Last Modified on Jun 19, 2015
While benign fasciculation syndrome or BFS is generally harmless, it can be frustrating and even annoying. However, home remedies can help treat the condition and give you at least some peace of mind (and muscle) back. Sea salt and magnesium are two of the most common supplemental treatments, but changing your diet may also help alleviate the issue.
What Is Benign Fasciculation Syndrome?
Benign fasciculation syndrome is a neurological condition in which certain muscles twitch or spasm uncontrollably. The muscles most commonly affected are those in the eyelids and arms; however, you may also experience spasming in your feet and legs. Unlike an acute round of twitching, BFS continues on for extended periods of time and is only temporarily paused by activating the twitching muscle.
What Causes Muscle Twitching?
While muscle fasciculation is often linked to neurological issues such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, the term “benign” fasciculation syndrome refers to a condition that is unrelated to a more serious injury or disability. In terms of benign fasciculation, the cause of your muscle spasms is more likely related to increased stress, altered sleeping patterns, a new medication, or various other issues. Additional causes of the condition include bug bites or stings, pregnancy, dehydration, fatigue, nutrient deficiency, and others.
Can Natural Remedies Reduce Muscle Spasms?
We suggest consulting your doctor prior to self-treating with natural remedies primarily to rule out more aggressive conditions, but in the event that your condition is benign, natural remedies are particularly effective. Magnesium and sea salt are two of the best treatment options, but you may also want to try changing your diet.
Magnesium plays a part in over 300 chemical reactions in your body. Among its roles are maintaining energy level and controlling stress. As such, taking a magnesium supplement can help calm your neural responses and relieve issues of BFS.
2. Sea Salt
The sodium present in salt helps your body transmit information to your nerves and muscles. Upping your salt intake can help your muscles and nerves communicate more effectively and reduce fasciculation.
3. Dietary Changes
BFS may be the result of a food allergy or sensitivity. As such, changing your diet to limit gluten, wheat, dairy, or other allergy-prone foods can help alleviate the condition.
Try one of these treatment options to reduce involuntary muscle spasms or add one of your own suggestions to our list below!
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[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] About a few weeks ago I decided to begin eating really healthy. I had a blood allergy test many years ago, and found out I was allergic/sensitive to many foods, the most common: gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, and more. I decided to try out for 2 weeks to be a sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan. A very restrictive diet. I only lasted 12 days, but have continued to eat better than before, very little sugar, little meat, possible traces of gluten, very little dairy no glasses of milk or ice cream. So far, for the past week and a half I have had significantly reduced twitching. I'm not sure if my change of my eating habits is the cause, but if not, then it is highly coincidental. If you are experiencing BFS, I suggest trying this for awhile, it's worth a try.
Below is my journey to this healthier way of eating...
I also, have been diagosed with benign fasciculation syndrome. It started a in March 2012. I was in grad school, so I did alot of sitting (studying, writing reports, sitting in class), and a lot of unhelathy eating. The only thing I did stay away from was caffeine (except in chocolate). I relied on sugar as an energy source. The only other thing that I know I did around the beginning of my twitching was, I planted grass and ended up getting the fertilized soil all over (chemicals, possible pesticides). Anyway, I'm not sure what was the catalyst for the continuous twitiching, I just know I had it. Mentally, it took a toll on me. Here I was in a motor speech disorders class and had learned all about neuromuscular degenerative disorders. In addition, I had just learned that my gradmother on my father's side died from ALS. Clearly, I was worried. I went to the doctor and my doctor said, "I don't know what it is", had me do a couple of squats, made me resist against her pushing my arm down, and then said come back if I have true weakness and slurred speech. Well, of course at that point I would, but why should I wait and not find out what was going on. I asked for a referral to a neurologist, which she obliged, but since she hadn't done any CT's, or MRI's, or really anything but a CBC, I had a long wait. Mentally, I couldn't wait I needed to put my mind to ease, or begin soem type of treatment. I ended up at a neurologist who didn't have the best reviews, the office wasn't the most cleanest office I've been in, and his bedside manners weren't any better. He did an EMG which came out clean (not ALS thankfully) and did not feel it necessary to do an MRI (maybe to check for MS). He said I had BFS. Of course, I had already looked this information up before so I knew what that meant. I've had twitching ever since in every muscle imagineable (tongue, bottom of feet, etc...).
Replied by Sam
Benign Fasciculation Syndrome: I'm not sure exactly how long this irritating twitch has been going on other than I know it has gone on ever since I gave birth to my 7 month old. I have other medical problems that keep me at a doctor once a month. I have a total of 6 bulging and herniated discs from the base of my skull all the way to the very last 2 discs at the very bottom of my back. Two weeks ago I had the first set of steroid injections in the bottom of my back on the left side. A week from now I will be getting a steroid type injection in the same place. These at the bottom of my back make sitting extremely painful, not to mention riding in the car. Or try carrying a 18 lb baby up and down stairs, like that are in my apartment with numbness coming and going from your hands and feet because of nerve damage. Sorry I started rambling...... I can't remember if I was twitching this way while I was pregnant or not because I worked 40 hours a, 7 days a week, sometimes more, if I wasn't at work I was trying to sneak in a nap before I had to go back to work my 2nd shift for the day. I was a waitress, and thought I was superman and just kept pushing myself to work and save money because I'm a single mom. I went back to work 4 weeks after I had him. And then 2 weeks after going back to work I was scheduled for my first of 2 surgeries. First my right wrist was operated on (I hadn't been able to feel my fingers in my hands since May 2012 and I did not have him until August 2012).
So after 6 months basically of pain shooting from my neck down my arms and out through my fingers, which kept me from being able to sleep anymore than an hour or two at the time as well, I get the first of my 2 surgeries the first week of October, I went back to work waiting tables 2 days later, doctor didn't want me to but I didn't have a choice, single mom = bills to pay. Two weeks after my right wrist was done I got the 12 stitches out of that wrist, and the next morning I was back on the operating table for my left wrist, and 2 days after the surgery I was back at work. It wasn't until December, seems like right before Christmas I was doing something and just all of a sudden noticed the feeling was finally starting to come back in my fingers. Before the surgery I was told that there was no guarantee the feeling would ever come back and that it usually took 6 months if you were gonna see signs of improvement. It had been 2 months and I could tell the feeling was starting to come back in the tips of my fingers, I just kept hoping that over more time I would regain all the feeling back in my fingers, and now 6 months later I can feel my fingers. Still muscle weakness in my left arm and wrist. Seems to keep getting worse. I'm actually wondering if I don't have some muscle atrophy going on.
However, I know I got wayyyyy off topic about Benign Fasciculation Syndrome. But the first time I recall the twitching was one a friend brought it up and asked me why I started jerking and twitching every night right before I went to sleep. That was around the end of November. And now every night when I lay down that's how I can tell I am about to drift off to sleep, my legs and arms start twitching and jerking. It was probably in January when I first looked up my symptoms because at the very least I knew it wasn't normal. And I came across this syndrome. I finally remembered to bring it up today when I saw the doctor about my next injections. She said I would have to get my PCP to order blood work and luckily I have an appointment already scheduled for in the morning for my regular monthly visit. So I will request full labs as well as nerve conduction studies and muscle biopsies if I can get them to do it. So maybe there will be an update to this post in the future as to the results of the tests.
Replied by Ejules
Woodbridge, Va, Us
I feel for everyone that has posted on this site concerning this annoying, yet non-life threatening, syndrome, disease, occurance or whatever you want to call it. I am 43 years old and have had BFS since I was 9. I remember they day it happened and where. The muscle behind my right ear twitched violently for 2 days. I told my parents and they told me it was nothing to worry about. It kept me up both nights. I'd put my finger there but it did nothing to make it stop.
Yes, it is totally annoying. You never get used to it. My muscles are twitching as I am typing this. I've been to every doctor imaginable and I've tried every pill to include magnesium, potassium, and any other pill that people claim will MAKE IT STOP! But I still got it.
I definitely think it's a neuro thing because when I wake up or when my brain wakes up I immediately have a muscle jump somewhere.
Just last night I had a dream; it was funny so I smiled. Still dreaming, when I stopped smiling the muscles around my mouth started twitching so much that (while looking at myself in the dream) it looked like I was in a wind tunnel and I could not fix my mouth to speak. I woke up and from what I swore I could here my lips moving from my gums. It was wierd. I went back to sleep but I wish it could have been caught on tape.
My muscles have been twitching everyday, somewhere on my body for 33 years. Sometime for a second, sometimes for days. There is no cure but it won't kill you; it will only irritate the hell out of you.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.....
Replied by Bfsbitch
Salt Lake City, UT
Replied by Mary
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[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] Hello all, for two years I have faced annoying muscle twitches brought about by BFS [Benign Fasciculation Syndrome], it provides me some level of comfort that many others face the same struggles and my twitching is not something more serious. I have been diagnosed with having BFS for a little over a year and I can say that 500mg of magnesium at night does help along with no caffeine.
I wish everyone the best in finding ways to reduce the severity and frequency of the twitching.
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[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] Benign Fasciculation Syndrome: 2 things I have found helped me... Drink sea salt Iodized mixed in water and 3 or 4 magnesium pills, and also rub your muscles with foot powder composed of magnezium and zinc.... This does help.