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The most common symptoms of paralysis are inability to move, inability to feel something touching a part of the body, numbness to cold or heat, vision problems, and incontinence. Treating paralysis often includes surgeries and extensive physical rehabilitation. Depending on the type and cause of the paralysis, the condition may be quickly resolved or a lifelong issue.
The symptoms of paralysis usually depend on the types of paralysis the person has. Monolegia means only one hand or leg is paralyzed, diplegia means two limbs are affected, paraplegia means the torso and legs are paralyzed, hemiplegia means one side of the body is paralyzed, and quadriplegia means the torso and both arms and legs are paralyzed. Since the cause of the paralysis usually dictates the kind of paralysis a person has, symptoms of paralysis may be different or vary in degree.
The leading cause of paralysis is stroke, which is the loss of control and function in the brain due to lack of blood supply. The symptoms of paralysis in stroke victims usually include hemiplegia, slurred speech, and vision loss. To prevent strokes, doctors recommend keeping blood pressure in the normal range and eating a healthy low sodium diet to prevent atherosclerosis, which is clogged arteries. Since clogged arteries make it harder for blood to freely flow, a person with clogged arteries may be at a greater risk for stroke-induced paralysis.
Traumas are another cause of paralysis. Symptoms of paralysis due to trauma are usually manifested by the inability to move. This is most severe when it is a trauma to the head or neck since the blood supply interruption could be the result of internal bleeding or hemorrhage. If the trauma affected the spinal column, the inability to move can be as serious as quadriplegia where the person only has the ability to move his head.
Multiple sclerosis sufferers also exhibit symptoms of paralysis as their motor skills degenerate. The ailment causes the brain and body to send mixed signals due to central nervous system damage. A multiple sclerosis sufferer typically gets worse over time and may move from partial to complete paralysis as the illness progresses.
Symptoms of paralysis in cerebral palsy sufferers are different than those of multiple sclerosis sufferers. Cerebral palsy is a central nervous system defect that is present at or soon after birth. As the person grows, the condition may get worse and cause poor coordination and motor skills. Often a person with cerebral palsy has trouble talking and walking. Their arms or hand may also be drawn to their body and they may exhibit partial paralysis.