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Tingling in Hands and Feet at Night: Causes & Treatments

Most women experiencing menopause are all too familiar with the hormonal upsets it creates. In many cases, the unfortunate phenomenon can manifest itself as a tingling in the extremities or other uncomfortable symptoms. Not only is the problem frustrating, but it can be downright scary to deal with alone. Luckily, obtaining some nighttime relief and peace of mind is just around the corner.

Tingling in Hands and Feet at Night: Causes & Treatments

Causes of Tingling

While individual cases may vary, the following are among the most probable causes of numbness and tingling in hands and feet at night.

Vessel inflammation

Hand and feet tingling at night often occur as a result of increased pressure exertion on the peripheral nerves from enlarged blood vessels. This in turn creates poor circulation, cutting off the supply of blood to the extremities.

Having built up throughout much of the day, the problem seems to be particularly troublesome at night when sufferers are less likely to be mobile.

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel - which includes the pain, tingling, swelling, or loss of sensation in the wrists and hands - can be of particular concern for menopausal women. In fact, women between the ages of 45 and 54 have a higher risk for developing the syndrome, whose symptoms are exacerbated by lack of movement during the night.

In postmenopausal women, the structure of the wrist is enlarged, and can often place added stress on nerve endings, accounting for at least some of the nighttime tingling and numbness felt in the hands.

Lack of vitamins

Tingling and numbness of the hands and feet are usually indicative of low vitamin B12 levels in the body. As people age, the body loses some of its natural ability to absorb these vitamins from food sources, and many women will, in fact, develop minor to acute forms of anemia because of it.

Hormonal imbalance

Since tingling extremities is seen more often in menopausal women than women of other ages, it is thought that fluctuations in hormone levels during this transition may play a role. The fact that estrogen influences the nervous system also supports this idea.

Injury

Neck and lower back injuries, such as from poor posture, account for many of the other abnormal sensations felt all along the arms and down the legs can cause tingling.

Tips for Relieving Tingling

The best thing to do when numbness and tingling of the hands and feet strikes is to suspend all activities related to the attack. If you wake in the middle of the night, do not let the problem fester. Instead, immediately correct your posture so as not to lie more heavily on one side than the other.

If pain and discomfort persist, get up and try moving around. Stretch lightly and gently massage the affected areas, returning to bed only after having eased the symptoms and regained a desire for sleep.

Treatments

Besides adequate rest, a multitude of treatment options can help you to manage the pins and needles. While dietary supplements replenish key minerals, pain and swelling can be effectively reduced through the use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These provide a preliminary framework for managing nighttime tingling of hands and feet, but the problem may require more serious medical intervention. Click here for more info on how to tell when tingling extremities are a cause for concern.

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Sources:
  • Heller, J.L. (2011). Numbness and Tingling: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003206.htm
  • National Health Service UK. (2012). How to sit correctly. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/workplacehealth/Pages/howtositcorrectly.aspx
  • Office on Women's Health. (2012). Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/carpal-tunnel-syndrome.html
  • Office on Women's Health. (2010). Menopause Symptom Relief: Dealing with specific symptoms. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/symptom-relief-treatment/index.html#b
  • Office on Women's Health. (2012). Menopause and Menopause Treatments Fact Sheet. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/menopause-treatment.html
  • State Government of Victoria, Australia. (2014). Pins and Needles. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pins-and-needles