Bugs Are Crawling All Over Me
Last updated: December 2021
Sorry, I couldn't help it with the title. I'm in my 30s and it's a reference to a song I like. While I'm not experiencing this sensation because of alcohol withdrawals, I am experiencing this sensation because of my restless legs syndrome (RLS).
This is quite the unpleasant feeling that started last month. Especially because when I was a kid, I woke one morning to ants crawling all over me. Over the years, I've had experiences with a bug crawling on me, so I know the sensation, unfortunately, too well. Now, as an RLS symptom, this is a nightmare.
A new, strange sensation
It first started with my ear. It felt like a bug was crawling in my ear. I quickly checked, and no bug. A couple of minutes later, the sensation started again in my ear, and again I checked for bugs. By the third time, I had blankets up around my ear, so I knew that it wasn't bugs; this was a weird sensation that my body was doing.
Thankfully, it's not like the burning and fresh-cut sensations that my fibromyalgia causes, but it's quite annoying because I always have to check to see if there is a bug(s) crawling on me.
Is this temporary new symptom?
Like every new symptom that pops up, I was really hoping that this would be a one-time thing. A couple of days later, it happened again. It felt like bugs were crawling in my ear. This time it was the opposite ear. Why my ears? Ugh, gross.
Since then, I have experienced this new symptom a couple of times and not always in my ears. While I'm not sure if this is a symptom I will always have, it seems like it's at least going to be around for a while. Why do nerves have to be so silly and misfire in a way to make it feel like bugs are crawling on you? Maybe adding iron supplements will stop this sensation, I don't know.
A common experience for people with RLS
I've seen quite a few people in our community talking about this as a symptom that they experience, and I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, that is a horribly unpleasant symptom to have to experience. I hope that doesn't happen to me, ugh, bugs."
Looking further into this symptom beyond our community, it sounds like it's fairly common for people with RLS to experience the sensation of bugs crawling on them.
RLS is a sensorimotor neurological disorder
I wasn't able to find any stats pertaining to how many report this as a symptom, but that doesn't mean that information isn't out there; I just wasn't able to find it. Our nerves can send off incorrect messages to our brain, especially because of nervous system diseases (disorders) like RLS.
After all, RLS is a sensorimotor neurological disorder. Our sensorimotor nervous system encompasses all of the sensory, motor, and central integration and processing components involved with maintaining functional joint stability.1
Is this a symptom you have? Was it something you started experiencing from the beginning, or was it something that popped up later in life?
Do you find that what you eat or drink impacts your RLS symptoms?