A doctor answers the question, Can chronic fatigue syndrome cause twitching muscles.

“Chronic fatigue might cause muscle twitching in some people, but the mechanism is not clear,” says Dr. Moshe Lewis, MD, board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

“Chronic fatigue remains controversial because, while sometimes a virus can be identified such as EBV or Lyme or Parvo immediately preceding the onset of the fatigue, in many cases such a well-defined time correlation remains elusive,” continues Dr. Lewis.

“When it comes to muscle twitches themselves there are a host of causes which include benign fasciculations, low grade seizure activity, decreased mineral levels like calcium and magnesium, amongst others.”

If you suspect that muscle twitching is, indeed, being caused by your chronic fatigue syndrome, then find out what can be causing the CFS.

Dr. Lewis cites the following possible causes: allergies such as to gluten; toxicity; mismanagement of stress; prior physical trauma; hormonal imbalance; lack of exercise; slowed metabolism; aging; side effects of medication; improper medication; and irritable bowel syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning, other possible causes for one’s symptoms must first be ruled out.

There is no blood test or imaging study that shows the presence of chronic fatigue syndrome.

As for twitching muscles, anxiety over a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome can bring on anxiety that leads to harmless twitching.

It’s also possible for a person to have (simply by chance) both chronic fatigue syndrome and benign fasciculation syndrome.

BFS is a disorder characterized by a lot of muscle twitching — but also cramping of the muscles and fatiguing easily from exertion.

Chronic fatigue syndrome does not cause benign fasciculation syndrome, nor vice versa.

Though exercise can be problematic with either condition, it may also be the very thing that will help improve symptoms from both conditions!

Dr. Lewis is the founder and CEO of Golden Gate Institute for Physical Medicine in CA, which provides education and clinical management of pain.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/ fizkes

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