Difficulty speaking can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'generally fatal'. 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 difficulty speaking, we could:
Has your ability to speak declined for no obvious reason? A minor decline means people can still understand you, but you have trouble saying some words or speaking clearly. A severe decline means people often can not understand you any more.
Possible responses:→ No / there is an obvious reason / don't know
→ Minor decline occurring over more than 1 year
→ Severe decline occurring over more than 1 year
→ Minor decline within the past year
→ Severe decline within the past year
Difficulty speaking is a common symptom of Alzheimer's Disease and is often made worse by patients being unable to remember simple words or concentrate on what they are saying.
Speech difficulty of gradual onset is a possible brain tumor symptom.
Fibromyalgia sufferers can have difficulty speaking or making themselves understood.
Difficulty speaking can occur during diabetic attacks; it is a warning sign that blood sugar levels are too low.
Difficulty speaking may result from a variety of neurological disturbances, including Multiple Sclerosis. Weakness, stiffness, or uncoordinated movement of the muscles controlling the lips, tongue, jaw, soft palate, vocal cords and diaphragm can all cause speech problems.
About half of all Parkinson's Disease sufferers have difficulty speaking.
A mini stroke (TIA) is a brief period of reduced blood flow to an area of the brain, often damaging brain cells and resulting in certain impaired brain functions, such as difficulty speaking.