Feeling a Tingling In the Hands? Here Are the Most Common Causes

Irene Aguirre 2021-04-29 7 min

If you are 30 or around that age, you might notice that some things that you didn't use to notice are starting to get your attention. One of the most common things is feeling tingling hands, feet, or both it might not be a painful symptom but it sure is bothering. In this article, we are going to explore ten reasons why this feeling appears. Remember that if you are feeling something that seems odd, call your doctor. Let's check out the most common causes for feeling tingling in the hands.

Most of the time, research shows that tingling in the hands is not a thing to worry about. It can be temporary, from stress, or from trauma. Remember we are so used to using the keyboard on the computer that we don't realize that is a new tool and a new position for our bodies. Only 20 years ago we started to have computers in our homes and use them on a regular basis. So a lot of these symptoms are on the scope of the medical professionals since they have increased in the past decades.

For you to worry or not about these symptoms it is important that you can differentiate if they are episodic or chronic. If you realize the tingling is temporary, it probably is caused by trauma, such as a pinched nerve, a position that is not good for your hand, or some kind of bump you didn't even notice happening. These symptoms can be easily relieved by physical therapy and changing the position that is harming you. So what causes tingling in the hands?

Why do I Feel Tingling In The Hands?

There are some cases though that the tingling in the hands is chronic and constant in time. For you to know that it is important for you to pay attention to your body. Most of the time this comes with other symptoms such as pain, itching and even numbness. If you realize that more than one symptom adds up, you might want to check in with your doctor because this can be caused by nerve damage, diabetes, viral infections and some other diagnoses.

But, let's not worry much about it and lets check out some of the most common causes for tingling in the hands:

Most common Causes of Tingling in the Hands

1. Diabetes

In case you didn't know, diabetes is a chronic health condition that influence the way your body turns food you eat to energy. Diabetes causes high blood sugar, that can lead to a feeling of tingling in the hands (and even feet). If you are diagnose with any type of diabetes and are experiencing tinglings, call your medical practitioner to make sure your treatment is working and get all you questions answered from them. Almost two thirds of diagnosed patients have some form of nerve damage. Sometimes even having a tingling in the hands can be the first showing symptom and can help a faster diagnoses. But if you get tested and have diabetes, doctors will tell you how to stop the symptoms and you'll be able to live a good life.

a girl holding an icecream cone
Photo by Muhammad Ruqi Yaddin on Unsplash

2. You have a Pinched Nerve

Sometimes we don't pay much attention to our bodies. Even when we walk and sit, we need to be aware of our posture since that can affect other parts of our bodies. We tend to think that if our hand is hurting or tingly, it most be a hand related issue, but we have to keep in mind that our spinal cord is the center of our body and it is connected to everything. So a swollen disk, a bad posture or a trauma on the back can be a cause for you to feel tingling in the hands or even in just in one hand. A pinched nerved can also be found on you writs, neck or elbow and they all can affect the sensibility on you hands and fingertips. It can also cause numbness and tingling in the hands. You might have heard of it as carpal tunnel.

a person sitting on a bed holding the lower part of their back
Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash

Most of the time this issues can be solved with physical therapy, massages and medication. But there is a possibility that if you have a severe trauma or bulged disk on your spine that you might need surgery. Don't worry, that is a very extreme case. If you have any doubts, call your doctor!

3. It might be caused by an Autoimmune Disease

There is a wide spectrum on autoimmune diseases, basically what they do is confuse you immune system to affects your own body. Lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis can make your inmune system attack your nerves, causing tingling in the hands and sometimes feet. It can also cause numbness and tingling in the hands. These conditions can be caused by hereditary reasons and/or can come from a bacterial or viral attack on your body.

If you think you may have an autoimmune disease consult your medic, they will diagnose you and can treat the symptoms.

4. You might not be consuming Enough Vitamins

Alimentation is key to a healthy life. A poor alimentation can cause a number of symptoms, including tingling in the hands. Be aware of what you are consuming, this can be the cause of your tingling in the hands. It should be a common practice to go once a year to a medical facility and get your blood tested. With this medics can identify what vitamins are you missing and you can work from that.

a girl eating an apple
Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

Remember that the most common vitamins that can affect your nerves are B and E. You can find vitamin B in whole grains, animal protein, milk and cheese, legumes, seeds, green veggies, and citrus fruits. And you can find vitamin E on wheat, sunflower oil and soybean oil, almonds, peanuts, red bell pepper, pumpkin, and beet greens.

5. Your medications can be causing it

Prescription drugs can often have effects on your nerves. Read the counter effects of the drugs you are consuming, and od course consult with your doctor if you feel they are affecting your nerves and causing numbness and tingling in the hands.

a case filled with pills and a hand grabbing one
Photo by Laurynas Mereckas on Unsplash

A few of the drugs that can cause nerve damage are in treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy, HIV, tuberculosis and some infectious diseases. If the medication is the cause of the tingling, maybe your doctor can switch it or change your treatment.

6. An infection in your body can cause it

There is a very wide infections that are not perceptible to us. And sometimes it can be damaging our nerves. Some of the most common infections that can cause that are: Lyme disease, Shingles, HIV, Hepatitis B. If you are afraid you might have an infection consult your doctor so you can treat the infection and your tingling will go away!

a doctor applying a shot to a patient
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

7. You can have kidney failure

Our kidneys are the filter of our bodies. They are in charge of "cleaning" your blood and get rid of the toxins we all have. So if for any reasons your kidneys are not working correctly those toxins on your blood can cause nerve damage and you can end up experiencing a tingling in the hands. This does not mean that if you are experiencing tingling in the hands you have kidney failure, this anomaly is something that happens mostly to patients with diabetes and high blood pressure.

a hand holding a plastic kidney
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

8. You might have a genetic disorder

There are two common genetic disorders that can cause numbness and tingling in the hands. It also causes numbness in arms and legs. So, if you haven't been diagnosed, and you only feel a tingling in the hands and not a numbness in you extremities, you are probably fine. But if you have any doubts, call your doctor!

a doctor testing genetics
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The two most common genetic disorders are Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and HNPP (Hereditary Neuropathy with liability to Pressure Palsies). This diseases can be treated with medication and also with physical therapy that can ease the symptoms.

9. Tumor

A tumor is simply a mass of abnormal cells. It can be either a benign tumor or something more serious. But if you are experiencing tingling in the hands it can be caused by a mass growing next to your nerves. This can be treated by shrinking or removing the tumor. Then the symptoms are going to go away.

And finally,

10.You might be drinking too much alcohol

Who doesn't enjoy a glass od wine or a a beer every now and then. I sure do. But ingesting big quantities of alcohol for an extended period of time can cause nerve damage. Drinking in excess causes dehydration and can make your body unable to get all the vitamins it needs from food. This can cause a tingling in the hands and some other nerve damages.

three people toasting with beers
Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

So, drink more water! And if you stop drinking and are still experiencing numbness and, tingling in the hands, make sure to contact you doctor.

I cant stretch it enough, get a professional advise if you think there is something wrong. For more information you can contact the US Health Department. Most of the times a tingling in the hands can be a symptom to something bigger, so is better to catch it early. But don't worry, you'll be fine!

Irene Aguirre

Copywriter, nature lover and feminist activist

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