Buzzing Feeling

 

"Why do I have buzzing feeling in my body?"“I  feel my head is buzzing sometimes” “Is this buzzing or vibrations that I feel in my body normal?” “How can my body vibrate like a mobile phone?”Are these questions also bothering you? If yes, then jump to this article to know more!

Human body with its unique composition; muscles, neurons, cells, hormones and the constant reactions going within can sometimes present with mysterious symptoms that may be unexplainable. Buzzing feeling is one such symptom where a person feels vibrations in her/his hands, feet, legs, abdomen, chest or even inside head.

Buzzing feelings, even though cannot harm the person who experiences them but they can be very disturbing and may even cause anxiety. These buzzing feelings or internal tremors or vibrations are often difficult to describe as it’s something which is not visible on surface while the person is constantly feeling it, this makes it more annoying.

The buzzing feelings that one may feel in his/her head, hands, feet, chest or any other part of body can emanate from different causes that may involve anxiety disorders, neurological problems, muscle spasms to even psychological reasons.

The actual mechanism of these internal vibrations or buzzing feeling is unknown, yet but there are some conditions that are associated with them.

 

Body parts that may buzz sometimes

Neurological problems that can cause buzzing feeling

Phantom vibration syndrome

Anxiety and buzzing feeling

Physical stress and buzzing feeling

Treatment and prevention

 

Body parts that may buzz sometimes

Here we will try to analyze some of the conditions that are associated with buzzing feelings, based on the body part involved:

  1. Head

Buzzing feelings in head are often referred to as “Brain zaps” or “head zap”. People experiencing this describe it as if their brain or head is shivering which starts all of a sudden, without any prior warning, stays for a small period and then vanishes as suddenly as it had started.

Although the actual cause of head zaps still remains unknown, at current times some medications are thought to cause brain zaps. Both intake and withdrawal of these drugs can cause brain buzzing. These drugs include antidepressants such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, example sertaline, citalopram), Benzodiazepines (example Ativan, Xanax ), SNRIs (Selective Serotonin and Nor epinephrine reuptake inhibitors, example Venlafaxine) or drugs for ADHD like Adderall.

Some hypotheses like low serotonin and low GABA hypotheses try to explain the mechanism involved behind these brain zaps, however these are not yet confirmed.

It is also a common finding that people on antidepressants; if they stop taking their drugs they experience withdrawal symptoms, brain zaps being one of those symptoms. This is why a proper tapering schedule is advised before discontinuation of these drugs.

If this brain buzzing occurs as a side effect of taking these psychotropic drugs, then it’s better to talk to your physician to change your medications to ones without this side effect.

  1. Buzzing sensations in breast

These weird sensations can lead to severe anxiety as one may suspect breast cancer behind this unusual feeling. Those who suspect these buzzing feelings to result from cancer must know that breast cancer does not present itself in the form of vibrations.

It is quite rare complaint and the reason for this is not known. However, it is believed that these buzzing feelings may arise due to spasm in few muscles surrounding milk ducts in breasts. This spasm could be because of fatigue, stress, too much exercise or caffeine.

  1. Vibrating feet or hands

The possible causes are expected to be anemia or Vitamin B12 deficiency, transiently blocked vessel followed by blood rushing in, damaged nerve or peripheral neuropathy especially if the person experiences numbness and has uncontrolled diabetes. This may also result as a possible side effect of a drug or may be because of hormones released during stress.

Since, the possible causes are too many and each one of these need a professional advice, those feeling buzzing sensations in foot or any part of body should visit the doctor in order to seek medical help.

  

Neurological problems that can cause buzzing feeling

If these vibrations are present along with some other symptoms as well, you can get the clue regarding a possible neurological disorder.

Diseases of nervous system that can cause buzzing feelings are as follows:

  1. Parkinson Disease

In this disease, the central nervous system starts to degenerate slowly and gradually. It begins with abnormality in motor function such as slowness in movement, asymmetrical resting tremor, and as the disease worsens non motor functions of brain are also disabled in the form of decline in intellectual functioning, anxiety, excessive sweating and salivation that may present as drooling.

Therefore, when someone feels internal tremors in any part of his/her body, it’s important to note following symptoms to check if Parkinson’s can be suspected or not:

  • Asymmetrical uncontrolled tremors and shaking
  • Slowed daily movements than before
  • Reduced arm swing
  • Rigid muscles
  • Expressionless face or mask face
  • Slow steps and shuffling gait

 

  1. Multiple sclerosis (MS)

In MS, the insulating coat of neurons is damaged due to unknown mechanism disrupting the signal transmission capability of nervous system. This results in a number of motor and sensory abnormalities such as cognitive impairment, unstable mood, fatigue, muscle weakness and spasms, inability to speak properly, double vision etc.

 

  1. Essential tremor (ET)

It is a medical condition of unknown cause characterized by symmetrical involuntary tremors, which commonly affect hands, arms or fingers. These tremors worsen as one intends to perform an activity involving the affected muscles. ET mostly affects people after their 40s but can be seen in any age group.

Suspicions regarding any of the above mentioned neurological disorders require medical intervention, care and treatment.

 

Phantom vibration syndrome

Since we are talking about buzzing and vibrations let’s not forget to mention this interesting condition.

Phantom vibration syndrome is characterized as a tactile hallucination where brain perceives the vibrations of one’s phone (when it is not actually vibrating). Other terms used to describe this condition are “ringxiety” and “phonetom”.

The actual cause is yet to be discovered but some studies suggest that using phone for too long can cause this.

Also, if you are expecting calls, your brain can misinterpret any signal for example a muscle contraction as a vibration of cell phone.

In order to manage this, it is advised to turn off phone vibration or carry phone in different positions.

 

Anxiety and buzzing feeling

Anxiety and stress for too long can alter your hormones, make your muscles tense and make you feel overly sensitive and aware of every sensation to a deeper degree.

It is also important to mention that some people face unconscious fears and anxiety and even though they think they are fine, their body may try to respond to this hidden source of anxiety through different ways, buzzing a body part can be one, (other ways may include numbness in hands and fingers, falling asleep, weakness or burning sensation).

The source of anxiety need not to be in one’s unconscious to manifest as a physical symptom. It is well researched fact now that mental health conditions such as anxiety itself have the tendency to present as somatic conditions and since different people react differently, this buzzing sensation can also be one’s body’s reaction following an episode of anxiety.

There hasn’t been much research towards the actual mechanism of buzzing sensation caused due to stress, but it is expected to be a muscular response to hormones and nerves, whose proper functioning is disrupted because of anxiety.

Buzzing sensations due to anxiety can give rise to a vicious cycle, where this strange and indescribable feeling can increase a person’s anxiety more, further worsening these sensations and so on. Hence, the most important thing is to maintain your calm and act efficiently instead of fearing the unknown. The buzzing symptoms of anxiety subside as soon as the body has recovered completely.

 

Physical stress and buzzing feeling

Physical stress like the mental stress can also make our muscles and nerves hypersensitive which may then lead to vibrating sensation in the body.

It is thus important to take a break from one’s busy schedule, to rest and reciprocate.

Steps to reduce stress:

  • Practice relaxed breathing and use it whenever you feel stressed
  • Take breaks when working for too long
  • Sleep thoroughly
  • Do regular exercises
  • Make sure that you take a proper, nutritious and healthy diet.

 

Treatment and prevention

Since a lot of different conditions can cause buzzing feelings in our body, in order to treat these feelings it is important to first diagnose the source causing these sensations.

From over excited muscles and nerves following a strenuous workout to severe neurological disorders, anything may be actually behind these internal vibrations.

So if you are among those people who are experiencing these annoying sensations, you should go and make a visit to your doctor. The doctor may prescribe few tests in order to reach the diagnoses. Once the underlying condition is clear, the actual treatment will start.

If buzzing feeling is due to neurological conditions:

  • For Parkinson’s, the aim of medications is to increase levels of dopamine in brain. Drugs utilized are: carbidopa-levidopa (Lodosyn), dopamine agonists (pramipexole, apomorphine, ropinirole etc).
  • For essential tremors, Beta blockers such as propanolol and anti seizure medications like primidone are used.
  • For MS, no cure is present for now but certain drugs like steroids, interferons etc are used to manage the symptoms.
  • For anxiety related tremors, doctors may prescribe tranquilizers like clonazepam.
  • For vibrations that occur as a side effect of drug, alternative drug usage without that side effect is advised.

In general before starting any treatment, diagnosis of real cause of these internal vibrations or buzzing feeling is important.

Preventive measures that one can take involves inculcating healthy habits like regular exercises, healthy diet, avoiding repetitive movements for too long, taking rest between work hours by strolling around, meditation to calm down and apart from all having a positive perspective towards life can actually help you reduce any weird sensation.

You should not unnecessarily burden yourself by trying to diagnose your condition on your own because there’s way too much information outside and if you don’t know the right spot, you may land in a marshland that would drag you down in it.

What we intend to convey here is that buzzing feeling can be very scary and unusual for someone who is experiencing it but the right way to deal with it is to seek medical help rather than being our own heroes and trying to diagnose things that we are not experts in.

 

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