HSP symptoms

Image

Symptoms

 HSP is an incredibly difficult condition to predict. Not everyone will have the same symptoms or to the same severity or timescale. Some people have a very slow and steady progression, some may see a sharp decline then plateau, some may have hardly any issues at all, while others may go from being able bodied to wheelchair bound over a short number of years. HSP has no set pattern or timescale, the following list is a guide to symptoms which are commonly encountered. Most individuals will only experience a few of these.

Around 90% of people with HSP have an uncomplicated, or ‘pure’ form (for more information on Pure and Complicated HSP see HSP Types). This means that symptoms are typically confined to:

  • Lower limb weakness
  • Involuntary spasms / cramps
  • Increased muscle tone and stiffness (spasticity)
  • Urinary problems – such as a frequent sense of urgency
  • A loss of sensation in the feet (sometimes)
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Lower limb weakness
  • Digestive and bowel problems

Other symptoms can include bowel issues, loss of balance, loss of sensation in the feet, and/or pins and needles. The muscle spasticity may also cause toes to curl under and the arch of the foot to change.

People with uncomplicated HSP can usually live a full and independent life, although some adaptions and mobility aids may be required as symptoms progress.

The remaining 10% have a complicated or complex form of HSP. In these types of HSP the symptoms are the same as uncomplicated/pure HSP, but people would have other additional symptoms which may be one or more of:

  • Nerve damage in the feet or other extremities (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Epilepsy
  • Problems with balance, co-ordination and speech (ataxia)
  • Eye problems – such as damage to the retina (retinopathy) and damage to the optic nerve (optic neuropathy)
  • Memory issues
  • Dementia
  • Ichthyosis – a condition that causes widespread and persistent thick, dry, "fish-scale" skin
  • Learning and developmental problems
  • Hearing loss
  • Speech, breathing or swallowing problems.

With some of these additional symptoms, complicated HSP can be life limiting.


Image

Image

Emotional and mental health impact

It should also be noted that people with a physical, lifelong condition such as HSP may also be prone to emotional and mental health issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Low self esteem.

Mental health issues are just as important to treat as physical issues. If you are dealing with any of these problems, please visit your GP.