Understanding the Severity of an ALS Disease—What to Know

someone on a wheelchair

If your loved one has ALS, it can be quite difficult for them to go through each stage, and challenging for you to watch their body slowly deteriorate and give in to the disease. ALS works by targeting the brain’s neurons and the body’s muscles.

The rate that ALS impacts a person can differ depending on their current condition. If you believe your family member is showing signs of ALS, it’s crucial to see a doctor for consultation and a corresponding diagnosis immediately. While the early stage does not include severe symptoms, allowing a healthcare specialist to provide a diagnosis can give you and your family adequate time to prepare for your loved one’s unfortunate condition.

At present, there is still no known cure for ALS. The best thing to do is seek home health care for your loved ones to help them control the symptoms and focus on providing them comfort and support while going through physical, mental, and emotional pain. Keep reading below to learn more about ALS to help everyone prepare for the toughest time of your loved one’s life.

What is ALS?

ALS is short for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It’s a disease that negatively impacts one’s neurons and muscles, forcing the body to fall into paralysis during the mid and late stages. The ailment is progressive, so its symptoms do not get better and instead, become much worse in the long run.

What Happens in the Early Stages?

If your patient is undergoing the early stages of ALS, you must take them to see a doctor ASAP to find out if they’re facing ALS or a different medical condition. Receiving an early diagnosis can aid your family and your patient to develop a long-term plan, such as in-home health care.

Receiving professional care works to control the symptoms of ALS and assure your patient that while there is no cure for their sickness, they can expect to receive the highest quality care possible. Once a health specialist confirms that your loved one indeed has ALS, you can proceed with initiating the necessary actions to care for your loved one in the best way.

How is ALS Diagnosed?

Every patient that undergoes ALS has different experiences during the first few stages. The symptoms during that time involve witnessing your patient get muscle cramps and feel weaker than usual. When their muscles twitch involuntarily, it is also an early sign of ALS.

Other possible symptoms of the disease are chronic fatigue and gradually losing motivation, lack of balance and having a hard time walking, recurring headaches, and a slurred speech. If your loved one is positive for any of the symptoms, their doctor could let them go through multiple exams to confirm if it’s ALS before you can start considering hospice care.

What are the Stages of ALS?

Early Stage

During the early stage of ALS, it’s the time where your loved one can experience the early symptoms indicating that they are a candidate for the disease. However, not everyone experiencing ALS is often limited to having the early signs alone.

Middle stage

The middle stage involves symptoms like muscle paralysis, having a hard time standing up, experiencing breathing issues, and feeling muscle pain all over the body. Through home nursing care, your loved one with ALS can have a less difficult time managing the symptoms because they aren’t on their own and can look forward to receiving proper care.

Late Stage

The final stage of ALS, late stage, includes severe symptoms. These are extreme muscle paralysis, your loved one’s inability to talk nor eat, intense breathing problems, long-lasting headaches, and severe fatigue.

Conclusion

Similar to health diseases that remain incurable up to this day, ALS is a complicated illness that leaves plenty of families torn between letting their loved ones stay in the hospital or choosing 24/7 home care. The first step to giving you and your family an easier time caring for your sick loved one is to accept that ALS cannot be cured. That way, you can focus on giving your patient the care, comfort, and love they need during their last few months with you.

Are you looking to hire a home care agency in Colorado for your family member? Gateway Home Health Hospice offers high-quality home-based patient care with the help of our professional clinicians and therapists. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our health services!

 

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