I am 35 years old and almost 20 weeks pregnant. I have always had some muscle twitches here and there. Sometimes they would linger for a few days and other times I just notice the occasional twitch. I should point out that this is a high risk pregnancy due to a septal defect. In the last couple of months, since I have been pregnant, my twitches have increased significantly. It all seemed to start in my right foot after I would stretch my calf muscle in the morning while still in bed. (I have been asked to sleep on either side at night and not my back, so I am not moving around much). It would last just a few seconds and I couldn't reproduce this with a subsequent stretch. Once or twice a day I would feel the muscle twitch in my foot, such as when I crossed my leg or changed positions. One afternoon the I started noticing the twitching more frequently. I became extremely anxious regarding the twitching and within two days I started experiencing twitching in my entire body (arms, legs, eye, rib cage, back and hands). They come and go rapidly. One minute I will feel a quick twitch in my arm and a minute later I might feel one in my leg. They are worse at night and seem to be more aggrevated after moving or tensing my muscles. I have never felt more anxious in my life. I have trouble sleeping and am not eating well. I have seen my internist who examined me carefully, testing my strength and reflexes. Everything was normal and I was reassured that I did not have a degenerative disease. My question is can pregnancy bring on increased muscle twitching? Thank you.
muscle twitches may be myoclonus (very quick rapid movements) or fasciculations (more of a repetitive rippling movement)
both can be benign and increased with certain stressors such as cold, exercise, pregancy. Twitches are often benign when widespread also. Without other symptoms or signs of neurodegenerative disease or epilepsy they are likely to be benign, and nothing to worry about. To be more reassurred you could see a neurologist who could confirm a normal neurological exam. Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder (benign movements that can disturb sleep) can increase in pregnancy so have this questioned by your doctors.
I forgot to mention that I had a flu-like virus the 5th week of my pregnancy and was off work and in bed for several days. It took a couple more weeks to get completely over the illness. Also, my activity level is restricted because of the high risk pregnancy. I used to do swimming, brisk walking or jogging for 30-45 minutes 3-5 times a week prior to having to be restricted to going to work only (I have a job where I am sitting most of the time) and coming home and essentially sitting on the couch.
Make sure your electrolytes are in balance. I have been having problems with twitching and weakness for three months and finally found out it was my sodium, co2, potassium messed up. If your were sick with vomiting, diarrhea etc you could be affected the same way. Or if you are on a blood pressure medicine like me it messes you up. Good luck with the pregnancy!
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