Tingling in the hands and feet seems trivial but it may be an important warning symptom of peripheral neuropathy and diabetes.
Tingling or numbness affecting your feet may seem like a trivial symptom of no real importance. However, this symptom may be very important with regard to your health in general and why you should not ignore it.
Tingling hands, feet, or both is an extremely common and bothersome symptom. Such tingling can sometimes be entirely innocent and temporary. For example, it could result from pressure on nerves when your arm is bent under your head as you fall asleep. Or it could be from pressure on nerves when you cross your legs too long. In either case, the “pins and needles” effect — which is usually painless — is soon relieved by removing the pressure that caused it.
In many cases, however, tingling in the hands, feet, or both can be severe, occurring at irregular times or continuously day and night. It also can accompany other symptoms. such as pain, itching, numbness, and muscle wasting. In such cases, tingling may be a sign of nerve damage.
Such nerve damage is known by doctors as peripheral neuropathy because it affects nerves distant from the brain and spinal cord, often in the hands and feet. There are more than 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy. Over time, peripheral neuropathy can worsen, resulting in decreased mobility and even disability.
Diabetes is one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy, accounting for about a third of cases. In diabetic neuropathy, tingling and other symptoms often first develop in both feet and go up the legs, followed by tingling and other symptoms that affect both hands and go up the arms. About two-thirds of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage. In many cases, these symptoms are the first signs of diabetes.
So here is the main point I want to make, tingling and numbness in the feet may be the first signs that you have a serious peripheral neuropathy and that you may have diabetes. Diabetes puts you at risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and a long list of other serious complications. So that tingling you have could be your only warning sign of a serious complication developing elsewhere in your body. Don’t ignore this symptom and please get a check up.