Women’s Health: 10 Conditions That Can Cause Tingling in Your Feet, According to Doctors
Women's Health recently interviewed Ilan J. Danan, MD, a neurologist and pain management specialist at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute, about tingling feet, sometimes a symptom of serious health conditions, including diabetes and shingles.
Tingling feet don’t always signal a medical condition, Danan said. The sensation can be caused by sitting on a foot for too long, and the feeling isn't the same for everyone. "I get some patients who describe it as pins and needles, while others say it feels like a buzzing or burning sensation," Danan told Women's Health.
Diabetes can cause a tingling sensation that remains constant. This chronic disease results in high blood sugar levels, which can damage nerve fibers and their ability to send electrical signals, leading to tingling in the feet.
Early detection and management of diabetes could prevent the disease from progressing and resulting in tingling feet. But if diabetes is not treated or controlled, Danan said permanent nerve damage could develop.
Another condition that can lead to tingling feet, shingles, is caused by a virus that attacks the nerves, Danan told Women's Health. Shingles, which can be prevented with the highly effective shingles vaccine, develops in people who have recovered from the chickenpox virus. That virus can remain dormant in the human body and later reactivate as shingles.
Other serious conditions that could lead to tingling feet include multiple sclerosis, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), tarsal tunnel syndrome (like carpal tunnel syndrome but with feet), kidney failure, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, alcoholic neuropathy (nerve damage from drinking) and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (rare disorders that damage peripheral nerves).
If tingling in the feet doesn’t go away, it’s best to consult a doctor for further evaluation.
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