Nigel Farage has revealed he is receiving hospital treatment after admitting he is in a "a lot of pain" at the start of the general election campaign.
The Ukip leader said that he is seeing doctors twice a week and has been prescribed strong sleeping pills and muscle relaxants to deal with a flare-up of pain from an old spinal injury.
Addressing speculation about his health, Mr Farage told the Daily Telegraph: "I was not unwell, I have not had heart palpitations, but I was getting increasingly terrible pain in my shoulder, my back, and so I was suffering from neuralgic pain.
"I am taking a few tablets but it is something I have got to live with and I have got to pace myself. I think I am going to have medical treatment for the rest of my life."
But Mr Farage insisted he is "back to the old me" after the treatment, although he admitted he may need medical care for the rest of his life.
Nigel Farage has insisted Ukip's support was "holding up remarkably well", despite polls suggesting it has drifted down to the low teens over the course of the election campaign.
The Ukip leader predicted his party would "surprise" those who have suggested he will fail to secure the Thanet South seat in Kent and leave just one Ukip MP on May 8.
"I was out last night knocking on doors in the seat which I am fighting and I think it is going extremely well. I think Ukip is holding up remarkably well in the polls," Farage told BBC's Breakfast programme.
"Our vote is firming over the course of the last couple of weeks. In our target seats we are doing well," he said.
"The thing about Ukip is that all the so-called experts have underplayed us over the last few years. They have underestimated our potential, they are doing so again, and I think we are going to surprise people."
Nigel Farage has blamed the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties for the "tidal wave of people" trying to get to Europe, saying it was the downfall of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi which has lead to migrants dying as they try to flee to Europe.
The Ukip leader was talking to Lorraine Kelly about the recent drowning of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean. Up to 1,500 migrants have drowned on their way to Europe and more than 13,000 people have been rescued by the Italian Navy this year alone.
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The Royal Navy should be sent to the Mediterranean to help thousands of migrants following the latest boat disaster, Nigel Farage has said.
After accusing David Cameron yesterday of "directly causing" the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea by bombing Libya in 2011, the Ukip leader said if he was Prime Minister he would send the Royal Navy to help.
Speaking in Rochester, Mr Farage said: "We could help. We could send the Royal Navy down, but it's a question of what's the signal - is the signal 'If they keep on coming we'll keep on taking you' or is the signal 'We're very sorry, we can't take you'?"
Asked what he would do as Prime Minister, Mr Farage said: "I would say there is a horrible humanitarian crisis going on, we'll send the Royal Navy - what's left of it - to help, we will divert part of our £20 billion a year aid budget."
He said Mr Cameron has a "very big challenge" when he attends a summit on the migrant crisis at the European Council in Brussels on Thursday.
Nigel Farage has claimed David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy's "fanaticism" in bombing Libya caused the problem of migrants dying at sea.
The Ukip leader's comments came as a boat carrying as many as 700 migrants capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.
Asked whether the tragedy required a European response, Mr Farage told the BBC's Sunday Politics: "Well actually it was the European response that caused this problem in the first place.
"The fanaticism of Sarkozy and Cameron to bomb Libya....what they have done is to completely destabilise Libya. To turn it into a country with much savagery, to turn it into a place where, for Christians, the situation is now virtually impossible.
"We ought to be honest and say we have directly caused this problem."
Nigel Farage will be given half an hour to answer viewer questions a week before the general election in a programme to be aired on BBC One on 30th April.
The Ukip leader said he was "delighted" to appear.
BBC to grant Nigel Farage half an hour to answer viewers' questions
The programme will air on BBC a week before Election Day - same night the three main party leaders are interviewed in Question Time special
Nick Clegg said going to a pub in his constituency was a better use of his time than listening to "that shower" in the debate.
Asked why he had not listened to Mr Miliband, a potential coalition partner, he told reporters on his campaign battle bus:
You are not seriously suggesting whether or not there is a Liberal Democrat-Labour coalition depends on whether I should spend an hour and a half listening to that shower yesterday?
Come on. Give me a break. What a ridiculous thing to say. Why would that have any bearing on how a government is composed or functions after the election?
He added that from what he had seen of the debate "it delivered no surprises whatsoever."
I didn't see it, I admit. I was talking to constituents in my constituency, because I want to get re-elected.
That is more important to me frankly than listening to Nigel Farage with his loopy, loopy stuff at one extreme and Ed Miliband dithering about how not to balance the books, and three other other politicians saying can we wave a magic wand and borrow lots of money we don't have. My use of time was spent much more productively.
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