Many people ask what is Charcot Marie Tooth disease because it is considered a rare and serious condition that affects thousands of individuals each year.
Early detection can greatly aid in providing the proper coping mechanisms for individuals. There is no true cure for people asking what is Charcot Marie Tooth disease. It is a condition that can go undetected for several years. The best approach is to help the patient deal with the challenges and effects that come with the disease and find more ways to make life more convenient.
What is Charcot Marie Tooth Disease?
For those asking what is Charcot Marie Tooth disease, they will refer to the condition or CMT as a genetic or hereditary sensory and motor neuropathy. It is a collection of genetic anomalies that generally target the nerves found in the legs and arms of the individual.
CMT will generally lead to muscle wasting, muscle weakness and reduced sensation and feelings in the affected parts. CMT symptoms will also change among individuals. Even though family members may pass on the disease from parent to offspring, the symptoms between patients in the same clan can change. Some can present mild or absent symptoms while others present severe symptoms or effects that quickly accelerate and get worse.
To those who ask what is Charcot Marie Tooth disease, the symptoms will originate in the legs, feet and ankles. The problem might also spread to the arms, hands and wrists. People will develop another common sign which is hammertoes, claw toes or high arches in the feet.
People over time will find it difficult to run or walk and will usually trip or fall because of the muscle wasting and sensory changes in the area. The symptoms can occur early in life or during early adulthood. Some cases have patients experiencing the symptoms only when they reach their 40s or 50s.
What is Charcot Marie Tooth Disease? Signs and Symptoms
People who ask what is Charcot Marie Tooth will discover the signs and symptoms during different stages of their life in changing severity. The things that you might observe include weakness in the ankles, feet and legs, loss of muscle mass in the feet and legs, difficulty walking or running, high foot arches and hammertoes or claw toes. One might also experience difficulty in raising the foot at the ankle part also referred to as footdrop, changes in the gait or higher than normal stepping, frequent falling or tripping, reduced sensation in the lower leg area and feet, numbness or tingling in the lower extremities.
The sensory changes can affect other areas as well. Pain is not usually a symptom for those who like to know what is Charcot Marie Tooth but there are instances when patients feel it in different levels.
What is Charcot Marie Tooth Disease? The Risk Factors
People who ask what is Charcot Marie Tooth will discover that the condition is generally passed on from parent to offspring or is inherited. The disorder will most likely be present among individuals who have relatives or parents who also have the same problem.
Some people can be carriers of the disease without actually having the problem or presenting any symptoms. It is not very common so there can be cases wherein the condition is absent for a number of generations before reappearing in one or more family members. There are also other kinds of neuropathies like diabetes which will trigger the symptoms or make the current disease worse.
What is Charcot Marie Tooth Disease? Complications to Watch Out For
Those who wish to know what is Charcot Marie Tooth disease will realize that the problem can spread from the lower leg area to the thighs and then to other parts of the body.
The severity and complications of CMT will change depending on the person. Cases will differ greatly with some people still able to cope with normal activities and challenges while others are very much debilitated and limited from performing normal acts. Difficulty ambulating and abnormalities in the foot are considered very serious. Muscle weakness should be addressed immediately and the proper interventions should be done to prevent muscle wasting.
Other complications can include scoliosis and hip dysplasia. There can also be joint problems among people asking what is Charcot Marie Tooth disease. The problem can spread to the neck and shoulder muscles.
People might also experience vision, breathing and hearing problems. Tremors are the result of muscle loss. Pregnant women as well as depressed patients should be watched for carefully since the effects can be more severe for them. Individuals are encouraged to report the effects and slight complications immediately before these get worse.
What is Charcot Marie Tooth Disease? Treatment and Therapy
The truth is, there is no cure for people asking what is Charcot Marie Tooth disease. There are a number of approaches that will help alleviate the condition and help individuals cope with normal daily activities. Physical therapy is one of the most common methods that will help prevent muscle wasting and tightening. There are different stretching and motion exercises that will improve the strength and coordination of patients.
Patients will be guided by a trained physical therapist and the results will be forwarded to the doctor. Occupation therapy is another approach that will help patients asking what is Charcot Marie Tooth disease cope with usual activities and routines. People have to ensure that they can do activities of daily living on their own and even be productive at work.
Many individuals only suffer from minor or absent symptoms of the condition. Those asking what is Charcot Marie Tooth disease can actually resume regular work and take on other tasks like driving, operating heavy machinery or playing sports as long as they can tolerate it. The person has to be cautious about signs and symptoms that might mean that the condition is progressing.
Regular physical checkups and assessment are also highly needed to guarantee the safety and independence of patients. Patients should look for support from family members and friends to properly cope with the different challenges. Life can become easier and more convenient with the proper intervention techniques.