Suddenly developed speech problems


Q: Hi My problem is a bit strange i developed a lisp when talking. Sometimes the lisp makes me sound as if im drunk, when im not. It all started about 4 months ago after i gave bIrth to my child. I was quite ill having my child and was diagnoised with having a mild form o F hellp syudrome All was fine afterwards until i developed this speech problem. It came on suddnely one night and it went quickly away. But it is still happening everyday now 5 months later. I have been to see the doctor who said that it was just due to tiredness and it will go.eventually. It stIll hasnt gone and someTimes my speech is so bad people cant understand whsy im sayinh. Im due backk at work soon and its going to effect my work. My speech is definatly worse at night than in the morning and will get worse if i talk a lot. Please can you help?


A:   I do understand your concern. The problems of speech that you are facing is due to dysarthria which could be due to an conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, tumors of the brain and certain anti seizure medications. Depending on its cause, dysarthria may develop slowly or occur suddenly and people with dysarthria have trouble making certain sounds or words. Speech can be poorly pronounced resulting in slurring, mumbling, speaking softly, hoarse voice and changes in the rhythm of speech.
Since you've had a history of HEELP syndrome during pregnancy, there is a risk that a stroke could have occurred causing your slurring of speech. A thorough history and physical examination is helpful. Test like laryngoscopy, blood tests of vitamins and toxins and imaging studies like MRI and CT of the brain and neck is definitely required in your case to rule out the above mentioned causes.

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