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HomeAnswersNeurologyalsI suspect of having ALS. Please help.

Why do I have weakness in my arms and legs?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

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Published At May 16, 2024
Reviewed AtMay 16, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I fear having ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) due to my current symptoms. For the past three weeks, I have had on-and-off weakness in my arms and legs. It first started in hands, then went to arms, then legs. I am exhausted and have been anxious regarding this, and consulted three doctors. The doctors say it is anxiety. I had two physical examinations, and they said I am perfect, just shaky, and had blood tests for vitamins, kidney, liver, thyroid, etc, and all is perfect. I am petrified and need help, as my anxiety is going wild. I am very anxious about my health. I currently take Sertraline 150 mg.

Please help.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read your query, and I can understand your concern.

I completely understand your concern. Anything suggestive of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is potentially frightening. However, the good news is that your symptoms, as you described, are not suggestive of ALS. The ALS weakness is not on and off. If it causes weakness, it would be constant and worsening. The course of symptoms is not in favor of ALS. Even though weakness can extend from limb to limb in ALS, it is a gradual and slow phenomenon. Therefore, any weakness extending in just three weeks to multiple limbs is not ALS.

You wrote that your physical examination has been normal. It is in favor that your problem is not ALS. Because when ALS causes weakness, the physical examination is always abnormal, provided that it has been done by an expert physician. You mentioned that your limbs are shaky. I need to know more about it.

  1. Which limbs are involved?

  2. When did it start?

  3. Does it occur during action, for example, when you grab a cup, or occur at rest when your limbs are not in action?

  4. Have you had any recent weight loss?

  5. Since when did you take Sertraline with this dose?

It would be very beneficial if you could upload a short film of your shaky limb.

I hope this will help you.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Seyedaidin Sajedi
Dr. Seyedaidin Sajedi

Neurology

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