What are medically unexplained symptoms (MUS)?

T0 understand medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), most health professionals and researchers point toward the link between the physical body and the mind.

MUS can refer to situations where someone experiences persistent bodily pain and discomfort, to which various tests reveal no clear physical cause. It can be terribly frustrating for sufferers, who may feel that doctors or experts are unable to fix the problem, or are led to feel they are lying about their issues. Not understanding the issue often leads to feelings of further anxiety, stress, depression, and shame. 

When there is no medical explanation for these symptoms, some health professionals and researchers consider these symptoms are a result of psychological causes.

Medically unexplained symptoms are also commonly related to little-known syndromes including chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (pain all over the body), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

About 1 in 4 people visiting a GP in the UK will have MUS.

Signs and symptoms of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS)

Signs and symptoms of MUS can include:

  • Backaches, migraines, fatigue, heart palpitations, faintness or dizziness 
  • Usual diagnostic methods, such as blood tests or X-rays are inconclusive, and the pain does not go away

What causes medically unexplained symptoms (MUS)?

MUS are more prevalent in women and young people. People who have previously been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, or recent infection, might be more prone to developing a MUS diagnosis.

Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) treatment at Nightingale Hospital

We have a range of leading experts specialised in treating medically unexplained symptoms. Getting treatment for MUS at Nightingale Hospital will generally be offered in an outpatient setting. This can take place via a consultation with a consultant psychiatrist, or a session with an experienced psychologist

Typical treatment for MUS includes talking therapies (such as CBT), mindfulness and sometimes medication (to reduce chronic symptoms of depression and anxiety). 


Enquire about
Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS)

Please contact us to find out more.

Enquire Now
“When you have a problem and you drink, take drugs or gamble, the problem won’t go away. Stay and tackle the problem”