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What are the Causes of Tingly Fingers?

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  • Written By: April S. Kenyon
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2016
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An extremely common cause of tingly fingers is a lack of blood supply. Cutting off the circulation of blood either by sleeping or sitting in the wrong position for an extended amount of time can limit the amount of blood flow. A condition called arteriosclerosis also causes tingly fingers. Arteriosclerosis is a cholesterol build-up in the arteries that can cause tingling and numbness to the affected area. Other conditions that can cause tingly fingers include hypothyroidism, Raynaud’s syndrome, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Swelling and other effects from certain physical conditions can cause tingly fingers as well. Hypothyroidism is a condition that may cause swelling in the upper arms. As a result, tingling in the fingers may take place. Raynaud’s syndrome occurs when there is a temporary decrease of blood flow to the surface tissue of the feet and hands. This may either cause a tingling sensation or finger numbness.

Tingly fingers may not always be the direct result of physical distress. It could be a result of certain mental health disorders. Frequent panic or anxiety attacks can limit the amount of oxygen that reaches the extremities. When a person experiences anxiety or is suffering from a panic attack, breathing becomes shallow as the heart rate increases. This can cause the flow of blood in the body to decrease and limit the amount of blood reaching the fingers.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also cause tingling in the fingers and hands. The carpal tunnel is located in the wrist area where the median nerve enters into the hand. A nerve called the median nerve contributes to the feeling and movement to the side of the hand where the thumb is located. When the nerve becomes damaged or distressed, swelling may occur and can cause a tingling sensation in the fingers, particularly in the thumb, middle finger, and part of the ring finger.

There are also various diseases that can have an effect on the nervous system and cause tingly fingers. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels that deliver oxygen to some of the nerves in the body. Nerve damage occurs when blood glucose levels are elevated for extended periods of time. This may mean several years of nerve damage if blood sugar levels are out of control. Lyme disease is another disease that can cause damage to nervous system and result in tingly fingers, though it doesn’t affect the nervous system until its later stages.

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stoneMason
Post 3

Tingling and numbness in fingertips is also a symptom of panic or anxiety. My sister has panic and she complains of tingly fingers whenever she has a panic attack.

fBoyle
Post 2

@ddljohn-- Cold can definitely cause numbness and tingling in the extremities and fingers. I think some people are more sensitive than others to cold.

Have you seen a doctor about this? Your doctor can do a quick check for pulse in your hands and feet to tell you have poor circulation. If you don't have poor circulation, you might just have naturally narrow blood vessels.

I have narrow blood vessels and since the blood vessels shrink in the cold, I experience tingling in my hands in cold weather as well. You just have to keep yourself warm.

ddljohn
Post 1

Is it normal to have numb, tingling fingers in the cold? Is it a sign of poor circulation?

I can't go outside without gloves in winter because my fingers become tingly and start to go numb after a while. It's scary.

I have the same problem with my toes. They turn blue and become tingly in the cold. I have to wear two layers of socks and thick boots.

Is this normal or do I have a problem with circulation? Does anyone else experience this?

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