Is tingling extremities a menopause symptom?

Menopause & Tingling Extremities: What causes this suprising symptom

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Ask Eileen

27 June 2022

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I take a look at tingling in the extremities and why this is a menopause symptom.

This is actually quite a common symptom. It's one of those surprising ones, that many women don't realise is associated with perimenopause and menopause. So today, I thought I'd take a closer look at this symptom, including what causes it and what you can do to help yourself.

What does tingling in the extremities feel like?

So, first of all, what do I mean by tingling? How does this feel? So, it can be a little bit like when you get cramps if you've been lying on your arm and you get that sort of tingly feeling in your fingers when you get up or move your arm.

This kind of tingling feeling can occur in your hands, your feet, your legs, and sometimes, your arms as well.

This tingling can be accompanied but other sensations such as pins and needles, which can be quite uncomfortable. Some women liken it to electric shocks, where they get a sudden surge going up their arm or up their leg. It can also be a creepy-crawly feeling under the skin. This is a strange sensation because you can't actually feel anything on the skin, but there seems to be something going on just underneath the skin.

While tingling is more common in the extremities, some women can experience tingling all over which is called paraesthesia. But this is something that's a little bit more serious and should be looked at by your doctor.

What causes tingling extremities during perimenopause and menopause?

So, what can cause these types of symptoms and sensations?

Your nervous system

Very often, it's just a sign that your nervous system is struggling. The nerves are not maybe firing as efficiently and as quickly as they could. And it is known that fluctuating oestrogen, especially if it dips really quickly, can affect the nervous system and cause all kinds of surprising and strange sensations.

Poor circulation

It's known that with the changing and decreasing hormones, your circulation can become less efficient. It can be less robust. And if you're not getting enough circulation to the tips of the fingers, and the toes, and the feet, then that can affect nerve function there too.

It could be the fact that the little blood vessels in the fingers and in the feet, they are so, so tiny, these little blood vessels, that they can only take one red blood cell at a time. And your red blood cells help to take oxygen to the tissue in your toes and your feet. So, if you are not getting enough oxygen, again, the nerves are going to be affected.

It may well be that you're just not moving enough. If you're really tired, if you're fatigued, if you're sitting a lot at a desk during the day, your circulation is going to get really, really sluggish, and that in itself is going to affect the nerves too.

Nutritional deficiencies

Your body needs more of everything as it goes through menopause and can easily become deficient in some essential vitamins and minerals. So, if you're not getting enough B vitamins, if you're not getting enough magnesium, even vitamin E, and low vitamin D, all of these can affect the nerves. And one of the main symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is tingling in the extremities.

Health issues or conditions

It could be very specific health issues. During menopause, certain health conditions can manifest due to all the physical and hormonal changes that are going on. Hormonal diabetes is one. And we know that diabetes can affect the circulation in the nerves, especially in the lower legs and the feet.
It could be thyroid issues. Many women end up being borderline low thyroid and that can cause the tingling.

It could be the return of an old injury. This is something I have looked at before. Health issues and injuries that happened maybe even in childhood, such as a broken ankle, can resurface when all the hormonal changes are going on. So, it's always worth bearing in mind that if you're getting tingling or nerve pain in a particular area, it's just to see whether you've had issues with this maybe many, many years ago.

It could be to do with high blood pressure or low blood pressure. It could be things like hardening of the arteries or high cholesterol. So, with these health issues, and this is one of the things that I do want to emphasize here, is that you need to get these things checked out by your doctor.

You're more prone to things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hardening of the arteries as you go through menopause. And these things can end up leading to heart problems and heart disease. So, for this symptom, I always say to women, get a general health check by your doctor, just to rule these things out.

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What can help ease tingling extremities?

Look to support your nervous system as much as possible. Increase your intake of magnesium, either in your diet or take a supplement. You could try our Menopause Support, which contains magnesium for nervous system support, together with soy isoflavones and hibiscus to help relieve perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause symptoms.

Take a vitamin B complex 50-milligram supplement. The B vits are great because they help with brain function and they can also help if you're a little bit fatigued too.

Look at improving your circulation too. If you also get cold hands and feet, or you're prone to things like Raynaud's disease, which obviously, could affect nerve function, then you could look at the herb Ginkgo biloba, which is traditionally known to help improve circulation.

Get regular exercise. Remember, sitting can stagnate your circulation so regular exercise is important. Even a 15-minute brisk walk a day can help to improve circulation. And that can help to improve the nerves, especially in the feet and the legs.

Do some stretching. Try and do a little bit of stretching when you get up in the morning. I tend to do my yoga when I get up and I feel that a good 20-minute stretching session sets me up for the rest of the day. And remember do drink enough water each day because dehydration can be a factor in this too.

So, I hope this has helped. It's quite an interesting menopause symptom. If any of you have experienced this and you have found things that have helped you, please do share them in the comment section below because I'd love to hear all about it.

Until next week, take care.

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