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Jay13

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I have been experiencing some symptoms that on the surface appear similar to ALS. I am a 35 y.o. male, and am not a regular exerciser (unless you count chasing after two young sons and mowing the lawn).

About 6 mos. ago I began noticing that my left arm (I am very right-hand dominant) would tire more easily than in the past when carrying my toddler. It certainly wasn't an inability to carry him, just a perceived decrease in stamina. I chalked it up to him getting older and heavier, as I seemed to recall noticing something similar with my oldest son.

Within the last couple months, I have noticed something similar with my left leg. Once again, no lack of ability to do work, it just seems to tire faster than my right leg. As an example, when riding a bike, my left leg is now more tired than my right leg when I finish. I should mention that my left knee was achy all winter (perhaps a touch of arthritis?).

Being the technology nerd that I am, I searched the Internet for conditions with weakness as a symptom and came across ALS. I am finding that I don't really fit the typical age profile of diagnosis, but it somewhat seems like I have a progressive situation like ALS. Every site I find discusses weakness, but I am unclear of weakness vs. stamina as a distinction with ALS.

Anyway, I have always been somewhat of a compulsive worrier, so, when I found this site, I thought I would elicit some opinions.

Thanks in advance for any comments!
 

guwainengle

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We all are worriers - and we all are concerned-- Remember no one know you better than you.... Your best bet is to go to a Neurologist that specializes in Neurological disease and have that person check you out with a NCV/EMG and a good once over-- they would be the most qualified and the best place to start vs. a gp. They know what to look for with their expertise. You can go to the ALS website and find and ALS Certified center and this doctor would be a real good person to see if needed.

G
 

Jamiet

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loss of stamina = weakness in a nutshell.....now....don't panic, there are about 250 diseases that cause weakness, there is alot more to ALS besides weakness. You need to see a neuroloigist as a nueromuscular center. You don't need a reference if your in the US, just look them (ALS Centers) up on the MDA website and call the one nearest you. FYI - the ALS centers are the top neuromuscular centers in the US.

Again...this could be a mild treatable myopathy or a whole host of other issues. You can look at the neuromuscular disorders on the MDA website. ALS is at the bottom of the list, and the least likely cause of your problems.

Your problems, do warrant research.


keep in touch and good luck

BTW - i'm 32....your never too young to have problems.


rgds,

Jamie
 

Jay13

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Started the whole process with a GP because all the Neuros I tried required a referral. All the basic nerve/sensation tests were normal. He recommended a MRI, which I had on 8/2. He left me a voicemail at the end of today and said the results were "generally normal," but he couldn't discuss the full results over the phone. He sounded fairly positive and emphasized that I should have a good weekend and not worry, but I'm pretty sure they saw something.

Does ALS show symptoms on an MRI? I know with MS, the MRI detects lesions, but I haven't found anything about ALS.

Thanks for any input!
 

brooksea

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Jay,
fasciculations? do you have them? if not look elsewhere I would think.

Good luck!
 

lhagsjr

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Brain MRI

these are normal for people that have ALS....
 

Jay13

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No fasciculations that I have ever noticed; my main symptom is asymmetrical weakness. Hopefully, the MRI report will give a solid starting point for a diagnosis of this problem. I read so many of the posts here and feel terrible for the individuals involved due to the lengthy process of diagnosis.
 

Jay13

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The MRI came back normal, so my doctor referred me to a neuro. It is really sad that I found myself disappointed with the clean MRI. MS seemed appealing compared to the possibility of ALS.

The neuro did reflex tests, etc. during my initial visit and suspects myasthenia gravis or a bulging disc in my cervical spine. I go in for bloodwork and another MRI next week. I relayed my fears of ALS and she basically said that she had no suspicions of ALS. She pointed to the lack of atrophy and fasciculations as positive indicators that this isn't ALS.

If next week's appointments don't reveal anything, then an EMG is next.
 

brooksea

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Jay,

You should be celebrating! I really don't think you have ALS.

Sorry you are worrying about it though.

Please let us know about your next appt.
 

patricia1

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There Is No Test For Als .it Is A Process Of Elimination. However,i Know Some Of You Know You Have It Without A Dx, As I Knew I Had It Way Before I Was Told. And Then There Are Some Of You That Dont Have Als But Think You Do. Which Is So Sad. I Am Not A Doctor But Just By Some Of The Symptoms I Read Is So Obvious Its Als .and Others I Read Is Diffently Isnt. But Oneone Wants To Hear It.some People Just Go On And Worry For No Reason,and Others Fight So Hard To Beat This Horrible Disease. I Pray For You All. Pat
 

paula B

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pat

u read my mind,,,appears to be denial in having als as well as not having als on this forum.

PaulaB
 

Sammantha

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Wow, dont even start worrying about ALS now beleive me because even if they think you have it they will do a hundred more tests over a very long period of time before they even will consider telling you and that is a lot of worrying! My GP thought i might have needed a bone marrow biopsy, amongst other things... ALS was not even in his mind when he referred me to specialists to figure out what was wrong. There are so many things that can cause this so if you have not had a spine or brain MRI dont even suggest ALS to yourself.......
 

Jay13

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All of the comments about not worrying are sage advice, but I have suffered from anxiety since I was a child...worrying is a part of me. However, I have tried to take this advice to heart and just let this whole thing play out as it will. I appreciate the information I have found here.
 
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