Chronic Pain

Can Obesity Cause Paresthesia?

Can Obesity Cause Paresthesia

Paresthesia is the sensation of burning, prickling, or numbness that often occurs in the hands, feet, arms, and legs, but can also occur elsewhere.

Nearly everybody has experienced parasthesia at one point or another in their lives, typically after lying on their arm or other limb in a way that placed sustained pressure on a nerve and caused the limb to “fall asleep.” This sensation is often described as “pins and needles.”

Although nearly everyone has suffered from temporary paresthesia at one point or another in their lives, there are also people who suffer from it chronically.

Chronic paresthesia is often caused by an underlying issue, such as nerve damage or a neurological disease.

The Symptoms of Paresthesia

Paresthesia itself tends to be a symptom of a more urgent issue. Paresthesia is not an illness, but the result of too much pressure being put on certain nerves and causing the certain sensations in the body.

These sensations include the feeling of a limb “falling asleep,” muscular atrophy, footdrop, tingling, itching, dysarthria, numbness, ocular dysmetria, crawling sensation on the skin, and numbness.

As already stated, many people suffer from a temporary paresthesia, typically when lying on an arm the wrong way for a long time.

This temporary paresthesia is not dangerous, but if the symptoms begin occurring regularly, one should be alarmed and visit their doctor immediately in order to determine what the underlying cause of it is.

The Causes of Paresthesia

There are a number of possible underlying causes of chronic paresthesia, as it is typically a symptom of a deeper, more urgent condition.

Because chronic paresthesia is typically a symptom of a bigger problem, it is important to see your doctor immediately if you’re suffering from paresthesia on a regular basis. Possible causes of chronic paresthesia include, but are not limited to:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alcoholism
  • Migraines
  • Menopause
  • Neuropathy
  • Dehydration
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Malnutrition
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Herpes zoster
  • Nerve irritation
  • Fabry disease
  • Hyperventilation
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Immune deficiency
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Anticonvulsant drugs
  • Lidocaine poisoning
  • Neurological disorders
  • Motor Neuron diseases
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Beta-alanine ingestion
  • Lyme disease infection
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Autoimmune disorders

That is obviously a very long list, which is why it is very important to see your doctor immediately if you are suffering from paresthesia symptoms.

However, it could be something quite simple. People who are obese often suffer from the symptoms of paresthesia more often than others. So don’t fret!

It could be that your doctor just prescribes you with a healthy diet and exercise if you are suffering from chronic paresthesia.

How Does Obesity Cause Paresthesia

Obesity can typically cause paresthesia in the thigh area due to the extra weight in the thighs putting pressure on the nerves. This sensation is not painful, but it can be very uncomfortable.

Typically when someone is suffering from paresthesia due to obesity, they will feel the numbness or “pins and needles” in their outer thighs.

They could also suffer from itching, tingling, restless leg syndrome, or a crawling sensation on the skin.

If you are overweight and suffering from symptoms of paresthesia, particularly in the thigh areas, it is most likely that losing weight will help rid you of these symptoms.

However, because chronic paresthesia can be caused by a number of serious illnesses, it is still important to see your doctor immediately if you are suffering from these symptoms on a regular basis. Do not just assume that the paresthesia is occurring because of your weight.

If there is a more dire situation occurring within your body, it is important to get it diagnosed immediately so that it can be treated.

It could very well be an effect of your obesity, but you need to make sure it is not something more serious.

What Should One Do When Suffering from Paresthesia

If you have been feeling symptoms of paresthesia regularly, it is very important to see your doctor immediately in order to determine the underlying problem.

As stated previously, paresthesia is typically a symptom of something more urgent rather than a diagnosis in and of itself.

If paresthesia is occurring regularly, it is important for your doctor to determine what is causing it as soon as possible so that it can be addressed.

If the paresthesia occurs in your thighs regularly and you are overweight, your doctor will likely prescribe a healthy diet and exercise.

Because excessive weight often puts pressure on the nerves in the thighs, particularly when sitting, paresthesia occurs often in the thighs when someone is obese.

For paresthesia caused by obesity, weight loss is the only real solution. People who suffer from paresthesia as a result of obesity typically notice the symptoms disappear once they have lost enough weight.

This is because the weight is no longer putting pressure on the nerves and causing the symptoms of paresthesia.

With a healthy diet and regular exercise, the parasthesia symptoms will likely subside, allowing the sufferer to live a more active life without worries of suffering the “pins and needles.”

In Conclusion

Obesity can certainly cause chronic paresthesia in particular parts of the body, usually the hips and the thighs. This paresthesia is caused by the excessive weight putting pressure on the nerves in those parts of the body.

If you are overweight and you notice that your thighs tend to get numb after sitting for some time, it is quite likely that you are suffering from paresthesia caused by obesity.

However, because obesity is only one of many root causes of paresthesia, it is important to still see your doctor rather than just expecting diet and exercise to fix the problem.

Your doctor will be able to tell you if your paresthesia is the result of your obesity or if it is due to an even more urgent condition.

If you are not overweight and suffer from paresthesia regularly, it is also important to see your doctor in order to determine what is causing the problem. Don’t wait until it’s too late!



1 Comment

  • Thank you for such an informative article! I have some weight issues and I worry that they will lead to more serious conditions. I definitely feel pins and needles sometimes. So, it may be time to heed my body’s warning signs. Good and important information here.

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