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What Causes Numbness of the Hands and Feet?

Medically reviewed by Maushmi Sheth

Everyone is faced with numbness of feet and hands from time to time. Sometimes this phenomenon can be a symptom of a dangerous illness.

Suppose you slept in an inconvenient position or sat with an uncomfortable tuck of your leg. Slight loss of sensitivity in the hands, legs, or feet, tingling, numbness is common.

Most people in such cases simply try to stretch the stiff limb. And after a couple of minutes, they just forget about what happened.

If numbness in the hands and feet has happened to you more than once, it may not be just a coincidence. Various reasons can cause numbness, and some are not as minor as they might seem at first glance.

The fact is that the limbs are a kind of terminal station along the route of the nervous and circulatory systems. If any problems appear in the hands or feet, this means that either nerve impulses or blood do not reach the end of its route.

Blood carries with it the oxygen and nutrients that tissues need. And impulses are transmitted along with the nervous system that provides control of the body.

Numbness feet and hands signal exactly that blood and nerve impulses are lost along the way.

Why Does Limb Numbness Occur?

The most common cause is pinched blood vessels or pinched nerve fibers. If blood circulation is restored after you stretch the limb, the nerve tissues are functioning, and everything is in order. But if the numbness of the hands and feet is repeated with a certain regularity, and at some point, you realize that the limbs are numb for no apparent reason, then this may be an alarming symptom. Such symptoms may indicate the progress of a rather dangerous disease. 

Reasons for numbness of feet and hands:

  • Lack of vitamins. For the normal functioning of the nervous system, vitamins E and P are needed, and numerous vitamins of group B. Lack of vitamin B12 can provoke peripheral neuropathy.
  • Type 2 diabetes onset. Neuropathy can also accompany the development of type 2 diabetes. Most often, this neuropathy in diabetes affects the legs, not the arms. So, if your hands often get numb, then most likely you should look for other reasons.
  • Peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy itself can develop without diabetes; this is a fairly common age-related disease. It affects the nerves in the limbs that are farthest from the brain and spinal cord.
  • Infections. Some infectious diseases can have symptoms as tingling in the hands and feet. Among them are quite dangerous, for example, chickenpox, viral herpes, HIV, Lyme disease.
  • Toxins. In some cases, numbness and tingling in the limbs can be a symptom of poisoning with salts of heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury. However, this is rare, and such poisoning will also manifest itself in many other symptoms.
  • Autoimmune diseases. In the early stages, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can also manifest themselves as numbness in the feet and hands.
  • Alcoholism and smoking. Alcohol abuse can provoke alcoholic neuropathy, and long-term smoking negatively affects the blood supply to blood vessels and the work of peripheral nerves.

What to Do if You Have Numbness in the Hands and Feet?

Only a doctor can determine exactly what causes numbness in the hands and feet, reveal hidden diseases, and prescribe effective treatment. First, you will need a consultation with a therapist, depending on the accompanying symptoms, a neurologist, cardiologist, or endocrinologist. From examinations, ultrasound of the vessels of the arms, legs, and/or peripheral nerves, MRI, cardiography, general urine, and blood tests, hormone tests, etc., can be prescribed.

Based on the anamnesis, the doctor decides what to do when numb feet and hands and selects therapy, including taking vitamin complexes and medications, physiotherapy, massage, therapeutic exercises, injections of anti-inflammatory drugs. In severe cases, surgical intervention will be required.

Prevention of numbness

Prevention of Numbness of Feet and Hands

You need to monitor the state of the nervous and circulatory system and lead a healthy lifestyle to encounter numbness of the extremities and related diseases as rarely as possible. Smoking and alcohol are especially bad for blood supply. But obesity, decreased physical activity, and an unbalanced diet with a high content of salt and carbohydrates can have no less negative consequences. But a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, herbs, and legumes, on the contrary, will be an excellent preventive measure. Also, do not forget to drink enough fluids and try not to be in the same position for a long time.

If you begin to feel numbness in the hands and feet, see a doctor immediately for no apparent reason.

Most likely, the problem will have a simple solution (for example, a course of vitamins). Still, it is quite possible that you can start treating some dangerous disease at a very early stage by contacting a doctor promptly. Care about your health and do not self-medicate.

FAQ

  • What is numbness a symptom of?

The most common reason why arms and legs go numb is heart and vascular disease, leading to circulatory disorders. With insufficient blood flow, cellular nutrition worsens, stagnation occurs in the limbs.

  • When should I worry about hand and feet numbness?

What is dangerous numbness of the limbs? The consequences of inaction can be severe, including loss of ambulation and disability. It is important not to miss the time – the earlier the visit to the doctor happened, the more gentle the correction methods will be and the higher the chances of a successful outcome.

  • Is numbness a serious problem?

If the limbs become numb, such a symptom is considered neurological and may indicate compression, inflammation, or damage to the nerves of sensitivity. Numbness is considered one of the serious symptoms of diseases.

  • Can high blood pressure cause numbness in the legs?

Hypertension leads to functional and organic lesions of the most important organs – the heart, kidneys and central nervous system. With increased blood pressure, numbness and swelling of the legs may appear.

  • What doctor should I see for numbness in hands and legs?

Numbness is a neurological symptom, therefore, with complaints of numbness, you should contact a neurologist.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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