Diagnosing ALS

ALS is one of those diseases that is very difficult to diagnose. There is no one test that will definitively tell you whether or not you have ALS. Most likely, you will need to have a thorough clinical examination and a series of diagnostic tests before a diagnosis of ALS can be established. Basically, other diseases that mimic ALS are ruled out first before a diagnosis of ALS is given.

Diseases to Rule Out Before Diagnosing ALS
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Guillain Barre Syndrome
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Post-Polio Syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Tumor at the base of the spine
  • Spinal cord tumor
  • Spinal Cord Cyst
  • Inflammatory disease of muscle

The Following Tests Are Commonly Conducted:
  • an electromyography (EMG) - a special recording device that detects electrical activity in muscles
  • a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) - abnormalities may suggest damage to the peripheral nerves or a muscle disease other than ALS
  • a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - takes a detailed image of the brain and spinal cord
  • a chelation challenge test - measures the output of heavy metals through a 24 hour urine test
  • thyroid and parathyroid tests
Several ALS organizations recommend that you get a second opinion from an ALS "expert" if you have been given the diagnosis of ALS. The reason is that there are several diseases that have similar symptoms as ALS and most of these conditions are treatable. An ALS expert is someone who diagnoses and treats many ALS patients.

The ALS Association www.alsa.org maintains a list of recognized experts in the field of ALS.

Visit or return to our page on Natural Therapies for Neurological Health.

View our Suggested Diet for ALS page.

More Information on Alternative Support Therapies for ALS
Other Useful Information for People with ALS

Useful Tests
The following tests may be extremely useful for people to both tailor your therapeutic supplements program and to chart your progress.
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Detoxification Therapy
There is growing evidence that environmental toxins play a major role
in numerous neurological disorders.
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pH Balance Therapy
A balanced body pH is crucial to any healing program. The cause of disease, according many experts, is over acidification, from diet, stress, toxins, etc.
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Antioxidant Therapy
Most of you have heard of antioxidants and know that they are good for you.  Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals. 
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Herbal Therapy
Herbs that have beneficial properties
to support neurological health.
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Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins & minerals that can be useful for people with neurological symptoms.
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Viral & Bacterial Support
Scientists have long surmised that
there may be an infectious component to neurological symptoms, and while
this has not been proven, it would be prudent to take natural and safe substances that effectively rid the body of viruses, bacteria and mycoplasma. 
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Supportive Supplements
Here is an additional list of supplements that may also be helpful for people with neurological challenges. 
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ALS Links and Resources
The following organizations may
provide much useful information for people with ALS/MND.
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Causes of ALS
While the actual cause of ALS/MND remains unknown, there are presently several theories being put forward. 
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Early Symptoms of ALS
The onset of ALS/MND is often very subtle – these are the initial symptoms to watch for.
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Genetic Testing for ALS
ALS/MND is hereditary in only 10 percent of families.  The vast majority of ALS cases are sporadic, meaning that although there is likely a genetic predisposition involved, ALS is not directly inherited in a family. 
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Diagnosing ALS
ALS/MND is one of those diseases that is very difficult to diagnose.  There is no one test that will definitively tell you whether you have ALS. 
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ALS and Dental Amalgams
The use of mercury “silver” amalgams in dental fillings has been an accepted practice in the United States for more than one hundred years.  Therefore, most people assume that their “silver” fillings are safe and non-toxic. Not so.
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Dietary Regimen for ALS
This part of the ALS/MND protocol requires following a very specific dietary regime. This may be the most challenging aspect for many people with ALS. 
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Medications for ALS
There are various medications that are being prescribed for people with ALS/MND as their symptoms progress.
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Stem Cell Therapy
There is a huge and widespread interest in the ALS/MND community in stem cell therapy, both in how it is helping people with ALS today and how it may benefit people with ALS in the future. 
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Thank you for visiting our page on Diagnosing ALS!