Looking for the facts (experiencing als symtoms)

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Ryguy1982

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Hi There and thanks for reading my post,

I have been searching online for information on my current symptoms and it keeps coming up ALS… I have a few questions that I hoping the forum will give answers too.

About 4 months ago I noticed I had weakness in Both my hands. I found it hard to things like put keys in locks or tie my shoes. To this day, there is still weakness but I feel it has improved by about 50-75%.
About a month ago I noticed my left arm has started twitching non stop from my tricep area all the way through forearm to my thumb. It is non stop happening every 2-3 seconds.

I went to my GP and he has referred me to a neurologist, but in Canada it will take some time to see them.

With ALS is it possible to have weakness in both your hands right away ?

Can weakness come and go with ALS?

How concerned should I be with the non stop twitching in one arm?

Is there any Canadians (British Columbia) on here that can estimate how long it took them to get their first neurologist appointment?

Thanks in advance to anyone that responds to this thread.

40 year old male. Firefighter. no family history of ALS
 

Nikki J

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While anything is possible
1 ALS starts in one area ( generally hand or foot or bulbar). When limb it spreads for awhile in that limb before showing up elsewhere. So it would be very unusual

2 once motor neurons die ( the cause of ALS weakness) they do not revive so improvement also points away

3 twitching is nonspecific and can be benign it can also have many other causes like a pinched nerve did anyone image your neck?

4 our BC members will be along shortly
 

ShiftKicker

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I was referred to a neuro within 7 days of a doctor seeing my issues and had an MRI before that week was out. It may be a bit slower due to the 'rona, but they do prioritize if there's a concern. A friend of mine was just referred to a neuro for a relatively non-urgent thing and got an appt about 6 weeks from now. The longer it takes, the less urgent your doc thinks it is. Unfortunate in having to wait, but reassuring in the sense that it's probably something that can be dealt with (if a neuro issue at all).

If you know which neuro you've been referred to, call their office and let the admin know you can make it in last minute (and give a time frame, eg 2hours' notice) if they get any cancellations. Guaranteed there will be a few, given how things are these days.

Like Nikki says above, your symptoms don't follow a pattern that indicates to a doctor they need to be concerned about ALS. Have you been to see a physio?
 

affected

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Hopefully reading this carefully will help along with the great feedback you've already had.
 

Ryguy1982

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Thank you so much for your response! I went to a chiropractor today. He said he didnt think it was bio-mechanical (a pinched nerve)
 

lgelb

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There are a ton of possibilities between a pinched nerve and ALS, from general illnesses like Covid and flu, to poor sleep and nutritional deficits, GERD, allergies, so many things. As others have said, ALS doesn't wax and wane as you describe, and it is the inability to do something that matters, not feelings of weakness. Twitching that won't stop in a particular area is often an irritated nerve that has temporarily misplaced its equilibrium due to overall depleted reserves. Stress, exercise, and passions that you enjoy are all worth rebalancing.

While waiting for a neurology appointment, I would work with your GP to narrow down some of these very common conditions.

Best,
Laurie
 
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