25 year old with twitches and muscle cramps. ALS? PLEASE HELP.
Hello, I am a 25 year old male. About a month ago I got a twitch in my right thumb. It didn't go away for about an hour. When I moved my thumb it stopped, but returned to twitching. Later the next day my arm started to get twitches. First just a few, then alot more. Its 4 weeks later and I am twitching all over. Mostly in my right calf, but in both calfs, upper legs, arms and fingers. As well as a few twitches on my stomach. I only get them when my muscles are at rest. Not when I'm using them. And mostly when I'm laying in bed to go to sleep. I originally thought it might be one of two anti-psychotic medications that my doctor had me try. But I only took each for about two days and stopped because I noticed the twitch in my thumb. So I still get twitches in my fingers and my legs and all over really.
I looked up twitching and now I think I have ALS. I have also noticed that my legs feel weird most of the time. The muscles get stiff really easily. I don't think I have any clinical weakness in my legs. I can run up stairs, jump on one leg, move my feet up and down and I don't have a problem with standing. I've gone for a quick jog and I notice my legs get tired easily. Although I know that I can keep running even though my legs get tired. I'm thinking its just perceived weakness. Plus I can't remember the last time I ran - I'm also a smoker.
I also weighed myself 3 days ago and I'm 130. Thats normal for me. I weighed myself again today and I weigh 127. I'm worried that I'm losing muscle mass because of ALS. Although I know going up and down a few pounds (even everyday is normal) I've only had these symptoms in the last month and I really can't say I have weak muscles. But I think I think I have weak legs muscles.
I talked to my GP and he wasn't worried at all. But in all honesty he is useless in most matters. I'm going to see a neruo on my suggestion to him.
Again, the twitching is everywhere - although mostly in my legs. AND I only noticed my legs until after I googled twitching and ALS came up. So I have the (what I hope is percieved muscle weakness) after the twitching.
Have you been tested for Lyme disease? Western blot from IGeneX is the most reliable test--ELISA is worthless.
Do you live in the Great Lakes area? It's endemic for Lyme.
I have Lyme disease and I used to experience the symptoms you are describing. Lyme and its co-infections deplete the body of its magnesium, causing a lot of symptoms, especially twitching.
Since I started taking 600mg/day magnesium glycinate and occasional Epsom salts baths, my arrhytmia is better and I have no more muscle fasciculation. And, of course, I take antibiotics to treat the Lyme.
PS: From what I read, most people who develop ALS are in their 40s or 50s...
PPS: If Lyme is left untreated for many years, it can eventually cause ALS, MS, Parkinson's and a host of other auto-immune diseases.
I never saw a rash either. It's about 50% of "Lymies" that notice a rash. If the tick bites you on your back or on your scalp, you won't notice it. And there's no pain at the time of the bite, because the tick "numbs" your skin before starting to feed.
The symptoms of Lyme disease are extraordinarily extensive. While you are unlikely to experience all, or even most, it is important to know what might be associated with this multi-symptom disease. If infected, you may experience a few or many of these symptoms and they may come and go.
20 “yes” represents a serious potential and Lyme should be included in diagnostic workup.
The Tick Bite (fewer than 50% recall a tick bite or get/see the rash)
Rash at site of bite; Rashes on other parts of your body; Rash basically circular and spreading out (or generalized); Raised rash, disappearing and recurring; Rash may be hard, hot to touch, itchy, crusty, oozy.
Head & face
Pressure in the head
Tingling of nose, cheek, face
Twitching of facial or other muscles (motor tics)
Jaw pain or stiffness (TMJ-like problems)
Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking
Facial paralysis (Bell's palsy)
Sore throat, swollen glands, phlegm
Hoarseness or vocal cord problems
Increase in allergy symptoms
Change in smell, taste; smell or taste hallucinations
Unexplained hair loss
Double or blurry vision
Oversensitivity to light
Floaters, spots, flashing lights
Phantom images in corner of eyes
Decreased perception of light or color
Vision changes incl. blindness, retinal damage, optic atrophy
Wandering or lazy eye
Swelling around eyes
Conjunctivitis or "pink eye"
Pain in ears
Ringing, buzzing, tinnitus
Oversensitivity to sounds
Digestive & excretory systems
Diarrhea or constipation
Upset stomach (nausea, vomiting, pain)
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease/acid reflux)
Irritable bladder (trouble starting or stopping)
Unexplained weight gain or loss
Loss of appetite
Bone pain, joint pain, joint swelling, or stiffness
Shifting joint pains
Carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow
Neck is stiff, painful, creaks or cracks
Muscle pain or cramps (fibromyalgia)
Burning sensation in feet
Poor muscle coordination
Loss of muscle tone
Respiratory & circulatory systems
Shortness of breath, can't get full/satisfying breath
Chest pain or rib soreness
Night sweats, unexplained chills
Heart palpitations, extra beats or pulse skips (arrhythmia)
Heart blockage, murmur, valve prolapsed, heart attack
Swelling or enlargement of heart
Diminished exercise tolerance
Burning or stabbing sensations in the body
Peripheral neuropathy or partial paralysis
Weakness or paralysis of limbs
Tremors or unexplained shaking
Loss of reflexes
White matter lesions
Numbness, tingling, pinpricks
Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking
Light-headedness, wooziness, brain fog, fainting
Meningitis (inflammation of the protective membrane around the brain)
Encephalopathy (cognitive impairment from brain involvement)
Encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord)
Mood swings, irritability
Anxiety, panic attacks
Overemotional reactions, crying easily
Disorientation: getting lost or going to the wrong place
Aggressive behaviour or impulse violence
Bipolar disorder, manic episodes
Increased suspiciousness, paranoia
Feeling as if you are losing your mind
Eating disorders, anorexia
Difficulty falling or staying asleep, too much sleep, or insomnia
Forgetfulness, memory loss (short or long term)
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading, or spelling
Word retrieval problems (can't remember words, stop at mid-sentence)
Dyslexia-type reversals, difficulty with writing
Problems with numbers
Difficulty with speech (slowed, slurred or stammering)
Forgetting how to perform simple task
Attention deficit problems, distractibility
Difficulty with organization and planning
Difficulty with multitasking
Slowed speed of processing
Poor school or work performance
Reproduction & sexuality
Loss of sex drive
Unexplained menstrual pain, irregularity
Unexplained breast pain, discharge
Extreme PMS symptoms
Miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, neonatal death, congenital Lyme disease (passes from mother to foetus)
Testicular or pelvic pain
Extreme fatigue, tiredness, exhaustion, poor stamina (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
Unexplained fevers (high or low grade)
Low body temperature
Narcolepsy, sleep apnea
Swollen glands, swollen/painful lymph nodes
Continual infections (sinus, kidney, bladder, eye, ear, etc.)
Symptoms seem to change, come and go; pain migrates to different body parts
Early on, experienced a "flu-like" illness, possibly not feeling well since
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol
Increased motion sickness
Decreased interest in play (children)
Last year, July 09, I developed a twitching, spasm, muscle weakness, that more or less traveled all over my body, from my toes to my eyes, and never stayed in one place, with the exception of my legs, from the thighs down and it never seemed to leave, just get less severe at times. I even developed a temporary speech impairment for about a week because the muscles in my neck and face wouldn't cooperate with what I wanted them to do. It started out as muscle aches here and there, which I attributed to work because at the time I was an Industrial Plumber. I could still use all my muscles they just didn't seem to work as well as I needed them to. I'm writing because some of what you described in your post seemed quite similar to what I experienced in Summer to Fall of 09. My mysterious symptoms (that the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN could seem to diagnose) seemed to disappear in late Oct 09 to early Nov. Now here it is June '10, running up on July and my symptoms are returning. Just curious if you found any answers to your problems
Here's some things that might help.. maybe you can answer this..
When you go up stairs, have you noticed that you are physically exhausted or you legs feel like they quit?
Can you hold a small object without shaking?
Do you choke occasionally when eating or drinking?
Are you getting cramps in muscle areas where you didn't before?
Have you noticed your coordination is slightly off than it use to be?
Anyway, about me. When I was a teenager, I was pretty athletic. I played hockey, soccer, and basketball quite frequently. Around that time, I would get occasional foot cramps and i noticed I was shaking or had muscle tremors when I held things. I ignored it. So as I got older, I was starting to notice my coordination was a little off. If I walked down a tight corridor and another person was walking toward me, I would not realize I would bump into him and I would. Stairs also started to become difficult. I didn't know why but I would be out of breath and my legs felt tired. Sometimes when I drink water, I would just choke on it for a sec and cough. Turns out I had trouble swallowing.
At this point, I figured I had something but I couldn't lock it down. My brother when to a sleep specialist to diagnose his sleep apnea and they found out some things did not add up. He was in shape and was not the usual person who would have apnea. They suspected he go to this neurologist who tested for a rare disease called Kennedy's Disease. Turns out he had it. Told me to get checked and I came out positive too. I can tell you, it's an adjustment but it can be challenging. The good news, it doesn't affect life span.
Lyme disease can be done with a blood test. I went to a neurologist thinking I had carple tunnel. After time and a couple EMGS, blood work and an MRI the diagnoses came up with ALS. I had blood work to rule out lyme disease, aids lupus and other diseases. My Dr. said, I would rather tell you now that you have ALS and be wrong, than tell you 3 months from now and be right. After almost three years I have lost muscle in all extremities. I can barely walk and can't write any more. I can't use the ATM because I don't have the ability to pull the card out fast enough. I live one day at a time. I am 59 yrs old male and enjoy everyday.
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