What Is ALS?

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurological condition that affects the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. It causes these nerve cells to degenerate and die, leading to a loss of muscle control.

ALS is a progressive disease, which means the symptoms tend to worsen over time. Eventually, a person may be unable to speak, eat, move, or even breathe. 

It’s also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease in the U.S., named after the famous baseball player who retired early because of his ALS diagnosis. There are currently no treatment options for ALS to arrest or reverse its progression. However, some of its symptoms can be mitigated.

How Does ALS Affect Your Life?

The exact cause of ALS is unknown, although evidence suggests that both environment and genetics play a role in acquiring it. Approximately five to ten percent of ALS cases are inherited from a parent. 

Identifying the right treatment options for ALS symptoms can be challenging since the symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, depending on which nerves are affected. 

Signs of ALS include:

  1. Cramps and twitches in the arm, shoulder, leg, or tongue
  2. Muscle tightness or stiffness (spasticity)
  3. Muscle weakness in a limb, the neck, or diaphragm
  4. Slurred speech or inappropriate yawning, crying, or laughing
  5. Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  6. Clumsiness and difficulty walking

Early symptoms of ALS usually manifest in the hand or arm, causing difficulty with activities like eating, writing, or buttoning a shirt. It may also affect the leg and cause you to stumble or trip while walking.

As it progresses, it can lead to increased muscle weakness and atrophy and spread to other parts of the body. Individuals may develop problems moving, speaking, swallowing, and even breathing. While there’s no known cure for ALS, targeted treatment options can help manage some of these symptoms.

Medical Cannabis for ALS

Common treatments for Lou Gehrig’s disease include physical, speech, respiratory, occupational, and nutritional therapies. This is often accompanied by a multidrug regimen, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, glutamate antagonists, and more. 

Remarkably, research shows that cannabis appears to have activity in all of those areas. Studies have indicated that cannabinoids may even help slow the progression of the disease. At the moment, medical cannabis is considered a treatment option to help ALS patients deal with a variety of symptoms, including spasticity, drooling, depression, stress, and insomnia. At the very least, it has the potential to noticeably improve the quality of life for someone with ALS.

Qualify for Medical Cannabis in a Minute or Less

Texas 420 Doctors is proud to help eligible Texans access medical cannabis. If you or your loved ones suffer from ALS, you can book a telemedicine appointment with one of our doctors. Each of them is CURT-registered and board-certified. Post your evaluation, you’ll receive everything you need to order medical cannabis from your local dispensary, including your approval letter and dispensary recommendations. 

Learn more about our yearly medical cannabis services. Reach out to us if you have questions about our service or medical cannabis treatment options for ALS.

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