When an individual experiences peripheral neuropathy, this can cause numbness, pain and tingling in the feet and elsewhere in the body. Chemocare.com explains that the peripheral nervous system is made up of the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system. The autonomic system controls the smooth muscles of the internal organs, which are called viscera, and the glands. The somatic system is made up of peripheral nerve fibres that transport sensory information to the central nervous system and to the motor nerve fibres that send signals on to the skeletal muscle.
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If the peripheral nerves are damaged, this can cause numbness and tingling in a specific area. Damage can occur from trauma as well as from medications including thalidomide and interferon, which are used to treat cancer.
Additional Contributing Factors
The Mayo Clinic says that numbness and tingling can result from an infection that has done peripheral nerve damage as well as exposure to toxins or a disease, primarily diabetes. Patients describe the loss of sensation as the feeling of wearing a glove or thin stocking. Other causes of peripheral neuropathy that can result in numbness and tingling include liver or kidney disease, hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid, HIV/AIDS, lupus, Guillain-Barre syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. If you have Raynaud's syndrome, your feet and hands might turn blue and be very cold and numb. This condition can be exacerbated by cold weather.
Vitamins Deficiency, Alcoholism
If you are deficient in vitamin B, this might cause numbness and tingling. Vitamin B is essential for the health of your nerves. Alcoholics tend to develop peripheral neuropathy because they often have poor diets that lead to vitamin deficiencies.
Sciatica occurs when a nerve root in your lumbar or lower spine is compressed. This can occur if you have a herniated disk in your lower back. Disks are important because they act as shocker absorbers and cushion the vertebrae when we move, and they keep the spine flexible. If your disks deteriorate, which can happen as you age, the outer covering of the disk can develop tiny tears that makes the jellylike substance found in the centre of the disk to seep out (rupture or herniation). The herniated disk can press on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down your back and into your leg. This might result in numbness in your leg, your butt or your foot.
Lack of Blood or Doing Something Too Long
Tingling and numbness can also be caused by lack of blood supply to a specific area in the body. This can be the result of atherosclerosis in the leg. Frostbite can reduce blood supply, which causes numbness. If you sit in the same position for a long period of time or stand in one position for hours at a time, this can result in numbness.
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