Ever felt sudden contractions in your body that you can’t stop or control? Then you’ve probably experienced a tremor. In this article, Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, our resident neurologist in Leesburg, VA provides an in-depth look at tremors and what can be done about this common movement disorder.
What are tremors?
A tremor is a rhythmic muscle contraction that can occur in the hands, head, arms, torso, vocal cords, and other parts of the body. These shaking movements and contractions are involuntary and completely out of a person’s control.
Tremors can occur on their own or intermittently. While tremors can occur at any age, it is more prevalent among older and middle-aged adults, with equal distribution among men and women.
Are tremors dangerous?
By themselves, tremors are rarely life-threatening. However, these involuntary contractions can seriously impair one’s ability to perform daily tasks. In severe cases, tremors can be disabling and embarrassing, and can significantly lower one’s quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Tremors
Since tremor symptoms can feel benign, a lot of people fail to see the urgency of the situation. However, if you or someone you know starts experiencing these symptoms more frequently, it might be time to consult a neurologist in Leesburg:
• A shaky voice
• Rhythmic shaking and contractions in one or more parts of the body
• Difficulty drawing, writing, or using tools
• Difficulty holding utensils
Note as well that almost everyone experiences tremors sometime in their lives. For instance, you may feel tremors during periods of extreme emotions or stress, physical exhaustion, or while making particular movements.
These may go away on their own, but to be safe, be sure to schedule an appointment with a Dulles neurologist to rule out the causes below.
Causes of Tremors
Most tremors have no known cause, but in general, they can be traced back to issues deep within areas of the brain that are responsible for movement.
Some neurological disorders can also cause tremors such as:
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease
• Traumatic brain injury
Other causes can be:
• Mercury poisoning
• Certain medications
• Liver or kidney failure
• Alcohol withdrawal or abuse
• Panic and anxiety
• Overactive thyroid
Since there are so many potential causes for tremors, only a skilled Dulles neurology specialist like Dr. Dulai is qualified to make a correct diagnosis.
During your visit, Dr. Dulai will conduct a comprehensive neurological and physical examination. He will also take a detailed medical history. He will assess your tremor based on factors like:
• Location of the tremor
• Tremor appearance
• Whether the tremor manifests when your muscles are in action or at rest
Dr. Dulai will also look for more neurological findings such as abnormal muscle stiffness, speech abnormalities, and impaired balance. You may be required to undergo several tests such as an electromyogram to aid in proper diagnosis.
Tremors and Quality of Life
Tremors are typically easy to manage once diagnosed. Your treatment plan can include medications, surgery, focused ultrasound, and appropriate lifestyle changes to keep symptoms at the minimum or non-existent. Over time, a patient with tremors stands to regain his quality of life fully.
The key is to have your tremors checked as soon as possible to prevent further complications. If you or your loved ones have tremor-related concerns, please don’t hesitate to call Neurology Associates at (703) 726-6393 and schedule an appointment ASAP.
Myasthenia gravis is a Latin term which means “grave muscular weakness.” Once you receive this diagnosis from an observant neurologist in Leesburg, a lot of things will suddenly become clear, such as why your jaw muscles get weak and tired while eating, then go back to normal after some rest. (more…)
Myopathy is medically defined as the disease of the muscle. There are many causes and symptoms, but muscle weakness is one of its cardinal features. The prognosis for patients with myopathy varies from having little to no disability, to severely disabling or fatal. Early detection by Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, a Dulles neurology specialist is crucial to begin supportive treatment and protect one’s quality of life.
Myopathy: Definition, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Myopathy causes muscles to work much less effective than they should. This skeletal muscle disease occurs when the muscles fail to develop correctly, suffer from damage, or severely lack essential components.
Various Types of Myopathies
Due to abnormalities to metabolism and the muscular cell structure, a person with myopathy will experience patterns of muscle dysfunction and weakness. Numerous types of myopathies exist, such as:
- Inherited myopathies
This type of myopathy is caused by a genetic defect, such as the common Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, which is caused by a chromosomal abnormality.
- Endocrine myopathies
Triggered by underproduction or overproduction of hormones. This type can develop in both adults and children, and tend to respond positively to treatment.
- Inflammatory myopathies
This type of myopathy occurs when the immune system wrongly attacks healthy tissue, otherwise known as an autoimmune disorder.
- Toxic myopathies
This type of myopathy occurs due to certain chemicals and medications. Skeletal muscle damage can also happen because of excessive alcohol intake. Some chemicals and drugs that cause toxic myopathy are cholesterol-lowering medication, anesthetics, narcotics, flame retardants, insecticides, and herbicides.
Symptoms of Myopathy
Symptoms vary greatly on the type of myopathy, although most myopathies manifest skeletal muscle weakness as a defining symptom.
Exceptions occur in some inheritable muscular disorders such as in paramyotonia congenita and myotonia. Instead of the muscles getting thinner and weak, the muscles become significantly large and extremely difficult to relax after contracting.
In most types of myopathy, the weakness is experienced in the upper arms, pelvis, shoulders, and thighs. During advanced stages, the hands and feet may start getting involved. Here are other warning signs that it’s time to consult a neurologist in Leesburg, VA:
Diagnosing myopathy involves rigorous stages including laboratory evaluation, multidisciplinary consultations, imaging studies, histologic examination, and genetic studies. During your appointment with Dr. Sarbjot Dulai here at Neurology Associates, you will undergo a series of careful diagnostic testing, neurologic history, and examination.
This can include a close physical evaluation, which will examine your balance, muscle strength, reflexes, and other factors. Laboratory tests, muscle biopsies, and other medical procedures may be required.
Treatment and Management
It is worth noting that myopathy usually ends up as a chronic disease. Treatment is multi-disciplinary and depends on the type of myopathy. The treatment plan can include immune suppressant agents, occupational and physical therapy, dietary management, cardiology, and even surgical treatment for long-standing cases with limb and spine deformities.
As a trusted neurologist in Leesburg, Dr. Dulai understands myopathies and will guide you from diagnosis to treatment. If you believe you or a loved one is afflicted with myopathy, call Neurology Associates at (703) 726-6393 and get started on the road to recovery.
Neuropathy affects more than 20 million Americans, but studies suggest that the actual number is higher than that. Unfortunately, a lot of people fail to recognize the symptoms of neuropathy and neglect to consult a Dulles neurology specialist about proper treatment and management.
In the beginning, symptoms of neuropathy can include gradual tingling and prickling in the hands or feet, combined with the gradual onset of numbness. You might also feel burning, sharp, throbbing, or freezing pain. Since early-stage neuropathy mimics the common feeling of arms and legs “falling asleep,” many people do not pay much attention.
As you will learn in this article, however, neuropathy is not a simple matter. In some cases, neuropathy can lead to serious or life-threatening complications. A neurologist in Leesburg, VA will be able to diagnose neuropathy and recommend treatment, but for that to happen, you need to learn how to spot red flags.
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy or nerve damage commonly affects the peripheral nervous system, causing pain, numbness, and weakness to the hands and feet.
It can be classified according to the location of the affected nerves or based on the disease or injury that’s causing it. There are four major classifications:
- Peripheral neuropathy: involves damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord
- Cranial neuropathy: occurs when there’s damage to any of the 12 cranial nerves that directly exit the brain
- Autonomic neuropathy: refers to damage to the nerves that control circulation, digestion, blander, function, heart, and other parts of the involuntary nervous system
- Focal neuropathy: restricted to one area of the body, a nerve, or a group of nerves
Due to its complex range of symptoms, neuropathy is often misdiagnosed. It requires a highly-trained neurologist in Leesburg to identify the type and cause of neuropathy correctly.
Causes of Neuropathy
Neuropathy can be caused by many factors such as injuries, infections, diseases, vitamin deficiency, or one or more of these conditions:
- Genetic or inherited neuropathy
- Toxins and poisons
- Trauma or injury
- Drugs or medication
- Uremia/kidney failure
- Post-herpetic neuralgia
- Alcoholic neuropathy
- Idiopathic neuropathy, or neuropathy which doesn’t have an established cause
Symptoms of Neuropathy
Regardless of the cause, there are common symptoms characteristic of neuropathy. It can manifest through:
- Gradual onset of numbness
- Tingling or prickling in extremities, spreading upward
- Freezing, jabbing, sharp, burning, or throbbing pain
- Extreme sensitivity when touched
- Falling and lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in blood pressure
- Digestive, bladder, or bowel problems
- Altered sweating
- Heat intolerance
When should you seek treatment?
From the first instance you observe troubling or unusual symptoms of neuropathy, it is imperative that you seek expert diagnosis immediately. Contact Neurology Associates as soon as you can so that our specialist, Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, can run tests, exams, and a comprehensive neurological examination to arrive at a diagnosis.
Neuropathy may be a serious condition, but you don’t have to suffer from it. Once you’re diagnosed with neuropathy, Dr. Dulai can prescribe medications and other forms of treatment to bring you relief.
The key is to catch it early to prevent more damage. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one is suffering from neuropathy, don’t hesitate to consult Neurology Associates as soon as you can.
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