Benign Fasciculation Syndrome (BFS) is a fancy term that refers to neurological twitching that apparently isn’t harmful and has no apparent cause. I run a group on Facebook called “Benign Fasciculation Syndrome – Holistic Approaches.” We are always trying to figure out why we are twitching!
Many of the people in this group have reported symptoms of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), which is basically the body overproducing mast cells, which kind of serves to be an ongoing allergic reaction of sorts. An autoimmune disorder is when the body is attacking itself, confusing body cells and tissues as a foreign invader. These two syndromes may be related.
In both of these syndromes, the body’s immune system is being overreactive. This can potentially affect the nerves.
OK…so the question is, what is causing the MCAS and/or autoimmune? For some people it is food allergies and for others (I suspect) an underlying, subacute virus or infection that may never be fully diagnosed could be the culprit. Don’t forget about mold, which is a common environmental toxin.
I would recommend working with an integrative doctor and/or qualified herbal professional (herbalist, Ayurvedic Practitioner, TCM doctor, etc.) to approach this from a Western and holistic perspective, while continuing to work with neurologists. If you’ve had a test for ANA done and it is elevated, you should probably also consult with a rheumatologist.
The herbalist can help by recommending supplements and dietary changes that can help your body heal.
In almost all cases it would probably be helpful to reduce inflammation where possible, which might involve changing your diet and/or adding anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements (such as quercetin). Certain herbs are known to be good for nerve tissue, such as gotu kola. If it’s possible an infection is the cause, then tonifying (building/restorative) or immune-support herbs might be warranted – with the caveat that if you have autoimmune you have to be careful not to boost the immune system too much, so you should work with an experienced professional on this.
Additionally, it is probably worthwhile to get a food sensitivity test done and see if anything shows up. You can then eliminate potentially problematic foods to see if symptoms improve. This may not be a magic bullet though – I found out I had a dairy sensitivity, but eliminating dairy didn’t help my nerves at all. It did reduce some of the little itchy bumps (uticaria) I would get frequently.
It’s important to notify your doctor about any herbs or supplements, even though most won’t have a clue about them.