MNT – Hourly Medical News Since 2003
There you are, minding your own business, when your eye starts to spasm
out of control. It’s a very annoying feeling which can persist for
hours. But is there any cause for alarm? Trinidadians have quite a rich
collection of superstitions concerning jumping eyes. For instance, if
your right eye jumps, you are going to hear good news, and if your left
eye jumps, you are going to hear bad news. Superstitions aside, the
short answer is that a twitching eye is totally fine, although in some
exceptional cases it may underlie a neurological condition.
1. Bloated tummy 腹胀
Food Intolerance: Causes, Symptoms, and DiagnosisLast updated Mon 11 Jul
2016 By Christian Nordqvist Reviewed by University of Illinois-Chicago,
School of Medicine
A staggering 70 percent of us have reported suffering from regular
Food intolerance, also known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity
or non-allergic food hypersensitivity, refers to difficulty in digesting
certain foods. It is important to note that food intolerance is
different from food allergy.
Eye spasm is characterized by the spontaneous contractions of muscle
without muscular atrophy or weakness. You might have experienced an
involuntary muscle spasm in your knee or elbow. The same can happen to
the orbicularis oculi muscle (the muscle in the face that closes the
Food allergies trigger the immune system, while food intolerance does
not. Some people suffer digestive problems after eating certain foods,
even though their immune system has not reacted – there is no histamine
Your body is basically trying to tell you you’re not digesting your food
properly or that you have a food allergy or intolerance such as to wheat
Foods most commonly associated with food intolerance include dairy
products, grains that contain gluten, and foods that cause intestinal
gas buildup, such as beans and cabbage.
Eye spams are typically unilateral, occurring in one of the lower
eyelids. Sometimes, both eyelids may be involved but the fascicular
contractions of each eyelid is independent of each other. The transient
and intermittent twitching is semi-rhythmic at a rate of 3-8 Hz.
Contents of this article:
‘Other common causes of bloating include hormonal issues, candida,
constipation, too much sugar or booze, stress, dysbiosis (an imbalance
between the good and bad bacteria in our digestive tract) or IBS,’ said
nutritionist Rick Hay.
In the majority of cases, eyelid spasms are no cause for concern. These
are usually self-limiting and benign, so medical intervention is
typically unnecessary. Very rarely, eyelid myokymia may occur as a
precursor of hemifacial spasm, blepharospasm, Meige syndrome,
spastic-paretic facial contracture, and multiple sclerosis.
Simply eating too much at once can also dilute down the acid in our
stomach, rendering it unable to start breaking down the food
Food additives and intolerance
Furthermore, enzymes that act optimally at a lower, more acidic pH,
cannot function as well which means that food remains only partially
digested and needs to be broken down further.
Tolerance can improve
This is the number-one reason for a twitching eye, according to
ophthalmologists. When we’re under a lot of pressure, the body releases
stress hormones (cortisol) which triggers a “fight or flight” response.
One immediate consequence is muscle arousal, which may affect eyelid
muscles as well. This may be a good time to see your friends, unwind, or
meditate in order to reduce the stress that might be causing the
Fast facts on food intolerance
This is usually done by bacteria in the gut and the consequent
fermentation process results in the release of gases that may also cause
Here are some key points about food intolerance. More detail and
supporting information is in the main article.
Symptoms of food intolerance tend to take longer to appear than symptoms
Not getting enough sleep or working too much overtime may cause your eye
to complain. Scientists aren’t sure why, but they’ve found that getting
more rest will make the symptoms subside.
2. Red inflamed skin and acne 红肿的皮肤和粉刺
The symptoms are varied and can include, migraine, cough, and
According to a 2013 review, the causes of skin inflammation and acne are
many and will vary from person to person.
Some food intolerance is caused by the lack of a particular enzyme
Dry eyes 眼干涩
Symptoms of food intolerance
More and more people work office jobs that involve a lot of sitting and
staring at a computer screen. This sort of lifestyle can lead to dry eye
syndrome (DES), also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). Dry eye
syndrome is caused by a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and
moisture on the surface of the eye. When our eyes are too dry, they
might involuntarily start twitching to keep them moisturized. This
repeated blinking can trick the brain into making one or both eyes
twitch even more. To avoid DES, use eye drops if you use the computer
for more than seven hours a day and make sure to look away from the
screen at least once every 20 minutes.
However, the most common causes are often hormone-related. The review
explains that testosterone is the hormone that promotes acne the most so
acne is a big issue for males and teenage boys in particular.
[Gluten free sign among bread]
Gluten is one of the most common causes of food intolerance.
Caffeine and alcohol 咖啡因和酒精
But women also tend to get acne flare ups about one week before their
menstruation starts due to a dip in oestrogen levels which, funnily
enough, prevent the development of acne.
It can be difficult to determine whether the patient has a food
intolerance or an allergy because the signs and symptoms often overlap.
Caffeine and alcohol have seemingly polar effects on the body. One is a
stimulant while the other is an inhibitor — but both can bring a
twitching eye when used in excess. It’s important to stay hydrated and
to avoid real or artificial sugars when this happens.
According to James Li, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic allergy specialist,
when it is an allergy, even small amounts result in symptoms, as may be
the case with peanuts. Whereas, with food intolerance, tiny amounts will
usually have no effect.
‘When you get acne, your body may also be trying to alert you to an
underlying hormonal or digestive disturbance,’ said Mr Hay.
The symptoms of food intolerance generally take longer to emerge,
compared to food allergies.
Mineral deficiencies 缺乏矿物质
Onset typically occurs several hours after ingesting the offending food
or compound and may persist for several hours or days. In some cases,
symptoms may take 48 hours to arrive.
A jumping eye might be triggered by magnesium deficiency. If the twitch
persists, it’s a good idea to get your magnesium levels checked with a
simple blood test. If you really are magnesium deficient, you should
focus on eating more foods like almonds, oatmeal, or spinach. You can
also take magnesium supplements to meet daily Mg needs.
‘It could also be a result of liver imbalance, poor diet especially if
you eat too much carbohydrate, stress and allergies amongst other
Some people are intolerant to several groups of foods, making it harder
for doctors to determine whether it might be a chronic illness or food
intolerance. Identifying which foods are the culprits can take a long
According to the Australian NSW Food Authority, the following are the
most common symptoms of food intolerance:
Eyelid infection 眼睑感染
Red inflamed acne with a white discharge is usually indicative of excess
carbohydrate consumption and bacterial overgrowth.
Blepharitis occurs when bacteria infect your eyelids, causing
inflammation and redness. This makes the muscles around the eye twitchy.
Other symptoms include burning or stinging eyes, dandruff at the base of
the eye, and grittiness. The treatment of blepharitis should begin with
a visit with your eye doctor to determine the cause of your sore, red,
itchy eyelids. Eyelid hygiene is very helpful to treat and control
blepharitis, and a good place to begin is applying a wet clean warm
compress to melt any blocked residue around the eyelid. Repeat this
several times a day.
3. White coating on the tongue 舌苔发白
A thin white coating on the tongue can be indicative of digestive
disturbances such as microbiome imbalance, iron or B vitamin deficiency
and possibly diabetes.
‘In the case of iron and vitamin B deficiency it is quite likely you
will be feeling constantly tired,’ Mr Hay said.
Feeling under the weather
‘Thick, white spots on the tongue that look like pus are more likely to
be oral thrush, leukoplakia, or oral lichen planus.
4. Vertical and horizontal nail ridges 指甲上的横纹或竖纹**
Causes of food intolerance
Healthy looking nails should be smooth, curved, with a shine to them and
have no spots.
There can be many causes of food intolerance, and we will take a look at
each of these in turn.
1) Absence of an enzyme
The thing about nails is that they can cause potentially serious
self-image and self-esteem harm.
Enzymes are needed to digest foods fully. If some of these enzymes are
missing, or insufficient, proper digestion may be undermined.
People who are lactose intolerant do not have enough lactase, an enzyme
that breaks down milk sugar (lactose) into smaller molecules that the
body can break down further and absorb through the intestine. If lactose
remains in the digestive tract, it can cause spasm, stomachache,
bloating, diarrhea, and gas.
Nail ridges themselves are nothing to be overly concerned about as far
as physical health goes but if untreated, they can pose a social
People with an allergy to milk protein have similar symptoms to those
with lactose intolerance; that is why lactose intolerant individuals are
commonly misdiagnosed as allergic.
Researchers from Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center in
Tacoma, WA, found that fructose intolerance is common in children with
recurrent or functional abdominal pain.
‘That is not to say, however, that you shouldn’t have them checked out
by your GP just to be on the safe side,’ Mr Hay said.
Nearly all foods require an enzyme for proper digestion. According to
the British Allergy Foundation, enzyme deficiencies are a common cause
of food intolerance.
5. Cold sores and mouth ulcers 唇疱疹和口内溃疡
2) Chemical causes of food intolerance
‘For starters, mouth ulcers are found on the inside of the mouth on the
gums, tongue and inner cheeks whereas cold sores develop on the outside
on the lips.
Certain chemicals in foods and drinks can cause intolerance, including
amines in some cheeses, and caffeine in coffee, tea, and chocolates.
Some people are more susceptible to these chemicals than others.
3) Food poisoning – toxins
‘Most importantly, whilst mouth ulcers are indicative of a weakening
immune system, they are non-contagious.
Some foods have naturally-occurring chemicals that can have a toxic
effect on humans, causing diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Undercooked beans have aflatoxins that can cause extremely unpleasant
digestive problems. Fully cooked beans do not have the toxin. Hence,
people may wonder why they react to beans after one meal, and not after
‘Cold sores on the other hand are a manifestation of a dormant viral
infection which flares up whenever our immune system becomes compromised
for whatever reason.
4) Natural occurrence of histamine in some foods
Some foods, such as fish that has not been stored properly, can have an
accumulation of histamine as they “rot.” A number of people are
particularly sensitive to this naturally-occurring histamine and develop
skin rashes, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
‘They often start popping up as the weather gets colder and in times of
stress both of which can weaken our body’s innate protective systems.’
Often, the symptoms are similar to anaphylaxis (a strong allergic
5) Salicylates are present in many foods
Salicylate intolerance, also known as salicylate sensitivity, occurs
when somebody reacts to normal amounts of ingested salicylate.
Vertical ridges – not horizontal – can be a sign of anaemia or even
rheumatoid arthritis, Medical News Today reports.
Salicylates are derivatives of salicylic acid, which occurs naturally in
plants as a defense mechanism against harmful bacteria, fungi, insects,
The chemicals are found in many foods and most people can consume
salicylate-containing foods without any adverse effects. However, some
people suffer symptoms after eating large amounts. Salicylate intolerant
individuals should avoid foods that contain high levels.
6. Yellowing of the eyes and/or skin 眼白或皮肤发黄
Salicylates are present in most plant-sourced foods, including the
majority of fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs, tea, and flavor
additives. Mint-flavoring, tomato sauce, berries, and citrus fruits have
particularly high levels.