Wife noticed sudden muscle loss

Status
Not open for further replies.

Diadumenian

New member
Joined
Jul 19, 2022
Messages
2
Reason
Learn about ALS
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
Last night my wife noticed that the muscles in her upper left arm are significantly smaller than those in her right. She can see from previous pictures taken that this was not always the case. She thinks it happened rather suddenly (she’s a hypochondriac and is regularly checking her body for any abormalities).

We’ve been together 5 years so I’ve gotten adjusted to her many and frequent bouts of thinking that she has contracted something terrible, and I’m usually able to point to something that would explain whatever she’s feeling in a less scary way. This time however I’m at a loss, because this isn’t in her head. I felt her arms myself and there is a legitimate difference between the two.

She is not currently exercising and to the best of her knowledge there is no reason she should have worked one or the other arms more in recent weeks to cause a discrepancy. After noticing the difference she says she’s also noticed some weakness or shakiness in that arm recently. However since she thought of that after noticing her arm that could be her anxiety telling her this. I suggested lifting some weights with both arms and she was able to do the same exercises with both arms but she said it was harder with the affected arm.

My thinking is, if her muscle had already atrophied to the point of a very noticeable difference between the two arms, wouldn’t she be feeling much more severe symptoms? She has not lost any coordination in the hand or fingers, she is still able to use the arm normally, and other than the supposed shakiness she felt, she has no other symptoms.

Is there any possibility this is ALS? Does anyone have any ideas about what it could be? I’ve tried searching every possible thing I can think of and have come up empty. Obviously she should seek medical attention if she feels there’s a problem, but it will take a week or two to be able to see anyone and in the mean time she will be driving herself absolutely insane with worry.

Thank you in advance for any response.
 

ShiftKicker

Moderator
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
7,151
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
06/2015
Country
CA
State
BC
City
Vancouver
Hello-

Sorry you (and your wife) find yourself wondering about ALS. We do ask that everyone who comes here with questions reads here first: Read Before Posting

It can be pretty harmful to emotional wellbeing to google symptoms like this before actually seeing a doctor for a clinical assessment. It's totally understandable to do so, but Dr Google will always come up with the worst case scenario. In the link above you will find a very incomplete list of conditions that can share some symptoms with ALS. As you will read, it's a broad spectrum of issues. I heartily encourage your wife to visit with a doctor before assuming the worst. This could be something as simple as a postural issue causing structural imbalance.

Please take care
 

Diadumenian

New member
Joined
Jul 19, 2022
Messages
2
Reason
Learn about ALS
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
Hello, thank you for your timely response! I did read that post and tried to use the points listed there to help calm my wife but I think she’s fixated at this point. I know you all are not doctors and not capable of diagnosing anything, but I just thought hearing someone else tell her that it isn’t ALS would be helpful, cause my telling her has certainly not helped any.
 

lgelb

Moderator
Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
12,272
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
State
WA
City
Seattle
I have never heard of ALS onset with the first feature someone noticed being simply uneven muscle mass. We are all asymmetric.

And yes, the thought that if there were dramatic muscle atrophy, there would be noticeable loss of function is on point as regards ALS.

So totally agree that her PCP should be the first stop, hopefully to allay her fears. To avoid the emotional implications of a delay, she could certainly get a third-party telehealth appointment as early as tomorrow.
 

affected

Guru status reached
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
15,141
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
05/2013
Country
OZ
State
AU
City
lala land
You should always go straight to a doctor, especially if you think you or your partner could have a terminal disease.
Googling and trawling forums is never a substitute for a physical examination and discussion with a doctor.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top