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Could muscle twitching mean something more serious?

A muscle twitch is usually caused by an imbalance or lack of the essential nutrients needed to create a muscular contraction. If you have a lack of electrolytes or calcium this can cause a muscle twitch to occur or can also be caused by dehydration. An occasional muscle twitch is most likely caused by lack of one of these essential nutrients. If changes in nutrition and water intake do not improve muscle twitches or they seem to occur frequently or constantly then consult a physician or licensed medical professional to rule out any serious problem.

Muscle twitching is caused by minor muscle contractions in the area, or uncontrollable twitching of a muscle group that is served by a single motor nerve fiber.

Muscle twitches are minor and often go unnoticed. Some are common and normal. Others are signs of a nervous system disorder.

Causes
  • Diet deficiency
  • Drug overdose (caffeine)
  • Drug side effect (such as from diuretics, corticosteroids, or estrogens)
  • Intense Exercise
  • Twitches not caused by disease or disorders (benign twitches)
    • Often affecting the eyelids, calf, or thumb
    • Normal and quite common, often triggered by stress or anxiety
    • Come and go, and do not last for more than a few days

Nervous system conditions that can cause muscle twitching:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease)
  • Damage to the nerve that leads to a muscle
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Weak muscles (myopathy)

If you have even a remote concern that the twitching may be something serious, do not hesitate to visit your primary care physician and / or a neurologist to have it examined.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.