What Vitamin Deficiencies Cause Tingling in the Hands and Feet?
Tingling or burning felt in the hands and feet, known as Paresthesia, is a health condition that affects many people now and then. It is present in both men and women and all age groups. Though tingling in hands and feet is painless, it irritates. Some people describe it as 'pins and needles.'
Temporary Paresthesia is more common than you know and is often harmless. It happens when you keep sitting in the same position for a long time or sleep on one arm or with a curved leg all night. As a result, you feel tingling and numbness in your hands and feet for a few minutes. However, chronic Paresthesia is a whole other story.
It's a neurological condition that happens as a result of nerve damage. The common symptoms of chronic Paresthesia include itching, skin crawling, numbness, and tingling. As harmless as these symptoms appear, they can significantly affect your day-to-day life, making it difficult for you to perform everyday tasks.
Causes of Tingling in Hands and Feet (Paresthesia)
Pins and needles are okay when felt once in a while, but if it becomes a routine, it indicates an underlying health issue. The question is, what presses your nerves? Why do you feel pins and needles in the first place? The simple answer to all such questions is that it happens because of the deficiency of certain vitamins. The following are a few vitamins and nutrients that are mainly responsible for it:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B5
Generally, these vitamin deficiencies occur when they're not being consumed adequately. In other words, they're not a part of your meal. The second reason could be that your body is not absorbing these vitamins properly. Either way, you need to get what you need; hence, the deficiencies. That being said, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B12 are essential for your nerve health.
Vitamin E deficiency occurs when your gut cannot absorb fat or when your diet doesn't include enough vitamin E. Problems with coordination, tingling, and numbness in hands and feet are primarily associated with vitamin E deficiency. Leafy vegetables, vegetable oil, seeds, and nuts are loaded with vitamin E and should be incorporated into the everyday diet.
The second one responsible for tingling in the hands and feet is vitamin B1. It's another essential vitamin that plays a vital role in neuron repair and nerve impulses. If you usually consume refined foods, chances are you're deficient in vitamin B1. If you're looking to fix your vitamin B1 levels, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and meat are things you should add to your diet.
The next one is Vitamin B12. It is often responsible for tingling in the hands and feet. Not just that, it said that vitamin B12 deficiency could eventually cause permanent neurological damage, opening floodgates for various neurological disorders. It's a water-soluble vitamin in eggs, dairy products, and meat.
Vitamin B5 deficiency is rare and can cause tingling and numbness in the hands and feet. Also known as pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 helps convert carbohydrates into energy. It's also water-soluble; hence, not stored in the body. Liver, lentils, broccoli, dairy products, and sunflower seeds are high sources of vitamin B5.
Apart from the vitamins mentioned above, magnesium and calcium deficiencies also cause tingling in the hands and feet. Magnesium deficiency, also known as hypomagnesemia, adversely affects the renal and cardiac systems of the human body. It also causes fatigue and muscular pains. Tofu, nuts, spinach, and dark chocolate are rich in magnesium.
The same goes for calcium deficiency. Though it is primarily linked with bone health, it is also one of the reasons behind tingling in hands and feet. Also called hypocalcemia, long-term calcium deficiency can eventually lead to more severe issues like osteoporosis, alterations in the CNS, dental changes, and more. Dairy products and eggs are vital sources of calcium and must be incorporated into the everyday diet.
Apart from these vitamin deficiencies, sometimes tingling in hands and feet is a symptom of more severe issues like encephalitis, transverse myelitis, and multiple sclerosis. It is also one of the earliest symptoms of brain tumors and vascular lesions. Thus, it's imperative to seek professional help immediately. Once you know the cause, you can safely move toward the treatment.