Motor neurone disease (MND): this is a progressive disorder of the nerves which affects all parts of the body. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). The condition usually goes away after a few years. A biopsy is a procedure where a small sample is taken to look at under the microscope. This is because the heart is unable to keep up with the increased requirements of the exercising muscles, as it can't pump blood as effectively as it should. I have muscle weakness - what will the doctor do? Myasthenia gravis: this condition is an uncommon muscle disorder in which muscles tire rapidly with a very long recovery time. They include flu (influenza), glandular fever (Epstein-Barr virus), HIV, Lyme disease and hepatitis C. Other less common causes, in the UK at least, are tuberculosis (TB), malaria, syphilis, polio and dengue fever. This is usually through muscle inflammation. Long-term use of prescribed oral steroids also causes muscle weakness and wasting. In any muscle injury, bleeding from damaged muscle fibres occurs inside the muscle, followed by swelling and inflammation. Check with your Doctor. In the case of organophosphates, the weakness and paralysis symptoms may be permanent. People with fibromyalgia tend to complain more of the pain than the tiredness or weakness. Try our Symptom Checker Got any other symptoms? Finally, people with diabetes also have an increased tendency to narrowing of the arteries (see 'Peripheral arterial disease', above). True muscle weakness is a symptom of serious muscle diseases, while the latter is a symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome. This is because some conditions tend to cause one type of weakness rather than another. How they can cause fatigue: Antipsychotics are drugs that dull the activity of the central nervous system. Body scans such as CT or MRI to look for conditions elsewhere in the body which may affect muscle power and function. Muscle tolerance for prolonged activity such as marathon running remains high for longer than the powerful, short-burst activities like sprinting. The difference between these three types of muscle weakness is often vague and you can have more than one of them. For details see our conditions. But it also may cause some of the same muscle problems as the pharmaceutical products. This can result in symptoms like weakness, amnesia, nerve pain and symptoms of heart failure. If you are experiencing muscle pain or weakness, it could be because you have a thyroid condition. This condition resembles CFS. If you stop suddenly, you risk having GERD come back with more severe symptoms. Kidney disease also causes a build-up of poisonous substances (toxins) in the blood because the poorly functioning kidneys process these toxins more slowly. Read on to know the causes of muscle weakness and how you can mitigate the risk. En español | Do you feel weak or tired — sometimes to the point of exhaustion — much of the time? Get instant access to discounts, programs, services and the information you need to benefit every area of your life. Let us know the causes of muscle fatigue. Leg weakness can also result from neuromuscular diseases, such as myasthenia gravis and multiple sclerosis. Weight loss is common but the symptoms are often vague. Fatigue is also a listed side effect of fexofenadine (Allegra), another popular antihistamine, though perhaps less than other such drugs. It's linked to smoking and diet. Heart Drugs When the nerve serving a muscle fibre dies then the muscle fibre will also stop working. Commonly prescribed antidepressants include duloxetine (Cymbalta), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) and venlafaxine (Effexor). by Dr. Armon B. Neel Jr. If you suspect that your symptoms might be linked to a medication you’re taking, talk to your doctor or health care provider right away. If so, you’re not alone. Side effects of medications, or exposure to toxins, chemicals, or other substances may cause a symptom or condition. Older people generally should not use diphenhydramine (Benadryl) — found in any sleep aid with a name ending in “PM” — because of its powerful sedative effects, which dramatically increase the risk of falls and bone fractures. In advanced disease, general weight loss will also lead to true muscle weakness. Calcium helps muscles contract, but when calcium leaks from muscle cells unintentionally, it can damage your muscle cells which causes muscle pain. In some people the process takes even longer. What could be causing your pins and needles? The ensuing buildup of the drug in the body puts older people at a much higher risk for experiencing fatigue and for developing physical or psychological dependence. It gets worse and more marked with increasing age. Injury recovery times are much longer with great age, balance is often impaired and thinner bones are easily broken. Some are mild and reversible; others are not. Muscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy and dermatomyositis, are also common causes of muscular weakness. COVID-19 coronavirus: what is an underlying health condition? They are coauthors of Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?, published by Atria Books. They’re also used to treat or prevent infections that can complicate surgery or other medical procedures. How they can cause fatigue: Antihistamines are CNS depressants. Problems of the balance of salts in the body, including dehydration through not drinking enough, cause muscle tiredness. This can lead to lower back pain if you don't adapt what you do to take account of your altered posture. © Patient Platform Limited. Even though recovery is usual, if inflammation is severe (such as a bad bout of influenza), the weakness can last quite a while. What to do about lumps on the vagina or vulva, The truth about getting pregnant after 40. Cholesterol Drugs. Other uncommon nerve conditions:Multiple sclerosis (MS): this is caused by damage to nerves in the brain and spinal cord and can cause sudden paralysis. This is why most great athletes are in this age range. Some of the causes of weakness are part of a normal life. Guillain-Barré syndrome: this is a post-viral paralysing disease which causes weakness and loss of muscle function from the fingers and toes upwards. Alternatives: Talk with your doctor or other health care provider about the possibility of reducing dosage or switching to another antipsychotic drug. An omega-3 fish oil supplement may help to lower your blood pressure, too. again. In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails Depression: general weariness and a feeling of generalised tiredness can also be caused by depression. This is due to overactivity of the body’s adrenaline (epinephrine) system. This leaflet looks at types of muscle weakness and discusses the wide range of problems which may cause them. Patient does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. 31 years experience Psychiatry. Calcium leakage. As we age, our muscles tend to lose strength and bulk and they become weaker. Also, red yeast rice, a supplement first used in traditional Chinese medicine, has been found to be almost as effective as some of the moderate statins when used for short periods of time. Many patients with mild anxiety or insomnia don’t need benzodiazepines at all, but stopping or reducing the dosage of a benzodiazepine should always be monitored by a professional, as serious withdrawal effects can occur. There is a reduction in the force which the muscle can exert, however hard you try. It may be due to a reduction in the speed with which the muscle can get its energy supply. The muscle isn't genuinely weaker, it can still do its job but it takes you more effort to manage it. It may occur as a result of an inactive (sedentary) lifestyle. Recovery from muscle and tendon injury, however, also becomes slower with increasing age. Why they’re prescribed: Diuretics (sometimes called water pills) are used to treat high blood pressure, glaucoma, edema and other conditions. Statins, such as simvastatin are one class known to do this. Chronic fatigue has many causes, including illnesses such as anemia and multiple sclerosis as well as depression and other psychiatric disorders. Pain is often more noticeable than weakness but both can be a problem. There are many other possible causes, which include stroke, multiple sclerosis, depression, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME). Muscle fatigue is a condition where the muscle is not able to exert the required force normally when it has to. Why they’re prescribed: While antidepressants are typically used to treat depression, they’re also frequently prescribed for anxiety disorders, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, chronic pain, smoking cessation and some hormone-mediated disorders, such as severe menstrual cramps. | Insomnia and Drowsiness. Coronavirus: how quickly do COVID-19 symptoms develop and how long do they last? Diseases of the neuromuscular system, injuries, metabolic diseases, and toxins can all cause of measurable muscle weakness. In addition to muscle weakness, people with Parkinson's disease notice tremor and stiffness. Alternatives: Talk with your doctor or other health care provider about adjusting your antidepressant dose (side effects are often dose-related) or whether nondrug therapies might work just as well or better for you than a drug. Electrolyte imbalances can cause serious health problems, including extreme fatigue, muscle weakness and achy joints, bones and muscles (along with many other symptoms not related to fatigue). How they can cause fatigue: Diuretics can interfere with the balance of electrolytes —including sodium, potassium and chloride — in your body. However, some illnesses are particularly prone to cause it. Registered in England and Wales. Muscles work less well when there is an imbalance in the salts in the blood. When this kind of weakness occurs the muscles are often floppier than usual and reduced in bulkiness. Caffeine commonly causes insomnia as well. Any advice or information provided should not be followed in lieu of a personal consultation with a trained medical professional. Why they’re prescribed: Proton pump inhibitors are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other similar disorders. The term muscle weakness can be used to describe several different things. Older people generally should not use this drug because their renal systems are unable to efficiently clear it, allowing the drug to build up in the body. Less commonly-used medicines which can cause muscle weakness and damage to muscles include: Prolonged use of alcohol can cause weakness of shoulder and hip muscles. If it is not completely reversed after surgery, the muscle relaxation effects might lead to remaining muscle weakness, breathing problems, lung infection and delayed recovery.Neostigmine and other medications from the same drug family are currently used to restore muscle function after surgery. The weakness affects only the muscles served by the irritated or compressed nerve. Medicines for Muscle Weakness have also been listed. It's a real change in muscle power. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. CFS is sometimes triggered by certain viral infections such as glandular fever (Epstein-Barr virus) and flu (influenza) but it is poorly understood. receive communications related to AARP volunteering. It is also seen in a condition called muscular dystrophy (discussed further below). Supplementing with magnesium can also help muscle cramps. This type of weakness is often seen in people who have chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disorders, depression, and chronic heart, lung, and kidney disease. Muscle weakness is a common complaint but the word weakness has a wide range of meanings, including tiredness, reduced power and failure to work at all. In a small proportion of cases of rheumatoid arthritis, muscle weakness and tiredness may be the only sign of the disease for some considerable time. Some recovery is possible but it will be slow and may not be complete. In studies, the side effects include fatigue, lethargy and weakness. Neurologic disorders causing muscle weakness include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Guillain-Barre syndrome (an autoimmune nerve disorder), stroke, or even a pinched nerve. It’s important to remember that it takes older people up to three times longer than younger people to flush these drugs out of their bodies. Alternatives: The FDA has advised doctors and other health care providers to obtain serum magnesium levels before prescribing PPIs and then periodically thereafter. So, supervision is sensible, especially at first. Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Our clinical information is certified to meet NHS England's Information Standard.Read more. This may be severe in extreme cases, such as dehydration during a marathon. A substance called myoglobin within the muscle cells that is released can result in severe kidney damage and even kidney failure. Some antihistamines are also used to prevent motion sickness, nausea and vomiting, and to treat anxiety or insomnia. These range from common to rare, serious to minor, temporary to permanent. Because benzodiazepines have a sedative/hypnotic effect, they are sometimes used to treat insomnia and the anxiety component of depression. Examples are organophosphates (used in farming and sadly as chemical weapons) and botulinum toxin (used in Botox®, both for cosmetic and for therapeutic reasons). Commonly prescribed antipsychotics include aripiprazole (Abilify), haloperidol (Haldol), olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal) and ziprasidone (Geodon). It might cause drooping of an eyelid or difficulty smiling, depending on which muscles are weak. Over time chronic lung disease may lead to muscle wasting, although this is mainly seen in advanced cases when blood oxygen levels start to drop. Medications that can cause muscle cramps include: Furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), and other diuretics ("water pills") that remove fluid from the body How they can cause fatigue: Blood-pressure medications may slow down the pumping action of the heart as well as depress the entire central nervous system, or, in the case of diuretics, deplete electrolytes that the body needs. This can sometimes trigger chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Dr. Alan Ali answered. Like anxiety, it stimulates the production of chemical substances (hormones) in the body which respond to pain and injury. 7. Muscle fatigue may be mild and is often an early symptom. Poisons: poisonous substances also cause muscle weakness and paralysis through their effect on nerves. They will also be able to tell you if there are any serious concerns about your symptoms and will be able to refer you for further testing if required. Cocaine misuse causes marked muscle weakness, as can other drugs of abuse. Smoking can indirectly weaken muscles. How they can cause fatigue: Researchers have long known that some people who take antibiotics experience feelings of tiredness and extreme fatigue, but it’s still not clear exactly why. Patients often show signs of depression and poor sleep. Commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan) and temazepam (Restoril). Other rare causes: direct damage to muscles can occur in rare inherited metabolic conditions. You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age. If none of these tests reveal the cause then your doctor may order the following: The pattern and severity of weakness, associated symptoms, medication use, and family history help the doctor to determine the cause of your weakness. But it’s also often a side effect of drugs previously prescribed for other conditions. Antipsychotics also are often prescribed “off label” to treat agitation and depression, among other conditions. Weakness may be generalized or may affect one muscle or muscle group exclusively. They will check to see whether your muscles are tender to touch (which suggests they are inflamed) or unusually 'fatigable'. Addison's disease is a rare condition of underactivity of the adrenal gland, leading to a shortage of steroids in the blood and to abnormalities of the blood’s salts. Many medicines can cause muscle weakness and muscle damage as a side-effect or an allergic reaction. The condition can take months or years to progress but people with MND often quickly develop profound muscle weakness and wasting. Read more below to learn 9 possible reasons your legs feel weak and questions your doctor may ask to evaluate your condition. Gemfibrozil is another. Heart disease - particularly heart failure: this can cause easy tiring of the muscles through a reduction in blood supply at times of high demand. Remember you are carrying a weight on the front. Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. And if you’ve been prescribed an antipsychotic to help you sleep or for some other off-label use, you’d be well-advised to seek out more proven, safer treatments for your symptoms. Why they’re prescribed: Antibiotics are used to treat health conditions caused by bacteria, including ear and skin infections, urinary tract infections, food poisoning, pneumonia, meningitis and other serious illnesses. However, exercise is still beneficial and it is still possible to increase muscle power and strength with a careful and safe exercise routine. Muscle weakness can occur due to various factors like poor physical conditioning, intense workout, and malnutrition. Medications, especially the cholesterol medications known as statins; Muscle cramp; Myofascial pain syndrome; Polymyalgia rheumatica; Polymyositis (inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness) Repetitive strain injuries; Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint … In this article, you'll learn what is Muscle Weakness. Myotonic dystrophies are passed down through families and they tend to occur earlier and become worse as they move through the generations. Inflammatory diseases of muscle typically affect older adults and include conditions such as polymyalgia rheumatica (muscles of the shoulders and thighs become tender and weak), polymyositis and dermatomyositis.