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Author Topic: Shaky, weak arms and legs - ALS fears  (Read 36658 times)

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Offline leafsgirl80

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Shaky, weak arms and legs - ALS fears
« on: September 07, 2011, 11:35:10 PM »
Over the past couple of months, I've noticed that my legs, and more recently my arms, are shaky and feel weak. My legs bother me the most...often when I'm walking (or just standing still) they feel shaky and like they're not going to hold me up. I've also noticed at the gym that my arms feel shaky (and sometimes are actually visibly shaking) during and after lifting weights (like chest or tricep exercises) and then heavy afterwards, although I'm able to lift as much weight as before. However, I've also been noticing random twitches in various muscles (arms, back, legs, butt), and I also get a sensation like electrical impulses in my butt and legs after walking or exercising. I have had this sensation after walking and exercise for many years (as long as I can remember, at least 15 I would guess), although it seems worse lately. I had these weird sensations in my legs a few months ago (like a chill running down them that would come on every once in a while), and had a brain and spinal MRI, both of which were normal, so I know I (most likely) don't have MS. And those sensations have gone away. However, I'm really scared that the shakiness and weakness could be ALS or something else scary. I know I'm young for ALS (32), but I also know it's possible to get it at this age. I'm trying to convince myself it's anxiety, and I've searched the posts on here and it seems like other people have had the weak feeling like your legs won't hold you up, but the shaking is really scaring me. Especially since it isn't just a feeling of shakiness, but actual shaking. Could this somehow be anxiety as well? In general I notice the feelings more when I'm alone and not distracted by people or some activity (and can go long periods without noticing anything when I'm busy), and my stress and anxiety levels have probably been higher than usual lately since I moved across the country last week and started a new job. Although I've been getting the shakiness on and off for a couple of months (first noticed it in June, then again in mid-August), it's gotten much worse over the past 2-3 weeks. I've had a ton of anxiety symptoms in the past (head pain, buzzing in feet, tingling, feeling like my whole body was weak (although not shaky), stomach pain and cramps, night sweats, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, breathing problems, etc), but every time I get a new one I can't help but think it must be something bad. Has anyone had this before and it turned out to be anxiety?

Thanks for your help.
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Offline ms anxiety

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Re: Shaky, weak arms and legs - ALS fears
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2011, 11:46:19 PM »
so as someone who was FREAKED OUT about ALS....i did a lot of research and was on the ALS message boards WAY TOO MUCH. anyhoo.....there is a difference between weakness and clinical weakness. ALS has to have clinical weakness which means you CANT exercise. it is totally different than fatigue.
also, it starts off in one limb or tounge. like it wouldnt be both your arms and legs. (i am NOT a doc, just telling you what i read.)

you can always go to your doc for an expert opinion. 

i have had non stop twitchs and some tingeling and i just came back from the nuero and had the EMG and all that and he said it was BFS/Anxiety.

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Offline naynaydevil2

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Re: Shaky, weak arms and legs - ALS fears
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 12:35:09 AM »
Over the past couple of months, I've noticed that my legs, and more recently my arms, are shaky and feel weak. My legs bother me the most...often when I'm walking (or just standing still) they feel shaky and like they're not going to hold me up. I've also noticed at the gym that my arms feel shaky (and sometimes are actually visibly shaking) during and after lifting weights (like chest or tricep exercises) and then heavy afterwards, although I'm able to lift as much weight as before. However, I've also been noticing random twitches in various muscles (arms, back, legs, butt), and I also get a sensation like electrical impulses in my butt and legs after walking or exercising. I have had this sensation after walking and exercise for many years (as long as I can remember, at least 15 I would guess), although it seems worse lately. I had these weird sensations in my legs a few months ago (like a chill running down them that would come on every once in a while), and had a brain and spinal MRI, both of which were normal, so I know I (most likely) don't have MS. And those sensations have gone away. However, I'm really scared that the shakiness and weakness could be ALS or something else scary. I know I'm young for ALS (32), but I also know it's possible to get it at this age. I'm trying to convince myself it's anxiety, and I've searched the posts on here and it seems like other people have had the weak feeling like your legs won't hold you up, but the shaking is really scaring me. Especially since it isn't just a feeling of shakiness, but actual shaking. Could this somehow be anxiety as well? In general I notice the feelings more when I'm alone and not distracted by people or some activity (and can go long periods without noticing anything when I'm busy), and my stress and anxiety levels have probably been higher than usual lately since I moved across the country last week and started a new job. Although I've been getting the shakiness on and off for a couple of months (first noticed it in June, then again in mid-August), it's gotten much worse over the past 2-3 weeks. I've had a ton of anxiety symptoms in the past (head pain, buzzing in feet, tingling, feeling like my whole body was weak (although not shaky), stomach pain and cramps, night sweats, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, breathing problems, etc), but every time I get a new one I can't help but think it must be something bad. Has anyone had this before and it turned out to be anxiety?

Thanks for your help.

Hello leafsgirl!
YES, YES, YES................I've had (and still do at times) every single thing you are going thru. Not one thing you are explaining points to ALS. Shakey arms and legs are due to lack of sleep, lack of exersize or too much of one or both. Also caffiene, nicotine and other stimulants can do that. But enough of the bla bla stuff....

You DO NOT have als. Trust me, do not send yourself down this path of obsessive, mentally destructive fear. the weakness that you think you have, is everyday anxiety/aging/over exertion etc weakness. The weakness in ALS patients is CLINICAL...meaning you would know it for sure!!! As would a Dr. For example--- your foot would literally be dragging behind you as you try to walk....it wouldnt be your leg and foot just "feeling weak". or..... you suddenly wake up and can't turn a key, open a water bottle or button your pants. or............well..you get my drift.

The fear I had about ALS was almost just as devastating as if I actually had the disease. It's a good thing I did rush to a neurologist, because she is part of the reason that I got over the fear. I was also pregnant, so that just made things so much harder. I twitched, cramped, had shaky/jello legs, had "weakness", slurred speach etc etc...guess what..not als.. its anxiety. (and probably a good mix of pregnancy hormones lol). Im JUST now getting back to normal with the twitches and other symptoms.  I still get these symptoms, I just let them go about and then they eventually disapear.

Between medication adjustment, therapy, a great and understanding neuro (she was there just to re assure me, she knew I had no such disease), and most importantly---- changing my way of thinking... I've now come to the conclusion and reality that anxiety can and will cause all of these symptoms!! I'm much more educated on the disease thanks to very good Dr's and sources... I will not get into actual and symptoms and facts about the disease becasue then you and many others may suddenly "develop" them LOL.

well, I hope this has helped.....and please--- read some of my older posts to see what I've gone thru... and if you have questions feel free to pm me!  :action-smiley-065:
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Offline daveinsydney

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Re: Shaky, weak arms and legs - ALS fears
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 02:00:43 AM »
GOD! It scares me just reading this stuff though I REFUSE to Google and I am proud of myself for doing that. I'm too freaked out to even read what you are all saying in case I think 'OH NO NO NO! Remember, I 'surrendered' last week and went to the doctor?

I get those shakey, crampy feelings too. Anyway, I've been listening to my anxiety, mindfulness CD's and I'm going to the beach in a minute to swim and run along the beach, tell myself 'hey, you can still do those things! What are you worried about?' 'What me? Worry?!
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Offline Ravens Lady

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Re: Shaky, weak arms and legs - ALS fears
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 03:54:49 AM »
About 2 years ago I started having extreme body fatigue and shakiness.  Felt like a truck of tiredness hit me out of nowhere.  I would just have to sit down, and right away.  It wasn't 'sleepy' so much as just completely zapped and drained of energy.  Also my limbs felt heavy and my coordination got much worse.  Scared me to death.  Felt like I was losing control of my body in my 20's.  I thought it would only get worse.

But turns out these 'episodes' would go off and on.

Let me tell you that it appears to me that you are making a mistake that many of us health anxious types make.  You are getting your mind glued to a specific fear with no real basis.  Why assume ALS from such physical manifestations?  Why not assume it could be something else?  Something more benign?  This is a mistake so many people here make.  Look around this message board for awhile.  No offense, but you aren't special (as far as your symptoms are concerned) and not everyone around here has ALS.

I've had just about all of your symptoms, and others.  For me, turns out to be some anxiety, but also some other non-serious and non-life threatening issues that simply require me to take better care of myself.  No medication needed.  No doctor visits.  No therapy.  No surgery.  Simply taking better care of myself and continuing to live life. 

Now when something in my body goes off (like shakiness, head pains, jitters, trouble speaking, shooting pains, buzzing muscles) I know not to panic, and let it pass.  It usually does.  And now that I eat better, I'd say I've had a 50% reduction to those scary troublesome body issues.  I don't like to call them *symptoms* anymore because that makes it sound like I'm sick or something, when really they might just be signs my body wants me to take better care of it. 

So yeah, it could be anxiety, and yeah it could also be your lifestyle or slight changes your body is going through that *are not serious* that we simply need to manage better as we age. 
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Offline nispe

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Re: Shaky, weak arms and legs - ALS fears
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 11:04:11 AM »
Perhaps you should look into chiropractic services.  Maybe you have a compressed nerve.  Sciatica can do some of these things?  OBVIOUSLY not a doctor, just a thought.
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