Recently Reduced Walking Ability

What Causes Limited Walking Ability?

Limited walking ability can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'serious' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose limited walking ability, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "limited walking ability" as a symptom.  Here are five possibilities:
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Vitamin B12 Need
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Brain Tumor

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
history of B12 deficiency
inability to tell hot from cold
not feeling injuries
slow reaction time
poor balance
jaundiced skin
unpleasant smell sensations
past H2-blocker antacid use
not supplementing B12
much reduced sense of taste
voice change
macrocytic red cells
... and more than 60 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of limited walking ability:
Cause Probability Status
Guillain-Barre Syndrome 98% Confirm
Brain Tumor 18% Unlikely
Muscular Dystrophy 3% Ruled out
Parkinson's Disease 3% Ruled out
Vitamin B12 Need 2% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate problems with limbs, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Has your ability to walk declined within the past year for unknown reasons?
Possible responses:
→ No change / reason known / don't know
→ A little, but I can still walk unaided
→ I need some assistance
→ I need a lot of assistance
→ I can no longer walk at all
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate slightly impaired ability to walk, impaired ability to walk, severely impaired ability to walk or inability to walk, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Brain Tumor

Gradual loss of movement in an arm or leg could indicate a brain tumor.  When walking, unsteadiness, stumbling or imbalance (feeling weak and uncoordinated), especially if it is associated with headache, is a significant symptom.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Only about 28% of patients with the GBS remain able to walk unaided.  Patients with the hyper acute form of the syndrome lose the use of their legs within a day.

Parkinson's Disease

A shuffling walk is characteristic of Parkinson's disease.

Vitamin B12 Requirement

Staggering can be caused by advanced B12 deficiency.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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