Absolutely terrified I have ALS

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monteXYZ

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Just to begin, I am a 21 year old male and I am absolutely convinced I have ALS or some other serious neurological disease. I have been experiencing the symptoms I list below for about a week now.

My first symptoms began following a panic attack that was preceeded by an intense 2-3 minute period of deja vu just to clarify I have been prescribed medication for my anxiety issues in the past but no longer take any. 2-3 days after my panic attack, I started noticing a weakness in my legs and trouble balancing, I still cannot walk heel-toe-heel-toe without wobbling a little bit. I can still walk around fine, going down stairs however I experience a slight wobble in my legs. Going up them is no problem and I can skip steps if I please.

As well as the balance issues and the weakness in my leg, I was suffering from severe brain fog. I had almost no short-term memory whatsoever and couldn't hold a conversation without having to ask the other person to repeat what they had said, although that seems to be subsiding. I have also been experiencing slight rigidity in my right hand, and for a day or so it was very difficult to type on a keyboard with that hand, although that seems to be getting better. I understand that ALS symptoms typically worsen and do not get better however I have convinced myself that perhaps the weakness hasn't gotten better and I am just used to it.

Quite honestly, my most worrying symptom now is the slighty difficulty I'm experiencing swalling liquids and hard foods. I never really choke, but I have to pause for a second whenever theres liquid in my mouth so I can sort of "remember" how to swallow. With food, especially dry food, I find sometimes it gets logded in my throat, it doesn't cause any breathing difficulty necessarily however it is very uncomfortable and often requires a secondary swallow to finally get it down. However I have been experiencing an exceptionally dry mouth, I have been drinking water essentially non-stop for the past week. As well as the dry mouth, I have been experiencing some fairly severe twitching in my tongue. While this twitching does not look the ALS-related twitching I've seen in videos, it does look more severe. The tip of my tongue contracts and expands every 3/4 seconds or so. Just to clarify, I can feel these twitches. My tongue also feels kind of stuck to the bottom of my mouth and I have some trouble fully getting words out, not a slur or a stutter, I just can't fully get them out, I have experienced this before, although for shorter periods of time, so I'm unsure if perhaps it is just related to anxiety / stress

I contacted my GP regarding my symptoms about 3 days after the onset and was told it was nothing to worry about and I got blood work done that I am awaiting the results from. However, I have experienced additional symptoms since then (rigid hand, dry mouth, twitching tongue) that my GP is not aware of and I am extremely worried. Any insight into my symptoms would be greatly appreciated.
 

ShiftKicker

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Hi there- please have a read here: Read Before Posting It covers what ALS is, what the symptoms of concern are and goes through why many of the symptoms you report lead away from ALS. Please read it very carefully, as you can use it to eliminate ALS as an issue, given all of the non ALS related symptoms you have experienced. There is a very specific constellation of symptoms that doctors look for in ALS and you simply don't report those.

From your post, it appears you have a huge fear of ALS and have been doing a lot of research, which feeds that fear. I believe your fear is unfounded based on all the other things you report. You will have to keep working with your GP to get to the bottom of your issues, but please stay away from ALS research and these forums, as it is only increasing your anxiety about a very rare disease that you do not show signs of having.

Please take care
 

monteXYZ

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Hi there,

Thank you very much for the response. It is greatly reassuring to hear that you do not think I have ALS. If you don't mind me asking, and I completely understand if you do not want to respond, but could you explain why you don't think I have ALS? Looking at symptoms online I can't help but think a lot of the issues reported with initial ALS coincide with what I am experiencing.
 

Bestfriends14

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Did you read what Shiftkicker so kindly provided you? If you read this, you would know why no one on the forum would think you had ALS. Your issues do not correlate with ALS onset and Shiftkicker took time to tell you why. Please read what she gave you and keep working with your docs.

Take good care and good luck to you.
 

lgelb

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If your friend has a headache, do you say, "Well, headache is a symptom of a brain tumor, so you must have a tumor?" Of course not. But if he were staggering, vomiting, not drunk or high, you would take him to a hospital, no?

It's like that. There are people who come here that there is something obviously physically wrong. We're not seeing that here. But since you had a panic attack and signs of ongoing anxiety, you will want to address that with counseling while you are young, to avoid negative emotions hijacking the healthy life you deserve. Sometimes it takes a while to get the right counselor, but it's worth it.

Best,
Laurie
 

Clearwater AL

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Get Real
Monte, first sentence of your Thread…

“Just to begin, I am a 21 year old male and I am absolutely convinced I have ALS
or some other serious neurological disease.”

*Being just 21 years old I doubt your education is anywhere near the medical
education of just your GP.

First sentence last paragraph of your Thread…

“I contacted my GP regarding my symptoms about 3 days after the onset and
was told it was nothing to worry about.”

Last sentence of your second post..

“Looking at symptoms online…”

Dr. Google has sent hundreds, maybe thousands of people off to their
doctor (GP) who probably reluctantly referred them to a Neurologist
from the patients persistence… “Looking at symptoms online…”
It’s called… covering his/her ass.

Neurologists are very well paid, I can’t help but believe Dr. Google
makes them smile and the Medical company they may practice through.
EMGs aren’t cheap either, tests aren’t cheap. Two, three appointments...
the diagnosis so often is not ALS or most often not even an MND. But...
the billing/co-pays goes out for each visit and each test. $$$

ALS is a rare disease and you being just 21 years old… the odds of you
having ALS are six or seven figures to one against it.

As Igelb wrote above. “But since you had a panic attack and signs of
ongoing anxiety”... get your GP to help you find a counselor for your
Health Anxiety before you ask for a referral to Neurologist first.

You’re too young tying up these beautiful years being in your early 20s.
They can be the foundation for very successful 30s. 40s and 50’s
Believe me... 10 years goes by so fast. It's happened to me 5 times. :)
 
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