Warning signs of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

Warning signs of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease with no cure. After diagnosis, the person lives only 2 to 5 years at most. But if you note its symptoms and start your treatment immediately, chances are you will live a less difficult life.  

Keep reading this article to find out more about it.  

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a neurological disease that affects neurons of the central nervous system that control our voluntary muscle movements (those muscles we choose to move). These are the muscles we use for walking, writing, chewing, talking, etc. This disease is progressive and gets worse over time. Right now, there is no cure available for this disease. Treatment helps you to control its symptoms; so, the earlier you notice the symptoms and start taking treatment, the more your chances of survival. 

Early Symptoms 

Symptoms develop gradually and vary from person to person. Some might experience sudden weakness or tightness in their hands and legs. Some people notice difficulty in speaking or swallowing. Some of the common early symptoms you might notice include: 

  •  Muscle weakness or stiffness 
  •  Struggling with your grip-holding things or objects 
  • Slurred speech or voice 
  • Difficulties in swallowing 
  • Cramps in muscles  
  • Bending or slanting posture 
  • Having a tough time holding your head up 
  • Stumbling 
  • Muscle twitching especially in the arm, leg, shoulder, and tongue 
  • Difficulties in walking or standing straight 
  • Tripping and falling often  
  • Unusual crying, laughing, and yawning 
  • Cognitive and behavioral changes 
  • Choking and/or shortness of breath 
  • Unintended weight loss 
  • Fatigue 

 Symptoms begin from one part of the body such as one leg or arm and then start spreading to other parts of the body over time. However, ALS attacks only motor neurons but leaves vision, touch, hearing, smell, or taste unaffected. In many people, eye muscles, heart muscles, and bladder are not affected and stay healthy.  

Advanced Symptoms  

As ALS progresses with time, it gets worse. You might notice symptoms such as:  

  • Weaker muscles 
  • Significant decrease in muscle mass 
  • Major problems with chewing and swallowing things 
  • Difficulty in speaking and getting understood by others 
  • Trouble breathing and choking more often  

ALS is a disease that not only makes life miserable but decreases your life expectancy significantly. The average person diagnosed with ALS lives for 2 to 5 years. Some, with treatment, can live 10 years or longer. This disease can happen to anyone, so the best prevention is to notice those early symptoms and get a diagnosis to confirm, and start taking treatment to make your life a little easier. 

Want to know more about the treatment of ALS?

At Doral Health and Wellness, we have doctors that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us at 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at info@doralhw.org if you have any queries. 


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