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What causes pins and needle sensations in feet?

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Posted on Wed, 25 May 2016
Question: HI , I feel like I have pins and needles in both of my feet
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (28 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Peripheral neuropathy more likely

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

Those symptoms are not common for a stroke. Is that what the brain scan result said (if yes can you upload report), or do you mean that a scan was requested for that suspicion? I do not think a stroke is likely as it usually causes symptoms on one side of the body, does not involve both feet, but upper and lower limb on one side. There are some rare variations, but really rare.

Pins and needles on both feet are much more typical for peripheral neuropathy, damage to peripheral nerves. Such damage can be due to many causes, so it might have been useful if you had provided some more info on the time and manner of onset and progression, other conditions or drugs you are taking etc.
Most common cause for peripheral neuropathy is diabetes followed by chronic alcohol abuse. Other possible causes include nutritional deficiencies, exposure to toxins, hormonal imbalance, infections, liver and kidney failure, hereditary conditions etc etc.
To confirm the diagnosis a neurological exam for signs such as lowered reflexes, muscle weakness etc is necessary as well as a test called nerve conduction studies. Afterward tests to search for the cause are started such as blood glucose and HbA1c, blood count, ESR, electrolytes, liver and kidney function, vitamin B12, thyroid function etc, tests can be really many it is started by most common causes and if they yield no positive results rarer ones are investigated. Management consists in addressing the cause and if symptoms are too bothersome medication like gabapentin, pregabalin, duloxetine.

I remain at your disposal for further question (possibly with some more info).
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3668 Questions

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What causes pins and needle sensations in feet?

Brief Answer: Peripheral neuropathy more likely Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. Those symptoms are not common for a stroke. Is that what the brain scan result said (if yes can you upload report), or do you mean that a scan was requested for that suspicion? I do not think a stroke is likely as it usually causes symptoms on one side of the body, does not involve both feet, but upper and lower limb on one side. There are some rare variations, but really rare. Pins and needles on both feet are much more typical for peripheral neuropathy, damage to peripheral nerves. Such damage can be due to many causes, so it might have been useful if you had provided some more info on the time and manner of onset and progression, other conditions or drugs you are taking etc. Most common cause for peripheral neuropathy is diabetes followed by chronic alcohol abuse. Other possible causes include nutritional deficiencies, exposure to toxins, hormonal imbalance, infections, liver and kidney failure, hereditary conditions etc etc. To confirm the diagnosis a neurological exam for signs such as lowered reflexes, muscle weakness etc is necessary as well as a test called nerve conduction studies. Afterward tests to search for the cause are started such as blood glucose and HbA1c, blood count, ESR, electrolytes, liver and kidney function, vitamin B12, thyroid function etc, tests can be really many it is started by most common causes and if they yield no positive results rarer ones are investigated. Management consists in addressing the cause and if symptoms are too bothersome medication like gabapentin, pregabalin, duloxetine. I remain at your disposal for further question (possibly with some more info).