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BENIGN FASCICULATION AND MUSCLE CRAMPING DISEASE
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BENIGN FASCICULATION AND MUSCLE CRAMPING DISEASE


  I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH BENIGN FASCICULATION AND MUSCLE CRAMPING DISEASE AND HAVE BEEN LIVING WITH A VARIETY OF SYMPTOMS.  3 YEARS AGO I EXPERIENCE A FLUE LIKE BEGINING TO ALL OF THIS THAT LASTED 3 MONTH WITH FATIGUE, MUSCLE FASCICULATIONS (EVERY WHERE BUT MAINLY IN THE LEGS AND WRISTS) AND A STRANGE SENSATION THAT CONTINUED ON THE TOPS OF MY ARMS AND LEGS!  I SOUGHT HELP AND HAD THE USUAL MRI AND EMG STUDIES WITH NO SPECIFIC DIAGNOSIS. AS A RESULT OF THE DEFAULT DIAGNOSIS I TAKE NERONTIN AND IT HAS RELIEVED THE TINGLING AND FASCICULATIONS. I AM VERY ACTIVE AND WEIGH 240LBS (VERY LOW BODY FAT ETC,) AND EVEN THOUGH I WAS WEAK (TIRED) AT FIRST THE MUSCLE STRENGTH IS UNAFFECTED NOW. I DO AEROBIC EXERCISE AS WELL,  HOWEVER MY SYMPTOMS HAVE CHANGED TO MUSCLE CRAMPING (SOMETHING I NEVER HAD DURING THE FIRST FEW YEARS) ESP. IN MY TORSO AND AFFECTS MY BREATHING TO A CERTAIN EXTENT (A LITTLE MORE LABORED LIKE MY MUSCLES ARE WRAPPED TIGHTLY AROUND MY CHEST) I ALSO HAVE BACK CRAMPS AND NOTICE WHEN I TRY TO STRETCH MY MUSCLES (ANY) THAT THEY TEND TO CRAMP ("CHARLIE HORSE" TYPE). I SEEM TO HAVE "ATTACKS" OF THIS AND EVERYDAY CAN BE A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE!   THERE SEEMS TO BE VERY LITTLE INFORMATION ON THIS SUBJECT AND HOW I CAN RELIEVE THE CRAMPING AND STILL AM CONCERNED ON HOW FAR THIS WILL GO AND IF IT WILL TURN INTO SOMETHING DEBILATATING LIKE MS OR ALS!  ANY HELP ON THIS WOULD BE A HELP.
  JUST FOR THE RECORD I AM 46 YEARS OLD AND IN GOOD HEALTH OTHERWISE!
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The diagnosis which you quote at the beginning of your posting namely on of  benign fasiculation and cramping sounds like it is still appropriate. There are a number of disorders, the causes of which have not yet been fully clarified which are characterized by increased excitability of the muscle cell membranes, this expresses itself in terms of spontaneous contractions, the mild end of the spectrum includes activity which is too slight to be felt by you but can be detected on EMG. The more severe manifestations range from minor twitching and fasiculations to full-blown cramps. The important thing to clarify is that this does not represent ALS since these symptoms are shared with ALS, the fact that you weakness resolved and did not progress over a period as long as 3 years makes me confident that this is not ALS.
MS dose not present in this manner so the possibility would not even have occurred to me.
If your symptoms have worsened this may be the point at which you should have a repeat EMG and consider medication to settle down your symptoms, some of the anti-epileptic medications which stabilize nerve cells also work to stabilize muscle cells, drugs like Tegretol and Dilantin have been used, Neurontin is also an anticonvulsant but there is little experience with its use in this situation.





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