Symptoms And Treatment Of Als ( Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ) - Health Article

Symptoms And Treatment Of Als ( Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis )

What is ALS ( amyotrophic lateral sclerosis )?

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. In ALS nerves die off. As a result, muscles becoming weaker and stiffer. Move, eat, talk and breathe go harder. ALS usually worsens rapidly, in a few years. ALS affects 2 to 3 out of 100,000 people.

What is the cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ( ALS )?

In order to be able to move the muscles get a signal from the brains via the nerves. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ( ALS ), the nerve cells die in the spinal cord and in the lower part of the brains gradually decreases. How this is, is not clear.

The broken nerves give any signals through to the muscles. The result is that the muscles do not work (well) and go movements more difficult.

What are the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ( ALS )?

ALS often begins with muscle weakness in the arms or legs, or with speaking or swallowing problems. The first symptoms are usually not so clear: clumsiness, difficulty getting walking, frequent stumbling, more often choking or trouble talking clearly.

The strength in your arms, legs and trunk gradually decreases. Walk and hold things for example are more difficult. When muscles are rarely used, they are thinner. They can also stiffen. For small motions, you can get cramps in the muscles of the hands, feet and calves and the muscles in the mouth. Because of the disruption of the nervous system, you may suffer from minor muscle twitching under the skin.
If you move less, you can get moisture in the legs (edema).

As the muscles of your mouth and throat become weaker, is swallowing more and more difficult and chokes on you more often. Many people with AS suffer from too much saliva. They can't good chokes up and I can't close the lips well.

Talk is at IF more difficult, it takes more effort to be heard.

The respiratory muscles are also weaker. In the beginning, the breathing especially at night less well. You may get short of breath, restless sleep, not flat may lie, morning headache, fatigue and drowsiness during the day.

Thinking and feeling
In ALS, most people remain normal feeling and thinking. Some ALS patients notice that their memory is deteriorating and that they can plan worse. The senses (to see, hear, smell, taste and touch) remain usually work well. You can still suffer from uncontrolled crying, laughing or yawning a lot.

As you move less, you can get muscle aches and joint pain. There is also the risk of bedsores.

In a later stage of ALS constipation can occur. This often has to do with drink less, exercise less, and medication side effects.

The heart muscle is not weaker in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Life expectancy in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ( ALS )

How quickly the disease is different for each person. On average, people with ALS three to five years after diagnosis. Approximately 20% of ALS patients live longer than 5 years after the first symptoms.

Treatment of the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ( ALS )

If you have ALS has been diagnosed with ALS a team of a rehabilitation center or hospital will guide you. Your neurologist will refer you to such an ALS team.

An ALS team usually consists of a neurologist, rehabilitation physician, nurse or ALS consultant, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, dietician, social worker and psychologist. You discuss regularly with the physiatrist of the ALS team what care you need.

On the website of the ALS center you will find extensive information on:

*food and ALS
*how can I continue to do things (occupational therapy) as long as possible own
*advise on problems with walking, sitting and moving (physiotherapy)
*how as well as possible means of communication and swallowing (speech therapy)
*processing the diagnosis of ALS

In ALS, you need more and more. Care home It is advisable to there, along with your neighbors, to think about it on time and to request care on time.

PEG tube
If you get more problems with swallowing problems, can be left. A PEG tube This is a tube that comes through the abdominal wall into the stomach. A gastrointestinal liver doctor places the PEG under local anesthesia. Through the PEG tube you get liquid diet and medications directly into the stomach. For many people with ALS PEG improves the quality of life and longevity. You can still eat with others as long as you can swallow properly.

Mouth Nose Cap
If your breathing gets worse, you can mouth nose cap to use at night. People with ALS often have less anxiety at night, morning headaches and other symptoms caused by the deterioration of breathing. They feel better during the day. Also extends a mouth nose cap lifetime thing.
The mouth nose cap is not suitable for daytime. If this cap not help enough, you face the choice to opt for ventilation through an opening of the trachea in the neck (tracheostomy) or not. You get comprehensive information about the advantages and disadvantages of respiration by the Center for Home Ventilation (CTB).

How is the diagnosis made ​​amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS )?

There is no specific test to diagnose the condition. ALS If the neurologist suspects that you have ALS, he usually refers you to a hospital of the ALS Center. Here you will be further investigated. They see if you might have any other disease that explain your symptoms. If it is not, says the neurologist of the ALS Center diagnosing ALS.

Medications in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ( ALS )

There are no medications that cure ALS or stop.

The drug riluzole may slow ALS something, and so prolong life slightly (an average of 3 to 6 months). You can discuss with your neurologist or you would like to use this medicine.

Against symptoms such as muscle spasms, pain, shortness of breath, constipation and uncontrollable laughter, crying or yawning, your doctor may prescribe medication.

The last phase of life in ALS

People with ALS are often afraid that they die from suffocation. However, research shows that most people die quietly. Because breathing is less, there is more carbon dioxide in the blood. This ensures that people are becoming more dazed and restful sleep.

Some people with ALS ( amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ) to capture all their wishes for the simpulan stage of the disease at an early stage, others do so later. It is important that you discuss your needs before communicating difficult. Your doctor can discuss whether you want to be ventilated and whether you want to be in a crisis or not. Resuscitated Also the possibility of euthanasia you can discuss with your doctor.

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