Numb/Burning/Tingling Extremities

What Causes Tingling Extremities?

Tingling extremities can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'life-threatening'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose tingling extremities, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "tingling extremities" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Diabetes II
  • Vitamin B12 Need
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Lyme Disease
  • Phosphorus Deficiency
  • Neuritis/Neuropathy
  • Hypothyroidism

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
bags under eyes
constant fatigue
occasionally feeling unusually cold
elevated urine MMA levels
poor recovery from exertion
slight diffuse bone pain
front-of-head headaches
heart racing/palpitations
major unexplained weight loss
adverse reaction to delayed meals
excessive thirst
increased emotional instability
... and more than 140 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of tingling extremities:
Cause Probability Status
Hypoglycemia 92% Confirm
Phosphorus Deficiency 27% Unlikely
Neuritis/Neuropathy 20% Unlikely
Lyme Disease 5% Ruled out
Multiple Sclerosis 5% Ruled out
Hypothyroidism 4% Ruled out
Diabetes II 1% Ruled out
Vitamin B12 Need 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate unusual skin sensations, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you have any numbness, burning, or tingling of the extremities (toes or fingers)?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Yes, a little on one hand or foot only
→ Yes, severe on one hand or foot only
→ Yes, a little on two or more hands/feet
→ Yes, severe on two or more hands/feet
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate numb/burning/tingling extremities, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Symptoms generally begin in the patient's feet, hands or face, spread to the legs or arms, and increase in intensity as they move towards the center of the body.  They generally appear on both left and right sides of the body.  However, GBS is unpredictable, and cases have been reported in which this "glove and stocking" pattern is not followed.  Instead, motor symptoms or disruptions in the autonomous system may be observed.  GBS may also affect an arm or a leg alone, without spreading to the rest of the body.

Neuritis/Neuropathy

For some individuals burning may become so bad that they feel like the area is on fire, exacerbated by certain movements and activities.

Vitamin B12 Requirement

If vitamin B12 deficiency becomes pronounced, the nervous system can be affected, causing progressive peripheral neuropathy (tingling of the fingers and toes), muscle weakness, staggering, tenderness in the calves, confusion.

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