Dysesthesia – Causes and Treatment Options 

Our central
nervous system is amazing. Because of its functionality, we are able to sense
and feel things surrounding us. We also feel what our body tries to convey. However,
in certain cases, we tend to experience painful, burning or itchy sensation in
an abnormal manner, and this condition is medically termed as dysesthesia. The
reason for this condition is damaged nerves and majorly it is linked with
neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

The word
dysesthesia comes from Greek origin which means abnormal sensations. The
sensation is often presented as pain in specific body parts but it is not pain.
It is the abnormal sensations you are going through which is pretty much
difficult to understand. These sensations could be described as burning,
itching, wetness, electric shock and these are caused by lesions of peripheral
or central nervous system. One might experience spontaneous sensations while in
some they awaken due to certain stations. The most affected body areas are skin,
scalp, mouth and legs.

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Paresthesia and
hyperalgesia are not similar to dysesthesia however people might get confused
between these three. It is because the symptoms shown by these health
conditions are quite similar in nature. These two conditions also occur with
multiple sclerosis and that is another reason to confuse dysesthesia with these
two health ailments. People suffering from paresthesia experience symptoms such
as skin crawling or pins and needles sensation while hyperalgesia is a strong
response to painful conditions. 

What are the symptoms of dysesthesia?

The condition
can make you suffer from continuous episodes of pain and discomfort while in
some, the frequency of outbreaks is intermittent. The intensity of symptoms depends
on how severe the tissue damage is. The symptoms are:

·       
Skin
crawling

·       
Burning
sensations

·       
Throbbing
pain

·       
Abnormal
sensations which resembles electric shock

People who
have developed dysesthesia due to multiple sclerosis experience a phenomenon
called MS hug. It can be explained as a sensation being squeezed especially in
the chest area. One also experiences tightness in the chest and rib area along
with in other body parts like legs, hands or head.

What causes dysesthesia?

This
condition develops due to damage occur to the nerve tissues. This damage makes
huge changes in the way nerve tissues behave and they behave in a very
unpredictable manner. This leads to incorrect or abnormal signalling causing
miscommunication. The brain unable to read the signals properly and thus it
tends to choose a known pattern of response which often turned into a mixture
of sensations. This is why, a person suffering from dysesthesia experiences
various sensations, all at once. Your brain, due to receiving these mix or
abnormal messages from the nerve tissues, causes you experience uncomfortable
sensations. You may suffer from mild tingling sensation to sharp stabbing pain.
Every sufferer shows different kind of symptoms depending on the severity of
the nerve damage.

The silver
lining here is that the nerve tissue is not damaged. In fact, the nerve tissue
is healthy and functional but fails to read and send the signals properly to
the brain which in turn causes these mix sensations.

Which factors contribute in worsening
dysesthesia?

Diabetic neuropathy

Uncontrolled
diabetes or abnormally high blood sugar level causes nerve damage which leads
to neuropathic pain. This can emerge as dysesthesia where a person suffers from
burning pain and it could be deep and sharp.

Shingles or herpes zoster

It is a
viral infection where the virus prefers to stay in a dormant state near the
brain and spinal cord. In stressful events, especially in those with poor
immune system, this virus gets reactivated causing burning sensation, numbness,
pain, tingling sensations and abnormal sensations causing a lot of discomfort.

Post-Lyme disease syndrome

Tick-borne
bacterial infection, Lyme disease, gives out symptoms like fever, headaches,
joint pain, muscle pain, skin rashes, sore muscles, stiff neck and fatigue. Post
treatment, certain patients experience dysesthesia with above-mentioned
symptoms.

Multiple sclerosis

This
condition affects the nervous system and causes the loss of myelin sheath that
safeguards the nerve cells. This is termed as demyelination. This further leads
to abnormal sensations, burning, aching and tingling sensations in the limbs.

What are the treatment options for
dysesthesia?

In many
cases, treating the underlying cause for dysesthesia onset proves to be
beneficial. The condition makes one suffer from depression and anxiety as well.
In this case, anti-depressants are prescribed to treat these psychological
ailments effectively. Treatment of dysesthesia depends on its types and
underlying conditions. Joining a support group helps in boosting self-esteem
and confidence.