20 years old and experiencing weird symptoms

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cool_quick

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So, I've been a pretty healthy guy my whole life. I played sports, ran marathons, and worked outside pretty regularly. But starting about 8 months ago, I started having some strange things happen.

A few months before my 20th birthday, I started having rare instances where my balance would feel off and cause me to stumble into things. Also, after doing some work outside, my right leg would feel a bit heavier than my left. Naturally, I paid no attention.

I started a job working at a grocery store at the end of May and had no real issues at first. However, a month and a half in, I came in to work one day and reached for a cup, only for my fingers to completely fumble it. Again, I paid no attention.

I started paying attention when I continued to fumble things more and more frequently as the weeks went by and started having more issues lifting various items. My hands would also shake uncontrollably when I tried to hold them still.

As for my legs, they also started having more problems. My feet started to drop, which I first noticed after I tripped on the stairs at my college campus. Eventually, I started having to walk with a bit of a high step to keep my feet from dragging as much. This is around the time some co-workers noticed my symptoms and asked me what was going on. I had no answer.

Fast forward to now, and I'm having a lot of issues with saliva building up in my mouth, as well as certain words slurring a bit when I talk. My posture is abysmal (according to one of my supervisors), since I slouch in any chair I sit in and can't even keep my head up for more than a minute. I have twitching/ fasciculations several times a day, and at least 3 of my fingers are having more difficulty moving. I can't even fully straighten my pinkie fingers anymore. It's really hard to work as a grocery store cashier when I have problems even lifting a liter of Coke. Something else to note, I don't have any pain, or any weird sensations.

I had an MRI done and it showed no signs of MS, brain tumor, or anything. Blood work showed a slight lowering of my b12 levels, but nothing eyebrow raising. My cholesterol has also fluctuated a lot in the past year. I'm scheduled for an EMG early next year, and that's the part that concerns me. People keep telling me that 20 years old is way too young to have ALS, and that it's probably just in my head, but it feels way too real to just be psychological. I want to believe that it's nothing bad, but at this point, I'm not sure anymore.
 
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lgelb

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It's not too young, but very rare. However, more to the point, ALS doesn't take six-week holidays, and besides possible systemic explanations (has a good internist really worked you up?), there are muscle problems (myopathy) that can start in young adults.
There are also times when MS doesn't show up on the first MRI, to name one of many possibilities. So I think your EMG will point another direction.

Best,
Laurie
 

cool_quick

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Update: One thing I neglected to mention before was that my swallowing has felt more labored than it should, but I didn't mention it before because it didn't seem too problematic. However, it has gotten to a point where I choke on water or even certain foods at least once or twice a day, and it gets very annoying. My feet are dropping worse than ever, which can get really uncomfortable after having to stand/walk for 5-hour long work shifts. My 4th fingers on both hands can't fully bend anymore either.
I went to see an ENT doctor about my swallowing, since my neurologist thought something might be obstructing it, but he found no such thing. After checking it though, he did notice that something was off about it, and said that something neurological was going on. Now, I have my EMG in 6 days, and I'm just hoping for some kind of good news. Wish me luck.
 

Bestfriends14

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Nope, still doesn't sound at all like ALS. It simply does not present in the way you are saying and you'll see that when you get the results of your EMG. Please update the forum when you get you've had your test.

6 days is not far away.
 

cool_quick

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EMG was clean. Doctors have been noticing that my blood pressure has been higher than it should be, and I'm having occasions where it feels like something is sitting on my chest, which causes my breath to feel very short. My PCP is suspecting something heart related. Which does make more sense, as I've had arrythmia for years. But at least I'm clean neurologically, and that is still good news.
 

cool_quick

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Can't believe it took me this long, but I finally realized that I totally misread my EMG results. It wasn't clean like I initially said, but rather "relatively normal." I did more digging, and I was told that there were some mild signal disruptions in my feet and hands, not bad enough to be of huge concern, but definitely something to note. I'm now being monitored to see if it gets worse or better. I've been falling a lot recently, and my doctor noticed that my right thumb is starting to lose mobility. Still having problems swallowing, and they didn't even bother checking that at all. Gonna have to talk to my PCP to see what I should do now. At this point, I have no idea what's going on, and it's getting very frustrating. Sorry for accidentally giving wrong information.
 

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Signal disruption is exceedingly vague but sounds like it is probably an ncs issue which would point away from ALS. If you post a deidentified report we would know what you are talking about
 

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Most healthy people have something show on an EMG or other tests. Your EMG was clean, but then that isn't even a medical term, lay people just insist on using it to define what they don't really understand.
You are just fine if your doctors interpreted the test as normal, even relatively. All the best.
 
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