Symptoms in an otherwise healthy young man

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Worriedat21

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Does this sound like it?


Background:

- 21 Year Old Male
- 155 Lbs, 5’ 10
- active but not athletic
- no chronic health conditions



Reason for last visit: Benign premature ventricular contractions.


Recently I went to the doc for heart palpitations that were ruled benign by an echo and EKG. Doctor chalked these up to stress. I had also been experiencing itchy/painful eyelids that eventually went away after a month.

Just before this, I have been experiencing twitching and pain in my right leg.
I was prescribed 15 mg pills of Metoprolol to take as needed with the palpitations. I took one on 09-21-2021 at night to see if I would have side effects. Took ibuprofen the next morning for pain in my leg as well. That night, I had severe panic attacks, which is unusual for me followed by sweats and weird heat regulation. The next day I went to work and felt fine. Towards the end of my shift I started feeling weakness in my arms and legs and start having panic attacks again in addition to tremors and sweating. I have never had symptoms like this before in my life. I went home and lay down and the next day I awoke with slightly less weakness but still present. Thinking this could be due to anxiety, I took another beta blocker Thursday afternoon. Almost immediately I start experiencing panic attacks tremors and muscle weakness again. I then hopped on an exercise bike which made the weakness in my legs 10 times worse. I then went to the urgency room where are the doctor said it was most likely the beta blockers that were causing this. It’s now over a week later and I’m still feeling extremely fatigued and weak if I exercise my extremities but I no longer have panic attacks or tremors. It doesn’t seem to affect my actual strength but rather makes my muscles have much less stamina. I also have been having erectile dysfunction since taking this. The last time I took a beta blocker was on 09-23-2021. I went to the ER on 9/29/2021 with weakness mainly in my right side including my face. I noticed this after chewing gum and it felt like my jaw and cheek were locking up. The ER doctor could not find any clinical weakness and my brain MRI came back clear. The weakness and fatigue is clearly on my right side.

This is not a normal feeling for me as I am active and normally don’t tire easily. Two weeks ago I was perfectly fine. Any help or words of wisdom regarding this would be helpful.
 

ShiftKicker

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Hello there-

If you could please read here: Read Before Posting

Nothing of what you report sounds anything like how ALS presents itself. Please really read the above carefully to gain some reassurance about that. Sounds like you'll have to keep working with your doc to figure out the problem.

Take care
 

Worriedat21

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I did check out the read before posting which added some levity to what I’m experiencing. I’ve never really been an anxious person regarding my health but this sudden onset makes me feel like my life is ending. I know that sounds over dramatic, but I’ve never had anything like this happen before.
 

lgelb

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Stopping the beta blocker cold turkey, even a low dose, can do weird things, esp. if it was already causing issues (that sounds counterintuitive, but beta blockers are one of the drug classes that stopping can cause more problems than starting). If the palpitations continue, assuming you had a normal physical exam in addition to the MRI, I would ask your doc about a calcium channel blocker and of course keep in touch with them.

Your life is not ending and there is nothing here that sounds remotely like ALS. The sequence of events that you described could easily account for what you are feeling now. Think of it like the flu -- rest, eat healthy, hydrate, regroup. Try not to worry.

Best,
Laurie
 

Worriedat21

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It looks like the perceived weakness in my hand has improved but my leg is still experiencing heaviness/twitching. Due to all of this changing almost on a daily basis I don’t suspect it’s ALS anymore.

I had my PCP do a reflex and strength test and was told that everything checked out on that end except for slightly absent knee jerk in the symptomatic leg. The leg isn’t exactly getting worse but it also isn’t getting better from what I can tell. As a part of my job I am driving almost 30 hours a week with a duty belt on so I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being a lower back issue.

Being referred to a neuro and cardiologist next month, will update when I cross that bridge.
 

Worriedat21

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Update from my Neuro appt:

I described all my symptoms and he did a clinical exam that found no abnormalities. He ordered a spinal MRI w/ contrast due to my previous brain MRI being clean.

He stated that he didn’t think it was anything scary and didn’t feel an EMG was necessary based on his exam. While I wish I could get the EMG for peace of mind, I am okay with leaving this be. He also mentioned it’s almost impossible to get ALS at 21.

I wanted to update for any anxious readers my age reading this thread. I’ll be gone from here unless anything crazy comes up.

No need to reply if it is a hinderance.
 

affected

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That's such great news.
If anything crazy comes up, return to your doctor as it still won't be ALS.
You need to believe him and accept what he said, rather than decide you'll take that for now and keep worrying just a little bit.
You can move on from this scare to have a full life, if you are not, go talk to your doctor about this.
All the very best.
 
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