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Old 02-18-2010, 10:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

Ok, so Ive decided this is my last post..........I see how crazy & out of control these posts can get & I wouldn't forgive myself if I became someone who only caused frustration w/ one billion questions. (honestly).

As Ive mentioned, you pals are amazing, caring people with more patients than neccesary! I dont take for granted that you take time to answer so many posts from concerned people~~

Im trying to understand just one thing..........but have 3 questions.

1)Is ALS weekness the same as tired, fatigued muscles during exertion?
In other words, I get my dishes done but my arms muscles need a break as they tire out & feel a bit heavy.

2)Is the weekness in ALS SIMPLY NOT being able to move that body part, as if trying to move your ear but not being able?

Im really having difficulty understanding the weekness aspect of ALS.

3)Does the weekness start in one Body part, only? I have this weekness, fatigue in both my arms & hands..............

If I can just get an understanding of this, I think I can move on! Actually, i Know I can!

Please, let me thank you for your kindness! I always say it & I mean it, You are special!
LOVE TO ALL!

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Old 02-18-2010, 12:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

1) No. The endurance capacity of a muscle has nothing to do with ALS caused weakness.

2) Not necessarily. Some body movements require the use of several muscles. Losing the use of one of those muscles might not cause a large difference in strength, but it usually can be measured.

3) Yes, initial ALS symptoms usually present in a single region of the body. As the disease progresses, symptoms will show up in other parts of the body.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

oh boythis is the tough one.

hundreds of conditions can cause weakness,even a simple flu virus.
neurological weakness unless its something like a stroke tends to be gradual,its not percieved weakness but clinical and tends to be noticed by a neuro.

many neurological illnesses cause muscle weakness but not total paralysis as seen in als.
what many describe on this part of the forum is muscle fatigue not weakness and most certainly not als weakness.

as many have said als weakness begins with realising you can not do/find hard to do a simple task that any other person can.
many come on the forum saying they have weakness but have had a good neuro exam.
neurological/clinical weakness is picked up on by a neuro very very early on,even before a patient is aware of it.

in a nut shell...............als weakness=progressive total paralysis
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

what started as not being able to pull a trigger or press a latch, then went to really slow in opening my fingers to not being able to literally move my fingers at all. i could "think about it" but it will never move
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

1) ALS muscle weakness is not the same.
Tired exertion muscles ache "This is going to hurt in the morning"
ALS weakness doesnt hurt , things slowly stop working "Hmmph I used to be able to go up these stairs 2 at a time"

2) Sort of. The use of the muscles just gradually stop performing movement . It does not happen over night - it took 15 months to get a diagnosed. Then another 9 months before I could not walk safely anymore.

3) I am sure everyone will have a different answer to this. My left ankle is where it started.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

Hi Friends!

Thx!

So basically, if Im holding my arms out, extending them outward, my right arm feels tired, heavy & I start to feel a slight burning (between the elbow & the shoulder) , A feeling that makes me just not want to hold it outward for too long............does NOT sound like the weekness you are talking about with ALS?

When Im driving too, My right arm is tired to turn the wheel, feels heavy, like my muscles are overworked...........I CAN do it but its tiring to the muscles. I keep switching to my left and im a rightie. FEELS like IVE been BATTING a ball ALL DAY!

Not ALS weekness?

Im having a tough time grasping this weekness thing, honestly.

If my arm is weeker than the other arm, isnt that weekness? I wish I could understand, & You have all been so patient.

Love you all!
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

Hi. Your gratitude is noted. Sometimes it's really hard to ask questions, and sometimes it's equally difficult to answer them, especially when they have to do with muscle weakness/degeneration. Please don't be offended, but sometimes threads such as these remind me of the conversations I have with my 82-year-old mother. Del is brilliant and raised eight children, all normal except for me but she's my mother and she wants to fix me--still. It seems you found some closure so I don't want to mess that up, I've been known to do that(did you see my post yesterday?). Just remember there are over 5000 diagnosed yearly in the US and we are all different. There are around 600 to 700 different muscles in the body, and they are all different. We ask questions, we see our doctor and we go to a neurologist. And then we both learn about "Patients".--JK, Shalom
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

Hi Ratman,

Im sorry, i didnt quite understand the meaning of your reply~~Still I thank you for your effort,

Hugs!
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

People do experience weakness differently, but here is one way to think about it. You say that when you hold your arm out, it feels tired, heavy and you feel a slight burning that makes you want to put it down. Now think back a few months ago before you were having these problems. You could hold your arm out OK. But imagine someone put a 20 pound weight in your hand, or some weight you could barely hold. Now very quickly your arm will feel tired and heavy, and soon you will feel burning. The same kind of symptoms you are describing. ALS weakness can feel like this, without the weight. Everything is harder and more difficult to move, until eventually you can't move at all.

You are the best judge of whether the kind of tiredness and weakness you feel now is the same as what you would have felt in the past when using your muscles near their max. This is I think what causes feelings of weakness in ALS, that we have to use much closer to the maximum power left in our muscles, just to do ordinary things.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

Hi Halfin,

Thx for your reply,

Am I just not getting this?

How can I compare this to when Ive used my muscles to the max when I havent overexerted my muscles, it just "feels" like I have. Do I make any sense?

Im gathering that you say, ALS weekness can feel this way?

Ive had this for 2 weeks now but my muscles feel fatigued all over, only this arm seems more prominent in the past 2 weeks, meaning that heavy, achy, get tired really fast type of feeling,

Thx,
Many thx, always
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

I think I POSTED the title Wrong & this MAY be why IM confused & probably confusing everyone along the way!

I apologize!

I MEANT to post...................

DOES ALS weekness "FEEL" like tired muscles as if they have been heavily exerted? (Is it the same feeling of weekness?)

GEE, Maybe I am starting to sound like Rats Mom, LOL! (All due respect)
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

With ALS, you don't work the muscles until they feel tired or weak. Once weakness sets in, it is there to stay and gets progressively worse.

You speak of holding your arms out in front of your body. With ALS progression, there comes a time when it is progressively more difficult to just put them out there until eventually, you can't do it at all.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

I think the important thing to remember is that there are countless conditions that cause muscular problems and weakness. There are plenty of people who are worried that they have early ALS symptoms, and even if the cause of their problem
is never identified, they don't go on to get a diagnosis of ALS.

Exertional fatigue is not typical of ALS presentation, but it not unheard of either, given the varied nature of the disease. I have the same symptoms of tired muscles as you Ray, but I do not have ALS. 3 years of symptoms and my Emgs are still clean.

Hang in there man.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is ALS weekness the same as TIRED muscles after exertion

rayray,

ALS weakness has nothing to do with how the affected muscles feel. The muscles in my left hand and arm "feel" no differently today than they have for the other 52 years of my life. Unfortunately, all but a couple of them are completely useless since the motor neurons that controlled them died a long time ago. They feel the same. They just don't move, and they are a lot smaller.

ALS weakness means "can't do stuff". Can't pick up anything in my left hand. Can't straighten the fingers on either hand and can only bend the ones on my right hand. Can't push a button or scratch an itch with my left hand.

When you have terrible trouble doing basic stuff, then maybe you should start worrying about something like ALS.
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