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Significant Loss of Muscle Mass in The Arms Symptoms & Causes

Understand significant loss of muscle mass in the arms symptoms, including 4 causes & common questions.

4 possible significant loss of muscle mass in the arms causes

Cushing syndrome

Cushing Syndrome is a hormonal disorder. The cause is long-term exposure to too much cortisol, a hormone that the adrenal gland makes. Sometimes, taking synthetic hormone medicine like corticosteroids to treat an inflammatory disease leads to Cushing's syndrome.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, depressed mood, weight gain, back pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes, because it is the result of lifestyle and is not hereditary. Diabetes of any type is the condition where the body does not produce enough insulin to process the sugars in food.

Risk factors include obesity, overeating high-carbohydrate foods, lack of exercise, pregnancy, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS.)

Early symptoms include increased thirst; frequent urination; weight loss despite increased appetite; blurred vision; infections that are slow to heal; and blood sugar somewhat higher than normal.

It is important to get treatment at the first sign of these symptoms, because the high blood sugar levels can cause serious organ damage. Heart disease, neuropathy, kidney damage, and blindness can all result from untreated diabetes.

Diagnosis is made through a series of blood tests to measure blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed through lifestyle changes. A diet which eliminates refined carbohydrates and controls calories; regular exercise; regular blood sugar monitoring; and sometimes insulin or other medications will all be recommended.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, increased appetite compared to normal, vision changes, feeling itchy or tingling all over, excesive thirst

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Pinched nerve in the neck

A pinched nerve in the neck is also called cervical radiculopathy. It means that a nerve in the neck, at a point where it branches off from the spinal cord, is being compressed by the surrounding bones, muscles, or other tissues.

It can be caused by a traumatic injury, such as from sports or an automobile accident, especially if the injury results in a herniated disk. It may also arise from the normal wear and tear of aging.

Symptoms include sharp, burning pain with numbness and tingling from the neck to the shoulder, as well as weakness and numbness into the arm and hand.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and simple neurological tests to check the reflexes. Imaging such as x-ray, CT scan, or MRI may be done, as well as electromyography to measure nerve impulses in the muscles.

A pinched nerve in the neck often improves with simply a few days or weeks of rest. Physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroid injections into the spine can all be very helpful.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: pain in one shoulder, spontaneous shoulder pain, pain that radiates down arm, pain in the back of the neck, severe shoulder pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also called ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease named after the Hall of Fame baseball player whose career ended when he developed ALS. It is a degenerative disease that destroys nerve cells, which eventually ...

So... which condition is actually causing your significant loss of muscle mass in the arms?

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Questions your doctor may ask about significant loss of muscle mass in the arms

  • Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with cancer?
  • Have you recently suffered from an infection of any kind including a cold or the flu?
  • Did you just suffer from a high impact injury (e.g., a fall, collision, accident or sports trauma)?

Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.

Significant loss of muscle mass in the arms symptom checker statistics

People who have experienced significant loss of muscle mass in the arms have also experienced:

  • 10% Fatigue
  • 3% Muscle Aches
  • 2% General Weakness

People who have experienced significant loss of muscle mass in the arms were most often matched with:

  • 33% Cushing Syndrome
  • 33% Type 2 Diabetes
  • 33% Pinched Nerve In The Neck

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.

Hear what 1 other is saying
My arms are shrinking Posted March 6, 2021 by N.

I'm 63 yrs old. About 2 years ago, I noticed that my forearms were, strangely, getting smaller. MUCH smaller. Embarrassingly smaller. Mistake # 1; I did nothing. I fretted. I complained. I did not 'Google'—"My arms are getting smaller" until I hurt myself. 8 months ago my wife and I undertook moving storage from one building to another. Then from there, we moved all, again, into our new home. Then moving belongings from another house to our new home. Friend, dear readers, listen up: As I am writing this moment—the 'pads,' the 8 fingertips in both hands—along with the meaty palms—are almost completely numb. February 4, I had a "Nerve Conduction Test" in both arms. GREAT NEWS: Diagnosis rendered—not a neck or cervical injury. Through my neglect of noticing my 'sarcopenia' and doing nothing to recover, and performing bull work as if I was still bull strong—I injured the nerves (carpal tunnel) in both shoulders, both elbows and wrists.

I am with incredible doctors and am told that my issues can be remedied with 1 and 2 stitch incisions in all 6 affected areas.

My Neurologist is a young athletic man (he's not the surgeon for this, but I started with him). He has assured me, that after these corrective surgeries, with major dietary changes, I can get started on a "rest of my life" regimen of resistance training that will minimize muscle loss in my whole body. Leaving my destiny in my hands.

I thank God out loud that I do not need neck or spinal surgery.

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