Symptoms and Causes of Muscle Atrophy
Symptoms and Causes of Muscle Atrophy

Causes and Symptoms of Muscle Atrophy


What other symptoms may occur with muscle atrophy?
Muscle atrophy may accompany other symptoms that vary depending upon the underlying disease, disorder or illness. Symptoms that frequently affect the muscles might also involve other body systems.

Muscle atrophy may accompany other symptoms affecting the neuromuscular system such as:

  • Balance problems, difficulty walking, and falls
  • Difficulty with speaking and swallowing
  • Facial weakness
  • Gradual difficulty walking and speaking, memory loss, tingling or weakness of extremities
  • Impaired coordination and balance
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Progressive loss of movement
  • Progressive numbness and weakness in the legs
  • Symptoms of multiple sclerosis, such as fatigue, numbness or tingling, vision Issues, unsteady walk, fatigue, and melancholy

Other symptoms that may occur along with muscle atrophy

Muscle atrophy may accompany symptoms related to other body tissues and ailments such as:

  • Fatigue and overall sick feeling
  • General stiffness that lasts longer than one hour after rising in the morning
  • More frequent episodes of falling
  • Swelling of an injured Location

Intense symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening illness

Sometimes, muscle atrophy may be life threatening. Seek immediate medical attention (call 911) in case you, or Somebody You are with, possess any of those life-threatening sudden symptoms such as:

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Garbled or slurred speech or inability to talk
  • Paralysis or inability to move a body part
  • Sudden change in vision, loss of vision, or eye pain
  • Sudden weakness of numbness on one side of the body

You are reading Symptoms and Causes of Muscle Atrophy.


Muscle atrophy can result from lack of muscular movement and use, in which case it’s called disuse atrophy. Causes include a sedentary lifestyle, being bedridden, harms, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis (chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation). Another kind of muscle atrophy is neurogenic atrophy, which is muscle atrophy due to a nerve problem, such as disease and esophageal disorder.

General causes of muscle atrophy

Muscle atrophy may be caused by situations or conditions including:

  • Being bedridden
  • Injury, like a broken arm or leg That Has to be immobilized
  • Malnutrition (progressive weakening and inability to adequately use muscles)
  • Muscular dystrophy (inherited disorder that causes a progressive loss of muscular tissue and muscular weakness)
  • Polymyositis (widespread inflammation and fatigue of muscles)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation)

You are reading Symptoms and Causes of Muscle Atrophy

Neurogenic causes of muscle atrophy

  • Alcohol myopathy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; a serious neuromuscular disease that causes muscle fatigue and disability)
  • Exposure to toxin or poisonous substances
  • Multiple sclerosis (disease that affects the brain and spinal cord causing weakness, coordination, balance difficulties, and other problems)
  • Neck or spinal cord injury
  • Spinal cord atrophy (genetic disease causing diminished muscle function from a neural defect)
  • Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage because of high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes)
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome (autoimmune artery disorder)

Intense or life threatening causes of muscular atrophy

Sometimes, muscle atrophy could be an indication of a life-threatening or serious illness that needs to be immediately assessed in an emergency setting. These include:

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome (autoimmune artery disease )
  • Neck or spinal cord injury
  • Stroke

Questions for diagnosing the Reason for muscle atrophy

To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed Healthcare practitioner will ask you several questions associated with your muscle atrophy such as:

  • Have you got any other symptoms?
  • Have you ever been getting medical treatment for any other health conditions?
  • What medications are you taking?
  • When did you notice muscle atrophy?
  • Which of your muscles are affected?

What are the potential complications of muscular atrophy?

Because muscle atrophy can be on account of serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can lead to serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications such as:

  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Decreased mobility
  • Disability
  • Loss of strength
  • Paralysis

Poor nutrition

Inadequate nourishment can give rise to many health conditions, such as muscle atrophy.

Malnutrition-related muscle atrophy can develop as a result of medical conditions that impair the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, such as:

Cachexia is a intricate metabolic condition that causes extreme weight loss and muscle atrophy. Cachexia can develop as a symptom of the underlying condition, such as cancer, HIV, or multiple sclerosis (MS).

Individuals who have cachexia could experience a considerable reduction of desire or accidental weight loss despite absorbing a high number of calories.


As a person gets older, their body produces fewer proteins which promote muscle growth. This reduction of available protein induces the muscle cells to shrink, resulting in a condition named sarcopenia.

As per a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report, sarcopenia changes around a third of people ages 60 and above.

In addition to decreased muscle mass, sarcopenia can cause the following symptoms:

  • Weakness or frailty
  • poor equilibrium
  • difficulty moving
  • diminished endurance

A reduction of muscle mass might be an inevitable effect of the natural aging procedure. But, it may increase the probability of injuries and negatively impact a individual’s overall wellbeing.


Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disorder that brings about a reduction of motor nerve cells and muscle atrophy.

There are Many Different Kinds of SMA that fall in the following classes:

SMA connected to chromosome 5: These types of SMA happen due to a mutation in the SMN1 genes on chromosome 5. The mutations lead to a deficiency of the survival motor neuron protein. SMA generally develops in childhood but can develop at any stage in life.
SMA not linked to chromosome 5
Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of progressive conditions that cause loss of muscle mass and fatigue.

Muscular dystrophy occurs when one of those genes involved in protein production mutates. Someone can inherit genetic mutations, but many occur naturally as the embryo develops.


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