More Pathologies

Published on 19th October 2020


As therapists of any complementary therapy, we need to put what we have learnt on our anatomy and physiology course to good use and apply our knowledge to work safely with our clients. This is particularly true around working with clients who are unwell. A good working knowledge of diseases and disorders otherwise know as pathologies is vital. In this series of blogs we will highlight two pathologies from each system of the body. 

Nervous System

Alzheimer’s disease:


Commonest kind of dementia


Physical disease of the brain: plaques and tangles develop causing death of brain cells and degeneration of brain function

Signs and symptoms

Early stages may be lapses of memory, difficulty finding right words and as disease progresses there may be confusion, forgetfulness of people’s names, places, recent events/mood swings/ aggressiveness and irritability. Gradually body functions are lost leading to death.

Cause unknown but increased risk with age/smokers/those who have sustained head injuries/ boxers

Peripheral neuropathy:


Peripheral neuropathy is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system


Nerve fibres are damaged due to injury or disease.(e.g. alcohol or heavy metal poisoning/ hypothyroidism/diabetes/liver or kidney disease)especially affects hands and feet.

Can affect one or many nerves/motor or sensory

Signs and symptoms

May be muscle weakness, cramps and spasms, tingling, pins and needles/numbness/pain/extreme sensitivity to touch / loss of balance

May also affect nerves controlling bladder and bowel sphincters leading to incontinence/diarrhoea /constipation


Endocrine  System



Under activity of glands that regulate calcium levels in blood (Calcium levels will be too low).


May be congenital or result of damage from neck surgery or alongside other endocrine disorders such as thyroid, adrenal or ovarian disorders

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms include muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, cramps, spasms or twitching esp face and hands and feet, pain, tiredness, confusion, nervousness, loss of memory 

Hyperparathyroidism :


More common than hypoparathyroidism.


Over production of Parathyroid hormone causing an overproduction of calcium

Signs and symptoms

Majority of sufferers will have small benign tumour of parathyroid gland

Affects more women than men. Risk increases with age

Too much calcium in blood – bones may lose calcium and increased risk of kidney stones

Mild symptoms include tiredness, weakness, depression, general aches and pains

Severe symptoms include loss of appetite, impaired thinking, lack of concentration, increased thirst and urination, increased risk of fractures, acid reflux, poor sleep


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