Should I ask a doctor about ALS?

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Questioning58

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I will try to skip as much ramble as possible and just get into the details. I’m a 22 year old female.
About a year ago I started noticing twitches, kind of all over my body. I didn’t think much of it apart from think it was really weird. Then one day I decided to ask google and ALS came up. Well, somehow after I read the symptoms I decided I don’t have that. But being aware of the symptoms now I’ve had some things make me a little nervous.

For example..
In the morning I relatively often feel like I’m going to fall over, like either my muscles just aren’t cooperating, my feet are too stiff, or my equilibrium is just off.

My left foot twitches very often and has this buzzing/vibrating sensation a lot(which I haven’t heard of being related to ALS, just thought I’d share.)

I sometimes have trouble getting myself to swallow food, kind of like trying to swallow a pill with no water. Not sure if that’s anxiety related, or an actual problem.

I also have a part of my tongue that has a small indent that you can only see when I stick it out pretty far, otherwise it looks normal. (Not from teeth marks I don’t think because I have those too and think I know the difference but maybe not).

And last thing.. possibly irrelevant.. my right arm sometimes feels tight or slightly painful, and my fingers on that same arm sometimes feel stiff and forearm will occasionally twitch while my arm is hurting: I do do a lot of gaming and mess around on the computer, so maybe carpal tunnel?

I really don’t know.

I continuously try to tell myself it’s just my anxiety.. and maybe it is! But that’s why I’m here. Do you guys think my symptoms are worthy of asking a doctor specifically about ALS? Does it sound like ALS to you?
 

KarenNWendyn

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You need not worry about having ALS. The hallmark of ALS is muscle function failure, which you have not described. That would be like not being able to stand on toes or heels or fasten a button when you had no problem doing those things previously. Twitching is common, nonspecific, and meaningless in the absence of muscle function failure.

Please read this: https://www.alsforums.com/forum/do-i-have-als-als/26591-read-before-posting-answers-common-concerns-about-possible-symptoms.html

As far as seeing a doctor, that might be helpful in terms of explaining what you do have, and also to help manage anxiety.
 

Questioning58

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Thank you for your response Karen! So my other symptoms that aren’t twitching aren’t related to ALS either?
 

Questioning58

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Anyone else have anything to say? I feel like the only symptom that was really responded to is my twitching.. which I know on it’s own isn’t something to worry about. But I have other symptoms too.. like occasional balance issues and swallowing problems.
 

lgelb

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ALS doesn't cause lack of balance as a feeling. When muscles are weak, you list or fall over.

Discomfort with swallowing is not the same as inability to swallow with ALS. And that difficulty doesn't start off with all the features you mentioned, in ALS.

So that's why no one responded to these -- they're not relevant and not really symptoms when they don't prevent you from doing anything. And as Karen notes, neither is twitching. We can't examine your tongue, of course.

As she also wisely pointed out, seeing a primary care doc is the only way to find out about things like carpal tunnel, and address your anxiety about what is going on.

Best,
Laurie
 

Questioning58

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In other words you don’t think I have anything to worry about in terms of ALS? I have noticed my hands fumbling with things a lot more recently too which is really irritating but I keep trying to tell myself it’s nothing and just stress! It’s nothing, right? XD
 

lgelb

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No, we do not. The mind is very powerful and can turn a little twitch or unsteadiness into more problems, more often.

Give yourself a rewind button.
 
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