Old 06-06-2016, 03:07 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Nervous about Symptoms

Hello all - I am an almost 27 yr old male, and I have been experiencing some troubling symptoms over the past month and a half. It started with a feeling of stiffness in my left pinky finger, accompanied by trembling of that hand. Shortly after the trembling hands, I began waking up with very strange sensations in my toes (somewhat difficult to walk), feelings of muscle twitches in my shoulder blades, extreme sensitivity to cold. I would describe what I was feeling in my feet as having my toes feel like they were clenching up. That seems to have gone away, but now I am intermittently feeling twitches in both feet and calves. My hands are still trembling at times, and it sort of feels difficult to hold things in my left hand at times.

I don't feel any weakness, and I can do all of the same exercises and amounts that I've always been able to. I can still do fingertip push-ups. I can still run at the same pace as when I was running marathons. I can still move my fingers quickly and don't have any issues with my tongue, but have noticed more mucus in my mouth than usual. Occasionally my voice feels strained or hoarse. I don't have any issues with standing on one foot, toe or heel walking, but I've begun feeling compelled to constantly test my strength (hopping around, picking objects up with my pinky fingers, fiddling with lids). My legs feel slightly stiff and tense, and I have found myself having to actively relax my hips.

I know that ALS presents itself in many different ways, and that the weakness can be hard to notice initially and that some people have the twitches come on before severe weakness. Does anything I am describing sound like the early stages of weakness and this disease? I'm feeling very nervous as I've never experienced many of these same symptoms all at once. If I'm totally off base, I apologize in advance for wasting your time.
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:12 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

I have also briefly felt tightness in my jaw muscles (woke up one morning with a giant knot on the right side) and my facial muscles feel tense.
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:31 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

I'm curious what made you jump to ALS as a possible diagnosis. You mention that it was somewhat difficult to walk upon waking up yet can still run at a marathon pace.

Considering your age and physical abilities it could be possible that you are just overtaxing your muscles. Feeling constantly compelled to test your strength sounds like you're hyper-focusing your attention on symptoms that may not be symptoms at all and causing anxiety.

I don't believe ALS symptoms come on "all at once" as you've described.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:06 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

I realize it is very irrational of me to assign these symptoms to a rare disease like ALS, but they are unlike anything I have ever experienced before. My brain keeps finding ways to fit them into other similar experiences people had before getting their diagnosis.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:21 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

Nothing in your post makes me think ALS is even a remote possibility.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:44 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

<<My brain keeps finding ways to fit them into other similar experiences people had before getting their diagnosis.>>

Your best bet is to see a doctor for an official medical opinion then see someone for anxiety to calm your fears.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:36 AM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

posted my question in a new topic.

Last edited by NorthStar : 06-07-2016 at 10:22 AM
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:46 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

Thank you all for your responses. I appreciate the advice and feedback. I know stress and anxiety can cause a lot of the things I've been feeling, and having a new baby and a wife with her own health problems that are much more real than mine likely are has probably gotten the best of me. I am going to work on not fixating on my ALS fear and paranoia.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:54 PM #9 (permalink)
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That's good. Best of luck to you and your family.
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:04 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

I've been prescribed lexapro for anxiety after talking to the doctor and have been taking it for three weeks now. Mentioned to him my fear of having a neurological disease, and he didn't seem to give it a second thought. I've mostly been able to put the fear that I might have ALS out of my mind. I'm not constantly testing my strength beyond just working out regularly. I am a bit worried about noticing widespread twitching throughout my body and occasional tingling sensations in my feet. Yesterday I was able to watch my calves squirm and wiggle around for a few minutes. My eyelids also have begun twitching occasionally.

Am I still understanding thing correctly that widespread twitching without any noticeable loss of muscle strength should not be considered concerning? I believe lexapro can cause muscle twitches (to what degree I am not sure) as well as tingling.

When I go back to the doctor for a follow up on the lexapro, should I mention the twitching? Any input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:49 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

Son go read the sticky, and you can go read it every time your anxiety rises. It addresses your question completely.
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:05 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

Thanks Tillie and everyone else who has responded to me. You are all such kind, patient people and I'm sure dealing with a constant stream of anxious people can become tiresome. I'd like to make a donation to support ALS research. Could you direct me to the best foundation?

Thanks - Josh
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:24 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nervous about Symptoms

If you are focused on research consider alstdi, Mass General or Hopkins. There are others of course. ALSA divides its funds among several missions so not so much goes to research. Thank you for considering donating
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