Charcot Marie Tooth Disease Symptoms – Coping Methods
Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms actually do not affect anything inside a person’s mouth.
The condition is actually a peripheral nerve disorder that causes a variety of symptoms that can hinder a person’s normal capacity to work, perform activities and do self-care acts. There are a number of Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms to watch out for to detect the condition early. Knowing the effects and possible complications at an earlier time will greatly help provide the proper interventions for long term relief.
The Common Charcot Marie Tooth Disease Symptoms
The basic signs and Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms are weakness an muscle wasting in the legs and feet, high foot arches, curled toes or hammertoes, loss of muscle mass in the lower leg area, limited mobility or difficulty running, difficulty raising the foot at the ankle area, frequent falls and trips, high gait, awkward step, reduced sensation in the feet, ankles and legs, numbness in the lower extremities, tingling sensation in the lower extremities and pain, although it isn’t a common occurrence.
As the Charcot Marie Tooth symptoms get worse, the effects may spread to other parts of the body like the hands, wrists, arms, neck and shoulders.
Development of Charcot Marie Tooth Disease Symptoms
Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms generally start during the person’s childhood or adulthood years. Many patients actually do not present any symptoms of the condition until the time they reach 30 or 40 years old. The first symptoms that you might notice are the foot drop or high gait. These usually occur during the initial stages of the disease.
The person might also develop claw toe or hammertoes wherein the toes are constantly in a curled state. The lower parts of the legs will experience muscle loss or wasting, giving the person a very skinny or malnourished appearance particularly in the lower part of the body. The hands, wrists and forearms might also develop weakness especially among adults as the disease worsens.
More Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms to watch out for include numbness or loss of feeling in the ankles, feet and legs. The person might also develop the same problem in his wrists, hands and arms. Other types of the condition will also lead to these symptoms.
The types that develop early or late in life will usually present periodic painful spasms and contractions of the muscles. Many patients will also develop high arched feet which is one of the most common signs of CMT. Proprioceptive and sensory nerves in the feet and hands are usually damaged although the nerves for pain are still functional. Using the extremities, feet or hands too often can trigger other effects like pain, cramps, numbness and muscle spasms.
Advanced Charcot Marie Tooth Disease Symptoms
The Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms and development will change depending on the particular type. Breathing will generally change among individuals, as well as other sensory changes such as in vision, hearing and touch. Bone or orthopedic problems can also follow like hip dysplasia, mild scoliosis and malformations in the joints.
People can also experience further changes like atrophy of the vocal cords which lead to voice changes, difficult chewing, difficulty eating and difficulty swallowing. Tremors will also ensue as the muscles continue to deteriorate. The person will experience loss of strength and lethargy as a result. Some individuals are expected to have more severe Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms because of the presence of conditions like pregnancy, depression, being immobile or sedentary and emotional stress. The symptoms can accelerate over time.
Some Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms will also include neuropathic pain although it is not considered a common occurrence. The presence of signs and symptoms will differ among patients so treatment and courses should change depending on the case. Neuropathic pain can range from mild to severe. Severe cases usually render the person unable to do different daily activities. Pain is not always present among CMT patients. Doctors will check and rule out other possible conditions that might trigger pain like complex regional pain syndrome and peripheral neuropathy.
Coping with Charcot Marie Tooth Disease Symptoms
Since there is no known cure for Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms, people will better cope asymptomatic treatment and coping measures that will alleviate the condition and allow them to resume normal activities of daily living. Support groups are very useful and effective to help patients learn new methods and practices that will promote independence and the development of new skills. Several individuals actually live normal lives and have regular jobs even with the condition. Many actually do a variety of activities and have special skills since the Charcot Marie Tooth symptoms are controlled properly.
Consult your doctor regarding the Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms and find more ways to cope with the effects. The specific type should be diagnosed properly and the person can also be referred to the right professionals who can aid in the different aspects of normal living. There are different groups, people and places on the internet where you can learn more about the programs and specific approaches that will alleviate pain, manage the debilitating effects and improve confidence and independence.
Dealing with Charcot Marie Tooth Disease Symptoms at Home
Many individuals actually live very normal lives provided that they learn the proper methods to manage and alleviate the Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms. Regular exercises are needed to strengthen the affected areas and improve mobility. Stretch everyday for 10 to 20 minutes. This will greatly improve coordination and balance as well as prepare the muscles for the different activities of the day. Joint problems and muscle aches and contractions can be prevented by doing flexibility exercises.
Make it a habit to get some form of exercise 3 to 5 times each week to minimize the severity of Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms. People can engage in sports, lift weights or do cardiovascular exercises to strengthen their muscles, bones and joints. There are other exercises intended to improve balance and stability. These are essential to protect patients from falls caused by Charcot Marie Tooth disease symptoms. Increase the intensity over time.