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Online Medical Symptom Checker  Symptoms & Signs Index
   Weakness
 
Definition:
Reduction in the strength of one or more muscles
 
Medical terms related to weakness :
Lack of strength, Muscle weakness
 
Causes of weakness: 
Metabolic causes:
o
Addison Disease:
Adrenal gland insufficiency characterized by weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, low blood pressure, and sometimes darkening of the skin in both exposed and nonexposed parts of the body;called also Hypocortisolism.
o
Thyrotoxicosis:
Excessive functional activity of the thyroid gland marked especially by increased metabolic rate, possibly enlargement of the thyroid gland, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure.

Neurologic causes:
o Diabetic Neuropathy
o Stroke (often localized weakness)
o Bell's palsy (unilateral facial nerve palsy)
o A nerve impingement syndrome such as a slipped disk in the spine
o Multiple sclerosis (may be localized)
o
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS):
A rare fatal disease that affects pyramidal motor neurons, usually begins in middle age, and is characterized by increasing and spreading muscular weakness; called also Lou Gehrig's disease.
o
Cerebral Palsy:
A disabling disease causing damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth and manifested by muscular incoordination and speech disturbances.
o
Guillain-Barre Syndrome:
An acute progressive polyneuritis of unknown cause characterized by muscle weakness and paralysis;called also Landry's paralysis.

Primary Muscular Diseases:
o
Myasthenia Gravis:
A disease marked by progressive weakness and exhaustibility of voluntary muscles without atrophy or sensory disturbance and caused by an autoimmune attack on acetylcholine receptors at neuromuscular junctions.
o
Muscular Dystrophy:
A group of hereditary diseases marked by progressive wasting of muscles; called also progressive muscular dystrophy.
o Becker muscular dystrophy
o Myotonic dystrophy
o
Dermatomyositis:
An inflammatory disorder of the skin and underlying tissue, including the muscles.

Toxic causes:
o Organophosphate poisoning (insecticides, nerve gas)
o Paralytic shellfish poisoning
o
Botulism:
A highly fatal food poisoning caused by botulinum toxin produced in food by a bacterium of the genus Clostridium (C. botulinum) and characterized by muscle weakness and paralysis, disturbances of vision, swallowing, and speech.
o
Polymyositis:
An inflammatory disease of muscles and especially skeletal muscles that is marked typically by weakness usually of the proximal muscles (as of the pectoral or pelvic girdles or of the neck), muscle and joint pain, pneumonia, and cardiac abnormalities (as arrhythmia or myocarditis).

Other:
o Charcot-Marie-Tooth-Disease
o Electrolyte imbalances
o Malignant tumors
o Malnutrition
o
Multiple Sclerosis (MS):
A demyelinating disease marked by patches of hardened tissue in the brain or the spinal cord and associated especially with partial or complete paralysis and jerking muscle tremor.
o
Polymyositis:
An inflammatory disease of muscles and especially skeletal muscles that is marked typically by weakness usually of the proximal muscles (as of the pectoral or pelvic girdles or of the neck), muscle and joint pain, pneumonia, and cardiac abnormalities (as arrhythmia or myocarditis).
o Sprains and Strains
o Stroke

 
Call your doctor if weakness is accompanied by: 
o Localized weakness( for example legs)
o Prolonged, unexplained weakness
o Sudden onset of weakness
o Weakness following a viral illness

 
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include: 
o Thyroid function tests
o Blood tests such as a CBC and electrolytes
o Blood tests for autoimmune disorders
o Urine tests (urinalysis)
o Nerve conduction studies
o Lumbar puncture
o MRI or Cat (CT) scan of your head and spine
o Muscle biopsy
   
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Diagnosis of weakness, Reasons of weakness, Prevention of weakness, Definition of weakness, Treatments for weakness


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