You should immediately consult with your General Practitioner (Family Doctor) or with a Neurologist.
While the symptoms are often benign in nature, they can also be indicators of a more serious illness such as ALS or MS. You should be tested as soon as possible.
While there are currently no known cures for BFS, and management of BFS symptoms is a subject for some debate, you should keep in contact with your Neurologist to keep abreast of any progress in the treatment of BFS.
Also, if you experience any change in the symptoms that you are experiencing, you should immediately make your Neurologist aware of these changes as they may be indicative of other underlying symptoms.
No. This is a common worry for those who have been diagnosed with BFS.
The number of people developing ALS after having been diagnosed with BFS is statistically the same as for the General Population.
As long as you have been diagnosed by a qualified Neurologist, you should have no concerns. If fact, many people suffering with BFS have reported that their symptoms increase with stress and worrying, so you are probably making your symptoms worse than they need to be by worrying about your diagnosis.
Fasciculations themselves can be present for years and not associated with a malignant condition.
However, if you start to develop new symptoms (such as weakness), and a change is your symptoms, see a Neurologist as soon as possible.
Typically, the doctor will test your reflexes, have you perform some simple strength tests, and administer an EMG. In some cases, blood tests may be ordered or a muscle tissue biopsy will be taken.
The symptoms can range in length from months to many years. In some cases, the symptoms never completely cease.
Typically the symptoms with come and go, with periods of increased twitching, separated by periods of remission where the symptoms are milder, but still present.
In some cases the periods of remission will get longer over time, with the active periods experiencing less intense symptoms.
BFS is a confirmed, diagnosable disorder. If fact, a large percentage of the people diagnosed with BFS are in the medical profession (in a study by the Mayo Clinic of 121 people diagnosed with BFS, 40 were healthcare workers).
Times of increased stress or anxiety may cause similar symptoms (i.e. twitching of the eyelid), that will go away when the stress causing antagonist is removed, however this is a common effect of stress and is not typically BFS.
Often, those who are suffering from BFS will find that their symptoms get worse during the time when they are experiencing increased levels of stress or anxiety. It has been suggested that stress partially weakens or disables the immune system, therefore allowing latent disorders or sicknesses to grow in severity. (See: What causes BFS)
Lexapro (20 to 40mg past 7 years)
Mirtazapine (30mg past 7 years)
Sodium Valproate (1500mg, 1 year, 2013)
Lithium (150mg, taken once off Sodium Valproate, 6 months 2014)
Seroquel (750mg, 5 years, 2010 - 2014 )
Ritalin (50 mg per day in the past 6 months)
Lexapro is my last medication I am getting off now (under GP and psychiatrists supervisor / guidance). All other medications were weaned off of over a long period of time and in small increments.
I started going off Lexapro a two weeks ago (20 mg down to 10 mg), the first week I thought I was just getting my girlfriends flu.
Then I went from 10 mg to nothing.
This has been HELL!
Cold sores, mouth ulcers, lethargy, headaches, really bad insomnia, grumpy and unsociable.
Herpes Simplex — This virus causes genital herpes, which are painful blisters in the genital area, or cold sores. Severe conditions are more common in the advanced stage of AIDS.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) — This condition is considered the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States. It can cause warts on the anus, cervix, esophagus, penis, urethra, vagina and vulva. Studies have shown that certain types of HPV can contribute to the development of cervical and anal cancer. Individuals with HIV and AIDS are at increased risk for developing precancerous and cancerous lesions.
Liver Disease — Liver disease is one of the leading causes of death among AIDS patients, especially liver disease caused by the hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus. Many drugs used in the treatment of HIV and AIDS can cause liver disease or hepatitis. It is important that patients infected with hepatitis receive treatment and follow-up care.
Coccidiomycosis — This infection is caused by inhaling an infective fungus called Coccidioides immitis, found mainly in contaminated soil in the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America and parts of South America. The lungs are most commonly affected by this infection. In severe cases, it can involve the kidneys, lymph system, brain and spleen. Symptoms include cough, weight loss and fatigue. Meningitis is a common complication when left untreated.
Histoplasmosis — This infection almost always involves the lungs, although other organs may be affected. The fungus that causes this condition is found in southern parts of the United States and South America. It is usually found in soil contaminated with bird droppings and must be inhaled to cause infection.
Signs and symptoms include high fever; weight loss; respiratory complaints; an enlarged liver, spleen, or lymph nodes; depressed production of white cells, red blood cells and platelets from the bone marrow; and life-threatening, unstable, low blood pressure.
Pneumocystis Carinii — This condition occurs when a fungus infects the lungs. Symptoms may include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, weight loss, night sweats and fatigue.
It is most likely to occur when the CD4+ T cell count falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood. Preventative treatment may be administered when the CD4+ T cell count falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood. Treatment is usually trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, also called Septra or Bactrim, dapsone or atovoquone.
Recurrent Pneumonia — People with AIDS are at risk for recurrent bacterial pneumonia. Bacteria can infect the lungs, which may lead to problems ranging from a mild cough to severe pneumonia. Recurrent pneumonia is most likely to occur when the CD4+ T cell count falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood.
Tuberculosis (TB) — This is a serious, and often deadly, bacterial infection that primarily infects the lungs. TB is transmitted when a person with active TB coughs or sneezes, releasing microscopic particles into the air. If inhaled, these particles may transmit the condition.
Once infected by TB, most people remain healthy and develop only latent infection. People with latent infection are neither sick nor infectious. However, they do have the potential to become sick and infectious with active TB. It can occur at any CD4+ T cell level but especially when the CD4+ T cell count falls below 350 cells per cubic millimeter of blood.
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma — Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a disease in which tumors develop from white blood cells in the lymphatic system. It is another common disease associated with AIDS. See AIDS-related lymphoma.
Candidiasis — This is the most common HIV-related fungus infection. It can affect the entire body, but most commonly occurs in the mouth (thrush) or vagina. An overgrowth of yeast causes white patches on gums, tongue or lining of the mouth, pain, difficulty in swallowing and loss of appetite. Candida in the esophagus, trachea, bronchi or lungs is AIDS defining.
Herpes Simplex — This virus causes cold sores or genital herpes, which are painful blisters in the genital area. Chronic herpes simplex virus (HSV) lesions and severe mucocutaneous HSV disease are common in the advanced stages of AIDS.
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Influenza B is a type of flu that is similar to influenza A. However, while A usually afflicts people in the early winter, influenza B can infect any time of the year. Another difference between the two, according to Dr. Vincent Racaniello, a professor at Columbia University, and author of "The Virology Blog," is that type B can only pass from human to human unlike type A bird flu or swine flu. However, researchers have found that gray and harbor seals can contract influenza B as well.
Type A and B share many symptoms.
One of the earliest symptoms of type B influenza is a fever. The National Institute of Health reports that the fever can come on quickly and go as high as 106 degrees. However, according to the Penn State College of Medicine, while A and B influenza share the same symptoms, type B generally produces much milder symptoms, so the fever will not be as acute. Also, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that adults usually have a lower fever temperature than children do. The fever is often accompanied by body aches and fatigue.
Penn State Medical Center also reports that as the fever begins to leave, respiratory symptoms begin to develop. These symptoms are a stuffy or runny nose, cough and sore throat. These symptoms can become worse over time, and even turn into bronchitis or pneumonia if not treated. While these symptoms will usually disappear within a week, the cough can remain for several weeks.
There are times when type B influenza can affect the stomach also, which is why some people refer to it as the "stomach flu." The stomach flu is not a different type of flu virus; it is simply symptoms of the flu that affect the stomach. Some of these symptoms, as listed by the NIH, include vomiting, nausea and loss of appetite.
Influenza B symptoms, while the same as influenza A symptoms, are not quite as severe in their intensity. When you get a flu shot, it is meant to protect you from both influenza A and B strains.
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