What is Weakness? A Comprehensive Review on Causes of Weakness


Decrease in strength in muscles is referred to as weakness. The causes and analysis of weakness depend on our knowledge of biochemistry and anatomy. This article emphasizes on the most ostensible causes of measurable loss of muscle strength.weaness1

Weakness may affect one muscle or a group of muscles. Tiredness and fatigue are terms used interchangeably with weakness, although it is technically incorrect. Weakness that is generally caused by an infectious disease includes:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Flu
  • Mononucleosis
  • Fever

Other causes include:

  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Weight loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Neurosis
  • Stress
  • Over-exertion
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Blood loss
  • Heart attack
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Arrhythmia

Prolonged weakness may be due to

  • Stroke
  • Anemia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lung cancer
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Botulism
  • Malnutrition
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Kidney and urinary diseases
  • Muscle diseases
  • Nervous system diseases
  • Cancer and its various types
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Psychological illness
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Malignant tumors
  • Trauma
  • Poisoning
  • Sprains and strains
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cerebral/Bell’s palsy
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Relapsing fever
  • Pinched nerve
  • Thyrotoxicosis

There are following types of weakness depending upon location:

  • Leg weakness
  • Arm weakness
  • Hand weakness
  • Bone weakness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Back weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Facial weakness

Self diagnosis in the domain of enigmatic tiredness can be pragmatic.

So following indications should be clearly investigated;

  • If weakness is isolated in one region
  • If it gets prolong without any explanation
  • If there is fever without any other symptom
  • After viral infection id there is common cold

General recommended weakness tests are:

  • Malignancy-CT Scan
  • Metastasis-X-ray of long bones
  • Metastatic malignancy-Bone scan
  • Tuberculosis-Tuberculin test
  • Aids-HIV antibody test
  • Porphyria-Urine porphobilinogen
  • Sleep apnea-Polysomnogram
  • Consult an endocrinologist
  • Consult a psychiatrist
  • Consult a neurologist
  • Mononucleosis-Monospot test
  • Infectious disease-Febrile agglutinins

Filed Under: General HealthPainWeakness

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  1. […] diseases like leprosy can cause sensory loss in the skin, nerve damage in arms and leg and muscle weakness and fatigue. People with long term leprosy usually lose the use of their feet and hands as a result […]