Understanding the Symptoms of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease

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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to help with during sleep

  • Speech-generating devices to help those with slurred speech
  • Computers with -recognition software that help a person communicate when speech and hand control are lost
  • At more advanced stages, you may need a machine to keep your lungs working. If chewing and swallowing become too hard, even with small bites or a , you may need a feeding tube.

    When to See a Doctor

    A muscle cramp in your leg or a weak feeling in your hand once in a while isn’t usually enough to send you to the doctor. If those feelings last for days or weeks, however, you should make an appointment.

    Pay attention to changes in how the muscles in your arms and legs feel. Listen to friends or family if they point out a change in your speech or how you walk.

    You can start by seeing your regular doctor. If you think that the weakness or tingling is nerve related, see a neurologist. This is a doctor who specializes in diseases affecting the brain and nervous system.

    Some early ALS symptoms are the same as those of other less-serious conditions.

    Many of these, such as carpal tunnel syndrome (a problem with the nerves in your wrist), can be treated successfully. To know for sure, don’t hesitate to describe your symptoms to a doctor. The earlier you know what’s causing your symptoms, the sooner you can start to treat them.