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Stiff Person Syndrome Signs and Symptoms

Stiff Person Syndrome is a rare neurological autoimmune disorder characterized by progressive muscle stiffness, mainly in the spine and legs.  It can be triggered by emotional stress, and many patients have concurrent autoimmune disorders.  Stiff person syndrome is very rare, occurring is approximately one in a million people.  Symptoms typically begin in the forties, and the disease is more prevalent in women than men. We have listed the common signs and symptoms of stiff person syndrome below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Signs and Symptoms of Stiff Person Syndrome are as follows:

  • Progressive stiffness, primarily in the lower spine and legs
  • Progressive rigidity
  • Painful spasms in the legs and spine
  • Painful spasms in the neck, abdomen, arms and face
  • Muscle spasms that occur when the person is emotionally stimulated, such as through fear, anger, surprise or sadness
  • Exaggerated upright posture
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression

Diagnosis of Stiff Person Syndrome

When diagnosing stiff person syndrome, it is important to rule out similar disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and transverse myelitis.

Tests for stiff person syndrome include testing with an EMG needle, and GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase) antibody tests.  If GAD levels are extremely high, it helps to confirm the diagnosis of stiff person syndrome.  GAD antibodies are most commonly associated  with diabetes.  About fifty percent of patients with stiff person syndrome have diabetes, or will go on to develop diabetes. Other autoimmune conditions that are associated with stiff person syndrome are thyroid disease and vitiligo.

Recommended – Test for Heavy Metals and Mineral Imbalances using Hair Tissue Analysis

Hair Tissue Analysis Report

Hair Tissue Analysis Report

We suggest getting a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) to help you determine accurately what your body needs more of in terms of essential trace minerals and needs to eliminate in terms of toxic heavy metals and toxic mineral ratios. Toxic mineral ratios and toxic metal accumulation following long term or acute exposure can contribute greatly to degenerative conditions like Stiff Person Syndrome.

Essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium and sodium all have important metabolic functions. However, too little or too much of any of these essential minerals can have an adverse affect on the human body and it’s ability to recover.

How can a hair analysis help me achieve better health? If we consider that diet is what we consume and nutrition is what we retain, then we can see that discovering what your body needs when it needs it is a valuable tool in creating health.

The dangers of exposure to toxic heavy metals such as mercury, lead and aluminum have been well documented over the years. Levels of heavy metals in the body can only be accurately measured using a hair tissue analysis or a chelation challenge test (which can be expensive and have serious side-effects). Blood or urine tests give information about your metal or mineral levels at the time of the test only.

Testing for minerals in the urine measures the minerals that are being excreted from your body – not necessarily what has been absorbed as fuel for your body. So blood and urine tests are like snapshots whereas a hair analysis is the video of your mineral retention.

A hair analysis provides a biological profile of the past 2 – 3 months of intracellular activity revealing a unique metabolic world, which cannot be seen through most other tests. The hair mineral analysis gives you or your healthcare professional much-needed information about mineral deficiencies and chemical imbalances in your body, especially if you’re suffering from symptoms of any disease or disorder, including stiff person syndrome.

For FAQ’s about hair analysis, please click here.

For an overview of what is covered in a comprehensive hair analysis report (by Trace Elements, Inc.), please click here.

Hair Analysis Graph Results 1

Hair Analysis Bar Graph Results 2

Bar Graph Results

shopping cart icon To purchase a comprehensive Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (by Trace Elements, Inc.) from Evenbetternow Natural Health Solutions, please click here.

Books for People With Signs and Symptoms of Stiff Person Syndrome

The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Stiff-Person Syndrome: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age
Icon Health Publications

Stiff Person Syndrome
Lambert M. Surhone

Stiff person syndrome: An entry from Thomson Gale’s Gale Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders
Bruno Azevedo

Rare disease may offer clues to MS. (Moersch-Woltman syndrome): An article from: Inside MS
Phyllis Shaw

Stiff Person Syndrome Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Stiff Person Syndrome

Stiff Person Syndrome study results of 33 patients.

  • Living With Stiff Person Syndrome

I was diagnosed in 1994. Informative links, my story, personal journal.

  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Stiff-person (stiff-man syndrome) information sheet compiled by NINDS.

  • WD

Stiff Person Syndrome information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention, and prognosis.

  • Experience Project

A Stiff-person Syndrome anonymous support group with information on diagnosis, treatment, symptoms, along with personal stories and experiences with Stiff-person Syndrome. You’re not alone.

Medical Resources

  • Johns Hopkins Medicine

Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery explains SPS.

  • Medscape Reference

An article written for health care practitioners by medical professionals.

  • Cleveland Clinic

Information on Stiff Person Syndrome.