Managing Numbness and Tingling


Numbness and tingling in your hands and feet is a condition called peripheral neuropathy. It is caused by damage to the nerves that transmit signals between the extremities and the central nervous system (CNS).


Causes of peripheral neuropathy:

There are many possible causes of numbness and tingling. Some of the more common include:

  • Diabetes
  • Uremia (too much urea in the blood due to kidney problems.
  • Severe malnutrition
  • Trauma, such as broken or dislocated bones
  • Cancer affecting the nervous system
  • Certain medicines
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs


Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy:

In addition to numbness and tingling, other symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Weakness
  • Pain in the arms, hands, legs and/or feet
  • Abnormal sensations
  • Burning
  • Tickling
  • Pricking
  • Tingling (also known as paraesthesia)


Areas of the body most commonly affected by peripheral neuropathy are the fingers and toes. Symptoms usually start at the end of the extremity and gradually move upward.


Depending on the type of the nerve damage, an individual with peripheral neuropathy may fully recover without residual effects or may partially recover but have long-term problems in their ability to feel or move. If you have symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, notify your doctor immediately.