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Trouble swallowing. ALS fears again. This time, the fear is debilitating.

First off, im embarrassed to be here writing this. I was doing better, so I thought.

About 10 days ago I began having troUble swallowing.

Food gets stuck at the back of my throat, or I have to consciously make myself swallow.

Sometimes, it feels like there is a constant lump in my throat, like food didn't properly go down all the way.

I tried to resist, but I had to google the symptoms.

Of course, this brought up the ALS fears, again😩

Now I'm thinking back to my original complaints of feeing short of breath, to now having issues swallowing. It all just lines up that I could have respiratory onset ALS.

My rational brain looks at the numbers and figures. I way. In a disease which is incredibly rare, it's even more rare to get it before 50, and if that, it's even more rare to get the respitory onset as the most rare form o ALS. So that's extremely rare, of very rare, of extremely rare.

But, here I am.

I'm begging for help here. I'm at a low point again. Thought I was doin better, in fact, I was for about a month.

Now I'm terrified again.

9 Replies

MrWorryMaster, worry not, in the past two weeks there have been three people posting on this forum with the trouble swallowing/constant lump in the throat symptom and I will tell you what ai told them. It is called Globus Hystericus and the clue is in the second part of the name. It is indeed a well recognised symptom of anxiety disorder and I myself had it as far back as 20 years ago. They sent me to the local hospital for a barium meal scan which revealed - nothing physically wrong. The reassurance of the scan plus finding out that it is a recognised psychsomatic complaint made me completely forget about it until a few weeks later when I remembered it and asked myself: "Where ever has that lump in my throat gone".

May I suggest (specially as I don't know what ALS is but I'll check it out in a moment) that you just check this out with your doctor for complete reassurance - but this sounds to me like classic Globus Hystericus which will cease to trouble you once you decide to accept it and cease to stress yourself over it.

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Thanks Jeff,

To summarize, ALS is Lou Gherig's Disease, or what Stephen Hawking Has. It's a progressive disease and it's incredibly scary and deadly.

It's hard for me to chock up so many physical symptoms to anxiety. I have such a long list of them now that it's easy to see how I can interpret them as some of these more serious diseases.

Over a year ago I complained about shortness of breath. That started it all. From that point on I've jumped around quite a bit to other diseases. Mostly all of them have been ruled out.

I haven't been to a neurologist so I can't rule out ALS. Maybe that's the problem. I dunno.

Now, with over 14months of being worried every day, all day, about disease and dying and not being there for my kids. I just don't know whats real anymore with these physical symptoms. The swallowing issue is a brand new one.

THe only thing which points away from ALS is that it is a progressive disease and typically has a 1-5 year lifespan once symptoms occur.

I first complained about shortness of breath about 14 months ago. So I've used up 1/5 of my time (at best) if I truly did have this disease. Also, by this point I should have lost use of some of my extremities, or had more dire physical symptoms.

My symptoms tend to jump around. THe constant of shortness of breath is always there. But I can't really say that it's worse than the day it started.

It's more than likely that this is all anxiety. It's just the hardest thing I've every come across to deal with. I can't seem to beat it.


Hi Mrworrymaster, I've been interested in medical matters ever since I can remembrr and I'd never heard of ALS, to me that means it's a very obscure disease and the chances of anybody catching it are next to nothing. Sometimes outsiders can see things more clearly than we do ourselves and from everything you say, specially in your longer second post it's clear to me that all the symptoms you have/are experiencing are the result of health anxiety or general anxiety disorder. But somehow you have settled on ALS with the help of an over sensitised nervous system and some support from Doctor Google maybe amd this has become an idee fixee, as the French say, or an obsession which you are loathe to let go of.

With respect, what I think you are not taking into account is the way that sensitised nerves can mirror almost every physical illness there is. Most people on this forum have had heart attack, palpitations, dizziness, every known form of cancer, cirohsis of the liver and bowel disease but we're still here to tell the tale. Why? Because we didn't actually have the diseases, only the symptoms caused by tired and frazzled nerves. They were all fake and fraudulent but at the time they were so real to us. And I categorically assure you that you are following the same path as we did before we learned the truth about what the nervous system can inflict on us and you most certainly do not have ALS and are not going to die any time soon.

I have only written a couple of new posts on this forum and the first is headlined 'Anxiety takes many forms but it is always still anxiety'. Allow me to be as immodest as to ask you to read it, just click on jeff43 on this post and it should take you to it. For just 3 or 4 minutes of your time it will tell you why we become anxious, what form it takes, what symptoms and illnesses it can mimic - and the method that has been successfully used for over 40 years to bring recovery to many, many thousands of people.

I think you should ask to see a neurologist, maybe it will give some reassurance (I think we know what he is going to tell you) and there is every chance that so strong is your belief that whenhe says "No neurological disorders" you will still think he has missed something and you do have ALS. Because we've all done it, thinking that we know more than some doctor or specialist who went to medical school for 5 years and has the experience of seeing a dozen patients every day for years.

If you do read my post then you will see mention of a book written by a woman doctor who cured herself of anxiety and then went on to share her method of recovery with hundreds ofthousands around the world. She claimed that everybody could recover using her method, no exceptions, and that includes you.

Sooner of later you will come to the same conclusion as the rest of us, we've been victim to a massive confidence trick by our nervous systems. For the sake of yourself and your family I hope you come to that conclusion sooner rather than later.


Thank you, Jeff.

I've read through your posts, and I plan on getting the material from Mrs. Claire.

Once the physical symptoms start to hit, it's so difficult to push past this health anxiety.


Been where you are with this exact fear I lived every day for months thinking I had this constantly focusing on it and nothing else unable to be there for my kids I think of all the time I wasted unable to go outside of my room and just live life because I sat and did nothing but worry and read about als watch YouTube videos on it study it and think I had it and sitting here now I can't even remember why I even thought this and literally it took over my life! best thing for you to do is go see your Dr and tell them your fear if you haven't already Thats what helped me get out of my head with all this anyways I'm sure your fine and your symptoms are just anxiety I hope you start having clarity and feeling better soon.

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Thanks Andrea,

I brought it up to my Dr. once. He laughed and said there was no way. He said he's seen one patient with it in 35 years, and it's extremely rare, and thank god for that.

He told me to get it out of my head that there is anything wrong with me physically and to start working on my mental health.

The funny thing is that what started my ALS fears were some intermittent twitches in my right hand. They haven't been back for months now.

I've done all the same reading and the same you tube videos research (we've probably watched the same ones) and now I'm just piecing together symptoms. At first, it was just the twitching. But then I read that the twitching is usually a last sign. It's typically weakness which hits first. THen, bang theres the weakness.

I've kind of gotten past that, but then I started having trouble swallowing. So then I remembered about the respiratory onset (the most rare and deadly version of ALS) and it all clicked. I started with shortness of breath over a year ago, now trouble swallowing, and then it all came together in my fearful manic. I have the most rare and deadly version of ALS. Basically trembling in the bathroom terrified of losing my family.

I'm somewhat better today. Jeff's words helped alot. I still have the swallowing issue. But I guess I"m going to have to just try to move on with it and hope it goes away.

Over the course of 15 months I've thought I've had so many deadly diseases, I'm just exhausted.

I'm anxious because I feel ill, and I feel ill because I'm anxious.

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You are going to be o.k., Mrworrymaster, these fake symptoms will disappear once you frame your mind towards Acceptance as described in Claire Weekes' life changing book. I know they feel real enough now but they are fraudulent, they are toothless paper tigers that may frighten us but can't kill or physically harm us. It's time to call their bluff - instead of concentrating on illnesses you DON'T have, concentrate on the one illness you DO have: health anxiety which is straight forward to treat. All troubles pass and so will your's.

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Sounds very similar to acid reflux!


That would be the logical persons reasoning!

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