Old 03-04-2019, 06:08 PM #1
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Default What do these symptoms sound like?

Hello all,

I am sorry to bother you with this, and I promise I did read the sticky. However, I am frightened as hell, and could use some guidance. I am a 29-year-old Caucasian male with no family history of neurological diseases.

At some point in December 2018, I started to notice fasciculations in my right triceps. The twitches occurred nearly daily, but I didn't think a whole lot of it at the time. In late February, the fasciculations started occurring in a lot of other locations. Now they occur in both triceps, both shoulders, both calves and thighs, on my abdomen, and on my face. They usually don't occur in all these locations on a single day, rather they seem to move around intermittently.

Over the past week, I noticed that my right calf seems to ache/cramp when I drive. This never used to happen to me. I used to lift weights regularly, but I have pretty much stopped since these symptoms really started to ramp up. So the aching/cramping isn't due to exercise. The symptoms also move around, though. For instance, over the weekend my arms felt really heavy and weak, but now they feel mostly better. So I know that is subjective weakness.

My fiancé is a physician assistant. She did a quick neurological exam on me, and didn't note any strength deficits. She really does not think anything is wrong, but I know my body, and it doesn't feel right. I have a neurology appointment coming up soon, but every day feels longer than the last. I just wonder if this sounds like the onset of ALS.

Thank you for any guidance,
Tim

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Old 03-04-2019, 06:31 PM #2
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Default Re: What do these symptoms sound like?

You’ve described twitching, aching, cramps, and “feeling weak” and heavy. What you have not described is muscle function failure, which would be the hallmark of ALS. Twitching without failure is common, nonspecific, and meaningless.

So, no, you haven’t described anything that sounds remotely like ALS. Your symptoms could be stress related, or from dehydration with electrolyte imbalance, overuse, or a metabolic problem. Most likely they represent nothing of long term significance.

Seeing a neurologist is fine — they should be able to reassure you. But you might also want to see your primary care doctor just to make sure nothing else is amiss.
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:44 PM #3
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Default Re: What do these symptoms sound like?

Hi Karen,

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply, I greatly appreciate your guidance. I feel terrible even posting in this thread, because I know that you are others have been diagnosed with this disease. I am usually not an emotional person, but when I do get truly frightened, the irrational part of my mind takes over. I am a biologist, otherwise I might not have gotten quite as scared at the initial appearance of fasciculations.

I have seen my GP, and she ran a full blood panel. Electrolyte levels are normal, thyroid function is fine. So I am really hoping that the fasciculations are BFS, and that the recent cramping is unrelated. I suppose the neurologist will be able to say for certain. But you are right, I do not have objective weakness, at least not that I have been able to detect, or that my fiancé or GP have been able to detect. So that is reassuring.
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:08 PM #4
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Default Re: What do these symptoms sound like?

No, it doesn't. Moving-around, intermittent twitches and cramps are the most common story we hear, and it's not the story of ALS. If you go back to lifting, while reconsidering stretching, sleep, stress, nutrition, hydration and your electrolytes in conjunction with a flare-up log, it's likely you'll figure out ways to bring these pesky issues to heel, presuming your neuro appointment doesn't yield anything.

If the symptoms persist and worsen overall, especially to the extent that you are unable to do something you used to do, it would be time to check in with your PCP to consider systemic causes.

Best,
Laurie
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:27 PM #5
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Default Re: What do these symptoms sound like?

Hi Laurie,

Thank you as well for taking the time to respond to my post. I haven't been sleeping much, and my rational mind has checked out. Last night I had a weird buzzing feeling in my right leg, and any new symptoms launch a new wave of anxiety these days. However, I know logically that ALS starts with true, clinical weakness, not migrating fasciculations, cramps, and weird sensations. I will get checked by the neurologist, and then post an update afterward.

All the best,
Tim
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:24 PM #6
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Default Re: What do these symptoms sound like?

Hello everyone,

I had my neurology appointment today, and the neurologist conducted a physical examination. He did not observe any weakness, atrophy, or abnormal reflexes. Based on these findings, he said that the fasciculations are most likely the result of a benign fasciculation syndrome. He did schedule an EMG on March 18th to be sure, so I will post another update after that. Still, at the moment, I found his comments to be reassuring.

I really want to thank everyone on here who helped me. My anxiety over fasciculations is nothing compared to battling this disease, and you took valuable time just to reassure an idiot like me. Words cannot express my gratitude.

All the best,
Tim
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:35 PM #7
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Default Re: What do these symptoms sound like?

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to post one more update. My EMG was pushed up to this morning, it came back normal. I am so relieved, and I am going to make a conscious effort to put the twitching out of my mind and get my anxiety under control. Thank you again for your guidance, you helped me so much when fear was overriding my rational mind.

All the best,
Tim
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