March 7, 2012

Muscle Twitches and Spasms? Is Gluten Sensitivity Connected?


A new report recently published in The Journal of Neurological Sciences recommends considering the diagnosis of gluten sensitivity in patients that present with propriospinal myoclonus (PSM).  PSM is a movement didorders of the muscles characterized by twitching and jerking muscles

indicating that gluten sensitivity should be considered in the differential diagnosis of PSM such that a gluten challenge test may prove diagnostically useful.


J Neurol Sci. 2012 Jan 5.

Dr. Peter OsborneThe Gluten Free Warrior’s Comment:

PSM is a disease affecting small little nerve receptors in the muscles.  These nerve receptors are responsible for communicating with the brain about muscle coordination and movement.  People with PSM have repetitive involuntary muscular jerking in the trunk and legs.  The recent report listed above found that symptoms of this disease were linked to gluten exposure.

Gluten and Nerve Damage

Gluten is a known neurotoxin. It comes as no surprise that yet another research study links this toxic peptide to nerve damage. It has been speculated that gluten effects the nervous system in many different ways. If you missed this critical interview on gluten and brain damage with psychiatrist, Dr. Chales Parker, go watch it now...

The screen capture below depicts the gluten-nerve connection by displaying a search on the National Library of Medicines Database:

How Gluten Causes Nerve Damage…

  • Gluten can contribute to autoimmune antibody production against nerve cells, myelin (the coating around nerves), as well as the receptors on cells that bind neurotransmitters (chemicals that allow nerves to communicate).
  • Gluten Sensitivity can cause malabsorption of vitamins, minerals (like magnesium), and other nutrients. The consequences of these deficiencies can lead to neurological disease. For example, vitamin B vitamin deficiency can prevent the body from producing important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, and epinephrine.

Neurological Disease Linked to Gluten:

  1. Migraine
  2. Depression
  3. Anxiety
  5. Carpal Tunnel Sydrome
  6. Autism
  7. Sensory Neuropathy
  8. Vertigo
  9. Tinnitus
  10. Cerebellar Ataxia
  11. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  12. Myasthenia Gravis
  13. Bipolar
  14. Schizophrenia
  15. Gastroparesis
  16. Parkinson’s Disease
  17. Multiple Sclerosis
  18. ALS
  19. Cognitive Decline

Bottom Line…

If you have a neurological disorder and don’t know the cause, have your doctor test you for gluten sensitivity today!

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3 Responses to “Muscle Twitches and Spasms? Is Gluten Sensitivity Connected?”

  • eileen says:

    Would Dystonia have anything to do with it?

  • Kim says:

    I used to spontaneously dislocate my collar bone about once a year. This has not happened for the last ten (and more) years (since going gluten free). Also, muscle twitches that used to occur at night, seldom ever occur anymore but I do notice an increase if I’ve spent a good deal of time in a contaminated environment.

  • Elizabeth Reinbold says:

    I have so many symptoms, First of all I suffer from auto immune Hashimoto disease. Three years ago I started losing my balance and tremors. I found out later why. Iam allergic to so many differennt foods. Gluten is top of the list! Wheat, soy, cane sugar, dairy etc and this list goes on. I am also experiencing muscle twitching, and leg and foot cramps, as well as intestinal leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome. This has affected my life so bad, I lost my job because of it and a few friends as well. I hope this can be a lesson to anyone out there that is suffering with gluten and any other food intolerences.

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