What Could Cause Tingling in the Body?

By K. Lynn Wallace

Abnormal sensations throughout the body, such as tingling, are known as "paresthesias." Tingling is commonly caused by nerve damage or disease. It is important to address tingling—it can eventually lead to numbness in the area effected. Many potential problems are associated with tingling, several of which are explained in this article. If you encounter tingling that doesn't go away, see your doctor.

Woman's hands

Abnormal sensations throughout the body, such as tingling, are known as "paresthesias." Tingling is commonly caused by nerve damage or disease. It is important to address tingling—it can eventually lead to numbness in the area effected. Many potential problems are associated with tingling, several of which are explained in this article. If you encounter tingling that doesn't go away, see your doctor.

Nerve Injury

Woman holding her back

Nerve injuries, such as pinched nerves, can occur anywhere in the body and commonly result in a tingling sensation. Nerve injuries can be time sensitive, with the likelihood of permanent damage increasing with any delay in treatment. It is imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Nerve injuries can be treated through physical therapy, medication, immobilization or through surgery.

Anxiety or Panic Attack

Worried man

If your tingling sensation is accompanied by fear, worry, sweating, dizziness or ringing in your ears, it may be caused by a panic attack or an anxiety disorder. It may be difficult to accept that your physical condition is being caused by a psychological illness, but tingling is a common symptom of panic attacks.

Tumor

Man getting MRI

Tumors around the spinal cord are often discovered as a result of complaints of a tingling sensation. The tingling sensation would occur below the location of the tumor and may be accompanied by back pain. An MRI would be used to detect at spinal cord tumor.

Multiple Sclerosis

Hands and feet

Tingling is a common symptom of Multiple Sclerosis, commonly referred to as MS. MS causes lesions on the brain, which result in a tingling sensation throughout the body. When tingling is caused by MS, it usually begins in the hands and/or feet and slowly progresses toward the center of the body.

Diabetes

Woman taking Diabetic blood test

Tingling may also be a symptom of diabetes. The onset of diabetes is gradual, and many people that have it are unaware. Diabetes causes elevated blood sugar, which damages the nervous system, and may cause tingling. If your tingling is accompanied by blurry vision, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, fatigue, or weight loss, you may have diabetes and should contact your doctor as soon as possible for further evaluation.

Alcohol or Tobacco

Man smoking and drinking

Over-exposure to toxic substances, including alcohol and tobacco, can cause a tingling sensation. The presence of such substances in the body, over time, causes nerve damage, which results in a tingling sensation. This nerve damage is permanent, and the tingling is unlikely to subside.

Circulatory Disorders

Person on scale

The circulatory system delivers blood to every single cell in your body. When the circulatory system is not functioning properly, parts of your body do not get sufficient blood flow, and a tingling sensation may result. The health of your circulatory system can be improved by reducing blood pressure, losing weight and smoking cessation. If you are overweight, a smoker or you have high blood pressure, your tingling is likely the result of poor circulation.

References

About the Author

K. Lynn Wallace attended the University of the Arts and University of Baltimore Law school and is now an attorney in Maryland. She has a general litigation practice and has been a writer since 2009. She has served on the editorial board of the "University of Baltimore Intellectual Property Journal."

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