Old 12-08-2017, 01:22 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default Swallowing Issues (ALS Related?) Please Help.

Hi,

I want to start by saying I am aware that this is a very serious illness and am in no way trying to make a mockery out of it, however, I'm here because I'm trying to educate myself on the disease to better assess whether I have it, what my risks are etc.

The last couple of months I've occasionally noticed myself having swallowing issues. This isn't the "feeling tight with a lump in the throat" feeling. This is actual swallowing issues. I suddenly will feel like I'm having trouble swallowing my saliva. Oddly enough, eating and drinking food and waters are fine for the most part.

What I notice is that swallowing has become labored for me, as oppose to a rather involuntary natural process. I'm swallowing excessively, can't seem to get my saliva down without pushing it to the back of my throat. Doing all sorts of odd throat movements with my muscles to create the sensation that I've swallowed etc. It's only happened on occasional times like maybe for an hour randomly while at work, during a meal in a public place.

Well this past week It's been a nightmare. I was up until 5 AM could not sleep watching TV when I noticed this sensation happening. It literally makes me jump when I cannot swallow or feel like I can't. Since then it's been happening almost all day everyday. Of course I've discussed this with my doctor who believes it is anxiety related.

But I am aware of this "bulbar" swallowing and slurred speech issue that occurs with ALS. I'm afraid the reason I'm having this swallowing trouble is due to some kind of muscle in my throat becoming paralyzed and not working so I have to work extra hard to swallow. Basically, that it;s not anxiety and some sort of neurological problem.

If anyone with education on this can give me some feedback that would be much appreciated. I'm literally obsessing over this swallowing issue, so much so that it's creating an intense feeling of doom and an inability to get on with my day.

Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:25 AM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Swallowing Issues (ALS Related?) Please Help.

I don't know if it helps, but I'm a twenty-seven year old male. Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:58 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Swallowing Issues (ALS Related?) Please Help.

Really happy to tell you that bulbar swallowing issues are nothing like this, not even a tiny bit. I would agree with your doctor that you describe anxiety swallowing issues really clearly.

I would strongly suggest you go back to your doctor and work on this as anxiety can be very debilitating, especially when you start losing a lot of sleep.

All the best.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:13 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Swallowing Issues (ALS Related?) Please Help.

I agree with Tillie, with ALS your symptoms don't come and go, once you have they are there to stay. There is no warm up period, you wake up one morning with difficulty swallowing and it is there for life.
Al
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:32 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Swallowing Issues (ALS Related?) Please Help.

I would like to clarify - I was saying the description of the actual swallowing issues/events does not match bulbar swallowing issues at all.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:47 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Swallowing Issues (ALS Related?) Please Help.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the responses. With the last one, I understand what you re saying..but what if the times before where the swallowing issue was happening was anxiety related because it "came and went" and what I've been experiencing this week (which has been everyday non stop) is ALS?
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:56 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Swallowing Issues (ALS Related?) Please Help.

I also should mention I do have a lot of post nasal issues and feeling like theres a slow drip of post nasal always. I don't know if this is also a symptom or not.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:51 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Swallowing Issues (ALS Related?) Please Help.

So, to summarize, you think that a few weeks ago when the symptoms came and went, it may have been related to anxiety but this week you have suddenly developed ALS? See a doctor to get to the bottom of your symptoms but, I agree with Tillie, it does not sound like ALS, not even a little bit!
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:32 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Swallowing Issues (ALS Related?) Please Help.

That is why I clarified that I was not talking about it coming and going, I was talking about what you describe. You do not describe bulbar onset ALS even a tiny little bit - whether it is happening every single day or not. I'm truly so happy to tell you this

You should continue to work with your doctor of course to find out what it is, now that you know what it is not.
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