Living with Fibro

Crawling Skin and Fibromyalgia

Autoimmune diseases can be mysterious and infuriating to both patient and doctor alike.

Most of them have a wide range of symptoms—some of which are specific, but many of which can be vague and sporadic.

Due to this, diagnosis of autoimmune disorders often involves visits to multiple doctors who will use a process of elimination to rule out various diseases.

Fibromyalgia is one of the autoimmune disorders that doctors are working to learn more about.

Fibromyalgia affects women at a higher rate than men and doctors aren’t yet sure what causes the disease.

One theory is that it can be brought on by emotional or physical trauma (such as abuse, a car accident, or loss of a loved one).

Although there isn’t yet a cure for fibromyalgia, doctors have come a long way in working to help patients treat and control its many symptoms.

Common Fibromyalgia Symptoms

One of fibromyalgia’s main symptoms is pain in the muscles and joints throughout the body.

The location and severity of pain can differ from person to person, with some people experiencing a vague ache and others having severe pain that is located in a specific area (or areas) in the body.

Fibromyalgia pain typically affects the joints and muscles, but due to the nature of the disease, can cause vague pain in the abdomen and chest, as well as headaches.

Another common symptom of fibromyalgia is fatigue. Fibromyalgia fatigue is different from what most people feel when they’re tired; fibro fatigue is an extreme (and often chronic) fatigue that can affect a person’s ability to perform daily tasks such as go to work or run errands.

The fatigue may be so bad that the person experiencing it can’t even get out of bed. Episodes of fatigue and episodes of pain don’t necessarily coincide, so the two symptoms might not initially seem to be connected.

Fibromyalgia can also cause a wide variety of other symptoms. Some people experience severe migraine headaches as a result of their fibromyalgia.

Other people have trouble with being exposed to bright lights, loud sounds or scents.

Muscle spasms can occur throughout the body. Gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome occur at a high rate in people with fibromyalgia.

Insomnia, anxiety and depression are also very common. Patients are often hesitant or embarrassed to discuss symptoms such as loss of libido or erectile dysfunction.

Paresthesia: Fibromyalgia and Crawling Skin Sensation

One of the lesser-known symptoms of fibromyalgia is paresthesia. This condition causes someone to feel a burning, numb, tingling, prickling or crawling sensation in their skin. Some people describe it as a feeling of “pins and needles”in their skin.

They typically feel this feeling in their hands or feet, but it can occur in any part of the body.

Although paresthesia feels similar to having your hand or foot fall asleep when it has suffered a lack of circulation, it’s not the same thing.

Paresthesia occurs randomly and without any specific cause. It does not cause paralysis, but can cause extreme numbness.

Paresthesia can be particularly frightening because it can be mistaken for symptoms of a stroke.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should be checked out by a doctor to rule out any life-threatening causes—and anyone experiencing these symptoms in combination with a loss of bowel or bladder control, paralysis in any part of the body, or slurred speech should seek immediate medical attention.

Crawling Skin and Fibromyalgia

Treatment for Paresthesia

Like most of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, paresthesia and the crawling, sometimes painful skin sensations it causes may be the result of a variety of factors.

Researchers believe that fibromyalgia causes an overstimulation of the central nervous system, which can cause oversensitivity throughout the body (which means higher amounts of pain and extreme sensitivity to touch and various sensations).

Another factor that may contribute to paresthesia is muscle inflammation that compresses nerves. Anxiety can also cause (and exacerbate) paresthesia.

Exercise and physical therapy can be an effective way to help relieve paresthesia (as well as other fibro symptoms).

Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. He/she may recommend working with a physical therapist to target specific areas that are inflamed or problematic.

When starting an exercise regime on your own, always begin slowly and gently so as not to exacerbate your pain.

Exercise can help strengthen muscles and improve your flexibility. It can also help relieve stress and reduce anxiety.

It’s worth exploring more about stress and anxiety reduction as a treatment strategy for fibromyalgia.

Emotional distress can exacerbate most fibromyalgia symptoms—everything from pain and gastrointestinal distress and even paresthesia.

Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet is a classic symptom of a severe anxiety attack.

Even if the skin crawling symptoms are not caused by anxiety, emotional upset can make them worse.

As mentioned before, a regular exercise program can be useful to combat anxiety, as well as depression.

Your doctor may suggest antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications to help you feel better.

Developing a daily meditation practice can be a helpful way to settle the mind and heal the body.

Changes in your diet can be helpful in combatting fibromyalgia symptoms, as well. Some people have reported a lessening of their symptoms when they have eliminated dairy and gluten from their diet.

Many people believe that these two food groups can trigger allergic, inflammatory reactions in those with autoimmune disease.

To see if you have a sensitivity to a specific food, keep a food diary to see if there is a connection between the food you eat and your flare ups.

For those without a sensitivity to gluten and dairy, getting all of the right nutrients is key to keeping your body functioning in a healthy way.

Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is important to this; it will also help you maintain a healthy weight (which is another important factor in not aggravating fibromyalgia pain and paresthesia).

Sources:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/fibromyalgia/strange-signs-of-fibromyalgia.aspx

Is Paresthesia Connected to Fibromyalgia?

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Living with Fibro

11 Comments

  • I remember times when I was really bad being unable to wear any kind of jewellery, even my rings, and I had to wear my hair tied back because anything that might ‘creep’ on my skin such as stray hair was magnified and really uncomfortable.

    I know what you are talking about when it comes to numbness and tingling, and I agree it can be really distressing, especially if you already suffer from anxiety. Having a ‘mystery illness’ or ‘invisible illness’ can often make you paranoid that you have all sorts, and these symptoms don’t help.

  • Thank you for raising awareness about fibromyalgia! Not a lot of person know about it, but I think that’s due to the lack of information we have on it. I had a friend in school who was affected with this disease, and she missed a lot of school. Many of our classmates made fun of her because she was seen as different. It must have been terrible on her. Hopefully she is doing better now, and doesn’t suffer from anxiety or depression.

    I truly believe a healthy diet and regular exercise helps to combat some of these symptoms. It may be tough to begin at first , but it will only be beneficial in the end.

  • I’m sure a lot of people will relate to that annoying crawling in the face and other part of the body, about two to three inch wide, each time you try to wipe it off, you realize it isn’t there. you keep trying to reach it…thats where it feels annoying.
    we need to educate each others about this,engage in conversations to raise awareness. lots of people suffer from this but they think is something normal.

  • Reading up on all the symptoms of fibromyalgia leads me to believe that the nerves are heavily affected. Is this true? I’ll have to do some more reading on this to find out. But it’s just kindda wild to see the range of symptoms that this condition encompasses. It is difficult to find out whether or not you have this condition? Or does it take a while to find out?

  • I found myself clawing my skin till it bled. Did not even know it was a symptom. I just wish that my doc was better informed

  • This blog really helped. I recommend it for anyone who has symptoms that they want to get under control.

  • Heat. Ambient heat really increases the pins and needles on my body. It feels like “waves” of pins and needles, severely poking me, and unfortunately, it occurs all over my body, head to toe. I hate the heat. My hubby had to buy a portable AC and aim it right at me in bed for the days that get over 80 degrees and the pins and needles begin to take over. The crawling feeling is so REAL. I have to look and see if there is a bug crawling on me. That is how intense the communication from nerves to brain are, as if there are real bugs crawling or stinging me. What a blooming mess.

    • Auto immune problems means the body is attaching different parts of the body. The nerve symptoms are a part of MS which is a different group of symptoms, but it shouldnt change your diagnosis. If you get on methionine and a b-complex it will stop the progression of the skin/temo sensitivities. After 3 months you can add lysine to your regiment and begin to heal the damage. You can read about it on this blog:
      Methioninedeficiency.blogspot.com

  • I hate the crawling feeling. It seems like I’m waking up all night long to see if there is a bug crawling on me or SOMETHING there. Our neighbor just had bed bugs, so I feel like a paranoid schizophrenic at this point. I’m going to look into the vitamin supplements and hopefully that will help.

  • I hate, hate that iching crawling feeling. I thought I was going crazy not only was i feeling like something was bitting I also had bumbs to appear that iche like crazy I have the marks to prove it. I always wondered what is going to pop up next. My husband calls them fibro crisis every 2 to 3 months something new appears and here l go again. Please Help!!!

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