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Muscle atrophy Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Muscle atrophy. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had the muscle atrophy (wasting away of the muscle)?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Is the muscle wasting localized to a certain area (focal) or generalized (diffuse)?

    Why: Focal muscular atrophy would suggest poliomyelitis, early spinal muscular atrophy, peripheral vascular disease, sympathetic dystrophy, early spinal cord tumor, herniated disc, peroneal muscular atrophy, entrapment syndrome of one of the peripheral nerves, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or syringomyelia.

  3. Has there been a significant period of inactivity, immobilization or bed rest?

    Why: may be an explanation for the muscle wasting.

  4. History of trauma or injury to involved area?

    Why: muscle or nerve injury may cause muscle wasting.

  5. Recent viral infection?

    Why: may suggest Guillain- Barre syndrome.

  6. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. diabetes may cause neuropathy and may also have muscle loss from muscle breakdown due to high blood sugars; pernicious anemia may cause subacute combined degeneration of the cord and muscle wasting.

  7. Medications?

    Why: e.g. clofibrate may cause myotonia (an inability to relax muscles after voluntary contraction) and resultant muscle wasting.

  8. Dietary history?

    Why: e.g. Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause subacute combined degeneration of the cord with muscle wasting.

  9. Family history?

    Why: e.g. dystrophia myotonica, hereditary paramyotonia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, peroneal muscular atrophy (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), osteogenesis imperfecta.

  10. Alcohol history?

    Why: Alcoholism may be complicated by alcoholic neuropathy and consequent muscle wasting.

  11. Parasthesia (numbness)? -may suggest peripheral neuropathy, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Friedrich's ataxia, multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, a herniated disc, spinal cord tumor, peroneal atrophy and syringomyelia
  12. Symptoms of dystrophia myotonica?

    Why: e.g. wasting and weakness of the thigh and upper arm muscles, enlargement of male breasts, frontal baldness, shrinkage of the testicles, deterioration in vision.

  13. Symptoms of anorexia nervosa?

    Why: e.g. refusal to maintain normal body weight, loss of more than 25% of original body weight, intense fear of becoming fat, preoccupation with calorie counting, avoidance of all carbohydrate, fainting.

  14. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

    Why: e.g. palpitations, increased heart rate, preference for cooler weather, increased appetite, weight loss, increased sweating, tremor, nervousness, irritability, diarrhea, lack of menstrual periods, frequent urination.

  15. Symptoms of Myasthenia gravis?

    Why: e.g. easy muscle fatigability especially eyelids, neck, shoulders, lower legs and trunk, droopy eyelids, double vision, weak voice.

  16. Symptoms of Addison's disease?

    Why: symptoms are often vague but may include e.g. weight loss, loss of appetite, tiredness, weakness, fever, depression, lack of menstrual periods, impotence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, fainting, abdominal pain, constipation, muscle aches and muscle wasting.

  17. Symptoms of subacute combined degeneration of the cord?

    Why: e.g. ataxic gait (clumsy slapping down of the feet), weakness of lower limbs, numbness of feet, reduced vision, dementia.

  18. Symptoms of Duchenne's muscular dystrophy?

    Why: e.g. affects only males, delayed developmental progress, 50% do not walk before 18 months of age, abnormal gait including toe walking, inability to run normally, difficulty in climbing and in rising from sitting or lying position, frequent falls.

  19. Symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome?

    Why: e.g. weakness of distal limb muscles, distal numbness, if more severe may have respiratory and facial muscle weakness. Wasting of muscles in rare but possible.

  20. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

    Why: e.g. paresthesia or "pins and needles" affecting the pulps of the thumb, index , middle and half of the ring finger. These symptoms are usually noticed after, rather than during, rapid use of the hands. There may also be pain, which may radiate up as far as the shoulder, from the inside of the wrist. There may also be muscle wasting and weakness of the hands.

  21. Symptoms of peroneal muscular atrophy (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease)?

    Why: e.g. wasting and weakness of the muscles below the knee, slow progression over many years, variable loss of sensation in lower legs.

  22. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?

    Why: e.g. usually starts with the gradual onset of pain and stiffness of the small joints of the hands and feet. Joint pain is worse on waking, nocturnal pain with disturbed sleep, pain is relieved with activity. Morning and rest stiffness can last for hours. May be associated with weakness, weight loss, malaise and fatigue. There is muscle wasting around the affected joints, particularly the hands.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Muscle atrophy:

The following list of conditions have 'Muscle atrophy' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Muscle atrophy or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Muscle atrophy:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Muscle atrophy' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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