Your GP will look at your family`s medical history as well as your signs and symptoms. Your neurologist and primary care physician may perform a physical and neurological exam, which may include: Ask your therapist to borrow or rent equipment such as tablets with text-to-speech apps or computing devices with synthesized speech that can help you communicate. You may need an integrated team of doctors trained in many fields and other health professionals to ensure your care. This could prolong your survival and improve your quality of life. An occupational therapist can also help you modify your home so that it is accessible if you have trouble walking safely. Respiratory care. You may have more difficulty breathing as your muscles weaken. Doctors can test your breathing regularly and provide you with equipment to support your breathing at night. They can choose mechanical ventilation to help you breathe. Doctors insert a tube into a surgically created hole in the front of your neck that leads to your trachea (tracheostomy) connected to a ventilator. A physical therapist can also help you adjust to an orthosis, walker or wheelchair, and may suggest devices such as ramps to help you get around. Physiotherapy. A physiotherapist can address pain, walking, mobility, tension, and equipment needs that will help you stay independent.
Practicing low-load exercises can help maintain your cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and freedom of movement for as long as possible. Your team will help you choose the treatments that are right for you. You have the right to choose or refuse any of the treatments offered. Regular exercise can also help improve your well-being. Proper stretching can help prevent pain and help your muscles function optimally. You can first consult your GP about the signs and symptoms of ALS. Then your doctor will likely refer you to a doctor trained in nervous system conditions (neurologist) for further evaluation. Our team of caring experts at Mayo Clinic can help you with your health issues related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Start here Learning that you have ALS can be devastating. The following tips can help you and your family cope with this: Muscle abnormalities seen in an EMG can help doctors diagnose or rule out ALS. An EMG can also help guide your exercise therapy.
Occupational therapy. An occupational therapist can help you find ways to stay independent despite weakness in your hands and arms. Adaptive devices can help you perform activities such as dressing, grooming, feeding, and bathing. Speech therapy. A speech-language pathologist can teach you coping techniques to make your language more understandable. Speech-language pathologists can also help you explore other methods of communication, such as an alphabet chart or pen and paper. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is difficult to diagnose early because it can mimic other neurological diseases. Tests to rule out other conditions may include: Treatments may not reverse the damage of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but they may slow the progression of symptoms, prevent complications, and make you more comfortable and independent. You may need many tests to diagnose your condition, which can be stressful and frustrating. These strategies can give you a greater sense of control.
Electromyogram (EMG). Your doctor inserts a needle electrode through your skin into different muscles. The test assesses the electrical activity of your muscles when they contract and when they are at rest. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to relieve other symptoms, including: Make decisions about your future medical care now. Planning for the future allows you to have control over decisions about your life and care. With the help of your doctor, palliative care nurse, or social worker, you can decide if you want certain procedures that prolong life. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Care at the Mayo Clinic Clinical trials of promising drugs and treatments for ALS are ongoing. You can also decide where you want to spend your last days. You may want to consider palliative care options.
Planning for the future can help you and your loved ones calm your fears. .