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Numbness and Tingling in the Fingers: Why Does it Happen?

A great many things can cause numbness and tingling in the fingers, or paresthesia according to MedicineNet. They range from completely harmless to something that requires immediate medical intervention. Here are some reasons for that numbness and tingling in the fingers:

Sitting on the Hands Causes Fingers to Go Numb and Tingle

People can develop numbness or tingling in their fingers and hands from sitting or lying on them for a long time, as they might when they are asleep.

This can put pressure on a nerve and/or decrease the blood supply to the fingers. Normal feeling returns after the person change position.

Numbness and Tingling Can Be a Reaction to a Drug

An adverse reaction to a drug can cause numbness and tingling in the fingers as well as any other part of the body. Numbness and tingling can also be a side effect of a drug.

The person should call their doctor if the problem persists. Drugs whose side effects may include numbness and tingling in the fingers include NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and potassium supplements.

Wounds to the Finger Cause Can Cause Paresthesia

If the finger or fingers have been damaged, it is normal to feel temporary numbness and tingling around the wound as the scar forms.

Panic Attacks Cause Fingers to Go Numb and Tingle

According to WebMD, one of the many symptoms of a panic attack is numbness, tingling or trembling in the extremities. The person may also become dizzy, nauseated and convinced that they are going mad or dying.

These attacks usually last only a few minutes and are caused when the alarm system in the central nervous system is triggered somehow. Some medical experts believe the tingling and numbness come because the patient is hyperventilating.

tingling in fingers

Peripheral Neuropathy is a Cause of Paresthesia

This condition presents not only with tingling and numbness in the extremities, including the fingers but with shooting pains that are worse at night.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to the peripheral nerves, which are nerves that branch out from the spinal cord and travel to all parts of the body, including the fingers.

Sometimes peripheral neuropathy has no cause, but the risk of getting it can be heightened by diabetes; drugs; malnutrition; alcoholism; shingles; poisons; liver and kidney disease; some forms of cancer; heredity or fractures. A person should contact their doctor if they’re having symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

Hyperaldosteronism Causes Numbness and Tingling

The numbness and tingling of this condition occur because the adrenal glands, which sit atop the kidneys, are producing too much of a hormone called aldosterone.

Aldosterone causes the kidneys to take in too much water and sodium and excrete too much potassium. Other signs of this disease are high blood pressure, fatigue, frequent urination and muscle cramps.

Can Multiple Sclerosis Cause Numbness and Tingling in the Fingers?

Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disease. This means that the person’s own immune system is attacking some bodily system.

In the case of MS, the body attacks the protective sheaths over the nerves and damages them. When these myelin sheaths are attacked in the fingers it can lead to numbness and tingling as well as an ill-defined loss of sensation.

Does Scleroderma Cause Numbness and Tingling in the Fingers?

This disease literally means “hardened skin.” Like multiple sclerosis, it is an autoimmune disease, says Mayo Clinic.

In this case, the body attacks the skin and other parts of the patient’s body. Over time, they grow stiff, thick and hard. Like other autoimmune diseases, scleroderma affects more women than men and can come in a localized or systemic form.

The fingers are numb and tingle and may also be painful and change color. Other symptoms include weakness and tiredness, hard patches on the skin that spread, joint pain and digestive problems.

Raynaud Disease Causes Numbness and Tingling

This is a disease that affects the circulation in the fingers and toes. The fingers are numb, tingle and turn blue in cold weather or even when the person is under emotional duress. When they are warmed, they turn red, swell up and hurt. The symptoms can persist from a few minutes to a few hours.

There is primary Raynaud disease, which does not have an underlying cause and secondary Raynaud disease, which does. Secondary Raynaud disease can be a complication of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Severe Calcium Depletion Can Lead to Finger Paresthesia

This is also called hypocalcemia and occurs when the body is severely depleted of calcium, a mineral necessary for regulating the heartbeat, contracting the muscles, growing the teeth and bones and contracting the muscles. Along with numbness and tingling, the person can suffer high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat.

Stroke is a Cause of Numbness and Tingling in the Extremities

In a stroke, the numbness and tingling affect the fingers on one side of the body. That side of the body also feels weak. The patient may also be mentally confused and have blurred vision and difficulty speaking.

This is a medical emergency and the patient needs to be seen by their doctor or go to an emergency room right away. Watch this video to learn more about the signs and symptoms of stroke.

Cold Exposure Can Cause Fingers to Go Numb and Tingle

Numbness and tingling can occur in fingers that have been exposed to the cold, for the body shunts blood from the extremities to the core of the body to keep vital organs warm, says the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

Unprotected fingers can suffer from frostnip or frostbite. In the former, only the top layers of the finger’s skin are frozen.

In the latter, ice crystals set up inside the skin. These crystals destroy the tissue there and can even reach down to the bone. In extreme cases, the extremity may need to be amputated.

Hypoparathyroidism Causes Numbness and Tingling

This condition happens when the parathyroid glands do not produce enough parathyroid hormone, or PTH. This hormone helps the body regulate calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.

Along with numbness and tingling in the fingers, the patient can suffer muscle cramps in their legs, feet, and face; fatigue; dry hair and hair loss; dry, coarse skin and nails that easily break.

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