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ALS

Coastal Wellness Centers -  - Medical Cannabis Physician

Coastal Wellness Centers

Medical Cannabis Physicians located in Ormond Beach, FL & Deland, FL

About 16,000 women and men in the US suffer from ALS, which damages nerve cells in your spinal cord and brain, preventing your muscles from getting the signals they need to move and stay healthy. While there is not a cure for ALS, medical cannabis provided by the team at Coastal Wellness Centers in Ormond Beach and DeLand, Florida, alleviates symptoms and may slow the disease’s progression. If you or a loved one has ALS, contact Coastal Wellness Centers physicians Joseph Rosado, MD, Kathryne Gunn, DO, or Alyn L. Benezette, DO, today by phone or online form.

ALS Q & A

 

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord. As the nerves degenerate, they scar and harden, preventing them from sending signals to your muscles. Without stimulation and nourishment, your muscles atrophy. 

People often refer to ALS as Lou Gehrig’s disease, because the beloved New York Yankees Hall of Famer had to give up his impressive baseball career due to ALS in 1939, and he died just two years later. Physicist Stephen Hawking and many other athletes, musicians, and celebrities have suffered from ALS. 

 

What are some symptoms of ALS?

The disease progression in ALS is so slow, you may not realize that anything’s wrong. Early symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Trouble standing straight
  • Difficulty accomplishing simple tasks
  • Weakness in your limbs
  • Insomnia
  • Excess saliva and mucus
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Emotional outbursts 

After getting an ALS diagnosis, 50% of patients live for at least three years, 20% live for five or more years, and up to 10% live for more than 10 years. A small percentage live 20 years or more with the disease.

 

How do doctors treat ALS?

The damage caused by ALS can’t be undone, and the disease has no cure. However, several medications help alleviate symptoms and may extend life by a few months. Medications include:

  • Edaravone: Intravenous antioxidant that may prevent some nerve damage
  • Riluzole: Oral drug that reduces glutamate to control nerve damage
  • Glycopyrrolate: Controls excessive saliva
  • Baclofen: Muscle relaxant

Your doctor may also prescribe physical therapy to help keep your muscles strong, pain relievers, and speech therapy. A promising new therapy for ALS is medical cannabis, which alleviates many symptoms and may extend life for three years or more.

 

How does medical cannabis help ALS patients?

Medical cannabis contains hundreds of chemicals that interact with your body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS controls a wide variety of your functions, including:

  • Appetite and digestion
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep
  • Skin and nerve function
  • Muscle formation
  • Motor control
  • Stress

Medical cannabis interacts with your ECS to alleviate many of the symptoms of ALS. They enhance the effects of the cannabinoids that your body naturally produces to alleviate symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Pain
  • Muscle spasticity

Your Coastal Wellness Centers team chooses the right variety and type of medical cannabis treatment for your unique range of symptoms. They may recommend both oral and topical types of medical cannabis to improve your quality of life.

To find out if you qualify for medical cannabis treatment to alleviate symptoms of ALS, phone the friendly Coastal Wellness Centers team today or use the convenient online form.