What are paraesthesias?

Paresthesia is a typical early symptom of multiple sclerosis. But there are also many other causes, often harmless nature. The term describes sensations in the area of ​​a cutaneous nerve that are not painful and for which there is no identifiable physical cause.

Typical sensations are tingling, itching, tingling, "running ants" or even a feeling of cold or warmth. Most often, these sensations occur on the hands or feet.

In the so-called deep paresthesia, a feeling of constriction is often in the foreground, as if a band were around the joints or around the chest. Sometimes that feels like a balloon being inflated inside.

Paresthesia: Many possible causes, even without MS

The causes of paraesthesia are not very clear. It is suspected that "spontaneous" electrical discharges of the affected skin nerves. Another theory is that sensory stimuli in the brain are processed incorrectly and lead to a different conscious perception than would otherwise be the case (for example feeling cold, even though the skin is warm).

Paresthesia: Other possible causes except MS

  • diabetes
  • Side effects of drugs (such as antidepressants)
  • severe circulatory disorders
  • disc prolapse
  • Spinal puncture
  • alcoholism
  • poisoning
  • panic attack

Author:Dr. med. Jörg Zorn

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