Troble Swallowing, Stumbling, hand cramps?

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May 22, 2008
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My husband is 43 yrs old. For the last 15 months or so, he has had this weird trouble swallowing...he said it feels like his food gets stuck. It happens when he drinks water, too, even just a sip. He will try to "swallow it down" and it ends up coming back up from his throat. And, the last few months his hand kind of "seizes up", cramps. Now, he seems to be losing his footing, he will stumble on a flat surface, miss steps, etc. He went to lean against the bannister in our house (this morning) and missed it, almost falling. He thinks his balance is off or soemthing. He doesn't have any colds, sinus issues now or anything, and hasn't had any inner ear issues. I don't know anything about ALS, really, and was wondering if these syptoms sound familar. He does work nights, cleaning machines that process hamburger. But, he sleeps about 7-8 1/2 hrs a day. Thank you for any help...

Hi Cat. I don't want to scare you but I think your husband should see his GP for an initial assessment and ask about seeing a good Neurologist.

I have been reading the answered posts by you since 2006. I was hoping that you would answer mine. Thank you! He sees our GP to9morow for a small round rash on his forearm..surely NOT related?...But, won't go away. Thank you again! I will update...

Has he seen a nuero yet......I am not a Dr. but his symtoms can be coming from many different things.
ALS is a process of rulling everything else out, there is a lot of things it could be thats why he needs to see a nuero so they can exam him. Good luck and keep us posted.
Lyme disease sometimes shows up as a bulls eye red rash and is treatable. Do you have deer ticks down there? Does he hunt or spend time in the woods?
Good luck Momcat, and God be on yours and your husband's side!

Hi, AL...No , it's one spot. It is about the size of a nickel..WAS, now a bit bigger. Mys sister thought of ring worm...I guess you can get that from animals? Just don't know too much about it. We have 2 cats and 2 dogs, so maybe. He hasn't been hunting in a few years. No time, work, sleep, eat...

Thank you everyone here...:) So glad I found this forum.


Please let us know how the appointment goes with the doc. I really hope you find a solution to the problems he's having and that they are treatable.
Hi, CJ...My husband went to the GP this AM. He gave him the name of a gastroenterologist and said, "What it is , is an ulcer...your throat is probably narrowed.." Hmmm..well, my husband will go to this OTHER DR. now, I guess. Also, the GP said that Jeff's issue with stumbling is probably due to his "new progressive lens"..I don't think so. He has had progressives for about 2 1/2 yrs! This newer pair (same prescription, but his frames broke, so he had a new eye exam anyway and got new lens/frames...) he has had the new ones for 6 months! Why just the last few weeks the tripping over "air" and missing steps? I am frustrated. We have 4 children and I guess will have to go through multiple $$$ tests if the gp/gastro guy is wrong...And, Jeff has had some sporadic/episodic hand cramping, some leg cramping (wakes up in severe pain in his legs...not TOO often but once in a while), that will come and go. He DOES work at night, as I mentioned. he cleans machines that process beef for MacDonald's. He holds a hose, etc...sleeps during the day. I don't want to diagnose my husband, especially with something that I feel to be devastatingly scary, but I just want to know...
OOPS..also, DR couldn't "identify" the small rash...about the size (if you can picture..) an oval quarter...

Do you have to have referrals from your GP in order to go to a specialist? It could be any number of things. Perhaps you can make an appointment with a Neurologist to rule out ALS first.
I agree with all here. Please encourage your husband to see a neurologist. The neuro can then order a "swallowing" test. Basically they give the patient certain foods to swallow while they xray him in the throat area.

Your husband could have a simple treatable problem like Acid Reflux Disease (which should be treated with medication before it worsens).

He should also see a gastro person but the swallowing test is important.

Good wishes.
I agree, I think you are worrying a lot so you do need an answer as I would hate to think that you are worrying unnecessarily. A lot of the symptoms seem like als but in saying that when you are thinking of something its easy to think like that. I really hope that it is not serious, take care
OOPS..also, DR couldn't "identify" the small rash...about the size (if you can picture..) an oval quarter...

I think you should see a dermatologist than a neuro and then a new GP the rash may be a tick bite the gastro appt could wait. Only an opinion Pat1
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