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mike.delgadillo

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Hello all,

This forum has been a resource for me for the past few weeks, but now I would like to reach out and share some of the symptoms I've been experiencing lately.

First of all, I'm a 27 year old male and married. I do feel like I have anxiety issues, but my symptoms don't lie and what I feel is what I feel. About a year ago, I noticed slight difficulty in speaking, and my mouth feeling "weird" when talking. I can't seem to finish complete sentences and it takes more than once to get the right word out. My daily speech is terrible, but the weird thing is that sometimes I can be pretty coherent with my speech - usually under pressure situations like a job interview or telling a story. But, most of the time, I don't like to talk at all because of how difficult it is. Either way, I've learned how to live with my "speech disorder", however, until recently I have had muscle twitching all over my body - especially at night. This has been going on for 3 weeks now. I'm kinda freaking out because I'm correlating my year old speech problem (bulbar als?) with this twitching thing. I haven't experienced extreme weakness, except maybe on 3-4 occassions in the past 3 months where my mouth feels weak to chew food, talk, etc. But the weakness has been pretty random, and I'm not sure if weakness in als comes and goes.

Like I mentioned before, I am a semi-hypochondriac (anxiety), so I don't know if I should wait any longer before getting checked out by my doctor. Have any of you experienced these type of early symptoms before?
 

CGARS

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Mike,
Yes, see a Dr. already.
I'm assuming your "semi-hypochondriac" is self diagnosed.

Sounds like anxiety, but you're married, so don't you think you owe it to you're family to get some answers?

Symptoms that "come and go" are not ALS!
Good sign for you.

Hang in there, and stop the self torture by seeing a professional.

Cheers,
Casey
 

notme

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Is anyone else noticing poor speech? Are you choking on any food or liquids?

It can't hurt to see your doctor. Your age is in your favor.
 

mike.delgadillo

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Thanks for replying.

I think they notice slightly, but I limit myself to a few words at a time. I don't slur but I do think I sound a little hoarse, sometimes. My speech has good days in pressure situations like I mentioned, but most of the time it's difficult for me to express myself. No, I do not choke on food or liquids.

Yeah, I think I'm going to deal with this twitching for a couple more weeks (if I can manage to stop freaking myself out). I have a massage scheduled for next week so hopefully that will help me relax a little.
 

Ms. Pie

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People with bulbar ALS sound drunk. The reason is because their tongues are atrophied. If you have health concerns, make a list of your concerns and go to your PCP and if she/he is concerned they will refer you to a specialist. If that doesn't satisfy you then make an appointment with a neurologist. If either doctor refers you to a shrink for health anxiety, go to that doctor.
 

HelenL

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Good answers already, and I'll add that IF it were ALS that started with bulbar over a year ago, you probably wouldn't be able to talk much at all anymore... and swallowing would be very difficult. Speech difficulties can be something totally different, like stuttering, etc.
 

sadiemae

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Please read.


What is the difference between a BFS twitch and an ALS twitch?

There is a BIG difference between the two. ALS twitches are caused by dying muscle tissue as the nerve endings disconnect between the muscle and brain which in return cause the muscle to die and shrink. This is a SECONDARY action and it ONLY happens AFTER the muscle has started it's dying process, NOT before. So with that, ALS twitches (by the time you notice them or IF you even notice them at all) will most certainly have some kind of weakness or immobility of the muscle involved at the same time. Also, ALS twitches and symptoms usually start in a hand or a foot and will migrate from that point forward progressively and continually and relentlessly. They will NOT be random twitches like BFS has. You won't have a twitch in your finger one second, and a twitch on your back the next and a twitch in your calf the next and a twitch on your tongue the next with ALS. ALS starts in one spot and progresses continually through your body, not at random. ALS twitches are usually very fine and again, have WEAKNESS associated with them.

The EMG is always positive in ALS" That's about as plainly as you can put it! ALS twitches are CAUSED by dying nerve endings AND dying muscle tissue. It is a SECONDARY action to the disease! Not a first symptom that causes muscles to die later-on. If you have twitches and it was caused by ALS, you would ALREADY have the disease present in your system which would show-up on an EMG. Twitches without weakness and with a clean EMG are NOT ALS. It can't get any clearer than that!

The bottom line here is simple, BFS is common, ALS is not. BFS twitches and odd symptoms are in no way related to ALS twitches what so ever, and unless you have several dirty or abnormal EMG's and a specific diagnosis (under strict guidelines), and have no "true weakness or "true" atrophy, then YOU DO NOT HAVE ALS!
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Twitching in ALS is a direct result of the disease running it's course. It is NOT a pre-curser symptom! In other words, if you have twitches that are associated with ALS, it means the disease is ALREADY running its course because muscles diseased with ALS don't begin to twitch UNTIL micro fibres begin to die and disconnect. With that, ANY EMG at ANY TIME would CLEARLY show the disease, no matter how far along, or how early you THINK you are. There is no "incubation time" or "window frame" once ALS twitches have started. If it's ALS and you are twitching, the disease is ALREADY well into running it's course, and of course, will ALWAYS show up on an EMG, no matter where it is performed on your body.

With that, just because you twitch in one small place on your body doesn't mean ALS isn't running all through it. Nerve pathways run the entire length of your body. You can get tested just about anywhere and it will show-up, just like getting a blood test will show why you have a cold sore, even though a cold sore almost always appears and re-appears in the same exact location, over and over again, it is STILL running through your whole body, just like ALS is.

Do NOT confuse "perceived" weakness with clinical weakness, nor confuse fatigued feelings with true muscle weakness. True physical muscle weakness and clinical weakness do NOT come and go. It is permanent and on-going to the point where you completely lose control and can no longer use that limb, (forever), and then it MIGRATES from there to other parts of the body. ALS is not random, and it certainly doesn't come and go like BFS does.
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What is the difference between "perceived" weakness and "clinical" weakness?

A tell tale sign of ALS is clinical weakness. This is REAL weakness that is permanent and continually progressive. It is caused by dying (or already dead) muscle tissue and/or dead or disconnected nerve endings between the brain and muscles. Once this happens, you lose control over that muscle PERMANENTLY, which leads to dropping things, the inability to unscrew lids off of jars, the inability to hold your coffee cup or even raise your fork to your face when eating. When it's in the legs or feet, falling down or the inability to stand or get up from a chair is common, not being able to stand on your toes or walk on your heels because the muscles are dead. When this clinical weakness is associated with ALS, it migrates onward from that point with no looking back. There are no good days or bad days, meaning, you won't lose control of your hand one day and regain control of it the next. Once muscles and nerves have died, they are dead and can't be brought back to life.

Fatigue and "perceived" weakness is common with BFS and can cause weak or rubbery legs, difficulty raising an arm or leg into the air one day, but not the next day, a drained feeling with no energy and even actual "weak" feelings where your arm just feels like lead and you have to rest it constantly. The difference between these kinds of BFS weaknesses from ALS weakness is that BFS weakness (which again isn't really true weakness at all) will get better in a couple of days, where ALS weakness is continually progressive and NEVER looks back. A neuro can tell a case or clinical weakness associated with ALS the minute an ALS patient walks through the door. By the time you notice the weakness and/or twitches associated with ALS (enough to warrant making a doctor's appointment), you would already be a few months into the disease and a good clinical exam will find problems you weren't even aware of. BFS "weakness" on the other hand, is pretty much only fatigue and although you may "feel" weak or drained-out, if push comes to shove and you put aside the pain, fatigue, stress or whatever else you have, you still have your real strength. I mean if a car was coming at you and you had to jump out of the way, you still could, where an ALS patient couldn't move at all.

ALS is a nerve PATHWAY disease so if you have twitching and weakness BECAUSE of ALS in something like your little toe, and you get an EMG ANYWHERE BETWEEN that toe and your brain, it WILL show-up on the EMG because it is looking at the PATHWAYS BETWEEN that toe and your brain. ALS is also a body wide disease BEFORE it spreads to NOTICABLE symptoms. It is there long before 99% of the sufferer's even notice it, (contrary to what a lot of rookies will tell you). The twitching in ALS means it has already been there a while, has DONE damage and now the muscles are reacting by quivering. It is the whole enchilada that has to be looked at with CLINICAL weakness and a bad EMG. Without ALL of those symptoms (and then some), you have ALS about as much as someone with a common headache has a brain tumor.
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Bryant80

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OMGosh anxiety will make you go crazy.lol.I had tongue and body twitching, and every other symptom on the "computer doctor" and am fine...I swear I even loss the bass in my voice and I have a deep one. Do you have stress issues ? I have always been tough but when I started twitching and reading about ALS I freaked out. I swear I was losing my voice ,drooling, and so forth... Under my tounge it was a little deformed and twitching like crazy. I was 29 by the way and I'm 32 now... I doubt it's ALS or your voice wouldnt get better under pressure. Get it checked thou could be numerous things...
 
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mike.delgadillo

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Hello, all you wonderful, courageous and inspiring people,

Sorry took so long to respond. I am really trying to stay off Dr. Google but it's easier said than done. Thanks for all the replies and thorough explanations (saiemae!). I am still experiencing daily twitching all over my body but to a lesser intensity and occurrence - it's definitely a bit less annoying now. However, I'm sorry to say that I've been thinking about my lips and how they've been feeling somewhat numb/tingly/firery...but I'm trying my best not to obsess about it. And my "speech issues" persist but that's been going on for a year now.

I can almost say for certain that anxiety is causing all these issues - but I just can't make my head believe that :(
 

mike.delgadillo

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Hello, all you wonderful, courageous and inspiring people,

Sorry took so long to respond. I am really trying to stay off Dr. Google but it's easier said than done. Thanks for all the replies and thorough explanations (saiemae!). I am still experiencing daily twitching all over my body but to a lesser intensity and occurrence - it's definitely a bit less annoying now. However, I'm sorry to say that I've been thinking about my lips and how they've been feeling somewhat numb/tingly/fiery...but I'm trying my best not to obsess about it. And my "speech issues" persist but that's been going on for a year now.

I can almost say for certain that anxiety is causing all these issues - but I just can't make my head believe that :(
 

vzandt

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Are you on any meds....sometimes they can cause the symptoms you are experiencing
 

Grateful

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As far as I am aware, numb, tingly and fiery have nothing to do with ALS; those are sensory symptoms.

Sounds to me as if you need to bear in mind that your brain is your brain and if you can't get your head together then it's unlikely that anyone else can do it for you.

Ok, that was a really bad set of puns but try and remember that the first rule of cognitive therapy is to avoid things which trigger your anxieties...
 
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