Are these symptoms of ALS?

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Anar1958

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Hi,
We are currently waiting on a diagnosis for my mom. She has been experiencing dysarthria (slurred speech) for a couple years now, has fallen several times we lost count, shortness of breath, very little balance, a lot of cramps and numbness to the hands, feet, and legs. She often chokes on her food and I have to hurry and give her water. She can not walk anywhere alone anymore because she is scared. This is really hard for me because I am almost sure she has ALS but she has no idea. Finding out she has a terminal disease is going to be so hard. I am still hopeful despite all the obvious signs. We just began working with the neurologist so I suppose we won’t have a definite answer anytime soon. Her CO2 labs were also slightly elevated at a 28. If anyone can just share anything I would appreciate it.
 

Bestfriends14

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Hi there,

It definitely sounds like something is going on. What tests has your mum had thus far? Is her neurologist a neuromuscular specialist? While your mum's symptoms do sound serious, there could be other factors aside from ALS that could be at play.

The things that may be unusual, if this were to be ALS, is her choking on food. Typically, one chokes on thin liquids first, such as water, and then later in progression, chokes on solids. As well, numbness typically points away from ALS.

Having said that, as my husband was losing his mobility, he would say his foot felt numb. He was using the word incorrectly, however, and what he really meant to say is that his foot was no longer working. In any case, I am glad she's getting a medical opinion.

Finally, because your mum has had several falls, it's imperative to keep her from having more falls by getting her a walking aid. Does she have a cane or a walker? Each fall could hasten progression of whatever is going on. It's best to try to keep her as safe as possible.

I'm sorry to hear that your mum is having these issues.
 

lgelb

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I wouldn't think it would take too long to go through the diagnostic process. There are still many possibilities such as a silent stroke. If she has ALS, it is manifesting fairly slowly. Avoiding falls and aspiration are certainly key.

Keep us posted--

Best,
Laurie
 
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