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Author Topic: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..  (Read 298 times)

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Offline Lau8911

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Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« on: August 21, 2014, 12:10:04 PM »
I went to see another neuro today, who didn't seem to be specialized in ALS, and it has made me even more anxious. I came to him today, since I was experiencing odd twitches, fatigue, etc. I had told him only about two weeks ago, I got an EMG on left side and the electric part was on all limbs and it was normal. He still wanted to conduct an EMG on just the right arm. Also, he acted like anxiety couldn't cause spasms/twitching in a part of the body and said that sounded more denervation happening in the body. -_- Then proceeded to tell me u had "hyper reflexes in legs" but that was normal for young people (I am 25 and I  had never been told that by the other two neuros.) My last two neuros also said they would be able to find out if I had ALS with the current symptoms I had and an EMG, this new neuro said it was too early to tell. Does what he said seem accurate? Now my anxiety is on a high level. Thank you.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 12:37:03 PM »
Wow, I haven't seen this much misinformation in quite awhile.  How old was this neurologist?  I have noticed the older ones tend to not lend credence to anxiety.  They assume twitches or cramping is always something neurological.  First, an EMG can often pick up the neuro nasties 3-6 months before your first symptom.  Second, hyperreflexia is certainly concerning but I suspect either you are using the term incorrectly or he is.  Brisk reflexes is when you really give a good kick with a patellar tap.  It's considered 3+ which is NORMAL for anxious people.  Hyperreflexia on the other hand is when that is accompanied by pathological reflexes and/or clonus.  Meaning a babinski sign with the foot...and/or the foot pumps multiple times when flexed.  Hyperreflexia is considered 4+ and should be worked up.  Since you are not reporting that he said you had a babinski sign or clonus I would assume you are at a 3+ which again is VERY normal for anxious people.  When I am in panic, mine go from 1+ to 3+.  My wife lives at a 3+.  Check out BFS message boards, they almost all have brisk reflexes with twitches, and many with cramping.  These people have been worked up and told by some of the best specialists in the country...it's anxiety.  So, breath...let him work you up but don't lose sleep over it.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline Slangevar

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Re: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 02:52:26 PM »
My BIL is an amazing GP - he told me once that most neuros can accurately spot a neurological condition within about 5 minutes of office tests. It sounds like you've been to a few neuros, none of which have seen anything wrong with you. Sure, they're taking your symptoms seriously, but that's because that's what neuros do. They assume if someone is coming to them with symptoms, it could be something serious.

That said, I agree with Shawn that either this guy is a quack or you are misinterpreting what he said. Many common things can cause muscle twitches and spasms that aren't ALS - vitamin issues (very common), stress, lack or sleep, anxiety, exercise, hormones, benign conditions - you name it.

I had this once, by the way. After reading an article about a guy who had ALS, I realized that I'd been having these weird, continuous twitches in my leg. My twitches lasted for weeks, but then they went away. That was about 15 years ago. I think they had something to do with my running and possibly a vitamin issue.

Anyway, stop worrying; stop watching the ALS bucket challenge videos and stop seeing neuro after neuro! Or if you can't stop worrying, set a follow-up appointment for 3 months from now. If it is ALS (and it isn't), you'll notice progressive weakness. If you don't feel any weakness (and you won't), you can cancel your appointment.
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Offline Lau8911

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Re: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 07:34:35 PM »
Thanks for the replies. He actually didn't test my babinski reflex, but still insisted on doing an EMG on right arm. I also was wondering, can bfs happen mostly on one side? I have a lot of the spasms/twitching happening on my right hand, forearm, shoulder, bicep, back and even chest area. I do have a few in each calf and some on left arm and face.
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Offline Lau8911

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Re: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 07:36:02 PM »
Also this twitching happens everyday, getting very annoying. :( I have taken anxiety meds for three and half weeks and no help so far, but it is a low dose..
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 07:46:49 PM »
Thanks for the replies. He actually didn't test my babinski reflex, but still insisted on doing an EMG on right arm. I also was wondering, can bfs happen mostly on one side? I have a lot of the spasms/twitching happening on my right hand, forearm, shoulder, bicep, back and even chest area. I do have a few in each calf and some on left arm and face.
  Yes, BFS can react like this...and there is a possibility that you have a pinched nerve in your neck.  Those are the likely causes.  And a neurologist who doesn't do a Babinski?  Really?  Did he test for clonus?
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline Lau8911

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Re: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2014, 07:58:34 PM »
No, he didn't test for clonus either. He said it could be a pinched nerve, but the second neuro who did my EMG didn't think that I had a pinched nerve, carpal tunnel or anything for that matter, she just said all my symptoms were due to stress. I've just have had so many weird ones, I wasn't sure what to believe. These last like two and a half months have been crazy! From a few fingers feeling cramped (especially on right hand), muscle fatigue (always), shakiness, twitching in stomach, chest, armpit, back, everywhere! Just guess I will eventually have to accept the fact that stress can cause many issues like this.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2014, 08:03:16 PM »
No, he didn't test for clonus either. He said it could be a pinched nerve, but the second neuro who did my EMG didn't think that I had a pinched nerve, carpal tunnel or anything for that matter, she just said all my symptoms were due to stress. I've just have had so many weird ones, I wasn't sure what to believe. These last like two and a half months have been crazy! From a few fingers feeling cramped (especially on right hand), muscle fatigue (always), shakiness, twitching in stomach, chest, armpit, back, everywhere! Just guess I will eventually have to accept the fact that stress can cause many issues like this.

The most likely culprit is stress by a long shot.  It sound like the second neuro is a smart gal.  And just so you know if you were having these symptoms and even if they got the "wrong limb" there is usually evidence on other limbs.  I suspect your EMG will come back clean.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline Lau8911

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Re: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2014, 08:04:19 PM »
Also had many procedures done like a spinal tap, MRI on brain and neck and pretty much everything from thyroid level to potassium levels checked (lots of blood work) and they all came back ok. So just made me feel like even more scared, like I had to have the worse thing, since all those things canceled out other possibilities. I'm even taking multivitamins and that doesn't help much..
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Offline Lau8911

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Re: Even more anxious about possible ALS symptoms..
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2014, 08:08:09 PM »
Thank you. It makes me feel a little better.
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