June 29, 2016

Weakness

MedicineNet - Weakness

Weakness Symptoms & Signs

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Symptoms & Signs

Weakness is a decrease in the strength in one or more muscles. In the strictest sense, the medical definition of weakness refers to loss of muscle strength, and this article is focused upon conditions that can result in a measurable loss of muscle function. Weakness may be generalized or may affect one muscle or muscle group exclusively. Diseases of the neuromuscular system, injuries, metabolic diseases, and toxins can all cause of measurable muscle weakness. Signs and symptoms of weakness can include trouble doing daily tasks, such as grooming or writing or problems with gait and loss of balance.

Many people use the term weakness as a synonym for tiredness, weariness, lack of energy or fatigue, although this is not technically correct. People suffering from certain medical conditions (for example, chronic fatigue, insomnia, cancer, heart disease, adrenal disease, or influenza) may describe feelings of total body weakness, referring to feelings of malaise or tiredness, even though no detectable loss of muscle strength is present.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/9/2015

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REFERENCE:

Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.

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      • Polymyositis vs. polymyalgia rheumatica
      • What causes polymyositis and dermatomyositis?
      • What are signs and symptoms of polymyositis and dermatomyositis?
      • What tests do doctors use to diagnose polymyositis or dermatomyositis?
      • What types of doctors treat polymyositis and dermatomyositis?
      • What is the treatment for polymyositis and dermatomyositis?
      • What are home remedies for polymyositis and dermatomyositis?
      • What is the prognosis for polymyositis?
      • What are risk factors for worse outcomes with polymyositis or dermatomyositis?
      • Is it possible to prevent polymyositis?
      • Are there support groups for people with polymyositis and dermatomyositis?
      • Where can people find more information on polymyositis and dermatomyositis?
    • Postherpetic Neuralgia Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a painful complication of shingles. Symptoms include severe pain, itchy skin, and possible...learn more »
      In This Article
      Postherpetic Neuralgia Article
      • Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) facts
      • What is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)?
      • What causes postherpetic neuralgia?
      • What are the risk factors for postherpetic neuralgia?
      • What are postherpetic neuralgia symptoms and signs?
      • How is postherpetic neuralgia diagnosed?
      • How is postherpetic neuralgia treated?
      • How long does postherpetic neuralgia last?
      • What are the complications of postherpetic neuralgia?
      • What is the prognosis for postherpetic neuralgia?
      • Can postherpetic neuralgia be prevented?
    • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a tick-borne disease that causes symptoms and signs such as fever, rash, headache, and muscle...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) Article
      • Rocky Mountain spotted fever facts
      • What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • Where do most cases of RMSF occur in the U.S.?
      • What causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • How is Rocky Mountain spotted fever transmitted?
      • What are Rocky Mountain spotted fever risk factors?
      • Is Rocky Mountain spotted fever contagious?
      • What are Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms and signs?
      • What is the incubation period for Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • How do health-care providers diagnose Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • What is the treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • What is the prognosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • What are the long-term effects of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • Is there a vaccine for Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • Is it possible to prevent Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
    • Rotator Cuff Disease Rotator cuff disease is damage to any of the four tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Shoulder pain and tenderness are...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rotator Cuff Disease Article
      • Rotator cuff disease facts
      • What is the rotator cuff?
      • What causes rotator cuff disease?
      • What are risk factors for rotator cuff disease?
      • How is the rotator cuff injured?
      • What are rotator cuff disease symptoms and signs?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose rotator cuff disease?
      • What is the treatment for rotator cuff disease?
      • Are there home remedies for rotator cuff disease?
      • What are complications of rotator cuff disease?
      • What specialists treat rotator cuff disease?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for rotator cuff disease?
      • Is it possible to prevent rotator cuff disease?
    • Salivary Gland Cancer Salivary gland cancer is cancer that affects the parotid glands, sublingual glands, or the submandibular glands. Risk factors...learn more »
      In This Article
      Salivary Gland Cancer Article
      • Salivary gland cancer facts
      • What is salivary gland cancer?
      • What are causes and risk factors of salivary gland cancer?
      • What are symptoms and signs of salivary gland cancer?
      • What exams and tests are used to detect and diagnose salivary gland cancer?
      • What is the prognosis for salivary gland cancer?
      • What tests are done to determine if salivary gland cancer has spread?
      • How does salivary gland cancer spread in the body?
      • What are the stages for salivary gland cancer?
      • What is the treatment for salivary gland cancer?
      • How does staging affect treatment options?
    • Shock (Medical) Medical shock is a life-threatening medical condition. There are several types of medical shock, septic shock, anaphylactic...learn more »
      In This Article
      Shock (Medical) Article
      • Shock facts
      • What is shock?
      • What are the types of shock?
      • What are the causes of shock?
      • What are the symptoms of shock?
      • When should I seek medical care for shock?
      • What is the treatment for shock?
      • Can shock be prevented?
      • What is the outlook for shock?
    • Spondylolisthesis The five types of spondylolisthesis include 1) dysplastic, 2) isthmic, 3) degenerative, 4) traumatic, and 5) pathologic. The most...learn more »
      In This Article
      Spondylolisthesis Article
      • Spondylolisthesis facts
      • What is spondylolisthesis?
      • What causes spondylolisthesis?
      • What are the risk factors for spondylolisthesis?
      • What are spondylolisthesis symptoms?
      • How is spondylolisthesis diagnosed? How is the grading determined for spondylolisthesis?
      • What is the treatment for spondylolisthesis? What type of surgery treats spondylolisthesis?
      • Is it possible to prevent spondylolisthesis?
      • What are the complications of spondylolisthesis?
      • What is the prognosis for spondylolisthesis?
    • Stroke A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...learn more »
      In This Article
      Stroke Article
      • Stroke facts
      • What is a stroke?
      • What are the different types of stroke?
      • What causes a stroke?
      • What are the risk factors for stroke?
      • What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the warning signs of a stroke?
      • What are the symptoms of a stroke?
      • How is a stroke diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for stroke?
      • What is the prognosis for stroke?
      • Is recovery after a stroke possible?
      • What is stroke rehabilitation?
      • Can strokes be prevented?
    • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. Symptoms of tennis elbow include tenderness and dull pain of the outer...learn more »
      In This Article
      Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) Article
      • Tennis elbow facts
      • What is tennis elbow?
      • What causes tennis elbow?
      • What are tennis elbow risk factors?
      • What are symptoms of tennis elbow?
      • How do physicians diagnose tennis elbow?
      • What is the treatment for tennis elbow?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) for tennis elbow?
      • Is it possible to prevent tennis elbow?
    • Tension Headache A tension headache s one of the most common types of headaches, and the exact cause is not known. Factors that may contribute to...learn more »
      In This Article
      Tension Headache Article
      • Tension headache facts
      • What is a tension headache?
      • What causes tension headaches?
      • What are the symptoms of tension headache?
      • How are tension headaches diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for tension headache?
      • Prescription medications for tension headaches
      • OTC drugs for tension headaches
      • Managing stress
      • Are there effective home remedies a cure for tension headache?
      • Can tension headaches be prevented?
    • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition where symptoms are produced from compression of nerves or blood vessels because the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) Article
      • Thoracic outlet syndrome facts
      • What is thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • What causes thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • What are thoracic outlet syndrome risk factors?
      • What are thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • What tests do physicians use to diagnose thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • What is the treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome? What are medications for thoracic outlet syndrome? Is surgery necessary for TOS?
      • What are home remedies for thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • What types of doctors treat thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis for thoracic outlet syndrome?
      • Is it possible to prevent thoracic outlet syndrome?
    • Torn Meniscus A torn meniscus (knee cartilage) may be caused by suddenly stopping, sharply twisting, or deep squatting or kneeling when lifting...learn more »
    • Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Viral hemorrhagic fever(s), or VHFs are a group of illnesses caused by distinct families of viruses. Many of these viruses are...learn more »
      In This Article
      Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Article
      • Viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) facts*
      • What are viral hemorrhagic fevers?
      • How are hemorrhagic fever viruses grouped?
      • What carries viruses that cause viral hemorrhagic fevers?
      • Where are cases of viral hemorrhagic fever found?
      • How are hemorrhagic fever viruses transmitted?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of viral hemorrhagic fever illnesses?
      • How are patients with viral hemorrhagic fever treated?
      • How can cases of viral hemorrhagic fever be prevented and controlled?
      • What needs to be done to address the threat of viral hemorrhagic fevers?
    • Vitamin D Deficiency Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with rickets, cancer, cardiovascular disease, severe asthma in children and cognitive...learn more »
    • West Nile Virus West Nile virus (West Nile encephalitis) is a brain infection caused by a virus. People become infected with the virus after...learn more »
      In This Article
      West Nile Virus Article
      • West Nile virus facts
      • What is the history of West Nile virus?
      • Where did the West Nile virus come from?
      • How do people get West Nile virus?
      • How do mosquitoes get infected with the West Nile virus?
      • Is the West Nile virus contagious?
      • Besides mosquitoes, can other insects transmit the West Nile virus?
      • Are there other viruses like the West Nile virus?
      • What are West Nile virus infection symptoms and signs?
      • When is there an increased risk for West Nile virus infection?
      • Who is at risk for getting a West Nile virus infection?
      • What is the treatment for West Nile virus? Is it possible to prevent West Nile virus infection with a vaccine?
      • Is a woman's pregnancy at risk if she gets infected with the West Nile virus?
      • What can a community do to reduce the risk of an outbreak of the West Nile virus?
      • What can a person do to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the West Nile virus?
    • Yellow Fever Yellow fever is an infectious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Side effects are rare with the yellow fever vaccine....learn more »
      In This Article
      Yellow Fever Article
      • Yellow fever facts
      • What is yellow fever? What is the history of yellow fever?
      • What causes yellow fever?
      • How is yellow fever transmitted?
      • What areas are high risk for contracting yellow fever?
      • What is the incubation period for yellow fever?
      • Is yellow fever contagious? How long is the contagious period for yellow fever?
      • What are yellow fever symptoms and signs?
      • How is yellow fever diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for yellow fever?
      • How long does yellow fever last?
      • What is the prognosis for people with yellow fever?
      • Is it possible to prevent yellow fever?
      • What are the side effects of the yellow fever vaccine?
      • Where can people get more information on yellow fever?
Other Causes of Weakness
  • Congenital Myopathies
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Electrolyte Imbalances
  • Malignant Tumors
  • Malnutrition
  • Muscle Disease Medications
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myotonic Dystrophy
  • Nerve Impingement
  • Poisoning (Organophosphates)
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Trauma
Examples of Medications for Weakness
>
  • pyridostigmine (Mestinon)


  • Symptoms & Signs A-Z List



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