Another Anxiety/Stress link

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Another Anxiety/Stress link

Postby BTS on March 31st, 2004, 4:06 pm

Consider this link below...and please note the first symptom mentioned.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency ... 003211.htm

As you might have guessed by a couple of my posts, I find that my anxiety plays a large part in my muscle twitching. It is incredibly predictable and can be a viscious circle i.e. you get a twitch, you worry and focus on it, you get another twitch, same spot, get really worried, get another one and it's popcorn time...anybody else relate to that? :)

Anyway, my post for the day.

Be steady.

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Postby sdibble on April 4th, 2004, 9:56 pm

Yes, I certainly can agree with you that the twitching started for me at an incredibly stressful and anxiety filled time in my life. I now feel like I'm in control of the emotional aspects of my life and am hoping to see a reduction in the twitching (actually I'd be thrilled for them to cease entirely but I am so relieved to know it is nowhere near as heinous as I had first imagined so I am thanking my lucky stars!!) I'm sure I would have initially managed much better if I had known that there are others that have experienced the same. So good to have found you all.
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Postby Arron on April 8th, 2004, 12:53 pm

what they are referring to (as far as "twitches" goes) is an entirely differemnt kind of "twitch". Clinical people use the word "fasciculation" to describe small 'twitches". What they are talking about in the description you provided the link for are twitches like when you see someone "on edge" or high on coke, crank, speed, etc. (all wound-up), they have twitchy, trembly movements, NOT fasciculation like twitches. At least not like BFS sufferer's have anyway. When you are all wound-up, either by natural process or by chemical process, you become "jerky", jumpy, "twitchy", not able to sit still, always in motion, trembly, shaky, etc., and there is a HUGE difference between all of that and BFS twitches and tremors.

Just because something is described sort of like a duck, (has a bill, feathers, webbed feet, looks like a duck, walks like a duck, flies like a duck) certainly doesn't mean it IS a duck. There are also geese, swans, Muscovey ducks,(a small goose), Colmorans, mud hens and so on that ALL have the same basic features as any duck, but are NOT ducks.

You have to take things at face value. The bottom line is; stress and anxiety do NOT "cause" BFS, period. There is NO evidence, what so ever, that even points to this theory except for some peole coming on here (before they even know about BFS or what it is) and say, "stress and anxiety causes BFS" and that is SO far from the truth.

BFS is either caused by an auto immune response, or by a chemical reaction to natural substances in the body that are reacting against some other intyroduced chemical, such as an antibiotic, or an adrenalyne response, or something along those line that has caused an irritation of the nerve linings. That is where medical evidence is pointing, NOT towards simple anxiety or stress.

You can argue with that until you are blue in the face, but if you believe that stress and anxiety are the root cause of BFS, then you are in dark times and need to see the light, because thereare MANY people with BFS that have never had a worry or a stressful moment on their life, and they still got BFS, besides if you un-stress yourself, stress symptoms will go away, but BFS remains the same for years on-end, which again, points away from being "caused" by stress.
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Postby Jenn311 on April 8th, 2004, 2:14 pm

Very interesting post Arron....

Jen :wink:
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Postby BTS on April 8th, 2004, 3:18 pm

I'm not saying that they cause BFS, if that is how it looks, then my apologies.

My point is, I'm not sure if I have "real BFS" or anxiety-exacerbated BFS or just twitchy muscles.

Here is another snippet from another Anxiety/GAD site...see bolded:

Long term severe worry, tension, irritability or depression, for no clear reason.
Excessive or unwarranted worry (usually over work, finances, relationships, and health)
Heart palpitations (rapid or irregular heartbeat)
Sense of impending doom
Difficulty or Inability to concentrate or mind going blank
Muscle tension especially in the neck, shoulders, and chest; muscle aches; trembling or twitching in the muscles
Diarrhea
Chest pain
Dry mouth
Sweating or hot flashes
Excessive sweating, sweaty palms
Abdominal pain and/or diarrhea
Undereating or overeating, loss of appetite
Insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep, nightmares)
Irritability
Fatigue, headache, Easily fatigued
Trembling or feeling shaky
Rapid and shallow breathing, or feeling short of breath (hyperventilation)
Loss of sex drive
Being easily startled
Occasional panic attacks
Restlessness

My point is, when I get anxious, my muscles twitch...I wish they didn't, but they do.

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Postby Arron on April 8th, 2004, 4:41 pm

What happens when you exercise and you have BFS? You twitch more. What does exercise do to muscles? It causes them to contract and "tense-up"... so it would seem logical that "tension" caused by anxiety would cause more twitching then... right?

Again, there is NOT one shred of evidence that anxiety CAUSES BFS, but it certainly exaggerates it and causes your twitches to get worse. BUT, just because it causes them to get worse, certainly doesn't mean it "causes" BFS in the first place.

Geeze, if that were the case, then bomb squad officer's, airline flight controller's, brain surgeon's and everyone else that has extreme levels of stress and anxiety in their daily lives would have BFS as well, and is there anyone like that on this forum? All I see is everyday, average "Joe's", and "Jane's" on here, with everyday average job's, and it seems that no other employees working with the average Joe's, that all do the same job have BFS either.

EVERYONE has stess in their lives at one time or another, and if stress or anxiety actually caused BFS, it would certainly be MUCH more common and more well known, and ALL of us would have had to have extreme stress levels when we got our BFS, and that simply isn't the case.

Also, they describe "Muscle tension especially in the neck, shoulders, and chest; muscle aches; trembling or twitching in the muscles:,

well that certainly doesn't say PROFUSE, CONSTANT twitching ALL over the body, 24/7. Like I said in my first post, what they mean by twitching is like when you see someone high on crank, crack, coke or speed, or even high levels of caffeine, they are jumpy, twitchy, jerky, with high / fast reflexes, on edge and can't stay still, all tensed-up with veins popping out of their foreheads and arms (from muscles being tensed-up) and so on. They might have a muscle twitch from time to time, but NOT constant "fasciculations" or "worms under the skin" movements that myokymia poses, which is common (and benign) with BFS sufferer's.

Again, you have to take things at face value, not in the literal sense of the words being used.
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Postby kim on April 8th, 2004, 5:39 pm

Aaron,

Ya know I love you, but I have to disagree. I was diagnosed with BFS. I am certain my twitching or "fasiculations" were exactly as you described in other BFSers. I also had accompanying symtoms such as cramping, percieved weakness, joints cracking, pain and fatigue. All of which are also symptoms of most BFSers. I am truely convinced that (at least for me) anxiety "triggered" my BFS. It may not have caused it, but almost as soon as I went on anti anxiety meds and SSRI's, it went away! For me the "math" was easy.

Just because other people in stressful situations do not get BFS doesn't mean stress can't be the cause. Not all smokers get lung cancer either. I think there may be a pre-disposition to illnesses. A "luck of the draw" as you will. Maybe there are different "triggers". But I was able to eliminate my symptoms by treating what I felt to be the "Cause"!

I certainly do not claim to be an expert. This is only true of MY situation. I am sure others have their own "triggers"! I know of people who developed chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia after a car accident or surgery. Maybe each person has a different "trigger" for what ever ails them???

Much Respect!

Kim
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reply to Kim

Postby KimE on April 8th, 2004, 5:52 pm

Hmmm. My symptoms sound in line with yours. And I fully think stress completely brought this on. Though, I think some odd things were started before the stress.

And I am completely anxiety ridden right now, MRI tomorrow, and my sx are pretty bad.
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Postby Arron on April 9th, 2004, 12:11 pm

Kim, a lot of people are "certain" about a lot of things, such as the existance of god, aliens, religion, miracles, that we came from monkeys, or whatever, but scientifically, they can't be "certain" about anything without hard proof. There is too much medical information about BFS that simply doesn not point towards anxiety "causing" BFS.

A LOT of people don't "notice" their twitches when they take antidepressants as well, but then again, most of them come back and post that they indeed still have twitches. When I am on Ativan or Valium, I don;t notice them as much either, but they are certainly still there, because my wife points them out.

I don't notice any twitches when I drink alcohol either, but that doesn't mean that not drinking is causing my twitches or that they aren't there when I am intoxicated, and many people have posted that they too don't "notice" their twitches as much when they drink, but that doesn't mean they "go away" when alcohol is in your system. They are most certainly still there, you just don't notice them.

Now, it is common knowledge that when you first start twitching, everything is pretty much OK. Then you go surfing around in medical books or on the web and find that twitching is a sign of ALS (as incorrect as that may be), and crap hits the fan because you go off the deep-end and completely freak-out, which sets-off the twitches even more. Once people settle back down and start realizing that their twitches are not ALS related, they start to go away, or at least subside to a lesser amount than they were when they were all freaked-out.

Some people say their twitches go away when they exercise, yet many other's say it makes them even worse, so who's right there? Some people say their twitches subside when they take B-12 or Potassium and other "remedies" for a while, so does that mean it is "caused" by a B-12 defeciency or a low potassium level? Nope. We know this becuae a Panel 7 blood test shows that the levels are right in par with normal, and the fact that 95% of the people that first believe that what they are taking is helping their twitches go away, come right back again saying that their twitches are back. But they were "certain" that this stuff was helping, when in reality, it was a "placebo effect", which is so prevelant, that in all medical studies, they have to factor-in a placebo effect with the final results.

The mind is an incredibly powerful thing, and the power of belief can, and will, make bodies change chemically, and it has also caused people to kill their families becuse they were "certain" god told them to do it. They wage wars over religious beliefs because they are "certain" they will go to Allah and there are 72 virgins waiting for them there. They kill themselves to go fly with the Hale Bop commet to go back to the home land, and how many other whacko things people do becuae they were "certain" about someting, yet there was no hard evidence to show it scientifically.

Most neuso's say BFS is caused by an irritation of the nerve linings, most likely caused by an auto-immune response of some sort. Other's say very similar things, but VERY few say that BFS is "caused" by stress or anxiety, and the reason for that is simple, because there is no hard evidence pointig towards that cause at all.

I only go by what medical evidence has to offer, and trust me, I have quite a few doctor buddies and their co worker's looking into this stuff and we have a LOT of information on it, and none of it points towards "stress or anxiety" as the cause of BFS. So I base my posting on that.

You may be "certain" about what you think, and that's totally fine. That's the beauty of free speech and the difference of opinion. It's all good :-) You believe what you want to believe and I will believe what I want to believe, but I'll keep basing my beliefs on hard evidence.
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Postby kim on April 9th, 2004, 2:15 pm

Aaron,

I didn't claim I was "certain" anxiety was the cause. But I do feel "certain" it was my trigger. I do still get occasional twitches here and there. But I know all my life I used to get them here and there. I think almost everyone does. It's when they become non-stop 24/7 thats the problem. All I want to point out is that there is no real, solid answer for everyone. But for me, it worked. I just hope others can find the same. Maybe it is just the "power of positive thinking". I know the negative thinking got me to this site. The mind is definately a powerful thing. Why not consider this a viable sloution for some??

Kim
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Postby garym on April 9th, 2004, 2:31 pm

My neuro told me that anxiety and stress wasn't a cause of BFS, but I don't know if he is right or wrong. I don't think anyone knows for sure. He did say that he had never had a bfs patient that didn't have anxiety/stress due to the condition.........Just for the record, he believes that it is caused by some type of potassium channel blocker, but again, that is just his opinion. I wonder if there is a subgroup of us that may have anxiety induced twitching, maybe those that only twitch several times a day as opposed to constantly. When I hear some of the people on the board complain about 15-20 twitches a day, I think it could be anxiety or just hyper-vigilance in monitoring one's body (everyone twitches a little!). I personally twitch more than that in the time it has taken to type this post. I know, I know........I'm a slow typer, but I'm not that slow :? .

Anxiety or something else? Whatever the cause, the whole thing just sucks, but it could be so much worse.

Gary
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Postby kim on April 9th, 2004, 2:51 pm

That's why Doctors are in whats called a "Practice"! They keep practicing or guessing until they get it right! :lol:

Anyway, I twitched literally thousands of times a day at one point. Now I'm down to a few a day at best.

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Postby Heater on April 9th, 2004, 5:36 pm

I'd have to agree that the role of stress is mainly as a trigger. I started twitching about 1 1/2 months after the end of an extremely stressful period at work. After tough slugging of 7 months I was no longer doing my and my bosses job, I was in relax mode doing some catch up of my own stuff when the twitches hit.

Since then, when ever I seem to have been most stressed about the twitching, they just seemed to get worse.
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