Old 09-05-2009, 02:22 AM #1
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Default Question about some symptoms

I am a 23 year old male and have been having some issues for about 8 months that I have been trying to figure out. I came across this site a few days ago and would like to hear some opinions about my symptoms and any possibility that they could be ALS.

HANDS:
- hands do not have the dexterity that they did about 3 months ago. They feel clumsy at times such as when I'm typing. I am very good at typing but have been noticing myself making a lot more errors which I have to go back to fix.
- hands hurt after I'm finished gripping smaller items such as a pencil or drum stick. They sort of lock into the position of holding the small object and it is a little painful to stretch my fingers back out.
-my fingers constantly have a "stiff" feeling. They feel like they need to be stretched or something but even after they are stretched, they still feel stiff.

FEET:
- about 2 months ago, both of my big toes went numb for about a week. The right toe was worse than the left one. The right one was completely numb but the left toe was only numb at the tip.
- similar to my hands, my feet have the same "stiff' feeling. They feel like they need to be stretched but even after stretching, they are still stiff. They are particularly stiff in the morning when I wake up and in the evening before I go to bed.

LEGS:
- when I keep my legs in a fixed position for an extended period of time (maybe 20 minutes) such as sitting in a movie theater or driving a car and keeping my foot on the gas, they get stiff and uncomfortable.
- I have noticed that when I am walking, it seems like it takes extra effort to walk "normally". When I am walking, I find myself almost dragging my feet at times.
- my shins seem particularly stiff. When I hold my foot flat on the ground and lift my toes, it feels like I cannot lift them up as much as I used to be able to. I also have that same "stiff" feeling in my shins when I lift my toes up. This also affects me when I'm driving a stick shift car. Sometimes I find myself catching my foot on the sides of the pedals because I don't have the ability to simply lift my foot up to the other pedals to shift.

WEIGHT:
- I have lost 20 pounds since January. I am currently 6'1" and 180 pounds. I am very lean and workout on a regular basis and also have a very physical job. I eat well (as in often and with bigger portions). What I'm trying to say is that there really isn't a reason that I should have lost that much weight.

OTHER:
- When I am lifting weights and doing repetitive motions such as leg lifts or chest work, my muscles seem to lock up after a set or 2 of 10-12 reps and my muscles simply won't let me do another repitition. Not because the weight is too heavy and my muscles are exhausted, but because the muscles seem to lock up because of doing the same motion over and over. This symptom has been going on the longest, it began happening in January.
- I have kind of been feeling weaker in general. I find that it seems to take a lot more effort to lift things that used to be pretty easy for me to lift.

I would greatly appreciate any input that anyone has for me. I'm pretty scared at the moment since it seems like my symptoms are increasing in intensity and frequency. I'm just looking for some answers since I know that something is definitely not right. Thank you.
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:55 AM #2
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Default Re: Question about some symptoms

Hi 86,

Have you seen a doctor about all these symptoms? I see that you live in Baltimore-- that's great, because you have one of the world's best hospitals for neurology right there at Johns Hopkins. You should see your primary care doctor and get a referral to a neurologist, if your primary thinks it's necessary.

Good luck,

Sandra
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:11 AM #3
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Default Re: Question about some symptoms

Quote:
Originally Posted by SandraD View Post
Hi 86,

Have you seen a doctor about all these symptoms? I see that you live in Baltimore-- that's great, because you have one of the world's best hospitals for neurology right there at Johns Hopkins. You should see your primary care doctor and get a referral to a neurologist, if your primary thinks it's necessary.

Good luck,

Sandra
No, I haven't seen a doctor yet.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:27 AM #4
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Default Re: Question about some symptoms

Welcome to the site.

Until you see a good neurologist , everything is just speculation.

Those aches and pains are pointing away from ALS, and thats good.
What is bad is that you are having these issues.

You should make that neuro appointment as soon as possible. Please try to relax and do not let anxiety get the best of you. (It could be responsible for your weight loss)

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Old 09-06-2009, 09:43 AM #5
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Default Re: Question about some symptoms

Thank you for the opinions, can anyone else chime in?
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:15 AM #6
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Default Re: Question about some symptoms

Chiming:

Go to a doctor. You could have something easily treatable or you could have something for which early diagnosis is the key to fighting it.

Persist if the first or second or tenth doctor does not take your symptoms seriously.
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:39 PM #7
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Default Re: Question about some symptoms

That doesn't sound like ALS to me but then I'm not a Neurologist either.

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Old 09-06-2009, 03:09 PM #8
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Default Re: Question about some symptoms

Thank you for the opinions, can anyone else chime in?

Are you taking a poll, or just bored and looking for distraction online? Additional opinions from laymen aren't going to give you any answers. None of the vague "feelings" you describe sound at all like the onset of ALS.

If this has been going on for 8 months, and hasn't bothered you enough to see a doctor, you can't be too worried. You say you discovered this forum three days ago. Is that when you "discovered" ALS too?

The only specific problem you mentioned is losing 20 pounds in 8 months. 2 1/2 pounds a month is not a rapid weight loss, but if it concerns you, ask your doctor. S/He'll probably tell you to eat more, but maybe s/he'll be a sport and do some tests.

Everybody feels stiff after sitting in a movie theater or driving for 20 minutes or a couple hours. If you have trouble coordinating your feet while driving a stick shift, you probably don't drive one often, right? You're making mistakes while typing? Welcome to the human race. After a certain number of repetitions in lifting weights your muscles don't want to do more? Maybe they're trying to tell you something. Etc., etc. If you are scared by all this, see a doctor.
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