, it is usually wise to begin with the least aggressive tingling extremities treatment and move on to the next method only if relief is not achieved.
In most cases, a combination of lifestyle changes and natural therapies is the most effective and safest approach to managing tingling extremities during menopause. A good, balanced diet, hydration, and adequate sleep are basic lifestyle measures that can help. A doctor can also recommend other changes that can help to ease tingling extremities.
Using certain alternative treatments can also help to get to the source of tingling extremities in menopause: hormonal imbalance.
Most experts recommend that women who suffer from tingling extremities and wish to treat the symptom begin with lifestyle changes, then move onto alternative medicine and finally, look to medications or surgery if nothing else seems to work. Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for tingling extremities in these three categories.
- De Azevedo Guimaraes, A.C. & Baptista, F. (2011). Influence of habitual physical activity on the symptoms of climacterium/menopause and the quality of life of middle-aged women. International Journal of Women's Health, 3, 319-328. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S24822
- National Institutes of Health. (2015). Numbness and tingling. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003206.htm