Paresthesia is the tingling sensation that we experience in certain regions of our body when a nerve is pinched or compressed. It is common for it to appear in the extremities, especially in the hands and feet. It is completely painless but it can be an awkward sensation, similar to feeling hundreds of tiny cold-water droplets falling on the skin while also sensing numbness. It is transitional, however, in some cases it can be difficult to bear.

After a few minutes, control over the affected area is regained and the individual returns to normal. In other cases, paresthesia has a longer duration and may even cause pain.

There are numerous factors that influence the appearance of paresthesia. Some of them are:

  • Poisoning: Usually related to heavy metals or arsenic poisoning.

  • Diabetes: Blood glucose levels are elevated because the amount of insulin is insufficient or the cells are resistant to the action of it. Any alteration in the endocrine pancreas, which is responsible for synthesizing insulin, involves alterations in the control of blood glucose.

  • Deficit of some nutrients: In most cases the cause is vitamin B12 deficiency but dehydration can also play a part. Dizziness and a feeling of weakness are frequent.

  • Alterations of thyroid functioning: Specifically, hyperthyroidism. In this pathology, there is an increase in the production of thyroid hormones. The results are typical manifestations of an accelerated metabolism, such as tremors or tachycardia.

  • Unhealthy habits: Most notably, smoking, alcoholism and the consumption of drugs or other toxic substances.

  • Diseases of autoimmune character: Some examples are rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus. During arthritis the joints are inflamed, producing intense. In the case of lupus, the immune system damages the organism systemically.

  • Multiple sclerosis: It is a progressive neurological disease, affecting several regions of the body. This situation makes speech and locomotion difficult.

  • Encephalitis: Inflammation of the encephalon, the cerebellum and the medulla. Usually, the cause is infectious and requires urgent treatment.

  • Presence of a tumor: in areas within the central nervous system (CNS).

  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): For a small period of time, the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. The symptoms disappear after a few days if the patient is treated in time but it can cause irreversible damage to the CNS.

  • Other pathologies related to the CNS: We can mention carpal tunnel syndrome, in which there is excessive pressure on the carpal nerve located in the forearm. Therefore, it causes weakness of the hand and the feeling of paresthesia.

  • Certain pathologies at the cardiovascular level: If pressure of the vessels increase in certain regions of the brain, irreversible damage can be caused.

Normally, paresthesia disappears after a few minutes because the pressure exerted on the nerve in question ceases. However, if paresthesia acts as a symptom of one of the aforementioned pathologies the treatment depends on the condition. Some alterations such as the deficit of certain nutrients or certain unhealthy habits can be easily remedied but other factors will require medical control. If the pain persists, your doctor or specialist can recommend the use of analgesics to relieve the discomfort.

The set of pathologies that can lead to the presence of paresthesia are very numerous. However, there are some factors that we can easily avoid. A healthy lifestyle with a proper diet and performing moderate physical exercise will help reduce the risk of paresthesia.

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