Pediatric Weakness of One or More Limbs

Pediatric Weakness of One or More Limbs

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Summary

Weakness causes reduced muscle strength and the feeling that extra effort is required to move the arms, legs or other muscles.

Expanded overview

Weakness is defined as a lack of physical or muscle strength, accompanied by the feeling that extra effort is required to move the arms, legs or other muscles. General weakness commonly occurs after a child has done too much physical activity at one time, such as starting a new exercise regimen or climbing up stairs. This type of weakness usually goes away on its own, within a few days.

Causes

In rare situations, other health problems can cause generalized muscle weakness, such as:

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome (nerve disorder that causes muscle weakness, eventually leading to complete paralysis)
  • Hyperthyroidism (high thyroid level; thyroid glands control hormones)
  • Hypothyroidism (low thyroid level)
  • Infections, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a respiratory infection
  • Low levels of potassium or sodium in the body
  • Myasthenia gravis (condition that causes weakness and quick muscle fatigue)

Symptoms

Weakness in one or more limbs is characterized by a feeling that moving those muscles requires more energy than usual, or moving those muscles is going to be uncomfortable or even somewhat painful.

 

 

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