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 nonetheless.
Medically known as ‘paresthesia’, it’s thought to be the fault of fluctuating oestrogen levels.
This hormone affects our central nervous system, and when it’s on a menopausal rollercoaster ride it can throw us off balance (quite literally – see our article on clumsiness 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.
TOP TIPS FOR YOU
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 strong. The opposite is a sure sign you’ve not got enough of the good stuff in your system, which may worsen menopause pins and needles.
STRETCH IT OUT
Doing stretching exercises like those practised 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. If you want more tailored support, check out Lean PT over on our health and wellbeing page.
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?
It may also help if you’ve got menopause tingles, as it increases blood circulation. Worth a stab, if you’ll excuse the pun.
TOP TIPS FOR OTHERS
If her fingers and toes just won’t stop prickling, help her banish tingling extremities from her list of menopausal symptoms.
OUR ADVICE TO HER
Our recommendations include exercising regularly to improve her 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.
More info on all of these top tips is on the ‘For her’ section of this page. Take a look.
BOOK HER A TREATMENT
The tiny needles help boost blood circulation you see, and she won’t feel a thing. Perhaps you could book her a session with a local practitioner?
If she’s not used to alternative therapies, it might be good to ask her 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 her lead, she may not be up for an art night class if her fingers are misbehaving, but she might always have wanted to learn how to cook Thai food.
Regular stretching exercise, like Yoga or Pilates, can really improve blood flow around her body and reduce tension.
In fact, any exercise will help her nervous system regulate itself. If she wants more tailored support, suggest she checks out Lean PT over on our health and wellbeing page.
If she would like you to don your trainers and join in, then go with her. She’s more likely to stick to regular activity if she has an exercise buddy.