TWITCHING IN LOWER ABDOMEN

TWITCHING IN LOWER ABDOMEN

 

Muscle twitching is spontaneous contraction in any of the muscles of your body, wherein the contractions are not in your hands, or what we call as involuntary contractions. With that being said, twitching in lower abdomen is an uncommon complaint, and is commonly seen in hospitals all over the world.

To know the cause of this twitching in lower abdomen it is important to know the organs that are located in this area. Some of the organs that are located in lower abdomen are your intestines, kidneys, ureters, bladder, and in case you are a female- uterus, fallopian tubes, and the ovaries.

Mostly, muscle twitches are caused by non-serious issues including sleep disturbances, exercising, dehydration, deficiencies of certain minerals and vitamins, or anxiety and stress. Less commonly, these muscle twitches may indicate an underlying disease like some autoimmune disease, or nervous system related issues.

In this article, we will discuss some common causes (serious, and non-serious) causes of twitching in lower abdomen, which includes:

Other than the causes, we will discuss about:

 

 

PREGNANCY

If you are pregnant and are experiencing twitching in lower abdomen it may be because of your baby growing, or the movements your baby is making in your belly. When your baby first starts moving (which is between 16 to 25 weeks of your pregnancy) it is known as Quickening. This period of your pregnancy is known as second trimester.

With time moving on, and as you approach your third trimester these movements become regular and continuous. Your lower abdomen might twitch when your baby hiccups, turns over, stretching their limbs, flexes, or kicks.

It is not a problem if you know you are pregnant and the only thing you feel is twitching in lower abdomen. But there are certain symptoms, when seen, you should visit a doctor as soon as you can. These symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea that is severe.
  • Dizziness.
  • High fever (higher than 37°C).
  • Vaginal bleeding.
  • Pain or burning while you urinate.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge (grey discharge, or discharge that smells bad).
  • Swelling of hands, or face.
  • Severe headache.
  • Painful chest, legs, or arms.

 

OVULATION

It is a process of your ovaries releasing the eggs. It occurs 13-15 days before of each monthly cycle. Ovaries typically stretch to release the eggs, and this may sometimes cause twitching in lower abdomen, but this twitching is transient or temporary, and is not severe.

After ovulation, when your cycle starts, these twitches may continue with your muscles feeling tighter, you may experience twitching in lower abdomen.

 

DEHYDRATION

Dehydration doesn’t only occur when you start drinking less water, but also if you lose water in any form. You may lose water via diarrhea, vomiting, or severe sweating. You don’t only lose water but electrolytes as well. These electrolytes include magnesium, potassium, and calcium. All these electrolytes are important for you muscles to work properly. In case of dehydration, you muscles will start to twitch, and you may also experience twitching in lower abdomen.

Symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Dark yellow pee.
  • Thirst.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fatigue or tiredness.
  • Dry eyes, and lips.
  • Not urinating enough.

 

CELIAC DISEASE

This disease is also known as gluten sensitive enteropathy, and celiac sprue. When a person eats gluten (which is a protein found in wheat and barley, and products they are put in), his immune system starts to react against this gluten.

In celiac disease, immune system reacts to gluten and damage your small intestines. Small intestines are important for your body to absorb the nutrients from everything you eat. With small intestines damage, you may undergo malabsorption (term used for abnormal absorption) of nutrients.

Symptoms of Celiac disease are:

  • Muscle twitches (may also manifest as twitching in lower abdomen).
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Weight loss.
  • Anemia.
  • Bloating.
  • Bone damage (osteoporosis and osteomalacia).
  • Mouth ulcers.

Celiac disease has no cure, and usually the treatment that is recommended is to avoid Gluten at all costs. However, there are certain symptoms that have to be focused on, and you see a doctor in case you see such symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea that remains for more two weeks.
  • If your child is extremely irritable, to isn’t growing properly, or has foul-smelling stools.

 

INTESTINAL OBSTRUCTION

It is a condition where your intestines are blocked in a way that the food you eat doesn’t reach large intestine via your small intestine. There might be many reasons why your intestines are obstructed including colon cancer, history of a previous surgery, some medications, or other diseases like Crohn’s.

Symptoms of intestinal obstruction include:

  • Abdominal cramps, and twitching in lower abdomen.
  • No or loss of appetite.
  • Constipation.
  • Not being able to pass gas or stools (obstipation).
  • Bloating.
  • Vomiting.

If intestinal construction is left untreated, it may lead to serious complications. Not only the food isn’t able to pass, but your intestines might not even get proper blood supply causing the part of intestine to die. This will eventually lead to perforation of the intestinal wall, and then infection at last.

 

DIVERTICULITIS

Diverticulitis is a condition where small pouches in your colon (known as diverticula) are infected or inflamed. It is not a dangerous condition if the pouches are present as such and there isn’t any need to get it treated. But once they are infected you have to see a doctor and get it treated.

There are certain factors that put you on risk of having your diverticula infected. These risk factors are male gender, age above 40 years, overweight, and not maintaining diet and exercise.

Symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Fever.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Blood in stools.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Bloating.

This condition may also cause muscle twitching, including twitching in lower abdomen.

 

INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

It is a group of diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. There is not definitive cure for these diseases but can be managed by proper treatment.

The mechanism of how IBD occurs is unknown, but if you have a positive family history, if you are a smoker, or if you eat unhealthy diet (more processed food and fat).

Symptoms of IBD are:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Bloody stools.
  • Weight loss.
  • Anemia.
  • Inflammation of eye.
  • Skin disorders.
  • Arthritis.

There are certain complications of IBD which occur if you don’t get proper treatment. These complications include:

  • Bowel obstruction and perforation.
  • Fistula formation.
  • Colorectal cancer.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Shock.

 

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS involves your intestines, large as well as small. The regulation of gut activities by brain might also be impaired, reason why IBS is known as brain-gut disorder.

Symptoms of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome are:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Bloating.
  • Not feeling like you have finished your bowel movements.
  • Stool with mucous in it.
  • Twitching in lower abdomen.

 

AORTIC DISSECTION

Aorta is the main artery present in your body. Sometimes, the inner layer of this artery may tear down, resulting in inner and middle layers separated from each other by the blood rushing around.

Symptoms of aortic dissection include:

  • Ripping or a tearing pain in either chest or back.
  • Stomach or abdominal pain.
  • Twitching in lower abdomen.
  • Shortness of breath or dyspnea.
  • Symptoms like stroke including problems in vision, not being able to speak, or one side of the body paralysed.

 

BOWEL PERFORATION

It occurs when your intestines tear down of perforate causing all the contents of your intestines to leak into the abdomen. This is always a medical emergency. If it is left untreated it leads to infection of abdomen known as peritonitis. This may also cause bleeding, and eventually death.

Symptoms of bowel perforation are:

  • Twitching in lower abdomen.
  • Cramps.
  • Bloating.
  • Bowel habit changes.
  • Fatigue.
  • Vomiting and nausea.

 

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

If twitching in lower abdomen remains for less time and is mild, it is nothing to be worried of. But if this twitching lasts for longer periods, and does not go away with anything you do, it is most likely because of some underlying problem, for which you need to get medical intervention.

Serious symptoms that should make you seek medical help are:

  • Bowel habit changes.
  • Blood in stools.
  • Fever.
  • Vaginal bleeding.
  • Tearing pain in chest.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Weight loss.
  • Anemia.

 

TAKEAWAY

As is with any other muscle twitching, twitching in lower abdomen is usually caused by non-serious causes that includes anxiety, stress, dehydration, unhealthy diet, ovulation, or even certain deficiencies (of minerals and vitamins).

But this, in no way, means that twitching in lower abdomen only occurs because of these causes. There are some serious causes as well including aortic dissection, bowel perforation, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, or intestinal obstruction. To prevent yourself from complications of these diseases, you have to see a doctor so that they diagnose and treat you accordingly.

There are certain complications of some disease that may prove to be dangerous for you including peritonitis (infection of abdomen by leakage of intestinal content when intestinal wall is perforated), shock, or some area of your intestines dying.

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