Menopause and Sensation Loss: Here’s What You Need to Know

Last updated 01.06.2024 | by Sabrina Johnson | 9 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


Sensory neuropathy is the technical term for referring to the various conditions leading to sensation loss. As per studies, it prevails in around 1-3% of individuals. Its occurrence is higher in older adults, as much as 7%. A sudden loss of sensation in your hands and feet or a tingling sensation all over your body can be scary. Right?

Sensory neuropathy can occur due to numerous reasons from mild to severe. However, do you feel an increased incidence of tingling and reduced sensations after your 40s? A lady in her mid-40s at the doctor’s office complained about the sudden onset of crawling sensations on her hands, face, and feet. Considering her age and even the associated symptoms like hot flashes and sleep issues, which she even mentioned having, the doctor assumed the hormonal imbalances to be responsible for the same.

You may not be acquainted with sensation loss in menopause. It is one of the symptoms women may face, which may not be as common as the other menopausal signs.

Are you in your 40s? Do you wish to know if the altered and lost sensations are because of menopause or not? Then, take time and read this article. I have touched on aspects like the reasons for sensation loss in menopause. I have also mentioned the symptoms and the ways to manage altered skin sensations during menopause.

Why Do You Have Sensation Loss in Menopause?

Paresthesia is the medical term for the tingling, itching, and crawling sensation that you may experience.

The main reason why you may experience it in perimenopause and menopause is because of the fluctuating estrogen levels.

However, the exact reason for the sensation loss and disparity in your skin isn’t known. Yet, it can be said that the decline in estrogen is the main reason. Estrogen isn’t just a reproductive hormone. It also controls the nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, and skeletal systems.

When there is a reduction in estrogen levels, the functions of the central nervous system get disrupted. This results in the loss of sensation, which manifests as a burning, tingling, or pin-and-needle sensation in the skin. The symptoms could be mild or moderate. Some women have even reported severe and painful symptoms that have caused sleep disruption.

During an online session, a reader once communicated that her crawling and itching sensations were so intense in her mid-40s that they prevented her from a sound night’s sleep.

For some, the numbness could aggravate to the extent that they may have balance issues when walking. They might not even be able to grip objects well using their fingers or efficiently perform other subtle movements.

Besides the tingling sensation, some may even experience itchiness. The main reason is the reduced collagen levels due to the low estrogen. This makes the skin dry, thin, itchy, and increasingly sensitive.

Symptoms of Sensation Loss or Altered Skin Sensation in Menopause

When you experience a sensation loss in the skin or are affected by paraesthesia, then you are likely to experience the symptoms mentioned below:

  • Pin and needle sensation
  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness or decreased sensation in some parts of the skin
  • Changing sensation
  • Crawling sensation
  • Electric shock-like sensation

However, you must remember that menopause isn’t the only reason for sensation loss of the skin. There are other serious causes associated with it. So, you will have to monitor your symptoms, and the moment you experience anything discomforting, you shouldn’t delay contacting the healthcare provider. These are some of the symptoms that you must watch out for, which may not point at menopause but indicate a grave condition: 

  • Increased pain
  • Muscle spasms and difficulty in controlling movement of the limbs
  • Sudden numbness
  • Feelings of numbness in the genitals, butts, or thighs
  • Vision changes
  • Difficulty in walking and speaking
  • Injury in the back, neck, or head
  • Paralysis, or overall weakness
  • Losing consciousness
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Severe headache

How to Manage the Sensation Loss in the Skin? 7 Different Ways

How to Manage the Sensation Loss in the Skin 7 Different Ways

If the weird sensations in your skin are because of menopause, there are ways to manage it. Check out a few things to do:

1. Eat Healthy

Eating healthy all your life makes you less likely to get affected by ailments. In menopause, when you are troubled with fluctuating hormone levels, you will have to take care of your diet even more. If you are frequently plagued with the pin-and-needle sensation, you should have a diet low in fat and high in fiber. You should add plenty of fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Leafy greens like asparagus, spinach, and broccoli are rich in vitamin B, which plays a significant role in the regeneration and function of nerves. Vitamin B also helps in the healing of nerve damage. Fruits like cherries, berries, watermelon, peaches, and oranges are rich in antioxidants. They help lessen inflammation and nerve damage. So, including them in your diet is a mandate.

If you are deficient in vitamin B12, it could aggravate your nerve problems even more in menopause, intensifying the tingling sensations. So, you should ensure that your diet has enough of this vitamin.

Foods like poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products, and meat have adequate amounts of this vitamin. You could even talk to your healthcare provider, who may prescribe vitamin B12 supplements.

2. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Drinking adequate amounts of fluid helps boost your overall health. In menopause, staying hydrated is essential because your body will lose a significant amount of moisture due to hot flashes and night sweats. Moreover, drinking sufficient fluids will also help to lessen the severity of the other menopausal symptoms.

When you have a sensation loss in the skin, drinking proper amounts of water is even more critical. Water helps increase blood circulation and flow and assists the body in combating inflammation by flushing the toxins out. Women must drink around 11.5 cups of fluids each day. So, in menopause, ensure you meet your daily water intake to keep the tingling sensations at bay and maintain your overall health.

My doctor advised me to have at least twelve cups of fluid daily. I do my best to adhere to this number.

3. Sleep Well

Menopause means your sleep will likely go for a toss. It’s not just the fluctuating hormone levels but also the frequent bouts of hot flashes and night sweats that will keep you awake for most of the night. You must try to sleep uninterruptedly for at least seven to eight hours each night. When you get a good night’s sleep, it also helps your brain to function correctly. So, if you are plagued by tingling sensations in menopause, ensure that you sleep well at night for proper brain and nerve functioning.

I, too, had sleep issues when transitioning into menopause. Deep breathing and other relaxation techniques came to aid and helped me sleep better.

4. Cut Down on Caffeine and Alcohol

Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake during perimenopause and menopause is essential, lest it may intensify night sweats, hot flashes, and sleep problems.

If you often experience tingling and pin-and-needle sensations, you should be more careful about caffeine consumption. Excess caffeine can irritate your nerves and worsen the paraesthesia symptoms.

The same goes for alcohol, which can cause further nerve damage and worsen your tingling sensations if you are already troubled with it.

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking in menopause is a no-no as it could intensify sleep problems and hot flashes. If you have sensitive skin, you should be even more careful.  When you smoke, the blood vessels narrow, and the blood flow becomes restricted. If your nerves are already damaged and receive less blood supply, it becomes difficult to communicate and send signals to the brain. This will exacerbate your tingling sensations, making you feel miserable.

6. Opt for a Massage or Acupuncture

Acupuncture has effectively reduced menopausal symptoms, like night sweats, hot flashes, aches, and pains. You could opt for acupuncture treatment to heal your damaged nerve when you are troubled with a tingling and burning sensation. However, speaking with the doctor before starting acupuncture treatment is advisable. Massage therapy is also effective in helping you to relieve tingling sensation and numbness.

7. Exercise Well

Add sufficient physical activities to your daily schedule. Aerobic exercises such as cycling, swimming, and jogging help improve blood flow and circulation. Strengthening and stretching exercises like calf or leg raises also facilitate overall fitness, lessening the weird sensation in the skin.

I always followed a regular exercise regime, especially after I was 40. It would be a combination of walks, jogs, and runs. The weekends were reserved for swimming and zumba classes. On days when I missed working out, I would do little things like going up and down the stairs three or four times. Sometimes, my daily chores, like mopping and sweeping, would also help me burn some calories.

FAQs

Can you have a tingling sensation on your face in menopause?

Most women report a tingling sensation on their hands and feet. However, some may experience it on their face as well. It is an uncomfortable feeling, and the reason to get it in menopause is the reduced estrogen levels.

When to talk to a doctor about sensation loss?

If the tingling and burning sensations come in the way of your daily life, you should talk to the doctor immediately. If paraesthesia is due to menopause, the symptoms will subside once the estrogen levels stabilize in the postmenopause phase. Your doctor may advise bloodwork and imaging tests to understand the cause and treat it accordingly.

Does Hormone replacement therapy help with pin-and-needle sensation?

Hormone replacement therapy helps to balance the fluctuating hormone levels and manage different menopausal symptoms. It is said to be beneficial in lessening and combatting the unpleasant sensations you may experience in the skin. You will reap maximum benefits when you choose the appropriate therapy in the correct dosage. So, seeking a doctor’s consultation before going for HRT is better.

How long do the tingling sensations in menopause last?

The tingling sensations may be bothersome, disrupting your daily life. But, once the menopause transition phase passes, the hormonal fluctuations end, and these unpleasant sensations also fade out.

Conclusion

When the tingling sensations gripped you for the first time, it must have scared the life out of you. Right? However, if you are in your 40s and are facing other menopausal symptoms, too, you will understand the reason behind these weird skin sensations. Yet, if the tinging sensations aggravate to the extent that you find it challenging to do your day-to-day chores, then medical help is a mandate. You should even work towards bettering your lifestyle to manage these uncomfortable symptoms.

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.

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