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Q. Can benign fasciculation syndrome cause muscle twitching?

Answered by
Dr. Abhaya Kant Tewari
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 25, 2022

Hello doctor,

I am 51 years old and have been experiencing muscle twitches several times an hour for almost three to four weeks. I have had no muscle weakness or imbalance. Sometimes, I experience sharp pain, but the muscle twitches last only a few seconds. They happen anywhere on my body, including the legs, arms, shoulders, eyelids, etc. I experience muscle twitches during the day, but I am unsure whether they happen during sleep. I have read that these twitches can happen due to stress. I have been stressed due to personal and work-related issues for the past few months. As a result, I am unable to sleep properly for a while. I have had insomnia for more than 20 years and was on Ambien 5 mg for 12 to 14 years. I sometimes stopped taking the medication to avoid getting addicted to it. I am healthy otherwise, with no symptoms of diabetes, cancer, or other diseases. I got a computerized tomography (CT) scan done three years ago for another issue, but it was normal. Do you think I should be concerned about these symptoms? Can you suggest something? Do you think this is something serious like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? My current medications include Amlodipine 10 mg per day for mild hypertension, Melatonin 5 mg for sleep, multivitamins, and herbal medication for cholesterol. I have attached my laboratory reports. Three months back, my ferritin levels have been high, and my complete blood count (CBC), liver function tests, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) tests, and C-reactive protein levels were normal.

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Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the detailed history. Your reports (attachments removed to protect the patients' identity) suggest that you are suffering from simple benign fasciculation syndrome, characterized by random twitching of muscles affecting various body parts. There is no particular area or other neurologic symptom associated with it. The presentation and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are different from what you are experiencing. Stress and anxiety often precipitate the problem. Stress needs to be tackled by relaxation exercises, meditation, tackling the situation giving rise to stress, and physical exercise and a healthy routine also help with it. Do not get into a vicious cycle of stress leading to benign fasciculation syndrome (BFS). Follow the guidelines to tackle stress, and medications can be given if the condition does not improve. There is no abnormality in your investigations. Keep taking your medication. I am not aware of the contents of the herbal medication you take, so I cannot comment on that. Get well soon.

Thank you.


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