You may have heard of the ALS ice bucket challenge, but do you really know what it is, the symptoms that characterize it, and how it could affect you?
ALS, otherwise known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease afflicts 6,000 people in the USA per year alone (over 15 new cases daily). It’s estimated that over 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.
Two out of every 100,000 people develop ALS.
ALS affects the nerve cells by causing them to die off, breaking the neural pathways, and causing extreme mobility loss.
Even though ALS is more common in those over the age of 60, in inherited cases, it can happen at any time.
Doctors aren’t really sure what the cause of ALS is. Some say it may just be genetic.
Below, we have listed 13 symptoms to monitor that are indications of pre-ALS.
This weakness usually occurs in your legs, feet, and ankles, but to really understand the weakness that afflicts ALS victims, we have to first understand perceived vs actual weakness. Perceived weakness is characterized by how we feel muscularly compared to when at rest. Most of us feel this when we go to the gym and workout; you feel weaker for a short period of time until your strength is regained.
This is a typical case of perceived weakness. Actual weakness on the other hand is what ALS patients go through. This is diagnosed by neurologists and can usually be found just by examining your regular day to day activities, such as buttoning your shirt or dropping something you are holding.
Before rushing to the doctor to see if ALS is present, read the rest of these symptoms and see if you truly have something to be concerned about. Weakness due to ALS can often be misdiagnosed as another disease or pseudo-ailment.