Signs You Have ALS

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that affects the nervous system and progresses over time. It particularly affects the spinal cord and the brain cells. In this disease, the muscles do not get any nourishment and eventually waste away. The brain passes messages to the other body parts through neurons. They originate in the brain, go to the spinal cord, and then to other body parts. ALS affects the motor neurons, which control the body's voluntary movements, such as walking, breathing, chewing, moving our arms and legs, and talking. Over time, the muscles start to weaken due to a lack of nourishment, making it difficult to perform any of the previously mentioned activities. It results in muscle control loss and irreversible damage. 

ALS is not painful but rather restrictive. It affects the upper and lower motor neurons. The upper motor neurons send the signals to the lower motor neurons, which then pass those signals to the muscles to make the intended movement. This results in muscle tightness and shrinking. It does not affect involuntary actions like digestion, heartbeat, and bladder and bowel movements.  

ALS is also called Lou Gehrig's disease. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis symptoms include: 

  • Difficulty in walking 
  • Weakness in the lower body 
  • Weakness in hands 
  • Trouble swallowing 
  • Muscle cramps and twitching 
  • Cognitive and behavioral changes 
  • Stiff neck 


Early signs of ALS, like stumbling, are often ignored. People get serious when they observe instances of loss of coordination. In reality, the symptoms vary amongpeople in the initial stages. However, some of the first signs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are:

  • Inability to use a limb at a stretch due to persistent weakness 
  • Persistent muscle twitches 
  • A problem in gripping and holding things 
  • Fatigue 
  • Speech problems 
  • Poor body balance 

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Causes 

The exact cause behind ALS has not yet been identified, but some risk factors contribute to ALS: 

  • Genetic Factors: If a family member has ALS, there is a 50% chance that the children would also have ALS. So yes, ALS could be genetic. 
  • Environmental Factors: In most cases, the cause is unknown. Smoking, exposure to harmful toxins, and military service have been found to have caused ALS so far. 

While the causes are unknown, it cannot be said whether ALS is an autoimmune disease. It is rather a neurodegenerative disease. 

ALS and Breathing 

Over time, ALS affects the respiratory muscles and paralyzes them. Most of the deaths due to ALS happen because of respiratory failure. Some people with increased breathing challenges get a hole created surgically in the front part of the neck, leading to the windpipe for proper breathing. You might need a device that helps you breathe, like a BiPAP device. 

ALS and Eating 

ALS also causes problems with swallowing food or liquids resulting in dehydration and malnutrition. This increases the risk of food and drinks getting into the lungs. In this case, a feeding tube helps deliver proper nutrition and hydration

ALS and Speaking 

People who have ALS start to lose control of their speech also. It begins with mild slurring but eventually becomes severe. It also gets difficult for others to understand what is being said. 

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Treatment 

Unfortunately, ALS is a fatal disease. While there is no cure, here are some treatment tips that can help you stay comfortable: 

  • Medications can help reduce muscle cramps and other symptoms. 
  • Physical therapy can help relieve discomfort in muscles, cramps, etc. 
  • Eating a healthy diet and certain foods that are easy to swallow. 
  • Speech therapy can help maintain verbal communication for as long as possible. 
  • Special equipment like a wheelchair and electric beds can help function properly. 

Where to buy products for ALS? 

A wide range of dining aids, bath safety products, and speech therapy products are available at Rehab Store. Here are some of the top sellers: 

1. Guardian Deluxe Tub Grab Bar

The Guardian Deluxe Tub Grab Bar is a safety grab for preventing falls. Made with stainless steel, it has a clamp design and provides safety in and around the bathtub. No tools are required to install this bar, and the rubber liner pads will not mar the tub surface. Entering and exiting the bathtub becomes easy for those at risk of falling with this grab bar. 

2. Sure Grip Dining Utensils

The Sure Grip Dining Utensils are great tools for a weak grip and lesser muscle strength. These utensils have one-and-a-half inches wide and four inches long handles for a secure grip. The set includes a teaspoon, tablespoon, fork, knife, spoon, and soup spoon. These utensils are made of durable material and are dishwasher safe. 

3. Cup with Built in Straw 

The Cup with Built-in Straw is an essential tool for those with weak hands and arms strength. It eliminates the need to lift the cup and drink. The cup is suitable for adults and children. It is translucent for the visibility of the contents. The attached straw has access to the bottom of the cup and prevents air ingestion. 


Unfortunately, ALS is not curable. It keeps getting worse over time. If the signs are noticed early, it is better to reach out to a healthcare professional to understand the condition and what could be done to treat it. 


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