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New member
Jul 26, 2015
Learn about ALS
Hello, I'm 18 years old and have recently finished school. This has given me a lot of spare time which I am using only to stay inside and use my computer. I believe I'm a hypochondriac. I've always been an anxious person but I think all this time to myself is giving me more time to worry and obsess over possible diseases I have. I've managed to convince myself of other diseases in the past but ALS seems to really be sticking in my mind and it's making me worried sick.

First of all, these are my symptoms:
- dull pains in my hands which can extend up to my elbows - these are intermittent pains and not constant, very irregular.
- a similar pain that occasionally occurs in my legs or feet.
- more recently, a twitching in almost all of my fingers and thumbs that occurs when the fingers are bent in a certain position (about 50% bent). I can sometimes notice this twitching when holding my computer mouse. I was never able to feel this before. A twitching may also occur in my toes.
- at night, when going to sleep, I can notice twitches in my body more easily and can even feel my pulse (I don't know if this is normal or not?). I've also had my leg kick up a couple of times.
- I have widespread fasciculations (at least I think I do). I can get random twitches in random parts of my body that feel very small and subtle. I'm fairly sure the fasciculations stop when I move that part of the body and put the muscle into use.
- I do feel a weakness in my hands but I don't have difficulty doing anything. I'm pretty sure I can make a tight fist but both of my hands just don't feel at their full strength. This weakness worries me with the aforementioned twitching.

I was recently diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and I believe that this diagnosis greatly heightened my anxiety. I try to convince myself on a daily basis that I do not have ALS but at the same time I spend 90% of my time thinking about "what if I had ALS?". My mother also tries to assure me that I do not have ALS but her reassurance doesn't persuade me. I'm going to my doctor in a couple of days to see their opinion but I'm hoping the forums will put my mind at ease, or I can at least use this as a chance to vent my worries.

As previously mentioned, I have no school for the next couple of months and therefore nothing to do. I try to distract myself on my computer but always end up thinking about ALS. For a while I thought I had CTS because of the pain in my hands but the twitching has me worried about something worse. I don't drink as much water as I should and I tend to have a lot of caffeine - another possible cause of the twitching.

I greatly appreciate any opinion on my symptoms and I apologise about being another young, paranoid person that you kind people have to reassure.

Thank you for your time.
Aidan, your mother's right; you don't have ALS.
ALS is an old person's disease. If an 18-year-old gets it, I'd call the Guiness Book of Records.
Twitching is common in healthy people, and very common in anxiety. In fact, twitching is so common in so many conditions that it's not really diagnostic of anything.
Pain points AWAY from ALS. In ALS, motor neurons in the brain are destroyed, one by one, so the muscles can't get the signal to contract. Thus the muscle lays limp and useless, paralyzed. There is no feeling, no pain. The muscle simply doesn't work anymore.

Your computer isn't helping you. You need to get out and do just about anything else accept search the internet for diseases. Try to stay off the computer while you wait to see the doctor.

We aren't doctors, so we can't diagnose you. But we know ALS really well, and you don't have it.

ALS does not start with strange sensations. It starts with something not working, no pain, no tingles it just doesn't work. So I have good news. You DO NOT have ALS. Now go and enjoy the rest of summer.
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