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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Message Board
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:36 AM   #1
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cziegenhagen HB User
Do I Have ALS?

Hi I'm Charles (24 years old male).

I'm pretty worried I have ALS. Over the last 3 months I have gotten progressively weaker. In May I started noticing head pressure. The next month I began noticing how exhausted I was each day and I began feeling really out of it especially if I didn't get enough sleep. By the next month (July) I began noticing that my legs were heavy and stiff. It was a strange sensation that I began testing out by running in place. As I did so, I felt as if there were heavy weights on my legs. At this point I began to get a little worried. But it wasn't until the next month where I began to get legitimately worried. In August I notice my whole began feeling stiff. My legs especially but then I began noticing it in my hands and arms and neck. My neck and back of my head felt stiff. My arms felt heavy and doing dishes/clipping fingernails, etc became more difficult. My hands became increasingly stiff and they would be swollen each morning and overtime they'd be swollen throughout the day too. I am sitting in my car right now because I went downtown clubbing with my friends like I have many times but I had to leave early this time because my legs felt so heavy and weak and I knew I had to sit down. Even last weekend it wasn't this bad, but things are worse now. I'm bummed. I love going out and having fun with friends, but now I feel like this is now longer something I will be able to do. So much for young, wild, and free. I'm too young for this. This month (August) I have also began to notice a sore throat feeling as I swallow, difficulty breathing, weak teeth, plugged ear sensation, strange vision issues (blood shot eyes always, blurriness, crazy difficulty adjusting to light or darkness, etc), intense tightness in my right hand and I can no longer open and close it very quickly at all. It moves almost in slow motion. Some twitching in my right bicep is noticeable. Sensation like phone is vibrating in left pocket but I will check and it's just my leg. I'm terrified. Who knows what I will begin to notice in September.

 
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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Re: Do I Have ALS?

There's no way you have ALS with those symptoms.

Symptoms not indicative of ALS:
bloodshot eyes
sore throat feeling
weak teeth
plugged ear sensation
vision issues
blurriness
crazy difficulty adjusting to light or darkness
head pressure
diffuse stiffness of body parts on both sides
swollen hands

Symptoms maybe indicative of ALS:
twitching, but nearly all people experience some twitching in their lifetime.

Basically, nothing you've described sounds like ALS. ALS is not going to spread this quickly and will typically incapacitate the limb it starts in totally before moving on. Getting weakness in all four limbs in 3 months is an impossibility with ALS, especially at the age of 24. Very few cases appear before the age of 40, and it is a rare disease before then.

 
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:43 PM   #3
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Re: Do I Have ALS?

*double post*

Last edited by indiankid; 09-19-2012 at 05:44 PM.

 
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:05 AM   #4
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matrix456 HB User
Re: Do I Have ALS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by indiankid View Post
There's no way you have ALS with those symptoms.

Symptoms not indicative of ALS:
bloodshot eyes
sore throat feeling
weak teeth
plugged ear sensation
vision issues
blurriness
crazy difficulty adjusting to light or darkness
head pressure
diffuse stiffness of body parts on both sides
swollen hands

Symptoms maybe indicative of ALS:
twitching, but nearly all people experience some twitching in their lifetime.

Basically, nothing you've described sounds like ALS. ALS is not going to spread this quickly and will typically incapacitate the limb it starts in totally before moving on. Getting weakness in all four limbs in 3 months is an impossibility with ALS, especially at the age of 24. Very few cases appear before the age of 40, and it is a rare disease before then.
Absolutely right...some statistics I read said that before 40 the chance of ALS are 1 in 10 million. At 24 they are 0.

 
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:01 PM   #5
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Thisiscrazy HB User
Re: Do I Have ALS?

Did you ever get checked for lyme?

 
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:28 AM   #6
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ChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB User
Re: Do I Have ALS?

I'm not sure what led you to believe you have ALS but nothing in your described symptoms sounds like it.

Weakness in ALS is different than the weakness you describe. There is no feeling weak with ALS, only being weak. When weakness occurs in ALS it is the result of a set of muscles not receiving signals any longer. At some point, compensatory muscles will become disconnected as well and at that point something will just not work, you wont be able to lift your wrist, or a foot, or possibly choke when drinking because your tongue or throat is partially paralyzed.

Muscle twitching is common in ALS but also very common in the general population. Anxiety, caffeine and many neurological disorders are common inciting factors.

The other symptoms you mention dont really have anything to do with ALS. There can be other neurological causes of some of your symptoms, but they are not really associated with ALS.

I've seen a study that found als in those under 30, there is an incidence of 1/165,000,000. To put that in perspective the probability of being hit by a meteor is 1/700000, and of dying in a car accident is 1/67. There really isn't data for people at 24 because there have only been a very small number of cases ever.

There are many things that could cause your symptoms including vitamin deficiencies, thyroid dysfunction, anxiety, and many neurological conditions that aren't ALS.

Taking these symptoms to your GP would be a good place to start. He\she can test for many things, and make appropriate referrals if necessary.

Good luck.

 
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