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Q&A: Tingling in Hands during Menopause

Tingling in hands is one of the more uncommon symptoms of menopause, and for that reason, it can be very unexpected and disconcerting. Because it is not as well-known as some of the other symptoms of menopause, some women can find it quite scary, as they are not sure what is going on. Read on to find out the facts surrounding tingling in hands during menopause.

Tingling is stressful because it feels like there are creepy crawlies on the skin

What Is Tingling?

Tingling is a sensation that can affect any extremity of the body, and can often be likened to the feeling of “pins and needles”. Some women experience prickling or burning sensations, whereas others can find their hands just go numb. In some instances, tingling in hands can be stressful because it feels like there are creepy crawlies on the skin.

When Does it Occur?

Tingling in hands can occur at any time, but is more common after a certain body posture pinches a nerve or presses on an artery, blocking blood flow. This results in the hands “falling asleep”, so tingling can ensue.

What Causes it?

During menopause, the main cause of tingling in hands is hormone fluctuations, and it is not normally a cause for concern. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for the female reproductive system, and it has a complex effect on the central nervous system. For this reason, when the levels of estrogen are behaving erratically, tingling in hands can be a natural consequence.

Should I Be Worried?

When tingling in hands is a symptom of menopause, there is no reason to be concerned - the symptom will normally go away eventually and does not cause other complications. However, tingling in hands can occasionally signify an underlying medical condition. A few examples are:

  • A spinal cord injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Thyroid problems

When Should I See a Doctor?

To see a doctor regardless in order to ensure the tingling in hands is indeed menopause-related is never a bad idea, but if it is not accompanied by any other symptoms, it is unlikely to be serious. Immediate medical attention is required is the tingling in hands occurs alongside any of the following symptoms:

  • 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

Although tingling in hands during menopause is uncommon, it is nevertheless harmless as a menopause symptom, and panic is unnecessary unless other symptoms are seen. However, even if no other symptoms are present, medical advice should be sought if tingling becomes chronic or severe. It's important to know the facts surrounding tingling in hands during menopause. Click on the following link for more information on how to deal with this menopausal symptom.

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Sources:
  • Hutchinson, S. (2007). The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause.
  • Love, S. & Lindsey, K. (2003). Dr. Susan Love's Menopause & Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press