• J. L. Campbell

How Medical Marijuana May Help Ease the Symptoms of ALS


There are currently 30,000 Americans suffering from ALS. This progressive neuromuscular disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has no cure and can be very difficult to live with, not only for those who have the condition but for the loved ones that must stand by as the muscle control of the person they care for continues to worsen.


There is good news for Missouri residents affected by ALS. While a cure may have yet to be found, those with a Missouri medical marijuana card may find that cannabis can provide relief for many of the symptoms of this condition.


What Is ALS?


ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. The disease directly affects the nervous system - specifically the nerve cells in the brain and spine. The symptoms of ALS worsen with time.


On their website, the ALS Association explains that “amyotrophic” means “no muscle nourishment.” According to Medline, when a person develops ALS, the neurons in their brain and spinal cord are under attack, making it difficult and eventually impossible to control muscle movements.


ALS is also sometimes referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” At the time Lou Gehrig developed ALS, he was perhaps the most high profile case of the disease. After being diagnosed, the legendary New York Yankee had to retire from his major league baseball career. Two years later, he died, just shy of his 38th birthday. His wife, Eleanor, dedicated the rest of her life to ALS research.


What Are the symptoms of ALS?


According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the first signs of ALS typically appear in the arm or hand. They typically appear when simple tasks suddenly become difficult, such as writing, opening a door with a key, or buttoning a shirt. Sometimes, similar signs will occur when symptoms affect a single leg, causing a person to trip or stumble more often or resulting in awkwardness when walking or running.


Early Symptoms of ALS Include:

  • Muscle twitches in arm, leg, shoulders or tongue

  • Muscle cramps

  • Muscle weakness in an arm, leg, neck, or diaphragm

  • Slurred speech

  • Nasal speech

  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing

  • Stiff and tight muscles

Because ALS is a progressive disease, the symptoms will worsen with time. The lack of muscle control leads to a lack of movement, which causes muscles to atrophy. Over time, those with ALS may develop problems speaking or forming words, swallowing, breathing issues, and difficulty with any sort of movement.


Eventually, individuals with ALS will no longer be able to stand, walk, or get up on their own. Although this disease may make a person unable to speak, their brain cognition is typically still intact, which means they will still be able to reason. Because of this, they are witness to the breakdown of their body.This often leads to anxiety and depression. Sadly, those who suffer from ALS will eventually lose the ability to breathe on their own and must depend on a ventilator.


Most ALS Cases Are Sporadic


Unfortunately, the cause of ALS is still unknown. While about 5% of ALS patients may have developed the condition due to genetic factors, approximately 90% of ALS cases are sporadic. That means the cause of ALS is unknown.


There are certain factors that will put a person at higher risk for developing ALS. Anyone can develop the condition, regardless of these, however, ALS is more common in caucasians, men, and those between the ages of 55 and 75.


How Can Medical Marijuana Help Ease ALS Symptoms?


The natural healing properties of cannabis are helping more than a hundred thousand Missouri residents. Medical marijuana is proving an effective treatment for hundreds of medical conditions, and among those who are finding relief are patients who suffer from ALS.


ALS Worldwide has stated that “cannabis may be particularly useful in treating ALS symptoms such as appetite loss, depression, pain, muscular spasticity, excess saliva and weakness.”


The St. Louis chapter of ALS Connect praises medical marijuana’s ability to “help with insomnia, speech and swallowing.” They go on to state, “In addition to the physical relief cannabis use can provide, it can also have a positive emotional and mental impact, improving attitude, hopefulness, stress and anxiety. All of this combined can make living with ALS easier.”


While there is no cure for ALS, medical marijuana may provide some relief to those who suffer from this condition, giving them a better quality of life. ALS patients who are aware of what their body is going through often experience high levels of anxiety. The properties of cannabis are widely known to have anti-anxiety affects.


Similarly, many ALS patients will experience bouts of depression as they watch their condition progressively worsen. Studies show that medical marijuana may be able to help those who suffer from depression.


You and Your Loved Ones Deserve Relief


If you are ready to utilize cannabis to help reduce the symptoms of ALS, you’ll need a Missouri medical marijuana card. If you or a loved one need help getting your medical card, we’re here to help! Our team of doctors are standing by to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. Schedule an appointment with a marijuana physician online by CLICKING HERE, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.


 

Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.


Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!


Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri!

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