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What causes twitchy thumb?

LaurelW

Senior Member
Messages
641
Location
Utah
My thumb started twitching on its own about a week ago after I knitted for about an hour. I have been knitting lately, but not usually so long at a stretch. My left thumb seems to have a mind of its own and goes at it day and night. (Haven't knitted since).

Is this a ME or fibro symptom? My left foot instep does the same thing, but usually only for a few minutes at bedtime.
 

mellster

Marco
Messages
805
Location
San Francisco
More likely an FM symptom - twitching generally is considered ok as long as you don't experience significant muscle weakness with it. My area between thumb and palm of the hand twitches occasionally.
 

LaurelW

Senior Member
Messages
641
Location
Utah
Thanks, Mell. Would it make it worse if I went back to knitting? Now that I can do it again, after a many-year lapse, I don't want to quit.
 

Sparrow

Senior Member
Messages
691
Location
Canada
I only have ME, and get the muscle twitches. I believe that muscle twitches are a symptom of low magnesium. Extra magnesium seems to calm mine down most of the time (although there may be other causes too).
 

mellster

Marco
Messages
805
Location
San Francisco
I don't think it's necessary to stop the activity unless the twitching is bothersome or painful. People who work out hard (e.g. body builders) can get regular twitches in the muscles that have been worked out a lot. Regarding Magnesium I thought so too, but my serum magnesium was always normal/high normal and supplementation didn't do much for the twitching although it might not reach those specific cells, I used Magnesium (chloride) oil spray with some success. Also, twitching can be part of immune system activity interfering with the potassium channel, see here:

http://pnhinfo.com/

cheers
 

Daffodil

Senior Member
Messages
5,873
twitching is often a sign of central nervous system infection. in HIV, for example, the thumb and index finger often twitches when the virus begins to infect the nervous system

i have had this kind of twitching when i start a new treatment, as well. not sure why
 

Francelle

Senior Member
Messages
444
Location
Victoria, Australia
In the first two years of having M.E. I used to experience thousands of fasciculations each day. Something like 30 to 40,000 per day, anywhere and everywhere over my body. These have settled down a huge amount and I probably get less than 100 per day now.

These fasciculations were a very significant symptom and I do not for a moment believe that they were a benign process independent of everything else that was going on.
 
Messages
2,562
Location
US
"Potassium is the most common mineral in cellular fluid, but it is also important for the proper contraction of both skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle and for nerve transmission. One early warning symptom of low potassium levels may be muscle twitches, tingling or cramps."

"The most well known foods containing potassium are bananas and citrus fruits, but it is also found in apricots, avocados, brown rice, nuts and most dried fruits."
 

mellster

Marco
Messages
805
Location
San Francisco
I don't think in that case it is a significant symptom of electrolyte imbalance although electrolytes surely help in general - I am leaning more towards what Francelle and Daffodil said: I think in connection with CFS it's mostly neither a worrysome sign nor a benign by-condition - rather it is the result of virus and immune system activity, so I do think it is helpful for people who had a severe viral or other trigger to watch out for developing twitching as it may indicate a FM/CFS/ME progression that can be counteracted early in that case. For me it was similar to what Francelle described, it started as what I thought was BFS following workouts but then progressed to be permanent and all over and peak at the onset of CFS when I was at my worst. The twitching has abated quite a bit as I got better but it is still there and now more connected to workouts and electrolyte imbalances again though there is a chronic part that is just there every day and I can also correlate frequency and intensity with taking immune activating drugs/supplements. I strongly feel a (at least initial) viral and immune component attached to this. cheers