What Causes Muscle Weakness?
Muscle weakness can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'very serious'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose muscle weakness, 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 "muscle weakness" as a symptom. Here are eight of many possibilities (more below
- Nephrotic Syndrome
- Vitamin D Need
- Muscular Dystrophy
- West Nile Virus
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:
major unexplained weight loss
shortness of breath when at rest
loss of sensation
regular unexplained vomiting
tender rear neck muscles
very frequent stools
recent-onset abdominal pain
somewhat disturbed sleep
inability to walk
... 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 muscle weakness:
|Vitamin D Need
|West Nile Virus
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process
Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis
is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.
Do you have specific muscles that feel weak, or weaker than they should be?
→ Don't know
→ One muscle is slightly weak
→ One muscle very weak / slight weakness in several
→ Serious weakness in several muscles
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no individual weak muscles, specific muscle weakness or severe muscle weakness, The Analyst™
will consider possibilities such as:
Environmental Illness / MCS
|The muscular weakness may be due to a nerve problem caused by chemical exposure and immune system changes associated with MCS.|Fluoride Toxicity
|Early warning signs of fluorosis include loss of muscle power, weakness and pain.|Guillain-Barre Syndrome
|GBS can cause muscles to weaken and atrophy. Progressive weakening or paralysis may occur, typically beginning in the feet, hands or face. The paralysis characteristically involves more than one limb, most commonly the legs. The paralysis is progressive and usually ascending, spreading to the rest of the limb, and from there may spread to the legs, arms and the rest of the body. The arms may feel weak, the patient no longer being able to lift heavy objects.|Magnesium Toxicity
|Magnesium overload can depress the central nervous system, causing muscle weakness, lethargy, sleepiness, hyperexcitability, mental status changes, nausea, appetite loss, extremely low blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat.|Multiple Sclerosis
|Gait disorders varying from an inability to walk the usual distance to an inability to walk at all are the principal problems of patients with MS.|Neuritis/Neuropathy
|Symptoms of neuritis include a weakness in the muscles and a wasting away of muscle tissue. Without proper nerve stimulation the muscles are no longer healthy and cannot be effective.|Polymyositis
|Muscle weakness is the most common symptom of Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis (PM/DM), which are chronic inflammatory diseases of the muscle.|West Nile Virus
|True muscle weakness in the presence of other related symptoms is suggestive of West Nile virus infection.|