Your feet may tingle if you’ve been in the same position for a long time. However, tingling feet may also be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as diabetes and kidney failure, among others.

Tingling in the feet is a common sensation that isn’t usually a reason for concern.

For example, you may experience “pins and needles” in your feet if you stay seated in a position too long. This feeling should go away when you move.

However, tingling in the feet that is persistent may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Keep reading to learn more about the possible causes of tingling in your feet and their diagnoses and treatments.

The following chronic conditions may cause tingling or numbness in the feet.

Diabetes is a common cause of persistent tingling in the feet. Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of nerve damage caused by high blood sugar.

Other symptoms of diabetes may include:

To diagnose diabetes, a healthcare professional will:

  • take a medical history
  • complete a physical exam
  • run blood tests

Diabetes can be managed with lifestyle changes and medications, such as insulin.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disease. It causes the immune system to attack myelin, which is the protective covering on nerves.

This results in nerve damage and disruption in communication between the brain and body.

Tingling or numbness is a common symptom of MS that could affect your body, face, hands, and feet. It may be one of the first signs of MS, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Other symptoms of MS may include:

Currently, there is no single laboratory test that can determine whether you have MS. That said, a doctor will do several tests to determine the cause of your tingling feet.

Some of the tests used to diagnose MS may include:

There’s no cure for MS, but many treatment options may help slow the progression of the disease and manage symptoms. These may include oral drugs, injections, and infusions.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid is underactive and can’t produce enough thyroid hormone to support your body’s needs.

At first, symptoms of hypothyroidism may seem mild and could be attributed to other conditions. These may include:

Untreated hypothyroidism may lead to peripheral neuropathy. This is damage to your peripheral nerves. Tingling and numbness in your feet are some of the effects of peripheral neuropathy.

To diagnose hypothyroidism, a doctor will order a blood test called a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test. High TSH levels may indicate that you have hypothyroidism.

Treatment for hypothyroidism involves taking an oral synthetic thyroid hormone called levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid, and Unithroid). A doctor will monitor your TSH levels and adjust your levothyroxine dosage as needed.

Treatment for hypothyroidism is usually lifelong.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS) causes pain, tingling, or burning in the ankle, heel, or foot. This condition is caused by compression of the tibial nerve, which runs along the inside of the ankle and foot.

To diagnose TTS, a healthcare professional will ask you about your symptoms and medical history.

They’ll also perform a Tinel’s sign test, during which they’ll put pressure on your tibial nerve. If this pressure results in tingling in your foot, the test is considered positive for TTS.

Treatment for TTS will vary depending on the individual and their symptoms. Some treatment options include:

You may need surgery to decompress the nerve if your symptoms are severe or they persist despite treatment.

Kidney failure may cause tingling in the feet. Kidney failure has many causes, but the most common are diabetes and high blood pressure, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Symptoms of tingling feet caused by kidney failure include:

  • pain and numbness in the legs and feet
  • cramping and muscle twitches
  • muscle weakness

A doctor may perform the following tests to determine if kidney failure is causing your tingling feet:

Treatment for kidney failure includes dialysis and a kidney transplant.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of inherited peripheral nerve disorders that may result in:

To diagnose CMT, a neurologist will ask about your family medical history and perform a neurological exam. They may also run tests, including:

  • blood tests to look for genetic abnormalities
  • EMG
  • nerve biopsy
  • nerve conduction study

There’s currently no cure for CMT, but treatment options may help you remain active and manage symptoms. These may include:

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body attacks itself. Some conditions may cause tingling in the feet, including:

To determine if an autoimmune disease is causing the tingling in your feet, a doctor may:

  • take a family and medical history
  • complete a physical exam
  • run several blood tests

Treatments for autoimmune diseases vary. They may include dietary changes, medications, and therapy.

Several infections may cause nerve inflammation, which could lead to feet tingling. These infections include:

See a healthcare professional if you think you may have an infection. They’ll take a medical history, complete a physical exam, and likely draw blood to test for infectious diseases.

Treatment will vary depending on which infection you have, but it’ll likely include medication.

Drinking heavily regularly may cause alcoholic neuropathy, which is damage to the peripheral nerves. Around 46% of people who chronically misuse alcohol experience peripheral neuropathy.

Alcoholic neuropathy may cause tingling in the feet, hands, or limbs. It may last anywhere from a few months to several years.

Additional symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy include:

Alcohol use disorder is also associated with malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. This could make associating tingling in the feet with drinking alcohol difficult.

It’s important to speak honestly about your alcohol use with a healthcare professional. This could help them find the proper cause for tingling in your feet, as well as develop the best treatment plan.

A doctor may run the following tests:

  • neurological exam
  • nerve biopsy
  • nerve conduction study
  • EMG
  • endoscopy
  • blood tests

The most important steps in treating alcoholic neuropathy are considering stopping drinking and seeking treatment for alcohol use disorder. Other methods that may form part of your treatment plan include:

It’s important to note that you may experience symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy even if you quit drinking.

Several other causes may be responsible for the tingling in your feet.

It’s not uncommon to experience tingling in your feet during pregnancy. Your uterus grows during pregnancy, which may put pressure on the nerves that run down the legs. This causes the “pins and needles” sensation.

You may be able to relieve the tingling by:

Speak with a doctor if the tingling worsens, doesn’t go away, or is accompanied by weakness or swelling. This may be a sign of something more serious happening.

Not getting enough of certain vitamins, particularly B vitamins, may cause tingling in the feet. Vitamin deficiency can be the result of an inadequate diet or an underlying health condition.

B12 is one of the vitamins associated with peripheral neuropathy. If you’re deficient in vitamin B12, you may have some of the following symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • tingling and coldness in the hands and feet
  • headache
  • chest pain
  • digestive issues
  • nausea
  • an enlarged liver

A doctor may take a medical and family history, complete a physical exam, and draw blood to determine if you have a vitamin deficiency.

You may need supplements or another treatment, depending on the cause of your low vitamin levels.

Tingling in the feet may be a side effect of some medications. The most common drugs that cause this sensation are chemotherapy treatments for cancer and medications for HIV and AIDS.

Others include medications used to help treat:

Speak with a doctor if you’re taking a medication and experiencing tingling in your feet. They’ll be able to determine if the tingling is a side effect of your medication. They’ll also decide whether your dose needs to be changed.

A pinched nerve in your back can cause tingling in your feet. Pinched nerves may be caused by injury, inflammation, and a herniated disc, among others.

Other symptoms of a pinched nerve may include:

  • pain
  • changes in the sensation in your feet
  • decreased range of motion

A doctor’s analysis to diagnose a pinched nerve may include:

Treatment for a pinched nerve may include:

  • rest
  • at-home remedies, such as exercises and stretches
  • over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and NSAIDs
  • prescription medications, such as oral steroids
  • physical therapy
  • surgery

Exposure to certain chemicals and toxins can cause toxic neuropathy. Some symptoms may include:

  • tingling
  • numbness
  • pain
  • weakness
  • difficulty walking

Some toxins that can cause tingling in the feet if they’re swallowed or absorbed through the skin include:

It can be difficult to diagnose toxin exposure as the cause of tingling in the feet.

A healthcare professional will take a medical history, including details about your work and home environment, your diet, and any supplements you take.

They may also perform other tests, including blood tests.

Treatment may include medications, new safety measures, and changing your environmental exposure to toxins at work or home.

Hyperventilation occurs when you breathe too deeply and rapidly. It causes a decrease in carbon dioxide in your blood, which can make you feel lightheaded, short of breath, and anxious.

Decreased carbon dioxide levels may cause a tingling sensation in your feet or hands.

Hyperventilation is a symptom of emotional stress or other conditions, such as:

If you’re hyperventilating, a healthcare professional will ask you about your other symptoms and medical history. They may also give you a physical exam and use blood tests to check for certain conditions, such as infections.

Treatment for hyperventilation requires addressing the underlying condition that’s causing the hyperventilation.

Home remedies to treat a hyperventilation episode aim to slow down your breathing and increase your body’s carbon dioxide levels.

Here are some techniques to try:

Sometimes people experience tingling in their feet and there’s not a known cause. Doctors call this “idiopathic.”

A healthcare professional will complete a physical exam and perform several tests to rule out anything that could be causing your symptoms.

Treatment may include pain medication, safety measures, and special shoes.

See a doctor if you experience tingling in your feet that:

  • doesn’t go away
  • gets worse
  • is accompanied by pain
  • keeps you from walking well

You may be at risk for falls if you can’t feel your feet properly.

If you experience tingling in your feet accompanied by a severe headache, tingling in your face, or sudden weakness, get immediate medical attention. These may be signs of a stroke, which can be life threatening.

How do I get my feet to stop tingling?

Treatment for tingling in your feet will depend on the cause. If it’s from a common cause like sitting for too long, then walking should help restore blood flow. If tingling in your feet is caused by an underlying condition, then you may require medical treatments like medications, physical therapy, or surgery.

Can high blood pressure cause tingling in feet?

High blood pressure is a risk factor for conditions that could cause tingling in your feet, such as diabetes and kidney failure. Medications used to help treat high blood pressure may also lead to tingling in your feet.

What are the first signs of neuropathy in your feet?

Early signs of neuropathy in your feet may include numbness, tingling, loss of sensitivity, a burning sensation, or sharp pain.

Tingling or numbness in the feet is a common sensation that typically goes away on its own.

However, tingling in the feet that doesn’t go away or is accompanied by other symptoms may be a sign of an underlying health condition.

Speak with a healthcare professional if your tingling feet don’t get better after a few days. They could help find the cause and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.