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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Whole body paresthesia, tingling, loss of sensation.

 bluecoffey - Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:07 pm

Hello, I have been experiencing waxing and waning bouts of whole body loss of touch (and pain) sensation. The worst bout lasted several days before I started to slowly feel normal. I had an MRI of my brain which was normal. I am not having any loss of temperature sensation or motor skills. It is worse in my legs, but has spanned as far as my forehead, face and even tongue. For example, I could feel the temperature of the soda that I was drinking but not the bubbles. I could feel the cold rim of the toilet seat but not the toilet beneath me. I could still walk, but my body felt heavy. Sometimes it has been on one side and others it spans the entire body. If I lay still long enough, I regain a small amount of sensation but the moment I move it feels as though I am under general anesthesia, especially in my legs. I am on a waiting list for a neurology appointment and my rheumatologist is baffled. I can't stand feeling like this, it is by far the most bizarre feeling (or lack thereof) that I have ever experienced. Any ideas?
 outback_jack - Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:22 am


I too am having serious problems with paraesthesia, tinging (pins and needles) and pain - (However, in my case its in te left-leg and left side of my chest so far) I've had it for over a month now and its not improving (see my other post).

I did some research and these symptoms are generally caused by nerve problems, but there's a huge range of possible things that can be putting pressure on the nerves.

Worse case scenario, it's either the onset an auto-immune disease (most likely Multiple Sclerosis, if the symptoms are very general like they are for you and me), or there's a cancer tumor somewhere that's now grown large enough to hit a nerve. (Both these worst-cases are not terribly likely though, so don't panic yet!)

Best case scenario, its only temporary nerve inflammation that will go away of its own accord.

Try loading up with mega-does of the following for a couple of weeks and see if it helps:

Vitamin D
Vitamin B12
Omega-3 (Fatty Acids)

There is some evidence that these can reduce nerve inflammation and retard MS.
 bluecoffey - Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:54 pm

I must admit I was worried abotu MS, but my MRI came back normal. I already have a history of auto-immune diseases like SLE (lupus) and ITP (autoimmune platelet problem) and APS (anti-cardiolipin antibodies). My Lupus doc doesn't think that it's related. They are screening me for NMO anti-bodies also. The odd thing is that it is my whole body including my face, so that pretty much rules out a nerve being compressed, or even a blood clot. The weakness and lack of sensation are better with rest but still affect me to some degree every day. Yesterday was a horrible day, but today seems not bad so far.
 alishabrooke - Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:53 pm


Did you ever find out what was wrong? I found this site while doing some research on my symptoms. I am experiencing the same thing you have explained. My whole body from scalp to toe has lost a sense of feeling/touch. It has been going on for a week now. An example, when I scratch my neck, I don't feel like I am scratching myself, though I can feel that it is being scratched. It's like I am all disconnected, or have lost 50% of my normal sensation of touch. Now a week into it, my head feels a bit swimmy and under pressure. I have been starting to have periods of feeling really ill, but I am afraid it may be the anxiety I am having due to the uncertainty of my health.

I know this post is old, but I would be very curious to see what you figured out about your health regarding this situation.

 Walter Bennet - Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:49 am

I am also wondering if you ever found the cause, because I have exactly the same problem. Actually, I have this problem for 5 years now, but its progressive and now I lost about 90% of sensation. I have trouble coping with problem, because every time I seem to get used to it, it gets worse and I feel terrible again.
I had a MRI of my head, which came out normal. I also had a EMG and SSEP,and they were both normal. My neurologists (and I have been examined by several) don't know what it is yet.
 SueEllen - Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:01 pm

Thank goodness. I thought I was losing my mind. Having these symptoms for 2 weeks now following a sinus surgery procedure. Not quite sure if it is a coincidence or related but I also have loss of feeling in my entire body from scalp to toenails to include lack of sensitivity to hot and cold. I can tell the difference between hot and cold but not to the extreme. For instance if I put my hand under extremely hot water I can tell the water is not cold but it would take a quite a few seconds or longer before I would feel it burning my skin. I have also had two lower back surgeries in the past and wondered if maybe that could have something to do with it although I would think it would isolate certain nerves and it wouldn't affect the entire body. Just curious to see if anybody ever got any answers.
 kristydmoore - Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:52 pm

Hi, I have been having the same symptoms was just wondering if any of you found out the cause of your symptoms? Please let me know I am desperate.
 mij - Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:36 am

I just had cervical spinal fusion surgery a week ago Thursday. since surgery i have very limited feeling in my skin and lost most of my taste in my mouth. i also feel like i am on something (just not right) The Dr just blew it off the other day and said maby it is a reaction to one of the medications i was given during surgery. Any help would b appreciated.

 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:21 pm

Hello BlueCoffey, mij and all,

I don't see that your posts have had responses, so will try to provide some information. Parasthesia is usually localized, unless it's related to an autoimmune disorder or motor neuron disease. Recent studies of Fibromyaligia suggest there may be episodes of more generalized parasthesia. There are many, many possible causes - a few are panic attacks, poor circulation, autoimmune disorders, metabolic disorders (like Diabetes Mellitus or hypothyroidism), nerve inflammation, malnutrition/vitamin deficiency, atherosclerosis, alcoholism, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, electrolyte imbalances, myelitis, and medication reactions, particularly to opiates. As you can see, this makes evaluation and diagnosis extremely difficult, and may require considerable "trial and error" in ruling out potential contributing factors. CT scans, MRIs, and nerve conduction studies are often the tests used, as well as blood studies. Treatment is geared to the specific type of condition, as immunosuppressants, anti-inflammatories, anticonvulsants and antivirals, among others. I always suggest that a person start and maintain a daily record of symptoms, including what the symptom is, when it started, how long it lasted, what were you doing/what was happening when the symptom began, what (if anything) helps to relieve it, and any other data that you consider significant. Always take your record with you to medical appointments, as it can help your doctor recognize diagnostic patterns as well as help him or her decide the most advantageous times for medication dosages. It may suggest the need for referral to a specialist. I also encourage you to continue doing research into your symptoms; new information is constantly coming to light, and your doctor may not have seen the information yet. Investigate local support groups, as for autoimmune disorders, where there is often discussion of current information. I hope this is helpful to all of you in some way. Good luck!!

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