YANMD but I need help in describing to MD what I'm experiencing.
April 13, 2016 11:29 AM   Subscribe

I have an intermittent problem that shows up usually at bedtime but sometimes during the day. It feels like an extreme surge of restlessness, an urge to jump, or run around, or whole-body twitch. It manifests primarily in my lower abdomen but when I try to relax around it, I find that it's largely everywhere in my body.

I have wondered whether it is restless leg syndrome because I can sometime alleviate it by kicking my feet while lying in bed. I have wondered whether it's a anxiety attack because the physical sensations in my arms, neck, and upper back feel like fear, however, I do not appear to have an elevated heart rate and it does not cause me to sweat.

Normally, I can do meditative techniques to relax around the sensations. Last night I spent several hours trying to do so, and also tried Benadryl and ativan (both because of this and because I'm having some itching around healing sutures from surgery last week). I also gave in frequently and jumped and yelped and that momentarily took off a bit of the edge of the surge.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? If so, what is it, if it is something, and if you've experienced it, what has helped you? How do you describe it to your medical practitioners?
posted by janey47 to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
posted by griphus at 11:34 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Control-P or Command-P and bring the post to your doctor.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:34 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

griphus, it's got to be related to that, although it's not quite on the money and I'm not on any of the trigger drugs. (cjorgensen, I have described it to her in the past but it's never been this bad before).
posted by janey47 at 11:41 AM on April 13, 2016

If it's related to restless leg syndrome: Are you possibly overdoing phosphorus? That's in milk, cheese, dark colas, beans, soy, etc. (I have impaired kidneys so ymmv, but I have any of that stuff too soon before bed, I get kicky legs and an overall body twitchiness that's only alleviated by a midnight walk and a hot shower, if at all.)
posted by mochapickle at 11:44 AM on April 13, 2016

It sounds simple, but both my wife and I get that from what we think is eating a lot of salt. Many prepared (restaurant and store bought) foods have an incredible amount of salt. Maybe yours is more extreme than this though.
posted by bongo_x at 11:46 AM on April 13, 2016

To me this sounds a lot like a a tic - does any of this ring a bell?
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:51 AM on April 13, 2016

It sounds very much like restless leg syndrome. This says "It is less common but possible to have RLS symptoms in the arms, face, torso, and genital region."
posted by metasarah at 12:17 PM on April 13, 2016

IANAD, but from what you have described-- especially the "whole-body twitch", it sounds a bit like sleep paralysis, which includes atonia.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 1:49 PM on April 13, 2016

I don't think this sounds like sleep paralysis- I have episodes of sleep paralysis and what you're mentioning, janey. What helps me is stretching. I think it could just be caused from muscles relaxing at the end of the day or just being in one position for too long. I stretch my calves for a few seconds, basically lengthening my legs as much as possible, then relax, and that usually takes care of it.
posted by serenity_now at 10:40 AM on April 14, 2016

I've been diagnosed with RLS and have gotten akathisia from a drug. Akathisia feels like a stronger version of RLS to me, and RLS sounds pretty much like what you described. I've long experienced it as an inner tension that needs to be relieved somehow, and whether it's RLS or akathisia corresponds to how tightly it's wound. (and whether I'm taking a triggering drug)
posted by saveyoursanity at 5:30 PM on April 14, 2016

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