There are a number of neurological symptoms involving sensation – patchy loss of sensation, increased sensitivity to touch/pain, unusual sensations/paraesthesiae/'pins and needles' – that can occur in ME/CFS.
However, it is sometimes very difficult to know whether they are part of ME/CFS, or a sign of another medical problem.
Other causes of sensory symptoms include vitamin B12 deficiency, diabetes, hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), MGUS/monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance and Sjogren's syndrome.
These conditions can all cause fatigue and other ME/CFS-like symptoms.
Sensory symptoms can also occur in anxiety and when people over-breathe/hyperventilate.
So it is important to properly investigate these symptoms, especially where they are more pronounced or have more unusual features.
The investigation of sensory symptoms in ME/CFS is covered in more detail in the Investigation section of our Purple Book.
If the problem continues, and a GP cannot provide a satisfactory explanation, your GP could make a referral to a neurologist for a more thorough clinical assessment and investigation.
Dr Charles Shepherd
Hon Medical Adviser, Me Association
How often do you have sensory symptoms in the skin such as 'pins and needles', loss of sensation, or pain on touching the skin?
- Constantly (20%)
- Frequently (41%)
- Quite often (19%)
- Occasionally (15%)
- Never (5%)
Total Voters: 557