I wake up shaking uncontrollably . . .
September 19, 2009 11:22 AM Subscribe
I wake up in the middle of the night shaking uncontrollably - what might be causing this?
posted by Fifi Firefox to health & fitness (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I will be making a doctor's appointment first thing on Monday, but I haven't been in years and don't have a regular physician, so I'm guessing it'll be a few days before I can get in. I'm asking here in case anyone has had a similar experience and has any suggestions for things I can do in the meantime to make things easier.
Three nights out of the last four, I've woken up about an hour after initially falling asleep. I feel a sense of growing panic/claustrophobia (not tied to anything in particular), then increasing nausea and my entire body starts shaking. It's violent enough that I can't get out of bed or even pick up a glass of water at its worst. It comes in waves, lasts for about an hour altogether, and eventually subsides and I feel tired, but generally fine. After the initial panic, I'm relatively calm thoughout the episode - worried of course, but thinking clearly.
In addition to these three recent episodes, I've had this happen twice more in the last couple months, and once a little over a year ago. The first time it happened, I went to the ER and was treated for "syncope and collapse" and given potassium and IV fluids. (I was under a huge amount of stress at that time, barely sleeping and definitely not eating properly, so it seemed pretty clear that that was the cause.) Other than managing the symptoms, they didn't really do anything, so I have not wanted to spend the money to go again when I know that things will resolve on their own.
I'm worried now because of the increased frequency. I've been exhausted, sore (from the muscle convulsions), and haven't been able to eat much (don't want to trigger the nausea) for the past few days, and it's been very difficult to focus at work.
My internet research has turned up very little as far as causes. The shaking is the main symptom, so it doesn't seem like a panic attack (no breathing issues, no real cause). I've tried to start eating more potassium, since that was one of the issues in the ER visit, but either I'm not getting enough or that's not the root cause, because it has not had any effect.
I've never had any other medical issues, and nothing runs in my family. I'm generally healthy, maybe a bit underweight (I don't eat meat and can't have dairy, and I'm not a big eater anyway.)
I realize that nobody can diagnose me over the internet, but if this sounds familiar to anyone, please let me know so that I can at least look into it. I'd feel better if there's SOMETHING I can do while waiting to see the doctor other than, well, waiting.