Hands and feet keep going to sleep for no reason? Pins and needles coming on out of nowhere?
You might think you’re imagining it – but chances are you’re not.
Wondering if it’s the menopause causing tingling? It could well be. It is a less common symptom, but a symptom none-the-less.
Medically known as ‘paresthesis’, it’s hypothesised that it’s the fault of fluctuating oestrogen levels, but other causes should be ruled out.
This hormone affects our central nervous system, and when it’s on a menopausal rollercoaster ride it can throw us off balance causing all sorts of bodily weirdness.
Lower oestrogen levels also affect the production of collagen, causing our skin to thin a little and reducing blood circulation to nerve endings in our extremities.
Most women find this symptom completely disappears as they move past the menopause, but we recommend you mention it to your doctor to make sure it’s nothing more sinister.
Going through the menopause and tingling is causing you bother? Here are some ways you can banish dead legs, tingly toes and prickly fingers.
Increasing your fitness and improving your blood circulation is likely to make the biggest improvement to tingling extremities. The only way to do this is through regular workouts.
This can be doing anything – a walk, weightlifting, a dance class or swimming. Just make sure it’s something you enjoy.
Exercising has a hugely positive effect on our whole being and it could help you physically, mentally and emotionally deal with other symptoms and changes associated with the menopause, including hot flushes and mood swings.
KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED
Make sure you drink at least two litres of water across your day. Buy a litre bottle and try to drink a full one before lunchtime, then refill and have the rest across the afternoon.
When you go to the loo, your pee should be almost free of colour and not smell strongly. The opposite is a sure sign you’ve not got enough of the good stuff in your system, which may worsen tingling sensations.
STRETCH IT OUT
Doing stretching exercises like those practiced in yoga and Pilates will reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow around your body too.
You might want to find a local instructor or there are plenty of free tutorials available on YouTube, or you could try an app like Down Dog.
TRY A B12 SUPPLEMENT
It may be worth asking your doctor to do a blood test to check your vitamin B12 levels, as tingling extremities may in fact be a sign of deficiency.
You can find out more about supplements here, including brands who’ve tailored their products to specific menopausal symptoms.
GIVE ACUPUNCTURE A TRY
Who’d have thought that actual pins and needles could stop bodily pins and needles?
Although the thought of this treatment might cause you to wince a bit, many menopausal women swear by it for improving symptoms including hot flushes, joint pain and even anxiety.
It may also help if you’ve got menopause tingles, as it increases blood circulation. Worth a stab, if you’ll excuse the pun.
Speak to your doctor if your tingling sensation persists, see your GP to rule out any other causes.
HINTS AND TIPS FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO SUPPORT SOMEONE THEY THINK MAY BE ENTERING OR IN MENOPAUSE
If their fingers and toes just won’t stop prickling, help them banish tingling extremities from their list of menopausal symptoms.
OUR ADVICE TO THEM
Our recommendations include exercising regularly to improve their circulation and drinking at least two litres of water throughout the day. Some women also find vitamin B12 supplements particularly useful in managing this symptom.
BOOK THEM A TREATMENT
Many people swear that acupuncture helps with a whole host of menopausal nasties like hot flushes, joint pain, general anxiety and yes, you guessed it, tingling toes.
The tiny needles help boost blood circulation you see, and they won’t feel a thing. Perhaps you could book them a session with a local practitioner? If they're not used to alternative therapies, it might be good to ask them first.
FIND A NEW FOCUS
We can’t wish symptoms away, but it sure helps if we can find something nice to distract ourselves from them for a while.
Give yourselves and your relationship a new lease of life by finding something new to do together. Take their lead, they may not be up for an art night class if their fingers are misbehaving, but they might always have wanted to learn how to cook Thai food, for example.
Regular stretching exercise, like Yoga or Pilates, can really improve blood flow around their body and reduce tension. In fact, any exercise will help their nervous system regulate itself.
If they would like you to don your trainers and join in, then go with them. They are more likely to stick to regular activity if they have an exercise buddy.
If you’re worried about tingling extremities, you should see your GP who can discuss your symptoms in the context of the menopause.
If you'd like more information, we have put some further references below for you: