Proximal Muscle weakness in legs and upper arms


Q: Dear Doctor, I am 49, 5'6", 125 lbs and I am having muscle weakness mostly in my thighs and upper arms. I experienced this same problem 5 yrs ago. It was very pronounced for about six months (could barely go up or down a flight of stairs, or do simple chores). I had many blood tests and neurology work up with nothing found. Recently I had a physical and was vitamin D deficient so I am taking vitamin D supplements (50K units a week). Besides chronic headaches and a heart arrhythmia I have been in good health. The only other meds I take is Ibuprofen for the headaches. I really hope you have some suggestions more me. Thanks, Jane


A:    There are many causes of weakness with or without tingling and numbness of the extremities, for example: lack of physical activity, depression, electrolytes imbalances, vitamin deficiencies (Vitamin B12), nerve compressions at the level of the spine, problems with the peripheral nerves of hands and feet, and metabolic causes as problems with the Thyroid gland and Diabetes. Once that your physician ruled out the vitamin deficiency, and thyroid problems, might be important to rule out some other metabolic causes as Diabetes, or other infrequent  neuromuscular conditions which may produce the symptoms that you described above.

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