Worried I have ALS

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worriedguy24

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hi everyone. i’m worried as heck if i have als.

for background details, i’m an 18yr old male. my non-als specific symptoms started in late july of 2019 with a pressure in my chest and shortness of breath. after being admitted to the er, the symptoms magically disappeared. starting in late august, i had a deep sharp repetitive pain in my perineal region that happened for bout a month. i didn’t think much of it. however, in september, the pain began to start in occur deep in my armpit, different points along my torso, neck, flank regions, and bladder area. i also had developed cold feet and parenthesia specifically worse in cold weather.

i eventually got a ct scan in november which came back clear. the pain subsided then and then in mid december my twitches started. it started with a thigh twitch that happened constantly when i laid down and that happened for bout a week. after bout two weeks of that twitch, i scheduled a neuro exam for january which she briefly examined me and said no worries. i agreed but then the twitches began to get worse. they started as “hotspots” where a specific muscle would twitch for a period of time of minutes in an hour for days, then it’d move onto the next muscle. however, after bout two weeks of that, i got random pinging twitches. random muscles would have a single twitch every other minute. some days they are worse, some days better. i went to the neuro and got an mri and clinical exam which i passed in february.

following that exam, i developed a tremor in my left pinky in which if i held my pinky in a certain position, it’d tremor. that occurred for bout two weeks then went away. few months later in may, i developed that same tremor in my left index finger that eventually went away in a couple of weeks. also, when i raised my arm up, they’d shake, but that also went away after bout two weeks.

most concerning of all, i began doing strength tests on my fingers recently. i tested my thumbs last week and they were filled with strength. however, at the same day of testing, i retested my left thumb at night, and no resistance. in fact, my left thumb could not be extended without shaking a lot until it went to a resting position. i slept on it and the next day, my thumb strength gradually returned, able to extend my thumb but it was very shaky. now, my left thumb is fully functional.

in all, i’ve had the als-related symptoms since mid-december of 2019. bout 8 months now. recently, i was told that i had hypothyroidism (my tsh is 5.6 where the norm is 4.4) and am hoping my symptoms are related to that. what concerns me is that my thumb weakness doesn’t sound like hypothyroidism and rather als. do symptoms like this wax and wane?

i must also note that i have had bouts of heart palpitations and days of shorted breath during this time
 
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ShiftKicker

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Hi, please read here. Important - READ BEFORE POSTING! Answers to common concerns about possible symptoms It covers all that you report- tremors, sensory issues, heart stuff, pain, improvements, etc, etc- which all point away from ALS as a concern.

You state you've had ALS symptoms since December, but in fact, you don't report any such pattern. Keep working with your doctors, but it's pretty clear you don't need to worry about ALS. It just doesn't present like what you are reporting. I'll be honest, obsessive self testing, such as you write about, is a huge sign of health anxiety. I'd get a handle on that or you'll have a very hard time as you work through your concerns with your doctors.

All the best
 

lgelb

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You don't have ALS. You do have anxiety. Please seek counseling, on line or in person, whatever is safe, and of course treat the hypothyroidism however is recommended to you.

Best,
Laurie
 
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