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albin

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Hi there

Several weeks ago I had a problem swallowing a piece of food - it was like I was unable to start the swallow reflex and the food stood at the end of my tongue for a second or two. That scared me and to be honest ALS was the first thing to come to my mind (I knew a person who had ALS and I'm familiar with the disease). Since then I'm experiencing these swallowing issues followed by a cough.

Initially I felt like I'm having trouble making a conscious dry swallow, I had to concentrate and prepare. This somehow went away and transformed into a similar feeling but when I eat solid foods, a sort of difficulty or hesitation before initiating a swallow. Feels like I have to be very careful and cautious, as if fearing something might happen. Sometimes chewing feels a bit tiring too. It's quite a vague feeling.

To make things worse since 2 weeks I'm having a cough and postnasal drip on and off too which increased my worries because I've read swallowing problems may cause such issues too.

I don't choke and don't cough when swallowing but occasionally my throat feels a bit tense or tight and some piece of food gets actually stuck - it's when I swallow small pieces of food only.

To be more precise here are some more specific questions:

1. How does early bulbar swallowing problems present themselves? Is it some actual inability or a more unclear feeling?
2. Could early bulbar ALS cause respiratory problems like cough, postnasal drip and throat secretions? Could swallowing problems be so subtle that you don't realize you are having food or liquids entering your lungs or nose?
3. Are tongue fasciculations always present? I don't think I have any but how early they start showing?

I'm 35 years old male and stats showing the disease is extremely rare (especially bulbar) in my age group stops me from freaking out but obviously not enough as I keep reading medical articles and watching video exams. One day I calm down, next day I see something new and get scared again.

Thanks in advance
 

affected

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Hi, I know bulbar ALS very well as my husband had this.

1. Firstly, we don't describe what happens, that only makes you focus on things.

2. Yes post nasal drip can happen early in bulbar onset. But a post nasal drip happens in so many other non-fatal diseases it isn't something to focus on. It's like saying I have a headache so I think I have a brain tumour.

3. No fasciculations are not always present at the start.

You have had very vague things happening for only 2 weeks, and they don't add up to anywhere near enough to even consider ALS. The chances of them being ALS are so tiny I wouldn't even try to calculate it.

What did your doctor say?
 

albin

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Hi, I know bulbar ALS very well as my husband had this.

1. Firstly, we don't describe what happens, that only makes you focus on things.

2. Yes post nasal drip can happen early in bulbar onset. But a post nasal drip happens in so many other non-fatal diseases it isn't something to focus on. It's like saying I have a headache so I think I have a brain tumour.

3. No fasciculations are not always present at the start.

You have had very vague things happening for only 2 weeks, and they don't add up to anywhere near enough to even consider ALS. The chances of them being ALS are so tiny I wouldn't even try to calculate it.

What did your doctor say?

Thanks for the reply.
I agree with you, perhaps I'd better try to get this out of my mind.

Haven't visited a doctor yet.
 
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