Old 02-25-2014, 11:57 PM #1
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Default Early stages of ALS?

Hello, My name is Chris I am a twenty year old college student. I have been having a lot of concerning physical symptoms for the past few months now that are really scaring me because they are the same symptoms of the beginning stages of als. The symptoms started about 2 or 3 months ago when I noticed a slight twitch in my index finger. It was not a constant twitch but it would happen multiple times a day. A few weeks later the twitch that started in one finger progressed to all my fingers on my left hand. Then I noticed that when I hold my fingers in a certain position they will tremor and shake. For instance if I point at something with my left finger I can’t keep it still. And when I hold my cell phone in my left hand I have a hard time controlling my thumb so I can text because it shakes and tremors. I also have trouble with shakiness in my arms, especially my left arm. For example when I push myself out of bed every morning I can feel my arms shaking the second I put pressure on them. I have also felt a similar shaky felling in my legs when I stand in certain positions, for example if I lean forward over the sink when I am brushing my teeth I can feel my legs shaking like they are having trouble supporting my weight. I also have an uncontrollable bounce in my legs when I am sitting down. For example if I am sitting in class and I raise the heels of my feet up while my toes are still touching the ground my legs will bounce uncontrollably until I put my feet back flat on the ground again. I’m afraid that all of those things combined can be the beginning stages of weakness all over my body. I also have twitching all over my body, I mean everywhere from the tip of my tongue to the arches in my feet. They are not painful twitches but they are twitches that I can see under my skin, I think they are called fasciculations. They have been going on for a few months all over my body as well, and just the past couple of days my feet are feeling as if they are going to cramp up. I apologize in advance if I am not being clear or not explaining myself enough I was just hoping that someone could maybe tell me what they believe is going on and if they believe these are early symptoms of als. But thank you for taking time to read my post.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:56 AM #2
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

Chris
I'm a newbie to this forum myself and have very limited knowledge of ALS but learning fast as my husband was very recently diagnosed. You sound concerned, as you should be. From what I've read almost everyone's early symptoms are different and the symptoms of ALS can mimic many other diseases, many treatable.

Shouldn't you go to student health or a doctor and get yourself checked out? I do recall when I was your age I was very nervous & under lots of stress and if I had thought about it then, I probably had a lot of twitches and shaking going on. I do recall the jumping legs. Just saying that because you're at a tender age with so much going on in your young life that could be causing extreme tension. Please do get yourself checked out and please do report back.

Wishing you all the best.

PS did you read the stickies at the beginning of this thread? You might find those helpful.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:13 AM #3
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

Hi Chris,
you don't mention in your post even once that you have been to a doctor and started seriously investigating your concerns?

Please do this, or if you have return to your doctor immediately and tell all your symptoms.

NOTHING you are describing sounds like ALS at all, but there is obviously something a doctor should work with you to solve.

If you drink high energy drinks, stop them immediately.

I hope your doctor helps you sort this out.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:37 AM #4
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

In your opening you wrote ("I am a twenty year old college student."). We've seen many of those personal descriptions. College can be extremely stressful for some, financial demands, family expectations (maybe related to the money), expectations from many directions, grades are below expectations, fear of failure and personal behavior such as working out and etc. while all this is on you. And the good 'ol college partying. Stress can be insidious. Don't add the worry of ALS if you haven't even seen a doctor yet. At this point that's the same as worrying about your retirement.

PS. Expectations (even if subtle) = pressure = stress

Last edited by Clearwater AL : 02-26-2014 at 10:08 AM Reason: add PS
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:44 AM #5
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

Twitching is a sign of anxiety.
Clinical weakness is a sign of ALS.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:13 PM #6
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

Thank you all for replying to my post. I apologize but I failed to mention that I have been to 3 different doctors and told them about these same issues and none think it is als simply because the disease is so rare. But I have read the stickies multiple times that's why I decided to post my specific symptoms because I still don't understand the difference between perceived weakness and clinical weakness. If I didn't feel weak I wouldn't think I was weak. I'm able to hold a gallon of milk in my hand but my arm starts to shake as soon as I pick it up. I'm able to hold my phone in my hand but I can't do it without my hand shaking. I also have an random aches all over my body for no apparent reason, especially in my left knee and left shoulder. With all of these symptoms along with the twitches all over my body I can't help but think these are the beginning stages of als. And it keeps me up at night in fear thinking about it. But thank you all for replying to my previous post in the kindest and most honest way. That's why I feel comfortable asking for your opinions again.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:19 PM #7
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

Listen to the doctors.

If you don't listen to them, I'll be happy to diagnose you myself.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:21 PM #8
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

Was one of the three a neurologist?

You have apparently spent time researching ALS. Now spend the equal time researching anxiety, stress, OCD and the many other MNDs besides ALS. You've had three doctors who don't think so. That ought to be a relief. No one here (that we know of) is a doctor. Relax.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:46 PM #9
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

I really am trying to relax.I just know misdiagnosis have been made be for and I just thought particularly in my case doctors would not fully consider the possibility of me having this disease because it's so rare and I am so young. Therefore being more likely for them to make a misdiagnosis because I wasn't tested properly. The first two times I went to the doctor I didn't express to them how concerned I was that I may be having early symptoms of als. I just told them about the same symptoms that I wrote in the previous two posts. I have never had an EMG so I was hoping that I could get the opinions of people who no much more than I do about what's going on. But your right I have done a lot of research on als. But thank you for replying to my posts.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:56 PM #10
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

cgw you can now officially relax, as we have told you that your symptoms do NOT sound like ALS. You have other avenues to follow either by research or with your doctors.

This forum is for you to ask these questions. But it is not for long discussions once we say it does not sound like ALS. You have been given some excellent advice to move on with.

All the best working with your doctor
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:57 PM #11
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

I sent a reply but it went to moderation, the gist of it is that you don't have ALS symptoms as I have said already and all other replies have said, and as 3 doctors have said.

Time to look elsewhere
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:58 PM #12
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

Let me try again... was one of the doctors a neurologist? Or even two?
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:27 PM #13
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

Yes one of the doctors was a neurologist but he was examining me for suspicions of early onset Parkinson's because my fingers were twitching a lot. And I was referred to him from my primary care doctor who thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome and the last doctor I talked to was a movement specialist I forgot what type of doctor he is called but he is the only one that I told about my concerns with als and he said he didn't think I showed signs of als but I only seen him once.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:34 PM #14
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

Dude, if 3 separate docs didn't think ALS....

BAH they must be wrong. Probably 50 plus years of experience plus training. They are wrong....(heavy sarcasm)
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:40 PM #15
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Default Re: Early stages of ALS?

You say, "For example if I am sitting in class and I raise the heels of my feet up while my toes are still touching the ground my legs will bounce uncontrollably until I put my feet back flat on the ground again."

If I do the same thing, the heels do not come off the ground. I tell them to rise up... and nothing happens. Toes flat on ground, heels flat on ground. No movement at all. THAT is clinical weakness.

Perceived weakness is "It's difficult."
Clinical weakness is, "It's impossible."
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