The 3 Causes of Twitching or Tetany

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/25/2023

Ever had that odd, unnerving twitch in your eye? Or a sudden cramp that tightens your muscles like a vice?

I'm betting you have...

It's not out of the ordinary to experience these sudden, involuntary contractions. They're not just the result of staring at screens for too long or pushing through an intense workout.

Think of them as distress signals from within, small whispers saying, "Hey there! Something's off balance here."

This is about alkalosis and its mischievous friends: hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia. These may sound like characters from a science fiction novel, but they're real—and they can cause those annoying twitches and muscle tetany.

The mystery behind it all, the silent causes—the role diet plays in triggering alkalosis, how stress-induced cortisol makes.

Understanding Alkalosis and its Impact on the Body

Alkalosis may be a strange concept to some, but it's as prevalent as sunburned at the shore. It occurs when your body becomes too alkaline, particularly in the blood.

Causes of this imbalance include factors like insufficient hydrochloric acid in our stomachs or decreased potassium from our diet.

The twist is that something seemingly unrelated - cortisol triggered by stress - can also contribute to an overly alkaline body. Who would have thought that stress could mess with your pH levels? But wait, there's more: even using diuretics has been linked to this issue.

The Role of Diet in Alkalosis

You may think, 'I'm not stressed, and I don't use diuretics... so I'm safe, right?' Well... let me tell you about another sneaky culprit: dietary potassium.

Not having enough of it can push your system towards becoming too alkaline. Research shows how vital a proper diet is for maintaining acceptable pH levels within our bodies.

Stress-Induced Alkalosis

I know what you're asking now: "What does my stressful job have to do with all these medical terms?" Here's where things get interesting: elevated cortisol (aka 'the stress hormone') plays a part in inducing alkalosis.

If left unchecked, this chemical reaction can lead to low calcium levels, affecting nerve and muscle impulses and causing symptoms like twitching. So the next time your eye twitches during a tense meeting, remember - it might just be more than stress at play.

The Connection Between Hypocalcemia and Twitching

Have you ever had a sudden, unexpected jerk of your muscle? That's called twitching. But did you know that having low calcium levels in your bloodstream could be linked to sudden muscle spasms?

Hypocalcemia is not just about weak bones or teeth; it impacts nerve functions, too. When insufficient calcium flows through the bloodstream, our nerves can misfire, causing pesky twitches.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Hypocalcemia

You might wonder how vitamin D fits into this picture. Vitamin D is essential in helping your body absorb calcium from food.

Without sufficient Vitamin D intake or sunlight exposure (our bodies produce vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun), we risk developing hypocalcemia.

If you've been skimping on outdoor time or live where sunshine is scarce during winter, consider checking your vitamin D level.

Symptoms of Hypocalcemia

Apart from annoying cramps that often occur around the eye area (myokymia, as doctors call it), other symptoms of hypocalcemia include tingling sensations in fingers or toes, arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), palpitations – which feel like a racing heartbeat – psychosis depression anxiety, and even shallow blood pressure.

Cramps caused by hypocalcemic myokymia are generally harmless, but they could signal that something more serious is afoot. It is advisable to consult a physician if twitching persists.

Unraveling Hypomagnesemia

Hypomagnesemia, or low magnesium levels in the blood, can lead to startling symptoms. These include tremors and spasms that might leave you feeling out of sorts.

Fatigue is another symptom associated with hypomagnesemia. It's a type of exhaustion that seems unshakeable, even after a restful sleep. Palpitations and arrhythmias, both being irregular heart rhythms, can be caused by hypomagnesemia.

The Impact of Medications on Magnesium Levels

Medications play a significant role in causing hypomagnesemia. Antibiotics are commonly used drugs that can deplete your body's magnesium stores. But it doesn't stop there; diuretics have the same effect, too.

A surprising contributor to hypomagnesemia is antacid use - yes, those little tablets you pop for heartburn relief could be impacting your magnesium levels.

If you're wondering why we need magnesium anyway, here's an exciting read about its importance. Beyond medication use, other factors like insulin resistance and fluoride exposure contribute more to this issue than many realize.

One lesser-known cause is vitamin D deficiency, which often goes unnoticed until symptoms start showing up. Check out this study for more insights into how these elements interplay.

Action Steps to Prevent Twitching and Tetany

Twitching and tetany can be alarming experiences, but there are practical steps you can take to prevent them. Let's explore how dietary changes, stress management techniques, and certain supplements can help.

Dietary Changes for Better Health

Nourishment is an essential factor in achieving better health. Increasing the intake of magnesium and potassium-rich foods is vital. Magnesium helps regulate nerve functions, while potassium balances fluids in your body.

Foods high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fish. Bananas are a well-known source of potassium-rich foods, but so are avocados and spinach.

Stress Management for Alkalosis Prevention

An overly alkaline body state or 'alkalosis' contributes significantly towards twitching or tetany symptoms - which stress often triggers. Therefore, it's essential to keep those cortisol levels at bay through relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation.

Beyond this, taking betaine hydrochloride (to increase stomach acid), consuming apple cider vinegar (for better digestion), and adding vitamin D supplementation (for calcium absorption) all make significant strides toward preventing these conditions.

And let's not forget about water. Using filters on taps or showers that remove fluorine compounds from water supplies will also play a part.


So, you've journeyed with us through the causes of eye twitching and tetany. You've seen how alkalosis can be a hidden villain fueled by diet or stress.

I got it that hypocalcemia - low calcium levels - can lead to those annoying cramps. And don't forget its pal, hypomagnesemia: lack of magnesium also causes spasms.

Is a proper diet rich in magnesium and potassium? Check! Stress management techniques for keeping cortisol at bay? Noted!

This isn't just knowledge for the sake of knowing—it's practical wisdom you can use right now. To keep your body in balance and bid goodbye to those pesky involuntary twitches once and for all!

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