"Atrophy" and other symptoms I'm not clear on

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sephiroth_m75

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Hello everyone.

I'm an 18 year old male, a smoker, a drinker, 220 lbs.

Like many people here, I'm nervous about the possibility that I may have ALS. There are a few symptoms I definitely have, some of which may be attributable to other causes. There are other symptoms I don't have, at least not yet. And then, there are a few symptoms I'm not really sure about.

One of those is muscle atrophy.

What exactly is muscle atrophy? does it look a certain way? Feel a certain way? Is it just asymmetry between two muscles? I say this because my arm and leg muscles on my left side don't flex quite as tightly as those on my right side. I've measured them, and they're the same size and everything, it's just that my left side doesn't tighten as much as my right side when I flex it. This applies to my biceps and calf muscles. Is this what you'd call atrophy, or am I just paranoid?

Also, I've definitely been experiencing fasciculations lately. This is one of the symptoms I'm really certain about, and I know it's a biggie with ALS. I've only been experiencing this recently (a couple weeks), but over these few weeks it's really increased a lot. It should be noted that these past few months I've been chronically sleep deprived and (shamefully) abusing my ADD medication and coffee, and both of those things are known to cause fasciculations. So I guess the fasciculations alone aren't scary given my lifestyle, but when I combine them with (what could be) muscle atrophy, I dunno...

I apologize if this sounds a little overly paranoid, but I just had a really intense bout of fasciculations when I was lying in bed, and it prompted me to get up and try to find out more about it... which led me here.
 

patricia1

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Looks like you need to evaluate your lifestyle.It seems you know what you are doing wrong .Your young you dont have ALS But if you dont take care of yourself you will have other problems to worry about. Smoking drinking and abusing your ADD meds and caffiene NOT GOOD. See your family Doctor have him run some blood test .I dont know if you are sexually active but STDs can cause ALS like symptoms. Your body is s temple RESPECT IT Pat
 

brooksea

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Atrophy is the wasting of muscle. It will look like you have nothing but bone depending on the degree of wasting.

So, are you "left" sided or "right" sided? Think about it. The more you use one side the srtonger it will be. The twitching for you - you've answered your own question.

Maybe you need to check out a body building forum. they could probably answer your ?s about the uneven muscle mass.
 

vmd

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It is not uncommon for one limb to be larger than another. This is not atrophy. Also, for ALS one must also have corresponding weakness, usually in one limb.
 

Jennifer11

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need some help

Need some help!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello Everyone,

i just joined this forum tonight, basically looking for some help. I have read some of the threads and am sorry to hear all of the stories I have read. My heart and prayers go out to everyone. My father has been to several neurologists due to his intial difficulty walking. They have all told him that he either has als, motor neuron disease or pls (Wow, that was hard sentence to write!) My dificulty is with understanding the dises and the exact symptoms my dad is experiencing and questioning if they are actually symptoms of als. If anyone can help me, please do.
It seems like my dad's symptoms may be atypical of als. he does have increasingly more diffiuclty with his walking. It started out with not being able lift his left foot, which progreesed to his entire leb. He now has much less function of his right leg and his back is deficnitely getting weker. If this is ALS then i undertsnad those symptoms. However, he has a host of other symptoms that are unexplainable, even unexplained by his neurologists. He is often very dizzy, fatigues, has "episodes" where his body becomes completely limp and he begins to shiver uncontrollably, he has blurred vision, is obviously depressed, he breaks out in these red rashed on his arms, feels nauseas constantly and the list goes on. Do these symptoms hold true for anyone else here and do they sound like als symptoms? We kind of feel like we have been left to fend for ourselves here with no support, meanwhile my dad gets weaker by the day. Please tell me what you think!
 

wright

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Hello Jennifer

Whenever I've read threads that sound like yours, many of the replies include Lyme disease as a possible diagnosis. I think that you need to ask the neuro to test your dad. That's where I would start . . . and I would be cautiously optimistic that he has something treatable.
Let us know how things go.
 

Marjorie R. Wilcox

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Health and life

To Sepheroth...Oh! You scare me so much! I am a Mom of six grown children and you make me want to sit you down and plead with you to take care of yourself. I know what smoking alone can do to your body. Your teeth can fall out... you can get asthma... blood clots... ALS like symptoms... etc. You know, I am sure, that your lifestyle is such that it cries out for attention. Are you happy and secure in your family? Please don't consider that you have ALS, but consider changing your life for the better. Eat right, sleep enough, exercise reasonably.... and look for a dream and go for it. You have one life.... and you are only beginning it. Don't end up in jail or in the morgue... I beg of you. How I wish I could give you a hug..... From "Mom" Wilcox
 

CindyM

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This is why I love this forum! You get such caring and on-target advice, given with empathy and real concern. Makes me proud to be a part of it all. Cindy
 

Al

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Hi Jennifer. Sorry about your dad. While the foot drop sounds like ALS, some of the other things you describe sound like Meniere's disease which my brother in law has.
AL.
 

BoxersRule

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Your Compassion-

To Sepheroth...Oh! You scare me so much! I am a Mom of six grown children and you make me want to sit you down and plead with you to take care of yourself. I know what smoking alone can do to your body. Your teeth can fall out... you can get asthma... blood clots... ALS like symptoms... etc. You know, I am sure, that your lifestyle is such that it cries out for attention. Are you happy and secure in your family? Please don't consider that you have ALS, but consider changing your life for the better. Eat right, sleep enough, exercise reasonably.... and look for a dream and go for it. You have one life.... and you are only beginning it. Don't end up in jail or in the morgue... I beg of you. How I wish I could give you a hug..... From "Mom" Wilcox
Mamma Wilcox your compassion is sooo heartfelt and you were not even speaking directly to me...but to someone else. I to have experienced widespread fasciculations. I saw my GP and told me given my age and just the fascics being widespread that I am ok. But did give me anti anxiety meds. I to before recently was on A.D.D. medication in which I took more than I should. Instead of ONE a day on a RUSHED day with a lot to do I took 2 or 3. Then I had to have downers at night so I could sleep. (these were all LEGAL but just abused). You are soooo right. I am lucky I didnt end up in a morgue , coma or heart problems. I just wanted to tell you..that your post touched me.
*hugs*:mrgreen: Ayala
 
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