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Pricking pain, numbness in hands & feet? It may signal nerve damage

IANS May 11, 2024

Feeling sharp, pricking pain and numbness in your hands and feet may signal a nerve damage condition, according to a study. The condition known as neuropathy can lead to falls, infection and even amputation.

The findings, published in the journal Neurology, showed that even after being very common, it often goes underdiagnosed.

Neuropathy was found to cause "sharp, prickling or shock-like pain in more than one-third of people," said Melissa A. Elafros from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, US.

It also "increased risk of early death", she added, stressing the need to find and treat people with or at risk for neuropathy. The study involved 169 people, half of whom had diabetes -- a major risk factor for the nerve damage condition.

A total of 73 per cent were diagnosed with neuropathy. Of those, a whopping 75 per cent had not been previously diagnosed with the condition.

Further, the team found that metabolic syndrome raised the risk of neuropathy more than four times.

Metabolic syndrome can be defined as having excess belly fat plus two or more of the following risk factors: hypertension, higher than normal triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood), diabetes, and low levels of good cholesterol.                                                                             

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