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Trying to Figure it out
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Trying to Figure it out

A quick background in me. I am a 37 year old male and I have been under the most stress of my life this past year.  About a little over a month ago I started to get these muscles twitches (actually feels like a bubble effect) in my thigh.  It left my thigh and then was random through-out my body, from my forehead, eyelids, calfs, triceps...so on. I also notice a tightness from time to time in my right foot arch.  I feel none of this when I am sleeping, and when I wake up, it is like my mind is waiting for the twitching to start.  I really fixate on this.  I never had these experiences.  I had a cousin who died of ALS this past year, and he was 36. He was 1 of 2 people on his nuclear sub to develope ALS.  I am sure there is no connection with me, but what is going on.  I do not feel tired nor do I feel that I have lost any strength, but could all of this be a sign of ALS.  I also briefly experienced, in very small areas of my body, a slight prickly to electric feeling on my skin.  Again, it is very isolated when it happens.  Most of my twitching happens when I am sitting or relax, or just standing without any movement.  What does this sound like?  Thanks for any help.
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Avatar_n_tn
Fasciculations (muscle twitches) can be due to benign fasciculation syndrome, electrolyte abnormalities, stress, fatigue, and excessive physical exertion. Muscle twitches are also a part of ALS. I can not state that you have or do not have ALS based on a message. What I would recommend is for you to see a neurologist and discuss these concerns with them. They may then perform MRI's, an EMG test (muscle/nerve test), and possiblly some blood tests. Good luck.
18 Comments
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63754_tn?1290966980
There is a long list of how the body reacts when exposed to too much of any chemical. "Twitching" is one of them. If you could pin point when the 'twitching' first started & what you were doing at that time that was different than before, you may find the answer.  (Even changes or additions of medications)

This is important, because if you don't find the source, whatever the chemical exposure you are having  -  can mean   -  that you are also at risk for the harm from the long term effects of this chemical.

A common chemical that could cause such is 2-butoxyethanol (aka ethylene glycol monobutyl ether).  Fatigue is a long term effect plus the 'gulf war sydnrome' symptoms.  But without the assorted symptoms I wouldn't suspect this one.

After 'chemo therapy' treatment a woman experienced odd 'twitching'  So do you see what I'm saying?
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I was not around any chemicals.  It was my cousin who passed at 36 from ALS, and who was in the navy.  I am just trying to understand what is going on with me.  I feel great, but in the past month these muscle twitches and pins and needle to electric feelings have come out of the blue.   I am sure it is from stress, but I am also concerned that it could be a precurser to ALS or something else.
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63754_tn?1290966980
All I'm saying that we are exposed to harmful chemicals in ways you would least expect.

Here is the list of other signs of such.

HEADACHE,
sore throat,
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Avatar_n_tn
I guess I did not put the right words in my question to the DX.  Maybe someone out there can answer my question.  I am nervous about ALS, and I have symptoms that could or could not be the beginning. 1st, I developed muscle twitches about a month ago in my thigh, then pretty much all over.  They have pretty much stopped, except for when I am relaxed.  I feel them from time to time in my calfs, and my arms.  My eyelids have also began to twitch.  I have read that the ALS twitching is usually followed by or a result of muscle weakness.  I have no muscle weakness.  My hands and feet are fine, as is my swallowing.  I have been under a lot of stress this past year, but for the first 36 years of my life, I never had this type of reaction to stress.  I feel great physically...but the twitching does play on my mind.  Anyone out there that can give me their opinion on what I am going through, would be greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_n_tn
The mind can have a powerful effect on the body. Could it be causing your physical symptoms? Six yars ago I would have said no; but I know differently now. You don't specify what kind of stresses you have been under, but if they cause you to worry and/or not sleep well, they easily could be the cause of your symptoms. It can be a vicious circle. Best of luck.

My $0.02
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Avatar_n_tn
A couple more questions for anyone out there.  I also have eyelid twitches...I have been told this is not a sign of ALS since it does not effect that area.  I was also told if you can feel the twitches most likely they are benign.  Mine happen in very small areas and last maybe a second if that.  It seems to be just a quick twitch/bubble feeling.  Mostly happening in the calfs.  One last thing...I also read that the twitches usually start after the detoriating of the muscle, and weakness most likely would be observed after the twitching.  I have none of these.  Anymore answers and info on my questions and ALS would be greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have read that pins and needles and electric feelings are not a sign of ALS.  As a nurse, I have had patients with ALS and the main symptom that I remember was the weakness.  As far as I know, twitches are very common especially after exercise or strenuous activity.  Do you take calcium/magnesium?  That helps my muscles relax and not twitch so much.  Do you drink pop?  It will rob your body of its calcium and then symptoms will occur.  Do you drink lots of pure water?  There are things you can do to better your health.  Lots of things.  Try to concentrate on that.   www.mercola.com has lots of health info that is very useful and up-to-date.
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Avatar_n_tn
The twitches just started out of the blue...after some days of stress.  Never experienced anything like this before.  It comes and goes, and seems to come more when I am thinking about it or not busy or pre-occupied.  I am thinking I may have BFS.  From what I ahve read about ALS..the twitching usually comes after muscle weakness and atrophy.  Also with ALS I am reading where it starts with slur speech, weakness in a hand, or tripping.  I have none of these.  Aside from the twitching, I feel great.  I am never tired, nor do my muscles feel weak.  I am starting to think this is all stress related, and now it has just stuck with me.  For example, today, I was stressing about my exams and work, and my left eye lid twitched all day.  After I received some good news, the eyelid twitching stopped, but I still am getting breif twitches in my calf, arms, feet, sometimes shoulder and back, but mainly in the calfs.  I also read that eyelid twitching is primary a BFS thing and not ALS.  HAs anyone else heard this.  I also heard that if you can feel the twitch, it is probably not ALS.  I do not know.  It still scares the **** out of me from time to time.  Any insight from anyone on what I am experiencing is greatly appreciated.  One last thing.  I do notice that when I finally go to bed, my arch in my right foot feels like it is going to cramp up, but it never does.  If I move in another position, it looses that feeling.  Is this something to be concerned about or could be part of the BFS.  Thanks for any comments.
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Avatar_n_tn
12 years ago I had panic attacks and one of my symptoms was the twitching like crazy. I have had them again for the past three weeks and once again I am twitching like crazy. My mind goes back and forth that it is ALS or BFS from the stress and attacks. I keep saying if it were ALS 12 years ago when I had them I wouldn't be her right now so why can't I accept that now? Because of this darn internet. I have more available resources to look up symptoms, etc... that I didn't have 12 years ago so back then when they told me it was anxiety I got over it and it stopped. Now I can't get my mind off of it. I know how you feel. What type of stress did you have? I have been pretty much at a complete state of panic for three state weeks and have been having the twitches since so it is probably stress for me too but it is very difficult to get my mind off of it! I feel your pain!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey all.

I'm a 4th year medical student about to finish and start an Ob/Gyn residency in July. I'm no neurologist, although I have studied some Neurology.

ALS is a very scary disease, and it is understandable to worry about it. However, the last comment posted about 12 years of twitching is definitely not ALS. I mean, I guess anything is possible, but ALS victims do not typically survive past 5 years (most famous exception: Stephen Hawking). But it is a motor neuron disease, which means it will affect muscle. The twitching in ALS is the result of denervation of muscle, which will lead to atrophy (weakening). It typically starts in the upper limb, and progression is asymmetric. If there is no associated muscle weakness, it seems HIGHLY unlikely to be ALS. BFS seems more likely if EMG test results come back.
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Thanks for your response.  I went to my doctor and had a talk.  The bottom line that was told too me was that in most cases of ALS, there would be noticable muscle weakness or atrophy with the twictches.  Twitches are common with ALS, but usually come later, and sometimes they do not come at all.  Also, 60% of ALS patients start off with either slurred speech, weakness in a hand or foot, were it seems as if you cannot button your shirt, or you feel like you are tripping on carpet. I have none of this, and I am betting you do not also.  Aside from the paranoria I feel from the twitching....I feel great.  The fact that the twitching came out of the blue with out any prior indicators would suggest BFS, not ALS.  The past year of my life has been the most stressful for me, and I really think that my twitching is from the stress.  I noticed the other day, when I was under stess, my eyelid kept on twitching, and when the stress was over, so was my eyelid twitching.  Also, since I had the talk with my Doctor, I have noticed the twitching has greatly reduced...which brings me to this point...if it was ALS, I do not think my twitching would just come and go...it would seem to me it would become more prevaliant than less. I still have twitching in my calfs, feet, arms, legs...etc..but not like it was when I was really stressing.  Anyway, I hope this helps you and one last thing my Doc told me was too stop looking up things like this on the internet...yes, twitching is a part of ALS and 50 other conditions.
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Avatar_n_tn
Actually I had the attacks 12 years ago and had the twitching then and then  I was told it was anxiety. They eventually went away. I haven't had them for 12 years. I have been getting attacks again and have them again now. If it was from ALS wouldn't I be gone by now if they were from ALS 12 years ago???? The symptoms are identical as they were 12 years ago but now that I have the internet to look up symptoms I can't get the ALS out of my mind. I do get jelly legs with the panic attacks. The twitching started with the majorly high anxiety three weeks ago. I have extremity cramping but it is mild and had it 12 years ago with the panic attacks as well. I even pulled my medical records from 12 years ago and everything is identical!!! So why can't I let it go????????????
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Avatar_n_tn
The mind can be very overwhelming at times.  Go see your doctor again, and if needed, ask them for an anti depressent.  I believe you are fine..and them more your worry about it, the more you add to your anxeity.  I am sure there are times when you are busy, that the twitching subsides, but comes back as soon as you have time to think about it.  It really seems this is all in your mind, but again, go to a doctor so you can know for sure.  I wish you the best.  Again, muscle twitching can be more than ALS.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was recently diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy.....I read the statement about exposure to monobutyl ether.....I recently used a stipping agent on some old furniture that contains that chemical....I am convinced that is the cause of my neuropathy.....there are no other explanations
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Finfan

Please go over to Harvard University's "Braintalk" site. There you will find dozens...even hundreds...of individuals with your exact symptoms. Most have had them for months or years and have been diagnosed with nothing, other than BFS. Post your story and you'll get tons of reassurance.

This site has recently been moved to a new server. Here is the URL

http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=191

It would be worthwhile to also go to the old forum and browse the archives. It can be accessed at:

http://neuro-mancer.mgh.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro&category=2&BypassCookie=true

and select "Neuromuscular"

Carling
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Avatar_n_tn
my doctor would call this "having enough information to make you dangerous"
seriously, are you prone to anxiet/depression?
Somatic complaints are common with depression, it just doesn't feel like it at the time..
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Avatar_n_tn
twitching is very common, my eyes, actually under my eyes do it...my deltoids,triceps, biceps. calfs,especiqally when I am trying to fall asleep and i am way overtired...
or haven't taken any magnesium lately..or if im slightly dehydrated or in need of some potassium..
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