Causes of Sudden Leg Weakness

Causes of Sudden Leg Weakness in Elderly:

1) Diabetes mellitus (Type 2 diabetes) – Type 2 diabetes is a disease which causes high blood sugar levels and increases your risk of developing heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and other complications.

If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to blindness or even death. A person with type 2 diabetes may not be aware that they have it because their body does not produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. When there are too many beta cells, the pancreas produces less insulin. This results in low blood sugar levels and can cause symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, hunger pains, shakiness or tiredness.

Symptoms usually appear within one to two days after a meal but sometimes they don’t occur until several weeks later.

2) Heart Disease – Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans over age 65.

It’s the number one killer of men and women aged 50 to 64, and it kills nearly 10 times more people than cancer. The top five causes of death from heart disease include: hypertensive disorders; coronary artery diseases; cerebrovascular diseases; lung diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A disease of the heart or blood vessels which prevents adequate supply of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle.

3) High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure (HBP or HTN) is a long-term condition where the pressure of blood against the walls of your arteries is consistently too high.

When this happens, your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body, and in the long term, this can lead to heart disease.

4) Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become fragile and more likely to break.

After the menopause, women are at a higher risk of getting osteoporosis, as well as people with a family history of the condition and those who are inactive or have a poor diet.

5) Prostate Cancer – Prostate cancer is a cancer that develops from cells of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system.

Age and heredity are important factors: A man has a higher risk if his father or brother developed the disease.

6) Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea is a common but serious problem that interferes with your breathing while you sleep.

People with sleep apnea stop and start breathing repeatedly while they sleep. As the disorder progresses, you spend less time in deep sleep and more time in light sleep.

7) T-Nuts Leg Weakness – Uncommon cause of leg weakness is a condition known as T-Nuts Leg Weakness.

It is the loss of function in one or both legs. Protruding bone structures have been found on x-ray. The condition gets its name from the T-shaped bone protrusions found on x-ray.

8) Prostate Surgery – If you have recently undergone surgery to remove the prostate, you might experience weakness in one of your legs due to nerve damage caused during or after the operation.

9) Diabetes – Over time, high blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, kidneys, and nerves, including those that relay messages from your feet back to your brain.

10) Radiation – Too much X-ray radiation exposure can cause damage to bone marrow, which produces red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.

11) Multiple Myeloma – A type of cancer affecting plasma cells found in bone marrow. Plasma cells normally produce antibodies to fight infection, but in multiple myeloma, they become abnormal and multiply out of control.

12) Brain Tumor – A brain tumor is any mass formed by collection of excessive cells in the brain. While most are benign, some can be cancerous.

13) Spinal Infection – When bacteria or viruses enter the body through various ways like accidents or surgeries, etc they can cause infections at local sites. These local infections when affect the spine are often seen as spinal infections or epidural abscesses.

14) Cancer – One of the most common reasons for leg weakness is the disease called cancer. There are various forms of cancer. Some forms start in specific parts of the body while spread and affect other parts as well.

15) Medications – Even some medications can cause weakness in one leg. Certain drugs cause nerve damage as a side effect. Chemotherapy drugs, which are used to treat cancer are one of the most common causes of this nerve damage.

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Sources & references used in this article:

The effect of increased mineral levels in the feed on leg weakness and sudden death syndrome in broiler chickens by RJ Julian – The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 1986 –

A review of the aetiology and pathology of leg weakness in broilers in relation to welfare by RH Bradshaw, RD Kirkden… – Avian and poultry biology …, 2002 –

Case 33-2003: A 37-year-old man with a history of alcohol and drug abuse and sudden onset of leg weakness by O Soto, ET Hedley-Whyte – New England Journal of Medicine, 2003 – Mass Medical Soc