Old 07-31-2017, 08:29 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default Concerned/Worried about ALS

Hello,

First I want to thank everyone for their time to even reading this post. I can only imagine how annoying/frustrating it must be to deal with people like me.

I guess I'll start with a background:
I am a 20 yr old male (I know a bit young and I have an incredibly small chance) who is a bit of a hypochondriac and has a lot of anxiety, but hear me out. I know the disease may take months to progress, but I have had muscle twitching in my left thigh (specifically the quad) that has not gone away (I noticed it first on Thursday). I feel like at points it is twitching and I don't even notice it. Well, on Saturday I started to notice a decrease in the range of motion in my toes and ankle on my left foot, but haven't felt any twitching in those areas. The past 2 days I have gone to sleep and woken up and there is no improvement in that motion. I feel like my left leg is weak but I can't really tell if it is perceived or clinical. I've also noticed a dent in my left foot that is not in my right where a muscle is.

When weakness initially begins for those with ALS is it something that immediately affects you or are you still able to walk up stairs and do normal activities?

I feel small little twitches in my left calf and still left thigh and now on occasion I've noticed my right calf is starting to twitch. I'm a little skeptical because I don't think it would already be jumping to my other leg already. I've also noticed it feels weird to walk with my left foot, but I might just be imagining it. I've tried all those tests like run up the stairs, jump up the stairs, stand on your toes, etc. I feel good that I am able to do those, but I'm thinking this only started on Saturday so maybe it'll get worse.

Also recently I was experiencing a shortness of breath, a feeling I wasn't getting enough air, but that seems to come and go so I just say that is stress/anxiety.

I had a blood test last Wednesday that came back normal if that matters, I am not sure.

I am going to consult my doctor this week about what he thinks. I don't mean to be a bother I am just genuinely concerned. Again thank you for your time.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:17 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Concerned/Worried about ALS

Hi
It doesn't sound like ALS to me. Have you read the stickies at the top of this area? They may help you out as well. Twitching is not indicative at all. The weakness you're describing is perceived. Clinical weakness switch to be determined by a doctor.
Before I was diagnosed I was compensating due to the fact that I could not use my left hand. I used tricks like having other people write for me, fluffing it off as cold-weather and bad circulation, and doing things with my nondominant hand.
When you speak with your doctor please listen to what they say. Try to remember that they have studied a long time to be in the job they're doing.
Just my 2 cents worth.

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Old 07-31-2017, 04:37 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Concerned/Worried about ALS

I agree your symptoms probably don't represent ALS. It cold be a radiculopathy (pinched nerve in the spine) or some other form of nerve compression. ALS doesn't generally come on all at once in more than one limb. It is understandable you would be anxious about these symptoms, and that could account for what you've noticed with your breathing. Talk to your doctor, and after he/ she examines you, he/ she will consider whether further testing with MRI of spine or EMG/ nerve conduction tests are appropriate.
Best of luck.

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Old 08-16-2017, 10:54 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Concerned/Curious about ALS

Hello all,

Thanks for taking the time to read this thread and I appreciate the time you are taking to listen to my concerns. I have read the stickies.

I am a 20 yr old male who isn't in the best of shape I know I am young and people my age are frustrating because of the odds but again thanks for your time.

So three weeks ago roughly I started to notice twitching in my left quad near the knee which I brushed off as nothing and continued on. Then I noticed that the twitching spread to my calf and foot as well as occasionally I'd feel a twitch somewhere else, but it mainly was in my legs. I went to the doctor got checked out I guess my reflexes and strength/feeling were fine and blood tests were normal (not sure if that is relevant). So over the next week and a half I felt "better" as in the twitching was not as frequent, but there was a weakness still.

About a week ago, I started to notice weakness in all of my limbs but mainly the legs (specifically the left leg). The arms was if I was holding my laptop across my body my arm would start shaking and I would feel the very rare twitch when at rest. The past couple days I've noticed a lot of twithing in my feet (more left than right) that I could only feel if my hand was pressed against them. I feel like I am walking oddly, but maybe not. I feel like my left foot is getting weaker. I've been getting cramps near my toes if I bend them down and the occasional lower calf cramp.

When I lie down I feel like the weakness goes away and when I wake up in the morning I feel better but once I stand up I feel it again.

So I guess here are my concerns/questions:
1. I know ALS starts in a limb and is progressive, but I was reading stories and people have said that it has started in both legs. For some reason I thought it would paralyze a limb then move on or does it paralyze say your left foot then the right and move up like that. I guess I am asking how it can progress?

2. I guess the question that I should've asked 1st is do you think there is a possibility that it could be ALS?

3. I know MS and ALS are genetic. I'm wondering if say someone had MS does that increase your risk of MS and ALS or just MS? I have an aunt on my mom's side who has MS that is why I am asking.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:20 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Concerned/Worried about ALS

Mod note- Combined threads.

Stoneyboy- please post in your original thread from now on. It makes it easier for members here to follow posting history.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:42 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Concerned/Worried about ALS

Your genetic Q about MS and ALS. I'm not sure anyone knows that. I wouldn't think so.

Q2. I'm not seeing ALS.

Q3. That's really iffy. Anything is possible. Terrible answer, but there's some ambiguity in your psot.


But here's the deal. So far, you have described being deconditioned--out of shape. Also, your doc didn't find weakness.

Can you walk forward and then backward on your toes, and then on your heels?
Can you bottom your shirt and pants as usual?
Doesn't matter if these things are difficult. If you can force yourself to do them successfully, then you did them.

Here are some examples of weakness:
One day you wake up to get out of bed, and one of your legs doesn't move. You just drag it across the mattress.
My wife, in a bookstore, squatted down to see the bottom shelf. As she tried to balance, she needed both feet to support her. One didn't, so she just fell over.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:10 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Concerned/Worried about ALS

Thank You for your answers!

So the weakness in my arms and right leg seem to have subsided which is a good sign, but my left leg (where my main concern is) now has a cramp or something where when I walk occasionally I get a sharp pain I can't tell which muscle it is, but seems to be lower calf/ where the foot connects to the calf where the pain is originating. I don't know of any activity I could have done recently to cause such a symptom. So can als cause a pain like that? I've heard of cramps, but this has been going on for hours. I can walk for now and I occasionally feel it, but when I do I almost feel like I want to fall to my knee. I can't go on the tip of my toes anymore without some kind of sharp pain near my ankle, but definitely not like a sprained ankle or anything. I think I am also seeing some atrophy in my foot, but I can't be sure. Could a pinched nerve possibly cause such symptoms? Although the pain didn't originate in my back.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:48 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Concerned/Worried about ALS

MS does not increase risk for ALS, and I don't see anything ALS-like in what you report.
ALS does not cause isolated intermittent sharp pain except if/as caused by inability to perform an activity or immobility, neither of which seemingly applies to you.
It is very easy to strain a tendon or ligament near your ankle, esp. if you are out of shape, for no particular reason.
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