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Airby2

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Hi all, I have been reading this forum for a few months now to try to soothe my fears, but I have never posted. Lately my concerns have grown greatly so even though the very last thing I want to do is waste your time when you have concerns far greater than my anxiety, I felt compelled to bring my fears to you.

I will admit I suffer from anxiety and I am going through the most stressful time in my life. So I can only hope that my symptoms are due to my anxiety and new stress. I also have a history of being somewhat of a hypochondriac. Now to my concerning symptoms.

I don’t feel like I slur much at this point, and I don’t feel like I’ve lost strength. I lost a good amount of weight recently but that could be due to stress and the fact that I’m naturally very thin and I stopped going to the gym as much. When I do go to the gym, I don’t notice much of a difference. What I do notice is that I twitch throughout my legs, in a thumb, and in my chest. The twitches come and go, and they are worse when I’m more anxious.

The most worrisome symptoms are newer and are in my mouth. I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m more cognizant of bulbar symptoms now, but I’m just experiencing a lot of discomfort in my jaw. Like my tongue wants to slide forward and I’m constantly clenching my jaw. I’m not totally sure if i feel twitches in my tongue or if it’s just my jaw chattering, but there is definitely some unwanted movement there. I also feel like I’m constantly pursing my lips together. It’s almost as though I’m losing control of my tongue and it is very concerning, like my tongue constantly wants to press against my teeth. I am definitely clenching my teeth together a lot and I don’t know if it’s to compensate for weakness elsewhere.

If this was a big waste of your time, I sincerely apologize. I just feel like I’m digging myself into a hole of anxiety and I am truly hoping for the best. I appreciate all the time you spend on here dealing with undiagnosed concerned people like myself. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much
 

KimT

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Hi,

Nothing you describe sounds anything like ALS, bulbar or otherwise. I've dealt with anxiety and that would be my guess. If I were you, I'd go to my primary care doctor and tell her/him what you told us. Anxiety can make the body do very strange things.

Regarding twitching....it means absolutely nothing. My neurologist has constant twitches in both his legs and has had them for years.
 

KarenNWendyn

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As I read your post, the anxiety issue is what grabs me, not ALS. If you read the stickies, you’ll see that: 1) twitching is common and nonspecific, and 2) ALS is about failing, not feeling. So you don’t have to worry about ALS. Best of luck in managing your anxiety.
 

Airby2

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Thank you, both. I have experienced these twitches and other common “false” symptoms for a while now but was effectively able to overcome that anxiety after educating myself on your forum.

The tongue symptom is new and worried me. It’s definitely kind of like a restless leg FEELING in my tongue, but I don’t feel like my tongue twitches as a leg or finger would with a noticeable jerk. Rather, it’s just a constant discomfort.

One more question I do have is about hypereflexia. I’ve tried to look up symptoms associates with this but haven’t found much. I’ve noticed lately that my reflexes are a bit stronger than I think they were (for example I made a joke while sitting down, and when my coworker playfully tapped my leg, it caused a sort of jerk reflex. Any need for worry there? I have a severely herniated disc in the lumbar region of my back due to degenerative disc disease which causes sciatica. More likely that is causing my sensitive reflex?

Thank you so much again for taking time out to quell my anxiety and ignorance on the topic. I am usually very self-aware of my anxieties, but this has been a struggle. I’m hoping I’m close to getting over this one and will not bother you guys anymore going forward.
 

ShiftKicker

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I am pretty sure you already know the answer you will receive about hyper reflexes.

Most importantly- you can not assess your own reflexes. Self testing gives zero objective information. While "quick" reflexes sound like a problem, they are not what hyperreflexia is. A quick knee jerk means absolutely nothing and can be caused by heightened awareness, stimulants, anxiety and any variety of normal things. Hyperreflexia is pathological response to particular testing methods in a clinical assessment. Not just a quick or strong jerk of the knee, but a particular pattern of muscle response elicited by a knowledgeable clinician.

I would like to request you visit with a doctor if you continue to feel anxiety about your symptoms. Based on your "just one more question" response to the last people who provided reassurance, I am concerned your anxiety about this will bring you back again to ask further questions. It seems as though you are not reassured by the informed responses you've already received from people who are really knowledgeable about things.

I wish you well and hope you will be able to find assurance in what you have been told already.
 
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