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Pins & Needles

21. Pins & Needles

Fear not fellow hotties, this is not a suggestion to pop along to the nearest haberdashery for sewing supplies and become a seamstress, nor a suggestion that you should take up knitting!

Tho just imagine all the wonderful clothes and accessories you could make if you weren’t constantly knackered, hot and bothered, irritable, fed up…yada, yada, yada…

HOWEVER, that could be a great way to relax AND be creative, taking your mind off the world of menopause madness you find yourself submerged in!

Anyway, SPOILER ALERT! back to the real reason for mentioning pins and needles. Yep, you’ll have already worked it out fellow clever hotties, it’s ANOTHER symptom of the peri/menopause - the ‘gift’ from Mother Nature which just keeps on giving. And then some!

Now let’s ‘tickle your fancy’ by doing a recap of the troublesome tickling and tingling sensations you might be experiencing - and no, we’re not talking about the times your arm or leg goes numb from prolonged lounging whilst binge watching box sets; and how it’s only when you finally ‘haul a$$’ and get up to answer the ‘call of nature', that you discover your limbs no longer feel like your own as they spontaneously explode into a bout of pins and needles, with you yelping like a high maintenance, hyped-up Chihuahua!

These may not be the most well known of the peri/menopausal symptoms’ ‘family’, unlike the (in)famous hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and loss of libido etc. but they are still symptoms nevertheless, so let’s explore these tingling extremities in more depth. So to speak…

Mysterious pins and needles, tickling or numbness, prickling sensations and tingling - also known as paresthesia - in your hands, feet, arms and legs, may well be the result of hormonal fluctuations, with oestrogen being the chief culprit. That repeat ‘offender’ is guilty as charged!

Oestrogen plays a key role in our central nervous system and during peri/menopause it goes on a rollercoaster ride, taking us with it, on its disruptive journey into the unknown.

The reason oestrogen fluctuations cause paresthesia in some women is unknown (of course it is!), but it is thought to be related to how our nerves receive messages; when our hormone levels are thrown off balance, the impulses can become misinterpreted. AND joy of joys, oestrogen also affects the production of collagen, making our skin much more delicate, by becoming thinner, drier and far more sensitive.

Symptoms of tingling extremities (pins & needles) - commonly identified in the arms, legs, hands, and feet - can vary in severity and length, often showing up as:

  • Itchy skin
  • Tingling sensations
  • Numbness
  • Prickly skin sensations
  • Hotness or a burning sensation
  • Increased sensitivity of your extremities

You can take some comfort knowing that these hormonal-related symptoms will eventually go away when your oestrogen levels stabilise, and the menopause bids you farewell and eventually f*cks off!

In the meantime, what can we do to lessen the impact of these irksome symptoms?

You know the drill hotties: Eat, hydrate, sleep…REPEAT!

  • Eat a healthy diet. Avoid the addictive sugary, processed, fattening crap. Anything which helps to reduce inflammation in our body/gut, is a GOOD thing!
  • Drink plenty of water - the elixir of life. 
  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, to give you a better chance of beating the pins and needles; they can also make you wired and tired.
  • A good night's sleep is essential for general health and wellbeing.
  • If you’re a ciggy/vape/nicotine addict - maybe now is a great time to stop**. Smoking is NOT good for your circulation nor your skin - outside and from within! 

**Stopping will not only help enormously with easing these and other peri/menopause symptoms, but will save you a not so small fortune. A pack of cigarettes, every other day, at £12 a pack, costs over £2k a year. And if you can’t entirely stop, maybe cut back. It all adds up!

  • Consider supplements. These can make a huge difference to your menopause experience. However, a word of CAUTION: please make sure you do your due diligence and research them properly, including getting advice from your pharmacist or GP.
  • Become a pin cushion - try a little acupuncture**. And probably the only time small pricks are welcomed…

**Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine, where teeny tiny, ultra-fine ‘needles’ - barely a hair’s width - are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes. This is when needles and pins can actually help with the pins and needles!

  • Throw in a little activity for good measure:

Try stretching, yoga, walking, swimming, running on the spot - anything which gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing through those veins, all help to improve circulation and to alleviate symptoms.

Or if that all sounds a bit too energetic, maybe stay in the comfort of your own home and partake in a little booty shaking, with this month’s tantalising, tingling, topical playlist:

Needles and Pins - The Searchers
Great Balls of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis
Burn - Ellie Goulding
All Fired Up - The Saturdays
Set You Free - N-Trance
Scream - Usher
The Key, The Secret - Urban Cookie Collective
It’s Alright - East 17
Keep On Movin’ - 5ive
Ooh Aah (Just A Little Bit) - Gina G