Muscle Twitches and Spasms? Is Gluten Sensitivity Connected? | Gluten-Free Society

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    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 disorders 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
    4. ADD/ADHD
    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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    Gluten Free Warrior Commentary


    7 responses on “Muscle Twitches and Spasms? Is Gluten Sensitivity Connected?

    1. eileen says:

      Would Dystonia have anything to do with it?

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. Inge Edwards says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I am exactly the same as you. My friends think I am nuts but I have leaky gut, IBS, addisons and under active thyroid. I don’t eat gluten any more but I had episodes where I had vertigo. I now have tremors and muscle cramps and get scared it’s something scary like MS. Did you get better when you gave up all the foods that make you allergic? How do you manage? Any advice would be gratefully received


    5. Niki says:

      Inge and Elizabeth…. I suffered from the same symptoms all my life until completely irradicating gluten from my diet. I had the constant disorientation,dizziness, I never slept, heart palpitations and the muscle spasams were unbearable!! (Amongst many other symptoms). I have been gluten free for about 10 years now and my symptoms have gone. I have since also gone dairy free, which has stopped the chills, bloating and skin irritation I still occasionally suffered with. Be strict with the diet and it will change your life 🙂

    6. Aggie says:

      Hi Inge,
      I found out randomly, by self diagnosis, that I am gluten intolerant, among other things (dairy causes me endometrial pain- my mother has been diagnosed with endometriosis, so I likely have it, as well). You should try the raw/alkaline diet. It has saved me so much grief! When looking into it, don’t think that you can’t enjoy any food. Here’s a yummy dessert to start your journey:

      1 avacado
      2T (melted) coconut oil
      2T Dutch cocoa powder
      2T liquid sweetener (I love maple syrup, followed by honey, then agave)

      Food process until smooth and refrigerate for a few hours (freezer turns it to a Gelato texture, but fresh blended is more pudding-like, and refrigerator is more fudge-like).

      Good luck,

    7. Zay says:

      I used to really have bad leg spasms when I was younger, I used to get them at any given time in class, playing sports outside or while driving a car! I could never figure it out until about 6 years ago when I decided to biohack myself and see if I am gluten intolerant. I found I wasn’t totally gluten intolerant but decided to remove gluten all together as its a toxin. Eversince, I might have a minor twitch here and there but nothing compared to those times when I was driving! Gluten free has been an amazing lifestyle change!

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