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Author Topic: Muscle Atrophy and ALS  (Read 6054 times)

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Offline chasert55

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Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« on: January 08, 2012, 11:45:48 PM »
I posted on here a while back about my ALS fears. Its been an up and down rollercoaster these past two

months. I have many symptoms which include twitching and muscle soreness in both my legs and arms.

What concerns me the most is the twitching in my feet. This past week Ive noticed increased soreness in my

forearms and hands. This weekend it seemed my twitching had calmed down and I was doing better.  Today

however, Ive noticed my left forearm (my dominate arm) is noticeably smaller then many right forearm.

Specifically, the dimple where my elbow is larger on my left forearm. Also, the divot in the middle of my

forearm is much more pronounced in my left forearm. I have an appointment with a neurologist on

Thursday, but I don't think I can make it. I feel like running to the E.R. in a panic. I'm in total freak-out

mode. I'm 26 male, does anyone else have a similar experience? Please help!!!
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Offline mantooth

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 05:54:16 AM »
Man I feel you, but you can't assume that kind of disease just because one arms bigger than another and you're twitchy. Anxiety can easily cause the twitching. And now that i pay attention to it the dimple on my right elbow is much larger, and that's my dominant arm.
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Offline LindaRK

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 12:52:26 PM »
Anxiety can cause twitching.  Meds can cause twitching.  Our bodies can twitch normally.  I wouldn't be too concerned with this unless your are twitching constantly.
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Offline chasert55

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 08:22:41 PM »
My hands feel weaker and uncoordinated, especially my left hand. I swear I can see atrophy in my left hand. All the tendons in my hands pop when I tighten them. I  wear long sleeve shirts now so I wont see my forearms. This is getting crazy.
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Offline colls22

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2012, 11:51:14 PM »
I've had the worst ALS fear of anyone I've never known, hands-down, so I know everything you've been going through.

I've had muscle twitches all over, sometimes more localized, while other times completely random. The twitches include buzzing in my left hand, and in the arches of both feeet, too.

I've seen a neurologist and had three EMG exams, and it's basically been ruining my life for the last four months.

I first convinced myself of atrophy in my left leg, as it appeared thinner than the right. I then convinced myself of left palm atrophy as the thenar tendons are much more pronounced than in my right hand. I have most lately convinced myself of atrophy on the outside of my left shoulder, as it seems a little less thick than on my right arm.

I explain all of this because what does it amount to? All things on our bodies are different, and specifically, nothing on one side of the body is going to match exactly with that on the other side of the body. I seriously doubt you have actual atrophy, and I also seriously doubt that you have profound weakness. However, you'll have answers soon enough, after your appointment tomorrow.

Good luck! And, keep us posted.
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Offline LindaRK

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 01:01:36 AM »
I went through about a year or so of having very weak arms and legs.  When it first started, my DO said it was anxiety related - I was seeing him for a back injury and all I could think of at the time was a pinched nerve or herniated disk but that wasn't it. I also talked to my GP about it - anxiety diagnosis there, too.

Of course, I was pissed because I was looking for something more serious.  How could anxiety cause such weakness in my arms and legs?  Heck, I could hardly hold my arms up to the steering wheel to drive!

Well, they were both right.  It's gone and it was anxiety.  Goes to show how strong the symptoms can be.   As to a difference in limb size and all - our bodies aren't asymmetrical - each side is different, even to the point of people having a different shoe size on either foot.  Amazing, isn't it?
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Offline floridaguy65

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2012, 09:27:21 AM »
My hands feel weaker and uncoordinated, especially my left hand. I swear I can see atrophy in my left hand. All the tendons in my hands pop when I tighten them. I  wear long sleeve shirts now so I wont see my forearms. This is getting crazy.

There is nothing "perceived" about ALS / MS. Hands and legs don't "feel" weaker"....they ARE weaker. You can't grip a door knob or you can't shake hands well or you stumble when you walk or your speech patterns are markedly off, perhaps. A key component might be that OTHER peeps will notice these things, as well, a lot of the time. Leaving this stuff up to ourselves (HA / Anxiety peeps) for a diagnosis is asking for worst case scenario type results. But, keep in mind, that after we do get an "all OK" from the Docs, then we do have learn to reassure ourselves and not keep seeking our further assurances that we are not in peril. This can be super difficult when anxiety has up locked up, for sure.

In all my years involved with anxiety (over 26 years) - myself as a serious sufferer and in helping others work through their issues, I have yet to see ONE case of ALS. And, I have seen countless peeps who are 99% certain that they have ALS. Again - ZERO - have had ALS. Pretty good odds and, hopefully, something you can embrace a little bit. I know it's tougher than tough, sometimes. But, there is hope and help. Inevitably, though, we must eventually begin to treat our symptoms (and intrusive thoughts) as a mental health issues (and not a medical emergency) before we can seek out any lasting solace:)

Peace and Feel Well:)
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Offline mantooth

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 01:37:15 PM »
Going through a ms/als fear myself right now, but all my symptoms could be explained by anxiety and not eating enough.
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Offline chasert55

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 07:52:48 PM »
The Neurologist I had an appointment with this week canceled, apparently there was a golf tournament somewhere. Jerk. They told me it

would be early February before they could see me. I told them “NO Thanks” and got an appointment this week with another Neurologist. The

twitching in my feet has nearly stopped, all but a few jolts in my toes. What really concerns me is my left hand. My left hand and especially

pinkie has been twitching like crazy all weekend. It really feels weaker and I feel like at any second it could give out. I have been fighting this

for too long for some catastrophic event like that to happen! I don't know if I cant wait till Thursday for that doctors appointment.
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Offline colls22

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 02:19:56 PM »
As was said in an earlier post, it's hard to imagine that anxiety can actually cause something as profound as muscle weakness, but it can. Hard thing for me to accept as well. I've had solo many different, what I thought were objective, symptoms come and go though, I really do think that anything is possible.

And, our minds really are devils for sending the symptoms straight to the area were worried about. You're afraid of weakness in your arm, guess where you will end up twitching the most? You got it!

I'm sure your appointment will be just fine, but please do let us know how it goes. And yes, waiting really stinks.
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Offline aliciaicila

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 02:30:31 PM »
I am going through a bad ALS scare, as well, so I can empathize! After having read WAY too much about this disease, I can give you some information that is beneficial to you and spare you from reading the big, bad scary things. :) Atrophy in ALS occurs AFTER the muscle has died or weakened SUBSTANTIALLY. As another poster stated, if your muscle was, indeed, atrophied from ALS, it would by now have been rendered basically useless. Our bodies are not symmetrical, and you've probably had this for quite a period of time but never noticed until ALS fears caused you to scour every last inch of your body. I feel for you. I truly, truly do. Hopefully, this can ease your mind some. Good luck to you! :)
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Offline LindaRK

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 02:38:28 PM »
Yes, our minds can actually cause our bodies to exhibit these symptoms.  See my post above - I went through a very lengthy period of similar symptoms to MS/ALS.  It was horrible.  When I addressed my stress it eventually went away.
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Offline chasert55

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 06:58:36 PM »
So I went to the neurologist a few weeks back and got an EMG. The doc told me it was an “almost” normal EMG. Great. He said he didn't see

any signs of ALS and that should put my mind at ease. Told me I have a pinched nerve in my elbow that might be causing the discomfort in

my hand. The pain in my forearm almost went away immediately (crazy) and my twitching has slowed down greatly. I still have issues such

as numb arm and shoulder when I wake up but I feel like I getting through  this and I DON’T have ALS. At least 90% convinced lol. This has

been one of the worst ordeals in my life but I feel like Ive learned a lot about myself and life in general. Sad fact is, anyone could get blinked

out in an instant so there's no use worrying about.  The doc gave me a anti-anxiety med but I quit taking it after about a week. I know your

not suppose to do that, but the side-effects were too great. Anyway, I will continue to scroll on here because its obvious I have a problem

that isn't going away anytime soon. Now its on to the next life-threaten illness lol.  Good luck
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Offline LindaRK

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012, 12:09:57 AM »
Our minds are a pretty powerful piece of equipment, aren't they?
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Offline upupandaway

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Re: Muscle Atrophy and ALS
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2012, 09:12:42 PM »
All through fall I had similar worries about ALS and MS, and similar symptoms. What's important to realize is that twitchiness is not actually an early symptom of either of those diseases. It can sometimes happen in late stages of ALS with the severely deteriorated muscles (which you totally don't have). What's way more likely with you is benign fasciculation syndrome, which is often caused by stress or can happen for no reason. It's annoying, but completely harmless. And it actually commonly manifests itself in the feet.
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