Chronic Disease Series: ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
ALS was thrown into the spotlight last year with the massive popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge. This viral trend was meant to raise awareness, but you might be left wondering just how the disease affects those who suffer from it. Whether you’re currently living with ALS or just looking to learn more about the disease, in this blog, Simplefill outlines some of its basic facts and ways to go about managing symptoms.
What is ALS?
ALS is short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This neurological disease attacks motor neurons, which in turn impairs the body’s ability to control movement. ALS prevents the brain from delivering messages to the rest of the body via the spinal cord, ultimately resulting in complete paralysis.
Why is it often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease?
Although ALS was first detected in the 1860s, it didn’t garner much attention until it ended MLB player Lou Gehrig’s career in 1939.
Who is Affected by ALS?
The demographic most frequently diagnosed with ALS is men and women between the ages of 40 and 70. Currently, 30,000 Americans are living with the disease.
Does ALS Have a Cure?
Right now, ALS is an irreversible disease. However, there are some important ALS medication options that have been shown to slow symptoms. If you’ve been diagnosed, it’s essential to get the right ALS treatment for your situation in order to enjoy a better quality of life.
What are Some Treatment Options Available?
Riluzole is the only FDA-approved medication for ALS and works by slowing its progression. It also helps manage the symptoms of ALS, some of which are:
- Slurring of speech
- Difficulty walking
An integrative approach to your treatment allows for better management of the disease. Though the most noticeable toll ALS takes is on your mobility, it’s also important to take care of the other facets of your health. Occupational therapy, counseling, and speech therapy offer important ways to make living with ALS a little bit easier. Remember that taking care of yourself is not just remembering to take your medication, but covering all aspects of your self-care.
With a holistic approach to your treatment and ALS medication assistance from Simplefill, you have the power to take control of this chronic disease. It’s difficult managing the symptoms of ALS, so start making small steps today to embark on a journey to your best health.