ALS Risk Factors and Complications
“Around the time that he turned 50, we noticed the changes. Bill gradually focused intently on his long surrendered dream of owning a jewelry store. His father had managed a small retail diamond business and Bill learned the trade, but became a lawyer. When his symptoms worsened, he exhibited many of the typical signs. He spoke incessantly of an imaginary inventory of sterling silver rings and earrings while actually making contact with several wholesale suppliers of sterling silver jewelry. He kept trying to order hundreds of sterling silver rings in all sorts of designs while going on about the new store he was having custom-built as a large diamond. His jewelry obsession manifested itself in a behavior diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease, a common risk factor with ALS.”
There are several risk factors for ALS, which may include:
* Heredity – as mentioned previously, up to 10 percent of people suffering from ALS have inherited from their parents. If you’ve inherited ALS, your children have a 50 – 50 chance of developing this disease themselves.
* Age – Most commonly, ALS occurs in people that are between the ages of 40 and 60.
* Sex – Prior to the age of 65, more men than women develop ALS; however, the difference disappears after the age of 70.
* Geography / Dietary – People living in certain parts of Japan, Guam, and West New Guinea have an increased risk of developing ALS, which leads to diet as being a contributing factor.
* Military service – Strangely, recent studies seem to indicate that people who have served in the military may actually be at higher risk of contracting ALS.
As ALS progresses, one or more of the following complications may arise:
The muscles needed to breathe are eventually paralyzed by ALS, leading to this disease’s most common cause of death: respiratory failure. Some people opt to have a tracheostomy to use the full time help of a respirator that inflates and deflates their lungs.
As the muscles that control swallowing are affected, people suffering from ALS often develop malnutrition and dehydration. They also run the risk of aspirating food, liquids and secretions into their lungs, which can lead to pneumonia.
People with ALS are at higher risk of developing dementia and dementia-related conditions, including:
* Frontotemporal dementia
* Alzheimer’s disease
** Update **
There is no reason that these symptoms should go unchecked, ever. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms see a doctor immediately! Many problems can be easily situated with knowledge of the issue. Early detection can mean the difference between life & death. There is nothing wrong with going to the doctor to see what is causing an issue. If you do not have access to insurance or a regular family physician please go to the emergency room to be examined in any case of emergency. A wait to see attitude has been the downfall of many people. Don’t let it be your demise!