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  • Writer's picturetinawatson

Menopause Monday

#3 Tingling Extremities

Although one of the more uncommon symptoms during menopause, you may experience tingling, pins and needles, or numbness in your hands, feet, arms, and legs. This symptom results from hormone fluctuations affecting the central nervous system and typically only lasts for a few minutes at a time.

This may feel unsettling and unexpected.

The medical term for this is paresthesia

Symptoms of paresthesia:
  • Pins and needles,

  • Numbness or reduced feeling in certain areas,

  • Burning sensation,

  • Changes in sensation,

  • Crawly sensation, or

  • Increased sensitivity in certain areas.

What causes paresthesia during menopause?

Estrogen is one of the main hormones to fluctuate during menopause and has a great effect on the central nervous system. When it is thrown off balance, it produces tingling sensations.

These symptoms can vary in severity and length. Whilst usually quite mild, some people complain of persistent sensations - enough to make sleep out of the question.

Also, the loss of estrogen can affect the production of collagen; this can make your skin both thinner and dryer and thus prone to sensitivity.

How do you stop menopause tingling? A few simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference:
  • Get moving — although falling levels of estrogen are responsible for the feelings, exercise improves your blood circulation and can help to ease the symptoms of paresthesia. (you don't have to do a full HIIT class - 10 minutes of walking or stretching can usually get things moving.)

  • Lifestyle — I know I bang on about it but having a healthy diet, drinking enough water, and getting enough shuteye will help with all symptoms of menopause, not just this one. Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine can also help.

  • Stop smoking — we all know that smoking isn’t good for your circulation so trying to quit would also improve your well-being overall.

  • Boost your B12 — sometimes a vitamin B12 deficiency is common in those with paresthesia. You may benefit from incorporating a daily supplement. (check with your gp before taking any supplements) Additionally, magnesium plays a role in our body’s nerve impulses; you could try increasing your intake of nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and green leafy vegetables.

  • Acupuncture — seems ironic to use pins and needles to help with pins and needles but as acupuncture is known to help facilitate circulation of the blood, this may well be a good shout, along with other holistic therapies like massage and reflexology. Try self-massaging the offending area with a preblended massage oil containing capsaicin as the warming effect, together with the massage can bring some relief.

Please note - if you experience paresthesia combined with any of the following symptoms, it may not be due to menopause, and it’s best you seek medical advice:

  • Pain,

  • Muscle spasm/inability to control limb movement,

  • Weakness or paralysis,

  • Vision changes,

  • Back, head, or neck injury,

  • Speech difficulties,

  • Walking difficulties,

  • Loss of sensation on one side of the body, or

  • Loss of consciousness.

Next Post: Menopause Symptom # 4 : Irregular Periods

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