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6927 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Oct 20, 2010 8:15 AM by jgud11
klasmom5 Pro 150 posts since
May 3, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 3, 2010 10:43 AM

Eye twitching (strange, I know)

I started running just over a year ago and recently ran my first marathon.  About 6 months ago, I noticed that my eye started twitching several times throughout the day (it happens every day now).  This also was about the time that I started getting into higher mileage in my runs.  Could there be any correlation to running causing my eye twitching?  I have been considering taking a multi vitamin to see if this will help...I am just thinking that maybe I am depleting some sort of nutrient from my system with the running...any thoughts??  Thanks for entertaining my silly issue!

Now, if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing.  You have to make the mind run the body.  Never let the body tell the mind what to do.  The body will always give up.  It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night.  But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.

~George S. Patton

  • Jeepgirl93 Rookie 3 posts since
    Jan 29, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Feb 3, 2010 11:08 AM (in response to klasmom5)
    Re: Eye twitching (strange, I know)


    Are you under a lot of stress?


    I was getting that a few months ago and looked it up (link above) and found stress is one of the causes. I was under a lot of stress and not sleeing at my PT job. I quit and the twitching has gone away and I am sleeping much better.



    Good luck!

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  • classicallytrained Legend 375 posts since
    Jul 20, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Feb 4, 2010 5:46 PM (in response to klasmom5)
    Re: Eye twitching (strange, I know)

    Thanks for asking. This way we all get to learn.


    Here's what happened to me. Maybe it will help you...


    When my eye was twitching, I asked my doctor about it. I thought it could be related to stress. He disagreed.


    He suggested eye drops. Apparently, dryness of the eyeball can cause the twitching.


    We have gas heat. Very dry in the winter.


    I used some over-the-counter eyedrops and the twitching ceased.


    I don't know of a correlation with running unless the constant air flow and contact from running dries your eyes.


    I hope this helps.



  • Nutrition Tara Community Moderator 41 posts since
    Jul 17, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Feb 24, 2010 8:30 AM (in response to klasmom5)
    Re: Eye twitching (strange, I know)

    Muscle twitching in general is associated with a magnesium deficiency.  When you exercise you lose minerals (including magnesium) through sweat and urine.  Try grabbing a Magnesium/Calcium Citrate complex from your local heath food store.  Make sure it is "citrate" as that tends to be the best absorbed.  Let me know how it goes!



    "Courage doesn't always roar, sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow."



  • jgud11 Rookie 2 posts since
    Sep 30, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Sep 30, 2010 6:53 AM (in response to klasmom5)
    Re: Eye twitching (strange, I know)

    I started running a few months ago and I have had the exact same problem. I will spare you all of the details, but I have seen a direct correlation in running and my eye twitching. I am training for a half marathon and my eye always twitches for a few days after my medium run and long run. It appears to almost disappear in the time between my long run (saturday morning) and my medium run (wed. night). I thought that I just wasn't eating enough, but that did not help. Have you been able to find a cure. Please let me know if you have. Thanks.

  • ClimbingGal Amateur 9 posts since
    Aug 27, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Sep 30, 2010 9:25 AM (in response to klasmom5)
    Re: Eye twitching (strange, I know)



    I was just wondering if you ever figured out what was causing your eye to twitch.  I have had my eye twitch in the past and its always related to not getting enough sleep for too many days or weeks in a row.  But the correlation between running and eye twitching - that really is weird.  Just wondering if you ever determined whether it was due to (or secondary to) running.

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but ropes and 'biners excite me.

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,291 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Sep 30, 2010 10:41 AM (in response to klasmom5)
    Re: Eye twitching (strange, I know)

    There probably is a health issue involved, or we would all be able to  associate our running with eye twitching. Involuntary muscle spasm is  no joke, and can be the canary in the mine that warns us of things to    come. I had involuntary muscle cramps before a recent marathon, and  wound up dropping out before I reached the second mile due to leg  cramps. I don't believe I was deficient in any nutrient at the time  because I am always careful about nutrition, especially leading up to a  race. If anything, I may have been over-fortified - which can be just as  bad. Too much of one thing in the body can lead to too little of  another. You are wise to consider nutrients as a possible co-factor, and  as Tara suggests, balanced minerals are very important to proper muscle  function. Just don't overdo anything.


    The most  striking example of involuntary eye twitching in my own life was when I  had a coffee pot and grinder on my desk to help with my technical writing job. Sure, the coffee helped keep me alert through hours of  dry  and boring research, but the involuntary twitching made ordinary  conversations impossible. I ditched the coffee and the twitching went  away. Ironically, if you follow Jeepgirl's link you willsee an Italian study that links moderate coffee consumption to a  protective effect against involuntary eye spasm (blepharospasm), "moderate" being the operative word. The blocking of adenosine  receptors by caffeine was cited as a possible mechanism involved. A similar study found smoking to be somewhat protective, lol.   All of this is to say there are probably ties between stimulants and  energy production or release in muscle tissue, but that leads to a whole  'nother kettle of fish.


    "Stress"  is often used to refer to emotional states, but the link between  emotional and physical health often suggested can go the other way around. I don't know about you, but I routinely triple my resting heart  rate on some of my runs, and definitely in my races. Of no better  definition of physical stress can I think. Suppose running jacks you up  to a state of physical tension that again manifests as other physical  symptoms. Eye twitching could be a small price to pay physically for  all  this puttin' out, at least until your body fully adjusts to the stress of vigorous exercise, which can take years.


    With  regards to the other possible causes, I suppose the indoor treadmill  could rule out the wind factor, though your recent snows were probably  attended by dry air. My bout with cramps, which included eye-twitching,  was after a sharp drop in temperature leading up to my marathon, the  coldest day being the morning of. Could temperature and/or humidity be    an aggravating factor? I recently completed a 24 mile run with an  average temperature of 90 degrees, humidity between 48-78%. I had a  little stiffness toward the end, consuming 3 liters of water and  sweating at least 4 by my estimates, but with less muscular tension than  I usually encounter in cooler weather. That leads to another theory...


    Electrolyte  (or vital mineral) balance keeps Gatorade in business, and definitely  becomes critical the more you sweat. After my 24, there was a trail of  pure salt down one of my legs that was built up enough to see. I know  because I put my finger on it, felt the crystalline structure, and  tasted it.. just like table salt. We see and feel less sweat in dryer  climates, but it is still happening under sufficient exertion. In fact, I  believe we can lose just as much moisture in dryer, cooler air due to  rapid evaporation. Either way it happens, dehydration has an effect on  muscle function, just as hyponatremia due to overhydration will. The balance of these important mineral salts in our body fluids  is key. Too much or too little of some things and we get cramps,  twitching, and the scourge of competitive athletes everywhere - heart  arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation. I knew a veteran  runner who was diagnosed with this  after running 80+ mile weeks in the summer on a largely junk-food diet.  Something was bound to happen, and sodium/potassium levels are often  down in such people with potentially disastrous results.


    On  the subject of  dehydration, there are many substances that have a  diuretic effect. Caffeine and alcohol are famous for this, but the body  uses elimination  of water to get rid of many foreign substances,  including some medications and herbal remedies. If  in doubt read labels  and warnings. Of course, exercise itself is one of  the best diuretics  of all, as we just discussed. I lost 1-1/2 pounds on my 24 despite the 3  liters of  water during, a bk breakfast with tall coffee before, and a whopper with cheese, fries,  shake, and half a chicken sub after (guilty as charged, it's just what  we were eating that day).


    So,  are you possibly losing something during running that can be replaced  with dietary interventions? I would say yes, but with the following  caution: Taking something in may not insure that it stays there. If you  are not deficient in a particular mineral, your body will attempt to  eliminate excess in some way. This can mean more dehydration, not less.  Magnesium, for example, will be eliminated via urine and feces, which is  why it is a great laxative as well as a muscle relaxer.  Excess calcium can constipate and become stones that clog the urinary  tract, so be careful. Better to eat chunks of moist, whole foods that  contain  everything you need and not much more, like certain fruits,  vegetables like sweet potato, and leafy greens like spinach. I sometimes  consume these items during breaks on my longest runs, although I didn't  on this last one. Whole foods release moisture more slowly than drinks.


    Food,  though, ain't what it used to be. Modern farming techniques have  increased yield and resulted in food that is less nutrient-dense than  the stuff our grand parents ate. A lot of commercial soil is overfarmed,  and even the FDA says food alone is no longer sufficient to insure good  nutrition for most Americans. Magnesium and potassium deficiencies are  actually quite common, but as Tara points out, all supplements are not  equal. Some forms of minerals pass right through taking other nutrients  with them. To top it off, whole foods lose much of their nutrition  before they reach the table, up to 50% according to some estimates. This  can become worse in a colder climate where everything is trucked in  from from increasingly longer distances this time of year.


    One  last word on nutrition and running. What you have the day before is  often more important than what you use to "power" your runs. It takes  hours for  water to be absorbed by all your body tissues, including  your  muscles. If you don't already have enough water and energy stored  in your muscles and liver to make it through a couple hours of running,  you are undernourished and dehydrated. Food and drink (other than water)  before and during runs can easily do more to slow you down than power  you on. So why did I have the bk breakfast? Well, it was just sitting there, all alone. I'm always up  for an experiment, and I  figured what doesn't kill me makes me  stronger, right? Ok, sometimes not. Better luck with your own  experiments!

  • rkblackwell Amateur 36 posts since
    May 19, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Sep 30, 2010 8:39 PM (in response to klasmom5)
    Re: Eye twitching (strange, I know)

    Potassium, eat more of it.

  • Errnestinne Amateur 36 posts since
    Jan 25, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Oct 2, 2010 7:50 AM (in response to klasmom5)
    Re: Eye twitching (strange, I know)

    I experience/experienced the same exact thing.


    It is correlated with running(in my case).. it was a mix of dehydration (even though I thought I was hydrated, I clearly was not hydrating myself near as much needed) and Calcium/Magnesium deficiency.


    So drink lottsss of fluids w/ electrolytes, salt tablets, and Caltrate.


    Good luck twitchy

  • jgud11 Rookie 2 posts since
    Sep 30, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Oct 20, 2010 8:15 AM (in response to klasmom5)
    Re: Eye twitching (strange, I know)

    I seem to have fixed my problem with eye twitching. After I saw your post I did some research on Magnesium deficiency and determined that was most likely what was causing the eye twitching. I began to take One A Day Men's Pro Edge, which is suppose to be for active adult males and has a higher level of magnesium. I also would take a Magnesium supplement pill anytime after I ran. I don't remember the brand of the supplement pill but I got it from Target and it has Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, and Vitamin D in it. I have also been trying to eat more fruits, vegetables, and nuts as well as drinking more water. This regiment finally got rid of the eye twitching, even while I was continuing to train for a half marathon, after about two weeks. I also just generally feel better overall. It appears, at least for me, that it was definitely some kind of deficiency, most likely Magnesium. Thank you so much for the post klasmom5 or I may not have figured it out and had to give up running.

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