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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Message Board

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Board Index

Hi All,

As you can imagine from the title I'm a bit anxious. This past May I just randomly couldn't swallow. When I say I couldn't swallow I mean I would chew and chew and chew my food and it's like the swallow reflex didn't kick in. This of course freaked me out and it is now the middle of July and I've still had no such luck. I've been to the Emergency Room three times and all the doctors I see tell me that it is because of stress/anxiety/depression, etc. More less telling me I'm a mental case.

I'm definitely scared now about bulbar onset ALS and it is reeking havoc on my mind and probably just making the situation worse. Funny thing is that I have no problems eating chocolate, chips, and certain things. All the symptoms I've read about bulbar onset ALS is that it usually starts out as slurred speech and then progresses to dysphagia (trouble swallowing) because the tongue doesn't do what it needs to do to get food back. I have no trouble chewing my food or moving my tongue around or anything like that. My speech is definitely not slurred or anything either but still I'm a nervous wreck thinking I could possibly have this.

One person in another thread said that its not the act of swallowing the food that the patient has problems with, it's the fact that the food goes back to quickly and then he/she can choke and aspirate. This being very true with liquids.

I don't know but if someone could PLEASE give me some peace of mind it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance. :)
Thanks Sera. I do believe this is all in my head sometimes but of course when I got on google and started hearing people's stories I went into panic mode. By the way, I'm only 26 years old and I have always been healthy up to this point. Also, I read somewhere that bulbar onset symptoms almost ALWAYS start out with speech difficulties first. I don't know if I mentioned in the previous post but this all came on sudden as well. It wasn't like I noticed one day that I was having trouble swallowing it was just like I couldn't initiate a swallow at all. So I should be telling myself that it has NOTHING to do with initiating a swallow so to speak but everything to do with the tongue having spastic movements and etc... blah... still in a state of panic :(

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