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.
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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
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