Causes of Temporary and Chronic Paresthesia

What causes paresthesia? Temporary and chronic paresthesia may have different origins but the tingling and burning on skin usually remains the same.

Life challenges us with different trials and some come in the form of an illness. Crawling and tingling sensation, numbness and itchiness on the skin are just some of the indicators of the illness called paresthesia. People experience such unusual numbing symptoms when arms or legs "fall asleep". Although this type of paresthesia is temporary and usually resolves without treatment, chronic paresthesia requires special attention.

Causes of Temporary Paresthesia

  • Panic attacks occur because of intense fear or apprehension that manifests itself in paresthesia of mouth, hands, and feet. Such numbing symptoms also strike individuals that suffer from hyperventilation syndrome (HVS) which is a respiratory disorder that has psychological nature.
  • Dehydration is one of the causes of paresthesia where loss of water, depending on intensity, motivates specific symptoms. When the body loses 5% to 6% of cumulative fluids, the tingling and burning sensation on the skin may transpire.
  • Restriction of blood can isolate particular nerve groups that play a crucial part in our body. Such blood limitation occurs when we sleep on the arm or sit on the foot. The pressure on the limb decreases blood flow which leads to temporary paresthesia.

Causes of Chronic Paresthesia

1.       Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is a condition in which nerve roots become compressed, irritated or inflamed. Such nerve trauma occurs because of different reasons, such as herniated disk and the narrowing of the canal that sends signals from the spinal cord to other parts of the body.

2.       Neuropathy

The root of neuropathy is a chronic nerve damage that develops into paresthesia. Such nerve damage can also lead to permanent numbness or paralysis. The most common cause of neuropathy is high blood sugar, in other words, hyperglycemia.

3.       Stroke

Stroke is an occurrence when poor blood flow causes the death of brain cells. Paresthesia and any other sensory defects are considered signs of a stroke. Sometimes a settle mandibular and ear tingling may be the only indicators of the cerebrovascular accident (stroke). Central post-stroke paresthesia usually feels like a combination of cold, numbness, burning and squeezing in limbs.

4.       Brain Tumor

Brain tumor feels like a sudden numbness accompanied by a headache, vomiting, double vision and weakness. This illness can be a cause of paresthesia because of possible neurological defects and low back pain.

5.       Head Trauma

One of the causes of paresthesia is head trauma. Patients that have experienced a brain injury, particularly damage to the trigeminal nerve, complain about the neuropsychological impairments such as paresthesia. The trigeminal trophic syndrome is just one of brain injury complications that cause numbness and the feeling of pinching in particular body parts.

6.       Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in nerve maintenance and repair department. The lack of this crucial compound leads to anemia and nerve damage, which creates a platform for chronic paresthesia to develop on. If the deficiency of vitamin B12 is not balanced once again, the nerve damage can become permanent.

7.       Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel. This state of the body is characterized by paresthesia. People with CTS experience numbness, tingling or burning sensation in fingers. Discomfort can be also felt in the upper arm and forearm but rarely on the wrist or hands.

8.       Metabolic Disorders

There're various causes of paresthesia, including various metabolic disorders such as diabetes, alcoholism, etc.

  • Diabetes

The most common origin of paresthesia in the United States is diabetes. Dysfunction of sensory nerves is, in other words, called diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy, as we have already discussed, includes chronic nerve damage and further complications in such department usually strike middle-aged and elderly men with type 2 diabetes.

  • Alcoholism

Alcoholism stands right beside diabetes when it comes to paresthesia in the United States. Toxic nature of ethanol and its metabolites have an impact on nerve system which causes alcoholic neuropathy. This type of neuropathy causes sensory disturbances defined by pain and other paresthesia symptoms.

  • Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar decreases below normal levels. Symptoms of hypoglycemia vary depending on age and intensity of decline in blood sugar. Paresthesia can be one of many manifestations that may cause periodic weakness, tingling and stinging sensation around the mouth (perioral paresthesia) and eyes (vertigo paresthesia).

  • Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is also one of many causes of paresthesia, which is a condition caused by underactive thyroid. About 40% of patients with hypothyroidism have signs of axonal neuropathy. Lack of sufficient thyroid hormone slows down the regeneration of damaged nerves, which leads to symptoms of paresthesia.

9.       Autoimmune Diseases

The patients of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, pernicious anemia and systemic lupus erythematosus reveal complaints about burning and tingling sensation on arms, neck, face and other parts, depending on a particular illness. Such distinguishable signs all point towards the development of parenthesis.



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