August 2, 2015

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Weakness

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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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      • 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?
      • Can one person contract the virus from another?
      • Besides mosquitoes, can other insects transmit the West Nile virus?
      • Are there other viruses like the West Nile virus?
      • What are West Nile virus symptoms and signs?
      • When is there an increased risk for infection?
      • Who is at risk for getting West Nile virus?
      • What is the treatment for West Nile virus? Can West Nile virus be prevented with a vaccine?
      • Is a woman's pregnancy at risk if she gets 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


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List



Women's Health

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